Archives de catégorie : climate and geology

How Climate Trickery Infiltrated the AGU

by Donna Laframboise, July 2020, In BigPicturesNews


11 presentations – based on private, agenda-driven research – were delivered to the world’s largest gathering of climate scientists.

I’ve been writing about a far-fetched climate fairy tale that was repackaged and re-positioned – with the result that it now gets taken seriously by supposedly serious scientists (see here and here).

How did this happen? First, billionaire climate activists hired consultants to produce a brand new climate analysis. Because, you know, the world doesn’t have enough climate research, what with governments spending billions on it every year.

This custom research was conducted by a team of noticeably young people. One is still working on his doctorate. Two others were doctoral students at the time. The lead scientist had earned his geobiology PhD seven years earlier. The lead economist had earned his, in sustainable development, a mere three years earlier.

This team produced a 2014 report titled Risky Business: The Economic Risks of Climate Change in the United States. It features a graphic that wildly misrepresents the scientific literature.

Six months after that report appeared, fully 11 presentations based on it were delivered at the world’s largest annual gathering of earth scientists – the American Geophysical Union’s December 2014 conference.

Mass spectrometry and climate science. Part I: Determining past climates

by Judith Curry, June 16, 2020 in ChRotter_WUWT


Mass spectrometry is essential for research in climate science.

Understanding climate requires having sufficient knowledge about past climate and about the important factors that are influencing climate today, so that reliable models can be developed to predict future climate.

Analytical chemistry enables measurement of the chemical composition of materials, from the amounts of elements and their isotopes in a sample to the identity and concentrations of substances in the most complex biological organisms.

This two-part series covers the application of a powerful analytical chemistry technology — mass spectrometry — to two important areas in climate science:

  • Obtaining reliable information about past climate
  • Understanding composition and behavior of aerosols, which have a large impact on climate

The examples that are included for each topic were selected out of many published papers on the study of climate using mass spectrometry, partly because they feature a very wide range of types of these instruments. The authors were very helpful in providing me with information on their work.[1]

The technology described in this essay may at times be quite complicated! However, I hope that the results of each study will be understandable.

Part 1: Determining past climate

Figure 1: Age of samples taken at indicated depth below surface of ice core

Climate Scientists Step Up the Climate Emergency Narrative

by E. Worrall, June 13, 2020 in WUWT


 

MIP6 Climate Sensitivities. Source Carbon Brief

Guest essay by Eric Worrall

Even worse than we thought ™. Despite a recent sanity test study which demonstrated that high end climate models hindcast impossible Eocene temperatures, climate scientists are pushing ahead anyway with their new, even more extreme climate projections.

 

Continuer la lecture de Climate Scientists Step Up the Climate Emergency Narrative

Asteroid, climate change not responsible for mass extinction 215 million years ago

by Todd McLeish, May 27, 2020 U. of RhodeIsland in PhysOrg


A team of University of Rhode Island scientists and statisticians conducted a sophisticated quantitative analysis of a mass extinction that occurred 215 million years ago and found that the cause of the extinction was not an asteroid or climate change, as had previously been believed. Instead, the scientists concluded that the extinction did not occur suddenly or simultaneously, suggesting that the disappearance of a wide variety of species was not linked to any single catastrophic event.

Their research, based on paleontological field work carried out in sediments 227 to 205 million years old in Petrified Forest National Park, Arizona, was published in April in the journal Geology.

..

Arctique géologique, part 2

by Van Vliet-Lanoë B. and Préat A., 29 mai 2020 in ScienceClimatEnergie


4/ Les cycles glaciaires  arctiques (Pliocène/Pléistocène)

4.1. Introduction : le forçage orbital et l’englaciation

Le climat de la Terre est géré à un premier niveau par l’apport énergétique lié à l’apport solaire, en fonction de l’évolution cyclique de la forme de l’orbite de notre planète autour du soleil. Ce forçage s’appelle forçage orbital et a toujours existé depuis que notre système planétaire existe.  Ce forçage présente une cyclicité parfaitement calculable en fonction des interactions par attraction entre les différentes planètes du système solaire et le soleil. Elle varie relativement peu au cours du temps. Par contre, l’orbite terrestre est une ellipse dont l’élongation varie au cours du temps, nous éloignant ou nous rapprochant du soleil, c’est ce que nous appelons l’excentricité.  De plus, l’axe de rotation de la Terre n’est pas vertical sur le plan orbital ou d’écliptique et oscille également, permettant un déficit en énergie reçue au niveau des pôles, géré par son obliquité. Enfin la Terre ne parcourt pas son orbite en exactement un an : les saisons pourront être en avance ou en retard sur l’orbite par rapport au minimum ou au maximum d’insolation : ceci s’appelle la précession des équinoxes.

