Tuesday, April 21, 2009

Anthony Marr predicts the Mother of All Droughts to start as early as 2012

I am not a professional climatologist, but I do have a degree in physics, and as per the average physicist, I prefer to do my own analysis and draw my own conclusions when it comes to anything involving the basic physical laws. Climatology is nothing more than a special branch of physics anyway.

Having done my own analysis, I have drawn my own conclusion which I am now presenting for your perusal. I don't feel too much trepidation in case I'm wrong, because all the predictions from the most advanced computer modeling have all proven wrong, almost always as gross underestimations, so much so that worst-case-scenarios have repeatedly been exceeded, and "experts are stunned" and "worse than scientists have expected" have become the media catch-phrase. In fact, so far, I have yet to encounter a computer projection that has not grossly undershot the mark, or at least promised to do so some time in the future, mostly commonly the year 2100. So, the worst I can do is to be wrong like everybody else. Right now, I fear I'm right, but hope I'm wrong. (If I prove to be wrong some time in the future, I'm sure I'll be able to come up with a perfectly reasonable explanation consistent to a T with the basic physical laws. :)

In 2008/2009, Vancouver experienced one of the coolest winters ever, which led skeptics to again say, "Global warming? What global warming?" My conclusion, on the other hand, is that this is explainable, and even predictable by the basic physical laws. It is supposed to cool off, stupid. But considering that it will last only 3-4 years, Vancouverites should enjoy the Arctic air-conditioning while it is still working, because as of the end of 2012 or thereabouts, it will konk out.

Without this natural air-conditioning, people will crank their artificial air-conditioning even more, which will inject even more CO2 into the atmosphere, which will warm the atmosphere even more. All in all, the current cooling "trend" will end. Global warming will accelerate, and the Northern Hemisphere will be hugely impacted. The United States, for example, will soon be hit by an unprecedented continental drought with no end in sight.

I will state below my line of reasoning in as simple a language as possible, with no math involved.

Fact 1: The melting rate of Arctic ice, both on land and in the sea, has been accelerating in recent years, with 2005 and 2006 being steep, and 2007 and 2008 being precipitous.

Fact 2: Since 2003, the planet has lost over 2 trillion tonnes of land ice, and many times that of sea ice.

Fact 3: Before the 2007 Big Melt, computer models used to predict that the Arctic summer would 50% ice-free come 2050; but since 2008, the time-line has been drastically shortened to 100% ice-free as early as 2013. Some still cautiously say 2030, but a few years' difference in the time-scale of geological change is little more than a split-second or two. If it's 2030 instead of 2013, then it will hit in the 2020s instead of in 2012. But it will come, and right now, the safe time frame to use is 2013.

Fact 4: The latest estimate has it that the Arctic winter could be ice-free as early as 2040.

Fact 5: The heat to melt the ice of course comes ultimately from the sun, but it is provided to the ice mostly through the water which is warmed by solar heat. This is especially so as of the advent of the Albedo Effect resulting from the decrease in heat-reflecting sea ice and increase in the darker, solar-heat-absorbing sea water.

Fact 6: The Latent Heat of Melting/Fusion of water is about 80 calories per gram of ice to be melted. To melt the 2 trillion tonnes of land ice alone lost since 2003 absorbed 160 quintillion calories (160 with 18 zeros after it, or 160 billion billion calories) from the planet's climatic system - without the air temperature being increased, and in fact, somewhat decreased. Melting almost half of the pre-21st-Century Arctic sea ice in the last decade absorbed even more, times more.

The last point needs some explaining. Let's go to the kitchen and perform an experiment. Take a steel cooking pot and fill it half full with cold water. Add enough ice cubes into the pot to raise the water level to almost full. Insert an electric heating element (e.g the kind used in aquariums) and a thermometer into the water, and mount a second thermometer outside of the pot within an inch of the pot's surface. Crank the heater up to full and stir the water constantly with the thermometer while monitoring the readings of both thermometers by 30 second intervals. The result will be as follows:

As long as the water is well stirred, the water temperature will lower to a little above 0C/32F, and it will stay there for as long as there is still ice in the pot to melt. The air temperature around and above the pot will decrease, because the melting ice absorbs heat both from the heated water and from the warmer air around the pot. Adding another heater will increase the ice-melt rate, but it will not increase the water temperature much over 0C/32F, until all the ice has melted off. After that, if the heater is kept on, the temperature both of the water and the air around the pot will rise (until the water begins to boil, when its temperature will stabilize at 100C/212F until it is boiled off).

