The Arctic 
The Arctic sea ice melt and methane feedback situation is a planetary emergency in its own right. 

The sea ice melt is passed its extremely dangerous tipping point​​ (T. Lenton 2012), (C. Duarte ​2012).
The sources of methane feedback emissions are warming wetlands, thawing permafrost and warmed sea floor methane hydrates.

These regions hold three to four times all the carbon in the atmosphere.

​​​​The loss of all the summer sea ice will increase the rate of Arctic warming 3.5 times (D Lawrence 2008) which will boost the rate of methane emissions from the Arctic.  ​

Since the record sea ice loss of 2007, the ​​atmospheric methane concentration has been increasing and  the scientists say this increase is due to carbon feedback emissions, some of which are coming from the rapidly warming Arctic. 

​​Wetlands and methane hydrate can both respond rapidly to an increase in global warming. Arctic  Methane hydrate has the potential to abruptly release a catastrophic amount of methane to the atmosphere. ​  

Land based permafrost ​​responds slower to warming as the methane is emitted as a result of micro-organisms digesting the thawed organic material.

​However at a certain amount of thawing permafrost thaw becomes self perpetuating - irreversible. This because the microbial activity generates heat indide the thawing permafrost.   
Nothing  makes today's planetary emergency more definite than the rapidly changing state of the Arctic because there are many +ve amplifying feedbacks triggered by Arctic warming. These can cascade as a mighty deadly domino effect (C Duarte 2012)​ 
Loss of Arctic summer sea ice effect on Northern hemisphere PDF.

​It is well known that the vast expanse of Arctic summer sea ice (and spring-summer snow) have a cooling effect on the region which moderates the climate and weather of the temperate northern hemisphere. This the Arctic summer air conditioner for the entire Northern hemisphere. The loss of the 'albedo' cooling effect will disrupt the climate and increase extreme weather northern latitudes. Research shows this has started already. Drought is projected to increase. Extreme cold could affect some regions at unseasonal times. Without an emergency response now, crop yields of the world's best food producing regions will progressively decline.
Arctic Climate Emergency
​our ​Arctic emergency ​site
Sept 2012 'Planetary emergency' due to Arctic
​melt, ​experts warn

Arctic sea ice past ice free tipping point.​​​
The first great Arctic amplifying feedback domino is falling and others are starting. ​
​James Hansen made public statements in 2008 and in 2012 following the two record drops in Arctic Summer sea ice- warning the world had entered a state of planetary emergency. The reason is that, as he said in 2008, the Arctic sea ice had crossed its ice free tipping point in 2007, which is a very large +ve amplifying feedback. This will boost Arctic feedback GHG emissions and the rate of the Greenland ice sheet melt, both being planetary catastrophes.  Tipping point expert Tim Lenton has also said he thinks the Arctic summer sea ice is past tipping the point. 

The sea ice experts and the IPCC are sticking with their very underestimating
​model projections saying the year round Arctic summer sea is good for many decades ​,while ​Arctic expert Prof Peter Wadhams says extrapolating the rapid trend of declining  ​Arctic thickness it is only good for a few years.

​​
Two Arctic methane science papers prove we have an Arctic warming planetary emergency. ​​In 2013 A Vask's research of Siberian Permafrost caves determined that the vast Siberian permafrost has a tipping point for thawing of only 1.5C and that global climates only slightly warmer than today are sufficient to thaw extensive regions of permafrost. We are absolutely committed to a 1.5 warming due to the ocean heat lag alone.

Russian scientists have been researching methane emissions venting through the sea surface over the vast shallow East Siberian shelf. ​​Here there is methane hydrate and subsea floor free methane gas. In 2012 the results of years of onsite research was published 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 saying The emission of methane in several areas of the ESS is massive to the extent that growth in the methane concentrations in the atmosphere to values capable of causing a considerable and even catastrophic warning on the Earth is possible.  
The Arctic at the top of the world is at the center of the planetary emergency and the trigger is the rapid loss of Spring-Summer Far North-Arctic snow and ​Summer sea ice.

Arctic snow-ice albedo cooling
​​This albedo cooling effect  keeps the Arctic frozen and keeps the enormous pool of Far North and Arctic carbon safely cold and frozen. The shiny white snow and sea ice reflect incoming solar energy back out to space.