L’englaciation Cénozoïque débute en position polaire sous contrôle de la tectonique des plaques, de l’évolution des océans, de la circulation océanique et des reliefs orogéniques disponibles pour stocker de la glace. Elle apparaît donc en premier sur l’Antarctique puis au Néogène, sur l’Arctique Canadien en période de faible obliquité. Ensuite, elle descendra en latitude au fur et à mesure de l’évolution de l’ère glaciaire.

Fig. 24 : LGM ou Last Glacial Maximum, c’est-à-dire la glaciation du ‘Dernier Glaciaire’ dans l’hémisphère nord avec des plateformes de glaces débordant sur l’océan Arctique recouvert de banquise (image CLIMAP). La glace qui recouvrait une grande partie de l’Amérique du Nord, du nord de l’Europe et une partie de l’Asie était épaisse de 3 à 4 km et le niveau marin plus bas de 120 m par rapport à l’Actuel, ce qui permit des passages terrestres, inexistants aujourd’hui suite à la remontée du niveau marin lors de la déglaciation. Cette situation est aussi à l’origine d’une aridification intense (non discutée dans cet article). Les glaces se mirent en place vers 33 ka et leur extension maximale est comprise entre 26,5 ka et 20-19 ka (Clark et al. 2009).

 

Study: Ancient ocean oxygen levels associated with changing atmospheric carbon dioxide


by Texas A&M University, May 24, 2020 in WUWT


A Texas A&M-led study analyzed ocean floor sediment cores to provide new insights into the relationship between deep ocean oxygenation and atmospheric carbon dioxide levels in the 50,000 years before the last ice age

IMAGE: Deep ocean floor sediment cores hold chemical clues to Earth’s past. view more  Credit: Texas A&M University

Why do carbon dioxide levels in the atmosphere wax and wane in conjunction with the warm and cold periods of Earth’s past? Scientists have been trying to answer this question for many years, and thanks to chemical clues left in sediment cores extracted from deep in the ocean floor, they are starting to put together the pieces of that puzzle.

Recent research suggests that there was enhanced storage of respired carbon in the deep ocean when levels of atmospheric carbon dioxide concentrations were lower than today’s levels. But new research led by a Texas A&M University scientist has reached back even further, for the first time revealing insights into atmospheric carbon dioxide levels in the 50,000 years before the last ice age.

Arctique géologique 1/2

by Préat A. & Van Vliet-Lanoë B., 22 mai 2020 in ScienceClimatEnergie


A la grande différence de l’Antarctique, l’Arctique est un océan entouré de plateaux continentaux (Fig. 2). L’océan ou bassin arctique est actuellement constitué par un double bassin, séparé une crête très importante, la ride Lomonosov : le sous-bassin canadien à croûte continentale amincie (3 600 m)  et le sous-bassin eurasiatique à croûte océanique mince, de loin le plus profond (5000 m entre la crête Lomonosov et la ride océanique active de Gakkel). Il est entouré comme le long de l’Atlantique Nord par une plateforme continentale ennoyée, constituée de croûte continentale.  Le bassin arctique  d’abord marin et connecté au Proto-Atlantique au début du Jurassique (voir plus loin), est isolé depuis le Jurassique moyen et essentiellement de nature lacustre, modifiant le régime thermique océanique, amenant un contexte voisin du Glaciaire au Crétacé inférieur (au Valanginien in Dromart et al. 2003 ; Korte et al. 2015 ; Piskarev et al. 2018). Il ne se ré-ouvrira sur le bassin atlantique qu’à partir de l’Eocène, via l’ouverture du détroit de Fram. D’autre part le pôle  magnétique terrestre (Nord) est resté sur le bassin arctique depuis le début du Jurassique, donc en position de déficit énergétique lié à l’obliquité de l’orbite terrestre.

Fig. 2  Image Gebco Arctique : L’océan ou bassin arctique est actuellement constitué par un double bassin, séparé une crête très importante, la ride Lomonossov (voir texte).

WORLDWIDE VOLCANIC UPTICK — MULTIPLE ERUPTIONS TO 45,000+ FT (13.7+ KM) — DIRECT COOLING EFFECT

by Cap Allon, May 1, 2020 in Electroverse


These past few days have seen a violent worldwide volcanic uptick, sending us all further signs that the next Grand Solar Minimum is dawning.

HIMAWARI-8 (a Japanese weather satellite) recorded two HIGH-LEVEL eruptions on May 16, both occurring in Indonesia.

The first took place at Ibu –a relatively new volcano with only 3 notable eruptions; in 1911, 1998, and 2008– and was confirmed by the Volcanic Ash Advisory Center (VAAC) Darwin which warned of an ash plume rising to an estimated 45,000 ft (13.7 km).

