Archives de catégorie : climate and geology


by Maja Sojtaric, June 27, 2017

The Eurasian ice sheet was an enormous conveyor of ice that covered most of northern Europe some 23,000 years ago. Its extent was such that one could have skied 4,500 km continuously across it – from the far southwestern isles in Britain to Franz Josef Land in the Siberian Arctic. Suffice to say its existence had a massive and extremely hostile impact on Europe at the time.

This ice sheet alone lowered global sea-level by over 20 meters. As it melted and collapsed, it caused severe flooding across the continent, led to dramatic sea-level rise, and diverted mega-rivers that raged on the continent. A new model, investigating the retreat of this ice sheet and its many impacts has just been published in Quaternary Science Reviews.

Global versus Greenland Holocene Temperatures

by Andy May, June 19, 2017 i

Last week, I posted a global temperature reconstruction based mostly on Marcott, et al. 2013 proxies. The post can be found here. In the comments on the Wattsupwiththat post there was considerable discussion about the difference between my Northern Hemisphere mid-latitude (30°N to 60°N) and the GISP2 Richard Alley central Greenland temperature reconstruction (see here for the reference and data). See the comments by Dr. Don Easterbrook and Joachim Seifert (weltklima) here and here, as well as their earlier comments.

Earth Is Not in the Midst of a Sixth Mass Extinction

by Peter Brannen, June 14, 2017

“It is absolutely critical to recognize that I am NOT claiming that humans haven’t done great damage to marine and terrestrial [ecosystems], nor that many extinctions have not occurred and more will certainly occur in the near future. But I do think that as scientists we have a responsibility to be accurate about such comparisons.”

Many popular science articles take this as a given, and indeed, there’s something emotionally satisfying about the idea that humans’ hubris and shortsightedness are so profound that we’re bringing down the whole planet with us.

A Holocene Temperature Reconstruction Part 4: The global reconstruction

by Andy May, June 9, 2017 in WUWT

In previous posts (here, here and here), we have shown reconstructions for the Antarctic, Southern Hemisphere mid-latitudes, the tropics, the Northern Hemisphere mid-latitudes, and the Arctic. Here we combine them into a simple global temperature reconstruction. The five regional reconstructions are shown in figure 1. The R code to map the proxy locations, the references and metadata for the proxies, and the global reconstruction spreadsheet can be downloaded here

A Holocene Temperature Reconstruction Part 3: The NH and Arctic

by Andy May, June 8, 2017 in WUWT

As we did in the previous two posts, we will examine each proxy and reject any that have an average time step greater than 130 years or if it does not cover at least part of the Little Ice Age (LIA) and the Holocene Climatic Optimum (HCO). We are looking for coverage from 9000 BP to 500 BP or very close to these values. Only simple statistical techniques that are easy to explain will be used.


The Correlation of Seismic Activity and Recent Global Warming

by Arthur Viterito, April 25, 2016 in J. of Earth Sc. & Climatic Change

Earth’s climate is a remarkably “noisy” system, driven by scores of oscillators, feedback mechanisms, and radiative forcings. Amidst all this noise, identifying a solitary input to the system (i.e., HGFA MAG4/6 seismic activity as a proxy for geothermal heat flux) that explains 62% of the variation in the earth’s surface temperature is a significant finding. Additionally, the 1997/1998 SIENA was a strong signal for subsequent global warming, and this type of seismic jump may provide valuable predictive information

Threshold in North Atlantic-Arctic Ocean circulation controlled by the subsidence of the Greenland-Scotland Ridge

by Michael Stars et al., June 5, 2017 in Nature Communication

High latitude ocean gateway changes are thought to play a key role in Cenozoic climate evolution. However, the underlying ocean dynamics are poorly understood. Here we use a fully coupled atmosphere-ocean model to investigate the effect of ocean gateway formation that is associated with the subsidence of the Greenland–Scotland Ridge. We find a threshold in sill depth (50 m) that is linked to the influence of wind mixing.

A Holocene Temperature Reconstruction Part 1: the Antarctic

by Andy May, June1, 2017

The Marcott, et al. 2013 worldwide reconstruction has its problems, but many of the proxies used in the reconstruction are quite good and very usable.

The Antarctic reconstruction created here is comparable to previous temperature reconstructions, especially those focusing on eastern Antarctica. It shows two climatic optima, one from 11500 BP to 9000 BP and another from 6000 BP to 3000 BP. In eastern Antarctica, using our proxies, the later optimum is warmer. But, in other areas the earlier optimum is warmer, however, the difference is small

Constraining climate sensitivity and continental versus seafloor weathering using an inverse geological carbon cycle model

by J. Krissansen-Totton and D.C. Catling, May 22,  2017, in Nature

The relative influences of tectonics, continental weathering and seafloor weathering in controlling the geological carbon cycle are unknown. Here we develop a new carbon cycle model that explicitly captures the kinetics of seafloor weathering to investigate carbon fluxes and the evolution of atmospheric CO2 and ocean pH since 100 Myr ago.

Porewater salinity reveals past lake-level changes in Lake Van, the Earth’s largest soda lake

by Yama Tomonaga et al., March 22, 2017, Nature

In closed-basin lakes, sediment porewater salinity can potentially be used as a conservative tracer to reconstruct past fluctuations in lake level. However, until now, porewater salinity profiles did not allow quantitative estimates of past lake-level changes because, in contrast to the oceans, significant salinity changes (e.g., local concentration minima and maxima) had never been observed in lacustrine sediments. Here we show that the salinity measured in the sediment pore water of Lake Van (Turkey) allows straightforward reconstruction of two major transgressions and a major regression that occurred during the last 250 ka.

A paleo-perspective on ocean heat content: Lessons from the Holocene and Common Era

by Yair Rosenthal et al., January 1, 2017


Here we review proxy records of intermediate water temperatures from sediment cores in the equatorial Pacific and northeastern Atlantic Oceans, spanning 10,000 years beyond the instrumental record.

These records suggests that intermediate waters were 1.5–2 °C warmer during the Holocene Thermal Maximum than in the last century.

Intermediate water masses cooled by 0.9 °C from the Medieval Climate Anomaly to the Little Ice Age.


Shelf sediments reveal climate shifts through the eons

by University of Queensland, May 10, 2017, in DailyScience

Ms Korpanty said global climate underwent significant change about 14 million years ago when the Antarctic ice sheet expanded.

“The new study presents shallow-marine sediment records from the Australian continental shelf, providing the first empirical evidence linking high-altitude cooling around Antarctica to climate change in the subtropics during the Miocene era,” she said.

Taking The Economist to Task for Unfounded Climate Catastrophe Fearmongering

by   Dr. John D. Harper, FGSA,FGAC, PGeol., former director of the Geological Survey of Canada © May 2017

I have recently been asked to comment on three articles published in The Economist. My background for such a response is as a Professor of Petroleum Geology and Sedimentology (ret.), a former Director-Energy for the Geological Survey of Canada, a former researcher in industry, and as an academic researcher on sea level changes and climate documentation through geologic time, Natural Resources of the Future and a couple of decades of studies in the Arctic.

1) Skating on thin ice: The thawing Arctic threatens an environmental catastrophe. Apr 27, 2017

2) The Arctic as it is known today is almost certainly gone. April 29, 2017

3) Thaw point: As the Arctic melts the world’s weather suffers. April 29, 2017