Even if a small fraction of the Arctic seafloor carbon is released to the atmosphere, we’re fucked. Climatologist Jason Box, Geological Survey of Denmark and Greenland
We all have our hands full at the moment, with multiple catastrophes occurring at once. Before scrolling past the headline of this diary, I implore you to explore this diary, as the vigil we keep over the climate crisis has accelerated beyond our wildest imagination. We have only one option left to us, drastically reducing our carbon emissions, now.
Will we fight the one percent and the psychopathic orange dingleberry for our survival? Or will we surrender to the greedy billionaires and embrace our doom with no possibility of ever returning to a safe and stable climate?
Welcome to our new reality. It’s here and we do have a choice to attempt to save ourselves.
Alarming heat scorched Siberia on Saturday as the small town of Verkhoyansk (67.5°N latitude) reached 100.4 degrees Fahrenheit, 32 degrees above the normal high temperature. If verified, this is likely the hottest temperature ever recorded in Siberia and also the hottest temperature ever recorded north of the Arctic Circle, which begins at 66.5°N.
The town is 3,000 miles east of Moscow and further north than even Fairbanks, Alaska. On Friday, the city of Caribou, Maine, tied an all-time record at 96 degrees Fahrenheit and was once again well into the 90s on Saturday. To put this into perspective, the city of Miami, Florida, has only reached 100 degrees one time since the city began keeping temperature records in 1896.
This heat is not an isolated occurrence. Parts of Siberia have been sizzling for weeks and running remarkably above normal since January. May featured astonishing warmth in western Siberia, where some locales were 18 degrees Fahrenheit above normal, not just for a day, but for the month. As a whole, western Siberia averaged 10 degrees above normal for May, obliterating anything previously experienced.
The average heat across Russia from January to May is so remarkable that it matches what's projected to be normal by the year 2100 if current trends in heat-trapping carbon emissions continue. In the image below, the data point for 2020 is almost off the charts and matches what climate models expect to be typical many decades from now.
Zombie fires are the fires that burned last season, and they never stopped smoldering through the fierce and bitter cold Arctic winter.
The fires have erupted yet again as the temperatures rise to record-breaking highs. These fires are exploding in Siberia and across the Taiga forests of northern Canada and Alaska.
May 29 (UPI) — Zombie fires — blazes that have smoldered underground in the Arctic after last year's fire season — have erupted above the surface in Alaska, Canada, Greenland and Russia, threatening the burn thousands of acres this season, scientists said.
An unusually warm and dry season in the Arctic last summer helped spark wildfires from Alaska to Siberia. Some 3,000 wildfires were reported in Canada along in 2019.
“We may see a cumulative effect of last year's fire season in the Arctic which will feed into the upcoming season and could lead to large-scale and long-term fires across the same region once again,” Mark Parrington, a senior scientist and wildfire expert at the Copernicus Atmospheric Monitoring Service in Britain, said Thursday.
University of Alberta fire researcher Mike Flannigan said such “zombie fires” reignited in 2016 and 2017 in Fort McMurray, Alberta.
Fort McMurray may sound familiar; it is the city that supports the extraction of the filthy Alberta Tar Sands. The tar sands came close to igniting just a couple of years ago, so close that Fort McMurray had to be evacuated.
Scientists fear that the fires are the least of our problems. As permafrost thaw accelerates, releasing more carbon into the atmosphere, impacting the stability of glaciers and sea ice as well as increasing the threats of drought, flood, and heat from climate change. Because what happens in the Arctic does not stay in the Arctic.
It is not just warmer temperatures and erupting wildfires across the Taiga. Climate change has also brought extreme flooding and pest invasions northward into Siberia and beyond to the north pole.
Rainfall was up by a third in eastern Siberia, sparking devastating floods that forced thousands to be evacuated, particularly in the town of Tulun and the surrounding area.
Swarms of the Siberian silk moth, whose larvae eat away at conifer trees in the region's forests, have grown rapidly amid the rising temperatures.
The moths are usually inactive during winter and eat in spring, summer and autumn periods which are now lengthening.
“In all my long career as a specialist, I've never seen moths so huge and growing so quickly,” said Vladimir Soldatov, a moth expert, who warns of “tragic consequences” for forests.
The Pine Bark Beetle has also invaded large swaths of the Taiga.