The second high-level eruption took place just a few hours later at Semeru –a very active volcano with an eruptive history peppered with VEI 2s and 3s; the first coming in 1818, the most recent in 2014– and as with Ibu’s, Semeru’s eruption was picked up by both HIMAWARI-8 and the VAAC Darwin, with the latter confirming the generation of “a dark ash plume which reached an altitude of 46,000 ft (14 km).”

In addition, and as recently reported by VolcanoDiscovery.com, active lava flows remain active on the Semeru’s southeast flank, currently about 4,921 ft (1.5 km) long (as of the morning of May 18).

https://principia-scientific.org/do-cosmic-rays-trigger-earthquakes-volcanic-eruptions/https://www.researchgate.net/publication/234022172_Explosive_volcanic_eruptions_triggered_by_cosmic_rays_Volcano_as_a_bubble_chamber

L’Antarctique géologique (2/2)

by A. Préat, 1 mai 2020 in ScienceClimatEnergie


Cet article fait suite aux trois récents articles publiés par le Prof. Maurin sur SCE (1/3, 2/3,  3/3), et traite de l’évolution géologique de la plaque Antarctica.
Voir également L’Antarctique géologique (1/2).

3/ Situation récente à l’échelle géologique

3.1. Isolation de la plaque Antarctique

Nous arrivons ainsi à la situation actuelle avec l’Arctique et l’Antarctique, situation décrite dans les parties 1 à 3 des articles de M. Maurin (parties 1/3, 2/3 et 3/3). D’où proviennent les glaciations actuelles ? Pour les comprendre il faut remonter au début de l’ère cénozoïque en considérant l’Antarctique qui était en position polaire (Scotese, 2001).

La plaque antarctique, partie intégrante de l’ensemble des continents formant le Gondwana est entourée dès le Jurassique (Figs. 7 et 12, inL’Antarctique géologique 1/2) de rides médio-océaniques (excepté la péninsule antarctique qui provient d’une limite de plaque convergente active avec failles transformantes séparant la plaque Antarctique et la plaque Scotia). En conséquence, la plaque Antarctique est actuellement en expansion par rapport aux plaques adjacentes, et fut particulièrement stable et isolée par rapport aux événements tectoniques du Mésozoïque et du Cénozoïque (ici).

Dans ce contexte, et en remontant le temps, il faut noter l’individualisation, dès l’Ordovicien, de la péninsule antarctique avec des montagnes de plus de 3200 m d’altitude constituant aujourd’hui la région la plus au nord de l’Antarctique occidental et s’étendant au-delà du cercle polaire. Cette chaîne de montagnes prolonge les Andes de l’Amérique du Sud dans la continuité d’une dorsale sous-marine caractérisée par un gradient géothermique élevé (voir plus loin). Ainsi on voit que l’Antarctique, depuis longtemps et encore aujourd’hui, participe à un jeu de tectonique des plaques encore active avec des effets locaux (notamment variations du  gradient géothermique).Ce gradient géothermique est un élément important à prendre en considération dans la dynamique glaciaire car il favorise la fonte et ensuite le glissement des glaces.

Notons que Arctowski (in Fogg 1992) avait déjà suggéré en 1901 que les Andes étaient présentes dans la pointe nord de la péninsule antarctique (Graham Land) .

3.2. Englacement de la plaque Antarctique

Fig. 16 : Image des fonds marins d’une chaîne de 800 km de long de plusieurs volcans actifs de 1000 m de haut situés à proximité de la partie nord du continent antarctique. D’après Kamis, 2016.

Three Decades of Mangrove Forest Biomass Change in NSW, Australia

by Lamont et al. , 2020 in CO2Science


Time and again climate alarmists have used computer models to claim that rising CO2 and rising temperatures should be negatively impacting various ecosystems, including forests. Given that these two parameters have supposedly reached unprecedented heights in modern history, reason suggests that this hypothesis of ecosystem decline should be presently evident in observational data. But is it?

Thanks to the work of Lamont et al. (2020) this question can be answered — at least for a mangrove forest ecosystem in New South Wales, Australia.

What the five Australian researchers did in their study was to examine the biomass change of two mangrove forest sites over the period 1989-2018. The two sites included a tall gallery forest composed of Avicennia marina (i.e., Site 1) and an interior, higher elevation, stunted mixed community of A. marina and Aegiceras corniculatum (i.e., Site 2). Data originally gathered in a 1989 survey were compared with new data obtained by Lamont et al. in 2018 and thereafter analyzed for possible trends.

Results of the analysis are summarized in the figure below, showing large gains in both aboveground and below ground biomass between the two survey dates at both mangrove forest sites. Of particular note is “a greater than seven-fold increase in mean aboveground biomass” at Site 2, and “a six-fold and 12-fold increase [in total below-ground root mass] at Site 1 and Site 2, respectively.” Such large biomass increases, not surprisingly, were estimated by the authors to have contributed to large gains in carbon sequestration. In extrapolating such gains to the entire New South Wales region, they estimate mangrove forests have sequestered “at least about 1.8 Tg C” over the past 70 years.

