Climate Funny: "We're all doomed" – in a Billion Years


Guest essay by Eric Worrall

Climate doomsday stories are now such a joke, even Mainstream Media can’t help having a pop.

CHRISTMARS CHEER Humanity DOOMED because Earth is destined to become lifeless red planet just like Mars, scientist warns

Our home world is losing its atmosphere with every second that passes, meaning that every living being is in peril.

EARTH is slowly turning into a barren red world just like Mars and it spells DOOM for every living being on the planet.

That’s the terrifying warning from a top scientist who wants our species to wake up to the grim fate awaiting us.

Anjali Tripathi, an astrophysicist at Harvard University, has spoken out about a “frightening” natural effect called atmospheric escape.

In a recent TED talk, she said that 400 pounds of hydrogen and almost 6.6 pounds of helium escape from Earth into space with every single minute that passes.

Eventually, this will cause such a massive change in the makeup of Earth’s atmosphere that life will be unable to cling on any longer and the surface will be become blood red and barren.

“Our hydrogen from water breaking down will escape into space more rapidly, leaving us with a dry, reddish planet.”

Happily, we have a few billion years left until this grim scenario plays out, so we’ve plenty of time to prepare for the inevitable apocalypse.

Merry Christmas everyone.

Read more:

Merry Christmas from Australia.

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Steve Case
December 23, 2016 5:27 pm

The story today about sharks eating polar bears because of Climate Change was funnier.

Reply to  Steve Case
December 23, 2016 5:47 pm

Oh that’s ok, because the sharks are too treaded by extinction…
Merry Christmas

Reply to  marty
December 25, 2016 10:31 am

“treaded by extinction”
How big are extinction’s boots?

Reply to  Steve Case
December 23, 2016 8:25 pm

Was it just sharks or a sharknado? 😊

Bryan A
Reply to  Logoswrench
December 23, 2016 10:24 pm

Given the nature of the polar vortex, probably a Sharkicane

Bryan A
Reply to  Logoswrench
December 23, 2016 10:30 pm
Reply to  Logoswrench
December 28, 2016 6:31 am

What about the freakin’ lasers?

Reply to  Keitho
December 28, 2016 5:26 pm

Now THAT would be a sharkicane!

December 23, 2016 5:30 pm

Without our Earth’s magnetosphere shielding the top of the atmosphere from the most severe ablative effects of the solar wind, it would be far worse. Estimates of Mars vary widely. But measured Mars deuterium-hydrogen ratio suggests strongly that much ablative loss of the dissociated hydrogen has occurred where deuterium (with a neutron) is retained little more readily such that over geologic time the D/H ratio drops dramatically.
It is through the D/H ratio studies that sceintists can infer how much hydrogen losses to space have occurred.

Reply to  joelobryan
December 23, 2016 5:33 pm

eerr sorry, Hydrogen is lost more readily than Deuterium as I said, so it is the H/D ratio that drops. D/H increases. Said another way, Deuterium becomes more abundant relative to hydrogen over time.

Reply to  joelobryan
December 24, 2016 1:58 pm

Drake forgot to add the fm to his equation, where fm is the planet’s magnetosphere is vital for life. The value of fm could be between 1/10 to 1/1000.

Reply to  Alf Magne (@alfmagne)
December 25, 2016 10:35 am

The Earth is lucky, since our core is much larger than most planets it’s size.
This is thought to be the result of a collision between the proto-earth and a Mars sized planet early in the Earth’s development. As a result of the collision, much of the crust from the two planets became the Moon and the cores of the two planets coalesced to form the Earth’s core.
Mar’s much smaller core cooled of millions of years ago resulting in it losing it’s atmosphere.

Darrell Demick
Reply to  Alf Magne (@alfmagne)
December 25, 2016 11:25 am

I have always wondered about the inputs into the Drake equation – my estimates for intelligent life currently existing in the Milky Way are quite conservative at 10. But you raise a very important point with regards to the ability of each individual planet to be able to “defend and protect” the life on the planet.
There are probably an incredible number of planets that have microbial life, but very few that have evolved into the ability to both create, and sustain, intelligent life.
Given the number of Al Gore’s and Leo Dicaprio’s on this planet, I challenge that we have evolved to the “intelligent” realm ……

Reply to  joelobryan
December 27, 2016 10:05 pm

How much does the solar wind contribute to Earth?
And, with biogenic production of carbon and hydrogen in Earth’s core, these loses become minor.

James Fosser
December 23, 2016 5:37 pm

And the sun is losing 4.4 million tonnes of itself every second! (But I need more grant monies to verify this).

Reply to  James Fosser
December 23, 2016 7:31 pm

Piker. You should be asking for 4.4 million tonnes of money to reverse the loss. Think of the children.

Mike McMillan
Reply to  jorgekafkazar
December 23, 2016 9:31 pm

You could probably get your grant money if you went to Venezuela, where they measure money by weight.

Reply to  James Fosser
December 24, 2016 4:44 am

My parents and grandparents were all astronomers. Growing up, I got to listen to them talk about the end of the sun (all stars die eventually or blow up) and the end of the universe (is it flying apart or collecting into giant black holes and then blowing up?) and I assumed when only a child, we are all doomed! DOOMED!
Eventually. Whether by fire or ice, whatever happens, we are doomed. A great way to grow up, knowing this secret information! Thanks for the latest ‘We are doomed!’ story, WUWT.

TheLast Democrat
Reply to  emsnews
December 24, 2016 12:48 pm

there is a book with the answer. It is a little sketchy to figure out the timeline, but all the usual suspects are there – blazing solar radiation, plague, fish kills, and so on – everything except the flooding. And the writer figured this out 2,000 years ago. with no budget.

Martin A
Reply to  James Fosser
December 24, 2016 7:45 am

How much of thqt is intercepted by Earth?

James Fosser
Reply to  Martin A
December 24, 2016 2:44 pm

About 2.2 kilograms

December 23, 2016 5:43 pm

I guess I need to get my YT-1300 ready to go. Dang hunk of junk.

Chris in Hervey Bay
Reply to  SMC
December 23, 2016 6:02 pm

My DeLorean DMC-12 is still working ok, As long as the flux capacitor holds out, I’ll just keep winding the clock back.
See yo all again younger !

Reply to  Chris in Hervey Bay
December 23, 2016 6:15 pm

If the Watermelons have their way, you’ll never be able to charge it up to the 1.2GW you need.

Reply to  SMC
December 23, 2016 6:20 pm

Yea, camel dung fired generators just don’t give ya the kick you need!

