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A mechanism for abrupt release of methane clathrates from shallow waters
on Friday, July 26, 2013
This is a little speculative on my part.
I noted a commentator pointing out that methane clathrate is buoyant in water (lighter than the water) and would therefore tend to float.
It seems possible to me that this is enough to provide a mechanism for abrupt and large releases without the need to invoke tectonic activity or submarine landslides or other external mechanical rupturing of containment. It should be noted that free methane gas is also trapped with the clathrate - made very clear in the Semiletov/Shakhova paper titled "The Degradation of Submarine Permafrost and the Destruction of Hydrates on the Shelf of East Arctic Seas as a Potential Cause of the "Methane Catastrophe": Some Results of Integrated Studies in 2011".
Therefore the mechanism I suggest could work like this:
- Warming and destabilisation of the upper portion of a concentrated large clathrate deposit, accompanied by thawing where containment was done by frozen permafrost.
- Methane gas under pressure is able to escape, forcing open migration pathways
- The escaping gas erode and enlarges the migration pathways, carrying away sediment (or other mass pinning down the main deposit)
- With pinning mass removed, the main portion of the clathrate deposit is free to float up, leaving a large crater on the seabed
- Result - large and abrupt release of methane to the atmosphere, without an external event forcing matters (eg submarine landslide or tectonic activity)
I realise there are a few details to increase credibility, that I don't know offhand - for example I don't know how concentrated the clathrate deposits are and to what extend they would have overall buoyancy in large volumes. Still - this would seem to be a route to accelerating release and to getting deeper into the clathrate layer (200m thick in the case of ESAS) than just relying on wind driven mixing and warmer water run off.
Thanks to Professor Peter Wadhams of Cambridge (an Arctic expert, with a long standing and illustrious career specialising in this field) the issue of methane clathrate in the ESAS has recently gained more of the attention it deserves.
Coming soon - a secure communication tool
on Tuesday, June 18, 2013
Following the disclosure of the spying by the US government and the confirmation of our views on government policy being predicated to control the population through adverse times instead of trying to find solutions that will work for everyone (there is a good article at http://www.guardian.co.uk/environment/earth-insight/2013/jun/14/climate-change-energy-shocks-nsa-prism?commentpage=2) we are preparing to release a secure communications tool to enable the average person to retain their privacy and therefore to assist them in determining their own future.
It is good that this government spying is now in confirmed territory and out of conspiracy theory domain as it proves some very ugly things are going on.
Many people are waiting for governments to act on climate change.
I will ask a few simple questions that you should think about:
- When have the socioeconomic elites of the day ever fundamentally cared about the wellbeing of the people they govern?
- Why do you expect anything better or different in a world dominated by aggressive and unequivocally destructive short term capitalism?
- Who is responsible for you and your children or grandchildren?
Please do not wait for governments to act on these issues. You must act yourself if you want to live - or for your descendants to do so.
European Law - Monsanto must live, you will die if things collapse
on Wednesday, May 08, 2013
Seeds are a critically important requirement for agriculture. It is already harder than it ought to be to obtain heirloom seeds - seeds that will produce plants from which you can easily save your own seed for next year instead of being forced into the clutches of big business to buy new seed every year. Even before this, European legislation discriminated against heirloom seeds in a short-sighted destructive drive to purge a tremendous reserve of seed diversity and breeding experience from the hands of home gardeners and small businesses.
Now this appears to be going one step further.
What does this have to do with you, you might ask? Well, the answer is simply. The more the European Union (and this is not the only part of the world where big business is driving this sort of legislation) legislates against the ability of smaller organisations and individuals to breed and propagate seed - the less food secure you can be in the event of civilisation collapsing. It is bad enough to depend upon the cold corporate monster that is agri-business at the best of times, but if that edifice should crumble and collapse later - what do you expect to eat, supposing you are able to cultivate the land?
Legislation like this should be resisted a lot more aggressively than it is being. It is potentially life and death in the future to lose the ability to retain your own seed.
