High-Temperature records fall across Siberia, thawing an enormous and underestimated heat store.https://www.dailykos.com/stories/2023/6/12/2173371/-Temperature-records-fall-across-Siberia-thawing-an-enormous-and-underestimated-heat-store
With the El Niño they say that 1.5 will happen temporarily, then go back down. Guess the Phuque What…That corner once turned is not to be seen again.
There’s one conclusion without any uncertainty whatsoever: a 2.5C global mean surface temperature rise is a disaster: 1.5C is not a target. I call it a physical limit. It’s something that humanity has absolutely no evidence that we can cope with. It would actually exceed the warmest temperature on Earth over the past four million years. There would be a collapse of all the big biomes on planet Earth – the rainforest, many of the temperate forests – abrupt thawing of permafrost; we will have a complete collapse of marine biology, we will have a shift of large parts of the habitability on Earth: Johan Rockstrom, Director Potsdam Institute for Climate Impact Research.
Temperatures across Siberia have soared over 100 F for weeks, and the heating continues unabated at the time of this posting. These temperatures thaw the enormous store of methane and CO2 that has been locked in the frozen soil of the northern tier of the planet for thousands of years. Permafrost covers 65% of Russia’s land area.
An estimated 1,500 gigatons of carbon is present in permafrost. That is twice the amount stored in the atmosphere. The carbon is the remains of plants, animals, and other sources that have never fully decomposed for thousands of years; the oldest deposit is over 700,000. Once permafrost thaw is initiated by heat waves, human activity, and wildfires, bacteria break the organic matter down the gases are released into the atmosphere. Once the methane and CO2 reach the atmosphere, it further heats the planet in a feedback that only thaws more permafrost.
There are few permafrost sources in the southern hemisphere; most frozen soils are in Alaska, Canada, Siberia, Greenland, and the Tibetan plateau. Siberia also contains vast methane storage on the Arctic Ocean’s continental shelf. Boiling seas of methane are observed offshore of Siberia.
One thing to note is that after a particularly fierce Siberian heatwave in 2020, melting permafrost has exposed limestone rocks, releasing methane. This is odd as the sources we have known about, such as lakes and ponds, did not consider that it is the limestone with no soils releasing the majority of the gas.
Siberia tends to see large monthly and yearly temperature fluctuations, but the last few decades have seen a strong warming trend.
“Siberia is one of the fastest warming regions on the planet with hot extremes increasing in intensity,” Omar Baddour, chief of climate monitoring and policy services at the World Meteorological Organization, told CNN.
The region “has seen some very intense heat waves,” said Samantha Burgess, deputy director of the the European Union’s Copernicus Climate Change Service. “These heat waves have major implications for people and nature and will continue to happen more frequently unless we rapidly cut emissions of greenhouse gases,” she told CNN.
As wildfire season takes hold in the Northern Hemisphere, Siberia – along with Canada – has also been grappling with significant and intense wildfires. Fired that raged across Russia’s Ural Mountains in May, killed at least 21 people.
Extreme heat is likely to worsen wildfires.
It’s not just Siberia that has seen record heat this week. It has spread across Central Asia. In early April, Turkmenistan saw temperatures of 42 degrees Celsius (107.6 Fahrenheit), which was “a world record for that latitude,” Herrera said.
Since then the heat hasn’t stopped, with rolling heat waves gripping the region.
Hope will do nothing to save us. We either stop Global warming at 1.5, or it’s game over.
From the Helmholtz Centre for Environmental Research presser on underestimated heat storage on land.
There are many effects of climate change. Perhaps the most broadly known is global warming, which is caused by heat building up in various parts of the Earth system, such as the atmosphere, the ocean, the cryosphere and the land. 89 percent of this excess heat is stored in the oceans, with the rest in ice and glaciers, the atmosphere and land masses (including inland water bodies). An international research team led by the Helmholtz Centre for Environmental Research (UFZ) has now studied the quantity of heat stored on land, showing the distribution of land heat among the continental ground, permafrost soils, and inland water bodies. The calculations, published in Earth System Dynamics, show that more than 20 times as much heat has been stored there since the 1960s, with the largest increase being in the ground.