The above findings represent incredible growth benefits reaped by mangrove forest ecosystems during a time of rising atmospheric CO2 and rising temperature, which findings are pretty much the opposite of the doom and gloom predictions offered by climate alarmists.

L’Antarctique géologique (1/2)

by A. Préat, 24 avril 2020 in ScienceClimatEnergie


Cet article traite de l’évolution géologique de la plaque Antarctica, et fait suite aux trois récents articles publiés dans SCE par le Prof. Maurin sur la cryosphère actuelle (1/3, 2/3,  3/3).

1/ Les glaces fascinent …

Les glaces fascinent depuis longtemps les climatologues qui y voient un monde à part, aujourd’hui elles sont suivies ‘à la loupe’ car elles témoigneraient en tout ou en partie du processus de réchauffement actuel. Elles sont l’objet d’une attention médiatique constante. Pourtant elles furent souvent absentes de la Planète, elles apparurent plusieurs fois et disparurent autant de fois au cours de l’histoire géologique, le plus souvent suivant des modalités différentes à l’échelle temporelle et spatiale.

Il n’est pas possible ici de retracer la longue histoire des glaces qui commence au Précambrien, au moins à la transition Archéen et Protérozoïque (avec la glaciation huronienne, il y a environ 2,4 Ga, pour l’échelle détaillée des temps géologiques voir ici, et ci-dessous (Fig. 1) pour une version simplifiée) et se poursuit avec des aléas divers avec un recouvrement des glaces sur l’ensemble de la Planète à la fin du Néoprotérozoïque, donc y compris dans la zone équatoriale, donnant lieu au fameux ‘Snowball Earth’ ou hypothèse de la Terre boule de neige ou encore ‘Terre gelée’ (glaciation marinoenne qui a fait suite à la -ou les ? glaciation(s) sturtienne(s)- il y a 635 Ma. Ensuite viendra la glaciation Gaskiers vers 580 Ma, c’est-à-dire vers la fin du Précambrien. Cet épisode marinoen d’englacement généralisé perdura plus d’une dizaine de millions d’années avec des calottes de glace sur l’équateur (ici) et est à l’origine du nom de l’avant-dernière période du Précambrien, à savoir le Cryogénien (partie supérieure du Protérozoïque entre 850 Ma et 635 Ma, cf. Fig. 1). Entre ces deux grandes glaciations précambriennes (celles de l’huronien et du marinoen), soit sur un peu plus de 1,5 Ga  aucune autre glaciation n’a encore? été rapportée, ce qui supposerait que pendant cet intervalle de temps le climat s’est maintenu dans des conditions plutôt chaudes, avec une régulation thermique ‘sans faille’ (Ramstein, 2015). Notons également pour être complet la présence de glaciers locaux à 2,9 Ga dans l’Archéen d’Afrique du Sud (glaciation ‘pongolienne’) (ici).

Magma Flood Linked To Sudden Ancient Global Warming Event

by H. Lee, April 1, 2020 in ClimateChangeDispatch


A study has cemented the link between an intense global warming episode 56 million years ago and volcanism in the North Atlantic, with implications for modern climate change.

Roughly 60 million years ago, circulation changes deep within our planet generated a hot current of rock — the Iceland plume — causing it to rise from the heart of Earth’s mantle.

 

The Giant’s Causeway in Northern Ireland is a geologic feature consisting of thousands of interlocking basalt columns that formed from volcanic eruptions 60 million years ago.

The Wrong Kind Of Carbon

Although a great deal of North Atlantic volcanism happened close in time to the PETM, scientists were initially skeptical that it could have driven the warming.

Sedimentary layers that formed at the time had the wrong kind of carbon — they were rich in the isotope carbon-12, indicating an organic carbon source rather than a volcanic one.

The leading theory was that fluctuations in Earth’s orbit around the sun melted a type of frozen methane just beneath the seabed called methane clathrates.

Yet scientists found scant evidence that enough clathrates existed in the pre-PETM world, or that they could have melted fast enough to drive the warming.

A possible missing link between the North Atlantic Igneous Province and organic carbon was spotted in 2004 in seismic scans through the seabed off the coast of Norway.

Continuer la lecture de Magma Flood Linked To Sudden Ancient Global Warming Event

Australian fires: Climate ‘truth bomb’?

by Alan Longhurst, February 24, 2020 in WUWT


Recipe for Australia’s climate ‘truth bomb’:  dubious manipulations of the historical temperature record, ignorance of the climate dynamics of the Southern Hemisphere, and ignorance of Australia’s ecological and social history.