The amount of heat required to melt all the ice - without the temperature of the water rising - is the Latent Heat of Melting (or of Fusion in case of freezing when the latent heat is released) of that quantity of ice to be melted (or frozen). For water, the latent heat of melting/fusion is about 80 calories per gram.

If the prediction that the Arctic summer will be ice-free as of 2013 is accurate, the Great Heat will begin shortly before 2013, as in 2012, since the less the remaining sea ice left to be melted, the less latent heat of melting it will absorb, thus leaving it in the climatic system to contribute to global warming.

The Arctic-summer becoming ice-free will constitute the first of the one-two climatic punch. The second will kick in when the Arctic begins to be ice-free even in the winter.

Since the summers of 2007 and 2008 registered the fastest ice-melt, they also registered the largest absorption of the Latent Heat of Melting from the Arctic atmosphere, thus cooling it more than usual. Temporarily, but enough to precipitate a cool 2008/2009 winter.

Vancouver's 2008/2009 winter was amongst the snowiest on record. This resulted from a collision of cold and warm fronts, the former dry and the latter moist. Warm air can "hold" much more water than cold air. If the warm, moisture-laden southern air collides with the cold northern air, it will be cooled, its dew point raised and whatever excess water it cannot "hold" will be precipitated as rain or snow, the more the cooling of the warm air by the cold, the heavier the precipitation. Sounds very much like Vancouver's winter of 2008/2009.

As of 2012, however, when there is no more ice to be melted in the summer, the previously absorbed "latent" heat will become manifest as measurable heat, and the temperatures of both the Arctic ocean and the Arctic atmosphere will rise. As the ice mass continues to decline towards the eventual zero in the winter, the faster will the temperature rise. But well before zero, all may already have been lost.

Since cold fronts will be severely curtailed, and since the air will be warmer, more moisture will stay in the atmosphere unprecipitated. This will start a drying trend on the ground that will be extremely extensive in both the East and West halves of the Northern Hemisphere all the way from the North Pole down to the Equator.

Where North America is concerned, since the cold Arctic air will have withdrawn northward, so will the cold-front/warm-front collisions, and the precipitation will shift due north. This will make Canada wetter and the United States drier. The current dual drought-centers of California and Georgia will expand and merge. The agricultural capacity of the US will plummet. Food will be scarce. Dare I say that the US, as Ethiopia before it, will experience a serious food crisis and perhaps malnutrition and even starvation?

And this has not yet even taken into consideration a very frightening factor - Methane.

Currently, even at a global average temperature rise of less than 1C/1.6F since 1880 (the beginning of the Industrial Revolution), the permafrost in northern Europe, Canada, Alaska and especially Russia has already begun to melt, as has the submarine methane hydrate/clathrate deposits on the shelves of the Arctic Ocean. This releases vast quantities of methane into the atmosphere. With the exhaustion of sea ice, the temperature will certainly rise, the permafrost and hydrate/clathrate melting rates will increase, and the methane will be released into the atmosphere at an accelerated rate.

Methane (CH4), being more potent as a greenhouse gas than carbon dioxide (CO2) by far (20-70 X), it will warm up the atmosphere even faster, and generate its own feedback loop, where more methane in the atmosphere will melt more permafrost and release even more methane. There has always been a certain amount of methane in the atmosphere due to organic decomposition, but since methane is a fairly short-lived molecule, its breakdown and emission rates have always struck an easy balance, where the methane actually helped the CO2 in keeping the atmosphere warm enough for life to flourish. But as of the year 2000, two things have occurred:

1. the methane concentration globally has been steady for decades but now it is on the rise, and

2. the methane concentration on the Arctic region is higher than in the lower lattitudes.

