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A Catastrophic Cooling 5,200 Years Ago Was Preceeded by a Few Decades of Warming and Low Sunspot Activity: Sound Familiar? | The Daily Sheeple
The Daily Sheeple
February 6th, 2014
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The 2004 annual meeting of the American Geophysical Union saw evidence that proved beyond doubt that a devastating and abrupt change in climate happened 5,200 years ago. Now when I say abrupt I really do mean abrupt. A massive and profound global cooling event happened 5,200 years ago, and one of the leading scientists in the field of ice core analysis thinks it’s about to happen again.
Not much was said about this outside of scientific circles, certainly nothing was said by the government. Even the words and research of a world renowned expert count for nothing. As far as the warmist government is concerned, we are all to believe we will die of heatstroke in the next 50 years.
Thompson even mentions the Sun, and it’s role in climate forcing, and once again, just like 5,200 years ago, the Sun is showing the lowest activity for a century. Predictions for solar cycle 25 are that there may not be any sunspots at all.
Have you ever seen a soft non-woody plant after it has been exposed to frost and ice? They shrivel, sometimes blacken and die. Even plants that have lain under snow and ice all winter show signs of decay quite rapidly once the ice melts and they are exposed to air.
Lonnie Thompson is a professor of geological sciences at Ohio State, he is also a researcher at Byrd Polar Research Center. His specialty is ice core analysis.
Thompson has taken ice core samples from all over the world. He goes to the highest and coldest places he can find to collect them. Each year whatever is in the atmosphere is represented as a band in the core, Thompson explains:
They record things like anthropogenic changes. You can see when lead was put into gasoline. You can see when legislation was passed to remove it. Anything that’s in the air gets recorded. If you’re at the top of the Himalayas, you can see the development of industry in India through the nitrates and the sulfates that make up the chemistry in the cores. There’s a record with the ice cores. The thing that really makes them unique is that they record the history of the earth’s atmosphere. In the bubbles there is an archive of our atmosphere, and by extracting those gases, we can measure CO2 and methane, and nitrous oxide, CFCs, and you can see how the earth’s atmosphere has changed through time. We now have a record going back 650,000 years from the polar cores in Antarctica of these gases and that gives us a perspective of what’s natural and what’s not.
There is a history of things like micro-organisms; you know, if you want to look at life in extreme environments, then look at what’s living in the ice at 23,500 feet, a high radiation, low oxygen environment, and so we have been working on developing protocols of how you would extract that. these would be the same protocols you would use if you ever drilled the northern ice field of Mars. If I was looking for life on Mars, I’d be looking in the ice because it’s a very good recorder of what has happened in the past on any planet.
Some of the surprises, of course, are things like insects. You wouldn’t expect at 23,000 feet to find insects in the ice, but you do. In the tropics they get caught up in the thunderstorms; they get carried up to very high elevation. They come out in the snow and then they’re perfectly preserved. We find them 25,000-years-old. You can identify the insect, and you can then carbon date it, to C14 date it. In the polar regions, people have been trying for years to extract C14 to independently date the cores. It’s very difficult to do. In fact, it hasn’t been done yet. But in the tropics, we have time series based on Carbon-14 dating, using insects and organics, plant remains, and things like that that get trapped in the ice.
The beauty of the ice is that it records so many different things about climate and environment, but it also records the forcings of climate, such as volcanic history, the sulfate in the tefra that come from the eruptions. We can look at the cosmogenic nuclides, like Beryllium-10, Chlorine-36 that are produced in the stratosphere due to modulation of the output of Sun, and therefore we can get a history of solar variations, which is very important in the natural forcings of the climate on the planet. (source)
Thompson had visited the Quelccaya ice cap in Peruvian Andes many times. He took samples and monitored the speed of the glacier and other geological processes going on there. It was on one of these trips that he found plants, perfectly preserved, non-woody plants, still wet where the ice had melted from them that day. They were undamaged and perfectly preserved, not black, wilted or shrivelled. The only way that could happen is if they had been covered in snow and found by Thompson within a short time of the snow melting before the frost damage started to show. He was in the right place at the right time, but one thing confused him. They were sitting at the bottom of a wall of sheer ice, the leading end of a receding glacier, a glacier that the ice cores told him had been there for thousands of years.
Carbon dating of the plants revealed them to be 5,200 years old. What’s more, they were wetland plants, plants that you would not expect to find in the Andes, but there they were. He has since collected more plants from other glaciers and valleys in the Andes, they too are 5,200 years old.
In 1991 hikers found what they thought was a dead body, and indeed it was. But this victim of foul play lived a long time ago, 5,200 years ago to be precise. Otzi-the iceman was found in South Tyrol, Italy.
