Inconvenient study: Seafloor volcano pulses may alter climate – models may be wrong

New data show strikingly regular patterns, from weeks to eons

seafloor-volcanoes

This topographic map of Earth’s ocean floor in the Atlantic ocean reveals thousands of sub-oceanic volcanoes along the mid-Atlantic ridge. Source: http://www.sciencemag.org/content/346/6205/32.summary

From The Earth Institute at Columbia University:

Vast ranges of volcanoes hidden under the oceans are presumed by scientists to be the gentle giants of the planet, oozing lava at slow, steady rates along mid-ocean ridges. But a new study shows that they flare up on strikingly regular cycles, ranging from two weeks to 100,000 years–and, that they erupt almost exclusively during the first six months of each year. The pulses–apparently tied to short- and long-term changes in earth’s orbit, and to sea levels–may help trigger natural climate swings. Scientists have already speculated that volcanic cycles on land emitting large amounts of carbon dioxide might influence climate; but up to now there was no evidence from submarine volcanoes. The findings suggest that models of earth’s natural climate dynamics, and by extension human-influenced climate change, may have to be adjusted. The study appears this week in the journal Geophysical Research Letters.

“People have ignored seafloor volcanoes on the idea that their influence is small–but that’s because they are assumed to be in a steady state, which they’re not,” said the study’s author, marine geophysicist Maya Tolstoy of Columbia University’s Lamont-Doherty Earth Observatory. “They respond to both very large forces, and to very small ones, and that tells us that we need to look at them much more closely.” A related study by a separate team this week in the journal Science bolsters Tolstoy’s case by showing similar long-term patterns of submarine volcanism in an Antarctic region Tolstoy did not study.

Volcanically active mid-ocean ridges crisscross earth’s seafloors like stitching on a baseball, stretching some 37,000 miles. They are the growing edges of giant tectonic plates; as lavas push out, they form new areas of seafloor, which comprise some 80 percent of the planet’s crust. Conventional wisdom holds that they erupt at a fairly constant rate–but Tolstoy finds that the ridges are actually now in a languid phase. Even at that, they produce maybe eight times more lava annually than land volcanoes. Due to the chemistry of their magmas, the carbon dioxide they are thought to emit is currently about the same as, or perhaps a little less than, from land volcanoes–about 88 million metric tons a year. But were the undersea chains to stir even a little bit more, their CO2 output would shoot up, says Tolstoy.

Some scientists think volcanoes may act in concert with Milankovitch cycles–repeating changes in the shape of earth’s solar orbit, and the tilt and direction of its axis–to produce suddenly seesawing hot and cold periods. The major one is a 100,000-year cycle in which the planet’s orbit around the sun changes from more or less an annual circle into an ellipse that annually brings it closer or farther from the sun. Recent ice ages seem to build up through most of the cycle; but then things suddenly warm back up near the orbit’s peak eccentricity. The causes are not clear.

Enter volcanoes. Researchers have suggested that as icecaps build on land, pressure on underlying volcanoes also builds, and eruptions are suppressed. But when warming somehow starts and the ice begins melting, pressure lets up, and eruptions surge. They belch CO2 that produces more warming, which melts more ice, which creates a self-feeding effect that tips the planet suddenly into a warm period. A 2009 paper from Harvard University says that land volcanoes worldwide indeed surged six to eight times over background levels during the most recent deglaciation, 12,000 to 7,000 years ago. The corollary would be that undersea volcanoes do the opposite: as earth cools, sea levels may drop 100 meters, because so much water gets locked into ice. This relieves pressure on submarine volcanoes, and they erupt more. At some point, could the increased CO2 from undersea eruptions start the warming that melts the ice covering volcanoes on land?

That has been a mystery, partly because undersea eruptions are almost impossible to observe. However, Tolstoy and other researchers recently have been able to closely monitor 10 submarine eruption sites using sensitive new seismic instruments. They have also produced new high-resolution maps showing outlines of past lava flows. Tolstoy analyzed some 25 years of seismic data from ridges in the Pacific, Atlantic and Arctic oceans, plus maps showing past activity in the south Pacific.

The long-term eruption data, spread over more than 700,000 years, showed that during the coldest times, when sea levels are low, undersea volcanism surges, producing visible bands of hills. When things warm up and sea levels rise to levels similar to the present, lava erupts more slowly, creating bands of lower topography. Tolstoy attributes this not only to the varying sea level, but to closely related changes in earth’s orbit. When the orbit is more elliptical, Earth gets squeezed and unsqueezed by the sun’s gravitational pull at a rapidly varying rate as it spins daily–a process that she thinks tends to massage undersea magma upward, and help open the tectonic cracks that let it out. When the orbit is fairly (though not completely) circular, as it is now, the squeezing/unsqueezing effect is minimized, and there are fewer eruptions.

The idea that remote gravitational forces influence volcanism is mirrored by the short-term data, says Tolstoy. She says the seismic data suggest that today, undersea volcanoes pulse to life mainly during periods that come every two weeks. That is the schedule upon which combined gravity from the moon and sun cause ocean tides to reach their lowest points, thus subtly relieving pressure on volcanoes below. Seismic signals interpreted as eruptions followed fortnightly low tides at eight out of nine study sites. Furthermore, Tolstoy found that all known modern eruptions occur from January through June. January is the month when Earth is closest to the sun, July when it is farthest–a period similar to the squeezing/unsqueezing effect Tolstoy sees in longer-term cycles. “If you look at the present-day eruptions, volcanoes respond even to much smaller forces than the ones that might drive climate,” she said.

Daniel Fornari, a senior scientist at Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution not involved in the research, called the study “a very important contribution.” He said it was unclear whether the contemporary seismic measurements signal actual lava flows or just seafloor rumbles and cracking. But, he said, the study “clearly could have important implications for better quantifying and characterizing our assessment of climate variations over decadal to tens to hundreds of thousands of years cycles.”

Edward Baker, a senior ocean scientist at the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, said, “The most interesting takeaway from this paper is that it provides further evidence that the solid Earth, and the air and water all operate as a single system.”

###

The research for this paper was funded in large part by the U.S. National Science Foundation.

Copies of the paper, “Mid-ocean ridge eruptions as a climate valve” are available from the author, or the Earth Institute press office. (I have a request in for a copy and will post excerpts when it is supplied -Anthony Update: The author kindly provided a pre-print copy, linked belowm plus a selected figure, note the uptick in the present)

Mid-ocean ridge eruptions as a climate valve

Maya Tolstoy

Abstract:

Seafloor eruption rates, and mantle melting fueling eruptions, may be influenced by sea-level and crustal loading cycles at scales from fortnightly to 100 kyr. Recent mid-ocean ridge eruptions occur primarily during neap tides and the first 6 months of the year, suggesting sensitivity to minor changes in tidal forcing and orbital eccentricity. An ~100kyr periodicity in fast-spreading seafloor bathymetry, and relatively low present-day eruption rates, at a time of high sea-level and decreasing orbital eccentricity suggest a longer term sensitivity to sea-level and orbital variations associated with Milankovitch cycles. Seafloor spreading is considered a small but steady contributor of CO2 to climate cycles on the 100 kyr time scale, however this assumes a consistent short-term eruption rate. Pulsing of seafloor volcanic activity may feed back into climate cycles, possibly contributing to glacial/inter-glacial cycles, the abrupt end of ice ages, and dominance of the 100 kyr cycle.

The paper: Tolstoy_inpress_GRL_2015 (PDF)

Tolstoy figure 3A:

tolstoy_figure3a

286 thoughts on “Inconvenient study: Seafloor volcano pulses may alter climate – models may be wrong

  1. Once again, scientists show that they have no idea that correlation does not imply causation. That giant orb in the sky has the most profound impact on our climate, period.

    • AP, please don’t join the huge ranks that spout this idea wrongly about correlation not implying causation. It is a caution that correlation is not a slam dunk for causation. However, if there is NO correlation in some manner with an hypothesized cause, then such cause can be rejected as a factor in a phenonenon. You NEED correlation to attract your notice to a possibility. So (apparent) correlation is not enough to rest your laurels on UNTIL you can demonstrate and predict using this correlation. Now it might be a negative correlation or it might be partly confounded by other significant effects, but it should get your juices flowing tentatively while you investigate it further (design an experiment usually). Tides and the moon come to mind as an excellent example. After this idea has been had and investigated, one finds something not entirely satisfactory about it, its variability. However,on further study, when we add in the net effects of sun AND moon, we say aha, there is a correlation that underpins the behavior of tides.

      • Which is a rather long way of saying “Causation requires correlation, but correlation does not necessarily imply causation.”

      • Yes, but you get lots of spurious correlations with time-series data, which is why econometricians test for “Granger causality”. Since all of climate-related data is time-series data, climatologists should upgrade their statistical methods.

        Based on an econometric technique called polynomial cointegration analysis an Israeli group concluded, “We have shown that anthropogenic forcings do not polynomially cointegrate with global temperature and solar irradiance. Therefore, data for 1880–2007 do not support the anthropogenic interpretation of global warming during this period.”

        Beenstock, Reingewertz, and Paldor, Polynomial cointegration tests of anthropogenic impact on global warming, Earth Syst. Dynam. Discuss., 3, 561–596, 2012

        I believe there was some discussion online and the authors made some minor modifications to their statements.

        URL: http://www.earth-syst-dynam-discuss.net/3/561/2012/esdd-3-561-2012.html

        Engle and Granger (1987) is the seminal paper on cointegration and perhaps the most cited paper in the history of econometrics, treating specification, representation, estimation and testing.

        http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Granger_causality

      • Skorrent1:
        Strictly speaking (using the language of propositional logic), causation implies correlation. :-)

      • Gary –

        Amen.

        Good points. Correlation is a good pointer, making such a connection worthy of further investigation.

        And these undersea volcanoes are something I’ve hoped to see investigated for quite some time. If I had a few extra million dollars lying around, I’d do it myself!

      • Fred: “Yes, but you get lots of spurious correlations with time-series data, which is why econometricians test for “Granger causality”.

        Agreed, meaning that to determine “spuriousness” further investigation is needed on each possibly real/possibly spurious correlation, in order to weed out the wannabes. THAT is when – an WHY – the real-world, empirical science is needed, to see if the numbers are stroking us. (And, I would add, why models alone are not good enough.)

      • Gary Pearse

        You say

        AP, please don’t join the huge ranks that spout this idea wrongly about correlation not implying causation. It is a caution that correlation is not a slam dunk for causation. However, if there is NO correlation in some manner with an hypothesized cause, then such cause can be rejected as a factor in a phenonenon. You NEED correlation to attract your notice to a possibility.

        Sorry, but no.
        Correlation does NOT imply causation. But absence of correlation indicates lack of direct causation.

        This is because existence of a prerequisite for something indicates the possibility of that something but does not imply the reality of the something.

        There are several reasons for correlation and a causal relationship is one of them. Therefore, the presence of correlation indicates the possibility of a causal relationship but does not imply the causal relationship exists. And only possible causal relationships are investigated.

        Similarly, a person who was present at the scene and time of a crime may be the criminal, but his presence does not imply he is the criminal when others could also have been present at the time of the crime. And only possible perpetrators of the crime are investigated.

        Richard

    • AP, the “causal mechanism” seems to tidal, and as pointed out, it correlates to the MIlankovitch cycles, which are in fact related to cyclic changes in the relationship between the planet and the sun. The “giant orb in the sky” powers the climate. What we lack so far, just ask Willis Leif, is a clear correlation between changes in the solar constant and weather. If the linkage indirect – i.e. gravitational rather than via radiation – that would explain a great deal about the real complexity of the climate system. Personally I doubt there is such a thing as “climate.” It is all just weather.

      • Strictly speaking, climate is the typical seasonal weather due to latitude and the difference in insolation because of it.

        How the seasonal weather changes at a particular climate depends on ocean currents so you can have correlation between volcanic eruptions and “global climate” but one is not necessarily affected by the other. I do think that the simplest explanation would be that the orbit affects both.

    • There is also case of non-stationary and transitory correlations, which I often find in the climate and solar data. When sufficient variable energy is injected in the climate system, certain feedbacks of both types, positive and negative kick in, suppressing the previously existing correlation. Once that energy is dissipated in various ways, the feedbacks die down and correlation pops out again.
      The resident experts typical response is correlation broken! case unsound, worthless etc…’

    • Gary, there is not a single thing wrong with what I said. I will repeat it again. Correlation does not imply causation. You ‘re right that it may indicate a causal relationship, on the other hand it may not. It could be completely arse about, or related to a third, totally independent variable. I’d love to be on the other side of your stock trades if you think otherwise.

      • Correlation always implies causation; the better the correlation, the better the implication. The science of statistics only has relevance because of this. Science is based on cause and effect; cause and effect can only be assumed by apparent correlation. Baby stands in crib, flips switch, light turns on. Baby assumes he did it, and repeats the experiment several hundred times, till light burns out, then allows for possibility of previously unknown external factors.

        Rooster crows, sun comes up. Rooster takes credit, correlation is high. Roosters all around the world keep it turning till the sun is over the Pacific. No more roosters. So we explain the correlation some other way. Maybe the roosters see a bit of morning light. Maybe they’re just hungry after a night of fasting. Maybe they want to roust the hens. Who knows, but the correlation is good, and cause and effect may be safely assumed. –AGF

      • agfosterjr said, “Correlation always implies causation; the better the correlation, the better the implication. The science of statistics only has relevance because of this. Science is based on cause and effect; cause and effect can only be assumed by apparent correlation. Baby stands in crib, flips switch, light turns on. Baby assumes he did it, and repeats the experiment several hundred times, till light burns out, then allows for possibility of previously unknown external factors.”

        This is missing one important factor. Correlation plus logical relationship plus sequence implies causation. You cannot have the effect precede the cause. Light turns on, baby stands in crib, flips switch would be correlataon without causation because of the temporal disassociation between effect and cause – unless that would imply that the light turning on causes the baby to flip the switch.. Sort of the way paleo CO2 and paleo temperature correlate but in that record, temperature rise precedes CO2 – implying that if there is causation, it’s temperature rise causing CO2 rise. But that’s another argument for another day. The point is, without having some sort of relationship already established, *and* some temporal consistency between proposed cause and proposed effect, then the correlation is just a correlation and cannot imply causation.

        Without a logical relationship and a temporal sequence, causation is indeterminate and cannot be implied.

        For example, Annual average CO2 forcing 1950-2013 and the annual US national debt outstanding 1950-2013 has an r-squared of 0.83. I don’t think anyone without a tinfoil hat would consider there might be causation implied in this correlation, even if a temporal sequence of CO2 forcing preceding national debt increase were to be established.

  2. “When warming somehow starts”… CO2 is belched into the atmosphere which creates the warming that somehow started before any CO2 was belched.

    • This strikes me as another tail-chasing exercise, implicitly founded on the presumption that CO2 is “The Big Control Knob”. Sad to say, numerous other geologists have been sucked into this fallacy and have tried to force-fit it as an explanation for K-T extinctions, PETM warmth, the Younger Dryas temp oscillations, and all manner of climate variations. All devolve into cases of “special pleading”, which I learned 50 years ago is not how Science is supposed to be practiced.

