Something else the climate scientists missed: outgassing due to continental drift

From GFZ GEOFORSCHUNGSZENTRUM POTSDAM, HELMHOLTZ CENTRE

When continents break it gets warm on Earth 

Rift zones released large amounts of CO2 from depth, which influenced global climate change

The concentration of carbon dioxide (CO2) in the atmosphere determines whether the Earth is in greenhouse or ice age state. Before humans began to have an impact on the amount of CO2 in the air, it depended solely on the interplay of geological and biological processes, the global carbon cycle. A recent study, headed by the GFZ German Research Centre for Geosciences in Potsdam, shows that the break-up of continents – also known as rifting – contributed significantly to higher CO2 concentrations in the atmosphere.

The East African Rift System is currently the largest in the world. Yet, the global rift network 130 and 50 million years ago was more than 5 times longer. CREDIT Brune, NASA WorldWind.

The carbon distribution on Earth is highly unbalanced: In fact only one-hundred-thousandth of the carbon dioxide on our planet is found in the atmosphere, biosphere and the oceans with the remaining 99.999% bound in the deep Earth. However, this enormous carbon store at depth is not isolated from the atmosphere. There is a constant exchange between the underground and the surface over millions of years: Tectonic plates that sink into the deep mantle take large amounts of carbon with them. At the same time it was believed that deep carbon is released due to volcanism at mid-oceanic ridges in the form of CO2.

In the current study, published in Nature Geoscience, the research team comes to a different conclusion. Although volcanic activity at the bottom of the ocean floor causes CO2 to be released, the main CO2 input from depth to the atmosphere, however, occurs in continental rift systems such as the East African Rift (Fig. 1) or the Eger Rift in Czech Republic. “Rift systems develop by tectonic stretching of the continental crust, which may lead to break-up of entire plates”, explains Sascha Brune from GFZ. “The East African Rift with a total length of 6,000 km is the largest in the world, but it appears small in comparison to the rift systems which were formed 130 million years ago when the supercontinent Pangea broke apart, comprising a network with a total length of more than 40,000 km.”

With the help of plate tectonic models of the past 200 million years and other geological evidence scientists have reconstructed how the global rift network has evolved. They have been able to prove the existence of two major periods of enhanced rifting approx. 130 and 50 million years ago. Using numerical carbon cycle models the authors simulated the effect of increased CO2 degassing from the rifts and showed that both rifting periods correlate with higher CO2 concentrations in the atmosphere at that time.

Our continents result from the fragmentation of the supercontinent Pangea. This plate reconstruction 180 million years ago shows today’s countries for orientation. CREDIT S. Brune, GPlates

“The global CO2 degassing rates at rift systems, however, are just a fraction of the anthropogenic carbon release today”, adds Brune. “Yet, they represent a missing key component of the deep carbon cycle that controls long-term climate change over millions of years.”

###

Link to the paper: https://www.nature.com/articles/s41561-017-0003-6

Potential links between continental rifting, CO2 degassing and climate change through time

Abstract

The concentration of CO2 in the atmosphere is a key influence on Earth’s climate. Today, significant quantities of CO2 are emitted at continental rifts, suggesting that the spatial and temporal extent of rift systems may have influenced deep carbon fluxes and thus climate change throughout geological time. Here we test this hypothesis by conducting a worldwide census of continental rift lengths over the last 200 million years. We estimate tectonic CO2 release rates through time and show that along the extensive Mesozoic and Cenozoic rift systems, rift-related CO2 degassing rates reached more than 300% of present-day values. Using a numerical carbon cycle model, we find that two prominent periods of enhanced rifting 160 to 100 million years ago and after 55 million years ago coincided with greenhouse climate episodes, during which atmospheric CO2 concentrations were more than three times higher than today. We therefore propose that continental fragmentation and long-term climate change could plausibly be linked via massive CO2 degassing in rift systems.

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116 thoughts on “Something else the climate scientists missed: outgassing due to continental drift

  1. The concentration of CO2 in the atmosphere is a key influence on Earth’s climate.
    Yea, and the sun, the earth’s orbit and inclination have no influence on the Earth’s climate. I give up.

      • “The concentration of carbon dioxide (CO2) in the atmosphere determines whether the Earth is in greenhouse or ice age state”
        ROFL. Exactly. Not the ocean & the currents… Oh well…

      • You mean this baloney,they wrote?

        “The concentration of carbon dioxide (CO2) in the atmosphere determines whether the Earth is in greenhouse or ice age state.”

        I wonder how they can explain how there was a glaciation phase during the time of high CO2,?

