It's happened: Methane, previously trapped in the ocean floors, is out gassing into the atmosphere at an extraordinary rate. This will cause the flow of the Gulf Stream to weaken even further, essentially producing climate change that it's--even now--too late to do anything about. In 2010, methane levels in the arctic atmosphere were 1,850 parts per billion--higher, it is believed by paleoclimatologists--than at any time in the past 400,000 years (historically, concentrations are only 300 to 400 parts per billion).
In his latest Climate Watch, Whitley Strieber writes: "In May of 2011, NASA scientists announced that the next solar maximum, which will begin in 2020, will be of the type that has previously been associated with cooling on earth. During the so-called 'Little Ice Age' which began in the 13th Century and did not end until the 19th, solar activity was low, so changes in the sun may eventually bring a respite, but probably not before there is a climax involving heavy arctic methane release, most likely in the 2015-2018 period, barring unexpected events that alter current trends.
"What, exactly, the changes that are taking place in earth's atmosphere mean for the future are not entirely clear, but if the climate does not stabilize, further disruption to crops will be inevitable, and food shortages will be the result."
It is probable that the summer of 2011 is producing an exceptional outgassing of methane from the tundra across the high arctic, with the result that temperatures are likely to spike dramatically in August, and the flow of the Gulf Stream, which is caused by temperature differences between the Arctic Ocean and the Atlantic, will continue to weaken. It is also likely that the northern hemisphere jet stream will begin to be affected by generalized warming, and will began to flow less aggressively across the remaining warm months. Whether or not methane hydrates 'frozen' beneath arctic waters will release anytime soon is unknown because of a lack of recent study.
Whitley Strieber has been warning us about climate change on this website for years, but where did he first hear about it? From a secret source, and The Key is back in our Whitley Strieber Collection--don't miss it (and if you want to give it to someone for Christmas, be sure to order it by December 15th!)