A correspondent of The Guardian newspaper writes that her personal ‘climate truth bomb’ hit her while she was picking ash from her glass at a wine tasting event – the Sydney Harbour bridge being dimly seen through the murk of bushfires. The truth came to her, she wrote, in the eloquent rage of Greta Thunberg and also in heat, smoke and fire.

Although anthropogenic climate change sells well, especially at The Guardian, their Sydney correspondent cannot be so ignorant about the climate of Australia or about bushfires as she pretends. Put briefly, bushfires in Australia and elsewhere have two main sources: from thunderstorms or from human activity, deliberate or otherwise – cigarette butts, sparks from brakes on railway trains, from incautious welding on farm machinery and from electric transmission lines. In California, where almost 2 million acres burned in 2018 and claimed many lives, the electricity supply company now closes down its transmission lines in windy conditions to prevent sparking and fires.

As she should have known, climate change or not, that ash in The Guardian correspondent’s wine was very probably caused by the direct action of an Australian citizen. In the current drought, 36% of fires have been judged to be accidental, 37% as suspicious, 13% as deliberate and only 6% as natural. And that pattern is not new: Australia has a serious arson problem. “In short, up to 85 bushfires begin every day because someone leaves their house and decides to start one,” said Dr. P. Reid of the Australian Center for Research in Bushfires and Arson

Thwaites Glacier: Why Did The BBC Fail To Mention The Volcanoes Underneath?

by D. Whitehouse, January 29, 2020 in GWPF


Scientists have known for years that subglacial volcanoes and other geothermal “hotspots” are contributing to the melting of the Thwaites Glacier. Why did the BBC fail to mention these facts in its recent report?

 

The International Thwaites Glacier Collaboration is performing some magnificent science, conducting the most ambitious fieldwork ever undertaken at the tip of what is one of the most significant glaciers on Earth. Its melting already contributes 4% of global sea level rise and there are fears that it could become unstable and contribute many metres to global sea level.

The reason for its vulnerability lies in its geology. While most of the glacier is on ground and making its way into the West Antarctic seas, Thwaites lip floats on water allowing warm water to weaken and melt it from beneath. Being one of the most difficult places in the world to reach the scientific collaboration planned for years to transport many tonnes of equipment to the glaciers front. Two weeks ago they announced they had carried out the first warm water borehole through the ice at the point where it lifts off the land and starts to be suspended by the ocean. Image courtesy British Antarctic Survey.

Why The Current Interglacial Might Be Coming To An End

by W. Jones, January 22, 2020 in ClimateChangeDispatch


Did you know that over the last 450,000 years there have been four Ice Ages lasting around 100,000 years each?

And five interglacial periods lasting around 12,000 years each?

Look at this graph of temperature data derived from the Vostok ice core from Antarctica.

 

What it means is that for around 90 percent of the last 450,000 years Earth has been in an Ice Age, where global temperatures have slumped to as low as 10 deg C colder than in the relatively brief interglacial periods.

The current interglacial period (the fifth) began about 11,600 years ago, suggesting it may not last much longer. It corresponds to the time when human beings began farming and building cities and civilizations.

It is notably cooler than the previous four interglacial periods. If we ‘zoom in’ on it (see the upper graph, below)

Des réchauffements répétitifs sans CO2 ?

by P. Berth & A. Préat, 24 janvier 2020 in ScienceClimatEnergie


Depuis le début des mesures thermométriques directes, les 4 principales séries de température  que nous possédons (thermomètres terrestres et satellites) nous montrent que la température globale de la basse troposphère a augmenté de ± 0,8°C en 138 ans (entre 1880 et 2018). Cela correspond à ± 0,28°C en 50 ans soit 0,006°C/an(actuellement environ 0,01°C/an pour les 30 dernières années). Les médias nous rappellent chaque jour que cette hausse est exceptionnelle et que le CO2 anthropique en est à l’origine, c’est-à-dire est le grand coupable suivant la terminologie consacrée.

Mais cette vitesse d’augmentation de la température, est-elle vraiment exceptionnelle? Dans les lignes qui suivent, nous allons vous démontrer qu’il n’en est rien. Au cours de la dernière période glaciaire, alors que l’espèce humaine existait déjà, la température moyenne a parfois augmenté à une vitesse vingt fois plus élevée, et ce à de nombreuses reprises. Ces phénomènes particuliers, qui n’ont pas fait disparaître la vie sur Terre, et que nous vous avions déjà mentionnés sur SCE (ici), sont appelés évènements de Dansgaard-Oeschger ou ‘DO’ (des noms des deux scientifiques -danois et suisse-  qui furent les premiers à les mettre en évidence) et sont reconnus par le GIEC. Comme nous allons vous le montrer dans le présent article, le taux de CO2 n’aurait qu’un rôle mineur dans ces évènements.

