|NASA/NOAA image based on Suomi NPP satellite data from April 2012 to April 2013, with grid added|
Vegetation in the Northern Band extends beyond the Arctic Circle (latitude 66° 33′ 44″ or 66.5622°, in blue on above image from Arcticsystem.no) into the Arctic, covering sparsely-populated areas such in Siberia, Alaska and the northern parts of Canada and Scandinavia. Further into the Arctic, there are huge areas with bush and shrubland that have taken thousands of years to develop, and once burnt, it can take a long time for vegetation to return, due to the short growing season and harsh conditions in the Arctic.
Above map with soil carbon content further shows that the top 100 cm of soil in the northern circumpolar region furthermore contains huge amounts of carbon.
|May 16 2013 Drought 90 days Arctic|
|June 25, 2013 from Wunderground.com - Moscow broke its more than 100-year-old record for the hottest June 27|
|On June 19, 2013, NASA captured this image of smoke from wildfires burning in western Alaska. The smoke was moving west over Norton Sound. (The center of the image is roughly 163° West and 62° North.) Red outlines indicate hot spots with unusually warm surface temperatures associated with fire. NASA image by Jeff Schmaltz, LANCE/EOSDIS Rapid Response. Caption by Adam Voiland. - also see this post with NASA satellite image of Alaska.|
|Siberian wildfires June 21, from RobertScribbler|
Wildfires in the North threaten to cause large emissions of greenhouse gases and soot, which can settle on snow and ice in the Arctic and the Himalayan Plateau, with the resulting albedo changes causing a lot more sunlight to be absorbed, instead of reflected as was the case earlier. This in turn adds to the problem. Additionally, rising temperatures in the Arctic threaten to cause release of huge amounts of methane from sediments below the Arctic Ocean. This situation threatens to escalate into runway global warming in a matter of years, as illustrated by the image below.
|How much will temperatures rise?|
The Climate Action Plan set out in above diagram can be initiated immediately in any country, without the need for an international agreement to be reached first. This can avoid delays associated with complicated negotiations and on-going verification of implementation and progress in other nations.
In nations with both federal and state governments, such as the United States of America, the Climate Action Plan could be implemented as follows:
- The President directs federal departments and agencies to reduce their emissions for each type of pollutant annually by a set percentage, say, CO2 and CH4 by 10%, and HFCs, N2O and soot by higher percentages.
- The President demands states to each make the same cuts.
- The President directs the federal Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) to monitor implementation of states and to act step in where a state looks set to fail to miss one or more targets, by imposing (federal) fees on applicable polluting products sold in the respective state, with revenues used for federal benefits.
This way, the decision how to reduce targets is largely delegated to state level, while states can similarly delegate decisions to local communities. While feebates, preferably implemented locally, are recommended as the most effective way to reach targets, each state and even each local community can largely decide how to implement things, provided that each of the targets are reached.
Similar targets could be adopted elsewhere in the world, and each nation could similarly delegate responsibilities to local communities. Additionally, it makes sense to agree internationally to impose extra fees on international commercial aviation, with revenues used to develop ways to cool the Arctic.
|See also: Climate Plan|
- Fires are raging again across Russia - June 22, 2012
- Russia: 74 million acres burned through August 2012 - September 14, 2012
- How to avoid mass-scale death, destruction and extinction - December 31, 2012
- Turning forest waste into biochar - January 2, 2013
- Climate Plan