Geothermal Ice Circles in Russia’s Lake Baikal?

In the “Steig et al – falsified” thread, since we have been discussing geothermal activity along the Antarctic peninsula, I thought I’d pass along these images that show other parts of the planet where geothermal heat seems capable of melting ice and making it all the way to the surface. Lake Baikal is quite deep, over 5000′ feet in places, so this demonstrates that even in deep water, the melting of ice from that geothermal heat is a real possibility. Hat tip to WUWT commenter “Mark”  – Anthony

By Betsy Mason, Wired News

Click for a larger image - photo from NASA - ISS

Astronauts aboard the International Space Station noticed two mysterious dark circles in the ice of Russia’s Lake Baikal in April. Though the cause is more likely aqueous than alien, some aspects of the odd blemishes defy explanation.

The two circles are the focal points for ice break-up and may be caused by upwelling of warmer water in the lake. The dark color of the circles is due to thinning of the ice, which usually hangs around into June.

Upwelling wouldn’t be strange in some relatively shallow areas of the lake where hydrothermal activity has been detected, such as where the circle near the center of the lake (pictured below) is located.

Circles have been seen in that area before in 1985 and 1994, though they weren’t nearly as pronounced. But the location of the circle near the southern tip of the lake (pictured above) where water is relatively deep and cold is puzzling.

The lake itself is an oddity. It is the largest by volume and the deepest (5370 feet at its deepest point), as well as one of the oldest at around 25 million years. The photo above was taken by an astronaut from the ISS.

The photo below was taken by NASA’s MODIS satellite imager.

Click for a larger image - photo from NASA - MODIS

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May 30, 2009 12:59 pm

I’m just sitting here wondering how CNN or some other media outlet will spin this as further “proof” of AGW.

May 30, 2009 1:47 pm

Interesting stuff – are there any temperature records for the area? lake?

Dave Wendt
May 30, 2009 1:48 pm

In following a link from a post here about the release of his book “Heaven and Earth”, I watched a presentation by Ian Plimer, in which he indicated that recent evidence suggested that ocean floor vulcanism was much more extensive than had previously been thought. I recall wondering at the time whether anyone had attempted to quantify and include this heat input into calculations of climate trends. It would seem to me that even given the vastness of the world’s oceans, the continuous input of heat volcanoes provide would have to be accounted for to achieve a reliable model.

Bill D
May 30, 2009 2:04 pm

There is a lot of data on thermal profiles of Lake Baikal over the last 50 years or more. No evidence for geothermal upwelling. Since the density of water is greatest at 3.8oC, It seems impossible for warm water to upwell under ice conditions.

Bill D
May 30, 2009 2:18 pm

The following study which should be readily available on line found that Lake Baikal is permanently stratified at depths below 250 m. This would seem to rule out any geothermal effects on ice.
Small-Scale Turbulence and Vertical Mixing in Lake Baikal
Thomas M. Ravens, Otti Kocsis, Alfred Wuest and N. Granin
Limnology and Oceanography, Vol. 45, No. 1 (Jan., 2000), pp. 159-173
Published by: American Society of Limnology and Oceanography

Leon Brozyna
May 30, 2009 2:18 pm

Fascinating. I would have expected more of a complete circle than the circular ring that is evident.
Nature’s just full of surprises.

May 30, 2009 2:36 pm

“Bill D (14:18:30) :
The following study which should be readily available on line found that Lake Baikal is permanently stratified at depths below 250 m. This would seem to rule out any geothermal effects on ice.”
They’re wrong.

Bill D
May 30, 2009 2:39 pm

Here’s another good study on the temperature profiles of Lake Baikal. They used a temperature probe with a resolution of 0.003oK, which was needed to study changes in the temperature of the deep waters of the lake. At one point they found what they described as a “drastic” 0.1oC change in temperature.
Processes of Deep-Water Renewal in Lake Baikal
R. Hohmann, R. Kipfer, F. Peeters, G. Piepke and D. M. Imboden
Limnology and Oceanography, Vol. 42, No. 5, Part 1 (Jul., 1997), pp. 841-855
Published by: American Society of Limnology and Oceanography

Mike McMillan
May 30, 2009 3:07 pm

Sure, that’s what they want us to think. The Commies are up to something.
The ring aspect, rather than a round splotch, might be caused by the dynamics of a warm blob rising through the water, upwelling in the center and drag around the periphery generating something of a smoke ring effect, which can be quite stable, by the time it reaches the surface. You can see the effect by dropping a drop of ink in a glass of warmer water that’s been sitting long enough to become still. The ink drifts downward and can form a ring.