This means 1. that the methane emission rate is increasing and is now overwhelming the breakdown rate, and 2. that the extra methane is being emitted from the Arctic. Bear in mind that this is with the ice chilling the air. Imagine what when there is no more ice to cool anything.

This further means to me that the methane feedback loop has already kicked in, and it will spiral exponentially out of control once the Arctic ice is gone, or maybe just nearly gone. Unless we can arrest this methane feedback loop at this opening stage, we will lose control of it. Some have even given it a name: the Methane Time-Bomb, of which CO2 is only the fuse.

I have myself given it a name: the M-Bomb - where the A-Bomb was in terms of kilotons (thousand tons equivalent of TNT), the H-Bomb in terms of megatons (million tons), and the M-Bomb in terms of gigatons (billion tons of carbon) or even terratons (trillion tons), the latter meaning that the M-Bomb itself is exponential.

2012 is widely believed to be the predestined year for the End of the World - December 21 to be exact - according to the Mayan calendar, Christian prophesies and even the I Ching. And it is indeed amazing that if the M-Bomb - the real Doomsday Machine - is to be detonated, December 21, 2012 would be a very plausible date of detonation.

When people speculate about the December 21, 2012, End of the World phenomenon, they often talk about an asteroid strike. Bam! and it's all over. The M-Bomb, infinitely more probable than an asteroid strike on the exact date of December 21, 2021, is a "slow bomb" whose explosion will span decades or even centuries. But if the detonation date is December 21, 2012, and if once detonated the M-Bomb is unstoppable, then it will still mean the beginning of the End of the World.

Again, I hope I'm wrong but fear I'm right. But one thing I know for certain. If we carry on with our current trajectory, including even all of President Obama's stimulation packages, perhaps partly because of some of them, we would be dooming ourselves, our children's children and life on Earth.

What we as a species must do:

1. Terminate the use of combustion-energy technology ASAP, including shutting down the Alberta tar sands (see www.youtube.com/AnthonyMarr) once and for all.

2. Massively research and develop the alternative, non-combustion-energy technologies, ones massive enough to be capable of taking over from the combustion-energy technologies within a decade.

3. Reduce the human population growth rate to below zero.

4. Substantially reduce the per-capita standard of living (as different from the quality of life) of the currently rich and high-living "developed" nations, especially regarding the consumption of the finite resources.

5. Strict protection of all remaining wild terrestrial habitats (forests, wetlands, etc.) and species.

6. Strict protection of the oceans and all marine ecosystems.

7. Extensively research and develop Carbon Capture and Sequestration (CCS) technologies to actively reduce the carbon concentration to below 350 ppm (from today's 386 ppm).

8. Major terraforming to recool the planet.

If any of the above is not met, we may not make it.

Will we make it?

My cosmic friend Raminothna (see my two books) told me to make a pyramid with 5 round rocks - 4 for the base and the 5th as the apex. She then asked me to write on a piece of paper the following words: "We will NOT make it." She then instructed me to crunch the paper into a ball and have it inserted into the pyramid.

Then she said to me, "If you are destined to not make it, nothing will happen to the paper ball. But if you are destined to make it, a Cosmic Hand of Destiny will reach into the pyramid before sunrise and reduce the paper-ball to ashes."

It was a very long night, but within seconds of the sunrise, a "cosmic hand of destiny" did reach into the pyramid, with a lighted match, and reduced the paper ball to ashes. And in the first rays of the rising sun, I regarded this hand, which was my own.

Anthony Marr, founder and president
Heal Our Planet Earth (HOPE)

Your next car and the only way to save the auto industry

Thinking about buying another gasoline-engined vehicle some time in the not too distant future? If so, you owe it to yourself to answer the following 6 questions to your own satisfaction, which would have been irrelevant 10 years ago:
1. How confident are you in terms of a continued supply of affordable gasoline over the next few years, much less decades? If you have the sense to doubt the solidity or even desirability of this supply, then go to the next question:

2. What is the point of buy a vehicle with the quality to last for 50 years, when there may not be affordable gasoline within 5 years?

