Wednesday 11 August 2021

Climate scientists warn of the collapse of the Gulf Stream, one of the planet’s main potential tipping points. In the winter of 1962-63 something incredible happened in the UK. The entire British Isles was suddenly plunged into an unexpected and unprepared mini-ice-age event which was dubbed “the year the gulf stream stopped.”

Credit Earthwindmap

Climate scientists have detected warning signs of the collapse of the Gulf Stream, one of the planet’s main potential tipping points. The research found “an almost complete loss of stability over the last century” of the currents that researchers call the Atlantic meridional overturning circulation (AMOC). The currents are already at their slowest point in at least 1,600 years, but the new analysis shows they may be nearing a shutdown.

Such an event would have catastrophic consequences around the world, severely disrupting the rains that billions of people depend on for food in India, South America, and West Africa; increasing storms and lowering temperatures in Europe; and pushing up the sea level in eastern North America. It would also further endanger the Amazon rainforest and Antarctic ice sheets.

The complexity of the AMOC system and uncertainty over levels of future global heating make it impossible to forecast the date of any collapse for now. It could be within a decade or two, or several centuries away. But the colossal impact it would have means it must never be allowed to happen, the scientists said. “The signs of destabilization being visible already is something that I wouldn’t have expected and that I find scary,” said Niklas Boers, from the Potsdam Institute for Climate Impact Research in Germany, who did the research. “It’s something you just can’t [allow to]happen.” It is not known what level of CO2 would trigger an AMOC collapse, he said. “So the only thing to do is keep emissions as low as possible. The likelihood of this extremely high-impact event happening increases with every gram of CO2 that we put into the atmosphere”.

Tipping points

Scientists are increasingly concerned about tipping points – large, fast, and irreversible changes to the climate. Boers and his colleagues reported in May that a significant part of the Greenland ice sheet is on the brink, threatening a big rise in global sea level. Others have shown recently that the Amazon rainforest is now emitting more CO2 than it absorbs, and that the 2020 Siberian heatwave led to worrying releases of methane.

The world may already have crossed a series of tipping points, according to a 2019 analysis, resulting in “an existential threat to civilization”. A major report from the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, due on Monday, is expected to set out the worsening state of the climate crisis. Boer’s research, published in the journal Nature Climate Change, is titled “Observation-based early-warning signals for a collapse of the AMOC”.

Ice-core and other data from the last 100,000 years show the AMOC has two states: a fast, strong one, as seen over recent millennia, and a slow, weak one. The data shows rising temperatures can make the AMOC switch abruptly between states over one to five decades.

Greenland ice sheet

The AMOC is driven by dense, salty seawater sinking into the Arctic ocean, but the melting of freshwater from Greenland’s ice sheet is slowing the process down earlier than climate models suggested. Boers used the analogy of a chair to explain how changes in ocean temperature and salinity can reveal the AMOC’s instability. Pushing a chair alters its position, but does not affect its stability if all four legs remain on the floor. Tilting the chair changes both its position and stability. Eight independently measured datasets of temperature and salinity going back as far as 150 years enabled Boers to show that global heating is indeed increasing the instability of the currents, not just changing their flow pattern.

The analysis concluded: “This decline [of the AMOC in recent decades] may be associated with an almost complete loss of stability over the course of the last century, and the AMOC could be close to a critical transition to its weak circulation mode.” Levke Caesar, at Maynooth University in Ireland, who was not involved in the research, said: “The study method cannot give us an exact timing of a possible collapse, but the analysis presents evidence that the AMOC has already lost stability, which I take as a warning that we might be closer to an AMOC tipping than we think.” David Thornalley, at University College London in the UK, whose work showed the AMOC is at its weakest point in 1,600 years, said: “These signs of decreasing stability are concerning. But we still don’t know if a collapse will occur, or how close we might be to it.” ‑ Guardian

58 years earlier. The Year The Gulf Stream Stopped

The UK experienced its worst winter since the mid 18th Century and for no specific reason, it just happened.

In the winter of 1962-63 something incredible happened in the UK. The winter had begun somewhat mild but stormy until just before Christmas, 1962. The entire British Isles was suddenly plunged into an unexpected and unprepared “Day After Tomorrow ESC” mini-ice-age event which was dubbed “the year the gulf stream stopped.”

