(BIVN) – The collection of data for use in the decades-long record of atmospheric carbon dioxide, known famously as the Keeling Curve, was cut off on Monday night, as lava from the latest Mauna Loa eruption flows down the mountain.
The lava crossed the Mauna Loa Weather Observatory Road at approximately 8 p.m. in the evening, cutting off power to observatory facilities and equipment.
Researchers at Scripps Institution of Oceanography at UC San Diego, which started collecting the Keeling Curve data at the site in 1958, say they “are exploring options regarding the relocation of measurement equipment.” From the Tuesday announcement:
Does evidence of past extreme floods invalidate claims that climate change is making floods worse?
Could volcanic activity be a contributor to major floods in Australia? Australia is on the South Western edge of the Ring of Fire. While the Australian mainland is not very volcanically active, there have been some spectacular eruptions in our neighbourhood, such as the infamous Krakatoa eruption in 1883, or the 1815 Tambora Eruption, which is blamed for causing famine in the United States in 1816, “The Year Without a Summer”.
The Earth’s climate has undergone some big changes, from global volcanism to planet-cooling ice ages and dramatic shifts in solar radiation. And yet life, for the last 3.7 billion years, has kept on beating.
Now, a study by MIT researchers in Science Advances confirms that the planet harbors a “stabilizing feedback” mechanism that acts over hundreds of thousands of years to pull the climate back from the brink, keeping global temperatures within a steady, habitable range.
Just how does it accomplish this? A likely mechanism is “silicate weathering” — a geological process by which the slow and steady weathering of silicate rocks involves chemical reactions that ultimately draw carbon dioxide out of the atmosphere and into ocean sediments, trapping the gas in rocks.
Scientists have long suspected that silicate weathering plays a major role in regulating the Earth’s carbon cycle. The mechanism of silicate weathering could provide a geologically constant force in keeping carbon dioxide — and global temperatures — in check. But there’s never been direct evidence for the continual operation of such a feedback, until now.
The new findings are based on a study of paleoclimate data that record changes in average global temperatures over the last 66 million years. The MIT team applied a mathematical analysis to see whether the data revealed any patterns characteristic of stabilizing phenomena that reined in global temperatures on a geologic timescale.
Constantin W. Arnscheidt, Daniel H. Rothman. Presence or absence of stabilizing Earth system feedbacks on different time scales. Science Advances, 2022; 8 (46) DOI: 10.1126/sciadv.adc9241
Insights into the debate on whether the Holocene will be long or short.
Summary: Milankovitch Theory on the effects of Earth’s orbital variations on insolation remains the most popular explanation for the glacial cycle since the early 1970’s. According to its defenders, the main determinant of a glacial period termination is high 65° N summer insolation, and a 100 kyr cycle in eccentricity induces a non-linear response that determines the pacing of interglacials. Based on this theory some authors propose that the current interglacial is going to be a very long one due to a favorable evolution of 65° N summer insolation. Available evidence, however, supports that the pacing of interglacials is determined by obliquity, that the 100 kyr spacing of interglacials is not real, and that the orbital configuration and thermal evolution of the Holocene does not significantly depart from the average interglacial of the past 800,000 years, so there is no orbital support for a long Holocene.
The Earth was still in ice age conditions 14,700 to 12,900 years ago, or during the “Bolling interstadial.” CO2 hovered near 230 ppm at that time, and yet “continental Europe was a few degrees warmer than present” (Toth et al., 2022).
In recent years there have been multiple studies detailing a European climate that was as warm or warmer than today during the late Pleistocene ice age.
The latest study, Toth et al., 2022, uses chironomid proxy evidence to reconstruct summer temperatures at a lake site in the Eastern Carpathians.
These authors report that “continental Europe was a few degrees warmer than present during the Bolling interstadial,” and there were slightly (0.5°C) warmer-than-today periods (e.g., ~16,300 years ago) at the study site. The warming events were both pronounced (5°C) and abrupt.