3. On CNN today: Many dealers are not accepting SUVs and pick-up trucks (unless diesel-engined) as trade-ins. Their resale value his plummeted. First question from this: What will the resale value of gasoline-engined vehicles be in general when there is no affordable fuel to run them?

4. Suppose this is the year 2014. If you can afford to own just one vehicle, and the one you currently have, which runs on gasoline, cannot be driven due to fuel shortage and cost, and therefore has little or no resale value, how can you afford to buy an electric car even if you wanted one then?

5. Why maintain your carbon foot print, contribute to oil-profits and exacerbate global heating, when you can go green with your very next car?

6. "But electric cars are too expensive." To this, there are 3 answers:

a. A gasoline car may soon be worthless.

b. China is coming out for 2010 with an up-to-standard pure-electric vehicle - the BYD E6 (google it) - which claims a per-charge range of some 200 mi/300 km (vs the GM Volt's 40 mi/60 km), a 110-volt 100%-recharge time of 6 hours, a 220-volt 100%-recharge time of only 2 hours, and an 80% 220-volt recharge time of only 15 minutes, powered by lithium-ion batteries with a longevity of over 1,000 full cycles (easily 10 years' driving) - for a price lower than an American or Japanese gasoline-engined subcompact, and it can seat 5 and looks sharp. Assuming the quality is par, this should be a prime prospective for your next vehicle.

2. One of the main objections to the electric car is its price. True enough. But first, if China can do it, why can't GM? Second, there is a way for this to happen, which is:

3. If GM has to be bailed out and subsidized, then subsidize only GM's electric car lines. This will, 1, advance the battery technology to make it competitive against China's, 2, produce these vehicles in large numbers, and 3, lower its price through both the subsidy and the sales volume.

This is the best and perhaps only way to save GM, and Chrysler for that matter. To dump money into gasoline cars is:

1. to continue playing the oil game, in which we as a species will lose.

2. creating and feeding something that should be dead.

3. to starve the electric car sector of R-&-D funds.

If the entire world subsidizes the electric car, it will be affordable, and it will take off.

Anthony Marr, founder and president
Heal Our Planet Earth (HOPE)

Cars that can save Detroit
Forbes.com - Joann Muller

The American auto industry is hanging by a thread, with the fate of General Motors and Chrysler largely in the hands of the federal government. Taxpayer loans are keeping them alive for now, but their long-term success will depend on whether they have the cars and trucks that people desire.

Detroit's record on that has been spotty--witness the awful Pontiac Aztek or the subpar Chrysler Sebring--which is one reason car companies are in the mess they're in now.

Ten Cars That Can Save Detroit

But for every dog Detroit has tried to push on the American people in recent years, there have been clear winners too: The new Chevrolet Malibu, for instance, tops the Honda Accord and Toyota Camry in fuel efficiency and independent quality surveys. The bold rear-wheel-drive Chrysler 300 generated buzz that Chrysler hadn't experienced in years. And the new 17.43 km per litre Ford Fusion hybrid is the most fuel-efficient mid-sized car in America. (Toyota's new 2010 Prius, at 21.26 km per litre, is considerably smaller.)

And despite the beating Detroit has taken in recent months for its focus on gas-guzzling trucks, Ford Motor's F-150, Chrysler's Dodge Ram and GM's Chevy and GMC pickups are still extremely popular and will remain an important source of profits for the foreseeable future.

U.S. carmakers really can make world-class vehicles that consumers want (though the public hasn't always given them credit for it). They'll need every ounce of that capability to pull themselves out of their current tailspin.

But it's not just consumers that Detroit automakers have to please; now they have to satisfy the government's policy objectives too. And what the Obama administration and the Democrat-controlled Congress want--more hybrids and fuel-efficient small cars--are not necessarily what the public is willing to pay for. Fuel-efficient technology is expensive; if consumers won't pay extra for it, carmakers will have to sacrifice profits, which will only make their recovery more difficult.