The devastating winter lasted from December 1962, through January and February, and into March 1963 with snow-covering lasting well into April. The unexpected blast of cold, wind, and snow crippled the country’s infrastructure, economy, and labor market more or less overnight and brought the UK to its knees. The record cold and snow of 1962-63 was a record-breaker and was only preceded by the record-breaking winters of 1683–84, (known then as the "mini-ice-age") and 1739–40.

The winter of 1962-63 was so severe the sea froze around the ports of the UK disrupting shipping imports, exports, and fishing. On the 22nd of December, a “beast-from-the-east” weather front of high pressure, brought in brutal cold air from Russia and planted itself, firmly above the UK. Incredibly, this was followed by another high-pressure system bringing in even colder air from Iceland, Britain was the frozen meat in the sandwich.

The extreme cold established itself over the UK and didn’t move for three months plunging the country’s roads and transport systems into chaos, isolating towns, cities, and villages around the country. Great Britain’s infrastructure was not designed for a weather event like that and couldn’t cope. Cold northern winds brought blizzards sweeping across the country dumping incredible amounts of snow with drifts as high as 20ft, or 6 + meters in many places, an incredible amount of snow for the UK.

The relentless snow, along with cold and fierce winds carried on through January and February causing misery and hardship for millions of British people. Many hospitals struggled to cope and thousands died from the cold. Shops struggled to keep up with supplies and farming was impossible, resulting in thousands of dead cattle and frozen crops. The whole three months turned into a modern-day disaster, highlighting the inadequacy and fragility of modern-day infrastructure when hit with a once-in-a-lifetime extreme weather event.

This inadequacy has suddenly become increasingly evident around the world recently, long after Britain's record-breaking winter of 1962-63 many countries, some rich and some not are being hit by extreme weather events, rendering their countries, or parts of their countries, unlivable and it's getting worse very quickly.

We didn’t know it at the time of course but the winter of 1962-63 gave the Brits and the rest of the world just a tiny glimpse into future extreme weather events around the world. How could we have known then? In just 60 years' time, our whole world would be in danger of a sixth extinction event?

Not only are we now facing the prospect of losing crops, plants, animals, and marine life, the very food we need to survive, but also, insects, bees, and butterflies, the small but equally important species which pollinate flowers, fruit, and crops. Our home, the actual planet itself is in danger of dying. Human greed and neglect have brought the entire planet to its knees in just a short time, the actual collapse started around 60 years ago, in fact, just five years before Britain's record-breaking winter. We didn’t know it then ("NASA" did have an idea back then), "climate change" had arrived, “baby steps at first,” but, natural disasters, volcanic activity, major earthquakes, floods, droughts, extreme weather events along with other extreme anomalies suddenly started increasing, while soil, plants, animals, and microorganisms suddenly began decreasing. Very gradually, and very quietly our ecosystem here on Earth began to crumble, and now just 60 years later we as a people have an inevitable breakdown of the very life support system which is keeping nearly 8 billion people alive. 

It is much worse than we are led to believe!

In March 2021, the American government-run National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, (NOAA) released their monthly national report on the American weather which had just recorded its coldest February in more than 30 years, and the record-breaking freeze which caused many parts of the country, especially Texas of all places, to become, "unlivable!"

February 2021 was a brutally cold month for Texans: It brought the coldest air since December 1989 to much of the state. Several locations across central Texas — including Austin and Waco — broke records for the longest streak of below-freezing temperatures. Every county in Texas was under a “Winter Storm Warning” in mid-February and experienced wind chill values below zero as far south as the Rio Grande River and northeastern Mexico.

The Texan infrastructure just like Britain’s 63 years earlier was brought to its knees. At one point eight million Texans were boiling their water to make it safe to drink, others were reduced to drinking a “yellow, foul-tasting sludge” from their taps, while platoons of plumbers and engineers struggled to repair the damage done to countless homes and businesses by the cruel winter storm. Nearly as many were without electricity for almost a week. Many Texans faced food shortages as grocery stores tried to stay stocked, huge crowds descended on food pantries already under stress due to the Covid-19 pandemic which continued to threaten a state where, according to NBC News data, almost 50,000 people had died of Covid-19 and 2.6 million people had been infected.