The Early Jurassic Butcher Ridge Igneous Complex (BRIC) in the Transantarctic Mountains contains abundant and variably hydrated silicic glass which has the potential to preserve a rich paleoclimate record. Here we present Fourier Transform Infrared Spectroscopic data that indicates BRIC glasses contain up to ~8 wt.% molecular water (H2Om), and low (<0.8 wt.%) hydroxyl (OH) component, interpreted as evidence for secondary hydration by meteoric water. BRIC glasses contain the most depleted hydrogen isotopes yet measured in terrestrial rocks, down to δD = −325 ‰. In situ 40Ar/39Ar geochronology of hydrated glasses with ultra-depleted δD values yield ages from 105 Ma to 72 Ma with a peak at c. 91.4 Ma. Combined, these data suggest hydration of BRIC glasses by polar glacial ice and melt water during the Late Cretaceous, contradicting paleoclimate reconstructions of this period that suggest Antarctica was ice-free and part of a global hot greenhouse.
Climate change–induced mass extinctions provide unique opportunities to explore the impacts of global environmental disturbances on organismal evolution. However, their influence on terrestrial ecosystems remains poorly understood. Here, we provide a new time tree for the early evolution of reptiles and their closest relatives to reconstruct how the Permian-Triassic climatic crises shaped their long-term evolutionary trajectory. By combining rates of phenotypic evolution, mode of selection, body size, and global temperature data, we reveal an intimate association between reptile evolutionary dynamics and climate change in the deep past. We show that the origin and phenotypic radiation of reptiles was not solely driven by ecological opportunity following the end-Permian extinction as previously thought but also the result of multiple adaptive responses to climatic shifts spanning 57 million years.
Less than a year has passed since lava stopped sputtering from Iceland’s Reykjanes Peninsula following the first major volcanic outburst from this region in almost 800 years. But now the island is once again bleeding molten rock. The start of a new eruption so soon after unrest in 2021 seems to underscore that this once quiescent peninsula has awoken from its long slumber.
“This could herald the start of decades of occasional eruptions,” says Dave McGarvie, a volcanologist at Lancaster University.
The new eruption, which started at 1:18 p.m. local time on August 3, sent scarlet ribbons streaming from the base of a small mountain into the uninhabited Meradalir Valley. Located far from populations, the volcanic burbles likely pose little danger to the public, at least in the near term. And this relative safety allows scientists and tourists alike to marvel at the geologic majesty and get excited for a possible onslaught of new scientific knowledge.
After all, each volcanic eruption here provides a “window into the abyss,” McGarvie says. The 2021 event yielded revelations about the personality of the peninsula’s exuberant eruptions—from their physical behaviors to their quirky chemistries. This new eruption promises even more insights as the nascent volcano forges the world’s youngest land.
It’s still unclear how prolific or lengthy the eruption will be; this information will only come to light with more time and continued monitoring. But this week’s show of fireworks strongly hints the peninsula will become one of the most volcanically active parts of the planet for several generations.
The huge amount of water vapor hurled into the atmosphere, as detected by NASA’s Microwave Limb Sounder, could end up temporarily warming Earth’s surface.
When the Hunga Tonga-Hunga Ha’apai volcano erupted on Jan. 15, it sent a tsunami racing around the world and set off a sonic boom that circled the globe twice. The underwater eruption in the South Pacific Ocean also blasted an enormous plume of water vapor into Earth’s stratosphere – enough to fill more than 58,000 Olympic-size swimming pools. The sheer amount of water vapor could be enough to temporarily affect Earth’s global average temperature.
“We’ve never seen anything like it,” said Luis Millán, an atmospheric scientist at NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory in Southern California. He led a new study examining the amount of water vapor that the Tonga volcano injected into the stratosphere, the layer of the atmosphere between about 8 and 33 miles (12 and 53 kilometers) above Earth’s surface.
A new study (Boulila et al., 2022) suggests “abrupt and severe changes in Earth’s past climate” have been occurring at ~1,500-year periodicities since the iceless Jurassic period.
Warming events of degrees C per within decades or less were at one time thought to have occurred only at locations like Greenland and the North Atlantic during the last glacial period (70 to 12 thousand years ago).
But the evidence has been piling up from locations throughout the globe (e.g., on continents and tropical to high latitude oceans, lakes, and rivers) indicating these warming events have “a global interconnection between the two hemispheres.”
These “abrupt and severe” global warming events with ~1,500-year periodicities can even be traced back to the iceless Jurassic period when Antarctica was a rainforest and 38°C warmer than today. This suggests the driving force for these global warming periods were not dependent on ice sheet dynamics.
