Archives de catégorie : climate and geology

HOW THE EARTH BECAME A HOTHOUSE BY H2O

by Wim Röst, June 15, 2018 in WUWT


Water, H2O, determines the ‘General Background Temperature’ for the Earth, resulting in Hothouse and Ice House Climate States. During geological periods the movement of continents changes the position of
continents, oceans and seas. Because of the different configurations, a dominant warm or a dominant cold deep-water production configuration ‘sets’ average temperatures for the deep oceans. Changing vertical oceanic circulation changes surface temperatures, especially in the higher latitudes. During a Hot House State, higher temperatures in the high latitudes result in a high water-vapor concentration that prevents a rapid loss of thermal energy by the Earth.

These three processes, plate tectonics (continental drift), vertical oceanic circulation variability and variations in atmospheric water vapor concentration and distribution, caused previous Hot House and Warm House Climate States. A change in the working of those mechanisms resulted in a transition from the previous Hot House Climate State to the very cold ‘Ice House State’ that we live in now. That change was set in motion by the changing configuration of continents, oceans and seas.

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Volcanic activity, declining ocean oxygen triggered mass extinction of ancient organisms

by Florida State University, June 11, 2018 in ScienceDaily


Global climate change, fueled by skyrocketing levels of atmospheric carbon dioxide, is siphoning oxygen from today’s oceans at an alarming pace — so fast that scientists aren’t entirely sure how the planet will respond.

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Millions of years ago, scientists discovered, powerful volcanoes pumped Earth’s atmosphere full of carbon dioxide, draining the oceans of oxygen and driving a mass extinction of marine organisms.

When Eruptions Don’t

by Willis Essenbach, May 29, 2018 in WUWT


Inspired by Richard Keen’s interesting WUWT post on using eclipses to determine the clarity of the atmosphere, I went to the website of the Hawaiian Mauna Loa Observatory. They have some very fascinating datasets. One of them is a measurement of direct solar radiation, minute by minute, since about 1980.

I thought that I could use that dataset to determine the clarity of the atmosphere by looking at the maximum downwelling solar energy on a month by month basis. I’ve described my method of extracting the maximum solar energy from the minute by minute data in the appendix for those interested.

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The gypsum gravity chute: A phytoplankton-elevator to the ocean floor

by

Alfred Wegener Institute, Helmholtz Centre for Polar and Marine Research, May 22, 2018 in ScienceDaily


When marine algae die, they usually float in slow motion to the ocean’s depths. However, during an expedition with the research icebreaker Polarstern to the Arctic in the spring of 2015, scientists from the Alfred Wegener Institute, Helmholtz Centre for Polar and Marine Research (AWI) discovered a phenomenon that significantly accelerate this transport: tiny gypsum crystals, which form during the freezing of salt in the porous spaces of Arctic sea ice, weigh down the phytoplankton like heavy ballast, pulling them to the bottom within a matter of hours. The effect is like an express elevator for the carbon they contain. “This mechanism was previously completely unknown,” says marine bio-geologist Dr Jutta Wollenburg … (…)

Earth’s orbital changes have influenced climate, life forms for at least 215 million years

by Columbia University, May 7, 2018 inPhysOrg


Scientists drilling deep into ancient rocks in the Arizona desert say they have documented a gradual shift in Earth’s orbit that repeats regularly every 405,000 years, playing a role in natural climate swings. Astrophysicists have long hypothesized that the cycle exists based on calculations of celestial mechanics, but the authors of the new research have found the first verifiable physical evidence. They showed that the cycle has been stable for hundreds of millions of years, from before the rise of dinosaurs, and is still active today. The research may have implications not only for climate studies, but our understanding of the evolution of life on Earth, and the evolution of the Solar System. It appears this week in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences.

Read more here

Tiny fossils unlock clues to Earth’s climate half a billion years ago

by University of Leicester, May 9, 2018 in ScienceDaily


The research, published in Science Advances, suggests that early animals diversified within a climate similar to that in which the dinosaurs lived.

This interval in time is known for the ‘Cambrian explosion’, the time during which representatives of most of the major animal groups first appear in the fossil record. These include the first animals to produce shells, and it is these shelly fossils that the scientists used.

Data from the tiny fossil shells, and data from new climate model runs, show that high latitude (~65 °S) sea temperatures were in excess of 20 °C. This seems very hot, but it is similar to more recent, better understood, greenhouse climates like that of the Late Cretaceous Period.