      • “The concentration of carbon dioxide (CO2) in the atmosphere determines whether the Earth is in greenhouse or ice age state”………..never got past the first line

      • Me too. Assert what you want to be true as fact, then show that everything is caused by it in an falsifiable way. Climate science in a nutshell.

    • They lost me too from this, “The concentration of carbon dioxide (CO2) in the atmosphere determines whether the Earth is in greenhouse or ice age state.” I was under the impression that the CO2 didn’t come until about 800 years post warming according to the ice core samples– so what historical evidence is this paper working from? No, I didn’t read it.

      • The paper is working from an assumption canonized by the IPCC, which is an absurdly high sensitivity enabling CO2 to drive the surface temperature. There’s no historical evidence nor is there any theoretical support for their assumptions.

        Regarding the delay, I measured 800 years in the Vostok cores, but only measured about 200-300 years in the DomeC data using the same methods. The former is hard to explain, but the later is more easily explained as the time it takes a forest to establish itself in newly ice-free land as temperatures rise and as temperatures fall, biomass gradually reduces until ice permanently covers the terrain.

        The DomeC data has better temporal resolution, better alignment with orbital and axis variability and the CO2 samples are significantly more closely spaced in time. I think that the 200-300 year lag is on a much more solid footing than the 800 year lag.

        BTW, the absorption and release of CO2 by oceans as concentrations and temperatures vary is virtually instantaneous relative to centuries of delay seen in the ice cores between min/max temperature and min/max CO2 concentrations.

      • “Regarding the delay, I measured 800 years in the Vostok cores, but only measured about 200-300 years in the DomeC data using the same methods.”

        And how do you explain the lag at the beginning of ice ages when CO2 lags temperatures by up to 5,000 years?

      • tty,
        The lag to look for is that between the min temp/min Co2 and max temp/max CO2. The lag is asymmetric though, where the delay in the cooling direction is longer than the delay from rising temps. As I see it, CO2 levels are a proxy for the size of the global biomass. This being the case, life is opportunistic and occupies space quickly while it’s robustness makes it disappears more slowly as the planet cools.

        Another thing to consider is that you may be seeing a CO2 correlation to a future change in temperature that also happens to be correlated to the starting temperature.

    • The concentration of carbon dioxide (CO2) in the atmosphere determines whether the Earth is in greenhouse or ice age state.

      Says who? According to which references? that the paper fails to footnote? … excluding all other possible influences entirely?

      Great. In that case, I shall submit that the pain level in my big toe determines whether or not rain is about to fall within the next twenty-four hours period.

  2. In that first picture, what looks like a gray triangle in the elbow of the Horn of Africa is the Afar rift zone. The surface there is extremely thin. It is actively eroding underneath and has been actively outgassing since 2006, when a surface rift opened spontaneously west of Djibouti. Erta Ale was dangrous but fairly quiet then, but has since become active enough to have an active lava lake in its caldera, with lava escaping through side vents as well.

    The crack that opened up started at 32 feet long, 8 feet wide and 8 feet deep. It is now much wider and deeper, constantly emitting whatever poisonous gases volcanoes usually emit. It has grown larger faster than I had thought it would.

    This isn’t something that can be dammed up or stopped. It was described as ocean floor rifting. The British Geological Survey sent people into the area to study it. It’s where three of Earth’s plates meet.

    I know it will freak the Greenbeans/Warmians right out of their silly minds when it really does crack further, but there is nothing that can be done to stop it. And they will blame it on Global Warming or some other ridiculous thing, when it is the engine of the Earth at work. It may happen in our lifetimes, too.

    • Really, HotScot, they are exactly that dumb. They would probably panic if they knew that an object from interstellar space, not bound to our solar system, is due for a visit and plans are afoot to visit it by a probe or satellite, kind of like the Stardust mission. I do not give The Them much credit for basic intelligence any more.

      I sent myself an e-mail in 2013 through one of those forwarding websites. In it, I wrote this, based on notes I had taken:
      Per the report date 2010, the crust thickness in that rift zone was 23Km when it was first measured in 2005, which is when the original fissure opened (Sept. 2005) and was 8ft wide, 8 ft deep and 32 ft long. 23Km is 50% of normal crustal thickness. (A kilometer is .62 mile.) Normal thickness is 46KM or 25 miles.
      By 2010, when the British Geo Society, through the Afar Rift consortium, sent geologists into that area to take measurements and assess the progress of the rifting, which is comparable to seafloor spreading. The crust thickness was then measured as having reduced to 13Km, or 8.06 miles in barely 5 years’ time. The rift fissure had opened up further to a width of several hundred yards, a depth of several hundred feet, and a length of 37 miles.