To be so well preserved and untouched by animals he must have been covered with snow almost immediately after his death. Food he was carrying indicated that he had been lower down the valley in the previous 12 hours. His wounds prove there was someone else in the area that carried out the attack that cost him his life. He had eaten a full meal of deer and ibex shortly before his death. We know Otzi hadn’t been exposed since his death as there was no decay on the body.
Isotropic events show changes in the isotopes that are present in the atmosphere. There may be more carbon in mud, or a different isotope of oxygen in ice cores.
Tree ring analysis in the UK shows the narrowest rings, indicating colder and drier conditions occurred 5,194 years ago.
Artifacts discovered in Florida shows that water came over the land 5,200 years ago.
Mark Meier, a glaciologist, collected samples from trees re-exposed as a glacier retreated in the South Cascades, the roots were just over 5, 000 years old.
It’s obvious that a monumental event took place some 5,200 years ago. It got colder. Snow came down and never went away, until now. This cold period was preceded by a period of warming that lasted several decades and by reduced solar activity. Lonnie Thompson is concerned that history may be about to repeat itself.
The event was abrupt enough to bury plants, a body and trees for some 5,000 years. That’s one hell of a storm. Enough snow year on year that glaciers were formed on Kilimanjaro and in the Peruvian Andes, glaciers that are just giving up their secrets over 5,000 years later.
When large areas are covered in snow their albedo rate changes. The white snow reflects heat back into space that would otherwise warm the planet. Cooling becomes a vicious circle, heat is reflected, the ice doesn’t melt, it gets colder still. This continues until an exceptional warm cycle succeeds in starting the melt, as is happening with glaciers right now. Sadly, this often presages a quick flip back to much colder conditions. Here’s a simple explanation of albedo:
Professor Thompson sums up his concerns:
“This would suggest a very large-scale, abrupt event occurring at this time in the past, due to natural events that had huge scale impacts. We need to understand what caused that, because 5,200 years ago, there may have been 250,000,000 people living on the planet. We’ve now got 6.5 billion, most of then living in the latitudes where this abrupt event is recorded.
I think the natural system has had abrupt changes in the past, which just tells us that this system is capable of changing over a very short period of time, and we have been very fortunate that our civilization has developed over a time when we haven’t had large-scale changes in climate.” (source)
As I have said many times, global cooling will kill hundreds of millions of people across the globe. Millions of Americans will die, yet the government denies that it’s happening.
The conclusion has to be that they want these events to unfold while the people are unprepared. They want the massive die off that will allow them to fully implement the New World Order they crave.
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Contributed by Chris Carrington of The Daily Sheeple.
Chris Carrington is a writer, researcher and lecturer with a background in science, technology and environmental studies. Chris is an editor for The Daily Sheeple. Wake the flock up!
Naomi Klein: Why Science Is Telling All of Us to Revolt and Change Our Lives Before We Destroy the Planet | Alternet
But it was Werner’s own session that was attracting much of the buzz. It was titled “Is Earth F**ked?” (full title: “Is Earth F**ked? Dynamical Futility of Global Environmental Management and Possibilities for Sustainability via Direct Action Activism”).
Standing at the front of the conference room, the geophysicist from the University of California, San Diego walked the crowd through the advanced computer model he was using to answer that question. He talked about system boundaries, perturbations, dissipation, attractors, bifurcations and a whole bunch of other stuff largely incomprehensible to those of us uninitiated in complex systems theory. But the bottom line was clear enough: global capitalism has made the depletion of resources so rapid, convenient and barrier-free that “earth-human systems” are becoming dangerously unstable in response. When pressed by a journalist for a clear answer on the “are we f**ked” question, Werner set the jargon aside and replied, “More or less.”
There was one dynamic in the model, however, that offered some hope. Werner termed it “resistance” – movements of “people or groups of people” who “adopt a certain set of dynamics that does not fit within the capitalist culture”. According to the abstract for his presentation, this includes “environmental direct action, resistance taken from outside the dominant culture, as in protests, blockades and sabotage by indigenous peoples, workers, anarchists and other activist groups”.
Serious scientific gatherings don’t usually feature calls for mass political resistance, much less direct action and sabotage. But then again, Werner wasn’t exactly calling for those things. He was merely observing that mass uprisings of people – along the lines of the abolition movement, the civil rights movement or Occupy Wall Street – represent the likeliest source of “friction” to slow down an economic machine that is careening out of control. We know that past social movements have “had tremendous influence on . . . how the dominant culture evolved”, he pointed out. So it stands to reason that, “if we’re thinking about the future of the earth, and the future of our coupling to the environment, we have to include resistance as part of that dynamics”. And that, Werner argued, is not a matter of opinion, but “really a geophysics problem”.