Bill Illis
May 30, 2009 3:16 pm

Bill D is right about the density of fresh water peaking at 3.8C and as it is warmed, it gets less dense and will rise rapidly in a deep lake scenario.
But it will take a huge amount of heat to not dissipate away as it rises to the surface through that kind of depth.
Lake Baikal is actually a rift valley, where the ocean crust is pulling apart – essentially the beginnings of Eurasia splitting apart as all large continental conglomerations seem to do eventually.
Hopefully, this does not signal bigger eruptions to come because a similar scenario in the Siberian craton 251 million years ago resulted in the largest eruptions in Earth’s history and they lasted for 1 million years – probably the reason for the Permian extinction event.

May 30, 2009 3:25 pm

Bill Illis (15:16:05) :That fault is active:
MOSCOW, Aug. 27 (Xinhua) — A strong earthquake jolted the southern part of Russia’s Lake Baikal area Wednesday morning, Russian news agencies reported.
There are no reports of casualties so far.
The earthquake, measuring 6-7 on the Richter scale, occurred at10:35a.m. local time (0135 GMT) in Irkutsk, according to the Irkutsk seismic station>/i>

May 30, 2009 4:07 pm

Could these rings be the result of hot gas being released at the lake floor creating toroidal bubbles which are totally stable as they rise through a denser medium. The size of the toroidal bubble depends on the volume of gas released.
Dolphins have been observed to create small ones. Here’s a photo of one.

Stephen Skinner
May 30, 2009 4:18 pm

I understand that both liquids and gases under stable conditions will stratify based on temperature with sometimes quite distinct boundaries. In the case of the atmosphere a temperature inversion is the most obvious and visible, and can be sufficiently stable to prevent thermals going beyond. However, in the case of Cumulo Nimbus clouds (CBs) the thermic activity can become very strong and more organised so that a very large CB will break through the thermal layer at the Tropopause. All that is required to break through any stability is sufficient force.
In the case of the rings it looks like force has been applied to water from below, as in the case of smoke rings. And it would appear with suficient force to break through any stability.

Stephen Skinner
May 30, 2009 4:20 pm

If we say this is not possible isn’t it a bit like saying Bees can’t fly?

Bill P
May 30, 2009 4:50 pm

Both rings are about five miles across, according to the scale key.

Adolfo Giurfa (15:25:36) :
Bill Illis (15:16:05) :That fault is active:
MOSCOW, Aug. 27 (Xinhua) — A strong earthquake jolted the southern part of Russia’s Lake Baikal area Wednesday morning, Russian news agencies reported.
There are no reports of casualties so far.
The earthquake, measuring 6-7 on the Richter scale, occurred at10:35a.m. local time (0135 GMT) in Irkutsk, according to the Irkutsk seismic station>/i>

Is heat a byproduct of earthquake fault activity?

May 30, 2009 4:55 pm

Mike McMillan (15:07:29) : “The Commies are up to something.”
Perhaps, but how could they make those rings all the way from Washington, DC?
My guess is that there is seepage of gas from the bottom of the lake. Perhaps H² or He or Radon. I’m not sure why the ring is formed, but it may have to do with the mechanics of a big bubble under the ice. Like Leon Brozyna (14:18:38), I’d expect an open hole, not a ring. Is a puzzlement.

Mike Bryant
May 30, 2009 4:56 pm

Here is an interesting article on Lake Baikal:
The researchers are sure it’s global warming. Commenters… not so much.

May 30, 2009 5:03 pm

In other news: ‘AFP
‘Huge undersea mountain found off Indonesia: scientists
‘Fri May 29, 2:00 pm ET
‘JAKARTA (AFP) – A massive underwater mountain discovered off the Indonesian island of Sumatra could be a volcano with potentially catastrophic power, a scientist said Friday.
‘Indonesian government marine geologist Yusuf Surachman said the mountain was discovered earlier this month about 330 kilometres (205 miles) west of Bengkulu city during research to map the seabed’s seismic faultlines.
‘The cone-shaped mountain is 4,600 metres (15,100 feet) high, 50 kilometres in diameter at its base and its summit is 1,300 metres below the surface, he said.
“It looks like a volcano because of its conical shape but it might not be. We have to conduct further investigations,” he told AFP.’
Name a conical mountain that isn’t a volcano. Quick, now! Name one!

