Climate change has now reached an unprecedented level of danger. Today, the temperature at the North Pole is 42 deg C higher than normal. This extreme heating is driving the deep Atlantic lows that are rendering many of our ancient cities uninhabitable.
More ominously, the heating of the Arctic is already triggering methane releases. It is estimated that 50 Gigatonnes of methane trapped in the Arctic region is at risk. Only a small percentage of this needs to be released to tip the planet into unrecoverable runaway climate change. The dynamics are such that small percentages will not be released, instead it will be all or nothing. It is on this premise that we must work.
Policy makers and computer models have assumed that the transition of our climate from its previous equilibrium that supported life and allowed our economic development to a new hostile equilibrium would be smooth and predictable. Instead it will be chaotic and unpredictable with increasingly large variance around the mean as we progress through the transition. This is what we are experiencing today.
Each swing around the mean during the transition will act like a jack hammer inflicting more damage and accelerating the speed of the transition. For example, the warming of the Pacific Ocean in the 1998 El Nino led to a significant increase in atmospheric CO2 which further intensified global heating. The El Nino of this year is far stronger. These non-linear pulses are accelerating us towards the point of economic and ecological no return.
Today's extreme heat at the North Pole is a thunderous crack of the climatic jack hammer as it nears its break through to the new equilibrium.
We have nothing to counter this. Despite the hype, the #COP21 talks were a failure. No legally binding agreements were made and the CO2 targets that were agreed will lead to a temperature increase far in excess of 2 deg C. So great is the cumulative damage already incurred, that even an emergency attempt to go immediately to a zero carbon economy would be futile on its own.
In light of our inability to tackle the climate change problem at its source by cutting CO2 emissions, we are forced to manage its consequences by mitigation measures. However, events around the world are already showing this to be a failure. Those of tomorrow will expose the extent of this failure even more brutally.
In the short period of time that we have left, we must embark on a geo-engineering program that will simultaneously sequestrate CO2 from the atmosphere and cool the Arctic. The extreme events in the Arctic today mean that this must start this coming summer. After this, climate change will most likely have built up such momentum as to be unstoppable and the economic chaos in its wake may well preclude organisation of actions.
- Explore how you can lobby for geo-engineering
- Press for government support of necessary research programmes
- Circulate this message around other MPs.
- Press for a parliamentary debate on geo-engineering
- Contact the respective ministers who can advocate these actions on the international stage