Less Arctic albedo cooling results in more Arctic warming, an amplifying feedback
​called Arctic/polar amplification. ​

​While the Arctic sea ice provides a vast extent of albedo cooling (which is now declining fast) to its September minimum, Far North snow from Spring to mid Summer provides an equally vast expanse of albedo cooling equivalent to the sea ice albedo (M. Flanner 2011). ​​​​​This is also rapidly declining as the snow declines earlier every year.

Arctic & Far North carbon​
​​Arctic perma​frost holds twice the carbon in the atmosphere and subsea floor frozen solid methane gas hydrate holds at least as much carbon as in the atmosphere. All this carbon will be released with too much warming, and that has started already.

Slide presentation
All atmospheric GHG are rising. Methane is highest in the Arctic and this powerful GHG since 2007 has been rising due to planetary feedback type emissions, some of which are coming off the Arctic.  
Arctic research papers published since 2011 show that the Arctic is indeed a carbon planetary time ​bomb, and the fuse is lit. 

The Arctic warming ​​is unprecedented in the last 40,000 years at least. Unprecedented recent summer warmth in Arctic Canada

​​Subsea methane hydrate (most vulnerable in the Arctic) is at risk of disintegration from a 2C warming (Tipping point risk analysis 2011

Research deep in Siberian caves ​finds "global climates only slightly warmer than today are sufficient to thaw significant regions of permafrost." A Vask et al Science 2013

A 2012 review of East Siberian Arctic shelf methane concludes​ that "The emission of methane in several areas of the ESS is massive to the extent that growth in the methane concentrations in the atmosphere to values capable of causing a considerable and
even catastrophic warning on the Earth is possible."
New Research

June 2017​​  N2O Increased nitrous oxide emissions from Arctic peatlands after permafrost thaw

April 2017 AMAP SWIPA​​

​​10 April 2017
Observation-based constraint on permafrost loss as a function of global warming. Global warming will thaw about 20% more permafrost than previously thought


Dec 2016 NOAA Arctic Report Card Arctic tundra has switched from carbon sink to soutrce.

​​14 Dec 2016 Scientists measure pulse of CO2 (& methane) emissions during spring thaw in the Arctic

4 Dec 2016  ​​Methane Hydrate: Killer cause of Earth's greatest mass extinction

19 Oct 2015 ​Alaskan boreal forest fires release more carbon than the trees can absorb


July 2016 ​​CryoSat Greenland ice loss 2001-2014 1 Trillion tonnes.

Jan 2016 Big increase in methane from Russian peatlands​​

Jan 2016 ​​Cold season emissions dominate the Arctic tundra
methane budget


​Sept 2015Melting Arctic sea ice accelerates methane emissions

Se​pt 2015 ​​The East Siberian Arctic Shelf: further assessment

July 2015 Atmospheric response in summer linked to recent Arctic sea ice loss​​

June 2015  Francis Evidence linking rapid Arctic warming to mid-latitude weather patterns​​

June 2015 Permafrost ​& climate change potential for catastrophic runaway
​​
2013 Offshore permafrost decay and massive seabed methane escape in water
depths >20 m at the South Kara Sea shelf

​​13 Jan 2015 ​​ Ice-sheet-driven methane storage and release in the Arctic

26 Oct 2015 ​​Ancient permafrost quickly transforms to carbon dioxide upon thaw

22 Sept 2015 Danger of methane explosions on Siberian Yamal Peninsula, scientists warn

​7 Sept 2015 ​​N. Shakhova The East Siberian Arctic Shelf
:-permafrost-related methane fluxes and role of sea ice. 


3 Aug 2015
Projected changes in regional (NH) climate extremes arising from Arctic sea ice loss

April 2015​​ Deep source of Arctic methane discovered suppling methane hydrate.

April 2015 X. Chem Model estimates ..s on pan-Arctic WETLAND METHANE emissions
42% increase 2100.

May 2015 ​​Modeling the METHANE HYDRATE  under global warming.by 2100 global 473 Mt methane from seafloor. Mostly Arctic, Blake Ridge,offshore South Carolina.

April 2015 ​​Carbon isotope (δ13C) - major methane release during the last 14 kyr in Fram Strait-gateway to the Arctic


March 2015 S. Rahmstorf
​Exceptional twentieth-century slowdown in Atlantic Ocean overturning circulation. 

