Quake n' Bake: Global Warming Causes More Energetic Earthquakes?

At first, when I got an email message pointing out this topic of global warming driving more earthquake energy, I thought it was satire. Then I saw it was on CBS News, so I knew it couldn’t be satire, but something else altogether. I’ll leave deciding what that is up to you the reader.

Today’s Quakes Deadlier Than In Past

Study: Seismic Activity 5 Times More Energetic Than 20 Years Ago Because Of Global Warming

June 18th full story is here

New research compiled by Australian scientist Dr. Tom Chalko shows that global seismic activity on Earth is now five times more energetic than it was just 20 years ago.


“The most serious environmental danger we face on Earth may not be climate change, but rapidly and systematically increasing seismic, tectonic and volcanic activity,” said Dr. Chalko.

“Increase in the annual energy of earthquakes is the strongest symptom yet of planetary overheating. “

In related news:

Energy release from earthquakes may be up since 1990, but it is still below levels early in the 1900s; see the graph from this page:


Source data: USGS

Click for a larger image

Estimated total annual earthquake energy release (magnitude 8 earthquake = 1 = 1,000 magnitude 6 earthquakes) in red; 7-year average in grey.

Click for a larger image

Annual earthquake death rate per million population in red; smoothed rates in grey (specifically, linear smoothing with 7-year Hann window). Note logarithmic scale.

UPDATE: I resisted my primal urges of expression on this subject, figuring others with such skills would take care of that for me. Strangely, I now find myself in my first ever agreement with BigCityLib, on this issue.

UPDATE2: Junkscience.com reports that Hansen’s modeling may be the impetus for this idea:

We’ve probably had enough fun at Chalko’s expense but should point out his ‘research’ is based on totally flawed model output from none other than Hansen himself. Remember the infamous “smoking gun” release? In Earth’s Energy Imbalance: Confirmation and Implications Hansen, et al, state: “Our climate model, driven mainly by increasing human-made greenhouse gases and aerosols, among other forcings, calculates that Earth is now absorbing 0.85 ± 0.15 watts per square meter more energy from the Sun than it is emitting to space. This imbalance is confirmed by precise measurements of increasing ocean heat content over the past 10 years.” This is the source of Chalko’s “NASA measurements from space confirm that Earth as a whole absorbs at least 0.85 Megawatt per square kilometer more energy from the Sun than it is able to radiate back to space. This ‘thermal imbalance’ means that heat generated in the planetary interior cannot escape and that the planetary interior must overheat. Increase in seismic, tectonic and volcanic activities is an unavoidable consequence of the observed thermal imbalance of the planet” Unfortunately for Tom, they aren’t “NASA measurements from space” but Hansen’s crappy model output and it’s quite wrong.

When the “Energy Imbalance” paper was written the model output was a fair wiggle-fit with Willis (2004) and Levitus (2004). Like all happy accidents, however, this good thing came to an end, too. We’ll let Professor Roger Pielke, Sr., do the honors:

The Correction To The Lyman Et Al 2006 Paper Is Available – The correction to the Lyman et al paper “Recent cooling of the upper ocean” is available. It is “Correction to ‘Recent Cooling of the Upper Ocean’” by Josh K. Willis, John M. Lyman, Gregory C. Johnson and John Gilson. While this correction eliminates the cooling that they reported in the 2006 paper, the warming of the 1990s and very early 2000s has not continued. This absence of global ocean warming (which is consistent with the absence of a significant global average sea surface temperature anomaly trend for the last few years) is a challenge to the modelers and to the conclusions of the IPCC with respect to the ability to skillfully predict global warming. Indeed, it appears that with respect to the challenge on Climate Science of A Litmus Test For Global Warming – A Much Overdue Requirement, the models have failed so far. (Climate Science)


AS OF 11:20AM PST 6/19/08 CBS NEWS HAS PULLED THE STORY! The link no longer works!


Here is proof however of it’s existence, a small screen cap. Did anyone make any larger ones?

MORE: Associated Press (AP) has also pulled the story:

Story not found in searches at www.ap.org using “Tom Chalko”  “earthquake global warming”
for earthquake(s) we find many stories either side of it
But nothing on the Chalko “earthquakes and global warming” story
FINAL UPDATE: This was never an AP story, which is why it was not found in searches. See the latest on this story in my latest post.
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Pieter Folkens
June 19, 2008 12:34 am

It’s a coincidence, a correlation too, but hard to sell as causation. And the hyperbole is tough to swallow (“strongest symptom yet of planetary overheating”). The gentleman’s graph of annual energy release shows an extreme around 1906, but it wasn’t really warmer then. The premise doesn’t seem to hold up. A better explanation is the “earthquake shadow” theory. When an immense amount of stress is released (as happened with the San Andreas slip in 1906) it takes many decades (typically a century or more) for stress to build up again before another major slip or increased seismic activity. Following the San Andreas (aka San Francisco) quake, there was an 85 year shadow of relatively low activity. It was just coincidence that seismic activity increased during the warming of the 1990s. This is likely a local phenom, but it does seem that when the eastern Pacific Rim faults move, it leads to increased activity along the eastern rim (US west coast).

Mike Bryant
June 19, 2008 1:28 am

Perhaps even the plagues of Egypt were caused by Global Warming. Those Pharoahs were notorious for causing many changes to Gaia. The pyramids, and related construction projects surely affected that ancient environment in terrible ways. Heck, man, it is STILL hot in egypt…

Stef Pugsley
June 19, 2008 1:52 am

Why am I suddenly reminded of the graph clearly proving that the reduction in pirates causes global warming?

June 19, 2008 2:01 am

You need to go to his website to see what he get up to. http://sci-e-research.com/ He’s barking mad, although his vibration analysis stuff looks quite good.