      It was just meant as a reminder that the thinning there is proceeding rapidly now, and will change things permanently, which is something the Warmians/Greenbeans can’t control. It should be interesting. I’d stock the pantry, frankly, try to avoid talking to them, but record them on videos when they start to panic. And I believe they will panic a lot, especially since they are dependent on “others” for everything else, including food and shelter and heat.

      I was trying to figure out back then if the load of sulfate aerosols in those gases meant a rapid change to a colder (glacial) climate, or would simply lengthen the winters and shorten the growing seasons somewhat. I still haven’t got that figured out yet. But I’ve used it as a background for a sci-fi story set 350 years ahead of us now.

      • Sara, another interesting point with all this CO2 ocean acidification thing…..the Rift lakes of Africa are extremely high pH

      • Yes, they are, and is sulfuric acid, among other nasty things. I don’t have a list of all the gases that are venting through Erta Ale and the 2005 rift itself, but they are the same as the chemical compounds found in black smokers at deep ocean rifting zones, where all those crabs, shrimp and giant tubeworms gather to get fed.

        I do know that Cyprus has the chimneys from the same thing, full of veins of copper when they were at the bottom of that ancient sea floor. And all the quake activity in Italy, such as the Alban Hills volcano system, is also picking up in the area of Santorini, which has new vents that have opened up.

        Something is stirring right under our feet. Keep your eyes open.

      • errr, low pH is acidic. Those lakes are acidic. Common thought error.
        Siberian Traps. Mass extinction event.
        Deccan Traps. Mass extinction event.

        The Afar Traps.
        Those could be solved with man’s engineering ingenuity. Cut big canal from the Red Sea, Build a couple of nuclear plants to pump enough seawater over decades into the rift. Viola!! And cogen electricity on the steam.

      • It is absolutely impossible that a same segment of a rift can experience a loss of 10 km of crust in just 5 years. Unless there was an error during the first campaign of measurement (which I find highly unlikely), this is exactly what you are suggesting. The consequences on surface of such a thinning would have been absolutely insane. Crustal thinning can happen by two processes: 1) crustal extension, 2) thermal erosion. These two processes would take at the very least 10 My to produce such a drastic loss of continental crust.
        It is commonly admitted that the Afar rift system has an average crustal thickness of 23 km and gets thinner down to 13 km farther to the north at the triple point junction. That is not exactly the same thing.

      • The Afar valley has been rifting for several million years already. Whatever is happening now is just the latest in a long series of activities there. Elsewhere on our ever-changing planet, seas like the Mediterranean are closing up and continents are sub-ducting. Nothing much we can do about any of these things except to strengthen our financial and technological position in order to maximize our ability to adapt.
        The AGW agenda weakens us tremendously by “investing” massive amounts of money on less efficient technologies. A program that only idiots or madmen would contemplate. Or Socialists, which are a combination of the two, with a significant dose of power-hungry thrown in.

  3. These rifts are traceable over a length of some 65,000 km, most of which is in deep ocean. Exploration has been very scant but discoveries such as Bob Ballard’s Lost Cities are a tantalizing picture of the injection of CO2 into the marine environment.

  4. OK, I’m confused. It’s known that 90+% of CO2 emissions are non-anthropogenic. How is it possible that anthropogenic CO2 dwarfs terrestrial outgassing (even if you limit it to rift outgassing)?

      • So? Weekly, more sources are discovered that can release CO2 into the atmosphere: subsea volcanoes on the edges of the tectonic plates, the seams of the tectonic plates themselves, volcanoes under the ice of the Antarctic, and then you come and claim that the numbers are well known? What a hubris! But your hubris is well known in its entirety. In contrast to the sources of natural CO2, which far surpasses the anthropogenic CO2. Keep living well in your thought bubble until it bursts.

      • “What am I missing?”
        A number for terrestrial outgassing, if by that you mean volcanic. But of course the 90% figure is nonsense anyway. It’s what you get if you add up just one side of the various annual cycles and not the balancing terms. The test is what has actually happened. This “90%” has been going on for millennia, and CO2 stayed about the same. When we started digging up and burning carbon, about half accumulated in the air, leading to an exponential increase and currently about 30% more CO2 in the air than the pre-inductrial level.

        [italics corrected. .mod]

      • Nick

        “This “90%” has been going on for millennia, and CO2 stayed about the same.”