Plenty of scientists have been moved by their research findings to take action in the streets. Physicists, astronomers, medical doctors and biologists have been at the forefront of movements against nuclear weapons, nuclear power, war, chemical contamination and creationism. And in November 2012,Nature published a commentary by the financier and environmental philanthropist Jeremy Grantham urging scientists to join this tradition and “be arrested if necessary”, because climate change “is not only the crisis of your lives – it is also the crisis of our species’ existence”.
Some scientists need no convincing. The godfather of modern climate science, James Hansen, is a formidable activist, having been arrested some half-dozen times for resisting mountain-top removal coal mining and tar sands pipelines (he even left his job at Nasa this year in part to have more time for campaigning). Two years ago, when I was arrested outside the White House at a mass action against the Keystone XL tar sands pipeline, one of the 166 people in cuffs that day was a glaciologist named Jason Box, a world-renowned expert on Greenland’s melting ice sheet.
“I couldn’t maintain my self-respect if I didn’t go,” Box said at the time, adding that “just voting doesn’t seem to be enough in this case. I need to be a citizen also.”
This is laudable, but what Werner is doing with his modelling is different. He isn’t saying that his research drove him to take action to stop a particular policy; he is saying that his research shows that our entire economic paradigm is a threat to ecological stability. And indeed that challenging this economic paradigm – through mass-movement counter-pressure – is humanity’s best shot at avoiding catastrophe.
That’s heavy stuff. But he’s not alone. Werner is part of a small but increasingly influential group of scientists whose research into the destabilisation of natural systems – particularly the climate system – is leading them to similarly transformative, even revolutionary, conclusions. And for any closet revolutionary who has ever dreamed of overthrowing the present economic order in favour of one a little less likely to cause Italian pensioners to hang themselves in their homes, this work should be of particular interest. Because it makes the ditching of that cruel system in favour of something new (and perhaps, with lots of work, better) no longer a matter of mere ideological preference but rather one of species-wide existential necessity.
Leading the pack of these new scientific revolutionaries is one of Britain’s top climate experts, Kevin Anderson, the deputy director of the Tyndall Centre for Climate Change Research, which has quickly established itself as one of the UK’s premier climate research institutions. Addressing everyone from the Department for International Development to Manchester City Council, Anderson has spent more than a decade patiently translating the implications of the latest climate science to politicians, economists and campaigners. In clear and understandable language, he lays out a rigorous road map for emissions reduction, one that provides a decent shot at keeping global temperature rise below 2° Celsius, a target that most governments have determined would stave off catastrophe.
But in recent years Anderson’s papers and slide shows have become more alarming. Under titles such as “Climate Change: Going Beyond Dangerous . . . Brutal Numbers and Tenuous Hope”, he points out that the chances of staying within anything like safe temperature levels are diminishing fast.
With his colleague Alice Bows, a climate mitigation expert at the Tyndall Centre, Anderson points out that we have lost so much time to political stalling and weak climate policies – all while global consumption (and emissions) ballooned – that we are now facing cuts so drastic that they challenge the fundamental logic of prioritising GDP growth above all else.
Anderson and Bows inform us that the often-cited long-term mitigation target – an 80 per cent emissions cut below 1990 levels by 2050 – has been selected purely for reasons of political expediency and has “no scientific basis”. That’s because climate impacts come not just from what we emit today and tomorrow, but from the cumulative emissions that build up in the atmosphere over time. And they warn that by focusing on targets three and a half decades into the future – rather than on what we can do to cut carbon sharply and immediately – there is a serious risk that we will allow our emissions to continue to soar for years to come, thereby blowing through far too much of our 2° “carbon budget” and putting ourselves in an impossible position later in the century.
Which is why Anderson and Bows argue that, if the governments of developed countries are serious about hitting the agreedupon international target of keeping warming below 2° Celsius, and if reductions are to respect any kind of equity principle (basically that the countries that have been spewing carbon for the better part of two centuries need to cut before the countries where more than a billion people still don’t have electricity), then the reductions need to be a lot deeper, and they need to come a lot sooner.
To have even a 50/50 chance of hitting the 2° target (which, they and many others warn, already involves facing an array of hugely damaging climate impacts), the industrialised countries need to start cutting their greenhouse-gas emissions by something like 10 per cent a year – and they need to start right now. But Anderson and Bows go further, pointing out that this target cannot be met with the array of modest carbon pricing or green-tech solutions usually advocated by big green groups. These measures will certainly help, to be sure, but they are simply not enough: a 10 per cent drop in emissions, year after year, is virtually unprecedented since we started powering our economies with coal. In fact, cuts above 1 per cent per year “have historically been associated only with economic recession or upheaval”, as the economist Nicholas Stern put it in his 2006 report for the British government.