June 19, 2008 3:02 am

The very idea that a temperature change of a few tenths of a degree would affect the motion of lithospheric plates thousands of kilometers across and hundreds of kilometers thick, or change the friction in faults tens of kilometers down where the temperature is a couple of hundred degrees is utterly absurd.
This is however really worrisome, not because of the story itself, which is 100% pure bullshit, but because it shows that the “mainstream” media will believe and repeat absolutely anything about AGW without checking or thinking.
I should say the moral is: Never believe anything you hear on CBS.

Leon Brozyna
June 19, 2008 3:44 am

I know what I want to say; however, you may not approve of such an outburst, resulting in numerous lines of text being filled with asterisks as I describe this ******* by this *******, etc.
When reading this, I was reminded of an article from May 2001 by the same person that suggests that global warming will cause the earth to explode.
This article as well as last month’s article on earthquakes can be found, in pdf form, at
Everyone can read the full text of each article and judge for themselves.
BTW, I first saw that bit on the earth exploding on a list of all things being caused by global warming at

Dave Andrews
June 19, 2008 4:09 am

Dr Chalko and his “research” are thoroughly debunked on Climate Audit.
The wonder, or should that be worry, of it is that supposedly reputable media outlets gave the story any credence.

June 19, 2008 4:17 am

This is a joke, right? It’s got to be one of those fake bait stories like the bacteria one put out last year. Right?

June 19, 2008 4:24 am

Has anybody looked at the level of coupling between the Earth’s and Sun’s magnetic fields, and whether there’s enough energy involved and variation in the right place to be a factor?

Dick Henderson
June 19, 2008 4:24 am

Hmmm… I know I will be paying attention to EQ activity as the solar system passes through the galactic equator in 2012. I am also wondering about disturbances in the Oort cloud.

June 19, 2008 4:34 am

This is funny, I’ve noticed an increase in the intensity of my belches. Now it could always be because I’ve been drinking more soda, but I chalk it up to global warming overheating my insides and causing me to expel all that excess air in a crude manner.
BTW, I was sure it was a satire the first time I saw it too.

Pete Walker
June 19, 2008 4:38 am

With a quick eyeball of this, it looks as though its an inverse of solar activity, during the same period i.e.
more solar activity = less earthquakes
less solar activity = more earthquakes
It would be interesting to see the two overlaid.
The above story, definitely a case of 1+1 = 3
PS, Great site, I enjoy reading the posts and comments

Tom Bruno
June 19, 2008 4:38 am

The 100 year graph shows a perfect example of how a short term fluctuation was used to produce a dramatic story line.

Bruce Cobb
June 19, 2008 4:53 am

Just when I thought AGWers couldn’t get any dumber, they go and raise the dumbness bar further. They are making a mockery of science. A phantom menace causes everything bad. AGW is a one-size-fits-all bogeyman, seemingly intent on dragging science back to the Dark Ages.

June 19, 2008 4:56 am

That’s just great; Australia can now lay claim to 2 of AGW’s weirdest scientific advocates; Tim Flannery and this guy, Tom Chalko.
Oh well, better add it to the list:

June 19, 2008 5:11 am

Well I thought Flannery may have taken the cake as the most idiotic of AGW scientists for wanting to put sulphur into the sky to make it cooler, and for predicting a couple of years ago that Australian capital cities would be uninhabitable due to drought, but I think he is surpassed by this Chalko nut;

Martin Johnston
June 19, 2008 5:21 am

Maybe earthquakes cause global warming.

June 19, 2008 5:43 am

What do you say to stories like this except that it’s utter crap.
The whole hypothesis falls apart when put beside your graph above that shows much higher energy within the last century. Perhaps that’s why Chalko only goes back 20 years
“The most serious environmental danger we face on Earth may not be climate change, but rapidly and systematically increasing seismic, tectonic and volcanic activity,”….says it all, I think Chalko is looking for more funding?

June 19, 2008 5:45 am

This is a stupid idea and in ten years’ time people will be amazed that scientists ever came up with rubbish like this.

June 19, 2008 5:47 am

I think I smell a new UN protocol.
How does the “San Fran Protocol” sound? Will it involve trading Quake Credits with geologically stable countries?

June 19, 2008 5:56 am

Chalko also has a paper out entitled “No second chance?Can Earth explode as a result of Global Warming? “.
Its baloney and frankly these media outlets should be hanging their heads in shame.

June 19, 2008 5:56 am

My initial reaction is skeptical.
A poster at CBS referenced http://nujournal.net/ and among Chalko’s other papers is one about the risk of Earth’s core overheating due to global warming:

This article examines the possibility of overheating and the ”meltdown” of the solid planetary core due to the atmospheric pollution trapping progressively more solar heat (the so-called greenhouse effect) and reducing the cooling rate of the planetary interior.
The most serious consequence of such a ”meltdown” could be centrifugal segregation of unstable isotopes in the molten part of the spinning planetary core. Such segregation can ”enrich” the nuclear fuel in the core to the point of creating conditions for a chain reaction and a gigantic atomic explosion. Will Earth become another ”asteroid belt” in the Solar system?

My current reaction in incredulity. His claim is (and he has math to back it up) is that

The cooling of the reactor called Earth is determined and controlled by the atmosphere. It is well known today that burning fossil fuels on a large scale produces large amounts of gasses that make the atmosphere ”trap” progressively more solar heat. This increased capacity of the atmosphere to hold more of the solar heat is called today the ”greenhouse effect”. Any reduction of the cooling capacity of the atmosphere causes a corresponding increase of the interior temperatures. Appendix 1 clearly demonstrates that the tiniest reduction in the cooling capacity of a spherical reactor, when sustained for a sufficiently long time, causes extreme temperature increases at the center of the reactor.