R.S. Brown
December 23, 2016 5:43 pm

And yet the space dust, including meteorites just keeps sifting down.
Merry Christmas and Happy Holidays to all…

December 23, 2016 5:47 pm

The crying wolf Prophets of Doom:
“Entire nations could be wiped off the face of the Earth by rising sea levels if the global warming trend is not reversed by the year 2000.” -Noel Brown, ex UNEP Director, 1989
“A billion people could die from global warming by 2020.” -John Holdren, Obama’s current Science Czar, 1986
“By 1995 somewhere between 75 and 85 percent of all the species of living animals will be extinct.” -leftist Senator Gaylord Nelson, 1970
“[Inaction will cause]… by the turn of the century [2000], an ecological catastrophe which will witness devastation as complete, as irreversible as any nuclear holocaust.” -Mustafa Tolba, 1982, former Executive Director of the United Nations Environment Program
“In twenty years [2008] the West Side Highway [and thus much of Manhattan] will be under water.” -James Hansen, 1988, NASA
“[Because of an imminent ICE AGE] .. even more dramatic results are possible, however; for instance, a sudden outward slumping in the Antarctic ice cap, induced by added weight, could generate a tidal wave of proportions unprecedented in recorded history.” -John Holdren, 1971

Chris in Hervey Bay
December 23, 2016 5:55 pm

Hey Eric, Merry Christmas to you too from Urangan.

December 23, 2016 5:55 pm
December 23, 2016 5:58 pm

I keep telling people! We are all going to die in a fiery flood under a sheet of lava ice after the asteroid hits! No one will believe me! Why won’t anyone believe me! I have a sandwich board sign and everything!!!!!!! My beard is a bit short, but hey, I am working on that.

Reply to  2hotel9
December 23, 2016 7:40 pm

Try losing the tinfoil hat, 2Hotel9. It’s an anachronism with your sack-cloth habit and sandals.

Reply to  jorgekafkazar
December 24, 2016 11:31 am

Since 2hotel9 was predicting lava-ice, one presumes a /sarc tag was intended.

Reply to  ralfellis
December 24, 2016 11:47 am

Hey, the ladies think it is rakish and debonair. And it makes up for the short beard!

Reply to  jorgekafkazar
December 24, 2016 11:48 am

Hey, I missed that one, got too many incoming at once.

Robert from oz
December 23, 2016 6:01 pm

Thanks you just ruined my Christmas, now I’ll be worrying about the end of the earth in a billion years .
Must I add the sarc ?

Reply to  Robert from oz
December 23, 2016 6:08 pm

Merry Christmas.

Brian H
Reply to  Robert from oz
December 23, 2016 10:17 pm

Relax. It’s actually a few billion.

Darrell Demick
Reply to  Brian H
December 25, 2016 11:36 am

Hmmmm, I am thinking that our nuclear furnace that currently converts (majority) of hydrogen into helium will win the race, given that the energy output increases by ~10% per 100 million years. I thought that the temperature (and be my guest, call it “climate change!” – LOL) on earth would increase to the point that the temperature would be too high in ~500 million to 1 billion years.
But I am not too fussed, if I make it through 2017 with the idiotic socialist government we have in Alberta, Canada, and their wonderful carbon tax coming on-stream on January 1, well, I will be quite happy.
Merry Christmas to all, currently a BEAUTIFUL -13 C (+9 F) in Calgary, Alberta, and loving it!!!

December 23, 2016 6:04 pm

Climate alarmism is based on a lack of perspective. Usually it is extrapolating from an imagined trend on a couple of years of data, or a model based on how the world falls away from an imagined perfection. If we are all doomed, then the only option is for each of us to live life to full, making the best of the time we have. The doom-laden writer of Ecclesiastes worked this out more than 2,500 years ago. What is happening to the life on Earth in a billion years is irrelevant to the people reading this blog, or many generations that will succeed us. Christmastime is an especially time to celebrate what we have, with our families and friends. So I wish one and all the very best wishes for the holidays and may your New Years be fulfilling and prosperous – as a least a little better than the last year.

Reply to  manicbeancounter
December 23, 2016 6:10 pm

Una Salus Victis Nullam Sperare Salutem. Pretty much says it all.

Reply to  2hotel9
December 23, 2016 6:19 pm

yeah, yeah, whatever… Si hoc legere scis nimium eruditionis habes

Reply to  SMC
December 23, 2016 6:24 pm

I don’t know, Davey. Quite a few people would argue with you on that, applied to me, at least.

Reply to  SMC
December 23, 2016 6:34 pm

Davey And Goliath? The stop action animated show from the ’70s? Made currently relevant by The Simpsons? Am I that far ahead or behind the curve? Never can quite get that one figured out. 😉

Reply to  2hotel9
December 23, 2016 6:28 pm

Davey? lol.

Reply to  2hotel9
December 23, 2016 6:39 pm

I thought you meant Davey from ‘Adventure Time’.

Reply to  SMC
December 24, 2016 4:23 am

A sadly under rated show! My son turned me on to it by linking me a PewDiePie podcast that discussed it. Not on a level with Futurama but still darned good.

Alan Robertson
Reply to  2hotel9
December 23, 2016 6:45 pm

Venienti occurrite morbo

Reply to  Alan Robertson
December 24, 2016 4:28 am

Kittens give Morbo gas!

Alan Robertson
Reply to  2hotel9
December 23, 2016 6:48 pm

@ SMC Too right.

Reply to  2hotel9
December 23, 2016 6:51 pm

Gere, vestri pænula

December 23, 2016 6:05 pm

I said we were doomed.

Tom Halla
December 23, 2016 6:08 pm

And if the atmospheric loss does not happen, the Sun will eventually go red giant and engulf Earth in 4 or 5 billion years.

Reply to  Tom Halla
December 24, 2016 12:56 pm

The sun is getting brighter as it ages. In a mere 500 million years, this will push the inner edge of the Goldilocks Zone out past Earth’s orbit, so atmospheric erosion is a non-problem. Especially since the infall of meteors (ice to iron) exceeds the rate of loss.

Reply to  Tom Halla
December 25, 2016 10:41 am

I read that we can use the so called sling shot effect that they use to speed up satellites in reverse to transfer energy from space rocks to the earth. The article I read estimated that one 100 ft diameter rock every century our so would be sufficient.

Pop Piasa
December 23, 2016 6:13 pm

Jeezo-piezo! maybe venus is doing the same thing at a much higher rate (due to its solar proximity) and will achieve a radiative balance like present-day Earth about the same time as Earth mimics present day Mars. If man hasn’t figured out interplanetary travel by then, we’re screwed.

December 23, 2016 6:16 pm

It’s ok, I have some land I am developing around one of the planets of Proxima Centauri,
You might need some good sunscreen though.

