Alaska...Heat & Quakes

Updated: Nov 17, 2020

Evan got out of the lunch line. His large plate of Lamb Stew smelled so good, He could not wait to be seated to eat.

Even walked across the newly modernized cafeteria, he noticed Joelle eating alone and busy on her Apophis Smart Tablet.

‘Joelle, can I join you?

“Sure Evan, have a seat.”

“These facilities are very nice.”

“Very nice indeed.”

“Hmm…that lamb stew smells so good. I should have gotten that.”

“Well, what did you eat. Oh no…Don’t tell me. Coffee and peach muffin?”

“No silly…I had the chef make my favorite.”

“Now I am so curious. What is your favorite.?”

“Chicken Shawarma. After a drizzle of homemade mayo and pomegranate molasses, Chef piles on a generous amount of seasoned sautéed chicken and rolls it all up into a wrap. Then it is grilled until golden brown.”

“Evan licked his lips. Now…that will be my lunch for tomorrow.”

“I know…right?

“Joelle, what is your military occupation specialty code?”

“I am a Planetary Geologist.”

“I am a scientist that deals with the geology of the celestial bodies such as the planets and their moons, asteroids, comets, and meteorites. I also have a degree in Seismology which means I also study earthquakes and the impact of earth tectonic plates on our continents.”

Evan is speechless. He blurted out. “Stunning beautiful and intelligent. Any more at home like you?”

Joelle laughed is a very girly way, Evan, a matter of fact yes. One older brother and a sister.”

Well, Evan…since we are on the subject. How do you earn your keep?

Evan took a sip of his coffee, “Well…my job is not as exciting as yours. I am inserted in the Nascence Technology Group as a Cybersecurity Engineer."

Joelle perked up, “You are quite a modest guy. There are scientists I know that would die to work for Nascence Tech.”

“Just another name for Genesis, right?”

Suddenly an automated voice said, “Attention Commanders. Lunch break expires in 15 minutes.”

Evan took a bite out of his lamb stew.

Joelle sipped her coffee, “Evan, you can agree that the morning meeting was enlightening and encouraging right?”

Evan swallowed his stew quickly, “Yes, the reports said we recovered all personnel from the Cruise Ship ‘Provenance’ except for a few of our comrades who fell.”

Joelle with a sad look responded, “But it was sad that the operation was marginally successful. Genesis spent billions.”

“The good news. We made billions in cryptocurrency. We got out just in time. We are flushed with wealth.”

“Yeah…how the hell did we do that?”

“Have dinner with me and I will tell you what I can. Without me sacrificing my life and my family.”

“Joelle smiled, Sure…but we better get back to that meeting. You need to eat fast soldier.”

Evan took several large gulps and down the cool tunnel, they went to their meeting room.

On arrival at the meeting room, Evan noticed that Joelle is given the microphone and a staffer is prepping her to speak.

Evan smiled as she winked at him.

“Evan smiled back, “So she is the guest presenter. Imagine that.”

Joelle took to the lectern as the video screens lit up with a magnificent view of the earth and its changes.

“I will forgo a formal introduction as I have spent quality time already with all of you. Let get to it. Since the epic ‘Battle at The Puerto Rico Trench,’ the Mid-Atlantic Ocean ridge has slowed down and started closing. As you can see…the two small arcs of subduction in the Atlantic Deep Ocean has spread all along the east coasts of the Americas that will lead to a reforming of Pangea. The Americas, Europe, and Africa will be reunited into a supercontinent called ‘New Pangea.’ There will be a new ocean called ‘The Super Pacific Ocean...’ The 6th Extinction is underway and will happen in a very short period.'"

The silence seemed to fill the room and eyes widen. Joelle looked to Chief Navid. He nodded for her to continue.

Joelle reminded the commanders, “Our enemies broke the earth. We are the ones that will make things right. It is our mission. It is the will of Allah.”

The video screens displayed Northern Alaska.

“I am drawing your attention to Alaska as the temperature in the Arctic Circle soared above freezing for a straight week, That's extraordinarily hot for the Arctic.”

Evan asked a very thought arresting question, “Alaska was a balmy 60 degrees several days ago. So, what is the issue.”

“This increase in temperatures happened last February. Besides you were south in Fairbanks or real south …Anchorage right?”

“Yes…Fairbanks and City of North Pole actually.”

“Commander, I am speaking of Barrow, Alaska which is the northernmost city in the United States and is just 1,300 miles south of the true North Pole and 320 miles north of the Arctic Circle. The city is built on permafrost that is up to 1,300 feet deep in places and experiences super cold and windy winters.”

“Evan frowned, “My God woman…are you serious?”

“Yes...our scientist tells us that these types of abnormalities will start happening a lot more. That means years which had the lowest sea-ice extent on record, will become more common. In the summer of 2012, Geologists and Environmentalists were alarmed that ninety-seven percent of the Greenland Ice Sheet's surface started to melt That's typically a once-in-a-century occurrence. It was predicted that we could see extreme surface melt like that every six years by end of the century.”

Another commander raised her hand, “So, our plan is working?”

“Yes, however, those scientists are wrong. Genesis scientist predicts summers in Greenland could become ice-free in a much shorter period.”

Evan piped in, “That is to be expected as the continents drift right.”

“The good news is that Antarctica’s will remain relatively stable, making minimal contributions to sea-level rise.”