I’ll certainly disagree with heat flow across a slab – an increase of 1 degree on the cooling side will mean an increase of 1 degree on the warming side. It may be that in a spherical case the temperature at the core would increase more, but convection and the little issue that at r = 0, the volume enclosed is also 0 and it doesn’t matter what temperature it is.
He also says that fission reactors are driven by energy input by fast neutrons. If I recall my high school readings and whatnot, that’s patently false. Fission releases fast neutrons and they have to be “thermalized” to slow them down to a point where the next nucleus can absorb one. The transmutation results in an unstable isotope (and I guess energy state) and that cause the next fission. I’m probably wrong on a few details there – an unstable isotope should emit an alpha or beta particle.
As for whether global warming leads to more earthquake activity, let me just point out that a handful of random magnitude 7-8 earthquakes can badly skew an annual average and that a large earthquake on a long fault can lead to more strain on adjacent regions and lead to a greater than average rate of earthquakes for decades. There’s a fault in Turkey that has had devastating quakes and they’re getting closer to Istanbul.
In general, remarkable claims require remarkable evidence and I don’t see it. I do see evidence of remarkable claptrap.

Leon Brozyna
June 19, 2008 5:59 am

I had another thought on his ‘earth exploding’ fantasy.
He’s said that, in the past, as the planet’s core began to overheat, massive volcanic eruptions occurred which created a blanket of dust blocking sunlight resulting in an ice age which in turn helped to cool the planet’s core. If this is the case, then AGW or not, it doesn’t matter; the planet’s core will heat in any case as in the past and volcanic eruptions will again do their dirty deed and bring on another ice age.
We’re doomed!

Pamela Gray
June 19, 2008 6:00 am

Eventually, someone will say that global warming is the fault of our current school system and we will be dealing in teacher trades, not carbon trades.

doug w
June 19, 2008 6:16 am

The author, Tom Chalko, is a flake – NOT a scientist. This article was self published by the fake “Editor” of a fake “Journal”.
CBS was hoaxed, as was AP from which CBS and Drudge and others got this story.
I don’t expect a retraction though.

Jeff B.
June 19, 2008 6:26 am

I’m not making as much money as I want. Undoubtedly, this is also a strong symptom of planetary overheating.

June 19, 2008 6:28 am

Snort. Almost as good as the Discover Magazine article linking climate change to “rotten tomatoes”.

June 19, 2008 6:41 am

I would be more inclined to believe that the energy released by seismic activity could cause some additional warming, than the other way around. Cart before the horse and all that…

June 19, 2008 6:49 am

Wow… what is this Chalko guy smoking?
For those of you interested, there is a parallel discussion up on ClimateAudit. Apparently this Chalko “scientist” also has a published paper about the world’s impending explosion (as in literal BBBBBOOOOOOMMMMM!!!) due to global warming. I hope we bear in mind that this guy is a crank of the finest kind before we pin his “flavor” of science on more mainstream guys.
Interestingly, though, there used to be a theory that hurricanes striking a seismically active area could trigger an earthquake, based on the weight of the storm surge flooding the crust in that area. It’s discussed for a bit in “Isaac’s Storm,” by Erik Larson.

June 19, 2008 6:56 am

Earthquakes have already been blamed on global warming:
As has everything else:

Bill in Vigo
June 19, 2008 6:57 am

Awwww it is just ironic justice. In the 20th century the US was the worlds greatest producer of CO2 and there for the worst quakes and now it is China/India and they have the worst quakes. Perhaps it isn’t the how much but the where it counts.
then again if the poles melt the Greenland ice melts and the the earth rebounds to the lessening of the weight of the ice it may well cause shifts in pressure along the Teutonic plates. The only problem is you have to have the melting of the poles and Greenland first.
I think this is just clutching at straws. If there is any causation it will probably be more of a gravational change. Perhaps the density of the sun or the alignment of planets or solar systems. Pieter to me seems to be on the correct path.
Bill Derryberry

June 19, 2008 6:58 am

I have what to you scientists is probably a silly question: If the sun increases in power, will it warm the earth causing more activity from the core?

June 19, 2008 7:03 am

I think it’s about time we rename climate science to climate scientology….

June 19, 2008 7:26 am

It is interesting how there is no explenation of how this link may function, just the usual statment of religious like fath. It would appear that anything natural that is bad for humans is coused by Global Warming.
Speeking of bad and natural, any news on that Volcano in Chilli?

Alan Chappell
June 19, 2008 7:38 am

How anyone can put his name to such a document when he/she could not give a plus minus of 1,000’s of how many active volcano’s there are under the oceans, and the activity of sub ocean volcano’s over the past 10/5 or even one year? This is another contender for the BLIND SCIENCE AWARD.

June 19, 2008 7:38 am

ironically, this belief about earthquakes may be the most credible of chalko’s publicly promulgated ideas. google him, it’s enlightening. he is a devotee of the “thiaoouba prophesy” given to a writer by aliens. it covers human spirituality, astral projection, auras, levitation, and other “interesting” topics. he and some others act as gurus for this odd “sect”.
chalko seems to run their website…

June 19, 2008 7:40 am

When scientists on government money depend
they will crawl out
on the stupidest limbs.

June 19, 2008 7:41 am

Where did I put my saw?

dennis ward
June 19, 2008 7:42 am

You don’t have to adhere to every crackpot theory supporting it to believe in global warming any more than you have to believe in every crackpot theory that challenges it.
Meanwhile the arctic ice is melting faster, despite global warming ‘allegedly’ ending in 1998 and low solar activity.

retired engineer
June 19, 2008 7:44 am

Does anyone suppose that earthquake activity, like temperature, could possibly “fluctuate” over time ? (to paraphrase J.P. Morgan’s comment about stock prices)

Tom Bruno
June 19, 2008 7:48 am

“as the solar system passes through the galactic equator in 2012. ”
The Mayan calendar ends in 2012. Perhaps there is something the Mayans knew that we don’t.