President Obama's auto industry task force acknowledged as much in its assessment of GM's viability when it referred to the most prominent car on the horizon for GM, the Chevy Volt. Due in November 2010, it's a plug-in electric car that can go 40 miles on a single charge, before a small gasoline engine kicks in to recharge the battery.

'While the Volt holds promise, it is currently projected to be much more expensive than its gasoline-fueled peers and will likely need substantial reductions in manufacturing cost in order to become commercially viable,' the panel said.

Everyone knows the Volt will not save GM financially, according to John Wolkonowicz, automotive analyst at IHS Global Insight. But it's critical to the company's future, he says, because 'it showcases to the world what GM is able to do.'

'The car that's going to save GM,' suggests automotive consultant James Hall, of 2953 Analytics in Birmingham, Mich., 'is the Chevy Cruze, and the derivatives that will come off it.'

The Cruze is a fuel-efficient compact designed in Korea that will sell in markets throughout the world. It goes on sale in North America in the first half of 2010. A small seven-passenger van built off the same platform, the Chevy Orlando, is expected a little later. By selling in huge volumes, perhaps as many as 1.7 million worldwide, the Cruze family could allow GM to be profitable on small cars for a change.

Like GM, Ford's future is also tied to world-class small cars like the upcoming Fiesta and Focus, designed in Europe, and to advanced engine technology. Ford's direct injection, turbo-charged Ecoboost engines allow motorists to achieve 20 per cent to 30 per cent better fuel economy without sacrificing performance. By 2013, Ford says Ecoboost will be available on 90 per cent of its lineup, including the next-generation 2011 Ford Explorer, due next year.

'The Explorer is maybe the best example of what will make them successful,' says Wolkonowicz. 'Give consumers everything they want, plus the better fuel economy the government is demanding. You're not likely to get that anywhere else.'

For Chrysler, the future is a lot sketchier. Obama's task force didn't buy Chrysler's argument that it's viable as a stand-alone company. It has given the company until April 30 to reach an alliance with Italy's Fiat SPA, or face liquidation.

Fiat could provide Chrysler with the small-car technology and fuel-efficient engines it lacks. Its 500 minicar, MiTo subcompact and Lancia Delta compact are good candidates for shared technology. The problem is that no Fiat-engineered vehicle can come out of Chrysler's North American factories before mid-2011. In the meantime, there's not much on the horizon that can reverse Chrysler's sales nosedive, down 49 per cent so far this year, following a 30 per cent drop in 2008.

'By 2011 there are a lot of new products coming, and you'll be seeing the best lineup these companies have had in their history--if they can just span this miserable period we're in right now,' says Wolkonowicz .

Anthony Marr, founder and president
Heal Our Planet Earth (HOPE)

Anthony Marr's writing "so impassioned people think he's exaggerating"

Anthony Marr's writing
"so impassioned people think he's exaggerating"

Yesterday, I received a message from a friend informing me of the following entry into the Tribe of Hearts email discussion list, which was one of the comments on the Guardian/UK article titled "Climate Change? Try Climate Breakdown" (2009-03-13 - see bottom of this email):


From : L
To: "Tribe of Heart's email discussion list" ..
Sent: Monday, March 23,
Subject: Re: [heart2heart] Language and direction

First, and most obvious, is that the language used by environmental or any activists is really important in conveying a message that is truthful. Activists ought to strive for neither under nor overstating a problem.

Secondly, climate breakdown is upon us, and as I understand it (based on reports from other credible sources), is greatly exacerbated by the eating habits of earth's industrialized nations...I'm taking about these nations' addiction to farmed-animal products, and plenty of it. Therefore, I'm thinking, more than ever, animal rights activists ought to strongly consider campaigning with a message that promotes a vegan diet rather than campaigning for 'humanely raised' farmed-animal products.


From: W
To: "Tribe of Heart's email discussion list" ..
Sent: Monday, March 23, 2009 12:15 PM
Subject: Re: [heart2heart] Language and direction

Wow. That really makes me want to do something besides sit at this desk 40 hours a week, basically contributing to climate breakdown (I like that term).

Anthony Marr has been going about this for a while now, but I think because he's so impassioned in his writing people tend to think he's exaggerating (especially where methane is concerned). It isn't that I thought that, it's just rather - oh, I feel so helpless!

