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Arctic Sea Ice - Methane Release - Planetary Emergency
Sea ice crashes - AMEG was right
Now for action to avert a mega-crisis!
AMEG was right to warn the world that without action the sea ice would collapse. There is now a planetary emergency and only immediate drastic action can cool the Arctic and hold off catastrophe.
AMEG has therefore sent a petition to world leaders (click on green button below to view).
To show your support, print out the petition, fill it in and send it to AMEG chair (address is at bottom of petition).
The collapse in sea ice is the result of a vicious cycle of sea ice retreat, exposure of more water to warming, and further melt. This cycle became apparent, when the observed sea ice extent started to deviate from the IPCC models from 2007 which projected the sea ice lasting into the next century.
The sea ice retreat is already having an effect on the world climate system, as witness the increase of climate extremes over the past decade. The way this happens is explained in this video.
Note the ending from Dr Francis of Rutgers University: “The climate system is changing in front of our very eyes. You do not have to be a climate scientist. I like to hope that, if there is a silver lining in all of this, it is helping people to wake up and realise this is a big problem. It is happening now. It’s not happening generations from now. And we need to start doing something about it.”
The speed of this change is very alarming. Look at this graph of sea ice volume, showing a trend to zero for September 2015 - a month of ice-free Arctic Ocean.
As the ocean has less and less ice cover, the Arctic warms faster and faster, and the disruption of the world's climate will accelerate. The only way to avoid an ever deepening food security crisis is to cool the Arctic. And it has to be done rapidly, in order to avoid an even worse collapse of sea ice next summer.
Fortunately there are several ways of cooling the Arctic. AMEG's preferred cooling method involves brightening marine clouds to cool surface currents flowing into the Arctic. In theory enough cooling power can be generated to offset a doubling in CO2, which should be more than enough power to keep what sea ice remains. The problem is that this technology will not be ready for many months, and there is a real concern that the new speed of Arctic warming will cause even worse climate extremes next year, to cause an ever deepening food security crisis - already bad enough this year. Therefore we may have to use sun-reflecting aerosols, preferably in the lower stratosphere, for immediate cooling. Careful modelling can be used to maximise benefits and minimise adverse side effects.
The deepening food crisis resulting from unchecked Arctic warming will affect everybody and every nation, so it behoves governments to support engineers with the huge challenge to cool the Arctic quickly enough to save the sea ice. There should be an emergency meeting of the G20 to sort this out. Delay would be suicide.
As said, AMEG has therefore sent a petition to world leaders (click on green button below to view).
Show your support and print out the petition, fill it in and send it to AMEG chair (address is at bottom of petition).
Arctic Methane: Why The Sea Ice Matters
Methane Hydrates: Hazard or Resource
Paul Beckwith at Ecoshock
Saving the Arctic Ice
Nathan Currier describes responses to the emergency in the Arctic in the post Saving the Arctic Ice: Greenpeace, Greenwashing and Geoengineering (#1), concluding that geoengineering will have to be part of the action.
AMEG issues policy brief
AMEG issues policy brief, urging immediate government action.