Even after the Soviet Union collapsed, reductions of this duration and depth did not happen (the former Soviet countries experienced average annual reductions of roughly 5 per cent over a period of ten years). They did not happen after Wall Street crashed in 2008 (wealthy countries experienced about a 7 per cent drop between 2008 and 2009, but their CO2 emissions rebounded with gusto in 2010 and emissions in China and India had continued to rise). Only in the immediate aftermath of the great market crash of 1929 did the United States, for instance, see emissions drop for several consecutive years by more than 10 per cent annually, according to historical data from the Carbon Dioxide Information Analysis Centre. But that was the worst economic crisis of modern times.
If we are to avoid that kind of carnage while meeting our science-based emissions targets, carbon reduction must be managed carefully through what Anderson and Bows describe as “radical and immediate de-growth strategies in the US, EU and other wealthy nations”. Which is fine, except that we happen to have an economic system that fetishises GDP growth above all else, regardless of the human or ecological consequences, and in which the neoliberal political class has utterly abdicated its responsibility to manage anything (since the market is the invisible genius to which everything must be entrusted).
So what Anderson and Bows are really saying is that there is still time to avoid catastrophic warming, but not within the rules of capitalism as they are currently constructed. Which may be the best argument we have ever had for changing those rules.
In a 2012 essay that appeared in the influential scientific journal Nature Climate Change, Anderson and Bows laid down something of a gauntlet, accusing many of their fellow scientists of failing to come clean about the kind of changes that climate change demands of humanity. On this it is worth quoting the pair at length:
. . . in developing emission scenarios scientists repeatedly and severely underplay the implications of their analyses. When it comes to avoiding a 2°C rise, “impossible” is translated into “difficult but doable”, whereas “urgent and radical” emerge as “challenging” – all to appease the god of economics (or, more precisely, finance). For example, to avoid exceeding the maximum rate of emission reduction dictated by economists, “impossibly” early peaks in emissions are assumed, together with naive notions about “big” engineering and the deployment rates of low-carbon infrastructure. More disturbingly, as emissions budgets dwindle, so geoengineering is increasingly proposed to ensure that the diktat of economists remains unquestioned.
In other words, in order to appear reasonable within neoliberal economic circles, scientists have been dramatically soft-peddling the implications of their research. By August 2013, Anderson was willing to be even more blunt, writing that the boat had sailed on gradual change. “Perhaps at the time of the 1992 Earth Summit, or even at the turn of the millennium, 2°C levels of mitigation could have been achieved through significant evolutionary changes within the political and economic hegemony. But climate change is a cumulative issue! Now, in 2013, we in high-emitting (post-)industrial nations face a very different prospect. Our ongoing and collective carbon profligacy has squandered any opportunity for the ‘evolutionary change’ afforded by our earlier (and larger) 2°C carbon budget. Today, after two decades of bluff and lies, the remaining 2°C budget demands revolutionary change to the political and economic hegemony” (his emphasis).
We probably shouldn’t be surprised that some climate scientists are a little spooked by the radical implications of even their own research. Most of them were just quietly doing their work measuring ice cores, running global climate models and studying ocean acidification, only to discover, as the Australian climate expert and author Clive Hamilton puts it, that they “were unwittingly destabilising the political and social order”.
But there are many people who are well aware of the revolutionary nature of climate science. It’s why some of the governments that decided to chuck their climate commitments in favour of digging up more carbon have had to find ever more thuggish ways to silence and intimidate their nations’ scientists. In Britain, this strategy is becoming more overt, with Ian Boyd, the chief scientific adviser at the Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, writing recently that scientists should avoid “suggesting that policies are either right or wrong” and should express their views “by working with embedded advisers (such as myself), and by being the voice of reason, rather than dissent, in the public arena”.
If you want to know where this leads, check out what’s happening in Canada, where I live. The Conservative government of Stephen Harper has done such an effective job of gagging scientists and shutting down critical research projects that, in July 2012, a couple thousand scientists and supporters held a mock-funeral on Parliament Hill in Ottawa, mourning “the death of evidence”. Their placards said, “No Science, No Evidence, No Truth”.
But the truth is getting out anyway. The fact that the business-as-usual pursuit of profits and growth is destabilising life on earth is no longer something we need to read about in scientific journals. The early signs are unfolding before our eyes. And increasing numbers of us are responding accordingly: blockading fracking activity in Balcombe; interfering with Arctic drilling preparations in Russian waters (at tremendous personal cost); taking tar sands operators to court for violating indigenous sovereignty; and countless other acts of resistance large and small. In Brad Werner’s computer model, this is the “friction” needed to slow down the forces of destabilisation; the great climate campaigner Bill McKibben calls it the “antibodies” rising up to fight the planet’s “spiking fever”.
It’s not a revolution, but it’s a start. And it might just buy us enough time to figure out a way to live on this planet that is distinctly less f**ked.