December 23, 2016 6:21 pm

Bah. We’ll all be dead in “only” a million years when three stars will pass closely enough to our Sun to disrupt the Oort cloud and throw a barrage of cometary bodies into the inner solar system. Assuming, of course, that the black star Nemesis or the planet Nibiru or Planet X doesn’t do it to us first.

Reply to  Ken Mitchell
December 23, 2016 6:29 pm

Finally! Someone gets it. We are all going to die in a fiery flood under a sheet of lava ice after the asteroid hits! Glad we have reached a consensus. Now. How do we profit from it?

Reply to  2hotel9
December 23, 2016 6:33 pm

Sell shaved ice snow cones dyed green and red? Made in a freezer that uses Freon as a refrigerant?

Reply to  SMC
December 24, 2016 6:35 pm

Green on the outside and red in the center! I like it.

Reply to  2hotel9
December 23, 2016 8:45 pm

2hotel9, I have got a really good freezer we could market, it runs on geothermal,

Reply to  asybot
December 24, 2016 4:36 am

We got to think Mikee Mann big here, come up with a snazzy graph that will get the tax dollars rollin’ in!

Darrell Demick
Reply to  2hotel9
December 26, 2016 2:57 pm

OMG, now YOU have stirred up the epitome of a hornet’s nest! The billionaire Al Gore will be all over it, to make his next billion $$.
Or trillion ……

Reply to  Darrell Demick
December 26, 2016 5:20 pm

As long as I get my 35% as he agreeded. Never said anything about supporting his mentally retarded sh*t.

December 23, 2016 6:23 pm

The Carbon Religion is splitting into the hydrogen and helium scare sects.

Reply to  Resourceguy
December 23, 2016 6:26 pm

OK! Now we are getting funny!

Reply to  Resourceguy
December 24, 2016 4:49 am

What about the Church of Plutonium?

Reply to  emsnews
December 24, 2016 5:47 am

Those heretics! Always mumbling about splitting hairs and whatnot.

Reply to  emsnews
December 24, 2016 11:05 am

…you will not be saved by the god Plutonium…

December 23, 2016 6:25 pm

We need all the CO2 in the atmosphere that we can get.
“In about 600 million years from now, the level of CO2 will fall below the level needed to sustain C3 carbon fixation photosynthesis used by trees. Some plants use the C4 carbon fixation method, allowing them to persist at CO2 concentrations as low as 10 parts per million. However, the long-term trend is for plant life to die off altogether. The extinction of plants will be the demise of almost all animal life, since plants are the base of the food chain on Earth.”
“In about one billion years, the solar luminosity will be 10% higher than at present. This will cause the atmosphere to become a “moist greenhouse”, resulting in a runaway evaporation of the oceans.”
Happy holidays.

Reply to  oz4caster
December 23, 2016 6:56 pm

We already have the THEORY on what to do; the rest is just engineering. SF writer Larry Niven had a pretty good idea in his book “A World Out Of Time”. By the time we need to, we’ll know how.

Alan Robertson
Reply to  Ken Mitchell
December 23, 2016 7:51 pm

That seems to be the way things have worked out, so far.

Brian H
Reply to  oz4caster
December 23, 2016 10:21 pm

We’ll be saved by the not-yet-evolved C5 plants…

Darrell Demick
Reply to  oz4caster
December 26, 2016 3:03 pm

This is also an excellent read, related to the same topic. Merry Christmas, “oz4caster”!

John Robertson
December 23, 2016 6:35 pm

The lovies never learn.
Sadly,sarc, we are all going to die.
99.9% of everyone living today will be dead in hundred years…Oh the humanity.
Merry Christmas.
To the easily alarmed ones… thank you .
There for the grace of God go I.

Darrell Demick
Reply to  John Robertson
December 26, 2016 3:06 pm

That is a very accurate, and sobering point, Mr. Robertson – very well stated, Sir. And I, for one, will continue to fight the good fight and educate as many people as possible to the reality surrounding the absolute stupidity regarding CAGW. Time is of the essence!

December 23, 2016 6:37 pm

I believe it might be in less than 1 billion years. As earth cools, volcanism slows and the outgassing of things like CO2 stops. As the CO2 concentration in the atmosphere drops, plant life will decline and as plants decline, so do the animals that depend on them. Geology will take care of scrubbing out the CO2. Also, as the earth cools, its inner dynamo that powers the magnetic field slows and the field weakens. This allows the solar wind to strip even more atmosphere. I’m thinking we have somewhere around a half a billion years left.

Reply to  crosspatch
December 23, 2016 7:21 pm

“I’m thinking we have somewhere around a half a billion years left.”
Yeah, I’ve already got it marked down in my pocket planner, crosspatch.
(You have no idea how hard it is to get that planner out of my hip pocket.)

Crispin in Waterloo
Reply to  crosspatch
December 24, 2016 10:26 am

Maybe things will be revived after we get hit by a few large bodies from the Oort Cloud. Lots of things could be revved up.
About the magnetic field: the core has cooled about 110 C over to past 4 bn years, to 6000-ish degrees. I doubt it will be cold when the swelling sun engulfs it. At that point we can all move to Europa.
It will be know as the Great Europan Immigrant Crisis and the great leader of that day, Angel’o’Mercy, will save the day by letting overloaded spaceship occupants land without a visa.
Some things never change. For example, old soldiers never die, they just smell that way.

Alan Robertson
December 23, 2016 6:40 pm

World is doomed. Children and the poor hardest hit.
If the world’s gonna end, then better head for the mountains, just to be safe.

December 23, 2016 6:44 pm

A decrease in the mass of the atmosphere will cause surface cooling. The problem is what can be done about it. I would like funding to study theis problem and cime uo with possible courses of action. Another problem that we have to deal with is that our galaxy is on a collision course with the Andromeda Galaxy. The interaction of the two galaxies will effect the solar system’s orbit in space and possible the Earth’s climate as we encounter new galactic dust clouds. I also want money to study this problem as well.

December 23, 2016 6:48 pm

We’re not doomed!! . .
For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life.
It’s the reason for the season, merry makers ; )

Reply to  JohnKnight
December 23, 2016 6:57 pm

Then somebody better take away God’s dice.

Janice Moore
Reply to  SMC
December 23, 2016 8:17 pm

God leaves nothing to chance.
Surely, the Sovereign Lord does nothing
without revealing his plan to his servants the prophets.