      C’mon folks, the ice-core records show unequivocally that T moves (up or down) long before CO2 follows.
      18+ years of no global warming while CO2 has risen 10+ percent = CO2 doesn’t matter

      Again, CO2 doesn’t matter

      Again, CO2 doesn’t matter

      Again, CO2 doesn’t matter

      • When submarine volcanic/tectonic activity is mentioned many people immediately think of thermal energy, CO2 and aerosols. I don’t think it is any of the above, the most likely is the interference with the ocean currents. Areas of interest are where both the warm and cold currents ( at different depths) cross over the active regions. In the North Atlantic that would be just south and north of Iceland (Reykjanes and Kolbensey ridges).

      • On ocean currents…..

        Rapid atmospheric CO2 variations and ocean circulation
        U. Siegenthaler & Th. Wenk
        Physics Institute, University of Bern, CH–3012 Bern, Sidlerstrasse 5, Switzerland
        Studies on air trapped in old polar ice1,2 have shown that during the last ice age, the atmospheric carbon dioxide concentration was probably significantly lower than during the Holocene—about 200 p.p.m. rather than 270 p.p.m. Also, Stauffer et al. 3 recently showed by detailed analyses of Greenland ice cores, that during the ice age, between about 30,000 and 40,000 yr BP, the atmospheric CO2 level probably varied between 200 and 260 p.p.m. These variations occurred parallel to climatic variations as indicated by δ18O of the ice; astonishingly, the changes took place within rather short times, no more than a few centuries or even less. Here we examine the hypothesis4 that CO2 variations arose from changes in ocean circulation that affected the distribution of chemical properties and thus of P CO 2 in the surface waters of the world ocean. Such changes can take place in a rather short time, in contrast to changes of whole ocean properties.

      • Vukcevic says
        “I don’t think it is any of the above, the most likely is the interference with the ocean currents”

        I think this is a very strong arguement

        And during and ice age when the oceans are lower there is no mechanism to transfer heat to the poles, explaining the stability and length of the ice ages.

        the only question is what is the mechanism the brings us out of the ice age in the first place?

      • Jimbo –

        Nice paper link. It might be worth noting that this paper was 1984 – before the global warming “thing” had taken hold of climatologists.

        The opening line of the body text reads,

        The ocean is the greatest of the rapidly exchanging global carbon reservoirs and therefore effectively controls the atmospheric concentration of carbon dioxide over time scales of less than 10^5 years.

        Perhaps something someone here might want to flesh out… Above my head stuff to produce, though I can comprehend it well enough when it’s put before me.

    • vukcevic, other than the horizontal axis, I don’t understand your graph. You’re showing a correlation between three things over the last 150 years, but what are they, exactly?

      • Hi doc, I am really pleased to see you are back, honest !
        No, indeed I have not, that would be nonsense. If professor Maya Tolstoy (such a lovely name) is calming to be so, perhaps the oceanic ‘yasnaya polyana’ isn’t as yet very clear to her.
        See my comment above

      • Well what about this increase in eccentricity *adding* heat to earth core.
        Or Europa is frozen Jupiter moon which is heated by it’s eccentric orbit with Jupiter.

        And Earth’s core is hot, because of primordial heat from formation, radioactive decay of Earth core, Lunar tidal forces, AND the varying tidal force of the Sun which happens with Earth’s periodic varying eccentricity.

        Also they talk about volcanic activity emitting CO2, it seems that the mere warming of ocean water will cause the ocean out gas more of it’s CO2. From heating plus the heat increasing the up welling of cold water which have higher levels of CO2.

    • Vukcevic, could you please explain what you are plotting here? What are the ‘tectonics’? What pressure and temperature records are you using? Thanks.

      • I assume that you are not merely picking data that happen to correlate well with each other. That would be spurious.

      • …’cherry picking’…
        Sorry, no offense intended. Let me rephrase the question: how would others reproduce your results?

        And do you have any insights to the mechanisms at play here? How well does it generalize?

      • Not offended at all, it is general practice of showing the variables that support the claim.
        For insights to the mechanisms at play here see my comment above:
        vukcevic February 5, 2015 at 12:33 pm

    • How do we know if these three things are correlating with each other, or they are all correlating because of some other unseen force? I mean is one of these acting on the other two, or is something bigger than all of them causing all the ruckus?

      • The Earth is immersed in the continually changing gravitational and magnetic fields of the solar system. Although we do understand general properties of both it is unlikely that all the resulting effects are entirely known. Another factor which is difficult to comprehend, two planetary spheres (atmo- and hydro- ) appear to run on two unsynchronised clocks.
        It is likely that as you say something bigger than all of them causing all the ruckus

    • Vukcevic,

      I realize that what I’m about to ask may be heresy, but here goes. Which came first, the chicken or the egg?
      It seems there would not have been enough anthro warming, but that would be supposition on my part.

      Re: “when warming somehow starts” from below.

      “Enter volcanoes. Researchers have suggested that as icecaps build on land, pressure on underlying volcanoes also builds, and eruptions are suppressed. But when warming somehow starts and the ice begins melting, pressure lets up, and eruptions surge. They belch CO2 that produces more warming, which melts more ice, which creates a self-feeding effect that tips the planet suddenly into a warm period” 5th paragraph down: http://www.ldeo.columbia.edu/news-events/seafloor-volcano-pulses-may-alter-climate

      Also referenced in the above link is this Harvard paper from 2009. http://dash.harvard.edu/bitstream/handle/1/3659701/Huybers_FeedbackDeglaciation.pdf?sequence=1

      • Hi Mr Thomas
        A geologists (which I am not) might be a more appropriate person to comment on.
        As far as the CO2 warming is concerned, it appears to be something of it in the N. Hemisphere’s land temperature data (we may speculate on number of reasons for it), but I have found nothing whatsoever in the N. Atlantic sea surface data. For my own personal ‘entertainment’ I did make an effort to look to what extent the CO2 contribution might be in the land data and came up with this graphic.

      • Re when warming somehow starts from below

        “About 50% of the heat given off by the Earth is generated by the radioactive decay of elements such as uranium and thorium, and their decay products. That is the conclusion of an international team of physicists that has used the KamLAND detector in Japan to measure the flux of antineutrinos emanating from deep within the Earth. The result, which agrees with previous calculations of the radioactive heating, should help physicists to improve models of how heat is generated in the Earth.

        Geophysicists believe that heat flows from Earth’s interior into space at a rate of about 44 × 1012 W (TW). What is not clear, however, is how much of this heat is primordial – left over from the formation of the Earth – and how much is generated by radioactive decay. ”
        http://physicsworld.com/cws/article/news/2011/jul/19/radioactive-decay-accounts-for-half-of-earths-heat

      • jmorpuss,

        Thank you for the link. Impressions are that this is a consistant if slightly dropping source of heat and has been for eons. Not sure how that could be the source bringing about a change if that consistant. Any clarity would be appreciated.

      • Hi Danny
        There’s a process called, The fair and foul weather electric fields https://www.thunderbolts.info/tpod/2004/arch/040917electric-weather.htm. The foul weather field works from the ground up and the fair weather field works from the top down . The Earths surface is the anode ( negative charged) and the ice layer at the top of the troposphere is the cathode ( positively charged)
        http://hypertextbook.com/facts/2006/TerryMathew.shtml
        http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Cathode
        http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Anode

      • Danny
        There’s not much we give away for free these day’s and a please and thank you goes a long way to earning respect, Life is a mirror and we get back what we put out, so Thank You for your refreshing approach, Cheers and I hope life is good to you.

      • jmorpuss,

        I’ve have been given much free here (some has even been quite pleasant:)))! I could not let your comment go without expression of my thanks for your statement. It may be a bit redundant, but the pleasure is mine! I believe (and have zero emperical evidence to prove) that even those who disagree can do so agreeably.

        With regards!

  3. When I asked a prof of volcanology whether undersea volcanoes might produce a noticeable and sudden increase in the temperature of the Arctic Ocean (which was her specialty) she said “NO”. The energy amounts involved were far too small to produce a measurable effect, apparently, so I gave up thinking about it. Should I have been sceptical?

    • Many of us have said many times over the years that the “earth is degassing”, a normal activity that we believed was a major contributor to atmospheric CO2, far exceeding human burning of fossil fuel, but we did not have the numbers to support that theory, now thanks to Maya Tolstoy and others the supporting numbers are now coming in…

      • Land volcanoes according to the research emit 88 million tons of CO2 per year, that is about 24 MtC/year. Humans emit about 10 GtC/year or a factor 50 or so more…
        Even if all undersea volcano CO2 reaches the surface and isn’t absorbed in the huge carbon pool of the deep oceans, it still is a factor 25 difference…

      • Yes, so while undersea volcanism may well be affecting climate it is of course not through “the big control knob” CO2. It is more likely through the thermohaline circulation which is probably a much larger control knob.

      • Has any scientific organization counted the total number of undersea volcanoes, and if so, has it also determined whether each volcano is active or not?

    • Are you foolish? You are being logical, and there is nothing logical about “climate science.” Of course it will be the CO2 that will take 400 years for it to affect the climate to cause the warming, not the trillions of calories released directly into the water by the magma. That “heat” will be hidden in the deep oceans until Man comes along and starts a wood fire or a cow farts. Everyone knows that!

      And I love the virtually instantaneous response of the volcanoes to the passing of the ebb tide. Please don’t tell me they actually were paid to do this “research?” By some chance is their second job answering emails for trees?

      And do I really have to say sarcasm? You are correct in your thinking, slywolfe, or at least I think so.

  4. This makes me wonder if a recent increase (if any) in North American earth tremors are co-incident (by natural cycle) with fracking rather than caused by fracking…

    • One striking fact about the increase in daily earthquakes here in Oklahoma (which prompted speculation that fracing caused quakes,) is that the region experiencing those daily quakes has moved from an apparent epicenter a few miles East and NorthEast of centrally located Oklahoma City, to many miles North and Northwest of OKC.
      http://earthquake.usgs.gov/earthquakes/map/#{%22feed%22%3A%221day_m25%22%2C%22search%22%3Anull%2C%22listFormat%22%3A%22default%22%2C%22sort%22%3A%22newest%22%2C%22basemap%22%3A%22grayscale%22%2C%22autoUpdate%22%3Atrue%2C%22restrictListToMap%22%3Atrue%2C%22timeZone%22%3A%22local%22%2C%22mapposition%22%3A%5B%5B33.64663552343716%2C-101.4312744140625%5D%2C%5B37.76637243960179%2C-92.6422119140625%5D%5D%2C%22overlays%22%3A{%22plates%22%3Atrue}%2C%22viewModes%22%3A{%22list%22%3Atrue%2C%22map%22%3Atrue%2C%22settings%22%3Afalse%2C%22help%22%3Afalse}}

      • There really has been an increase in OK quakes and the state agencies charged with investigating same have found no meaningful correlation with drilling/fracing/disposal wells. The link above requires the entire sequence, to get to the correct page.

      • As I recall, when BP had the blowout on the Macondo well, one of the people that was doing a lot of study about it said that the well would leak crude into the New Madrid fault with the potential affect of causing a lot of earthquakes along the entire fault line. I think his site was called Phoenix Rising, or something like that. He made some very good points that resonated with my sense of truth at the time. I think the increase in earthquakes along the fault zone is probably related to that, especially since the supposedly sealed wellhead wouldn’t stop the crude from being forced into cracks. Has then been a radiation increase along with the earthquake increase? I think the deep crude was supposed to have a higher radiation content.

      • TomO,
        afaik, there has not been an uptick in quakes along any fault associated with the New Madrid Fault (there was a quake in that zone w/in last month,) nor is it known that any affected fault areas in OK extend to New Madrid. The quakes in OK are relatively shallow as far as quakes go, with most occurrences at less than 11 Km deep. I’ve not found any references in current literature about any increase in radiation levels in area oil production.
        The BP blowout was at least 1500 Km distant from the present area of OK quakes. It is doubtful that any correlation would be meaningful.

        disclaimer: I have zero expertise about the matter.

      • @ Tom O February 5, 2015 at 12:48 pm
        “… As I recall, when BP had the blowout on the Macondo well, …”

        Its nonsense Tom.

        Faults (contrary to very popular theory needs) are always lubricated to some degree by a combination of, pore space water under pressure, phyllosilicate clay slurry (lots of it), lubricant metals like molybdenum (some- usually emplaced in hydrothermal processes of transport and atom precipitation with changes in pressure) and especially by copious amounts of ‘massive’ (i.e. solid) graphite, that’s almost always is present in fault surface,

        Those are some of the most commonly found lubricants used in modern close tolerance racing engines and high performance sliding mechanisms to reduce or almost eliminate friction right there, and faults are almost universally chock full of these compounds.

        The fault also is lubricated mechanically by a readily observed phenomena called ‘slickensides’ where the relative movement of the fault literally polishes the fault’s opposing rubbing surfaces, and the mineral bonds are broken and then regrow in the grain direction parallel to the fault’s movement, at the contacts, thus allowing easier relative slippage. When this occurs another massively common igneous and metamorphic phyllosilicate mineral called mica grows directly into the faults as well.

        In other words, it is almost impossible to lubricate faults any more than earth already naturally does. This is one of the many unrecognised and almost never seriously questions and conundrums of geology (there are many) – the faults are incredibly well lubricated! And yet don’t move until stress is applied and elastic energy accumulates? Really? When fault networks and joints in rock by their very nature lubricated discontinuities in the crust that would militate against effective stress accumulation and act like a severing of the supposed elastic accumulator. (as you see, there are enormous practical and mechanical problems with the petrological elastic rebound theory, especially in the highly faulted crust)

        So adding oil to a fault would do almost nothing to improve the lubrication, if such intrusions were possible, which I’m quite sure it isn’t. The earth is ancient, we have a rock record and fanciful stuff like that isn’t happening.

        Graphite as a lubricating agent in fault zones: An insight from low- to high-velocity friction experiments on a mixed graphite-quartz gouge
        http://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/10.1002/jgrb.50175/abstract

        Slickensides
        http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Slickenside

        Graphite lubricates fault zones – Phys.org
        http://phys.org/pdf287148053.pdf

        Anyone predicting a fault is going to move for some particular reason can be safely discounted simply because the real reasons for their movement are actually not understood. Seismology and geophysics are simply pretending to understand it. Why do that? Oh, get this, they have a simple elasto-mechanical model, which of course is in wild discord with observed realities.

        sssshhhh! … we’re not supposed to talk about it … you don’t want to get excommunicated do you!

      • “Tom O February 5, 2015 at 12:48 pm

        As I recall, when BP had the blowout on the Macondo well, one of the people that was doing a lot of study about it said that the well would leak crude into the New Madrid fault with the potential affect of causing a lot of earthquakes along the entire fault line…”

        The 3000 foot deep Macondo well? The well that is 540+ miles or 870+ kilometers away from New Madrid and 3000 feet deep?

        Not happening, ever.

        Almost everything BP and the big green orgs announced about the leak is not true. Trying to infer the New Madrid fault getting lubricated by an oil leak so far away is right up there with the Lewseranddropsky and uncooked conspiracy scenarios.