Figure 1. Stratigraphie isotopique de l’oxygène à partir des glaces du forage GRIP (Groenland).
En ordonnée valeurs du δ
18O en ‰ et en abscisse profondeur en mètres du forage (Cronin, 2010). Les compositions isotopiques de l’oxygène sont un indicateur de la température. La figure montre de manière très claire que l’interglaciaire actuel (Holocène, moitié gauche du graphique) est caractérisé par des fluctuations thermiques de faible amplitude (si l’on excepté un épisode plus froid vers 8,2 ka) alors que le Dernier Glaciaire (moitié droite du graphique) montre des changements climatiques fréquents, rapides et de grandes amplitudes (de 8°C à 16°C suivant les δ18O) enregistrés pas les événements ou ‘cycles’ DO (Dansgaard-Oeschger events). Nb: YD pour Younger Dryas, correspondant à un refroidissement il y a 12800 ans BP (non discuté dans cet article).

 

YOUNGER DRYAS — REWIND AND REPEAT

by Poppaloff, January 10, 2020 in Electroverse


If the historical data is anything to go by, magnetic reversals/excursions often lead to large-level extinction events. Mounting evidence also suggests that our sun micro-novas every 12,000 years, or thereabouts, and that these two events are linked. Earth’s temperature has been on a downward trend since the sharp-warming that followed the end of the Younger Dryas, indicating that this coming Grand Solar Minimum could steer us back into a major glaciation period, and another extinction event.

In their 2014 paper, a group of scientists which included UC Santa Barbara’s James Kennett, posited that a comet collision with Earth played a major role in the extinction. Their hypothesis suggests that a cosmic-impact-event caused the Younger Dryas period of global cooling close to 12,800 years ago. This cosmic impact resulted in abrupt environmental stress and degradation that contributed to the extinction of most large animal species then inhabiting the Americas. According to Kennett, the catastrophic impact and the subsequent climate change also led to the disappearance of the prehistoric Clovis culture, known for its big game hunting, and to human population decline.

 

Is coal power winning the US-China trade war?

by P.  Homewood, December 1, 2019 in NotaLotofPeopleKnowThat


China has signalled that coal power will be a top priority within national energy policy as the government prepares its next Five Year Plan (2021-25).

On 11 October, Premier Li Keqiang chaired a meeting of the National Energy Commission in Beijing that emphasised China’s energy security and coal utilisation and downplayed the importance of a rapid transition away from fossil fuels.

Each meeting of the commission, which was established in 2010 and has met only four times, has had a significant impact on policymaking. Chaired by Premier Li and attended by more than 20 chiefs of China’s ministries and bureaus, the commission is the top body for coordinating energy policy.

Why is energy security back at the top of the agenda?

Li told the conference: “The government should diversify energy supply to improve energy security… enhance domestic oil and gas exploration and development efforts, and promote oil and gas reserves and production, in order to improve oil and gas self-sufficiency”.

The renewed focus on energy security comes amid an increase in domestic consumption of oil and gas, which is largely being met through imports. China’s dependence on energy imports rose from 9% in 2014 to more than 20% in 2018.

China’s domestic crude oil production has declined and efforts to tap unconventional sources of natural gas, such as shale gas and coalbed methane, have faltered.

Other causes for concern lie outside China. The ongoing trade dispute with the US is a threat to the energy trade between the two superpowers, and supplies from the Middle East are at risk from mounting instability in the region.

WH’S “POLAR BEAR VIEWING SEASON” ENDS EARLY FOR THE THIRD YEAR IN A ROW BECAUSE OF TOO MUCH ICE!

by Cap Allon, November 19, 2019 in Electroverse


2019 is now the third year in a row in which the refreezing of Western Hudson Bay (WH) ice has come earlier than the 1980s average date of November 16, as reported by polarbearscience.com.

Livecams over at explore.org have confirmed a key indicator that the ice is back — the polar bears of WH have begun their winter trek back onto the bay.

The redeveloping sea ice may be good news for the bears, but it’s bad for tourists — after a short five months with the Sailors of the Floe on land, their departure now means the ‘polar bear viewing season’ in Churchill, Manitoba, is ending early, just as it did last year, and the year before. In fact, on the back of what have been five good sea ice seasons in succession for WH polar bears, this year’s repeat of an early freeze-up means a sixth good ice season is now likely for 2019-2020 — less kerching for the region.

Climategate And Post-Normal Science

by Michael Kile, November 16, 2019 in WUWT


It was an important moment in the Climategate saga. Yet few remember Jerome Ravetz’s damning critique of the University of East Anglia’s Climate Research Unit (CRU) posted on WUWT in early 2010.

Ravetz is an eminent American philosopher of science and an Associate Fellow at Oxford University’s James Martin Institute for Science and Civilisation. (Personal web page here; Oxford pages here and here.) For much of his career he has been challenging claims of scientific objectivity and developing a concept of “post-normal science” (PNS).