Amos 3:7.
“For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the Lord, “plans to … give you hope and a future.”
Jeremiah 29:11.
In the beginning … the Lord God said to the serpent, “… he will crush your head … .”
Genesis 1:1 – 3:15.
The people walking in darkness have seen a great light … For to us a child is born, to us a son is given … .
Isaiah 9:2-6.
And there were shepherds abiding in the fields
keeping watch over their flocks by night.
And lo, the angel of the Lord came upon them
and the glory of the Lord shown round about them
and they were sore afraid.
And the angel said unto them, “Fear not.
For behold, I bring you good tidings of great joy
which shall be for all people.
For unto you is born this day in the city of David a Savior;
which is Christ the Lord.

Luke 2:8-11.
For God so loved the world ….

John 3:16.
Amen, JohnKnight.
One — and — all!

Reply to  SMC
December 23, 2016 8:50 pm

@Janice, brought back great memories of our old style Midnight Mass. Choirs and a Christmas family breakfast after.
Thanks and a very Merry Christmas to you and your “buddy”

Janice Moore
Reply to  SMC
December 23, 2016 9:13 pm

Thank you, Asybot. Merry Christmas to you and yours.
From me and Davy dog 🙂

Janice Moore
Reply to  SMC
December 23, 2016 9:52 pm

lol, which one was the counselor and which the patient? so funny
Merry Christmas, Arthur!

Reply to  SMC
December 23, 2016 10:29 pm

Ah, Ms. M., i had a hunch that i’d find you on the eve of christmas nuturing all the ‘inner children’ here at wuwt! (the inner children of eggheads ARE an unruly bunch, aren’t they?) i have a link here above for you to the comment page which has the “snow men against global warming”. Me being computer illegitimate (were i at dr spencer’s blog i’d chime in as cunningham here, “don’t you mean illiterate, fonz?”), i’ve given up on trying to get the image to appear before your very eyes. The image is in the comments, so just scroll down, down… you’ll come to a really rather grotesque image of a primate looking thing. (quite unlike the one that i hit with a peanut in the zoo cage, who sat there just brooding, nostrils a flaring, as if to say, “if i could have my way, you’d be a bloody pulp in a leather jacket”) A couple comments below the ape is the “snowmen” image. It IS precious isn’t it? i like the very angry looking one in the front row. (all the rest seem to be going along mindlessly with someone elses agenda, but that one seems genuinely fired up) ‘Tis the season for snowmen and other christmasy things, so i thought it appropriate to give to you (who gives so much to others) this small gift for christmas. Here’s hoping this Christmas finds you (and yours) full of cheer, now and in the new year… arthur

Reply to  SMC
December 23, 2016 10:41 pm

Ms. M., looks like we’re playing “computer tag” here! i hope you get my comment and find the “snowmen against global warming”. (it is a gem…) One final note, say a little prayer for Marcus this christmas. Seems Anthony had enough and pulled the plug on him a couple weeks ago. Certainly understand that a blogger has to do what a blogger has to do. (especially a blogger of his immense caliber) Only wish it hadn’t been done at christmas time…

Reply to  SMC
December 23, 2016 11:11 pm

I was thinking about marcus too, afonzarelli . . a prayer is in order, no doubt . .

Reply to  SMC
December 24, 2016 6:39 am

Mods, any chance that you can get a hold of Janice (by e-mail)? i was really hoping to get her “snowmen against global warming” for x-mas. Thanx… fonzie

Janice Moore
Reply to  SMC
December 24, 2016 7:07 am

I go to bed early (have to hit the jogging trail before any other dogs are there — Davy “does not play well with others.”).
lol — Found it! 🙂
Yes, I like the frownie face one best, too. That one really cares! Heh.
Thank you, so much, for your kind, very generous, words, Arthur. Merry Christmas — hope you get lots of combs and Brill Creme in your stocking tomorrow morning. 🙂
And, yes, indeed. I noticed that our enthusiastically impulsive Marcus was missing and have been praying for a few days, now. I don’t understand why he would be completely banned when several others I could name regularly say much worse things. For example, ToneB, among other verbal spew, blatantly libelled Dr. Pielke, Sr. and Dr. Soon and not only was he allowed to continue to comment on WUWT, that comment was allowed to stand. That foul B. Sh’ln’b’r’g’r should have been banned long ago by “the Marcus standard.” I just don’t get it.
MARCUS, If you happen to read this — I am so sorry. Anthony may have a good reason, but, until he states it, it appears that you have been treated very unfairly. And it says a lot more about Anthony (who is a great guy, nonetheless) than you. Take care of yourself. You have been in my regular prayers for over a year, now — and you will continue to be (she is out there, Marcus!! — oh, don’t you roll your eyes at me (smile)). Merry Christmas, Janice

Janice Moore
Reply to  SMC
December 24, 2016 7:41 am

P.S. Arthur, this is how to copy a link from a comment: 1) Right click on date/time stamp of comment; 2) Left click on “Copy link address” in drop down menu; and 3) in your comment, Type “Ctrl — V” simultaneously to paste it in. 🙂

Janice Moore
Reply to  SMC
December 24, 2016 1:25 pm

And, Marcus, this is for you. I know you said that you aren’t even sure if God exists. He does. And He loves you so much.
“Silent Night” — Neil Diamond

Take care and Merry Christmas,

Reply to  SMC
December 24, 2016 4:31 pm

Happy Christmas Marcus if you’re out there!

Reply to  SMC
December 24, 2016 4:46 pm

Here’s a song of praise to God for a Christmas night, from your brothers on the other side of the North Pole. One of my favourites (that’s a low A he reaches):

Reply to  SMC
December 24, 2016 5:22 pm

You might say that global warming is an “existential threat” to snowmen (☺)…
Just a quick note to any and all. If your interested in seeing a very well made christmas classic, METV has the 1974 “Happy Days” christmas special airing at 3:00 pm (eastern) tomorrow. Probably the very best christmas special that i have ever seen. (but, then again, i AM biased aren’t i?)
Janice, it didn’t seem to be just one thing with anthony. Just that a critical mass (over time) had been reached. He did say that marcus was the biggest load for moderation that he had. i really didn’t want to make a grinch out of anthony here. This IS a top notch blog and it’s understandable that he would have (perhaps unreasonably) high standards for his comment page. Sure will miss marcus though; he seemed to imbue this comment page with his spirit…

Janice Moore
Reply to  SMC
December 24, 2016 6:15 pm

Dear Ptolemy2,
Thank you for sharing that gorgeous choral work. Russian choral music is unexcelled. Such rich harmony.
Te laudamus,
te benedicimus,
tibi gratias agamus, Domine,
et obsecramus te, Deus noster.
Tebe poem
Tebe blagoslovim
Tebe blagodarim, Gospodi
I molim Ti sia, Bozhe nash.
We sing to you,
we praise you,
we thank you, O Lord,
and we pray to you, our God.
Your sister in Jeshua,
@”Fonzie” (and Everyone Alone on Christmas Eve)
Thank you, so much, for telling us about that touching show. I just found it (in a condensed and sort of scratchy version, but it more than got the point across…..).
“Happy Days Christmas” — 1974

Christmas is, indeed, all about family. And friends. And love.
As I stand here after eating a delicious dinner for one, typing on my laptop, at the workbench, in my parents’ garage, I am not alone. And neither are you. You have many friends, here at WUWT. And we’ll be here.
Merry Christmas!