        Have you seen the graph Sunsettommy posted above?

        Where in the past 50M years has CO2 stayed the same? Never mind 600M years.

      • “It’s what you get if you add up just one side of the various annual cycles and not the balancing terms… This “90%” has been going on for millennia, and CO2 stayed about the same. When we started digging up and burning carbon, about half accumulated in the air, leading to an exponential increase and currently about 30% more CO2 in the air than the pre-inductrial level.”

        That is a very silly notion, yet it is what all this folderal is based upon. The balancing act didn’t just stop. The sources and sinks never called a truce. To the extent a balance exists, they are still duking it out, maintaining the balance by equally opposing forces. And, our inputs are opposed by the same mechanisms that oppose the natural input.

        In such a situation, you cannot shift the balance by a greater proportion than your proportion of the inputs that establish the balance. And, our inputs are proportionately very small.

      • “Have you seen the graph Sunsettommy posted above?”
        Yes. And I said for millennia. A millennium is long in terms of human climate concerns. Now look at that graph to see how much CO2 has changed in the last few millennia.

      • And about a 1C increase in temperatures AND a 30% increase in crop yields AND a 19% increase in global greening AND songbirds fledging nests 3 times in a season

      • “Now look at that graph to see how much CO2 has changed in the last few millennia.”..

        …and think biologically….what life on the surface of this plant evolved that takes up CO2….lowers CO2 levels to where natural processes can no longer replace it fast enough…and makes CO2 become limiting

        You know…evolution is not prefect…sometimes things evolve because of certain conditions….but their very existence changes those same conditions they evolved to live in…to where the environment can no longer support them

      • Stokes

        “Now look at that graph to see how much CO2 has changed in the last few millennia.”

        So we’re confined to the time period you specify are we? Whilst ignoring the roller coaster ride CO2 has taken over the past 600M years, bearing almost no resemblance to global temperatures other than by coincidence.

        “A millennium is long in terms of human climate concerns.”

        But it doesn’t mean it’s significant.

      • Verdad, the concensus number for igneous outgassing (likely too low) is .1 GtC/year, two orders of magnitude lower than the ~10 GtC from humans or the 60 from soils.

      • HotScot,
        “So we’re confined to the time period you specify are we?”,/i>
        I was showing that the natural cycle of CO2, respiration and photosynthesis and seasonal exchange with sea, could proceed with CO2 inair staying stable. A few millennia, or even centuries, are enough to show that.

      • “OK, I’m confused. It’s known that 90+% of CO2 emissions are non-anthropogenic. How is it possible that anthropogenic CO2 dwarfs terrestrial outgassing (even if you limit it to rift outgassing)?”
        “By one number being larger than the other. It can happen. You just have to figure out the numbers.”
        “Um, 90% is a larger number than 10%. What am I missing?”

        Cue the ‘Tipping Point’. Now a major motion picture!

      • Nick Stokes wrote, “When we started digging up and burning carbon, about half accumulated in the air, leading to an exponential increase and currently about 30% more CO2 in the air than the pre-inductrial level.”

        A nit: 280 ppmv ⇒ 405 ppmv is about a 45% increase, not 30%. (And it’s only very loosely describable as “exponential.”)

        But, otherwise, I agree.

      • Nick
        currently about 30% more CO2 in the air than the pre-industrial level.

        Which pre-industrial level?
        500 ppm in the Palaeocene-Eocene?
        1000 ppm in the Cretaceous?
        2000 ppm in the Triassic?
        200-500ppm in the Carboniferous?
        10,000-20,000 at the Cambrian explosion?

        Why would such a well-informed person as yourself employ such a meaningless and misleading term as “pre-industrial”?

      • ptolomy2, I presume that by “pre-industrial” Nick meant before ~1800 or thereabouts (maybe ±50 years).

        Average global CO2 level (from ice cores) between 1750 and 1850 is believed to have been between 275 and 285 ppmv. Here’s a graph:
        https://www.sealevel.info/co2_and_ch4.html

        Of course we know that if you go back far enough there were times when CO2 levels were way outside that narrow range, and those times were all before the Industrial Revolution. But in this context “pre-industrial” typically means “shortly before mankind’s use of fossil fuels began driving up CO2 levels.”

        So 280 ppmv is a nice round estimate of average “pre-industrial” CO2 level.

  5. Extreme confirmation bias.
    Models based on confirmation bias.

    One _ell of a gross assumption that a possible correlation proves causation.

    Now, spit! Clean out that mouth what’s left of the researcher brains.