June 19, 2008 7:49 am

Désolé mais cet article c’est du n’importe quoi!
en voit bien qu’en 1900 il y avait plus de tremblements de terre sans qu’il n’y ai aucun réchauffement!
Le GIEC ne sait plus quoi inventer pour faire croire aux gens qu’il y a encore un réchauffement alors que cela fait 10 ans qu’il n’y en a plus eu!
La forte intensité viendrait du soleil qui actuellement est très calme.
Désolé tout est en français mais vous pourrez traduire sans problèmes!

dennis ward
June 19, 2008 7:51 am

On the other hand thinking about it intelligently, when glaciers melt, the weight of that ice being released will cause the land under it to rise (and also to fall a good distance away) as anybody with a rudimentary knowledge of geology knows. And the faster the glaciers, melt the more likely earthquakes are to occur. But I don’t believe it could cause earthquakes outside of that area.

hugo smith
June 19, 2008 7:52 am

My god whatever will they come up with next?
Incindentally since the top graph shows only mag 6 and above i wonder if the real TOTAL energy release, including all the smaller mag earthquakes, has gone up too or did they just pick 6 and above because they knew they were going up. I know that there are many many more smaller earthquakes going off all the time, maybe they have increased too. i seriously doubt it though and reckon this is just some crackpot idea cooked up by some global warming alarmist loony.
PS: Wonder what Gore thinks about this. probably loves it.

June 19, 2008 7:58 am

When there are fools
(as a general rule)
it’s a result
of the government schools.

June 19, 2008 8:01 am

Here’s a SWAG for you: There is a LOT of methane sequestered in shallow, poorly consolidated ocean sediments as frozen hydrate, or gas clathrate deposits. They exist in a zone that is very near the triple point for methane, and I would not be surprised if increased seismic activity were to potentially mobilize and release large volumes of the stuff from the sea floor into the atmosphere.
So there, earthquakes cause global warming, not the other way around!

June 19, 2008 8:06 am

This is not about quakes.
This all about quacks.

Richard deSousa
June 19, 2008 8:07 am

Wow! Is that Junk Science or what! I’d bet earthquakes, like volcanos, go in cycles because of plate techtonics… give some idiot a computer and have him crunch numbers and voila… GIGO

June 19, 2008 8:12 am

Leon Brozyna,
I don’t know if you realize it or not by Chalko is the domain owner of nujournal.net among others

George Bruce
June 19, 2008 8:19 am

“Its baloney and frankly these media outlets should be hanging their heads in shame.”
They can’t. Their shame organs were surgically remove when they were infants. The procedure is called a shamectomy. It was necessary to achieve their parents’ dream of making them journalists. They are the modern equivalent of castrati.

George Bruce
June 19, 2008 8:21 am

“Eventually, someone will say that global warming is the fault of our current school system and we will be dealing in teacher trades, not carbon trades.”
I am willing to trade much of our current herd of teachers for some good carbon…..

June 19, 2008 8:21 am

I just talked to the AP and they said CBS slapped their name on the story and that it isn’t theirs and that they are going to tell CBS to take AP’s name off the story, and that
they didn’t know about this at all until I told them.

June 19, 2008 8:28 am

dennis ward (07:42:27) :
The article you link to doesn’t say anything about “global warming” or attribution to global warming. There’s mention of the Artic Oscillation, and positive feedbacks worsening the situation. But there is no reason, certainly none in the article, that would indicate that this is anything but “natural climate variability.”

George Bruce
June 19, 2008 8:28 am

“dennis ward (07:42:27) :
Meanwhile the arctic ice is melting faster, despite global warming ‘allegedly’ ending in 1998 and low solar activity.”
There we have it. Conclusive proof. Melting arctic ice is not caused by global warming. I’m glad we cleared that up. I now declare the debate closed.

Stef Pugsley
June 19, 2008 8:49 am

You don’t have to adhere to every crackpot theory supporting it to believe in global warming
Really? So despite being presented with published scientific proof, and mentioned on the world’s biggest TV news channel, AGWers still refuse to believe it? So they are just a bunch of deniers? They probably think the Earth is flat too etc etc etc
If Global Warming can simultaneously make the Earth hotter and colder, and kill off the Lock Ness Monster, why can’t it cause earthquakes?
I guess AGW really is a religion then, and believers can pick and choose whichever bits they want to believe in so as not inconvenience themselves too much while still claiming to ‘believe’.

June 19, 2008 8:54 am

Anyone who falls for this ruse has not studied the nature of heat flow in the Earth’s crust. It’s net outward, into space. While a measurably warmer lower atmosphere might ever so slightly reduce the flux, it’s impact would be too little to measure. If anything, warmer plates would move somewhat from the elastic end of the spectrum to the plastic end, which would mean less, not more, earthquake energy. But again, the actual effect is minuscule and so, in fact, no effect at all.

June 19, 2008 8:57 am

It’s amazing that some so called Earth Scientists have never worked with a Mohr Diagram.

June 19, 2008 9:00 am

Does warming cause quakes?
This does sound half-baked.
But when Big Al walks by
the ground surely shakes.

June 19, 2008 9:09 am

Wish I could say I’m surprised, but I heard the same rubbish being bandied about right after the 2004 tsunami. The link is no longer available to the original Discovery Channel article, but here is a quote from it:
The Discovery Channel website posted an article on Wednesday, explaining that “global warming” is one of the “four causes of tsunamis” and quoting tsunami scientist Neal Driscoll from the University of California at San Diego.
“Even global warming could theoretically play a role in weakening undersea slopes if frozen gas hydrates locked in deep-sea slopes are warmed enough to shift from solid to gas state,” stated Driscoll. “That shift of the abundant deep-sea deposits could bloat slopes with gas and cause them to collapse, sending tsunami-generating pulses all the way to the surface,” the Discovery Channel article explained.