At the height of the storm 1,445, public water systems reported service disruptions due to the cold, affecting 14.4 million Texans across 190 counties. Also, while power had been restored in much of Texas after the state's power grid buckled in the face of the historically low temperatures, many people were also hit with massive electricity bills because scarce power means higher prices in the state's market-based system. Millions of Texans were already suffering from a pretty deep recession caused by the Covid-19 pandemic.

Ironically the US had just recovered from “unlivable” weather events in September and October 2020: Historic, record-breaking wildfires had burned across the entire Western coast and unprecedented tropical activity churned up the Atlantic causing a record-bustin’ hurricane season, along with large swathes of the country struggling with record heat waves. What’s more, the first nine months of 2020 brought a record-tying 16 billion-dollar worth of weather disasters to the nation, according to scientists from NOAA’s National Centers for Environmental Information. Seven of those events — western wildfires, a Western/Central U.S. drought and heatwave, Hurricane Sally, Hurricane Laura, the Midwest derecho and Hurricane Isaias, and the February cold-snap — all occurred in just a seven month period after June 2020. 

What happened to the UK in 1962/63 was a precursor as to what we are beginning to see in certain areas of the world. Vast areas are now becoming impossible to live in due to climate change and extreme weather events. Many of the areas have for years been heavily populated but are now, at least for certain parts of the year,


At the beginning of 2020, the entire eastern coastline of Australia, a vast area covering millions of square miles, was engulfed by flames, 3 billion animals were killed or injured, almost 25% of temperate forestry was lost as was 60% of the Australian summer crop production. Many people died, thousands of houses and businesses were lost as drought, unprecedented heat and tinder-dry conditions sparked the biggest wildfire season by a country mile for the Aussie people. A normal severe wildfire season in Australia would normally destroy 2% of temperate forestry, this one burned 25%! We are not prepared for what is coming. Let me repeat that: “We are not prepared for what is coming.”

“Among other things, you'll find that you're not the first person who was ever confused and frightened and even sickened by human behavior. You're by no means alone on that score, you'll be excited and stimulated to know. Many, many men have been just as troubled morally and spiritually as you are right now. Happily, some of them kept records of their troubles. You'll learn from them—if you want to. Just as someday, if you have something to offer, someone will learn something from you. It's a beautiful reciprocal arrangement. And it isn't education. It's history. It's poetry.” 

― J.D. Salinger, The Catcher in the Rye

An expected mass displacement has begun and will increase dramatically as this decade unfolds. A new report on the 16 of March 2021 claimed more than 12 million people have been internally displaced around the world in the last six months, mainly due to climate and weather-related disasters. In just 6 months, 12.6 million people, more than two million a month, and more than the entire population of Belgium have been displaced around the world, beginning a trend that will dominate the ‘20s.

In just “23 days” during January 2021 Indonesia suffered an incredible "185 disasters" including two major earthquakes, “seven volcano eruptions” along with a further 3 showing activity, as well as deadly tornadoes, landslides, and floods killing and injuring thousands and displacing many more. Indonesia’s neighbor the Philippines was battered by Typhoon Goni, the world’s most ferocious storm last year. Three storms battered the Philippines in as many weeks, leaving over 3 million people destitute.

These figures released by the Red Cross show just how desperate life is becoming for many people around the world thanks to increasing extreme weather events and other natural disasters. These figures are just the tip of the iceberg as to what awaits our unsuspecting world in the decade to come. In many ways Covid-19 is complicating matters concerning humanitarian support, however, the virus itself will become another reason for mass displacement as millions of people become jobless and homeless. Many skeptics reading this post will claim these disasters have always happened around the world! And so they have but... never on this scale before and they are increasing in size and regularity.

Nothing sold to us can be more “pure or more valuable” than what is, “freely,” available and that will become very clear to mankind in the very near future and is, in many ways an indication and proof of creationism as opposed to evolution and gives us a wide panorama as to why we have found our planet hurtling toward calamity in 2021. Human or any other life form has here on Earth has “NOT,” evolved into a natural selection of the fittest and finest who will survive the weak. On the contrary, our world is on the verge of collapse for everyone and everything, not only the weak but the powerful, rich, fat, and greedy alike. Despite mind-blowing technological advances, mankind has not been intelligent enough to see this simplest of deceptions. When God created Adam, he was given a “free choice,” follow his heart, freeing him up for an eternity in paradise, or selling it, for a lie, condemning himself and the human race to death. Incredibly he bought the lie... And the rest of us have been following suit ever since.