May 30, 2009 5:06 pm

To get an idea of the scale of the top image (at the southern or western tip of the lake), I measure the distance across the lake as about 7.1 km a little from the west end (Baikal to Slyudyanka). Along the west coastline, from the nw corner to Cape Shamansky (maybe 2/3rds the distance along the west shoreline) is 3.6 km. That’s similar to the diameter of the circle.
So the circumference of that circle is about 12 km, and the distance from the inside to the outside of the thickest part of the crescent is a few km. Takes a lot of heat to affect that much ice.

John b
May 30, 2009 5:11 pm

That’s an awesome photo.
Just a headsup, that first sentence, “were” should be “where.”
Articles like this is one of the many reasons why I enjoy this site.

May 30, 2009 5:24 pm

Antony, it is quite obvious that have a massive volcanic eruption under a glacier can have no warming effect, but that a 4% increase in infrared radiation will cause a glacier to disappear like an ice cube in a pressure cooker.

May 30, 2009 5:44 pm

Since several years there were quakes on a line NE and SW of the Baikal Sea:

May 30, 2009 5:46 pm

Lake Baikal is sitting on a line where sometimes in the – far – future, Asia will fall apart.

May 30, 2009 5:48 pm
May 30, 2009 5:52 pm

Bill P (16:50:08) :Usually along faults like all around the pacific sea there are hot spots where lava and/or gases, like H2S (sulfhydric gas) are ejected at high pressures forming metals sulphides (all mineral sulphides, as zinc sulphide-spharelite, copper sulphide -covellite-,etc. have this “thermal”origin).

May 30, 2009 6:06 pm

Usually, the most quakes are at the rim of plates. Within plates, quakes are – mostly – rare, happens about every 3000-5000 years. It needs quite some time that enough pressure has been build. One of the most severe quakes – within a plate – was the Tangshan quake, 1976, official casualties were about 250,000, unofficially about 1,100,000.
What is still due is a major quake in central Europe, last one was about 10,600 yrs BP.

May 30, 2009 6:21 pm

Some about quakes in Europe:

May 30, 2009 6:26 pm

Adolfo Giurfa (17:52:45) : Are you in the geological/mining/mineral bizz?
I’ve a mineral with my family name:

Jim Powell
May 30, 2009 7:47 pm

The volcano west of Bengkulu city shows up on Google Earth.

May 30, 2009 8:19 pm

Does anybody see the second circle in the upper RH corner of the second picture – just to the left of the tip of a small island?

May 30, 2009 8:23 pm

Doh! I see the small arrow now pointing out the second ring too; is this too much of a conicidence for two of these to be in the same lake?
Possible human source: how about a submarine blowing ballast tanks (underwater air release), the ice bulges, difference in optical reflectivity/albedo appears, etc?

May 30, 2009 9:32 pm

It’s “Volcanism” btw 😛
Proper noun
(historical) The belief, held mostly in the 18th century, that rocks were formed in fire. This theory was a rival theory to Neptunism.

May 30, 2009 9:39 pm

Where divergent plate boundaries exist, so does heat – and lots of it. Just look at Iceland – it sits on the divide between the North American and Eurasian plates. There is a tremendous amount of geothermal heat related to this, not to mention volcanic and earthquakes.
I don’t see why this could not be attributed to geothermal or even volcanic upwelling. I would like to know what kind and volume of gases involved as well as what the lake floor looks like before I rule out that possibility. There are some interseting dynamics at play here, and I for one, would only dismiss atmospheric warming out as improbable.

May 30, 2009 10:42 pm

A bit O/T. George E. Smith made a comment recently about IR being unable to penetrate water by more than 10 microns or so. I have been looking for data on this effect and have found that water is heated mostly by short wave radiation up to 3 microns. Since rather more than 70% of this planet is wet, how does “back radiation” warm these wet areas?
Have asked the question “How does infrared radiation heat water from the top down?” with no response. Anybody know?