Reply to  SMC
December 24, 2016 7:14 pm

Janice, it’s very difficult to find the full length version, but well worth it if you do… like i said, metv affiliates have it at three eastern tomorrow. i’ll be pearched like a parakeet on the sofa here (at two) in new orleans just to watch. It truly IS what christmas is all about. (hard to believe that the central character is played by a jewish actor, huh?)
Me tonight? Well… i hunkered down with a couple of cuts (on youtube) from the grateful dead when they used to jam live with the allman brothers band. There was nog (yes, spiked with rum; but what the hey!). Scant thoughts as well as to how i might whoop ferdinand on his “mass balance argument” in the new year. i’ve got an ace up my sleeve that even bart, God bless him, has not considered. Should be fun (if masochism is what one considers fun… ☺). And, yes, we are never alone; for the love of God will rise before the sun…

Janice Moore
Reply to  SMC
December 24, 2016 8:04 pm

That a Jewish actor played that role isn’t surprising (to me) at all. After all, Jesus (and all the disciples and nearly all the early Church!) was a Jew. People seem (not you, just thinking about some amazingly dense Archie and Archiette Bunkers out there…..) to forget that. So, I made sure to say something! Ha!

Reply to  SMC
December 25, 2016 2:04 pm

WOWZA(!) Moves me every time i sees it… i guess in life we all have our “waukeshas”, some of us perhaps more so than others. Janice et al, y’all have a very merry christmas and a happy new year! (‘specially you Marcus, ya hear?)…

Reply to  SMC
December 25, 2016 3:20 pm
Reply to  JohnKnight
December 24, 2016 3:02 am

That is a lovely piece Janice….we sang it in our church choir years ago. My voice isn’t up to it now! Thanks for the link. Wishing you and all on here a very Happy Christmas.

Janice Moore
Reply to  Annie
December 24, 2016 7:11 am

So glad you enjoyed that, Annie! Thanks for saying so — that was a gift to me. And, dear Annie, your voice IS up to it. Just sing it in an octave where you are comfortable and sing it softly. I’ll bet you sound lovely. Merry Christmas! 🙂

December 23, 2016 8:00 pm

Obviously, we need hydrogen/helium tax with the proceeds going to my Swiss bank account.

R. Shearer
December 23, 2016 8:14 pm
Janice Moore
December 23, 2016 8:26 pm

And a New Year’s quote for the Climate Hu$tlers and all Data Twisters:
… “Mene”: God has numbered the days of your {control} and brought it to an end.
“Tekel”: You have been weighed on the scales
and found wanting.
“Peres”: Your {organization} is divided and given
to {the Science Realists}.

Daniel 5:25-27.

Janice Moore
December 23, 2016 9:17 pm

And for Eric and his family in Australia,
“Australian Jingle Bells”

MERRY CHRISTMAS from the United States of America!
(where “it’s the most wonderful time — in 8 years!” 🙂 )
Thank you, so much, for all the hard work you put into writing so many fine articles for WUWT!

Patrick MJD
Reply to  Janice Moore
December 24, 2016 4:01 am

Janice, LOL. Merry Chrimbo to you too.

Janice Moore
Reply to  Patrick MJD
December 24, 2016 7:11 am


Gary Pearse
December 23, 2016 9:21 pm

Like politics, science seems to be losing it’s males much faster than the earth is losing it’s hydrogen. Both fields are taking on a decidedly post normal character. Can we chalk this up to an increase in nurture? An increasing X/Y chromosome ratio? It definitely is fueling the neomarxbrothers politics which got it’s foothold in Europe, but is spreading rapidly in the west. Don’t look for it to happen in the East, but that is a separate story.
Such a factor may explain the rise in nanny governance and at the same time, the growing anxiety and hysteria over climate change and the precautionary principle for which the solution is strengthening nanniness to take care of we helpless folk. I’ve definitely seen a steady increase in women going into climate science.
A few short years ago, it was pretty much all males and the stuff was all very boring, but it gradually it got noticed that a rising level of alarm loosened up more cash and by the turn of the millennium, women began to detect a opportunities for nurturing that they couldn’t resist. Men climate scientists still do all the fudging and fiddling with the temperature, sea level and ice data to keep the feed hoppers full of cash and in a way, I expect this to continue because although women might smother you with rules regulations, make you take your vitamins, wear a helmet and all that precautionary stuff, they still may be a bit fastidious about openly doctoring data and knowingly lying and cheating in their studies like men do. After all, the vast majority of folks in jail only have one X-chromosome, too.
We always had throngs of women making up the protest wing of climate science, but with men noticeably flagging, they’ve been taking the plunge. You don’t have to know a lot. There is one linear formula cast in stone and they have their own statistical methods that can make a hockey stick out of whatever data numbers you have. Anyway this is enough to put up for peer review for now.
I should put up sarc tags and trigger thingys to prevent being hauled into court, if for no other reason, for belonging to the only group not included in “diversity”

Janice Moore
Reply to  Gary Pearse
December 23, 2016 9:50 pm

I think it’s like this, Mr. Pearse. There have always been high calibre female scientists. They just got tired of not being heard of. Like the woman who worked with Watson and Crick. You know…. what’s her name…. (I don’t even remember it).
So! They went into climate “science” because they were in great demand to be the “would I lie?” spokespersons for it. They got affirmative actioned into the front of the photo op because, to this day, most people are much more easily fooled by a female liar than a male. The average person (and even exceptional people like you (smile), to wit, your example above of women being less likely to be data twisters) believes women tell lies less frequently than men. I do not know if this is actually true. People think it is. Look at all the women the Obama administration had out there lying about Benghazi.
Thus, with little innocent Granny’s outfit on, the Big Bad Wolf could better fool people.
Not fooling anyone who takes a close look at the data, however. “Why Granny, what big teeth you have?!”
(Re: the high calibre female scientists — only half-serious, there — many, many, are still out there silently working hard at doing science — Verity Jones, Jennifer Marohasy, and Susan Crockford are just three of them.)