  6. “Something else the climate scientists missed: “
    But what? They say
    ” Here we test this hypothesis by conducting a worldwide census of continental rift lengths over the last 200 million years.”
    They are looking at very long term carbon balances. The current volcanic sources are taken account of in carbon balances, and are small and don’t seem to be changing radically. There is nothing I read about this paper to suggest that it tells anything about changes in recent millennia.

    • The researchers would also be exposed to a witch hunt, if they deviate from the mainstream. All they can do is point to variable CO2 sources between the lines. At least in Germany it has come so far, in the US it may look different. Thanks to the election of November 2016.

    • I agree. But the “today” statements (both in Abstract and in the presser), seems they are wanting to make a “today” connection.

    • Nick

      ”Here we test this hypothesis by conducting a worldwide census of continental rift lengths over the last 200 million years.”

      As Hans-Georg pointed out, we don’t adequately understand what’s going on under our feet right now, never mind hypothesise about, and base calculation on events 200M years ago.

      • Scot,
        “never mind hypothesise about, and base calculation on events 200M years ago”
        It was WUWT that chose to present trhis paper as if it concerned current climate. It doesn’t. That isn’t the only thing scientists study. If you think it isn’t to your interest, let it go.

  7. One statement from the abstract:
    “We estimate tectonic CO2 release rates through time and show that along the extensive Mesozoic and Cenozoic rift systems, rift-related CO2 degassing rates reached more than 300% of present-day values. ”

    Then about “today”.
    This statement in the presser, ““The global CO2 degassing rates at rift systems, however, are just a fraction of the anthropogenic carbon release today”, adds Brune.”

    And then this sentence again from the Abstract, : “Today, significant quantities of CO2 are emitted at continental rifts,…”

    WTF is he really trying to say?

    Seems to me the climate corruption of good scientists who now try to embellish an ancient story with modern twist for current day impact.
    Studying carbon-release from ancient rifting is indeed a hard, mostly boring study of rocks and building numerical models… real geek stuff. 99.999% boring to the average person. But this used to be good science, no agendas. Let the data talk, don’t go outside what your data can support. Now the climate agenda and need for funding has driven everyone to put a climate change angle into their studies for impact.

    Sad. The Climate change agenda has corrupted so much of what used to be solid geoscience.

    • If someone tries to point that out between the lines, then of course something so incomprehensible can come out. But these logical breaks in otherwise logical research brains point to this balancing act. In Germany, there was once a researcher Mangini from the University of Heidelberg, who noted due to stalagmites and sediments as proxies with today’s comparable and even beyond temperature changes in the past. He did not research alone, but with the University of Bochum and the University of Innsbruck, it was a large research group. He made a graph of the temperature history due to these proxies and became even quite famous, so that even disputes with Mr. Stocker (famous as a possible successor to the IPCC) were broadcast from beautiful Switzerland on television and reported to several daily newspapers. But then a witch hunt was opened on him. His boss at the University of Heidelberg presented him with the alternative of retiring from paeontology or losing his chair. He finally resigned. He never heard of climate issues in the past.

    • “WTF is he really trying to say?”

      Well, when you are trying to avoid being turned into a hedgehog by the Greenbeans/Warmians and still get your grant money, you do what is politely termed ‘obfuscating’, which can and sometimes does include contradicting yourself. There has to be enough psychobabble in public paperage to satisfy the CAWGers/Warmians, and still follow your own path if you don’t truly agree with their narrow little view.

      I think that’s what the author did.

      • Yes, but there is NO CO2 from rifts and volcanoes in the deep oceans. Apparently, he didn’t do his homework. Not only does he fail the pop quiz, he may not get a very good grade for the semester, either.

  8. What’s the big deal about these second order effects that those behind the scam missed? Things like this are mouse nuts compared to the elephant in the room. That elephant is the laws of physics.

    It’s unambiguously clear that all 240 W/m^2 of solar forcing result in 395 W/m^2 of surface emissions (per Trenberth’s energy balance) where each W/m^2 of solar forcing equally contributes about 1.6 W/m^2 to the surface emissions. The basic property of energy is that all Joules are the same, thus the last incremental W/m^2 from the Sun increased surface emissions by about 1.6 W/m^2 corresponding to a temperature increase of about 0.3C, which is less than the claimed lower limit of 0.4C. Furthermore, each incremental degree of warmth requires exponentially more incident flux to sustain exponentially higher emissions, thus sensitivity expressed as degrees per W/m^2 has a 1/T^3 dependency, decreasing as temperatures rise.

