Arctic Warming Apocalypse Spells D-O-O-M for Planet Earth
In February, the northernmost permanent weather station in the Arctic warmed to summer temperatures of +12°C (43°F). This occured during the depth of the dark Arctic winter and in what should be the second coldest month of the year for the station, with early March normally being slightly colder. The temperature should have been more like the historical average of -33°C (-27°F).
The extreme heat wave this winter is not an isolated anomaly. There have been an entirely unprecedented 61 days of above freezing temperatures in the Arctic this winter.
Climate watchers have been sounding the alarm with Tweets such as:
It is absolutely astonishing how much warmer the Arctic is right now relative to even the previous record warmest February. I know there have been a lot of superlatives tossed around lately, but this truly is "record shattering." Wow. — Daniel Swain (@Weather_west) February 25, 2018
This is simply shocking. I don't have the words. — Eric Holthaus (@Ericholthaus) February 24, 2018
There is open water north of Greenland where the thickest sea ice used to be. It is not refreezing quickly because air temperatures are above zero confirmed by DMIDK'S weather station. Wacky weather continues with scary strength and persistence. — Lars Kaleschke (@seaice_de) February 25, 2018
For planet Earth this much warming in the Arctic is apocalyptic, not just because it kills off the life in the Arctic that was dependent upon a stable cold climate but also because it means that the Arctic has warmed far beyond anything previously imagined at this stage and that there is no hope of stopping or slowing runaway climate change. It truly means a global apocalypse.
The danger with the ever more rapidly heating Arctic is that it is a planet killing time-bomb. Locked in the Arctic is vastly more CO2 and methane than emitted by all humans for all time. Once most of the Arctic ice is gone the loss of albedo (reflection of light) guarantees that the Arctic will release its vast stores of carbon exponentially faster.
There are already giant gysers of methane in the Arctic jetting to the ocean surface from melting methane clathrates on the ocean floor. The tundra is emitting a rapidly growing stream of CO2 and methane through-