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West Antarctic Volcano and Fault Belt Part of ‘Pacific Ring of Fire’

by J.E. Kamis, May 7, 2018 in ClimateChangeDispatch


The inclusion of the here-termed West Antarctic Volcano and Fault Belt into the Pacific Ring of Fire will raise scientific awareness concerning the idea, as per the Plate Climatology Theory, that geologically induced heat flow is the root cause of many anomalous changes in Antarctica’s ecosystems, oceans, climate, and ice masses.

Did the transition to plate tectonics cause Neoproterozoic Snowball Earth?

by R.J. Stern and N.M. Miller, December 20, 2017 in TerraNova


When Earth’s tectonic style transitioned from stagnant lid (single plate) to the modern episode of plate tectonics is important but unresolved, and all lines of evidence should be considered, including the climate record. The transition should have disturbed the oceans and atmosphere by redistributing continents, increasing explosive arc volcanism, stimulating mantle plumes and disrupting climate equilibrium established by the previous balance of silicate‐weathering greenhouse gas feedbacks. Formation of subduction zones would redistribute mass sufficiently to cause true polar wander if the subducted slabs were added in the upper mantle at intermediate to high latitudes. The Neoproterozoic Snowball Earth climate crisis may reflect this transition. The transition to plate tectonics is compatible with nearly all proposed geodynamic and oceanographic triggers for Neoproterozoic Snowball Earth events, and could also have contributed to biological triggers. Only extraterrestrial triggers cannot be reconciled with the hypothesis that the Neoproterozoic climate crisis was caused by a prolonged (200–250 m.y.) transition to plate tectonics.

How Oman’s Rocks Could Help Save the Planet

by Henri Fountain, April 26, 2018 in TheNewYorkTimes


IBRA, Oman — In the arid vastness of this corner of the Arabian Peninsula, out where goats and the occasional camel roam, rocks form the backdrop practically every way you look.

But the stark outcrops and craggy ridges are more than just scenery. Some of these rocks are hard at work, naturally reacting with carbon dioxide from the atmosphere and turning it into stone.

Veins of white carbonate minerals run through slabs of dark rock like fat marbling a steak. Carbonate surrounds pebbles and cobbles, turning ordinary gravel into natural mosaics.

Even pooled spring water that has bubbled up through the rocks reacts with CO2 to produce an ice-like crust of carbonate that, if broken, re-forms within days.

Scientists say that if this natural process, called carbon mineralization, could be harnessed, accelerated and applied inexpensively on a huge scale — admittedly some very big “ifs” — it could help fight climate change. Rocks could remove some of the billions of tons of heat-trapping carbon dioxide that humans have pumped into the air since the beginning of the Industrial Age.

And by turning that CO2 into stone (…)

MSM: Eleven Minute Friendly Interview with Climate Skeptic Ian Plimer

by Eric Worrall, April 16, 2018 in WUWT


Sky News, one of Australia’s most popular news services, just gave climate skeptic and geologist Ian Plimer an honest opportunity to explain what is wrong with Australia’s climate obsessed energy policies.

Geologist Ian Plimer told The Outsiders that Energy Minister Josh Frydenberg had caught himself ‘between a rock and a hard place’ when it comes to the government’s energy policies. Mr Plimer said it wasn’t possible for the energy market to provide cheap and reliable energy, but also reduce emissions.

Largest High-Arctic Lake Melting From Geothermal Heat, Not Global Warming

by James E. Kamis, April 16, 2018  in ClimateChangeDispatch


Recent changes to Lake Hazen, the world’s largest high-Arctic lake, are from increased heat flow from the area’s known geological features, and not from global warming as per the many alarmist media reports.

Evidence supporting this is abundant and reliable.

Northeast Canada’s Lake Hazen lies adjacent to the world-class Greenland/Iceland mantle plume.

Mountain erosion may add CO2 to the atmosphere

by Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution, April 12, 2018 in ScienceDaily


Scientists have long known that steep mountain ranges can draw carbon dioxide (CO2) out of the atmosphere — as erosion exposes new rock, it also starts a chemical reaction between minerals on hill slopes and CO2 in the air, ‘weathering’ the rock and using CO2 to produce carbonate minerals like calcite.

“Welcome to the Fabulous Anthropocene!”

by D. Middleton, April 12, 2018 in WUWT


Just to demonstrate that the American Association of Petroleum Geologists (AAPG) maintains an open mind about things, I thought I would share an recent AAPG Explorerarticle on the notion of establishing a formal geological epoch in honor of human beings…

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I genuinely believe that these folks simply can’t grasp the concept of resolution.  This is a pervasive problem in the climate “science” community and will continued to feed claims of “unprecedented” changes in [fill in the blank] until we have about 1,000 years of high resolution instrumental data.