    The influences of non photon transports of energy plus their return to the surface, for example latent heat, are already accounted for by the average temperature and its average emissions thus have absolutely no additional impact on the surface temperature or surface emissions beyond the effect already accounted for by the average temperature. Don’t be confused by the epic misdirection coming from the consensus, specifically Trenberth, as he conflates the energy transported by photons with the energy transported by matter and incorrectly calls the energy transported by matter back to the surface ‘radiation’, whose only purpose is to whitewash reality and provide wiggle room for what the physics otherwise precludes.

    The nominal stated sensitivity of 0.8C per W/m^2 would increase surface emissions by 4.3 W/m^2 which is another obvious conclusion given how Trenberth calculated the 395 W/m^2 of surface emissions using the SB Law. That this exceeds the 1.6 W/m^2 from the last W/m^2 of solar forcing by an impossibly large amount is so basic and so obvious, an elementary school student would get it, yet consensus climate science has a mental block against anything that refutes their beliefs. Again, don’t be confused by all the misdirection and obfuscation that they use to try and diffuse this argument. There’s absolutely no way to explain away the incontestable conclusions of first principles physics.

    The fact that this has been allowed to go on for so long is a disgrace to all of science and those responsible must be punished. At one time, I was more inclined to believe that this was just the consequence of incompetence, but based on the massive amounts of money involved and the transparent quashing of truth by so called climate scientists, consensus climate science is akin to organized crime and RICO statutes should be applied so that the indemnification of the World Bank against causing financial harm to nations can be circumvented.

    • Do not expect Trenberth to wake up one day to the epiphany and admit an entire professional career has been wrong. Nor Mann. Nor Gavin. Nor Phil Jones. Nor Ben Santer. And until they are gone, they will carry that wrong physics around like a banner. That banner serves a wider political purpose.

      Science advances one death at a time.
      The climate cultists will have to die off or retire before sanity returns.

      • joelobryan,

        The physics (actually it’s really only simple arithmetic) is so damning to the IPCC, it’s only a matter of time before they’re compelled to address it. Faults this obvious can’t be concealed forever, especially given the current administration which counters their political purpose.

        No doubt they will make some kind of excuse. It was clearly incompetence that broke the science in the first place and that would likely be the pretext.

        It will be harder to explain away the malfeasance than kept the science so broken for so long, especially considering the solid science from so many sources that has been disputing their broken science for decades. This will likely be blamed on the politicos who implicitly ‘pressured’ the scientists to avoid finding flaws in the ‘scientific’ rationalization that justified the formation of the IPCC which was then reinforced by the gravy train.

  9. They found two periods of enhanced rifting “coincided” with “greenhouse climate episodes”. First, when you are talking about millions of years, “coincide” could easily mean tens of thousands of years, and secondly, they have no causation. It’s a wild, hopeful guess, based on nothing. Third, dafuq is a “greenhouse climate episode”? So all warm periods are now “greenhouse climate episodes”? Pitiful.

    • Give them a break, Bruce. They don’t have anything else to say, so they stick to ‘greenhouse this or that’. The more they do that, the more ridiculous they become.

  10. It means that even more natural CO2 gets into the environment than the 96% that have been adopted so far. The proportion of human CO2 is becoming smaller.

  11. Okay, settle down! What the “report” means is:
    1 – that there is nothing new to say
    2 – the writer of the report needs another grant
    3 – the writer of the report ignores OTHER volcanic gases, to his detriment
    4 – the writer of the report needs another grant, has nothing new to say, and uses a natural geological process, now underway and unstoppable, to justify his need for another grant by pandering to the CO2 crowd for approval..

    Please see my comment up top, about the subsurface erosion in the Danakil depression. It is rapidly increasing. Erta Ale’s lava lake is very active. The original rift has grown substantially and is releasing far more in the way of gases than CO2. The entire area is (I think) 85 feet below sea level. If the rift opens further to east, the Red Sea will enter the area – WILL, not may.

    Add this issue to the solar minimum we are entering, and what would your own guesstimate be about weather during the next 300 to 3000 years, or longer?

  12. The reality is that there is no real evidence that CO2 has any effect on climate and plenty of scientific rational to support the idea that the climate sensivity of CO2 is zero. The AGW conjecture is based on the existance of a radiant greenhouse effect provided for by trace gases in our atmosphere with LWIR absorption bands. The radiant greenhouse effect has not been observed anywhere in the solar system including the Earth. The radiant greenhouse effect is science fiction. Hence the AGW conjecture is science fiction.