Gary Pearse
Reply to  Janice Moore
December 24, 2016 4:15 pm

Dear Janice, I was hoping I wouldn’t have to compete with you in the wit department, but there you go again, and with such ease and in a few minutes. I’ve been working on mine for about 20 years… oops a little single X-chromosome lie slipped out, it was longer than that. Anyway, it took all that to get your attention, so I’ll just say Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year to you and of course to all WUWT folks and many many more. I’ve been a little giddy I’m afraid when it became clear that all this catastrophic climate was going to get Trumped.

Janice Moore
Reply to  Janice Moore
December 25, 2016 6:51 am

Hi, Gary,
Aw, thank you, but, really, you are in a different (higher) class: EDUCATED wit. I have native wit (and my own education, but only about 1/5 of it was technical).
You win in the courtesy department, that’s for sure! Thanks to your comment about women in general, I will walk up the road of life in the decades to come with my chin up and a smile and think, “I am beautiful!”
Merry Christmas and yes, indeed, “it’s the most wonderful time in 8 years!”

December 23, 2016 9:38 pm

How much hydrogen and helium does the Earth collect from the solar wind every day?

Reply to  Berniea
December 23, 2016 10:55 pm

Perhaps tens of ounces. We are, after all, being hit by what amounts to a very good vacuum.
Now, over a few billion years, that adds up.
But the He now being drilled will NOT ever be replaced, and – once vented from its underground rocks will be lost forever to space.

Reply to  RACookPE1978
December 24, 2016 4:07 pm

Helium lost from the earth can be made good from the vast reserves of the element on the moon – if the Germans haven’t got there first.
Happy Christmas!

Gary Pearse
Reply to  RACookPE1978
December 24, 2016 4:18 pm

We’ll be making new stuff once we have nuclear energy. Just make a list of elements you need and we will be commanding this earth ship until the sun does its final show. It turns out that the alchemists were onto something.

Reply to  Berniea
December 24, 2016 2:54 am

We could end up with a few comets from the Oort cloud hitting us, replenishing our water, over the next billion years.
Have they modelled that?

December 23, 2016 9:46 pm

Based on their fanatical belief in global warming alarmism, about 30% of humanity is doomed to die from acute stupidity.

Mark R. Bishop, D.D.S
December 23, 2016 10:34 pm

Merry Freaking Christmas!

Pop Piasa
Reply to  Mark R. Bishop, D.D.S
December 24, 2016 6:58 pm

Merry christmas to you Doc.
Can I ask you a question?
When two devices are in bluetooth contact, is their contact considered proximal or occlusal? If they lose their signal is it considered an open contact?
Happy new year too!

Janice Moore
Reply to  Pop Piasa
December 25, 2016 10:14 am

Hm. Over 15 hours. Like pulling teeth to get an answer from that guy. 🙂

Gareth Phillips
December 23, 2016 11:57 pm

Looks like the Arctic is going to have a record high temperature for Christmas. What’s the excuse this time I wonder? The thing that strikes me is that it may not be quite melting, but it is not freezing. Low refreeze means less ice to melt come the Northern summer. It looks like we may be living in ‘interesting times’ next year if the ice does melt.
Have a great Christmas and blessed New Year, Nadolig Llawen a Blwyddyn Newydd Da i pawb.

Matt Bergin
Reply to  Gareth Phillips
December 24, 2016 3:47 am

Gareth while you are on that page look at the history going back to 1958 and you will see that this years ice level is normal having happened before many many times.

Gareth Phillips
Reply to  Matt Bergin
December 24, 2016 4:39 am

Hi Matt, I did look and they are not comparable. In 1958 there were occasional spikes in low temperature as well as high. This year the spikes are only upward, remarkably so and staying high. Look at the charts again and imagine the high temperatures are losses in finance, it becomes clearer then what the difference is. And this is a trend, not weather.

Reply to  Matt Bergin
December 24, 2016 5:29 am

Gareth, don’t forget to look at the ‘bottom’ the planet too. If global warming is truly global, why is the ice trends in opposite directions between Arctic and Antarctic? If your answer is natural variability, please explain why the arctic is only warming due to AGW sources.
Increasing of 1.8% / decade.comment image

Gareth Phillips
Reply to  Matt Bergin
December 24, 2016 1:22 pm

It’s a good point Duncan, I don’t think anyone really has a definite idea of why the Antarctic behaves differently from the Arctic. Anyone who says they do is not being entirely honest. But the Arctic is disappearing. That is a fact. Grounded theory, solid observation, and that is what I was referring to. We cannot just ignore it and claim it is within reasonable variation.

Reply to  Gareth Phillips
December 24, 2016 6:28 pm

Funny, current satellite imaging shows the Arctic to be precisely where it has been for many millennia. And covered with ice. Imagine that.

Reply to  Matt Bergin
December 24, 2016 4:17 pm

There’s a bit of zero sum game going on here. Record cold in North America and Eurasia, a white Christmas in Jerusalem, but above average temps in the Arctic? Conservation of energy.
Happy Christmas!

Reply to  Gareth Phillips
December 24, 2016 3:50 am

Thanks for demonstrating that climate change kooks seem permanently confused between “weather” and “climate”. The climate impact of the recent sea ice levels has been zilch. The weather impacts of the sea ice levels has been zilch. The impact on the fevered imaginations of the climate consensus kooks has been spectacular. Feliz Navidad.

Reply to  Gareth Phillips
December 24, 2016 4:43 am

And it still won’t rise up to freezing! We are all gonna die in a fiery flood, I tells ya!

December 24, 2016 1:09 am

Happy CHRISTMAS to Anthony, Eric and all contributors to this informative site.

Peta from Cumbria
December 24, 2016 3:32 am

Without thoroughly checking the figures but what I see here is another example of supposedly educated people wearing blinkers (and being chronically depressed) while huffing and puffing themselves up into something they’re not.
What is the solar wind made of, did I remember right that El Sol is blowing out a billion tons per second, doesn’t some of that make it into earth’s atmosphere? What is all that stuff pouring in at the poles and making aurora(s)?
Aren’t there 100 tons per day of ordinary space dust falling in and didn’t one theory (at least one) claim all the water here on Earth came from comets anyway?
Its one of those cases where maybe its ‘Best to keep your mouth shut and be thought a fool rather than open it and remove all doubt’

December 24, 2016 3:45 am

It appears that Dr. Tripathi was humorously presenting some accurate information. Contrast her comments with the climate kooks who seek to present their apocalyptic clap trap as if it were accurate in the scariest way possible.

Reply to  hunter
December 24, 2016 4:27 pm

And they’re so dour and po-faced and earnest like the worst kind of missionaries.