      • ” one of the people that was doing a lot of study about it said that the well would leak crude into the New Madrid fault with the potential affect of causing a lot of earthquakes along the entire fault line.”

        The thing about a well blowout is that it happens at the surface, and that the oil spews into the air/water because it is under pressure. It does not turn around and burrow down through hundreds of miles of rocks to lubricate a distant fault. As a matter of fact we know that the well lining is intact and tight all the way down to the reservoir formation, because otherwise there wouldn’t be pressure for a blowout.

      • Also, the Macondo oil was abiotic Black Goo which is an information-processing superintelligence that connects to your nervous system and turns you into a telepathic collectivist.
        That’s why it had to be exorcised with Corecite.
        Google for it on youtube, some people are trying to make a dime by telling this story. I found it amusing.

    • I read a newspaper article that attributed earth tremors in Nevada (I think) to fracking because of the timing with the permission to go ahead. The fracking still hasn’t started, though.

      • I read a newspaper article that attributed earth tremors in Nevada (I think) to fracking because of the timing with the permission to go ahead. The fracking still hasn’t started, though.

        Pure gaia-green-clima-geddon-puddin’-headed comedy gold, Robert B!
        Now there is our “Thursday Thighslapper” for ya’ll.

    • The USGS concurs that fracking injection wells may be the cause of earth quakes up to mag 3:
      http://earthquake.usgs.gov/research/induced/
      “The increase in seismicity has been found to coincide with the injection of wastewater in deep disposal wells in several locations, including Colorado, Texas, Arkansas, Oklahoma and Ohio. Much of this wastewater is a byproduct of oil and gas production and is routinely disposed of by injection into wells specifically designed and approved for this purpose.
      Hydraulic fracturing, commonly known as “fracking,” does not appear to be linked to the increased rate of magnitude 3 and larger earthquakes.”

      • That linked study from 2013 suggested a correlation with injection wells, while stating that Oklahoma is known to be. “earthquake country”. The survey may prove to be be correct, but the OGS and other teams within the state are reaching different conclusions. The most recent statement from the head of the OK task force charged with studying the problem said that while the correlation is apparent at some Arkansas and Ohio injection wells (and 1 OK well which has been shut down,) that correlation in OK has yet to become apparent. Much attention is now focused on this issue on our state.
        Meanwhile, OK has experienced 79 quake events >Mag 1.9 in past 7 days.

    • The author of the landmark study on the Ohio quakes has stated publicly that those quakes occurred once in an area at a specific point in the fracking process and was related to the rock formations in the area of fracking. He does not believe that any other of the recent quakes in Oklahoma or elsewhere are related to fracking at all. There has been a general increase in small earthquakes worldwide.

    • Depends on how many are running for how long, engine size, diesel or gas, electric assist, up or down hill. Mine I run as little as possible.

    • There may not have been enough manufactured yet to equal one Pinatubo. Also, asybot points out the problem of quantifying one SUV to use as a standard.

  5. The lack of consideration for submarine vulcanism, including the injections of copious amounts of heat, CO2, and water-soluble acid gases (SOx, H2S) has always been a serious flaw in the ‘global circulation’ models. The modellers have had nothing to say about this fundamental oversight before.
    The climate models used continue to assume that the atmosphere is largely independent of the oceans (except possibly for ‘acidifying’ the oceans to exterminate life) which we are now learning is far from the actual case.

    • If you’d studied chemistry at the high school level you would know that the effect of dissolving H2S in aqueous solutions is precipitation of insoluble sulfides, i.e. black smokers are the result of iron sulphide, white smokers are calcium and barium sulfides and silicon. Sulphate composition of seawater is constant so that has no effect (it’s precipitated out as Calcium Sulphate) and change in CO2 is predominantly from the atmosphere not volcanoes.

    • Highly corrosive, strong mineral acids, like H2SO4, HNO3 and aqua regia, have absolutely no impact on ocean pH and are good for life even at near boiling temperatures.

      Unless of course the acids are from an anthropogenic source. Then even mineral water will cause a runaway apocalypse through positive feedback loops. Or so Mr Chk. N. Little claims.

    • You left out the CO2 which outweighs the SO4 (not SO2 so much). There is also the amount of H2S to be considered.

  6. Tolstoy found that all known modern eruptions occur from January through June.
    ============
    Wow. Never heard that before. The implications are huge. Does this explain the annual pulse in CO2 attributed to Northern Hemisphere plant life?

    Can it in fact be the earth orbiting the sun that is timing the eruption of volcanos and the release of CO2 annually?

    • ferd berple wrote, “Tolstoy found that all known modern eruptions occur from January through June.”
      ============
      Wow. Never heard that before…”

      Same here, wow!

      Any idea why?

      • In the Northern Hemisphere, the warmer months bring out many scantily clad virgins (sic) in their sun worshiping costumes, thus taking the vulcan gods’ minds off their business, for a time.
        I could prove this phenomenon with sufficient grant money.

      • That is the period when tidal force is greatest. Around the monthly new moon, when the earth is closest to the sun (contributing a gravitational tug about half that of the moon alone) and the moon is between sun and earth to produce the maximum ‘unidirectional’ tug on earths mass. Same reason ‘spring tides’ ( maximum high low varation) occur in the spring.

      • Sorry Rud, Spring tides occur every 2 weeks just as neap tides occur every 2 weeks. The Earth is closest to the Sun in January (furthest away in July) so their is no moon-Sun orbital reason for volcanos Jan-Jul. Unless of course there is a 3 month lag on Earth’s closer approach to the Sun in Jan.
        Spring tides have the greater gravitational pull and they occur when the moon is on the same side, and the opposite side of the Earth from the Sun. Neap tides are on half moons where moon is at 90 degrees to earth sun line.

        Alan, January is summer for the southern hemisphere, so let me know when the money comes thru and I’ll lead the southern hemisphere based research!

      • “they erupt almost exclusively during the first six months of each year.”

        I’m pretty sure it’s for tax reasons. The Australian tax year ends in June.

      • Rod:
        I was going to post this below, but your succinct comment saves me a lot of explanation.

        “…The idea that remote gravitational forces influence volcanism is mirrored by the short-term data, says Tolstoy. She says the seismic data suggest that today, undersea volcanoes pulse to life mainly during periods that come every two weeks. That is the schedule upon which combined gravity from the moon and sun cause ocean tides to reach their lowest points, thus subtly relieving pressure on volcanoes below…”

        Gobbledygook?
        “…That is the schedule upon which combined gravity from the moon and sun cause ocean tides to reach their lowest points, thus subtly relieving pressure on volcanoes below…”

        Which to me are two odd concurrent statements slapped into a single result.
        “…the schedule upon which combined gravity from the moon and sun…”
        “…subtly relieving pressure on volcanoes below…”?
        Sun and moon gravity is always combined in relation to the Earth.

        “…cause ocean tides to reach their lowest points…”
        “…subtly relieving pressure on volcanoes below…”?

        From their PDF:

        “…Figure 1 shows that
        54 eight out of nine of these best-documented mid-ocean ridge magmatic events occurred
        55 during lows in the fortnightly tidal modulations (neap tides)…”

        My bolding, but they clearly state neap tides.

        Tides are the movement of water. Spring tides represent the greatest movement of water. Neap tides represent the least movement of water. Crest of water we recognize as high tide, trough is seen as the low tide.
        Ostensibly, if one is looking for the least weight of water, that would be during the low tide of the spring tidal movement, not during neap tides. Neap tides are where the change between high/low tide is smaller meaning little change in weight of the water during this tidal cycle.

        Bringing us back to just what are these folks trying to state?

        Add in this character’s supportive claim:

        “Edward Baker, a senior ocean scientist at the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, said, “The most interesting takeaway from this paper is that it provides further evidence that the solid Earth, and the air and water all operate as a single system.”

        Solid Earth?

        There are many things about this paper that cause me to think there are problems, clumsy wording and long long claims. would be nice to have backup data!

      • ATheoK
        Neap tides are where the change between high/low tide is smaller meaning little change in weight of the water during this tidal cycle.

        Bringing us back to just what are these folks trying to state?

        The paper clearly explains that, it’s a matter of system response time:
        “Figure 1 shows that eight out of nine of these best-documented mid-ocean ridge magmatic events occurred during lows in the fortnightly tidal modulations (neap tides). A Schuster test (Emter, 1997) shows statistically significant non-random distribution with respect to the fortnightly modulations of the tides (99%). This suggests that seafloor eruptions are particularly sensitive to prolonged tidal unloading and implies a system response time [Jupp et al., 2004] that is generally longer than the diurnal and semi-diurnal tidal fluctuations (Figure 2).”

    • I don’t know if this is true or not but, if it is I assume it’s referring to when they begin.
      Kilauea has been erupting for years.

    • I am not entirely convinced, a quick google search shows lot of eruptions in the other six months of the year
      Kracatoa Aug. 26-28, 1883
      Vesuvius Aug. 24, 79 A.D.
      Vesuvius Dec. 15, 1631
      Tongariro NZ Aug 6 2012
      Tungurahua Ecuador Aug 2012
      Fuego Sep 13, 2012
      San Cristobal 9 Sep 2012
      Kilauea Nov 2014
      Shiveluch 12 Nov 1964
      Mt Lokon 15 Nov 2014

      • Bohdan Burban
        February 5, 2015 at 3:15 pm

        “These are all sub-aerial volcanoes”
        ———————————
        Then the meaning of the following statement is unclear, if it related only to submarine volcanoes.

        Tolstoy found that all known modern eruptions occur from January through June.”

    • ferd,

      Wrong δ13C level: almost all volcanoes have higher δ13C levels than the atmosphere, be it that subduction volcanoes emit CO2 with higher δ13C level than deep magma volcanoes, which most deep ocean volcanoes are. Anyway, if the deep ocean volcano CO2 reaches the atmosphere, that would increase the CO2 and δ13C in the atmosphere, while the largest changes are in the NH spring/summer with decreasing CO2 levels and increasing δ13C. That points to vegetation as cause of the CO2 sink and δ13C increase as the formation of new leaves and wood uses CO2 and preferentially 12CO2:

      • Most plants use the C3 cycle as that needs less energy, that gives a drop of ~24 per mil in δ13C in the plant carbon species. C4 cycle plants evolved more recently as result of the lowering CO2 levels, are less selective, but still are around -10 to -14 per mil δ13C.
        The atmosphere was at -6.4 +/- 0.2 per mil δ13C pre-industrial over the Holocene and dropped to currently -8 per mil in ratio to human emissions.

        As the whole biosphere shows a net uptake of CO2 and both C3 and C4 species prefer 12C over 13C, that should increase the δ13C level in the atmosphere. Only the rate of increase differs between them and anyway is overwhelmed by low 13C fossil fuel use…

      • Alley’s data ends ~160 years ago, why do you think there’s a problem with showing the temperature since the end of that data? Also stealey why do you keep showing Lappi’s graph which is incorrectly plotted, despite having that error pointed out to you?

    • ferd berple says:

      “We don’t know what caused the Minoan Warming, or the Roman Warming, or the Medieval Warming, so therefore they cannot have happened. The history records must be wrong.”

      How does ferd berple know that these warming periods happened? Which history records?

      • rooter says:

        How does ferd berple know that these warming periods happened? Which history records?

        Which history? You don’t believe the ice core records? What do you believe? Scientology?

        ferd berple says:

        …we have studied all the possible explanations we can find for global warming, but none of them are the cause, so therefore we know it must be humans.

        That is Prof Richard Lindzen’s amusing retort to the anti-science crowd when they use that anti-logic. See if you can name that fallacy, rooter.

      • @rooter:

        Marcott et al. has been so thoroughly deconstructed here that I do not accept anything at face value from them. Do a WUWT archive search, you will see [it will take you a while to read what’s there].

        For example, compare the trickery that Marcott did, with R.B.Alley’s peer reviewed paper. This chart is the result.

        Here is another chart from Alley’s data:

        I get it: your mind is made up, and nothing could possibly convince you otherwise. But unlike you, most of us here are looking for answers. You will not accept that prior warming episodes happened. That’s your problem, not ours.

      • dbstealey says:

        “Marcott et al. has been so thoroughly deconstructed here that I do not accept anything at face value from them. Do a WUWT archive search, you will see [it will take you a while to read what’s there].

        For example, compare the trickery that Marcott did, with R.B.Alley’s peer reviewed paper. This chart is the result.”

        dbstealey did not notice that I showed an ice core record from Greenland together with the Marcott reconstruction. A reconstruction that has a higher holocene maximum than gisp2. So if dbstealey want to show more divergence from Marcott he should use Vinther’s reconstruction rather than gisp2.

        This is just another instance of infilling the gisp2 proxy to cover the whole world. In this case in order to “debunk” Marcott. If you want to that kind of massive infilling, why not use Vinther 2009?

        Btw, dbstealey showed gisp2 with a more updated temperature where modern temperature is higher than Medieval warming.

        Interesting development from dbstealey. dbstealey hockeystick.

    • “Can it in fact be the earth orbiting the sun that is timing the eruption of volcanos and the release of CO2 annually?”

      No, all the CO2 would be dissolved in the seaweater close to the eruptions. It would only get into the atmosphere several centuries later when the deep water finally upwells to the surface.

  7. People have ignored seafloor volcanoes on the idea that their influence is small
    =============
    But, but, but we have studied all the possible explanations we can find for global warming, but none of them are the cause, so therefore we know it must be humans. Climate Science (TM) 101.

    We don’t know what caused the Minoan Warming, or the Roman Warming, or the Medieval Warming, so therefore they cannot have happened. The history records must be wrong.

    In contrast we know exactly what has caused the Modern Warming. It is human CO2 from burning fossil fuels. It must be because we have looked at EVERYTHING ELSE. I tell you, we have looked at Everything, and nothing other than anthropogenic CO2 that can be the cause. There is simply no possibility that we have overlooked anything.

  8. I second the comment about Vukcevic proposing this.

    Piers Corbyn has been highlighting moon and planet gravity effects on weather and climate too.

    Not saying I subscribe to everything he proposes nor that its the same. Just saying.

    http://www.weatheraction.com/ too

    • Corbyn seems to be the original eccentric, but he does have
      a point. Or three. He [claims to have] discovered an effect of
      the solar wind on the atmosphere when doing solar research
      some time ago (late 1980’s perhaps?). He has not reported this
      in any real detail which I have been able to find. He seems to
      treat it as commercially sensitive as he uses it to make NH
      seasonal and long range weather forecasts.

      His forecasts have been found to be better than chance and
      appear to be significantly better than the UK Met Office which
      still thinks CO2 causes weather. He claims significant skill, but
      how much of that is salesmanship and how much is truth I am
      in no position to judge.

      However, his website at http://www.weatheraction.com is an interesting
      read.

  9. This is, as they say nowadays, huge. However, unless it bleeds carbon dioxide and they can blame it on humans, it won’t get much press and will end up swept under the rug.

  10. I recall my astonishment when Piers Corbyn made what I thought was a preposterous earthquake prediction in his horribly garish newsletter, just a few weeks before the 4th largest earthquake that the world has seen since 1900.

    When I first read Piers’ prediction, I thought he was nuts. When he was vindicated, I was absolutely astounded.