Building to the second round of collapse
on Saturday, May 04, 2013
With the benefits of hindsight the unusual jet stream behaviour that caused the Russian drought and fires in 2010 (and widespread Pakistan flooding) with the consequent export ban on wheat may have been the first large scale effect that could be suspected of being related to Arctic amplification and the changes occurring in the jet stream driving increasingly extreme weather in the mid latitudes. At that time this pressured global food prices rapidly and a set of nations that in many cases would have imported this wheat experienced significant social unrest - revolutions and civil war. In some of these cases (for example Syria, which we will use as an example of trends of interest) the nations are also directly stressed by the effects of climate change. A previous round of milder unrest correlated fairly well with the nations that underwent regime change.
Food prices are currently at levels that historically represent the cusp at which conflict starts to be triggered. Nations that experienced substantial social instability in the last episode of social instability are even now still contributing to increasing stress levels in adjacent regions. This will tend to increase the size of the next round of collapse.
It has taken a long time, given that we have been trying to raise the profile of this message for rather a long time now (as one can see from how out of date the information on this website is now) but media outlets are finally starting to run articles that join up the dots we presented on this site nearly a year ago. I would like to think this site helped some people find this information for the first time - but our traffic is still rather small and was negligible a year ago.
Agriculture is critically threatened and food supplies stand to substantially diminish over a timescale of only years. We live in a world where in developed nations people typically rely upon market forces to feed themselves and where widespread social instability can be expected if this system starts to breakdown. The global economy is in trouble and many nations have vulnerabilities other than agriculture - for example dependence on international trade for resources, products and services. The logistics of maintaining these dependencies will start to unravel as more nations fall into social instability.
Already this year a new threat to US crop production is threatening (though we emphasise it is still too early to make statements as to yield):
If the jet stream stuck in place and delivered the sort of summer the UK had last year to America, this would affect yield just as seriously as the drought last year. The anticipation of this alone could send food prices rising upwards uncomfortably. That is before one considers extreme weather over the rest of the planet, where statistically we would need to be lucky to gain respite year on year.
The situation is very serious indeed and we believe time is running out to prepare for the failure of modern civilisation. It seems likely that another round of substantial social instability can be expected within 12 months from now and possibly sooner.
Perhaps some people will have heard that here first another year from now - but let's hope this is all that happens, and that there are no black swans in the meantime. The situation is increasingly unstable and unpredictable.
The Impending Ending
on Sunday, March 31, 2013
It is our belief that we are approaching the end of the timeframe in which preparations for the collapse of civilisation are possible. The weather is increasingly unstable as a result of climate change - particularly the shifting behaviour of the jet stream as a result of the increasingly rapid positive feedback underway in the Arctic. It cannot escape the attention of the general public or governments (those that are not already considering it and preparing police state oriented responses) that the writing is on the wall and agriculture is seriously under threat.
An increasing sense of fear is detectable within those who know the most about the subject area. It is only a matter of time until that fear takes root within the mainstream population. The human response to the threat posed by agricultural failure is likely to magnify the rate of collapse as nations and individuals start to compete for resources they know will be limited. Given that many aspects of human life are forwards looking we can also reasonably expect to see some very serious and profound effects upon the economy. After all what is the point of a long term investment if there is no long term? What use is a pension plan in a world without modern civilisation?
Our worst case scenario (and relatively probable case) is that this process will begin later this year following another dramatic retreat of the sea ice as the volume jumps ever closer to zero at the time of the summer minimum. As the logistics of daily life become ever harder - and competition from those trying to beat the herd mounts ahead of the stampede - the window in which to prepare an appropriate response to the loss of civilisation will close.
Even in the best case - this scenario is likely to be closer at hand than almost anyone would be comfortable admitting to themselves. Food prices are already at levels on the brink of those that historically trigger social unrest in some regions with the stage set for prices to continue to rise this year.
It would appear that very few people indeed have even considered the issue at this date, let alone made any attempt at serious preparations.
Things can change very quickly. In 1938 Chamberlain returned to Britain declaring "peace in our time" to cheering crowds. One year later - the world was plunged into war. On the other hand - people are capable of great things - if only they will try, instead of acting as passive observers as things unwind.
More news here.