Bill D
May 30, 2009 10:48 pm

Pease note that there are many studies of the temperature of Lake Baikal, most with Russian, American and Swiss scientists. They measured lake temperatures to within 0.0003oC down to 1400 meters. They also measured conductivity to within 0.01 micro Siemens because small changes in salinity are driving patterns of mixing on a scale of years and decades. Changes in temperature of deep waters of 0.1oC are considered huge. Also realize that the sediment layer in the deep basins is thicker than 1 km. This is because the lake is over 25 million years old.
The deep waters of the lake do not deviate from the temperature of about 4oC by more than 0.1oC over time. There is no seasonal cycle at these great depths. It’s only the upper 100 m that are showing a very gradual warming trend over the last 60 years. Stephanie Hampton and Marianna Moore, two Americans, have been doing important research on the relation between warming in the upper 100 m and changes in the lake’s food web.
The articles that document these studies are readily found and accessed through Google Scholar. Type in “Baikal and water temperature” and/or “Lake Baikal and Climate change.” Clearly, Lake Baikal is not being affected by UHI’s even though there are some towns on its shores.

May 30, 2009 10:52 pm

jorgekafkazar (16:55:08) :
Mike McMillan (15:07:29) : “The Commies are up to something.”
Perhaps, but how could they make those rings all the way from Washington, DC?
Ha ha… Actually the rings remind me of a tactic that russian nuke subs use to weaken ice prior to launching ICBMs. They release a bunch of warm reactor water into the ocean below the ice. NRO learned to spot these rings in the arctic when ICBM test launches were done.

anna v
May 30, 2009 11:14 pm

I agree with Stephen Skinner (16:20:14) :
If we say this is not possible isn’t it a bit like saying Bees can’t fly?
Except would state it more strongly. Not a bit, exactly.
The problem is not if these rings exists, but by what physical mechanism.
Having seen explosions the throw gases kilometers into the air, one could have made this, creating an icequake and breaking the ice this way.
What were the seismographs saying the past months about volcanic activity? Is there water? what is its temperature? constituents? etc etc. It will provide some nice papers .

Keith Minto
May 31, 2009 12:01 am

Just an observation.
The uppermost circle on the lower image seems to have a very faint outer larger circle I estimate at 20k diameter.The lower circle has an even fainter larger circle in proportion to the other circle.
(If you are using Firefox you can enlarge by Ctrl plus +)
On the the upper image the ice seems crushed around the circle whereas the ice on the remaining shore-line is intact.
Those circles are very circular and regular.
End of observation, I will return soon to the mother ship.

Mike McMillan
May 31, 2009 12:56 am

Mike Lorrey (22:52:15) :
jorgekafkazar (16:55:08) :
Mike McMillan (15:07:29) : “The Commies are up to something.”
Perhaps, but how could they make those rings all the way from Washington, DC?

They obviously used Michael Mann’s method of matching Paris rainfall with temperatures in Maine – they “Teleconnect”.
Lest we laugh, NOAA has jumped in to back up Mann’s ridiculous invention:
It’s official. We’re doomed.
Mike Lorrey (22:52:15) :
Ha ha… Actually the rings remind me of a tactic that russian nuke subs use to weaken ice prior to launching ICBMs. They release a bunch of warm reactor water into the ocean below the ice. NRO learned to spot these rings in the arctic when ICBM test launches were done.
I just knew it was a Commie trick. Can I call ’em or what, huh?
I recall from a long while ago that hovercraft moving over ice of less than a certain thickness would break it up. Maybe large gas releases would have the same effect from underneath. That ice around the ring is well massaged.

UK Sceptic
May 31, 2009 12:57 am

Whatever the phenomenon is, it’s fascinating. My non-geophysical brain is quite happy to cling to the geothermal activity theory. It’s the one that makes the most sense to me.

Benjamin P.
May 31, 2009 1:25 am

rickM (21:39:23) : Says,
“Just look at Iceland – it sits on the divide between the North American and Eurasian plates. There is a tremendous amount of geothermal heat related to this, not to mention volcanic and earthquakes.”
While this is true, it should lead to the question, well why doesn’t all of the mid-ocean ridge look like Iceland? The rift runs all the way up the middle of the Atlantic so something more must be happening at Iceland, and there is.
Not only is Iceland smack dab on the middle of a oceanic spreading center, Iceland is also home to a Hot-spot style volcano (e.g. Yellowstone, Hawaii). It’s the hot spot that is responsible for the bulk of the geothermal activity on Iceland.