    • But… but… wilhaas, you gotta give ’em something to cling to. If you don’t, they’ll get lost and start following us around, asking for food and stuff. I don’t want them as neighbors.

  13. They appear to have derived the idea that continental rifts produce more CO2 than mid ocean ridge by this “correlation” between high paleo-CO2 levels and paleo-continental breakup events. Or perhaps they came up with the idea and went looking for a correlation – which they managed to do without accounting for mid ocean ridges and island arc volcanic activity that would have been going on at the same time as the continental rifting.

    Their argument would carry more weight if they had postulated a reason why continental rifts should release more CO2 than mid ocean ridges or island arcs. OR (preferably AND) if they had presented some actual data from the East Africa-Red Sea-Dead Sea rift to show heightened CO2 venting as compared to MORs and island arcs.

    .But they manage to say ““The global CO2 degassing rates at rift systems, however, are just a fraction of the anthropogenic carbon release today”, adds Brune.” – which implies they know how much degassing is currently going on at their rifts. But they don’t, do they? Or if they think they do, they don’t say so.

    It’s more of a waffle than a piece of geological research. if you ask me. It leads nowhere.

    • ” a fraction of the anthropogenic carbon release” – that phrase says that rift zones are OUR fault, WE caused them, and WE are responsible for natural events, which is pure baloney.

      “Anthropogenic” means caused by humans – MANMADE. When is this poppycock going to be stopped? When?

      • Deary, slow down from your tizzy please! That sentence does not at all imply or suggest rift zones are our fault. It is stated as the amount contributed from rifts is comparably only a small fraction of that contributed from anthropogenic sources.

  14. Sometimes, you have to just sit back and laugh at the desperation you see in the specious nonsense produced by these CAGWers and the science guys who pander to them.

    I did a little digging about sea floor vents, which form along sea floor rift zones, and found the following:

    “Most bacteria and archaea cannot survive in the superheated hydrothermal fluids of the chimneys or “black smokers.” But hydrothermal microorganisms are able to thrive just outside the hottest waters, in the temperature gradients that form between the hot venting fluid and cold seawater. These microbes are the foundation for life in hydrothermal vent ecosystems. Instead of using light energy to turn carbon dioxide into sugar like plants do, they harvest chemical energy from the minerals and chemical compounds that spew from the vents—a process known as chemosynthesis. These compounds—such as hydrogen sulfide, hydrogen gas, ferrous iron and ammonia—lack carbon. The microbes release new compounds after chemosynthesis, some of which are toxic, but others can be taken in nutritionally by other organisms.” http://ocean.si.edu/ocean-news/microbes-keep-hydrothermal-vents-pumping

    Note that phrase “lack carbon”. These hydrothermal vents appear anywhere there is a connection to a heat source, which comes from the interior of the Earth. The heat sources include oceanic volcanoes and rifting zones.

    Come on, this is basic geology and geochemistry! Even I know this, and I’m no geologist. The geysers and pools at Yellowstone are pumped by the heat of the magma chamber under that park, and they are not just boiling hot. They are loaded with chemicals from gases in the magma. How hard is that to understand? There isn’t any CARBON in them at all, any more than there is in those deep ocean vents that create black smokers.

    That entire paper is a non sequitur, a fallacy created out of a scramble to get another grant, and nothing more. Anyone with a basic knowledge of geochemistry could probably dispute the writer’s conclusions in the blink of an eye. It is hogwash, pandering to purse strings of grant funding. This is where our tax money is going and it is nothing but a ripoff.

    • Sara,
      At thrust faults on colliding plates, the subducting oceanic plates are basalt with deep layers of layered calcium carbonate. The calcium carbonate is reduced to CO2, and the excess oxygen oxidizes sulfur and manganese to make sulfate and manganate. CO2 in large quantities outgasses from subduction zones.

      In rift zones, probably not so much if any CO2. But you can’t have rifting on one side of a plate without subduction on the other side.

    • That’s true, Joe, but those are plates colliding, not pulling apart.

      As I said, I’m no geologist and make no claims to be one. I based what I said on the findings at the deep ocean smokers. If you’re referring to naturally-carbonated features like soda springs, that’s an entirely different chemistry. The Vergeze spring that is the sort of Perrier’s famous carbonated water is one example of natural carbonation.

      As another example, the geysers at Yellowstone contain a wide range of chemicals, including silica, aluminum, iron, calcium, magnesium, sodium, potassium, lithium, ammonia, bicarbonate, carbonate, sulfate, chloride, fluoride, boron, and arsenic, and they are sitting on a heat source strong enough to dissolve all of that into water.