Expert survey Permafrost Zone Carbon Balance Survey from 2013​​


​NASA Satellites Measure Increase of Sun’s Energy Absorbed in the Arctic

2014 ​​Climate trends in the Arctic as observed from space J. Comiso


2014 Lawrence livermore US  Lab Arctic methane hydrate large risk.

April 2014 Synthesis of methane emissions from wetlands research
Thawed permafrost emits more methane​
​​
​​March 2014 Climate trends in the Arctic observed from space


13 April 2014 Greenland’s icecap loses stability

March 2014 Arctic melt speeding up- the Arctic is warmer now than it has been for 40millennia.
Changes in Arctic melt season and implications for sea ice loss GRL



Feb 2014 PNAS
​ Observational determination of albedo decrease caused by vanishing Arctic sea ice
(25% of CO2 heat).

Feb 2014 Future Arctic climate changes. 
Arctic warming 13C by 2100

Dec 2013 Tang ​​Extreme summer weather in northern mid-latitudes linked to a vanishing cryosphere

​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​


​​​Oct 2013 The Deep Greenland Sea is warming 10 X faster than the world ocean — ten times higher than the global ocean.

Aug 2013 E. F. Belshe Tundra ecosystems observed to be CO2 sources due to differential amplification of the carbon cycle

Sept 2013 Arctic albedo Observational determination of albedo decrease caused by vanishing Arctic sea ice
Kristina Pistone​. this albedo decreaseg =
 25% of CO2 forcing.

​​April 2013 Changes in the albedo of the Arctic sea-ice zone for the period 1982–2009


2012 ​​Lawrence Livermore US Lab ​​finds Arctic methane hydrate catastrophic risk - emergency reactive intervention being planned

2012 ​​AGU Ticking Arctic Carbon Bomb May Be Bigger Than Thought



​​​​


to 2014
While the most talked about Arctic global catastrophe is sea level rise from the meltdown of the Greenland ice sheet, that is the last of our Arctic worries.

​​Before that is abrupt climate change from the slowing of the deep ocean conveyor current (MOC) from the fresh melt-water, which is slowing faster than expected (research March 2015). The worst case MOC scenario 'Imagining the Unthinkable' was published in 2003. 

Long before that happens there ​​is the effect on the Northern Hemisphere (NOAA refs), which includes the world's best agriculture

Worst of all is Arctic multiple amplifying feedback 'runaway', which starts with the snow & ice albedo amplifying feedback. 
Known Arctic feedback processes
Arctic permafrost is vast & deep
June 2015 Bonn Scientists called for action to defuse a time bomb of Arctic greenhouse gas. 

April 2015 ​​Woods Hole scientist says permafrost thaw will release dangerous amounts of carbon as feedback to Arctic warming. Audio interview

The Arctic is warming up to 4X the global average ​​

​​Arctic permafrost carbon 

350 PgC by 2100
+1.5C by 2100​​
(IPCC AR5 WG1 FAQ 6.1)
Multiple amplifying
​ Arctic feedbacks
June 2015 Our time is running out -
​The Arctic sea ice is going!

Interview Prof Peter Wadhams leading world
Arctic expert 

Arctic amplification
PERMAFROST 26 Oct 2015 Ancient (yedoma) permafrost quickly transforms to carbon dioxide upon thaw, contrary to assumptions. 2008 field research found permafrost holds double the carbon of assumed estimates, which is double atmospheric carbon.

Sc. Am. 19 Nov 2015Permafrost ​Meltdown Raises Risk of Runaway Global Warming

April 2014 MOST IMPORTANT Wetlands synthesis. Wetlands from thawed permafrost emit much more methane, which is certain to trigger more warming (article)
7th Dec 2015 Cryosphere Scientists statement for 1.5C
MAY 4 2011
Lawrence 
Berkely LAb
​As Climate Changes, Methane Trapped Under Arctic Ocean Could Bubble to the Surface.

MAY 4 2011
Lawrence Livermore
Methane hydrate runaway 
Methane Trapped Under Arctic Ocean Could Bubble to the Surface
March 2004 Disappearing Arctic sea ice reduces available water in the American west
Jan 2016 Big increase in methane from Russian peatlands
NASA
​VIDEO
Yearly sea ice age to 2016.
April 2017 Arctic Monitoring Assessment Between 1976 and 1996 average sea ice loss in the Arctic was 8,300 square miles per year. Between 1996 and 2013, this number more than doubled to 19,500 square miles per year. April 2017 AMAP SWIPA​​ SPM (AMAP: Arctic Monitoring and Assessment Programme)