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    Robert Hunziker: Large-Scale Permafrost Thawing Archived Message

    Posted by sashimi on October 21, 2020, 10:10 am

    Twenty-five percent (25%) of the Northern Hemisphere is permafrost. By
    all appearances, it is melting well beyond natural background rates,
    in fact, substantially!

    Making matters much, much worse, new research has identified past
    warming events of large-scale permafrost thaw in the Arctic that may
    be analogous to today, thus spotting a parallel problem of large-scale
    thawing accompanied by massively excessive carbon emissions spewing
    into the atmosphere, like there's no tomorrow.

    Permafrost thawing is not, at all times, simply "thawing." Of course,
    as a standalone, the word "thawing" implies a rather evenly keeled
    methodical process without any specific definition of scale. But,
    there's thawing, and then, there's "large-scale thawing," which is
    kinda like turning loose a behemoth. The results are never pretty.

    As global warming powers up, like it's doing now, it has a penchant
    for finding enormous spans of frozen mud and silt filled with
    iced-species in quasi-permanent frozen states known as permafrost. As
    it melts, it's full of surprises, some interesting, as well as some
    that are horribly dangerous, for example, emitting huge quantities of
    carbon, thus kicking into high gear some level of runaway global
    warming that threatens to wipeout agriculture.

    As a matter of fact, according to the research, no more than a few
    degrees of warming, only a few, can trigger abrupt thaws of vast
    frozen land thereby releasing vast quantities of greenhouse gases as a
    product of collapsing landscapes, and it feeds upon itself. Indeed,
    the research effort identified "surges in greenhouse gas emissions...
    on a massive scale."

    The study suggests that massive permafrost ecosystem thawing is
    subject to indeterminate timing sequences, but it's armed with a
    "sensitive trigger" abruptly altering the landscape in massive
    fashion. In short, an event could arise out of the blue. It's well
    known that Arctic permafrost holds considerably more carbon captured
    in a frozen state than has already been emitted into the atmosphere.

    Already, over just the past two years, other field studies have shown
    instances where thawing permafrost is 70 years ahead of scientists'
    , prompting the thought that thawing may be cranking up even as
    the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) fails to
    anticipate it.

    After all, permafrost is not included in the IPCC's carbon budget,
    meaning signatories to the Paris accord of 2015 will need to
    recalculate their quest to save the world from too much carbon
    emitting too fast for any kind of smooth functionality of the planet's
    climate system. In turn, it undoubtedly negatively impacts the
    support, or lack thereof, for food-growing regions, which could
    actually collapse, similar to cascading dominos. Poof!

    In the Canadian High Arctic:
    Observed maximum thaw depths at our sites are already exceeding
    those projected to occur by 2090.

    According to Susan Natali of Woods Hole Research Center
    (Massachusetts) the Arctic has already transformed from a carbon sink
    to a carbon emitter
    Given that the Arctic has been taking up carbon for tens of
    thousands of years, this shift to a carbon source is important
    because it highlights a new dynamic in the functioning of the
    Earth System.

    A 14-year study referenced by Dr. Natali shows annualized 1.66
    gigatonnes CO2 emitted from the Arctic versus 1.03 gigatonnes
    absorbed, a major turning point in paleoclimate history, a chilling
    turn for the worse that threatens 10,000 years of our wonderful
    Holocene era "not too hot, not too cold." Alas, that spectacular
    Goldilocks life of perfection is rapidly becoming a remembrance of the

    Additionally, according to Vladimir Romanovsky - Permafrost
    Laboratory, Geophysical Institute, University of Alaska, Fairbanks
    (UAF) there are definitive geophysical signs of permafrost that
    survived thousands of years now starting to thaw.
    -- Cont'd at

    Message Thread:

    • Robert Hunziker: Large-Scale Permafrost Thawing - sashimi October 21, 2020, 10:10 am