Yeah, this from a .8 degree change in average global temperature.

June 19, 2008 9:33 am

Even if all the uranium in the core were to be magically concentrated at the center of the earth, it still wouldn’t be enough to cause a chain reaction. Only a tiny percentage of uranium atoms are of the isotopes that are unstable. At worst, in such a situation, the core might start producing a little more heat.

June 19, 2008 9:34 am

yes, It was just coincidence that seismic activity increased during the warming of the 1990s, I agree, the earthquake shadow” theory makes more sense.

June 19, 2008 9:35 am

This kinda brings up a question I had. We are constantly monitoring air and water temps at various heights/depths, but has anyone looked at checking earth temps, like 10, 50 or 100ft or further below ground. Granted it would be the smallest portion of the areas that are being measured (entire earth is sorouned by air and 2/3’s covered in water). But it might show where some of the missing heat is going to some extent. Just a random thought basically.

June 19, 2008 9:38 am

I remember someone trying to pin the ’06 tsunami on all the bombs that were dropped in Iraq and Afghanistan.

Bruce Cobb
June 19, 2008 9:40 am

You don’t have to adhere to every crackpot theory supporting it to believe in global warming any more than you have to believe in every crackpot theory that challenges it.
Unfortunately, dennis, it turns out that AGW itself is a crackpot theory. Those who still believe it are either 1) ignorant 2) idiots, or 3) frauds.
Anyone with a modicum of intelligence can do their own research and see that the hypothesis of AGW is completely false.

June 19, 2008 9:41 am

This reminds me of a news item earlier this year about the possibility of global warming causing the Earth’s rotation to slow (according to researchers at the Belgian Royal Observatory).
And indeed another news item last year about the possibility of global warming causing the Earth’s rotation to speed up (according to researchers at the Max Planck Institute for Meteorology in Germany).
I’m starting to think that the only solution to global warming is Superman. He alone has the strength to correct the Earth’s rotation (whichever way GW has damaged it), and then dive down through the Earth’s mantle to mend its GW-induced tectonic injuries.
Where is Superman, in our hour of need? 😀

June 19, 2008 9:42 am

You don’t have to adhere to every crackpot theory supporting it to believe in global warming
But it sure helps.
I like how the alarmists love to declare that one factor, out of millions, is the only one that matters, and constitutes absolute proof of their theory.
OK, so the arctic did melt a little more than average last year. At the same time the Antarctic is setting records for the amount of ice.

Wyatt A
June 19, 2008 9:43 am

No no no.
The earthquakes are caused by Exxon Mobile. We’ve pumped all of the oil out of the ground and now it’s hollow, fragile, and collapsing. We just happened to be burning the oil and causing the oceans to boil at the same time.

Dan Evens
June 19, 2008 9:46 am

Folks , just remember that an idea is not responsible for the people who believe in it. Yes this Chalko person is a nutbar. And yes, the news outlets that uncritically published his ravings should be slapped on the wrist.
But in the discussion of what is the reality regarding climate, he is no more than a (fairly ridiculous) diversion. He does not really add anything useful one way or the other.
Mind you, if you meet somebody in a week or a year who thinks the A in AGW is proved by increased earthquakes, you can quickly mark him as a flake.

June 19, 2008 9:47 am

“Where is Superman, in our hour of need?” Alexjc38
He moved to China. He left the Hulk in charge.

June 19, 2008 10:28 am

Anyone with a modicum of intelligence can do their own research and see that the hypothesis of AGW is completely false.
Pray tell, what is the hypothesis of AGW and what specific points do you think falsify it?

James Chamberlain
June 19, 2008 10:34 am

The earthquake story certainly helps AGW with a boost to jump that shark even a little more quickly than it is already doing…..

June 19, 2008 10:43 am

All kidding aside, the cause and effect should be switched around. Active undersea volcanoes found north of Fiji : http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2008/06/080619093259.htm Compare with the consistent warm equatorial anomoly at 100-300 m depth at a similar latitude. http://www.cpc.ncep.noaa.gov/products/analysis_monitoring/enso_update/wkxzteq.shtml
Connected? Perhaps. Has there been an ocean current study done here?

June 19, 2008 11:05 am

CBS just yanked the story off their site after the AP complained to them that they
didn’t write it.
Gone. No explanation from CBS. Just gone.

W F Lenihan
June 19, 2008 11:10 am

Earlier in his life Dr Chalko used to be a writer for the Monty Python productions. Give him credit for his twisted sense of humor.

Carsten Arnholm, Norway
June 19, 2008 11:16 am

The article at cbsnews appears to have been removed. I get a ‘The page cannot be found’ now. It worked a few minutes ago.

June 19, 2008 11:28 am

Bummer – CBS has taken down their story. Did anyone save a copy? In the comment area I mentioned P.T. Barnum was right.
Anthony – the story header is all wrong. Instead of giving Chalko top billing, the headline should be “CBS taken in by pseudo-scientific report,” and the theme should be about what media looks for and what they carry.
Perhaps you should run some of these questionable reports by people several time zones away for a first review. It’s more important that your stories represent truth than being first within the blogosphere. I’d certainly be happy to review things some mornings (Eastern US) than trying to do so when I saw only two comments on this post when I got up. Your blog is too good to give Chalko headline billing.
Oh – somewhat unrelated factoid – A Uranium deposit in Africa was found to have a smaller than usual ratio of U235::U238. The conclusion was that a couple billion years ago when the ratio was high enough, some developing Uranium ore went critical and a natural reactor ran for some time. It was modulated by water – the water thermalized the neutrons, got hot, and boiled off, stopping the fission reaction. As things cooled down more water percolated in and the reaction started again.
There’s no way Uranium is going to enrich in the Earth’s core and become a fission reactor now. Don’t believe everything you read from CBS.