We can understand the root cause of Climategate as a case of scientists constrained to attempt to do normal science in a post-normal situation. But climate change had never been a really ‘normal’ science, because the policy implications were always present and strong, even overwhelming.  Indeed, if we look at the definition of ‘post-normal science’, we see how well it fits:  facts uncertain, values in dispute, stakes high, and decisions urgent.  In needing to treat Planet Earth like a textbook exercise, the climate scientists were forced to break the rules of scientific etiquette and ethics, and to play scientific power-politics in a way that inevitably became corrupt.  The combination of non-critical ‘normal science’ with anti-critical ‘evangelical science’ was lethal. (J Ravetz, WUWT, 9 February, 2010)

Some environmentalists had been using Ravetz’s PNS concept to drive a looser – more subjective – approach to decision-making under uncertainty, urging greater use of the so-called “precautionary principle”, a “principle” of pseudoscience, not genuine science.

The late Stephen Schneider (1945-2010), then Stanford University professor for Interdisciplinary Environmental Studies and editor of the journal Climatic Change, was one of them. He was also an IPCC lead author. Schneider advised other lead authors how to deal with uncertainty in a climate context in the IPCC’s Third and Fourth Assessment Reports.

Eocene Climatic Optima: Another Clean Kill of Carbon Dioxide-Driven Climate Change Hypothesis?

by David Middleton, September 30, 2019 in WUWT


Key points

  1. The Eocene was, on average, 4–15 °C warmer than today.
  2. Atmospheric CO2 was very likely in the 450-600 ppm range.
  3. Modern climate models would require 4,500 ppm CO2 to simulate the Eocene temperature range;
  4. And/or a climate sensitivity of 4-8 °C per doubling;
  5. And/or “that other climate forcings were stronger than previously assumed”.

They totally missed the most obvious reason why just about every effort to gin up a paleo example of CO2-driven climate change falls apart: Atmospheric CO2 is not a primary driver of climate change over geologic time. This wouldn’t mean that it isn’t a greenhouse gas or that it has no effect on temperature. It would simply mean that it was a relatively minor climate driver, like volcanic eruptions.

At some point over the past 30 years or so, the assumption that CO2 drives modern climate change has become a paradigm. And I think we have seen a rare failure in the application of the geologic principle of Uniformitarianism.

Uniformitarianism is often incorrectly cited as the reason geologists were slow to accept plate tectonics, the impact theory of the K-Pg extinction and why the hypotheses for a Younger Dryas impact and abiotic oil are generally unaccepted. However, Uniformitarianism may be why a CO2-driven climate paradigm appears to have come into wide acceptance, at least in academia.

Figure 3a. Marine pCO2 (foram boron δ11B, alkenone δ13C), atmospheric CO2 from plant stomata (green and yellow diamonds with red outlines), Mauna Loa instrumental CO2 (thick red line) and Cenozoic temperature change from benthic foram δ18O (light gray line).

 

Switching on the Atlantic heat pump

by Stockholm University, August 27, 2019 in WUWT/fromNature


34 million years ago the warm ‘greenhouse climate’ of the dinosaur age ended and the colder ‘icehouse climate’ of today commenced. Antarctica glaciated first and geological data imply that the Atlantic meridional overturning circulation, the global ocean conveyor belt of heat and nutrients that today helps keep Europe warm, also started at this time. Why exactly, has remained a mystery.

“We have found a new trigger to explain the start-up of the Atlantic current system during the greenhouse-icehouse climate transition: During the warm climate, buoyant fresh water flooded out of the Arctic and prevented the ocean-sinking that helps power the conveyor. We found that the Arctic-Atlantic gateway closed due to tectonic forces, causing a dramatic increase in North Atlantic salinity. This caused warming of the North Atlantic and Europe, and kickstarted the modern circulation that keeps Europe warm today,” says David Hutchinson, researcher at the Department of Geological Sciences, Stockholm University, and lead author of the article published in Nature Communications.

The team of scientists, from the Bolin Centre for Climate Research, used a combination of geophysical data and climate modelling to show that the freshwater transport through the Arctic-Atlantic gateway plays a critical role in controlling the overturning circulation.

‘MASSIVE POOL’ OF METHANE HIDDEN DEEP BENEATH EARTH’S SURFACE DISCOVERED BY SCIENTISTS

by Hannay Osborne, 21 August 2019 in Newsweek from PNAS


A huge source of methane has been discovered deep beneath the surface of Earth, sitting between the upper mantle and lower oceanic crust. The discovery is important as it could provide an insight into the hydrothermal vents that may have helped the planet’s first life emerge. Researchers also argue it could be a source of hydrogen and methane on other planets in the solar system—”even those where liquid water is no longer present.”

