[Marxism] Arctic Update

Greg McDonald gregmc59 at gmail.com
Wed Jul 31 19:33:55 MDT 2019


The fires in the Arctic are reaching apocalyptic levels. According to
Greenpeace of Russia 12 million hectares (over 29.6 million acres) have
been burned in Russia this year, with 3.2 million hectares actively on fire
in Siberia as of July 27th. In addition to burning vegetation, carbon-rich
peat is burning and will likely burn for months, releasing significant
carbon emissions. There were 50 megatonnes of carbon dioxide released in
June across the Arctic from fires, surpassing the total emissions released
from the Arctic in June in 2010-2018 combined. By late-July, total
emissions reached 121 megatonnes, exceeding the record emissions season for
fire in the Arctic in 2004 of 110 megatonnes. Fires have not only burned in
the Siberian Arctic, but also Alaska, the Canadian Arctic, Greenland, and
Scandinavia. There are 72 active fires in Alaska as of July 29th, with five
over 40,500 hectares (100,000 acres) and one approaching 202,300 hectares
(500,000 acres). As previously mentioned, much of soot from the fires will
fall on snow and ice in the Arctic, reducing albedo and accelerating
melting of both.

4. Large emissions of methane gas appear to be venting from the Arctic
Basin. This can be seen via satellite atmospheric sounding data showing
wide swaths in the middle atmosphere over the Arctic Ocean with emissions
of at least 2000 parts of billion of methane (considered a large
concentration). Methane is at least 150 times more powerful a greenhouse
gas than carbon dioxide on timescales of 5 years or less and is growing in
concentration in Earth's atmosphere.

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