  11. Color me sceptical. Tolstoy has been going on about tidal locking since 2002 concerning earthquakes and volcanoes (periodic gravitational max impact on earths crust, not oceans per se). There is apparently something to it, supported by Glasser at geology.gpspub.org (2003). Easy google away.
    But to tie seafloor spreading magma intrusions to CO2 and climate change is a ‘bridge too far’. The reason is fundamental geology. Tectonic Spreading eruptions bring up basaltic mantle magma, almost by definition. That contains little CO2. High CO2 eruptions come from volcanos over subduction zones. The CO2 comes from the recycled crustal rock as it is thrust down under the other plate toward the basaltic mantle and melted. Sedimentary rocks like limestone get cooked no differently than in a cement kiln, freeing their biologically sequestered CO2. In fact, if that did not happen, photosynthesis would use up atmospheric CO2 in about 2.5 million years (leaving aside the anthropogenic component) and the planet would go dead. Such volcanos are almost all located on land arcs like the western coast of North America, or southeastern Asia. It is the upward thrust on the overlying plate from the subducting plate edge that causes those mountainous arcs to form. For directly related reasons, these are also the volcanos with high VEI and ash, like Pinatubo or El Chichon or Vesuvius.
    Her geophysics might be good. Dunno. The link to climate change, pretty sure not so good.

    • Tectonic plate action always has been an interesting concept to me. I have yet to figure out how something soft and mushy can drive something hard and solid under something else that is hard and solid. I would think that something soft and mushy would pile up, just like hot spot volcanoes such as the Hawaiian Islands are made from, regardless of the type of magma. I’ve just never really been able to come to grips with the concept. I would have thought the ejection of magma along the ridge line would sooner create a new chain of islands rather than, say, shove Japan under China.

      • Tom O, all geologists thought like you until about 1967, when the stripes of magnetic pole reversals recorded in the midAtlantic spreading rift were observationally determined. Alfred Wagoner was a meteorologist, not a geologist, who came to his theory pondering paleoclimate. How could fossil ferns exist on Arctic Svalbard? The story is told in capsule form as the continental drift example in my 2012 book, The Arts of Truth. And, geologists still do not agree on all the forces at work even today. Only that they are indeed at work. The world is a big, complicated place. The Roman goddess Veritas resided in a deep well. Regards.

      • “I have yet to figure out how something soft and mushy can drive something hard and solid under something else that is hard and solid.”

        Not sure why my mind drifted to where it did when I read this. LOL

      • Rud Istvan
        February 5, 2015 at 1:29 pm
        Tom O, all geologists thought like you until about 1967, when the stripes of magnetic pole reversals recorded in the midAtlantic spreading rift were observationally determined…

        You aren’t addressing the basic mechanism problem he referred to though. Pointing to magnetic isochrons tells you only that see floor is being created (there are even videos and geodetics these days Tom). And that process is effectively insitu with respect to the underlaying flow, assumed to be a divergence in the mantle away from the ridge. So there is no mechanical sliding of the ocean crust with respect to mantle there, it is attached to the mantle and moving along with it (so the theory goes, if you accept a solid rock mantle convects with wholly insufficient thermal energy and density difference to do so and overcome the mineral bonds).

        Thus the mechanical problem he refers to is at the other end of the plate. That bit is nowhere near adequately mechanically explained. There are theories, there are models, there are assertion that are convenient, but they are still plainly inadequate nonsense.

        We should not discourage people taking note of the inconsistencies and thinking about them while pretending it’s all been ‘explained’. There are explanations, plenty, but they sure aren’t explaining the realities, they are just the meme polish applied over decades to current convenient working theories that are full of holes.

        As I see it this is a clear warning for why we should not be making assumptions about our levels of understanding. It may be centuries before we have adequate cohesive compelling understandings of what’s actually going on inside Earth.

      • Tom O: It’s a matter of density. Hot rock – that at the spreading ridge – is less dense than all around. As a result it “floats” up. Look at a cross section of a spreading ridge. It stands like a mountain, hundreds of meters higher than the ocean floor (i.e. older material of the same origin) 500 miles, say, to either side. As the accreting (being added to) oceanic plates move away from the spreading ridge, they start to cool, and thus become more dense. At some point – maybe a 1000 miles away from the spreading ridge where it was born – a chunk of the plate becomes too dense for the underlying mantle to support. It simply begins to sink into the warmer, more fluid mantle material. (The continents, too, “float” on the mantle. The continents consist of materials with densities averaging on the order of 2.5 g/cm3 (“granite”); the underlying basaltic mantle is more like 3.0 g/cm3. Doesn’t sound like much, but it’s enough to keep us high and dry.)

        Now as to “soft and mushy”: that term may apply in geology, but in human terms, the lava flowing out of Kilauea – glowing red and seeming to flow like a brook – is literally hard as a rock. There used to be a You Tube video showing someone trying to thrust a pole into the flowing lava. It can’t be done. This stuff has a viscosity a thousand to a million times that of water. Its flowing falls in the category of “rheidity” – it’s more a matter of movements of chunks of material on micro-shear planes under the influence of gravity or some other force than the relatively free movement of molecules in water.

      • Tom O
        Convection forces normally should not make plates float, but as usual I have an unconventional view of the events.
        Solid earth core is not entirely spherical, it has a bulge due to continues melting on east side (strong magnetic hemisphere) and metallic crystallizing to the west (weak magnetic hemisphere). To complicate matters solid inner core rotates at slightly different rate to the surface crust, this movement can be tracked by the position of the South Atlantic geomagnetic anomaly which slowly drifts to the west.
        The thermal convection forces are in large part modulated by temperature difference between solid inner and liquid outer core, which due to the bulge is not equatorially even.
        If you look at Galapagos or Hawaiian volcanic islands, you may find that they describe arcs with oldest islands at one, and the youngest at the other end.

      • “I have yet to figure out how something soft and mushy can drive something hard and solid under something else that is hard and solid.”

        it is easier if you visualize it as pieces of tinfoil on top of a vat of slowly circulating molasses. Also the whole process is very largely driven by gravitation, heavy materials sink and light rises. Over large distances ad large blocks of material the difference in strength between “hard” and “soft” rocks are largely irrelevant, and both can be approximated as zero.

        ” I would have thought the ejection of magma along the ridge line would sooner create a new chain of islands rather than, say, shove Japan under China.”

        Sometimes it does, and the thing is that Japan exists exactly because it can’t be shoved under China, the rocks are to light to sink.

      • ” I would have thought the ejection of magma along the ridge line would sooner create a new chain of islands …
        That is the case where plates are moving apart, e.g. Iceland. Here you can see what Iceland might look like in a few million years time

    • Interesting pictures of the PNG CO2 seeps included with this article. Maya’s research and subsequent observations must be giving the authors of this study heart attacks. “These experiments and field trips are essential to study at first-hand what is occurring in nature when more and more CO2 from the atmosphere mixes with water,” said AIMS research scientist, Dr Katharina Fabricius.” It would appear that Dr. Fabricius needs to address releases of subsea CO2 rather than just focusing on atmospheric CO2 and these releases have been ongoing for millennia. We are but a spec….

      http://www.aims.gov.au/co2_seeps

      • Newsel, Dr Fabricius has committed what appears to be IMO academic misconduct in her studies of PNG corals and ocean acidification from CAGW. I have written both her and the Seattle Times about retractions/corrections. No responses. It is one of two examples in essay Shell Games in my new ebook. The essay tackles ocean acidification generally as another CAGW false alarm. Only the oyster portion was guest posted by Judith Curry, who also provided a foreword for the book.

  12. that they erupt almost exclusively during the first six months of each year.

    Huh. So from the winter solstice to the summer solstice? If orbital mechanics are the driver, one would think those would be the end points rather than the artificial Jan 1 to June 30?

      • Well yeah. But if the idea is that orbital mechanics drive rift activity, then angle of inclination to the gravity field would be significant, would it not? (I’m not arguing, I’m asking). Point being that “first six months of the year” seems like a pretty artificial time period. If there’s physics driving the pattern (as there must be) then we need a root physical cause to consider rather than calendar dates which are most assuredly just an accidental correlation. If not declination (just the first thing I thought of) then what?

      • Earth’s annual closest orbital distance to the Sun, or perihelion, occurred on January 4, 2015 at 0700 GMT/UTC.

      • If there’s physics driving the pattern (as there must be) then we need a root physical cause to consider rather than calendar dates

        the mechanism is always discovered after the observation. then, sometimes later a different mechanism is discovered that underlies the original mechanism. then, sometimes later a different mechanism …., etc., etc. However the observational data remain unchanged. Unless subject to pairwise homogenization, in which case the observational data is always changing.

      • Annual tidal forces are of course at maximum at perhelion, and while average tidal force is largest att eccentricity minimum, the variation is largest at eccentricity max.

    • I think the choice of dates was to give the general public – and the news media people – something that they could more easily relate to.

    • Well, it’s near enough. How likely is it that the earthquakes all start on the first day anyway?

      It still seems like an extraordinary claim, though.

  13. http://spaceandscience.net/sitebuildercontent/sitebuilderfiles/ssrcresearchreport1-2010geophysicalevents.pdf

    The article like most climatic articles comes to conclusions that go against the available data, which shows a very strong correlation between prolonged solar minimum periods and geological activity.

    What they claim has no data to back it up with yet in the face of data that shows (like in the above which I sent from the space and science center) which SHOWS a clear cut correlation between prolonged solar minimum conditions and volcanic activity they choose to ignore.

    Then to add insult they try to make it seem like CO2 leads to a temperature increase when again the data shows it is the opposite. Then again this is climate science why go by the data, just make your own which is all they have done.

    in addition another thought they do not bring up is under sea volcanic activity may heat up the oceans ,increasing the amounts of water vapor put into the atmosphere which could result in more snowfall and eventual glaciation. That said volcanic activity above the surface exerts more climatic effects then that from below.

    • Thank you for the link and a very interesting read. As we are apparently heading into a solar minimum I feel your frustration.

  14. Iceland sits across the mid-atlantic ridge. The conjectured pulses should be detectable there, no?

  15. “the carbon dioxide [seafloor volcanoes] are thought to emit is currently about the same as, or perhaps a little less than, from land volcanoes–about 88 million metric tons a year.”

    According to Jeff ID, “the oceans contain 37,400 billion tons (GT) of suspended carbon, land biomass has 2000-3000 GT. The atmosphere contains 720 billion tons of CO2 and humans contribute only 6 GT additional load on this balance.”

    The 0.088 GT of CO2 from seafloor volcanoes seems fairly insignificant compared to other sources. Wouldn’t their CO2 output have to “shoot up” about 100 times their current output just to equal current human output? I just can’t see how volcanic CO2 output alone could have much of an effect on climate.

    • The mass of the atmosphere is about 5.15E6 gigatonnes. CO2 is 400 ppm by volume. Mass of CO2 is about 44/29 times air. So .0004 v/v becomes .000606.
      5.15E6 times .000606 is 3126 gigatonnes of CO2 in the atmosphere.
      The biomass number is a guess for land surface, ocean biology is similar.
      Soil biology may be several times surface biology mass. Paper here.
      http://tinyurl.com/lqsu436
      Marine abiotic carbon is over 50 times larger than atmospheric. It acts as a buffer.
      Abiotic mineral pools are orders of magnitude greater, but have relatively small annual fluxes.
      Basically, atmosphere CO2 is controlled by land surface and soil biology, with a large ocean buffer.
      Physicists always neglect that a billion years of photosynthesis have causes the atmosphere to evolve into a biological artefact. And biology is notoriously non-linear.
      Burning fossil fuels adds about 3 to 4 percent to the annual carbon biogeochemical cycle.

  16. I wonder how an increase in subterranean volcanic activity might register in ARGO buoys between 700 and 2000m ?

    • Almost not at all IMO. The average depth of the oceans is over 4000 meters IIRC. Enormous thermal mass at a temp about 4C. Enormous chemical buffering capacity. Spreading rifts and subduction zones usually arise at the deepest ocean parts, almost by definition. Marianas trench is a subduction zone about 10000 meters down.

      • Rud & Salvatore,

        But could this fit the theory that CO2 follows temp and not leads it? Just asking. If there is some other trigger which initiates warming leading to ice reduction leading to increased volcanic activity (due to pressure reduction), could that be?

      • Danny, your observation is a fact. Paleo CO2 lags temp. Gore was wrong. See essay Cause and Effect in my new ebook for the latest. Two physical chem reasons why.
        But you are right, leaves even larger CAGW questions. Triggers, feedbacks, …

  17. …hmmm…We know the magma that reaches the surface emits heat. Duh More magma = more heat = more hot air. Magma that heats the oceans, then heats the atmosphere. More magma = more heat = more hot water = more hot air. Do we really have to discuss the CO2 relationships when we keep repeating that history shows no correlation of CO2 influencing global temperatures? WUWT?

  18. Researchers have been looking for a connection between tides, magnetic storms, distance to the moon, etc for many decades and none have been found. Here are some of the [negative] evidence:



    • Why not just look at the obvious?….
      Overlay a sea level map…with a sea temperature map….with a sea floor volcano map.. with a gravity map

      (hint: it even shows the little bitty sea floor volcano off the east coast of Japan, the little ones off the south west coast of South America…etc etc etc)

      Sea floor volcanoes increase gravity also…not the same thing as earthquakes

    • Thanks Leif for these data, I was looking for years for the data as I once read that there was a correlation between earthquake clusters and the solar cycle, but couldn’t find a confirmation.

      It definitely looks like there isn’t any correlation…

      • It is important to note that the Ap index is not a representation of the Sunspot number (direct measure of solar activity) it is related to the strength of the geomagnetic storms as measured here on Earth. GM storms have strongest effect in two polar regions (explaining the regional correlation ?). According to NASA an averaged two hour geomagnetic storm releases roughly same energy as a 5.5 magnitude earthquake. Whether this is likely trigger for a volcano to erupt (which is on the verge of erupting anyway) is another question.
        If correlation indicates causation, than it is a synchronising rather than driving force.
        Note an aurora is not covering whole of Arctic uniformly it is a rotating ark with radius proportional to the strength of a geomagnetic storm. http://helios.swpc.noaa.gov/ovation/images/Ovation_USA.png
        Currently geomagnetic activity is classed as ‘quiet’ 5-6 days ago there were 3 minor storms
        This http://flux.phys.uit.no/ActIx/AIx87.gif
        is table of the geomagnetic activity (Tromso, Norway) since 1987. It can be seen that strongest activity was away from both solar maxima and minima. Important to say it again: if the auroral area volcanic activity is somehow related to solar output than it is not sunspot number that matters, but only the coronal mass ejections, and only those directed towards the Earth, and further more only those of appropriate magnetic polarity and intensity.

      • Frequency of geomagnetic storms is 35% higher in the even sunspot cycles implying presence of 22 year cycle in the terrestrial events that might be affected

      • There is really no such effect. The definitive list of storms is maintained here: http://isgi.latmos.ipsl.fr/lesdonne.htm [unfortunately not quite up-to-date]. Plotting the number of Sudden Storm Commencements since 1868 you get:

        At times, odd cycles have been larger than even cycles, but that does not hold generally, e.g. cycle 22. The number of SSC’s scales with the square root of the sunspot number and has nothing to do with Even/Odd cycles. Now, there is a weak 22-year cycle in geomagnetic activity, but it goes from solar maximum to maximum, so, again is not tied to Even/Odd cycles [from minimum to minimum].

