Letter: Killing Mother Earth
Global warming has a newly discovered dire consequence: global extinction within one human lifetime from spreading Arctic methane heat waves and surface firestorms.
In the next 25 years, as mean global temperatures rise due to man-made CO2 increases (we are at 400 ppm and climbing), the Arctic will be releasing increasing amounts of methane. Giant fountains/torches/plumes of methane entering the atmosphere up to 1 kilometer wide have already been seen on the East Siberian Shelf. This paints a frightening picture of the beginning of an uncontrollable, global warming induced destabilization of the subsea Arctic methane hydrates which started in late 2010.
What is extremely worrisome is that once this process starts, there is no stopping it, resulting in a doomsday scenario. Methane is more than 20 times the strength of carbon dioxide as a greenhouse gas, and as temperatures start to soar, it causes the release of more methane, thereby further increasing global temperatures. By burning fossil fuels, we are replicating atmospheric temperature increases that occurred 250 million years ago by massive volcanic action that led to the Permian Extinction. The resulting CO2 emissions, and temperatures, hit the 5C degree tipping point for methane release from the oceans. This led to a massive extinction where 95 percent of life was extinguished.
Unless we do something, temperature increases will begin a chain reaction that will make Earth uninhabitable. We are killing our Mother Earth with our insatiable use of fossil fuels and denials.