Carsten Arnholm, Norway
June 19, 2008 11:36 am

I have a complete screenshot of the story (GIF format) if it is of any use. I happened to have an open browser window with the story, so I saved the screenshot.

Carsten Arnholm, Norway
June 19, 2008 11:41 am

I also managed to save the complete HTML page. Contact me if you want a copy.
REPLY: yes send please, check your email, thanks – Anthony

Gary Gulrud
June 19, 2008 11:46 am

I guess Dan Rather was just the fall guy after all.

June 19, 2008 11:51 am

dennis ward (07:42:27) :
You shouldn’t believe everything yor read on the BBC either. If you take a look yourself you’ll find that there is actually about half a million square kilometers more ice than the same date last year, and that the melting is going markedly slower:
And of course the Antarctic ice is more than a million square kilometers larger:

Nathan Lee
June 19, 2008 11:54 am
June 19, 2008 11:59 am

“There’s no way Uranium is going to enrich in the Earth’s core and become a fission reactor now.”
Most of the heat of the earth’s interior is due to the decay of materials such as potassium-40. Because overall the earth is a pretty good insulator, this heat builds up and eventually becomes hot enough to melt rock. It is actually why I am sort of against geothermal power. Because the heat generation is actually very slight and slow, pulling any significant amount of heat out represents BTUs that took possibly millions of years to build up … or better … to replace. As you cool the interior of the earth you risk slowing or changing volcanism and geothermal on a huge global commercial scale could shut down a lot of volcanism. The result would be that we would have an mars-like planet. Our oceans and atmosphere would outgas into space relatively quickly … even faster if the Earth’s magnetic field continues to drop.
But I suppose according to this theory … if you covered an area the size of a county of Texas with styrofoam insulation, the earth’s own heat would bore a hole right up to the surface. Somehow I doubt it would. It would be an interesting experiment to insulate a large surface area and check the temperature under the insulation for a decade or two, though.

June 19, 2008 12:10 pm

Perhaps a runthrough on the external forces known or suspected to cause (or rather release) earthquakes might be in order.
There is very good evidence that melting glaciers cause earthquakes. There was a fair amount of earthquake activity in normally very seismically quiet Scandinavia immediately after the end of the last glaciation. Remember that we are talking of 2-3 km thick ice here. That is a lot of pressure release in fairly short time.
Pumping water into a seismically active zone can cause quakes, probably by “lubricating” fractures so that accumulated stresses are released.
Building dams can have the same effect. In this case probably both the increased weight and higher water pressure have some effect.
There is fairly convincing evidence that tides can release earthquakes.
Finally there is rather weaker evidence that heavy rainstorms and storm surges can have the same effect.
Note that except for the first case these external factors do not *cause* the earthquakes, they only release already existing tensions. As a matter of fact you might consider the effect benign, since the earthquake would certainly occur in any case, and be stronger when it actually occurred.

June 19, 2008 12:18 pm

That experiment has already been done by nature. Much of the Antarctic and Greenland icecapc are melting at the base due to geothermal heat. Since the average temperature on top of the icecap is 20-50 below centigrade that is a rather substantial warming.

Carsten Arnholm, Norway
June 19, 2008 12:22 pm

Anthony: It looks like my ISP mail is very slow. There is an alternate address you can reach me on the top left of my website. It might speed things up.

Leon Brozyna
June 19, 2008 12:27 pm

Well, I guess it’s official – the term CBS News is a contradiction in terms. The world of bloggers is having a field day with this one. CBS may have yanked the story but it surely won’t go away.
I can understand CBS running with it. They love AGW and Al Gore. And after reading some of this charlatan’s other writings I’m of the opinion that Al Gore and Tom Chalko are intellectual soul-mates. All Chalko needs now is for the Nobel crew to honor him. Or perhaps have a piece published in the New England Journal of Medicine to supplement its piece on the cat that can predict when a person will die.

June 19, 2008 12:34 pm

“Most of the heat of the earth’s interior is due to the decay of materials such as potassium-40. Because overall the earth is a pretty good insulator,”
I just don’t buy the radioactive core theory. P-40 is just .012% of all K on the Earth and an extremely small part of the Earth’s core and its half-life is very, very large. And the other radionuclides are an even smaller %. Only a handful of naturally occurring nuclear reactors have been found and most formed due to water-borne concentration of specific isotopes. All burned out fairly quickly.

Carsten Arnholm, Norway
June 19, 2008 12:49 pm

Anthony: No emails received, but I have uploaded a zip file containing a GIF screenshot + HTML to

Jos Verhulst
June 19, 2008 1:11 pm

I sent a pdf-file of the CBS-item to surfacestations.

Bill P
June 19, 2008 1:18 pm

For the LIST…
Two insidious biggies have unconscionably been left off: belly-button lint and toe jam.

June 19, 2008 1:30 pm

I blogged about Chalko on June 16 and no one pays any attention until it’s picked up by major services on the 17th. And no link love either. Sheesh! 🙂
My story was better. It includes pictures of the t-shirt.

June 19, 2008 1:31 pm

I love you lucia, I hope that helps.

June 19, 2008 1:32 pm

Oh– I didn’t mean better than this blog post. I meant better than the newswire stories. 🙂

June 19, 2008 2:43 pm

Awesome. The article was so poorly done, even the news agencies that mainline the AGW koolaid pull it.
It would be great if a lesson was learned. Sadly, I doubt that happens.