      • Not worth refuting.
        Redoing the graph will not make your statement correct. There is no 22-year cycle in the frequency of geomagnetic storms [but well a weak 22-year cycle in the intensity – not frequency].

      • Thanks for second link, just looked at it, it does confirm that there is something odd going on.
        Emailed UK Met Office last July, suggested to implement monthly weighting ( instead of 12 month average) in their CET annual data as more accurate calculation (only minor differences <0.07C), they just implemented it. They had to update all their annual files, rankings and corresponding charts. Hope your SSN update goes as smoothly.

      • If something odd is going on it is in your head. There is no 22-year cycle in the frequency of geomagnetic storms. Even cycles do not have more storms contrary to your claim.

  19. I wonder why CO2 seems so “well mixed” over the planet compared to that other GHG, water vapor. Yes, H2O has phase changes from gas to liquid to solid etc, which accounts for a lot of the clumpiness. But still, for a planet that’s covered mostly with water, the variability of water vapor seems remarkable, IMHO, compared to CO2.

    Atmospheric CO2 density seems ‘rock solid’, currently about 396 ppm plus or minus a few percent all over the planet. And it is monotonically rising at a remarkably smooth rate, at least from 1958 when Keeling first started publishing his famous curve:

    Inquiring minds want to know: why this curve is rising so steadily and uniformly all over the Earth? Man-made CO2 production is certainly not as ‘uniformly’ generated over the Earth. (see OCO2 prelim data)

    Could most of this CO2 be transpiring from all over the Earth simultaneously from oceanic CO2 sources at these undersea vulcanic sites?

    Finally note how well the Mauna Loa CO2 correlates with HADCRUT4 global temps (NH and SH)
    [Thanks to “Bart” for showing this on previous WUWT posts]
    http://www.woodfortrees.org/plot/esrl-co2/mean:12/derivative/plot/hadcrut4nh/from:1960
    http://www.woodfortrees.org/plot/esrl-co2/mean:12/derivative/plot/hadcrut4sh/from:1960

    Why does the SH correlate better than the NH?

    Chickens and eggs, here. Which came first?

    • I meant to say “…note how well the Mauna Loa CO2 trend (derivative) correlates with HADCRUT4 global temps …”

    • “Why does the SH correlate better than the NH? “
      I ask because most of these volcanic ridges appear to be in the SH. Is that right?

      • Your chart shows spreading zones. Now, in a different color, add the (‘equal but opposite’) subduction zones to roughly define all tectonic plate motion. (Hint, the Andes did not arise by accident.) Then note that in complex areas like off the isthmus of Panama, you really have to zoom in to get some comprehension. Essay by Land or by Sea in the ebook shows how important ‘zooming in’ is even in relatively stable places like Western Australia.
        Just like for the San Andreas fault in Silicon Valley below highway 101 from San Jose to San Fransisco, which is neither spreading nor subducting, only shearing. Which will eventually ruin 101 and all of its environs like it did in 1906. But somehow I doubt Apple, Facebook, Google, Cisco, and Oracle are going to move to Detroit because of this more eventually certain but less time defined disaster. More certain than IPCC’s CAGW, on similar time scales.
        Thanks for posting the chart you did. A good start and good question for all here to ponder.

    • Johanus,

      Water vapor is not well mixed because there is a limit in maximum water content of the atmosphere for a given temperature: less when colder. That gives clouds and rain if the temperature drops below the maximum saturation point. CO2 and air can mix in all ratio’s and all temperatures until the CO2 freezing point.

      Further, there is little doubt (except from Bart and Salby and a few others) that humans are the cause of the CO2 increase in the atmosphere, as humans emitted twice the total amount of CO2 in the atmosphere than observed, which is in near exact ratio to the human emissions:

      By plotting the derivatives, you look at the variability around the trend, which is quite small: +/- 1 ppmv, while the trend is about 110 ppmv over the past 165 years and humans emitted some 200 ppmv, currently about 4.5 ppmv/year.
      The variability is entirely caused by the influence of the temperature variability on (tropical) vegetation (ENSO), but temperature hardly influences the trend (some 6-8 ppmv from warming oceans since the LIA)…

      • Yes, Ferdinand, human emissions are the reason that CO2 is rising.

        However, despite the early concern, and after many thousands of scientists have intensely studied the effects, there remains no verifiable indication of ANY global harm due to the rise in CO2.

        I understand that this must be monitored — just in case. But every year that passes confirms the observation that CO2 is completely harmless.

        In addition, the plant kingdom absolutely thrives on the added CO2. More is clearly better. More CO2 keeps food costs down — an extremely important consideration to the one billion people living on less than $2 a day.

        Do you see anything wrong with what I wrote here?

      • Ferdinand,
        I understand the variability of water vapor. Yes, as a gas, H2O can vary from 10ppm to over 50,000ppm in the atmosphere.

        Actually I am more surprised by the uniformity of CO2 in the atmosphere, given the relative sparsity (compared to H2O) of CO2 sources and sinks, over all of the Earth’s surface. According to some initial findings of the OCO2 satellite experiment, the density over the entire earth stays within 392 to 402 ppm. (I realize that was preliminary data, with an update due next month)

        It seems to be an incredibly small variance when you consider that the CO2 sources are relatively sparsely distributed over the earth.

        So that’s why Tolstoy’s article suggested to me a possible explanation for this “uber-uniformity”. But apparently that would require a lot more than 88 megatonnes per year (if that is correct).

        Just wondering out loud, but still remain skeptical about the extent of man-made contribution to CO2 levels.

        Thanks for providing the information!

      • Johannus wrote: “Actually I am more surprised by the uniformity of CO2 in the atmosphere, given the relative sparsity (compared to H2O) of CO2 sources and sinks, over all of the Earth’s surface”.

        The atmosphere is in constant motion, so any gas released into the atmosphere will, in a few years, get mixed throughout the troposphere. If the gas gets removed from the atmosphere in less time than that, it will tend to be found in higher concentrations near its source and its concentration will be variable with place and time. The shorter the lifetime, the more variable the concentration will be. Gases, like CO2, with lifetime of more than a few years are pretty close to uniformly mixed.

      • Interesting from dbstealey there:

        “Yes, Ferdinand, human emissions are the reason that CO2 is rising.”

        The meme of temperature leading CO2 increase seems to be gone then. Could that lead to the conclusion that rising CO2 will lead to rising temperature?

        Perhaps. Because dbstealey is busy trying to move the gooalposts:

        “However, despite the early concern, and after many thousands of scientists have intensely studied the effects, there remains no verifiable indication of ANY global harm due to the rise in CO2.”

        That leaves a lot up to more personal judgments. What is “harm”? And why the qualifier “global”? Sure seems like an attempt to cover the most bases possible.

        At least it seems like there have been developments for dbstealey.

      • rooter,

        Get a grip on reality. “Global” comes from “global” warming, see?

        If you believe there has been ANY global harm, or negative reaction of ANY kind due to the rise in [harmless, beneficial] CO2, then post it here. Otherwise, you are just cluttering up the thread with pixels. As usual.

      • rooter:

        To add to my reply above, what would constitute “harm” is anything that would make the alarmist crowd (and the media) jump up and down and point to it, saying excitedly, “Look! That is being caused by the rise in CO2!! And it is getting worse!”

        Is that a good enough definition of global ‘harm’?

        Make no mistake, they will blame anything they can on CO2. But the fact that they have been unable to find anything to point to is *very* strong evidence that CO2 is harmless.

      • Johanus,

        As already said by Mike M, atmospheric mixing is quite rapid, but the ITCZ delays the exchanges between NH and SH, allowing only about 10% of air masses exchange between the hemispheres. Seasonal exchanges are huge: about 20% of all CO2 in the atmosphere is exchanged between atmosphere and other reservoirs over the seasons, but as the exchanges with oceans and vegetation are countercurrent with temperature (vegetation in the NH dominates), the net result is only some 2% change in the atmosphere over the seasons which is visible in the Mauna Loa curve.
        Human emissions are for 90% in the NH and one can see that the increase is measured at sea level (Barrow) in the NH first, reaching the same level some 6 months later at height (Mauna Loa) then in the SH at sea level (Samoa) some 15 months later and then in the SH at height (South Pole) some 2 years later:

      • Ferdinand

        You say

        Human emissions are for 90% in the NH and one can see that the increase is measured at sea level (Barrow) in the NH first, reaching the same level some 6 months later at height (Mauna Loa) then in the SH at sea level (Samoa) some 15 months later and then in the SH at height (South Pole) some 2 years later:

        You claim “Human emissions are for 90%” of what?

        Human emissions of CO2 are ~2% of total CO2 emissions (natural and human).

        At issue is what contribution – if any – the human emissions provide to the change in atmospheric CO2 concentration. Your ‘mass balance’ assumptions are that the human emission causes all the change by overloading the ability of the carbon cycle system to sequester all of it.

        However, the equilibrium between atmospheric and ocean concentrations of CO2 is affected by ocean pH. A change to general ocean surface layer pH of less than 0.1 would be too small to discern but cause a change to atmospheric CO2 concentration larger than has been observed. The paper by Tolstoy requires serious scrutiny because it suggests “pulses” of undersea volcanism may affect ocean chemistry and, thus, ocean surface layer pH.

        Richard

      • Richard please…

        What you write was rejected many times before:
        – Human CO2 emissions are currently ~10 GtC/year, of which 90% is released in the industrialized huge populations of the NH. The natural cycle is ~150 GtC/year or humans emit ~7% of the natural cycle.
        – Human CO2 is additional, the net natural cycle is negative: more sink than source. That means zero contribution of the natural cycle to the increase in the atmosphere, whatever the distribution and changes in fluxes in nature over the years.
        – If there was an enormous increase in natural CO2 circulation, dwarfing the human emissions, that needs to be a fourfold increase over the past 55 years in lockstep with human emissions increase, for which is not the slightest indication in any observation. To the contrary: the later estimates of the residence time show a small increase, as the throughput remained quite constant in an increasing CO2 level of the atmosphere.
        – If undersea volcanoes emit sufficient amounts of acids (in the enormous carbonate buffer masses of the deep oceans), then the pH of the oceans could lower somewhat, but that would show up in a lower total carbon (DIC: CO2 + -bi-carbonates) content of the oceans as they release CO2 to the atmosphere. If the lower pH from the oceans is caused by the increase of CO2 in the atmosphere, DIC would increase. The latter is what is observed…

        Thus sorry, undersea volcanoes are not the cause of the increase of CO2 in the atmosphere…

      • The problem is that on a thourough inspection, neither the green nor the purple lines look anything like the the blue or red lines. There is no proper correlation.

      • Ferdinand

        You have not answered my question.

        You claim “Human emissions are for 90%” of what?

        Your having repeatedly disputed a possibility is NOT your having “refuted” the possibility.
        You say

        – If undersea volcanoes emit sufficient amounts of acids (in the enormous carbonate buffer masses of the deep oceans), then the pH of the oceans could lower somewhat, but that would show up in a lower total carbon (DIC: CO2 + -bi-carbonates) content of the oceans as they release CO2 to the atmosphere. If the lower pH from the oceans is caused by the increase of CO2 in the atmosphere, DIC would increase. The latter is what is observed…

        The same issues remain. Variability of DIC and the lack of data over almost all of the oceans for almost all of the time of the rise means that your claims are meaningless. There are no measurements of DIC which could reliably indicate its global change during the recent period of rising atmospheric CO2 concentration.

        I repeat

        The paper by Tolstoy requires serious scrutiny because it suggests “pulses” of undersea volcanism may affect ocean chemistry and, thus, ocean surface layer pH.

        The suggestion may be determined to be right or wrong, but scrutiny of the paper to assist the determination should not be inhibited by false confidence in inadequate data.

        “We do not know” is a scientific statement.

        Richard

      • dbstealey says:

        “To add to my reply above, what would constitute “harm” is anything that would make the alarmist crowd (and the media) jump up and down and point to it, saying excitedly, “Look! That is being caused by the rise in CO2!! And it is getting worse!”

        Is that a good enough definition of global ‘harm’?”

        dbstealey seems to have moved from doubting IPCC wg1 conclusions that the world has warmed and we have caused it. Caused the rise in CO2 and the increased temperature.

        Now he is moving goalpost. Those goalpost are made out of rubber and can be moved whenever he feels threatened.

      • Richard,

        There are many million measurements done over a lot of repeated tracks in all oceans. While that still is sparse for the full oceans (especially the South Pacific) surface, all repeated measurements of the same places over time show an increase in DIC, and as far as measured, a decrease in pH. That includes the main upwelling areas where the deep ocean volcano releases should be measurable first.

        It would be a really bad luck if the ocean measurements would have missed any large area of the oceans where there was a drop in pH combined with a drop in DIC. That is one point in the story.

        The other point is that the “missing source” must have started and increased its emissions completely synchronized with human emissions, probably together with coal mining, which mass release triggered undersea volcanoes to emit more CO2 at thousands of kilometers distance…

        Seems rather impossible to me…

      • Ferdinand

        You still have not answered my question

        You claim “Human emissions are for 90%” of what?

        The number and coverage of the measurements is completely inadequate for determination of changes to global ocean DIC and global ocean surface layer pH.

        And, yes, the human CO2 emissions and rise in atmospheric CO2 are coincident. So what? It would also indicate nothing if the human CO2 emissions were coincident with a fall in atmospheric CO2 because the atmospheric CO2 must be rising or falling if it is not constant.

        I repeat, “We do not know” is a scientific statement.

        Richard

      • Richard, I did say “human emissions are for 90% in the NH”. That implies that only 10% of human emissions are in the SH. That is why the increase of CO2 in the atmosphere is in the NH first.

        All points on a row:
        – The pH gets lower, DIC gets higher in the oceans which only can be caused by increased CO2 in the atmosphere. There are no measurements of the opposite trend anywhere. The increase in DIC is in perfect ratio with the increase in the atmosphere as per Revelle/buffer factor.
        – CO2 gets higher in the atmosphere in the NH first, while the main deep ocean upwelling is in the SH near the equator.
        – The δ13C level of all CO2 from volcanoes of the world and from the oceans is higher than of the atmosphere, all CO2 measurements in the atmosphere and the ocean surface give a steady decline in δ13C in near perfect ratio to human emissions.
        – The undersea volcano CO2 emissions are estimated les than 1/50th of the human emissions.
        – Volcanic emissions are intermittent, as the above research shows. The increase in the atmosphere is fluent, slightly quadratic, in near perfect ratio with human emissions.

        “We do not know” is a scientific statement.

        “We don’t want to know” is a much more appropriate statement in this case…

      • @rooter:

        You completely ignored my definition. Instead, you deflected. Then you accused me of ‘moving the goal posts’!

        rooter, your problem is psychological ‘projection’: imputing your own faults onto others.

      • Ferdinand

        Thankyou for ther clarification of “90%” which you have now provided.