Ellie in Belfast
May 31, 2009 3:03 am

I googled ‘Ice circles’ and they are quite common – formed by eddies in rivers and lakes. Here are a few photos; the last one is an animation.
The position of the one near the end of the lake is such that it was probably formed at the start of the winter from an eddy as the Irkutsk River continued to flow into the lake. As the circle eventually ices over completely the ring of formerly open water would be filled in by an ice slurry and would have thinner ice than the circle and surrounding lake ice, so the ring would stay visible for longer.

Ellie in Belfast
May 31, 2009 3:55 am

Two further links – Scientific report
Another video (not animation, silly me)
Hmm, strange the Baikal circles are only showing up now. I’m still thinking thinner ice on the periphery has a different structure and is less resitant to melting. Perhaps the formation would be visible from archived photos earlier in the year as ice started to form. I was going to say would these not have been reported in Russia in the Autumn if they started to form then, but the size is such they may not be visible from the shore. The size does seem much larger than other circles where eddies are prbably the cause.
Incidently, there is a strange anomaly over the centre of the satellite picture of Lake Baikal on Google Earth. Above Chivyrkuy – it looks like a freeway in mid air with fading at either end. I assume it is something sensitive deliberately blanked out.

Shaun B.
May 31, 2009 4:28 am

It appears that these ‘rings’ are close to an annual event……
Interestingly there appears to be an extremely high evaporation rate (lake effect?) at the southern end of Lake Baikal……
Also of interest is the content of the sediments in the lake’s bed…….

anna v
May 31, 2009 5:05 am

Thanks Ellie, for the links you found. They look like conservation of angular momentum :), that is why they are so circular.
The large one on this topic though does not look similar. One would need to look at all the winter snapshots of the lake to get a better idea.

Adam Soereg
May 31, 2009 5:21 am

Don’t forget that the ice on Lake Baikal is first-year ice and as the AGW proponents have said it is much more vulnerable to melt…

May 31, 2009 5:45 am

Ellie in Belfast (03:03:26) : The position of the one near the end of the lake is such that it was probably formed at the start of the winter from an eddy as the Irkutsk River continued to flow into the lake
The only problem here is that the river(Angara) flows “out of” rather than “into” the lake at Irkutsk.

Britannic no-see-um
May 31, 2009 6:04 am

As a geologist I thought it might be escaping shallow trapped biogenic gas, so I searched google.
This was the first item that popped up.

Britannic no-see-um
May 31, 2009 6:09 am

Shaun B. (04:28:41)
Looks like you found that link first!

Ellie in Belfast
May 31, 2009 6:29 am

Anna, I agree the Baikal ones look different. The second of ShaunB’s links is good as it has several – different places. I did find a lot on currents in the lake, didn’t read in detail, but enough to wonder if perhaps temporary, wind driven currents and eddies at the time the ice is forming could be responsible.

Ryan Welch
May 31, 2009 10:59 am

Facinating! This kind of stuff is why I am a frequent visitor of this.

May 31, 2009 1:07 pm

klausb (17:48:39) :For more on latest quakes, here:

Nice. Like the long interval too. Unfortunately, while the presentation is a wonderful global map, the duration from the USGS is only 1 week:
Does show the 7.x in Honduras right now (being a live chart, it will change day to day…)
Definitely a bit of action around the ring of fire…
And a whole lot a shaken going on in California

Ellie in Belfast
May 31, 2009 2:21 pm

novoburgo (05:45:51) :
Ah, thank you, one thing I did not think to check!