“Hell. We must live somewhere right. We will live at the south pole. We are land creatures.”

“Yes…but Genesis scientist warns that unexpected ice shelf collapses could surprise researchers with extra sea-level rise in Antarctica.”

“Explain please,” asked Commander Sonja Petroviс.

“Yes the way, for those who have not met Sonia., she is my best friend and she is from Serbia. This means we go on missions in some really interesting places.”

Evan thought…wow, are all the women Genesis recruit this beautiful.

Joelle continued, “The Arctic and the Antarctic are very different places. In the Arctic, almost all the ice is floating on water"

“So, there is no land,” asked a Commander.

‘Correct, very little land mass. Then there’s Antarctica…a massive land mass that is covered by ice formed from constant snowfall. This constitutes an ‘ice sheet.’ If you remembered what you learned in Geology 101, you know that when floating ice melts, the ocean levels will not rise, because the ice was already floating in the water. But, when land ice melts, the liquid water flows into the ocean and causes the water levels to rise. So, at least from a sea-level perspective, land ice has a greater impact than floating ice.'"

Evan replied, “Just trying to connect the dots here…when we think of ice melting, we may think of it melting from above, as the ice is heated from the air, from sunlight, or from infrared energy from the atmosphere. Sounds like something under the ocean is causing the ice to melt.”

“That is right Evan, now you are getting it. The fact of the matter is…a lot of the melting comes from under the ocean. For instance, in the Antarctic, the ice shelves extend from the land out over the water. The bottom of the ice shelf is exposed to the ocean. If the ocean warms up, it can melt the underside of the shelf and cause it to thin or break off into the ocean.”

Sonia commented, “Joelle, often in our travels, you speak about the Southern Ocean. How does this impact our mission?”

“Well, you were listening to me after all. The Southern Ocean surface which surrounds Antarctica continue to cool down and becomes saltier. These combined effects make the surface waters sink down to the seafloor. The result is buoyancy. But as ice melt increases, freshwater flows into the ocean and interrupts this buoyancy effect. This 'freshening or desalinization' of the water can slow down or shut down the vertical mixing of the ocean. When this happens, the cold waters at the surface cannot sink. The deeper waters retain their heat and melt the ice from below. Freshening of Antarctic waters weakens the currents that trap heat and carbon dioxide in the ocean, affecting the global climate.'"

Evan replied, “Again…trying to connect the dots. What does this mean to earth human population?"

Good question Evan, “Earth oceans are on track to rise three to four feet. That could displace over 3.5 million people in a very short period.”

“How short?”

“10 years?”

“Really…that is a very short span of time in how things evolved on earth right?”

“It gets worse.”

“How the hell can it get worse?”

“Commanders, our oceans absorb more than a third of all carbon dioxide in the atmosphere, causing them to warm and become more acidic. Rising temperatures will, therefore, cause oceans to acidify more around the globe.”

“Your point madam?”

“Summers in the tropics could see a 50% increase their extreme-heat days. Farther north get a little better…maybe 10% to 20% of the days in a year will be hotter.”

“Where should we be in this cataclysmic Continental Drift change. Where is safe?”

“The place in America called Montana. This region will win out with climate change. It will see an increase in "mild weather" days and far enough away from the coastal area to shield it from sea-level rise.”

Evan asked a provocative question, “How will the Earth look?”

“Well, first the African continent merges with Europe, forming a new mountain range to rival the Himalayas. The Mediterranean will no longer exist. The Red Sea, Black Sea, and the Caspian Sea will have also disappeared. Meanwhile, the Atlantic Ocean has continued to widen, and southeast Asia is merging with Australia. The Atlantic Ocean will close as the mid-Atlantic ridge causes the Americas and Africa to move back together. Australia will fully merge with Indonesia.”

Sonia added, “A supercontinent is forming on Earth… The next Pangea is coming…Pangea Ultima”

“Yes. Yes, Sonia. Life has a compelling reason to survive. Earth has a compelling reason to host life. If living organisms become hostile to this process...”

“You are speaking of us…humans, right?”

Joelle nodded in approval, “Yes…Humans have dump pollutants into earth’s sacred body. Westerners have waged wars with metal and chemicals. We have destroyed portions of the ozone and plastics clog the oceans. Sooner or later Earth will fix this. Genesis has accelerated this process.”

Suddenly, the video screen switched to an emergency channel. It was satellite feed with breaking news.

“This is Judithe Jeremiassen with KNR, Kalaallit Nunaata Radioa, Greenlandic Broadcasting Corporation. A magnitude 7.5 earthquake that struck near Anchorage, Alaska, this morning crumbled roads and splintered buildings sent residents scurrying for cover and triggered a tsunami warning. The mayor of Anchorage warned that this quake was something bigger than what they normally experience. Social media and television news video depicted scenes of chaos, including students taking shelter under desks while sending texts from their phones, roads buckling under passing cars, grocery store products tumbling from shelves, hospital workers scrambling for cover and panicked attorneys under tables as a courtroom rocked from side to side. The Governor issued a disaster declaration and the US Geological Survey has reported dozens of aftershocks. Citizens can expect a couple of magnitude 5,5.2 or 5.3. The largest, registering 6.8 just happened a few minutes ago in the city of Anchorage…"

We hope you have enjoyed this excerpt from the third book in the Accelerant Series. ‘New Pangaea’

This new novel is expected in bookstores in late 2021. Until then, get caught up:

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