        Yes, you very clearly do not want to know – or at least, you do not want to admit – that the sparse ocean DIC and pH data is inadequate to indicate what you want it to.

        Richard

      • dbstealey says:

        “You completely ignored my definition. Instead, you deflected. Then you accused me of ‘moving the goal posts’!

        rooter, your problem is psychological ‘projection’: imputing your own faults onto others.”

        Your rubber definitions reflect your failing defenses. Those rubber definitions are all you have left. From denying we cause CO2 rise and temperature rise to clinging on to “it cannot be harmful!”

        That is development. Interesting development.

      • What you write was rejected many times before:

        That is not an argument in favor of your theories. Virtually all theories have been rejected many times before they were accepted. There are countless examples down through history of theories that were rejected time and time again by the established scientists, only to later be shown to provide a better explanation of observations than the theories of established scientists. Often after the established scientists retired or died, and their roles as gatekeepers were eliminated.

        “Science advances one funeral at a time.” Max Planck

      • Richard Courtney says:

        Ferdinand

        You have not answered my question.

        Ferdinand has ignored my question completely.

        Next, rooter says:

        Those rubber definitions are all you have left. From denying we cause CO2 rise and temperature rise to clinging on to “it cannot be harmful!”

        Ah, rooter. Name-calling and misrepresenting my position is all you have left. In case the reason is that you’re slow to understand, I will repeat, in more detail:

        a) I do not deny that humans caused the recent rise in CO2. In fact, as I have explained many times, I think that human emissions are the main cause. Ferdinand convinced me of that. So that is a misrepresentation.

        b) What is a “rubber” definition? Is that your way of trying to say what I pointed out about you, except using different words? Seems so. I gave you a perfectly good definition of global “harm”: when scientists and the media start to point to harmful effects, stating that they are caused by the recent rise in CO2, then we can discuss whether CO2 is harmful. But so far, there are not any harmful effects at all. Otherwise, we would hear about it 24/7/365. Wouldn’t we?

        c) I have never denied that human emissions caused a rise in global temperatures. But I am a skeptic. Show me, in a convincing way, by using scientific measurements and empirical evidence, that this is so. But as of now, that is only an assertion. Skeptics call such assertions “conjectures” unless they are accompanied by testable evidence. So far, you have none. Note that a conjecture is an opinion.

        d) What am I “clinging” to, rooter? By using that political term du jour, you are just playing the man instead of the ball. But since that’s all you’ve got, I’m not surprised. You certainly do not have sufficient corroborating evidence. If you think a comment like that is convincing in any scientific way, let me inform you: it’s not.

        e) Yes, my position that the recent rise in CO2 is not harmful. Prove me wrong. I do not say that it cannot be harmful. But that is your burden. You have not met that burden. Show us verifiable global harm from the rise in CO2. If you do, you will be making Ferdinand’s response easier, too.

        You need to think logically, rooter. So far, it appears that the ‘carbon’ scare has colonized your mind. Try to overcome that by being more objective.

  20. I think the study has merit, the mechanical part of it anyway. It can be replicated, too. The CO2 part is pure hogwash. Maybe she had to add the obligatory phrase. This might be a signal to peer reviewers and bankers of science.

  21. “They belch CO2 that produces more warming”

    You can imagine the sense of relief that this was included.

  22. The problem with so many in climate science is that they try to prove their points with specific items they want to try to convince us may or may not change the climate in ISOLATION ,rather then in the context of the entire picture.
    Again a given force and magnitude changes of that force have to be taken into account with the entire spectrum of items that are exerting an influence on the climate at that given time ,along with the state of the climate at that given time in order to get a sense of what impact that specific force may or may not exert on the climate.

    This is why it is so hard to prove and show a simple cause and effect relationship between the climate and items exerting a force upon the climate even though it does exist..

  23. There’s a challenge to all you climate modelers. Take those volcanoes into your climate models, and stop changing the historical record!

  24. Golly gee, something I have asked about on this site many times. Seems the data that I found available on under sea volcanos indicated insufficient energy output for making much difference in ocean temperature. But since geothermal is the only other source of actual heat on this planet other than UHI situations I have always thought it might be another place to look.

      • Other, being solar, of course, but we are told that solar cycles do not account for more than .1 degree of warming. So you have solar, geothermal and actual man made heat ie UHI type situations. What other sources of heat are there on this rock?

      • I really thought that you were being snarky, because as you know, UHI accounting in temp records is controversial. It was a good joke.
        Real world UHI- not enough added energy to matter. Temp record UHI- cause for alarm.

      • Alan,
        No, just trying to account for all the potential sources of heat and some of it IS man made, though as you point out it is very little. However, as a motorcycle rider I can tell you it is very noticeable when one enters a UHI area. In terms of measurement it is also quite apparent as one rides along how different the temperature can be in a short span of distance between sun and shade slight changes in elevation. Siting is a big issue. Forget CO2, what other sources of actual heat are there on this planet other than those I have mentioned?

  25. The introduction of solid-earth geophysics here suggests that it might be interesting to assess the opinions of scientists in diverse fields, such as geology or biology, on the prevailing trends in climate research.

  26. Any study that concludes: “The findings suggest that models of the earth’s natural climate dynamics, and by extension human influenced climate change, may have to be adjusted.” is a giant step in the right direction. The implication that climate is determined by complex earth dynamics instead of simply “Carbon forces temperature” is a starting point for warmists to back down from defending climate models that have failed to predict climate for the past thirty years. I wonder if Mann, Hansen et.al. will use these findings as a side door to make an escape from their carbon obsessed hockey stick predictions… We can only hope.

  27. Interestingly, I Just saw a presentation by Dr. Bob Ballard at an ONR conference in Washington DC.
    He spent a lot of time talking about the profound effects of these “black smokers” on sea-water chemistry.
    He also said that there are about 10,000 documented black smokers, or underwater volcanoes that have actually been mapped along these oceanic ridges, but they estimate that there are 100,000! They are all down there spewing great gobs of chemicals into the water and we have barely scratched the surface in learning about them.

    • True that. We are only starting to learn about smokers. Only discovered them a couple of decades ago with the invention of deep sea drones. And these smokers support really archaic/exotic life forms that do not even metabolize oxygen or CO2! Wonderful new science on many fronts.
      But as for ocean chemistry and heat, the oceans are really big and really deep with enormous thermal and buffering capacity. Plus, they and life have been around for at least 2.4 or so billion years based on the most recent algal mats paper published earlier this week. Much to learn, but not to worry about in re CAGW.

      • Active black smokers were first observed in 1977, however the geological record from Archean times revealed deposits of massive sulphides that were laid down on or near the sea floor in volcanic conditions. Geologists generally agreed that sea floor volcanic processes were important in the 1960’s in formation of Volcanogenic Massive Sulphide deposits and maybe earlier, however it was not until 1977 that observational proof was acquired. So knowledge goes back more than a couple of decades.

    • My take away from this study is an acknowledgement of how little we really know about a lot of factors. Just publishing this in a distinguished publication gives credibility to questions that heretofore have been pooh poohed by the climate establishment.

      Good for them. Now let’s go forward and devote resources to finding some more known unknowns and if we are real lucky, even an unknown unknown may pop up.

  28. Supports the importance of tidal effects. Tides influence not only magma flows, but ocean currents and even atmospheric circulation and perhaps even the sun’s activity cycles. Understanding all of this is a major undertaking.

  29. “People have ignored seafloor volcanoes on the idea that their influence is small–but that’s because they are assumed to be in a steady state, which they’re not,” said the study’s author, marine geophysicist Maya Tolstoy of Columbia University’s Lamont-Doherty Earth Observatory.

    Rivers predominately carry alkalinity to the oceans, but the merely slightly alkaline state of the oceans suggests some compensating chemistry. For a long time people thought that ocean pH was regulated ultimately by reactions between deep seawater and sediments, but as Walt Allensworth February 5, 2015 at 3:08 pm, says there are so many black, and clear, vents along the midocean ridges spewing acidic water, that these probably maintain ocean pH instead.

    • The oceans are an alkaline liquid in an alkaline container. Not very surprising that they are alkaline. Fresh water on the other hand is normally mildly acidic, so rivers if anything predominantly carry acidity to the ocean.

      • At what point in their flow are rivers normally acidic? If the water input to the oceans is acidic, then why is the ocean mildly alkaline? If dissolution of CO2 into water produces a weak acid, carbonic acid, why is the ocean mildly alkaline?

  30. Something that develops slowly, like vulcanism, is likely to be finally triggered by a small cyclical change, as it gets slowly closer to that trigger point and the cyclical force makes that last little difference.

  31. I am delighted to see this concept finally gaining serious attention. I have been thinking along these same lines (periodic orbital and precessional gravitational forces triggering plate tectonic activity) for over twenty years, although I must say that an effect from sea level variations hadn’t occurred to me. Two points: first, it seems to me that such gravity-induced tectonism provides a far better, and less problematical, explanation for climate variations with Milankovitch cyclicities, including cyclical ice ages, than radiative forcing does. Second, as my colleague, volcanologist Peter L. Ward, has argued, a far more likely driver of global warming than carbon dioxide is ozone depletion resulting from episodes of intense basaltic volcanism releasing chlorine to the atmosphere, such as the massive Icelandic eruptions that accompanied the Preboreal Warming about 11,300 years ago, ending the last ice age. The recent dramatic warming of the last 3 decades of the 20th century coinciding with massive releases of chlorofluorocarbons to the atmosphere tends to support this model, especially as that warming episode appears to have ended some 17 years ago. More on this at our website ozonedepletiontheory.info.

  32. It would be fun to find a link between LOD (length of day) and ice ages. The headlines so far have said both that global warming will lengthen the day and will shorten it. An ice age might shorten it, with massive glaciers near the poles and lower oceans, causing the earth to spin faster. Then there would be some adjustment needed to the geoid due to the changed gravity forces, going from oblate spheroid to less oblate spheroid, and those forces might generate some increased volcanism. If there aren’t enough mights woulds and coulds yet, an ice age buildup could cause massive volcanic outbursts which might then end the ice age.

  33. IPCC AR5 TS.6 admits they have no idea what’s going on in the ocean below 2,000 meters which accounts for half of it.

  34. Fascinating research. I expect it will be validated via peer review as on-target and significant. Two posters mentioned important points for why there isn’t a perfect correlation: lag and triggering / tipping points of slowly-building events like volcanic eruption. The parochial view that the Earth is not subject to similar processes throughout the rest of the solar system diminished a lot with comet Shoemaker-Levy. There are tidally influenced / driven volcanoes on Io. Why should the Earth not be similarly influenced by the Sun?

  35. “Researchers have suggested that as icecaps build on land, pressure on underlying volcanoes also builds, and eruptions are suppressed.”

    Huh? Where on earth does ice cap volcanos? Maaaby Iceland and the Antarctic peninsula, or not. Any volcano worth its salt would burn through ice like a hot knife through butter. The rest of the ridge and trench system remains free to expel all the WATER and CO2 it likes.

    There is good evidence that in the Cretaceous some music of the spheres harmonized to produce impressive amounts of WATER and CO2 from unusual amounts of volcanism. Interesting that this same music seems to have suppressed magnetic reversals.

    It is entirely possible that this massive outgassing produced a taller atmosphere, substantial adiabatic heating, and near surface pressure and density increases sufficient to aide in the evolution of the enormous mass and wingspans of dinosaurs.

  36. If they are scientists they have no right to presume anything. These patterns have been clearly there and have been pointed out to them years ago by those they dismissed as washing machine fixers. Any ten percent or more competent computer modeller would also assume that all sources of CO2 whether geological or biological should be included in any model. The absence of even data on so much should have told them the models were total tripe.

  37. I gotta say, I’m far from convinced. The author claims that mid-oceanic tides are causative of mid-oceanic volcanic “events”. Regarding what an event might be when it’s at home, she says:

    Mid-Ocean Ridge events confirmed to be magmatic/volcanic in origin through observations of fresh seafloor lava and/or changes in vent fluid chemistry (see main text for references).

    Seems terribly vague to me, elsewhere they are described as “mid-ocean ridge eruptions/diking events”. In any case, she says:

    All but one of the events happen near the low in fortnightly tides, with four happening just following the lowest point in the fortnightly modulations.

    That seems bizarre to me. Open ocean tides are typically small, on the order of perhaps a meter. The ocean depth in the regions is on the order of 3,000 metres. This means that the tides cause a variation of the weight on the ocean floor which is not a variation of even one percent. And it’s not a variation of even a tenth of a percent. It’s a variation on the order of three-hundredths of a percent …

    I’m sorry, but I’m not buying that a variation of three hundredths of a percent of the weight on the ocean floor makes any difference at all. I think she’s looking at coincidence, particularly since her dataset is so dang small. How small? A pathetic sample of nine, count’em nine mid-oceanic “events”, eight of which make some kind of pattern with respect to tides? Not impressed.

    w.

    • “That seems bizarre to me. Open ocean tides are typically small, on the order of perhaps a meter. The ocean depth in the regions is on the order of 3,000 metres. This means that the tides cause a variation of the weight on the ocean floor which is not a variation of even one percent.”
      ////////////////////

      That was my immediate gut reaction, but perhaps something more than simple changes in the mass of over lying water is being influenced.

      • I am just wondering if the tidal waves are not from the oceans, but tidal waves of the magma itself, as that is as good a liquid. When that gets its way towards the surface, one can imagine that it triggers more earthquakes, including “tidal” peaks…

  38. No discussion of the physical form of the CO2 that is found in subsea volcanos. At the temperature and pressure found in the deep sea, the CO2 is a liquid, somewhat heavier than water. My guess is that it pools in the deeper areas forming lakes that are a constant source of some CO2 for the deep water currents that pass slowly over them. Those currents appear to get to the surface in the southeastern Pacific. CO2 in the atmosphere is elevated in that area. Something to think about.

    • That’s a very interesting point. At ocean depths where temperatures are close to 0C and hundreds of atmospheres of pressure, CO2 would reside roughly in the center of its liguid phase. (Except perhaps near those volcanic ridges.)


      So, CO2 might be automatically sequestered in the oceans, absorbing a lot of heat in the process too. But then some part of it might be released around the ridges. Could there be something like “CO2 weather” on the bottom of the ocean, where it rains liquid CO2? (How soluble is liquid CO2? )

      Just waving my hands here of course, but have these questions been addressed in the climate literature? Has any CO2 pooling been observed? Or would it just turn into limestone?

      • me:”…absorbing a lot of heat in the process too. But then some part of it might be released around the ridges…

        I got that backwards, didn’t I. Of course, heat would be released when CO2 liquifies (heat of condensation) and absorbed when it turns back into a (dissolved) gas (heat of vaporization). Because entropy (dQ/T) of a substance decreases when it passes from gas to liquid etc.

      • I recall reading an article where a team of Japanese Scientists found a pool of liquid CO2 in the deep ocean. I believe the pool was below an inversion layer. Sorry that I can’t give you more detail.