M. Jeff
June 19, 2008 2:51 pm

MSNBC still carried the story as of 4:50PM Central time. http://www.msnbc.msn.com:80/id/25222766/

Robert S
June 19, 2008 3:00 pm

I posted this comment late last night on the CBS story:
“I can’t believe CBS ran this story. I suggest you retract it now.
NU Journal of Discovery is an unknown journal, with only a handful of publications, all of them by Chalko, who happens to be on the journal editorial board. NU (or Nature University) isn’t a real university.
Here are a few more things Chalko has been involved in:
Aliens! http://thiaoouba.com/faq.htm
Auras: http://thiaoouba.com/seeau.htm
Astral Travel? http://thiaoouba.com/astr.htm
He even sells shirts: http://bioresonant.com/dress.html?PHPSESSID=1a7fd4e1219326e73544904d8d1ac67d
Sorry CBS, but Chalko is a crackpot.”
I would like to think I had something to do with CBS pulling the story. One can only hope.

Ken Westerman
June 19, 2008 3:19 pm

Don’t they know that obesity is cause from global warming?
And parkinson’s? And ADHD? No wonder I can’t get any work done anymore!
I’m pullin’ the G-dub card for everything NOW! BOO YAH.

Gary Hladik
June 19, 2008 3:35 pm

It’s interesting that a couple of posters have mentioned Superman, because the explosion of the planet Krypton is absolute proof that it could happen here, too! Pass the Kool-Aid, Al.

June 19, 2008 3:38 pm

They spiked the story to make room for this:

June 19, 2008 3:58 pm

I believe earthquakes may correlate with satellites and other probes launched since 1958.
It wouldn’t correlate perfectly but what would? And at times Gaea may get confused and mistake a UFO for a satellite and react accordingly.
Before 1958? Oh, that doesn’t count, data no good!
About this story on CBS and the other media. I am sorry they pulled it. The public should see. See, that is, how careful the instant media is about what they present.

Bruce Cobb
June 19, 2008 3:58 pm

Pray tell, what is the hypothesis of AGW and what specific points do you think falsify it?
Pray tell, why do you ask? Since you seem to be an AGW proponent, you must know what AGW is, and should be able to prove it. Prove away.

Jon Jewett
June 19, 2008 4:14 pm

I respectfully beg to differ with Dan Evans (above) on the importance of Dr. Chalko and this story.
The real story here is that CBS ran it at all. And that is important.
If they ran a story like this, what other stories have they told us that are wrong but not as obvious? If you ask someone about their beliefs and why they believe it, for the most part their opinions are formed by organizations like CBS. For example, ask people to name the person that made “regime change” in Iraq (i.e. getting rid of Saddam) a cardinal point of US foreign policy.
Steamboat Jack

June 19, 2008 4:19 pm

Can’t be any sillier than this … “Global Warming May Lead To Increase In Kidney Stones Disease” …

Mark Andrew
June 19, 2008 4:35 pm

So what do we think a warming earth would do the crust? I like Steve Sadlov’s comment that a warmer earth would make the crust more plastic = less quakes. If the atmosphere warmed by 1 degree, could we assume the earth would eventually warm by 1 degree?
Also the warmth would work its way from the surface down. So if the surface warms by 1 degree, but at 10km down only warms by 0.5 degree, this would mean surface rocks would expand more than rocks at 10km down. Could this increase stress at all? Or would the increase be so little that you couldn’t possibly measure it?
My instinct says its ridiculous that there would be a measurable effect on earthquakes, but until someone can show reasonable argument, I would keep a slightly open mind. To me the test is: do other smart people pick up on this and say ‘heh there might be something to this’. And if so I would look at the arguments in more detail.
Of course as pointed out on climate audit, there was a lot more earthquake activity early in the 20th century when the earth was even cooler. Unless our measurement is so poor that earth was actually warmest in the early 20th century.

Leon Brozyna
June 19, 2008 4:42 pm

MSNBC still running with this never critically examined joke of a press release as of 7:40PM EDT.

Bill Marsh
June 19, 2008 4:44 pm

I just happened to see CBS on the evening news while working out and they had a lead off story about the current flooding. It was titled “Global Warming at last?”. *sigh*

Bill Marsh
June 19, 2008 4:45 pm

I know, I know!!! *raises hand*
It was Bill Clinton.
Do I get a prize

Bill Marsh
June 19, 2008 4:47 pm

Well, I did see a study a few weeks back that seemed to indicate that global warming could affect Tectonic activity. The only sticking point was that temps would have to rise to current +100C and remain there for a few thousand years for the effect to take place.

Bill P
June 19, 2008 4:49 pm

Aliens! http://thiaoouba.com/faq.htm
Auras: http://thiaoouba.com/seeau.htm
Astral Travel? http://thiaoouba.com/astr.htm
And those are just the A’s!
Where’s Mad Magazine when you really need it?

Stan Needham
June 19, 2008 4:59 pm

Droughts will get drier, storms will get stormier and floods will get deeper
Chris, the same story appeared today on my EMBARQ home page. There’s something wrong with the wording in the sentence above, though. I think it should say, “floods will get floodier”.

June 19, 2008 5:19 pm

Carsten Arnholm, Norway (12:49:45) :
“I have uploaded a zip file containing a GIF screenshot + HTML to http://home.online.no/~arnholm/watts/cbsnews.zip
I tried saving the MSNBC story, but got a .html file that opens 8 or 9 windows in Firefox and not the real story. It is in the .html, but I didn’t investigate deeply.
Weird, but anything with MS and Firefox is weird.
Another amusing story, thank you Google News
http://www.businessandmedia.org/articles/2008/20080619190236.aspx says:

CBSNews.com Pulls Story Making Quake/Climate Link Claim Site says it’s AP, AP says it isn’t ours; story identical to ‘ubercrackpot’ scientist’s press release.
By Jeff Poor
Business & Media Institute
6/19/2008 7:37:28 PM
Almost every day a news report comes out linking something to climate change – obesity, food riots or a century of wildfires. Some of the claims seem especially outlandish. Sometimes they are.