Berényi Péter
December 24, 2016 5:03 am

she said that 400 pounds of hydrogen and almost 6.6 pounds of helium escape from Earth into space with every single minute that passes

Happily, we have a few billion years left until this grim scenario plays out

At this rate, if all Hydrogen comes from water, it takes 1.5 trillion years to deplete the ocean. That’s a thousand times longer than the timeframe Earth is doomed anyway due to ever increasing solar radiation.
I am quite surprised Anjali Tripathi, an astrophysicist at Harvard University can’t master the math to such a degree, that she had to come up with this particular non issue.
Had we advanced so far along the way to idiocy, that even Ivy League universities fail to keep up some semblance of scientific integrity?

Reply to  Berényi Péter
December 24, 2016 7:15 am

And they call me Little Susie Sunshine!
I will brighten your day. The sun is thought to go nova in ~4.5 billion years.
According to my calculations, due to thermal radiative feedback, the stellar life cycle has accelerated and nova will happen in just 4.5 years. This will, of course, destroy the planet and everything on it.
And it is all your fault!
Merry Christmas.

Reply to  Berényi Péter
December 24, 2016 10:11 am


Reply to  Berényi Péter
December 24, 2016 4:24 pm

Is our sun big enough to go nova?

Gary Pearse
Reply to  Berényi Péter
December 24, 2016 4:31 pm

And, as pointed out upthread, in a billion years it is virtually certain we will get hit by a comet from the Oort cloud. Who knows. It is a reasonable hypothesis that the amount of water on earth has increased over the 4.5 billion years of its existence from the same source. This science lite, like lite beers seems to lack a certain something. From an astrophysicist, to not take a holistic view of this matter is disappointing. I think they are taught to be sensationalists to attract the cash – that seems to be the motivation for the new “narrative style” of scientific papers. I have a tongue in cheek discussion above of the effect of having more and more women,”the nurturers”, taking over climate science and politics.

Berényi Péter
Reply to  Gary Pearse
December 25, 2016 1:23 am

Secular brightening of the Sun can be counteracted for a while, extending the lifetime of terrestrial ecosystem for another 3 billion years or so beyond the usual 1 billion years limit. It is not easy, because requires a persistent effort for billions of years, basically the regulated flyby of an Oort cloud object in every 6000 years, but it is practicable. Every other dangerous object can also be diverted, especially with Orion class spaceships. We already have the outlines of technology to do that much.
arXiv:astro-ph/0102126v1 7 Feb 2001
Astronomical engineering: a strategy for modifying planetary orbits
D. G. Korycansky, Gregory Laughlin &. Fred C. Adams
RevMexAA (Serie de Conferencias), 22, 117–120 (2004)

D. G. Korycansky
In this scheme water loss is a non issue.
However, rate of Hydrogen loss might have been many orders of magnitude higher at the dawn of times, at the tail end of the Late Heavy Bombardment.
We do know from lab experiments, that abiogenesis requires a reducing environment, basically an overabundance of Hydrogen. In this respect not only an Oxygen atmosphere is a show stopper, but a nitrogen / carbon dioxide one is also too oxidative, preventing the spontaneous formation of complex biomolecules.
We also know, from the fossil record, that life appeared on Earth almost as soon as conditions permitted, shortly after the end of Late Heavy Bombardment. It is usually treated as a sign of abiogenesis being easy.
However, we also do know from the fossil record, that there was no truly reducing atmosphere on Earth, or if there was one, it was short lived. That’s because an ammonia / methane atmosphere behaves in a radically different way, than our current atmosphere.
Currently almost all terrestrial Hydrogen is locked up in water and there is a vapor trap at the top of troposphere, preventing water to penetrate into the stratosphere, where it could have a chance to meet energetic UV radiation, that would split Hydrogen off, letting it escape to space. Therefore rate of Hydrogen loss to space is minuscule.
On the other hand, in an atmosphere dominated by triatomic or even more complex gases there is no true tropopause, that is, convective currents go all the way up to the top of atmosphere. That’s because heat capacity ratio (Poisson constant) decreases with increasing complexity of molecules, and convection only stops at a certain altitude for an atmosphere mainly composed of diatomic gases, maintaining an extremely dry stratosphere above, free of convection. What is more, dew point of methane is extremely low, so there can be no methane trap at any level. That means an atmosphere with abundant methane will also have it at high altitude, where it meets hard UV radiation, Hydrogen is split off and escapes to space at a high rate. The process goes on until atmospheric methane is depleted, leaving behind an atmosphere of nitrogen / carbon dioxide mixture, which is hostile to abiogenesis.
That means abiogenesis either happened early or never. We do know it happened on Earth, otherwise we would not be here to contemplate the question (anthropic principle), but it says nothing about the a priori probability of abiogenesis, it can be arbitrarily small. So much so, that there is a good chance terrestrial life is a unique occurrence in the visible universe.
So Hydrogen loss to space can be important after all, but Anjali Tripathi somehow failed to mention the only interesting aspect of the question.

December 24, 2016 7:33 am

A billion years here, a billion years there, and pretty soon you’re talking about a significant amount of time. 😀
Merry Christmas everyone!

Gary Pearse
Reply to  PaulH
December 24, 2016 4:38 pm

Billions shmillions, heck, they’re talking in Trillions now to be saved by a rather mediocre over-credentialled cloister of climate monks. Let’s see, the sun is 15 trillion centimeters from earth. A dollar bill is, what?, 15cm long? A trillion dollar bills would stretch between the earth and the sun, the costs they are talking about annually to save the planet!

Jeff Wilson
December 24, 2016 7:50 am

Sigh. No CO2 leaving the planet?

December 24, 2016 8:24 am

Given the amount of ice in the belt, the NEOs and the outer system, I expect there are import solutions to this looming disaster. Appears we have a little time to figure them out though. Merry Christmas to one and all –

December 24, 2016 9:10 am

A billion years… or tomorrow. It’s a chaotic, chaotic, chaotic, chaotic world.

December 24, 2016 10:30 am
I don’t believe a word of it.

Reply to  vukcevic
December 24, 2016 7:56 pm

Possibly reflective of something going on in the bowels of the unspeakable order we find ourselves existing within . . stranger things have happened no doubt ; )

Reply to  vukcevic
December 26, 2016 3:37 am

This is perfectly consistent with Quantum Mechanics – a very good validation of the theory. Metrology will continue to improve and refine the result. So far frequency measurements are the most precise measurements that can be performed in a laboratory.