The increase in anthropogenic greenhouse gases in the atmosphere prevents the emission of heat into space. As a result, the earth constantly absorbs more heat through solar radiation than it can give back off through thermal radiation. Previous studies show where this additional energy is stored: primarily in the oceans (89 percent), but also in the land masses of the continents (5-6 percent), in ice and glaciers (4 percent) and in the atmosphere (1-2 percent). However, this knowledge is incomplete: For example, it was previously uncertain just how this additional heat was distributed in the continental landmasses.
The research team, headed by the UFZ and with the participation of scientists from the Alfred Wegener Institute (Helmholtz Centre for Polar and Marine Research (AWI)), Vrije Universiteit Brussel and other research centres, was able to quantify more precisely how much heat has been stored in the continental land masses between 1960 and 2020. The result: continental landmasses have absorbed a total of 23.8 x 1021 Joules of heat between 1960 and 2020. For comparison: This corresponds to roughly 30 times the electric power consumption(*) of Germany over in the same period. Most of this heat, roughly 90 percent, is stored up to 300 metres deep in the earth. 9 percent of the energy is used to thaw permafrost in the Arctic and 0.7 percent is stored in inland water bodies such as lakes and reservoirs. “Although the inland water bodies and permafrost store less heat than the ground, they have to be monitored continuously because the additional energy in these subsystems causes significant changes in ecosystems,” says UFZ researcher and lead author of the study.
The scientists also demonstrated that the quantity of heat stored in the ground, in permafrost and in lakes has been increasing continuously since the 1960s. For example, a comparison of the two decades from 1960-1970 and from 2010-2020, this quantity increased by nearly 20 times from 1.007 to 18.83 x 1021 Joules in the ground, from 0.058 to 2.0 x 1021 Joules in permafrost regions and from -0.02 to 0.17 x 1021 Joules in inland water bodies. The researchers used more than 1,000 temperature profiles worldwide to calculate the quantities of heat stored at depths of up to 300 metres. They used models to estimate the thermal storage in permafrost and inland water bodies. For example, they combined global lake models, hydrological models and earth system models to model the waters. They estimated thermal storage in permafrost with a permafrost model that accounts for various plausible distributions of ground ice in the Arctic. “Using models enabled us to compensate for the lack of observations in many lakes and in the Arctic and to better estimate the uncertainties due to the limited number of observations,” explains Francisco José Cuesta-Valero.
Quantifying this thermal energy is important because its increase is associated with processes that can change ecosystems and can thus have consequences for society. This applies, for example, to the permanently frozen ground in the Arctic. “Although the quantity of heat stored in the permafrost may only comprise nine percent of continental heat storage, the increase over recent years further promotes the release of greenhouse gases such as carbon dioxide and methane due to thawing of permafrost,” says Francisco José Cuesta-Valero. If the thermal energy stored in the ground increases, the surface of the earth heats up, thereby placing the stability of the carbon pool in the ground at risk, for example. In agricultural areas, the associated warming of the surface could pose a risk to harvests and hence the food security of the population. In inland water bodies, the changed thermal state could affect the dynamics of the ecosystems: Water quality worsens, the carbon cycle is thrown off; algal blooms increase and in turn affect oxygen concentration and primary productivity, thereby affecting fishery production.
“I know you may know, but people need to know and understand that most Canadian wildfire management agencies have fire “zonation” policies similar to Alaska. This means in large areas of their jurisdictions, especially in the northern part of the country, wildfires are left to run there natural course w little or no direct action or suppression. We’ll protect values at risk, ie. infrastructure, communities, critical habitat or culturally significant features on the landscape, we’ll map them and maybe try to burn them to natural barrier, fight one flank and let the rest roll (limited action) but we are not putting them out. On many of the fires we don’t even try. A number of these fires are huge boreal gobblers (I am currently assigned to a 250,000 ha fire, well over 600,000 acres and you could fit the org. chart on one side of a beer can).The only thing that is going to put out this fire out and many across the country is winter, 5 months from now. It’s going to be a long, smoky summer for everyone. You have a wide reach, it would be great if you can help people understand these dynamics in the Canadian wildfire scene when they’re bitching about the smoke. Cheers and thanks.”
Pretty decent picture of what’s going on. Thanks for the insight. In the industry we call this letting a fire “Do its thing”. It’s especially common in these vast boreal forests. Siberia does the same thing. Identify hazards and values at risk, mitigate, let it go.This content was created by a Daily Kos Community member.
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