I read somewhere (I think it was a quote from “The Four Horsemen'') that to really understand something is to be liberated from it. Yet, how can we liberate ourselves from our vain attempt at global progress, which has, in all intents and purposes, destroyed the very place we live in? The very word progress means a movement towards a refined, improved, or desired state. Incredibly, our fantastic advances in technology have “systematically destroyed” the very place we are trying to improve and that place will very soon be unlivable for all forms of life due to our hubris! We have become the perfect parasitoid, a parasite that eventually kills its host.

Indeed, our world is in a state of collapse, an implosion on a scale unimaginable just a few years ago, the carnage which is about to be unleashed has been sneakily growing under our noses and is now inevitable. It is now well known among experts and many once doubting skeptics that without a doubt if we continue on our current path (which we will) we will lose our home and everything in it. It is now an undeniable fact, mankind’s environment is collapsing just as fast as its society. Planet Earth’s resources are dwindling at an alarming rate. Animals, plants, fossil fuels, minerals, water, air, and soil are all diminishing at an unsustainable speed while the world’s population is increasing. We will shortly have a situation where nearly 8 billion people will be trapped on a dying planet with no food to feed them.

Unliveable Hell-Hole

Untold millions of people are being displaced along with billions of animals as their environment is gobbled up by rich planners and callous businessmen. More animals and an ever-increasing number of humans too are lost every year due to wildfires, drought, heat, cold, floods, disease, neglect, over-farming, and natural disasters. Many billions of birds are dying around the world. Billions of fish are being brutally overfarmed and are not being replenished which is causing a knock-on effect in our oceans causing other fish and mammals and migrating seabirds to die of starvation. Crops are failing around the world along with soil erosion due to climate change. Millions of farms are going bust due to Covid-19, pest and disease invasions and extreme weather events. We are beginning to see huge populated areas of the world which are becoming impossible to live in, areas that for years have been heavily populated and teeming with life and vegetation. But now, for certain parts of the year at the very least, have become "unlivable," due mainly to extreme climate events such as wildfires, droughts, flooding, and hurricanes.

The population of mammals, birds, fish, amphibians, reptiles, insects, bees, and butterflies has seen an incredible decline of almost 70% since 1970. Just stop here and wonder! Can you imagine if 70% of humans had died since 1970? Well, I’m sorry but, it is about to happen to us in the “VERY NEAR” future and I think we are too late, we can’t stop it and it will happen very quickly too, we are seeing it now, our cities are becoming unlivable at least for parts of the year due to extreme weather events and our fragile infrastructure, which cannot cope just when we need it. Have we left it too late to stop the decline? Hard to get your head around it, isn't it?

The Paradox

The astonishing paradox is the explosion of technology. For almost 6,000 years the best way to get anywhere was on a horse and then suddenly technology appeared to explode around the beginning of the 20th Century. For the first time ever we saw the introduction of mass man-made machinery. Everything from automobiles to tractors was rolled out on mass production lines in large numbers decreasing cost and at the same time becoming available to the normal working man. But the benefits masked a more cynical ideal, mankind suddenly had found another use for these production lines, bombs and weapons could be mass-produced and for the first time ever in the history of mankind, people could be slaughtered on an industrial scale.

We have reached a point now where mankind can destroy our planet many times over. The technology explosion has been insane, the first people to fly a plane were the Wright brothers in 1903, just 66 years later we had landed on the moon and just 100 years after that historic flight a spacecraft had visited every planet in our Solar System. A guy called Buckminster Fuller created something called the Knowledge Doubling Curve. He noticed that until 1900 human knowledge had doubled approximately every century but by the end of World War II, knowledge was doubling every 25 years. We are now doubling our knowledge in less than a year but, according to IBM, the tech company, we will soon be doubling our knowledge every 12 hours. And of course, the military is light years ahead of the rest of us.