Earth’s past climate exhibits short-term (1500-year) pronounced fluctuations during the last glacial period, called Dansgaard–Oeschger (DO) glacial events, which have never been detected in pre-Quaternary times. The record of DO equivalent climate variability in Mesozoic strata can provide constraints on understanding these events. Here we highlight a prominent 1500-year cyclicity in a Jurassic (~ 155 Ma) ice-free sedimentary record from the Tethyan Basin. This Jurassic 1500-year cyclicity is encoded in high-resolution magnetic susceptibility (MS) proxy data reflecting detrital variations, and expressed as marl-limestone couplets. Additionally, MS data detect the modulation of these DO-scale couplets by supercouplet sets, reflecting the precession and its harmonics. We suggest that this Jurassic DO-like cyclicity may originate from paleo-monsoon-like system, analogous to the record of DO events in the Pleistocene East Asian monsoon archives. Paleogeographic reconstructions and atmosphere–ocean simulations further support the potential existence of strong, ancient monsoon circulations in the Tethyan Basin during the Jurassic.
During late 2021, the Hunga Tonga-Hunga Ha’apai submarine volcano erupted creating a new island which erupted sub-aerially on 15thJanuary, 2022 sending a plume 58 km above sea level penetrating the mesosphere. The study of observation records including satellite data has revealed warming of the ocean-surface layer followed by atmospheric cooling caused by the release of geothermal heat and volcanic materials entering the atmosphere respectively. Environmental factors influencing weather include the development of a relatively ‘short’ life-span South Pacific Blob; the transfer of large quantities of water vapour from the ocean into the atmosphere; the low-pressure condition on the ocean surface; the formation of clouds; the reduction of solar radiation caused by volcanic materials in the atmosphere; the strengthening of trade winds; the meandering of jet streams; the development of atmospheric rivers, the additional cooling effect of torrential rainfall, and, the switch to La Niña conditions. The record rainfall in eastern Australia and New Zealand and Tropical Cyclone Dovi occurring in February 2022 were both outcomes of atmospheric cooling following the sub-aerial eruption.
It is widely accepted that atmospheric pO2 < 1 ppm before the Great Oxidation Event. Yet a recent study found fossil micrometeorites (MMs) containing the oxidized iron species wüstite (FeO) and magnetite (Fe3O4) formed 2.7 billion years ago (Ga). How these MMs became oxidized is uncertain. Abundant O2 in the upper atmosphere and iron oxidation by CO2 have been suggested. However, photochemical reactions cannot produce sufficient O2, and oxidation by CO2 can only produce FeO, each individually failing to explain the formation of Fe3O4-only MMs. Using an oxidation model of iron MMs including photochemistry, we show that a >32% CO2 Archean atmosphere and different entry angles can generate the Fe3O4-only and Fe-FeO mixed composition MMs that have been discovered. Oxidation happens in two stages: by CO2 under brief melting, then by O2. Our results challenge existing constraints on Earth’s atmospheric CO2 concentration at 2.7 Ga and support a warm Late Archean despite the ‘faint young Sun’.
True primates appeared suddenly on all three northern continents during the 100,000-yr-duration Paleocene–Eocene Thermal Maximum at the beginning of the Eocene, ≈55.5 mya. The simultaneous or nearly simultaneous appearance of euprimates on northern continents has been difficult to understand because the source area, immediate ancestors, and dispersal routes were all unknown. Now, omomyid haplorhine Teilhardinais known on all three continents in association with the carbon isotope excursion marking the Paleocene–Eocene Thermal Maximum. Relative position within the carbon isotope excursion indicates that Asian Teilhardina asiatica is oldest, European Teilhardina belgicais younger, and North American Teilhardina brandti and Teilhardina americana are, successively, youngest. Analysis of morphological characteristics of all four species supports an Asian origin and a westward Asia-to-Europe-to-North America dispersal for Teilhardina. High-resolution isotope stratigraphy indicates that this dispersal happened in an interval of ≈25,000 yr. Rapid geographic dispersal and morphological character evolution in Teilhardina reported here are consistent with rates observed in other contexts.