Bill P
May 31, 2009 2:43 pm

Here’s a patchwork theory, built on several people’s links and comments above.
Wiki maps show the rings lie over two very deep stretches of lake.
In both cases, it’s over a mile from the surface to the top layers of sediment, which form piles an additional four miles down to the fault zones at the “bottom”. In the case of the southern ring, there is an active volcano. (I’ve lost the link to this, but no matter). Earthquakes from these faults which underlie the lake, regularly jar the area, and, along with certain gasses measured nearby prove that active volcanism is under way at the lakes’ “floor”.
But even if there were columns of warm water rising from these sources, wouldn’t they merely melt holes, rather than doughnut shapes, in the ice?
As Ellie notes above, major rivers empty into the lake near both rings – the Irkutsk at the south end, the Bargusin near the northern ring.
Wiki points out that despite its extreme depth, Baikal’s waters are extremely well-mixed. Lakes Tanganyika and Black Sea, by contrast have formed stratifications of temps. This vertical mixing could be the result of inflowing cold water from snow run-off mixing with upwelling from thermal causes.
As Ellie’s postings note, ring formations are not uncommonly observed in rivers where back-eddies are formed. Partly due to contours of the river’s bottom, these currents can move counter to the river’s flow. But was anyone else curious about the mist hovering over the exposed water in her video link?
By themselves, currents of ice water wouldn’t cut through thick layers of river or lake ice. However, given a steady flow of warm water from, say, hot springs (under the river), or a column of hot water welling up from beneath Lake Bikal, an underwater vortex might be formed with “thermal scouring” effects. I picture something like an inverted tornado, which might well have the ability to thin the ice from beneath.
This may yet prove to be only part of the story, as others have pointed out chemical and salinity issues in the lake, a paper mill which pumped high levels of chlorine into the lake. Perhaps these have ability to chemically affect the freezing point of the ice, or its absorption of solar through the ice.
My 2 cents.

May 31, 2009 3:22 pm

Bill P see my comment above. A hydro-electric dam at Irkutsk uses the water emptying from Baikal.

Bill P
May 31, 2009 7:51 pm

novoburgo. Thanks. I missed your earlier comment. Also, I called it the Irkursk River. The river is the Angara. It flows out of Baikal, through Irkursk.

Bill D
May 31, 2009 10:44 pm

Bill P:
I checked out the Wikipedia site on Lake Baikal, since scientific studies show that the lake is permanently stratified below 250-300m. Your quote is accurate but the Wikipedia site is wrong. First it is correct that Lake Baikal is well oxygenaged to the bottom. However, this is due to the sinking of cold water to great depths, not due to complete mixing. This mechanism of replenishing the O2 is described in the following paper. O2 depletion is very slow due to the extreme depth, cold water and very low productivity of the lake.
Deep Ventilation of Lake Baikal Waters Due to Spring Thermal Bars
M. N. Shimaraev, N. G. Granin and A. A. Zhdanov
Limnology and Oceanography, Vol. 38, No. 5 (Jul., 1993), pp. 1068-1072
Published by: American Society of Limnology and Oceanography

June 1, 2009 6:59 am

Jupiter’s moon Europa is a large scale example of this phenomenon.

June 1, 2009 10:14 am

Hi guys,
Thought I’d crosspost from RealClimate as I have a feeling my comments will be “[Edited]” or banned. My comments there are actually inline with the dicussion here concerning the Steig et al paper.
My comments there can be found on Steig’s rebuttal article concerning RyanO’s conclusions posted here.
RC thread:
My comments:
“Doc_Navy Says:
1 June 2009 at 11:54 AM
Previewed comment:
1. I think that the two Jeff’s and RyanO have done an excellent job, Maybe you guys aught to try working together instead of tossing professional slurs at your critics.
2. That said, I find this quote from your article very interesting:
“The irony here is that our study was largely focused on regional climate change that may well be largely due to natural variability, as we clearly state in the paper. This seems to have escaped much of the blogosphere, however.”
Umm, MAYBE you might want to have a talk with your Co-Author Dr. Mann, considering he jumped the shark with a press release right after the Nature publication. Now as far as I know he didn’t come right out and SAY the warming was anthropogenic in nature, but if you look at his quotes… that’s what is implied.
Then of course there’s the ubiquitous Al Gore, who ran screaming to Congress in April waving your paper in everyone’s face as proof positive that Mankind was absolutely wrecking the planet.
Finally, I guess I’m not so sure why you (and Gavin) seem so shocked that there’s as much looking into the results of your paper as there has been. Bro, You pulled non-existant data out of THIN AIR, then used it to turn 40 YEARS of actual HARD data showing cooling, upside down. And you used Dr MANN’S methods to do it. C’mon… think for a sec. What if it was say… R Pielke Sr. who suddenly did the same thing.. only in reverse and on the Northern Hemisphere??? You trying to tell me that Mann, Schmidt, Schneider, and yourself wouldn’t be ALL OVER HIM, crawling up every computation, looking for any mistake (no matter how innocent), and holding anything found up to the world to show how wrong he was??