The ‘abiotic’ methane—methane that is not formed with organic matter—was found locked inside rocks. Researchers from the Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution (WHOI), Massachusetts, took 160 samples from hydrothermal sites across the globe, including the Mid-Atlantic Ridge, Guaymas Basin, the East Pacific Rise and the Mid-Cayman Rise. After analyzing them with a laser-based microscope, they found that almost all contained pockets of methane.

In their study, published in the journal PNAS, the team says this could be the biggest source of abiotic methane in the world. This reservoir, they say, could account for more methane than was in Earth’s atmosphere before the onset of the industrial era.

The methane appears to have formed by reactions between trapped water and olivine, a group of rock-forming minerals found in the planet’s subsurface. When seawater moves through the deep ocean crust, it mixes with magma-hot olivine. When the mineral cools, the water is trapped inside and a chemical reaction takes place, leading to the formation of hydrogen and methane.

Traditionally, we think of methane—a potent greenhouse gas—as forming when organic material breaks down. When it is emitted into the atmosphere, it has a warming effect far greater than carbon dioxide, although it is far shorter-lived than the latter, disappearing after about a decade.

However, methane is also known to exist on the seafloor. It is released through deep-sea vents—geothermally heated fissures on Earth’s crust. In 2016, scientists with the Ocean Exploration Trust discovered over 500 methane spewing vents off the west coast of the U.S.

However, the source of the seafloor methane has remained something of a mystery. “Identifying an abiotic source of deep-sea methane has been a problem that we’ve been wrestling with for many years,” study author Jeffrey Seewald, a senior scientist at WHOI, said in a statement.

Lead author Frieder Klein added: “We were totally surprised to find this massive pool of abiotic methane in the oceanic crust and mantle. Here’s a source of chemical energy that’s being created by geology.”

Fire from Ice: A Case Study of Methane Hydrates in the Eastern Mediterranean

by E. Zogopoulos, August 13, 2019 in EnergyIndustryeView


Methane hydrates is a source of methane gas which is found in crystalline formation that look like ice and can be found in permafrost regions or under the sea in outer continental margins.

We are living in times of fundamental changes in the energy landscape, driven by uncertainty, unstable energy prices, disruptive technologies, geopolitical gambits and subsequent attempts for regulatory interventions. While governments and corporations are trying to adjust to the new landscape and guess the name of the game, they need reliable sources of power to make predictions and critical strategic decisions.

Historical & geopolitical context

The era of hydrocarbons does not seem to be over, but there might be some indications in the horizon. We like it or not, they will still account for the vast majority of the global energy mix by 2050, despite significant breakthroughs in renewables. Many new players come in the energy market with the elusive promise of additional and cheaper resources and the will to disrupt the game – and eventually make money out of it.

Furthermore, the growing tension between public policy and private initiatives has been boiling and has been more than just an understatement for decades. The under-investment that we observe now due to lower prices and risks could become chronic and the global output of energy resources could lead to secure supply deficit.

Gas is believed to gradually replace coal, which is a source of distress for some existing players. The world is facing a proliferation of Liquified Natural Gas (LNG) supplies that are already impacting gas markets and competing with pipeline gas. Some of the largest and most significant consuming nations are contemplating reform or unbundling, which could mean some take or pay contracts become stranded and an increasing oil price is likely to reinforce the price arbitrage between long-term and spot pricing.

There is undeniably a constant call for further investments in renewables, but lower oil, gas and coal prices and increased efficiency (or very effective lobbying) might slow this down. The global players do take into consideration the call for renewables (like solar and wind energy), either for publicity purposes or even because they do believe that this could be the future.

 

Location of sampled and inferred methane hydrate occurrences in oceanic sediment of outer continental margins and permafrost regions. Most of the recovered methane hydrate samples have been obtained during deep coring projects or shallow seabed coring operations. Most of the inferred methane hydrate occurrences are sites at which bottom simulating reflectors (BSRs) have been observed on available seismic profiles. The methane hydrate research drilling projects and expeditions reviewed in this report have also been highlighted on this map. (Map courtesy of Timothy S. Collett, USGS)

Ten years of icy data show the flow of heat from the Arctic seafloor

by US Geological Survey, August 8, 2019 in ScienceDaily


Scientists have taken the temperature of a huge expanse of seafloor in the Arctic Ocean in new research by the U.S. Geological Survey and the Geological Survey of Canada. The study, published in the Journal of Geophysical Research, is accompanied by the release of a large marine heat flow dataset collected by the USGS from an ice island drifting in the Arctic Ocean between 1963 and 1973. These never-before-published data greatly expand the number of marine heat flow measurements in the high Arctic Ocean.

Marine heat flow data use temperatures in near-seafloor sediments as an indication of how hot Earth’s outer layer is. These data can be used to test plate tectonic theories, provide information on oil and gas reservoirs, determine the structure of rock layers and infer fluid circulation patterns through fractures in those rock layers.