[MCN] US Dept. of Energy: We're pushing the climate toward its "most important tipping point"

Lance Olsen lance at wildrockies.org
Mon Aug 14 11:24:22 EDT 2017

Excerpt from US Dept. of Energy statement:  “Permafrost's deep layers act like the world's ice chest, locking away organic matter such as dead plants and animals from degradation for thousands of years. The cold temperatures and waterlogged soil slows decomposition to a near halt.
But today the Arctic is warming at a pace that hasn't occurred for the past three million years. Rising at a rate twice as fast as the rest of Earth, the Arctic's average temperature could increase by as much as 14 degrees F between 2081 and 2100.

This warming could cause permafrost to thaw much faster and more extensively than ever before. Depending on the rate and extent of climate change, the Arctic could lose 30 to 70 percent of its permafrost ...

Organic matter in thawed permafrost can decompose rapidly. As bacteria, fungi, and other tiny organisms break down the matter, they release the greenhouse gases carbon dioxide and methane. Every 1 degree C (1.8 degree F) increase in average global temperatures could result in permafrost thawing enough that it releases a year-and-a-half's worth of human-made carbon dioxide emissions. Greenhouse gases from the thawed permafrost would lead to more climate change, which then could lead to more permafrost thawing - a self-reinforcing cycle.

"This is the most important tipping point," said Jizhong Zhou, a researcher at Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory (LBNL) and professor at the University of Oklahoma.

https://www.eurekalert.org/features/doe/2017-06/ddoe-dtw061417.php <https://www.eurekalert.org/features/doe/2017-06/ddoe-dtw061417.php>
"The academic community inadvertently made a mistake by introducing climate change using mind numbing scientific details.
To truly understand what is happening all one needs to worry about is the concentration of carbon in the atmosphere. 
Carbon in the atmosphere is the earth’s thermostat. Period."

The Maritime Executive
We Can Fix Climate Change If We First Fix Congress

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