Reply to  tadchem
December 26, 2016 5:40 am

“lot more work to come …. “ = we need more money.
CERN supposedly found Higgs boson (the god’s particle) which proved to be only a three day wonder even if true.
Now a new ‘catch phrase’ we got hold of anti-hydrogen.
Don’t you know that the hydrogen-anti-hydrogen nuke’s core will have weight of a sugar cube, we just need to learn how to make it without blowing up everything in sight.
Merry Christmas holidays and a happy forthcoming anno domini 2017 to you.

Richard Baguley
Reply to  tadchem
December 26, 2016 6:05 am

vukcevic says: “the hydrogen-anti-hydrogen nuke’s core will have weight of a sugar cube”
“The production of a nanogram (a billionth of a gram) of antihydrogen costs a few hundred million euros”

Reply to  tadchem
December 26, 2016 7:56 am

Hi Richard
Precisely, we spent all our grant money to make one atom, sorry one anti-atom, double our grant and we will produce one maybe two more.
Further more, when we make enough of this exotic stuff, whatever is surplus to the military guys, we can use to prime a gamma-ray gun to blast any alien space ship even before it enters our solar system. Just send the dosh, not to mention we need to eat drink and be merry.

December 24, 2016 11:09 am

A few billion years? Thank G-d; I thought you said a few million years!

Matt G
December 24, 2016 12:25 pm

Happily, we have a few billion years left until this grim scenario plays out, so we’ve plenty of time to prepare for the inevitable apocalypse.

IF CO2 levels have not dropped to extinction levels well before then, the sun will expand so large that it will eventually destroy the planet Earth sometime maybe before then, while in progress towards a red giant.
“Approximately 1.1 billion years from now, the Sun will be 10% brighter than it is today. This increase in luminosity will also mean an increase in heat energy, one which the Earth’s atmosphere will absorb.”
“In 3.5 billion years, the Sun will be 40% brighter than it is right now, which will cause the oceans to boil, the ice caps to permanently melt, and all water vapour in the atmosphere to be lost to space. Under these conditions, life as we know it will be unable to survive anywhere on the surface”
Lets why not ignore the sun because we seem to be good at doing this.

December 24, 2016 2:54 pm

remember reading that most vertebrate species have a run of about 200,000years before evolving forward or checking out. Million or billion–doesn’t seem to really matter much. At the risk of being totally un PC–
Merry Christmas to all of you, and thanks for such a great web site.

Jim G1
December 24, 2016 3:26 pm

Unless we figure out how to set up shop somewhere else it is unlikely we will survive a billion years as a species, impacts you know. And of course, anyone alive is doomed, no one gets out alive in the end.
But, Merry Christmas anyhow.

December 24, 2016 4:23 pm

On these end-of-the-world threads I like to post this great paper by Franck et al – a scientific assessment of scenarios of biosphere extinction:
CO2 starvation could wipe out life before either sun expansion or atmospheric loss (the latter I’m doubtful of due to the age of our living planet already).

Jaakko Kateenkorva
December 25, 2016 2:58 am

Discovered the following while browsing NASA website for my billionth birthday party:
NASA considers Mars cannot have greenhouse effect without water (210 ppm), but they also declare Venus can with 20 ppm. WUWT?

Janice Moore
Reply to  Jaakko Kateenkorva
December 25, 2016 7:08 am

Jaakko! I loved the phrase

my billionth birthday

so much that I thought, “I just have to repeat that. Heh. And then, I thought, eyes a bit wider, “Wow. That’s really true. Our souls are eternal. Someday, I WILL be a billion years old!!”
You are invited to my party, Jaakko. Please bring a main dish (entree) and either a salad or dessert to share (well, I certainly do not want to be doing the cooking on my birthday). Beverages will be provided. Hm? What’s that? Well, of COURSE we will be eating! Would it be heaven without eating?!? It will be “food” and “eating,” the same, but BETTER!

Jaakko Kateenkorva
Reply to  Janice Moore
December 25, 2016 9:07 am

Sounds great Janice. Year 1 000 001 960 or something in Venus – it must be hot because of all those friendly souls – I’ll bring the ambrosia.

Janice Moore
Reply to  Janice Moore
December 25, 2016 10:12 am


December 26, 2016 3:31 am

Hello! Analytical chemist here!
I spent years with my colleagues (D.E. Emerson, P.W. Holland) analyzing the helium content of the atmosphere. It is remarkably stable at 5.2210 +/- 0.0004 parts per million, and uniform around the world, subject to no measurable seasonal variation. The source of helium is radioactive decay of minerals bearing uranium (mostly U-238) and thorium (almost exclusively Th-232) These minerals are chiefly granite and rhyolite, major components of the earth’s crust. The alpha particles produced by radioactive decay immediately capture electrons from the first atoms they encounter and become helium atoms. These atoms are ‘trapped’ in the rock, and gradually leak out to the earth’s surface through microscopic pores in the rock, entering the atmosphere. The number above represents a dynamic balance between production and escape from the atmosphere into space. Since the isotopes that produce helium have half-lives in the BILLIONS of years, changes in the overall rate of helium production are very slow. The rate of helium loss from the atmosphere is controlled by earth’s temperature, gravity and the concentration of helium in the atmosphere. None of these factors are changing measurably.
As far as hydrogen goes, the ‘hydrogen from water breaking down’ is almost entirely due to man-made hydrogen production in industrial processes, as water is much stabler than a mixture of hydrogen and oxygen. Free hydrogen occurs in the atmosphere at about one part-per-million, making it less than one-fifth as abundant as helium in the atmosphere.
The main source of hydrogen in the atmosphere is the capture of the solar wind in the earth’s magnetosphere. It is this captured hydrogen that is almost the sole source of the hydrogen ‘losses’ to space. Most of the hydrogen in the atmosphere is found at VERY high altitudes.
I would expect an astrophysicist to understand that this is a very minor atmospheric effect, and an *equilibrium*.
FWIW, the entire earth’s atmosphere weighs about 6 QUADRILLION (6,000,000,000,000,000) tons, so losing 406.6 pounds a minute will take a LONG time to make even a measurable difference.

Janice Moore
Reply to  tadchem
December 26, 2016 6:07 am

Thank you, tadchem! Fine, super-well-informed, teaching and much appreciated.

Johann Wundersamer
December 27, 2016 4:47 am

We’re not doomed by lack of Flintstones, fossil fuels, steel or rare earth. There’s enough O2 or H2O in the Orth cloud, leaves us 1bln. years min.
What we really lack is optimism and a realistic view – eg on next real problems:
There one sees how laughable the discussion internal combustion / electric powered cars is:
the real problem is diesel / electric machines for heavy trains on the hard rails and traction / comfort for passengers and good on the roads.
Evolution, science, technics shows as what POLITICS is unwilling to learn:
The right next step right in time.

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