According to the Bank of America, Merrill Lynch, the 2020s are set to be a decade of dramatic economic and social upheaval, reversing many of the trends of the past 40 years and this report came out before the Covid-19 pandemic swept the world. Add to this another billion mouths to feed, this decade will carry on producing extreme weather events, whether it be, record heat, cold, rain, or droughts and it doesn't need an expert to know we are in for a rough ride, a very rough ride. Merrill Lynch says the era of globalization from 1981-2016 has ended and is reversing. The bank's analysts expect inflation and interest rates to increase from their current 5,000-year lows. The bank is expecting wealth inequality to fall next decade as voters demand redistribution and taxes rise in what it describes as "the decade of peak". In the 2020s we will have another billion mouths to feed. Add into the mix the Covid-19 disaster and then you suddenly realize we have a huge problem.

2019 was already a disaster for much of the world's farming industry but it will be paled into significance as we approach the halfway mark of a Covid-19 infected 2021. A new report from Bloomberg claims thousands of pigs are rotting on compost heaps as grocers run out of meat. Covid-19 outbreaks at slaughterhouses have led to the largest pig culling effort the U.S. has ever seen. Hundreds of thousands of animals are already backed up, and CoBank estimates 7 million animals may have to be destroyed this quarter alone. That’s about a billion pounds of meat lost to consumers. Some farms in Minnesota are even using chippers -- reminiscent of the 1996 movie “Fargo” -- to grind up carcasses to be spread out for compost. Rendering plants are seeing higher volumes of hogs turned into everything from gelatin to sausage casings. Behind that enormous waste are thousands of farmers, some of whom are holding on in the hope that slaughterhouses get back up and running before animals get too heavy. Others are cutting their losses and culling herds. Pig “depopulation,” to coin an industry euphemism, highlights the disconnect that’s occurring as the pandemic sickens workers trying to churn out food supplies in mega-plants across the U.S.

Back in 2019, a crisis emerged across three continents as extreme weather conditions and disease began to bite the farming industry leaving world banks warning the 2020s would be a decade of dramatic economic and social upheaval as another billion mouths will need to be fed. This statement, of course, was made well before the coronavirus had jumped from animal to human.

In 2019, Europe was losing 1000 small farms a day, due to a crop decline, leading to price rises. Officials were using the word 'disaster' to describe the widespread crop failures happening all over America and in Asia, pork prices had doubled after more than a quarter of the entire global pig population had been slaughtered due to an outbreak, (also in China) of African swine fever.

Another big factor, destroying crops in 2019 was the weather. In many parts of Europe, Ireland, and the UK it began to rain at the end of September 2019 and didn't stop until the end of January 2020. It was even worse for the U.S., which witnessed “unprecedented” crop failures all across the country. The endless rain and horrific flooding during the early months of 2019 resulted in tremendous delays in getting crops planted in many areas, and then snow and bitterly cold temperatures turned the harvest season into a complete and utter nightmare all over the country, resulting in their worst agricultural year in history.

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john said...

I remember the winter of 62/63 vividly, although I was only 4 years old. We had gone from the south coast to spend Xmas in the midlands, it started snowing on Boxing day.
We got caught in the snow on the way back, spending 5 hours in the car before we were rescued. On arriving back at the farm where we rented part of the farm house, the farmer's teenage sons had started building a proper igloo. They lived in it for most of Jan and Feb, the remnants of it were still visible in June.
No central heating and ice inside the windows, but I look back on those times with fondness.

Gary Walton said...

Oh yes John, I was six and the whole experience is embedded in my head. I lived in a slum clearance house with an outside shared toilet in the industrial city of Leeds. But yes, fond memories. Times were hard back then but my mom made sure we had the cleanest house on the street and I went to school with the cleanest clothes and a full stomach, every day!

Anonymous said...

CO2, CO2 and more CO2. Why CO2? It's an agenda, not science. The earth is cooling. The earths magnetic fields are getting weaker and weaker. Jet streams are going crazy. The sun is getting weaker and we are seeing more Cosmic Rays and increased clouds. We are headed for a cold earth with much food. But wear your masks and keep all that CO2 in your face and breath it over and over. Dennis

Gary Walton said...

The sun is the main influence on our planets weather, I absolutely agree with you but I have been blogging extreme weather since 2008 and believe me the planet is not cooling, no, no way, cold snaps are happening around the globe sure but the overall trend is heat, fires and droughts with massive torrential downpours and bigger nastier storms.

PS, I don't wear are a mask and I haven't been vaccinated and I don't quite see a connection between masks and cosmic rays, maybe you could explain?