Digital signal processing technology was used to analyze daily carbon dioxide data from the joint NOAA – Scripps Oceanographic Institution’s Global Monitoring Laboratory (MLO). The period surrounding the 1991 eruption of the Pinatubo volcano was rigorously analyzed for slope and acceleration of net global average atmospheric CO2 concentration and found to be consistent with the theory that Henry’s Law, the Law of Mass Action, and Le Chatelier’s principle control net global average atmospheric CO2 concentration rather than human-produced CO2 emissions. Background and theory are explained. A method of using common physics and math for a novel purpose is presented to compare natural CO2emission or absorption with human-produced CO2 emission. The claim that human-produced CO2 emission is causing increasing global CO2 concentration and climate change is shown to be without scientific merit.
Permafrost developed from Termination Ia (Bölling interstadial, 14.5 cal ka BP) in Northern Iceland, in answer to deglaciation. Permafrost persisted or even re-extended during the Preboreal cooling events (at 11.2, 10.3 and 9.3 cal ka BP) synchronic with pulsated glacial advances. It disappeared below 1000 masl during the Thermal Optimum (8-5 cal ka BP). The present-day re-extent was controlled with the cooling related with the Little Ice Age and particularily the Maunder solar Minimum. Continuous permafrost is stable above 1000 masl, but is today melting between 900 and 800 masl. Discontinuous permafrost is vanishing today with the recent climate warming (from 1970), especially in palsa bogs, and on valley slopes with thermokarstic mass wasting.
The recession of the Hornbreen-Hambergbreen glaciers (Hornsund, Svalbard) will lead to the formation of a strait between the Greenland and Barents Seas within a few decades. We provide evidence for the earlier existence of this strait, in the Early–Middle Holocene and presumably since 1.3 ka cal. BP until glacier advance 0.7 ± 0.3 ka or earlier. Radiocarbon dating of mollusc shells from the ground moraines in the Hornbreen forefield indicate the existence of the marine environment at the contemporary glacierized head of Hornsund since 10.9 ka cal. BP or earlier due to glacier retreat. The gap in the radiocarbon dates between 3.9 and 1.3 ka cal. BP and the published results of 10Be exposure dating on Treskelen suggest the strait’s closure after glacier advance in the Neoglacial. Subsequent re-opening occurred around 1.3 ka cal. BP, but according to 10Be dates from Treskelen, the strait has again been closed since ca. 0.7 ± 0.3 ka or earlier. The oldest known surge of Hornbreen occurred around 1900. Analysis of Landsat satellite images, morphometric indicators characterizing the glacier frontal zones and previous studies indicate one surge of Hambergbreen (1957–1968) and five re-advances of Hornbreen in the 20th century (after 1936, between 1958 and 1962, in 1986–1990, 1998–1999, 2011). While the warmer Holocene intervals might be a benchmark for the effects of future climate change, glacier dynamics in post-Little Ice Age climate warming seems to be an analogue of glacier retreats and re-advances in the earlier periods of the Holocene.
Yes, I do know that acceleration, technically, means just a change in velocity. But, in every day English, we use acceleration to mean an increase in velocity – speeding up — and deceleration as a decrease in velocity – slowing down. I mention acceleration and deceleration because one of the major talking points of IPCC reported findings about sea level rise, the incessant media mantra, is that “Sea Level Rise is Accelerating”. (here, here, here, here, here and hundreds more here)
Is sea level rising? Yes, of course it is. It has been rising since about 1750-1775, coinciding with the end of the Little Ice Age. This is widely accepted as shown below:
Received on 18 February 2022; revised on 20 March 2022; accepted on 22 March 2022
The “100,000-year problem” refers to an apparent unexplained change in the frequency of inter-glacial periods which occurred about a million years ago. Before that, inter-glacial periods seemed to occur about every 41,000 years, in line with the obliquity Milankovich cycle. But after that, they seemed to occur about every 100,000 years, in line with the orbital inclination Milankovich cycle. Examination of the data shows that there never was a 41,000-year cycle, and that there is no 100,000-year cycle, but that the most influential cycle is the approx 21,000-year precession cycle which is the major factor in the cycles of insolation at higher latitudes. Insolation at 65N is generally regarded as the most significant of these. Inspection of the data shows that every glacial termination (start of an inter-glacial period) began at a time when insolation at 65N increased from a low point in its cycle. That not every such cycle triggered a new inter-glacial period underlines the chaotic non-linear nature of Earth’s climate. Until about a million years ago, this cycle occasionally “missed a beat”, making the inter-glacial frequency average about 41,000 years. After that, the cycle started missing more “beats”, making the inter-glacial frequency average about 100,000 years. There never was an actual 41,000-year or 100,000-year inter-glacial cycle.