      • I found this, which may be the paper you saw.

        http://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/10.1029/2006GL026115/pdf
        “Liquid CO2 venting on the seafloor: Yonaguni Knoll IV hydrothermal system, Okinawa Trough”,
        Uta Konno,Urumu Tsunogai,Fumiko Nakagawa,Miwako Nakaseama,Jun-ichiro Ishibashi,Takuro Nunoura,
        and Ko-ichi Nakamura

        Abstract

        We determined the chemical and isotopic compositions of the liquid CO2 found on Yonaguni IV knoll hydrothermal site, as well as those in hydrothermal fluid venting from the surrounding chimneys. The δ13C of both CO2 and CH4 in the liquid CO2 almost coincide with those in the hydrothermal fluid, suggesting that the liquid CO2 must be derived from the hydrothermal fluid. While showing homogeneous δ13C, the hydrothermal fluids exhibit wide variation in gas contents. Active phase separation must be taking place within the conduits. Besides, H2-depletion in the liquid CO2 suggests formation of solid CO2-hydrate must also precede the venting of liquid CO2. In conclusion, liquid CO2 must be produced through following subseafloor processes: phase separation of hydrothermal fluid due to boiling, formation of solid CO2-hydrate due to cooling of vapor phase, and melting of the solid CO2-hydrate to liquid CO2 due to a temperature increase within the sedimentary layer.

        A more complex process than I imagined. Also saw several other papers on the CO2-hydrate as an ocean sequestering idea.
        Thanks.

  39. “Tolstoy found that all known modern eruptions occur from January through June. January is the month when Earth is closest to the sun, July when it is farthest–a period similar to the squeezing/unsqueezing effect Tolstoy sees in longer-term cycles.”

    Sun-earth distance from January to June is almost equal to July to December. If distance was really the cause, she should see the effect either January or June. The difference in gravitational pressure on earth between perihelion and aphelion is around 4.6 MPa. The compressive strength of most rocks including granite and basalt is over 20 MPa. The squeezing will have little effect on solid rocks. It might pull the magma upward if a volcano is ready to erupt for other reasons.

    • Solar tidal bulge is half the lunar tidal bulge. If sun’s gravity influences magma and rocks in earth’s crust, the moon should have greater influence. Tolstoy should see more eruptions during high tides. This is a common perception among laymen but volcanologists dismiss it.

  40. ‘People have ignored seafloor
    volcanoes on the idea that their
    influence is small–but that’s
    because they are assumed to be
    in a steady state, which they’re
    not’.

    ‘People … are assumed to be
    in a steady state’ ‘which they’re not.’

    priceless. repeated.

  41. Now for the claims that volcano pulses or lack of volcano pulses by ‘lucky chance’ balance out the warming that would have happened because of AGW.
    Climate ‘science’ can you find another area has easy to be ‘right in’ ?

  42. I don’t think the window of activity of Jan to June is accurate.

    One of NZ’s most active volcanos, Mount Ruapehu seems to
    like popping its cork between July and December. (Dec 1945,
    Nov 1994, Sept 1995, Sept 1996, Oct 2006, Sept 2007, May
    2008 etc).

    White Island, an almost continuously active volcano, erupted
    in August 2012. and again August and October 2013.

    Mount Tongariro (same volcanic line as Ruapehu and further
    to Nth East) cleared its throat and had a cough in November
    2012

    The submarine volcano, Monowai, has been erupting on and
    off since 2012, the last activity in Oct 2014.

    Currently there is a submiarine volcano in Tonga active. It seems
    to be the only one inside the Jan-June window.

    These have in common:
    – July to December eruptions (exception is current active cone in Tonga)
    outside the Jan to June window..
    – all are Southern Hemisphere.
    Some are sub-aerial, some are submarine.
    Ruapehu, Tongariro and White Island are in the Taupo Volcanic
    zone, which is a sub-aerial spreading ridge.
    Monowai is on the edge of the Tongan Trench
    The majority do occur within three months of perihelion, if that
    is not coincicence.

    I look forward to reading the paper.

    • sophocles February 6, 2015 at 2:55 am

      I don’t think the window of activity of Jan to June is accurate.

      One of NZ’s most active volcanos, Mount Ruapehu seems to like popping its cork between July and December. (Dec 1945, Nov 1994, Sept 1995, Sept 1996, Oct 2006, Sept 2007, May 2008 etc).

      IF the volcanic action were driven by tidal forces, there’s a huge problem with both her and your claims. IF tidal forces are the driver, we’d expect the eruptions to be at the time of maximal flexion, which is the time of the maximal tidal forces. Here are those forces:

      As you can see, the maximal forces are not aligned with the calendar year, nor would we expect them to be. So IF tides rule eruptions, they would not fall in a particular section of the year (e.g. first six months).

      Do tides rule eruptions? Possibly … but neither your data nor hers help in any form.

      w.

  43. Due to the chemistry of their magmas, the carbon dioxide they are thought to emit is currently about the same as, or perhaps a little less than, from land volcanoes–about 88 million metric tons a year. But were the undersea chains to stir even a little bit more, their CO2 output would shoot up, says Tolstoy.

    And in related news….

    Letter To Nature Geosicience – 8 February 2011
    Explosive eruptions at mid-ocean ridges driven by CO2-rich magmas
    The abundance of volatile compounds, and particularly CO2, in the upper oceanic mantle affects the style of volcanic eruptions. At mid-ocean ridges, eruptions are generally dominated by the gentle effusion of basaltic lavas with a low volatile content. However explosive volcanism has been documented at some ocean spreading centres1, 2, 3, indicative of abundant volatile compounds. Estimates of the initial CO2 concentration of primary magmas can be used to constrain the CO2 content of the upper oceanic mantle, but these estimates vary greatly4, 5. Here we present ion microprobe measurements of the CO2 content of basaltic melt trapped in plagioclase crystals. The crystals are derived from volcanic ash deposits erupted explosively at Axial Seamount, Juan de Fuca Ridge, in the northeast Pacific Ocean. We report unusually high CO2 concentrations of up to 9,160 ppm, which indicate that the upper oceanic mantle is more enriched in carbon than previously thought. We furthermore suggest that CO2 fluxes along mid-ocean ridges4, 5 vary significantly. Our results demonstrate that elevated fluxes of CO2 from the upper oceanic mantle can drive explosive eruptions at mid-ocean ridges.
    http://www.nature.com/ngeo/journal/v4/n4/abs/ngeo1104.html

  44. So … What the author Maya Tolstoy is saying is that undersea volcanoes are alternately in a state of war and peace?

      • Very interesting speech! I am just wondering if the tidal waves are not from the oceans, but tidal waves of the magma itself, as that is as good a liquid. When that gets its way towards the surface, one can imagine that it triggers more earthquakes, including “tidal” peaks…

      • Hydrosphere is (almost) free to move into atmosphere, that is not the case for the magma, outer liquid or the heaviest metallic inner core. Since none of these are ‘compressable’ I suspect some kind of ‘shunting’ effect, however small, propagating in a spiral from the centre towards periphery.

        Point she makes about the regular jolts eventually triggering a major event, could equally apply to the geomagnetic storm circumstance, I described in the comment further above.

  45. http://www.newscientist.com/article/dn26923-melting-ice-spells-volcanic-trouble.html
    Article first published online: 6 FEB 2015 DOI: 10.1002/2014GL062446
    Abstract
    Earth’s present-day response to enhanced glacial melting resulting from climate change can be measured using Global Positioning System (GPS) technology. We present data from 62 continuously operating GPS instruments in Iceland. Statistically significant upward velocity and accelerations are recorded at 27 GPS stations, predominantly located in the Central Highlands region of Iceland, where present-day thinning of the Iceland ice caps results in velocities of more than 30 mm/yr and uplift accelerations of 1–2 mm/yr2. We use our acceleration estimates to back calculate to a time of zero velocity, which coincides with the initiation of ice loss in Iceland from ice mass balance calculations and Arctic warming trends. We show, through a simple inversion, a direct relationship between ice mass balance measurements and vertical position and show that accelerated unloading is required to reproduce uplift observations for a simple elastic layer over viscoelastic half-space model.
    http://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/10.1002/2014GL062446/abstract;jsessionid=31DF5ED191B0EE67BE89233C497B12D6.f04t04

  46. “The most interesting takeaway from this paper is that it provides further evidence that the solid Earth, and the air and water all operate as a single system.”

    What is bizarre is that climate science often behaves as if this wasn’t true. Probably because it would involve admitting that since they do not know how the Earth, the atmosphere and water operate as a single system, they have no business claiming they can diagnose what may or may not be wrong with the climate. They would have to admit in fact they are practicing pseudo-science; take some science, ignore what they don’t know, mix it up with a bunch of BS and then make extravagant claims.

    “People have ignored seafloor volcanoes on the idea that their influence is small–but that’s because they are assumed to be in a steady state…”

    The extravagant claims of climate doom requires everything in the Earth, and the atmosphere and water to be steady state…except for CO2. This is a ridiculous premise to base any theory on but is required to claim CO2 as a poison to the system.

  47. All of this is in a word is ridiculous and does little to explain why the climatic historical record is what it is. They do not believe in data.

    My explanation as to why the climate changes conforms to the data. It is far superior to this.

  48. factors which also could affect squeeze \ unsqueeze cycles are the wobble of entire 11? body solar system barycenter ➡️ solar flares ➡️ cloud formation…

    undersea volcanoes could cause warming effect by increasing water vapor while land volcanoes cause cooling via reduced albedo …. what net effect occurs?

  49. MY REPLY TO WHAT THE ARTICLE SAYS BELOW:

    A small part of the story and does little to explain abrupt climate change which takes place in decades. A 100,000 year slow moving cycle is not the explanation.

    The climate most likely acts as a two tier system in that it has slow moving cycles such as Milankovitch Cycles that gradually move the climate toward a warmer or colder climate but super imposed on this gradual cycle are forces, and events that can create counter abrupt climatic trends especially when the climate is near the glacial/inter- glacial threshold condition which the slow moving cycles in the climatic system bring the climate toward and away from over long periods of time.

    They do not get it. They try constantly to isolate an item that may influence the climate without considering it in the context of the entire spectrum of items that may be impacting the climate at that given time or the state of the climate at that given time and think they can somehow come up with an explanation as to why the climate changes. Wrong , wrong and wrong.
    Their feeble explanation below along with their feeble attempts in this article in general is a great example of what I am talking about.

    From the article below:

    Some scientists think volcanoes may act in concert with Milankovitch cycles–repeating changes in the shape of earth’s solar orbit, and the tilt and direction of its axis–to produce suddenly seesawing hot and cold periods. The major one is a 100,000-year cycle in which the planet’s orbit around the sun changes from more or less an annual circle into an ellipse that annually brings it closer or farther from the sun. Recent ice ages seem to build up through most of the cycle; but then things suddenly warm back up near the orbit’s peak eccentricity. The causes are not clear.

  50. This is a follow up to the points I tried to make in the previous post elaborating on what I had mentioned. This is part one of my two part paper on how the climate may change. Only part one applies to this discussion and the point I am trying to make.

    Here is what I have concluded. My explanation as to how the climate may change conforms to the historical climatic data record which has led me to this type of an explanation. It does not try to make the historical climatic record conform to my explanation. It is in two parts.

    PART ONE

    HOW THE CLIMATE MAY CHANGE

    Below are my thoughts about how the climatic system may work. It starts with interesting observations made by Don Easterbrook. I then reply and ask some intriguing questions at the end which I hope might generate some feedback responses. I then conclude with my own thoughts to the questions I pose.

    From Don Easterbrook – Aside from the statistical analyses, there are very serious problems with the Milankovitch theory. For example, (1) as John Mercer pointed out decades ago, the synchronicity of glaciations in both hemispheres is ‘’a fly in the Malankovitch soup,’ (2) glaciations typically end very abruptly, not slowly, (3) the Dansgaard-Oeschger events are so abrupt that they could not possibility be caused by Milankovitch changes (this is why the YD is so significant), and (4) since the magnitude of the Younger Dryas changes were from full non-glacial to full glacial temperatures for 1000+ years and back to full non-glacial temperatures (20+ degrees in a century), it is clear that something other than Milankovitch cycles can cause full Pleistocene glaciations. Until we more clearly understand abrupt climate changes that are simultaneous in both hemispheres we will not understand the cause of glaciations and climate changes.

    My explanation:

    I agree that the data does give rise to the questions/thoughts Don Easterbrook, presents in the above. That data in turn leads me to believe along with the questions I pose at the end of this article, that a climatic variable force which changes often which is superimposed upon the climate trend has to be at play in the changing climatic scheme of things. The most likely candidate for that climatic variable force that comes to mind is solar variability (because I can think of no other force that can change or reverse in a different trend often enough, and quick enough to account for the historical climatic record) and the primary and secondary effects associated with this solar variability which I feel are a significant player in glacial/inter-glacial cycles, counter climatic trends when taken into consideration with these factors which are , land/ocean arrangements , mean land elevation ,mean magnetic field strength of the earth(magnetic excursions), the mean state of the climate (average global temperature), the initial state of the earth’s climate(how close to interglacial-glacial threshold condition it is) the state of random terrestrial(violent volcanic eruption, or a random atmospheric circulation/oceanic pattern that feeds upon itself possibly) /extra terrestrial events (super-nova in vicinity of earth or a random impact) along with Milankovitch Cycles.

    What I think happens is land /ocean arrangements, mean land elevation, mean magnetic field strength of the earth, the mean state of the climate, the initial state of the climate, and Milankovitch Cycles, keep the climate of the earth moving in a general trend toward either cooling or warming on a very loose cyclic or semi cyclic beat but get consistently interrupted by solar variability and the associated primary and secondary effects associated with this solar variability, and on occasion from random terrestrial/extra terrestrial events, which brings about at times counter trends in the climate of the earth within the overall trend. While at other times when the factors I have mentioned setting the gradual background for the climate trend for either cooling or warming, those being land/ocean arrangements, mean land elevation, mean state of the climate, initial state of the climate, Milankovitch Cycles , then drive the climate of the earth gradually into a cooler/warmer trend(unless interrupted by a random terrestrial or extra terrestrial event in which case it would drive the climate to a different state much more rapidly even if the climate initially was far from the glacial /inter-glacial threshold, or whatever general trend it may have been in ) UNTIL it is near that inter- glacial/glacial threshold or climate intersection at which time allows any solar variability and the associated secondary effects no matter how SLIGHT at that point to be enough to not only promote a counter trend to the climate, but cascade the climate into an abrupt climatic change. The back ground for the abrupt climatic change being in the making all along until the threshold glacial/inter-glacial intersection for the climate is reached ,which then gives rise to the abrupt climatic changes that occur and possibly feed upon themselves while the climate is around that glacial/inter-glacial threshold resulting in dramatic semi cyclic constant swings in the climate from glacial to inter-glacial while factors allow such an occurrence to take place.

    The climatic back ground factors (those factors being previously mentioned) driving the climate gradually toward or away from the climate intersection or threshold of glacial versus interglacial, however when the climate is at the intersection the climate gets wild and abrupt, while once away from that intersection the climate is more stable. Although random terrestrial events and extra terrestrial events could be involved some times to account for some of the dramatic swings in the climatic history of the earth( perhaps to the tune of 10% ) at any time , while solar variability and the associated secondary effects are superimposed upon the otherwise gradual climatic trend, resulting in counter climatic trends, no matter where the initial state of the climate is although the further from the glacial/inter-glacial threshold the climate is the less dramatic the overall climatic change should be, all other items being equal.