However, as of 3 p.m. on June 19, the CBS.com story was no longer available and both CBS.com and AP were blaming the other side for report.
According to Mike Sims, director of news and operations for CBSNews.com, the story was an Associated Press story that came across their wire, but Susan James, a researcher for the Associated Press, told the Business & Media Institute no such story exists in their database.

June 19, 2008 5:43 pm

Scientists don’t even know how many volcanoes there are under the ocean:
“Pray tell, what is the hypothesis of AGW and what specific points do you think falsify it?”
The hypothesis, as I understand it, is that “carbon” [by which they mean carbon dioxide] emitted by human activities will cause runaway global warming.
This doesn’t bode well for those flogging AGW:

Bill Illis
June 19, 2008 6:01 pm

There are dozens more of these moronic global warming – disaster link studies and news stories.
We should try to get them pulled (or alternatively promote them until the general public fully sees through this exagerated global warming threat.)

Mike Bryant
June 19, 2008 6:05 pm

AGW is the equivalent of the lead that was present in ancient Romes water pipes. I guess the AGW Koolaid must contain lead. The journalists are obviously the first affected but large parts of the population are also symptomatic.

June 19, 2008 6:20 pm

Gee, this is getting really biblical. How many plagues so far? Let’s see: earthquakes, volcanoes, floods, drought, storms. When do we get locusts, boils and frogs?

Steve Moore
June 19, 2008 6:32 pm

“He’s barking mad, although his vibration analysis stuff looks quite good.”
From my experience with vibration analysis, it looks like, well, crap.
But, I’m not on the same level (astral or otherwise) as he.
I suppose that next someone will “prove” that “global warming” caused the breakup of Pangea.
Wait, it did!

Jon Jewett
June 19, 2008 8:17 pm

Bill marsh,
You bet you get a prize!!
If you make it to the Austin, TX area, I would happily buy you a Shiners Bock!
I enjoy the company of informed people.
Steamboat Jack

June 20, 2008 3:13 am

THis is an interesting fact, and indeed a wake up call. And I thought global warming is our only serious problem.

June 20, 2008 6:06 am

I think the most dangerous thing on Earth…. Is Climate scientists.
…. I’m so embarrassed…. This nut comes from Australia. We used to have really good scientists here…. Before they got pinched by the yanks and we got left with these freaks of nature.
…. Shoulda gone Spartan on ’em…. Left ’em on a cold hilltop at birth…. It’s never to late I ‘spose….?

June 20, 2008 6:18 am

I’ve stated this in a previous thread. That 10 year period is a ridiculous baseline comparison because of the 1998 anomalous highs which are directly correlated and explained by an extremely strong El Nino. Besides, you’re arguing on a false premise; a single, straight trend line means absolutely nothing when we’re talking about a noisy, complicated system such as temperature of the climate. At the very least, you need an error interval to reflect the extremely high variance intrinsic to the signal. At a tiny bit more, you should be extrapolating from a period which doesn’t begin with the warmest average temperature of the past century.
Your premise is also flawed because no one is predicting “runaway global warming.” Try again… you’re pretty close. What is the hypothesis central to AGW Theory?
Bruce Cobb, I’m not going to waste my time enumerating the evidence supporting AGW theory because I know that you’re not going to be persuaded; you’re either politically or emotionally invested in denying its premise. However, if you put up attempts to falsify the theory, then the rest of us can debunk them. Logically speaking, if the evidence supports the theory, counter-evidence can’t be produced, and a competing theory can’t be introduced, then the theory is sound.

Jeff Alberts
June 20, 2008 7:51 am

It’s my understanding that both natural and man-made caves far enough removed from outside air are unchanging in their temperature, even during ~40 degree seasonal changes on the surface. If this is so, “global warming” of a few degrees is going to have zero effect on the crust.

Bruce Cobb
June 20, 2008 8:03 am

I’m not going to waste my time enumerating the evidence supporting AGW theory…
Yeah, counters, we know. No time. Heard it before. Typical. Try again. BTW, it isn’t even a theory. Never made it beyond the hypothesis stage. But, you knew that, right?

Jeff Alberts
June 20, 2008 8:17 am

Counters said: At a tiny bit more, you should be extrapolating from a period which doesn’t begin with the warmest average temperature of the past century.

Extrapolating from a period which begins with some of the coldest temperatures of the past century is ok though, right?

June 20, 2008 10:46 am

The Earth is quite dangerous,
the Universe too.
For many dangers
there’s nothing to do
(if there’s no God,
we’re simply screwed).
But with CO2,
it’s simple indeed;
no burning of carbon
and please do not breathe.

Bruce Cobb
June 20, 2008 11:10 am

“and please do not breathe.” Indeed; nor breed either.

June 20, 2008 12:54 pm

The key to less breeding
is liberty, freedom
(which leads to prosperity).
If you were poor,
with nothing to do,
just what in the dark
do you think you would do?

June 22, 2008 8:49 pm

What the heck is up with graph #2? It makes ZERO sense, with that spike in the mid-70s and two periods of increasing fatality rates (1960-90), during a period of low earthquake activity. If earthquake-proof building design has decreased property damage and death rates from earthquakes, it’s not readily apparent in this graph.
Why did you post it?

June 22, 2008 8:58 pm

Since we’re here, you might want to find and post the USGS graph of energy release from moderate intensity (less than magnitude 6) earthquakes, a century long trend that appears as an inverse pattern of the higher magnitude energy release plot (graph #1).

Chance Metz
June 23, 2008 7:28 pm

New one to me it’s so hot the earth crist is cracking even more and there are more paltes now and they move faster. well that proves oen point they have officaly gone to the nut house.

Stephen Garland
June 24, 2008 12:10 am

I find the theory that plate tectonics has a role in the development of ice ages quite interesting. Go to the link provided below and then go to “Causes of warm and cold phases and sea level fluctuations”

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