The West Antarctic Ice Sheet overlies the West Antarctic Rift System about which, due to the comprehensive ice cover, we have only limited and sporadic knowledge of volcanic activity and its extent. Improving our understanding of subglacial volcanic activity across the province is important both for helping to constrain how volcanism and rifting may have influenced ice-sheet growth and decay over previous glacial cycles, and in light of concerns over whether enhanced geothermal heat fluxes and subglacial melting may contribute to instability of the West Antarctic Ice Sheet. Here, we use ice-sheet bed-elevation data to locate individual conical edifices protruding upwards into the ice across West Antarctica, and we propose that these edifices represent subglacial volcanoes. We used aeromagnetic, aerogravity, satellite imagery and databases of confirmed volcanoes to support this interpretation. The overall result presented here constitutes a first inventory of West Antarctica’s subglacial volcanism. We identified 138 volcanoes, 91 of which have not previously been identified, and which are widely distributed throughout the deep basins of West Antarctica, but are especially concentrated and orientated along the >3000 km central axis of the West Antarctic Rift System.
Large volcanic eruptions occurring in the last glacial period can be detected by their accompanying sulfuric acid deposition in continuous ice cores. Here we employ continuous sulfate and sulfur records from three Greenland and three Antarctic ice cores to estimate the emission strength, the frequency and the climatic forcing of large volcanic eruptions that occurred during the second half of the last glacial period and the early Holocene, 60–9 kyr before 2000 CE (b2k). Over most of the investigated interval the ice cores are synchronized, making it possible to distinguish large eruptions with a global sulfate distribution from eruptions detectable in one hemisphere only. Due to limited data resolution and large variability in the sulfate background signal, particularly in the Greenland glacial climate, we only list Greenland sulfate depositions larger than 20 kg km−2 and Antarctic sulfate depositions larger than 10 kg km−2. With those restrictions, we identify 1113 volcanic eruptions in Greenland and 737 eruptions in Antarctica within the 51 kyr period – for which the sulfate deposition of 85 eruptions is found at both poles (bipolar eruptions). Based on the ratio of Greenland and Antarctic sulfate deposition, we estimate the latitudinal band of the bipolar eruptions and assess their approximate climatic forcing based on established methods. A total of 25 of the identified bipolar eruptions are larger than any volcanic eruption occurring in the last 2500 years, and 69 eruptions are estimated to have larger sulfur emission strengths than the Tambora, Indonesia, eruption (1815 CE). Throughout the investigated period, the frequency of volcanic eruptions is rather constant and comparable to that of recent times. During the deglacial period (16–9 ka b2k), however, there is a notable increase in the frequency of volcanic events recorded in Greenland and an obvious increase in the fraction of very large eruptions. For Antarctica, the deglacial period cannot be distinguished from other periods. This confirms the suggestion that the isostatic unloading of the Northern Hemisphere (NH) ice sheets may be related to the enhanced NH volcanic activity. Our ice-core-based volcanic sulfate records provide the atmospheric sulfate burden and estimates of climate forcing for further research on climate impact and understanding the mechanism of the Earth system.How to cite. Lin, J., Svensson, A., Hvidberg, C. S., Lohmann, J., Kristiansen, S., Dahl-Jensen, D., Steffensen, J. P., Rasmussen, S. O., Cook, E., Kjær, H. A., Vinther, B. M., Fischer, H., Stocker, T., Sigl, M., Bigler, M., Severi, M., Traversi, R., and Mulvaney, R.: Magnitude, frequency and climate forcing of global volcanism during the last glacial period as seen in Greenland and Antarctic ice cores (60–9 ka), Clim. Past, 18, 485–506, https://doi.org/10.5194/cp-18-485-2022,
IMAGE: LEAD AUTHOR SINJINI SINHA, A GRADUATE STUDENT AT THE UNIVERSITY OF TEXAS AT AUSTIN’S JACKSON SCHOOL OF GEOSCIENCES, EXAMINES IMAGES OF FOSSIL SPECIMENS IN THE SCANNING ELECTRON MICROSCOPE LAB. SINHA USED THE MICROSCOPE TO EXAMINE EXCEPTIONALLY PRESERVED FOSSILS AND LEARN MORE ABOUT THE FOSSILIZATION PROCESS.view more
CREDIT: THE UNIVERSITY OF TEXAS AT AUSTIN/JACKSON SCHOOL OF GEOSCIENCES.