Any thoughts on how to educate people who don't want to listen or hear this? Or who think it's just another ploy by animal activists to get people to stop having fun? er, I mean, eating animals?

Thank you so much for passing this on. I am going to send it to all I know!



From: Anthony Marr:

Thank you, W. At least now I know that my writings are being read. ;)

First, I am more than willing to adopt the term "Climate Breakdown" in place of the nondescript "Climate Change", if only because, case in point, it will exonerate what I have written and will be writing from being considered exaggerations, unless the term "Climate Breakdown" itself is considered an exaggeration, which to me it definitely is not.

Second, I think that there is a high probability that all articles written about "climate change" so far, mine included, could be understatements. Why? Google "climate change than expected", and see what you find - "... stunned scientists... much worse than expected" and "... much faster than expected... exceeded the worst case scenario of current computer models by a wide margin...", etc, over a number of years. The question is: When it is all said and done, i.e. after the M-Bomb has been detonated and run its course, how much of an understatement our most impassioned statements will prove to be?

Third, the Nobel-Prize-winning IPCC Report, where methane barely merited a mention, is itself a gross understatement. And the current agenda of the upcoming UNFCCC climate change convention (Copenhagen, Dec 2009, the successor of Kyoto), unless revamped to reflect the real urgency of the global environmental crisis, will cause the mass extinction of over 10 million species within a century, and this is a deliberate understatement on my part (since my own estimation indicates over 15 million of the current 20 million species), lest this be considered an exaggeration.



Published on Friday, March 13, 2009 by The Guardian/UK

Climate Change? Try, Climate Breakdown

What's clear from Copenhagen is that policymakers have fallen behind the scientists: global warming is already catastrophic

by George Monbiot

The more we know, the grimmer it gets.

Presentations by climate scientists at this week's conference in Copenhagen show that we might have underplayed the impacts of global warming in three important respects:

A: Partly because the estimates by the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) took no account of meltwater from Greenland's glaciers, the rise in sea levels this century could be twice or three times as great as it forecast, with grave implications for coastal cities, farmland and freshwater reserves.

B: Two degrees of warming in the Arctic (which is heating up much more quickly than the rest of the planet) could trigger a massive bacterial response in the soils there. As the permafrost melts, bacteria are able to start breaking down organic material that was previously locked up in ice, producing billions of tonnes of carbon dioxide and methane. This could catalyse one of the world's most powerful positive feedback loops: warming causing more warming.

C: Four degrees of warming could almost eliminate the Amazon rainforests, with appalling implications for biodiversity and regional weather patterns, and with the result that a massive new pulse of carbon dioxide is released into the atmosphere. Trees are basically sticks of wet carbon. As they rot or burn, the carbon oxidises. This is another way in which climate feedbacks appear to have been underestimated in the last IPCC report. Apart from the sheer animal panic I felt on reading these reports, two things jumped out at me.

The first is that governments are relying on IPCC assessments that are years out of date even before they are published, as a result of the IPCC's extremely careful and laborious review and consensus process. This lends its reports great scientific weight, but it also means that the politicians using them as a guide to the cuts in greenhouse gases required are always well behind the curve. There is surely a strong case for the IPCC to publish interim reports every year, consisting of a summary of the latest science and its implications for global policy.

The second is that we have to stop calling it climate change. Using "climate change" to describe events like this, with their devastating implications for global food security, water supplies and human settlements, is like describing a foreign invasion as an unexpected visit, or bombs as unwanted deliveries. It's a ridiculously neutral term for the biggest potential catastrophe humankind has ever encountered.

I think we should call it "climate breakdown". Does anyone out there have a better idea?

2009 Guardian News and Media Limited
George Monbiot is the author of the best selling books "The Age of Consent: a Manifesto for a New World Order" and "Captive State: the corporate takeover of Britain".

He writes a weekly column for the Guardian newspaper.

Visit his website at www.monbiot.com


Anthony Marr, founder and president
Heal Our Planet Earth (HOPE)