    The climate is chaotic, random, and non linear, but in addition it is never in the same mean state or initial state which gives rise to given forcing to the climatic system always resulting in a different climatic out-come although the semi cyclic nature of the climate can still be derived to a degree amongst all the noise and counter trends within the main trend.

    QUESTIONS:

    Why is it when ever the climate changes the climate does not stray indefinitely from it’s mean in either a positive or negative direction? Why or rather what ALWAYS brings the climate back toward it’s mean value ? Why does the climate never go in the same direction once it heads in that direction?

    Along those lines ,why is it that when the ice sheets expand the higher albedo /lower temperature more ice expansion positive feedback cycle does not keep going on once it is set into motion? What causes it not only to stop but reverse?

    Vice Versa why is it when the Paleocene – Eocene Thermal Maximum once set into motion, that being an increase in CO2/higher temperature positive feedback cycle did not feed upon itself? Again it did not only stop but reversed?

    My conclusion is the climate system is always in a general gradual trend toward a warmer or cooler climate in a semi cyclic fashion which at times brings the climate system toward thresholds which make it subject to dramatic change with the slightest change of force superimposed upon the general trend and applied to it. While at other times the climate is subject to randomness being brought about from terrestrial /extra terrestrial events which can set up a rapid counter trend within the general slow moving climatic trend.

    Despite this ,if enough time goes by (much time) the same factors that drive the climate toward a general gradual warming trend or cooling trend will prevail bringing the climate away from glacial/inter-glacial threshold conditions it had once brought the climate toward ending abrupt climatic change periods eventually, or reversing over time dramatic climate changes from randomness.

    NOTE 1- Thermohaline Circulation Changes are more likely in my opinion when the climate is near the glacial/inter-glacial threshold probably due to greater sources of fresh water input into the North Atlantic.

  51. Well, we know how this will play out with the alarmists – “Oh no!!! The oceans haven’t been warming because they have been absorbing the man-added CO2 emissions – they’ve been warming because of underwater volcanism which means WE ARE ALL GOING TO DIE because now nothing is accountable for thecatastrophic never-ending rise of fossil fuel emissions” – and they will conveniently forget they have been explaining the pause of the last 18 years based on the oceans absorbing the CO2…

  52. Edward Baker, a senior ocean scientist at the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, said, “The most interesting takeaway from this paper is that it provides further evidence that the solid Earth, and the air and water all operate as a single system.”

    No — what it shows is that the overall system is fiendishly more complex than we have been assuming

    The prime directive is still that building and running Models does not replace developing a fundamental understanding of the processes — and that in the absence of said fundamental understanding the models are GIGO-centric

  53. If there’s anything to this January-June correlation, that corresponds better to northern snow pack than to solar tides, and would cause a comparable compression of the lithosphere. –AGF

  54. I’m still shaking my head at Edward Baker’s “most interesting takeaway” statement. Really? REALLY? Surely if ANYTHING in the scientific world WAS actually settled prior to today, it was that the “solid Earth, the air and water all operate” as parts of ONE INTERCONNECTED SYSTEM!
    Wow. Just. Wow.

  55. “note the uptick in the present” – What uptick? The chart shows CO2 ranging from about 180-280 ppm, which is prior to the last 100 years when it went off the chart. Besides, a 100,000-year cycle can hardly explain a 100-year trend.

  56. Edward Baker, NOAA:
    The most interesting takeaway from this paper is that it provides further evidence that the solid Earth, and the air and water all operate as a single system.

    Dr. Edward Baker misinterpreted his own thoughts, while looking at this illustration

    while reading its legend he was attempting to say:
    “The most interesting takeaway from this graph is that the
    Earth
    Air and
    Sea
    all operate in concert within a single system, but the Tolstoy’s paper doesn’t provide any further evidence to tell us why.”
    With this imaginary thought of Dr. Baker I am in a full agreement, regretfully I too am unable to provide any further evidence to tell why it is so.
    Thank you to all who took the effort to read what I wrote, regardless what you may thought of it, and apologise if the answers were not adequate.

  57. I’ve long thought that underwater volcanism deserves greater scrutiny as an influential factor in climate cycles. But from the standpoint of directly warming the patches of overlying ocean, rather than the secondary effect of CO2 emissions.

  58. Countless trillions have been spent on an assumption. I have reached the assumption that Agenda 21 is the gaol and Climate Change is the key to get there. If you can’t win by democracy win by regulation.

  59. Variable rates of seafloor spreading have also been posited as causing changes in sea level. Part of the topographic elevation of mid-ocean ridges can be attributed to thermal uplift, and it follows that if the spreading rate increases, the amount of thermally-uplifted crust increases, at the expense of basin “room”, causing a direct displacement of seawater. The high sea levels of the Cretaceous Period were in part ascribed to the increase in seafloor-spreading rates in the Atlantic basin. If CO₂ was also involved in the Cretaceous’ naturally-warmer climate, it may have been this increased activity that was responsible. It could, of course be that the CO₂ increase was related, but lagged behind the warming that might logically have been CAUSED by an increase in sea-surface area….caused by ridge elevation.

  60. AP, (from the top of the thread) there is a human trait so strong, it has left unbroken footprints in countless earth-shattering discoveries and conversely countless atrocities. What is it? The desire to ascribe a complex problem to a simple cause. Religions are thusly born. Campaigns are thusly scripted. Dictators malevolently use it. And scientists rise and fall by “the cause of everything” mindsets. It is so ubiquitous that one side of the debate, which ascribes to their pet single cause, is answered by the other side of the debate, which ascribes to THEIR pet single cause.

    This blindered blinkered bent is a primrosed and thorned path that more often than not dirties gold-standard research (let alone ones own view of it from the outside), instead of enlightening it and us.

    Rather, we live on a complex globby goopy globe with various kinds of ecosystems and biospheres each with their own viscosity. As such our planet has the potential to demonstrate an incredibly large degree of intrinsic, interacting and entwined variations, even when impinged upon by outside forces whether they be variable or steady.

    Will we find a single scientifically verifiable “cause-of-everything”? I doubt it, unless you prefer to consider the wisdom of holy writ as your flavor of science.

    • Its worse, Pamela, even than that. The implicit assumption that the world is composed of observable phenomena each of which has a cause to be found the the observation of previous phenomena and connected to them by noumenous (mathematical) causal relationships, is not something we ‘discover’ in the phenomena at all, it is something that is hard-wired into the worldview we use to do science.

      And behind science lies precisely that ‘holy writ’ of which you speak. The implicit assumption that the world is real, out there, composed of ‘things’ and connected to each other in space time by mathematically accessible causal relationships.

      We can have no real proof that this is so: at best we find that we thereby attain a self consistent world view that more or less allows us to predict the future in broad terms in certain ways with some accuracy. At best it is a pragmatic and necessary assumption: At worst it is a complete act of faith more damaging than any religion.

      Cf Kant, and particularly Shopenhauer, for speculations on the limitations of this worldview.

  61. Edward Baker, a senior ocean scientist at the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, said, “The most interesting takeaway from this paper is that it provides further evidence that the solid Earth, and the air and water all operate as a single system.”

    Did anyone else find the above as incredible as the so called ‘Gaia’ hypothesis, not because its radical, but because its so patently obvious that splitting the universe into discrete non mutually interactive systems is just a way to do (approximate) science, and has never ever represented the actuality of anything, as to be not even worth saying?
    .
    The universes is not discovered to be a single closed system: That’s a pure assumption, the a priori of science and ‘natural philosophy’.

    Discovering your a prioris is as specious as the ‘think of a number game’ we used to play as kids*.

    I am genuinely aghast at the lack of understanding of basic scientific and mathematical concepts displayed by people who really ought to know far far better.

    For those unfamiliar, it consisted in asking the sucker to think of a number, and perform multiple mathematical transformations on it, of which the only salient one was ‘take away the number you first thought of’ thereby eliminating the unknown from the equation. You then informed him of the ‘answer ‘ he had arrived at, and the implicit assumption that you had ‘discovered’ his original secret number.

    Many later versions of the same thing became know to apprentices as ‘bullshit baffles brains’ . The apparent ease with which people proud of their book learning could be hoodwinked by tricking them into engaging in misdirected thinking while the real action went on elsewhere.

    Climate change the political meme is the best example of this ever invented.

  62. Shineon,

    Annual
    average CO2 forcing
    1950-2013 and the
    annual US national debt
    outstanding 1950-2013
    has an r-squared of 0.83. I
    don’t think anyone
    without a tinfoil hat
    would consider there
    might be causation
    implied in this correlation.

    _____

    Industrial evelopment between 1950 / say 1990 was based on political support via Federal Reserve Bank.

    So, tin hats or not,

    enhanced CO2 emissions correlated with national debts from 1950 to 1985, 1990, 1995, ….

    INDICATE causation; you’ve shown the the correlation.

    Thanks – Hans

  63. I came late to this site, but reading the comments opened many interesting questions, which I will not discuss now, but just add my letter to Maya Tolstoy on why I do not agree with her view that submarine volcanoes would influence global climate. Some of my points have been addressed above, but anyhow the following is what I wrote Maya on Feb 6th. Haven’t yet received any reply from her:

    Dear Maya,

    Your recent paper on submarine volcanic eruptions and their possible role in climate variability due to CO2 release makes me wonder.

    Your study on the annual cyclicity of volcanic eruption and their relative frequency during the first part of the year is intriguing and understandable considering the annually variable distance between Earth and the Sun and thus changes in gravitational pull in Earth’s crust. I also find your idea that the gravitational effect could trigger volcanic activities especially along mid ocean ridges to be plausible. Aside of that, I would assume that terrestrial volcanoes are more dependent on plate tectonism than sea floor spreading per se.

    You mention: “Orbital eccentricity, which ties closely to the 100 kyr signal, is a relatively small forcing in terms of insolation, and thus its association with the largest peaks in CO2 is unexpected.” I agree very unexpected!

    You assume that out-gasing of CO2 due to volcanic activity might have an impact on global climate. However, a primary question regarding global climate variability is the actual role that carbon dioxide is assumed to have on global temperature. The role given by the IPCC as a main driver of global climate seems to be unsubstantiated by experimental science. The idea is mainly based on questionable climate modelling.

    Disregarding the assumed climatic effects of Milankovitch cycles on glaciations a question to be answered is the broad coincidence between the onset of glaciations some 3 million years ago and the closure of the Panama Isthmus causing a drastic change in the ocean water exchange between the Pacific and Atlantic oceans, e.g. http://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0012821X05004048

    You write: “There are several ways in which seafloor volcanism can contribute to global climate change. The first is the direct emission of CO2 into the ocean that will eventually contribute to atmospheric levels through venting at upwelling sites. In addition to immediate release of greenhouse gases from seafloor eruptions, the subsequent increased high and low temperature hydrothermal venting may impact the CO2 output. However, whether hydrothermal venting is a net source or sink of CO2 is still unclear (e.g. Lang et al., 2006), due to paucity of measurements.

    Further on you write: “However, the transport of CO2 from the sea floor to the atmosphere is physically and geochemically complex and likely only a fraction reaches the atmosphere (Huybers & Langmuir, 2009).” Very questionable!

    “The contribution of off-axis volcanism, submarine back-arc volcanism, and island arc volcanism, which would also be influenced by loading and unloading, may be an additional factor.” Very hypothetical!

    Your interesting hypothesis regarding the climatic effect of deep sea expulsion of carbon dioxide does not seem plausible. You should be aware of the existence of clathrates (solids consisting of H2O, CO2, CH4) on the ocean floor, thus CO2 out-gassing at depths would not find their way to the surface. Clathrate formation etc has been extensively studied, e.g. : http://www.pnas.org/content/103/38/13903.full.pdf+html

    The negative correlation between temperature and CO2 in ice cores does not prove that low CO2 causes climatic cooling and high CO2 would cause warming including a time lag of 500-1000 years. The fact is that a warming ocean will increase atmospheric CO2 through out-gassing (lower solubility of gas in warming water) and a cold ocean will absorb CO2 from the atmosphere due to higher solubility of gas in water.

    I would be very pleased if you could explain why I might be wrong and you to be right.

    Best regards
    Boris

  64. FWIW, I invite all to view the map at

    Its parent website is http://www.heatflow.und.edu/index2.html

    It may not be only volcanic eruptions that need to be taken into consideration that may be factors in the climate.

    In that map (somewhat similar to but different from the one in the post), notice that some of the locations have VERY high values – approaching 50000 watts/m^2. What that may mean no one knows yet, but I would posit that it is not the overall average that is important but where very high values occur, creating hot spots. In vulcanism, for example, it does not matter what the overall world average is but what it is at the weak points in the crust, as at along tectonic plate boundaries (usually). And geothermal does not care if the average globally is high or low – only what it is at the point of the geysers or vents or magmatic chambers.

    • Thanks for the link, Steve. However, your claim that the high values are “approaching 50000 watts/m^2” is a misreading. The units of the map are mW/m2, so the maximum measured heat flow is 500 W/m2.

      Also, the color scale is deceptive. Each color covers a range of 20 mW/m2 … except the last one in red, which covers from 180 to 500000 mW/m2.

      So I took a look at the dataset. It contains 58,363 heat flow measurements. The median heat flow is 62 mW/m2 … that’s six hundredths of a watt …

      If we take the mean instead, of course it is larger than the median due to a very few very large values … but even then the average heat flow is only two-tenths of a W/m2 (203 mW).

      Finally, how many large values are there? Well, let’s take all values above half a watt per square metre … of the 58,363 measurements, only 2.5% of the heat flow measurements are more than half a watt/m2.

      In any case, no matter how you calculate it, globally the geothermal heat flow is on the order of a couple tenths of a percent. Are there hot spots? Of course … but even then they are few and far between. Less than 1% of the datapoints are greater than 2 W/m2, and they are all contained in only a few areas of the ocean.

      w.

      • Thanks Willis for correcting the actual heat flow values. The highest value comes probably from a hydrothermal vent area??? Furthermore, considering the vastness of the oceans and the very spot like occurrence of submarine hydrothermal vents and even lava flows, their influence on global climate is hardly measurable even with the most sensitive methods.

        It is strange how people seek novel explanations and forget the intensity of solar energy being continuously input across the vast area of our Earth continuously facing the Sun.

        Regards
        Boris

  65. Wow, great stuff here!

    I watched Ms. Tolstoy’s video a couple times. In one part of the presentation, she showed daily graphs of seismic/volcanic activity in a mid-ocean rift area, with twice-daily spikes coinciding with lunar cycles. I don’t believe she indicated exactly when in the lunar cycle the spikes occurred, but since she postulated that lower ocean levels were putting less pressure on the ocean floor and allowing magma movement and leakage, these must have been at low tide.

    An earlier poster here expressed doubt that the change in pressure (well under 0.1 percent) was great enough to have this effect. I agree. It seems to me that if the events are happening consistently at low tides, which are when the moon is on the horizons, the most likely cause is direct gravitational pull by the moon on the nearest tectonic plate creating a slight spread at the rift, just as a sideways pulling on skin near a recently sutured cut can make the area bleed.

    Comments?

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