Climate change can affect life on Earth. According to new research, it can also affect the dead.
A study of exceptionally preserved fossils led by a graduate student at The University of Texas at Austin has found that rising global temperatures and a rapidly changing climate 183 million years ago may have created fossilization conditions in the world’s oceans that helped preserve the soft and delicate bodies of deceased marine animals.
The fossils include squid-like vampyropods with ink sacs, ornate crustacean claws and fish with intact gills and eye tissue.
Despite being from different locations and marine environments, the fossils were all preserved in a similar manner. Geochemical analysis revealed that the conditions needed to preserve such captivating fossils could be connected to Earth’s climate.
“When I started the research, I had no idea if they would preserve the same way or a different way,” said lead author Sinjini Sinha, a graduate student at the UT Jackson School of Geosciences. “I was curious what led to the exceptional preservation.”
The study examined the rates and patterns of vertical land motion (VLM) on all locations on Earth’s land surface using GPS imaging. The team estimated the VLM at all tide gauges. The authors were able to make a global assessment of the budget of uplift and subsidence attributable to glacial isostatic adjustment (GIA) and non-GIA sources and provide maps and rates at over 2,300 tide gauges around the world.
The results led the authors to conclude that the surface motion of the continents is on average upward, implying that the unobserved areas (composed of the ocean basins and ice-covered areas) move on average downward with respect to Earth center.
Less than 1% of the stations are on track to reach the IPCC projection
Other scientific studies show zero or even negatively accelerating sea level rise at many locations measured by tide gauges. See here.
For example, the NOAA keeps a coastal station tide list for tracking global linear relative sea level (RSL). The data and charts can be looked at country-by-country here. Overall, only 3 stations show a RSL rise of 7.5 mm/year or more, meaning only three stations (0.08%) are on track to reach the IPCC’s alarmist 75 cm sea level rise projection by 2100.
And if we use the more conservative and realistic 60 cm rise, only 5 stations (1.4%) are on track.
However, after correcting for the GIA the reverse is true, and observed areas subside on average implying that the unobserved areas undergo net non-GIA-related uplift.
Radiocarbon dating from a prehistoric cemetery in Northern Russia reveals human stress caused by a global cooling event 8,200 years ago Early hunter gatherers developed more complex social systems and, unusually, a large cemetery when faced by climate
It reveals, new radiocarbon dates show the large Early Holocene cemetery of Yuzhniy Oleniy Ostrov, at Lake Onega, some 500 miles north of Moscow, previously thought to have been in use for many centuries, was, in fact, used for only one to two centuries. Moreover, this seems to be in response to a period of climate stress.
Researchers in Japan, Sweden, and the US have unearthed evidence that low volcanic temperatures led to the fourth mass extinction, enabling dinosaurs to flourish during the Jurassic period.
Large volcanic eruptions create climatic fluctuations, ushering in evolutionary changes. Yet it is the volcanic temperature of the eruption that determines whether the climate cools or warms.
Since the emergence of early animals, five mass extinctions have taken place. The fourth mass extinction occurred at the end of the Triassic Period – roughly 201 million years ago. This mass extinction saw many marine and land animals go extinct, especially large-body, crocodilian-line reptiles known as pseudosuchia. Approximately 60-70% of animal species disappeared. As a result, small bodied dinosaurs were able to grow and prosper.
Scientists think the fourth mass extinction was triggered by the eruptions in the Central Atlantic Magmatic Province – one of the largest regions of volcanic rock. But the correlation between the eruption and mass extinction has not yet been clarified.
Using analysis of sedimentary organic molecules and a heating experiment, current professor emeritus at Tohoku University, Kunio Kaiho and his team demonstrated how low temperature magma slowly heated sedimentary rocks, causing high sulfur dioxide (SO2) and low carbon dioxide emissions (CO2).
La géologie, une science plus que passionnante … et diverse