June 1, 2009 10:31 am

Crosspost from RC:
“Doc_Navy Says:
1 June 2009 at 12:30 PM
Previewed comment:
Your “Dummies guide to the Hockey Stick Controversy” needs updating.

June 1, 2009 11:02 am

Doc_Navy (10:14:03) – So Al Gore waved a paper in circles and made rings in Lake Baikal?

June 1, 2009 12:52 pm

@AMoose- Haha, well if you ask me… that’s about the same scientific technique “The Team” did to make the LIA and MWP disappear with their Hockey stick, and Steig & Co. did to pixie dust 40 years of cooling on the Antarctic Continent into 50 years of warming.
Actually, Mr. Gore is a bigger hand waver than just about anyone I’ve seen (Except maybe Dr. Hansen).
*Frantically waves hands*
/Al Gore Impression on
“Look over here! Look over here! I invented the internet. The World is coming to an end and it’s YOUR fault! Buy my carbon offsets and free yourself from guilt over wrecking the Earth!!! Vote for me..errr… The World is coming to an END!!”

June 1, 2009 4:29 pm

Other possibilites:
1. Commie plot redux — the cracks in the ice look suspiciously like Lenin riding a horse.
2. Alien mothership landing site.

Steve Schaper
June 2, 2009 1:12 am

They remind me of impact craters on Europa. Except for their perennial nature, and assumed volcanic provenance, makes one wonder about Europa. ..

June 2, 2009 2:16 am

I can’t believe that the Neutrino Telescope has not yet been mentioned?
The underwater neutrino telescope NT-200 is located in the Siberian lake Baikal at a depth of approximately 1 km. Deployment and maintenance of the Baikal detector is carried out during the winter months, when the lake is covered with a thick ice sheet. From the ice surface, the optical sensors can easily be lowered into the water underneath. Once deployed, the optical sensors take data over the whole year and the data taken are permanently transmitted to the shore over electrical cables.
The BAIKAL experiment played a pioneering role in neutrino astronomy: During spring 1993, scientists from Russian institutes and from DESY were the first to install an underwater telescope which took data not only for some hours, but for a whole year. At that time, the detector comprised only three strings carrying 36 optical sensors in total. Since 1998 the Baikal collaboration takes data with the NT-200 telescope which consists of 192 optical sensors deployed on eight strings.

anna v
June 3, 2009 9:16 pm

OK, they say it is methane:
So yes, geothermal could do it too.
But experts say they can explain the mystery, and it’s not aliens – methane gas rising from the lake floor represents the likely culprit.
Methane emissions can create a rising mass of warm water that begins swirling in a circular pattern because of the Coriolis force, or the phenomenon caused by the Earth’s rotation that also helps create cyclones.
“Once the water mass reaches the underside of the ice on the surface of the lake, the warm water melts the ice in a ring shape,” said Marianne Moore, a marine ecologist at Wellesley College in Massachusetts who has spent much time studying Lake Baikal with Russian researchers. The lake is the largest (by volume) and deepest fresh water lake on Earth.
Tectonic activity deep in the Earth may be the trigger for such methane gas release, according to the Russian government.

+ the usual alarmist blurb.

Jon Tighe
June 7, 2009 7:39 am

An excellent website.
I have never seen any reference to heat “escaping” from the earth’s magma and core.
Can this be estimated?
Is it constant?
Could this be adding or subtracting to the earth total heat?
And thus could it be part of the mechanisn for global warming / cooling?

June 18, 2009 6:52 pm

I got home from Lake Baikal last summer, checked the USGS earthquake hazard maps and discovered there had been a magnitude 4 quake the last night we were on the lake cruise. It was in the general vecinity of the southern circle. Also, that is not far from the outlet of the lake – the Angara River. That would help explain break-up of the ice. The northern circle is close to the deepest point in the lake. The lake occupies a rift valley that extends on to a large lake in Mongolia – the whole area is on one of the micro-plates and is moving east. (bedrock is about 20,000 feet down, depth given is to the sediments) The Angara Plate – not sure they have the southern edge figured out. And the latest issue of SCIENCE (June 12) has an article about Baikal – they’ve found methane hydrates there – something previously found only in the oceans. This is an exceedingly interesting and beautiful area.

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