      Iceland’s famous hot springs contain a variety of minerals such as sulfur, calcium, lithium, magnesium and even radium. And we all know that Iceland is slowly splitting apart at the rate of one inch per year. So the content isn’t cast in stone (pun intended), but varies from one place to another. I also mentioned the copper veins in ancient smoker chimneys on the island of Cyprus. That’s another example.

      I just wonder how long it will be before reality sets in and this CO2 fad dies away.

  15. It has always amazed me that miraculously the Earth tectonics has decided to position us (our planet) into a antipodal pattern of continents and oceans in the age of man. The fact that no direct evidence of Panthalassa age ocean floor exists, after supposedly been completely vacuumed by subduction zones, is to me an enigma.
    Most of the deep ocean drilling, to confirm the somewhat subjective magnetic stripe ages, was done in the 60’s and did not penetrate to basement. Evidence of ancient continental rocks have been found in the Atlantic at St. Peter and Paul’s Rocks and Bald Mountain which are much older than the Theory of Plate Tectonics suggests. Older than expected rocks have also been discovered in the Pacific, Indian and Southern Oceans. Just saying!

    • That there might be remnants of continental crust in the Atlantic in no way invalidates the fact of plate tectonics. The Rockall Plateau in the North Atlantic is a remnant of North America, left behind as the NA plate separated from the Eurasian.

      Plate tectonics are a scientific fact, ie an observation. Not only has subduction been observed, but the movement of plates can be directly measured.

      Most seafloor is indeed younger than the breakup of Pangaea, exactly as “theory” (ie fact) predicts.

    • St Peter and St Paul’s rocks aren’t continental, they are mantle rocks (peridotite and ultramafic mylonite). Oceanic mantle rocks are very occasionally uplifted above the surface. Macquarie Island is another example.

    • The tepui in South America (Venezuela and western Guiana) are pre-Cambrian in origin. They’re part of what used to be Gondwanaland, before South America split apart from Africa. The geochemistry is a match.

      Part of Siberia was once attached to the Laurentian craton until it broke away and drifted further north. That was some 215 MYA during the break-up of Pangaea. Continental drift, plate tectonics and rifting are not theories. They are real. Where subduction zone occur, if there is slippage downward, as with the New Madrid Fault/rift zone, the plates are recycled by the Earth’s mantle and core.

      Saying this is a ‘theory’ is completely not true.

  16. LOL @ WUWT……“Rift zones released large amounts of CO2 from depth, which influenced global climate change”
    ….
    You forgot that subduction zones sequester large amounts of CO2 into depth, which influences global climate change.
    ..
    This site is hilarious with it’s tunnel vision.

    • C.Paul Pierett, can you read? The article is produced by a source OTHER THAN WUWT. it is simply provided for our information to let us know how much scamming is going on in the world of science, at our expense.

      Pay more attention, willya?

    • Poor Pierette, comprhension is NOT your strong poiunt is it.

      But it is good that you see how ludicrous the claims is, seeing as its coming from a rabid AGW source.

      Blinkered Tunnel Vision.. Very much the AGW way.

    • And the added salt content of a pot of water has nothing to do with the temperature at which the water boils, either. Truth only exists to be shared. Thank you for sharing.

  17. The conclusion in the Abstract: “We therefore propose that continental fragmentation and long-term climate change could plausibly be linked via massive CO2 degassing in rift systems.

    Not exactly a decisive conclusion.

    And it’s not like they actually have measurements or anything. It’s models all the way down.

    • One corruption of post-modern science is the fallacy that models produce data. You just noted that rather large pothole.

      Modern science has become too big to support the thousands of scientists to do field work and gather real-world data. Observations.

      Post-modern science has thus turned to the computer model to “mine data”.
      That is not much different than Bitcoin miners using a computer cluster to “mine” bitcoins.
      Fake data, meet fake money.
      The post-modern world.
      Real Data does not matter anymore.

      • “Real Data does not matter….:”

        I disagree with that statement, Joe. It does matter. It matters enormously. Real facts beat fantasies every time. Real data beat modeling data, hands down.

        The more I see of this stuff, the more I think these people wouldn’t even make good sci-fi authors. They don’t know how to create believable worlds or biosystems. They have little to no imagination. They seem to be locked into some sort of yoke that demands they toe a line to get fed, kind of like using oxen to thresh grain in the Olden Times, except I’m thinking that the oxen were probably better at the job.

  18. “It’s CO2 ALLLLLLLL the way down…”

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Turtles_all_the_way_down

    Wow….. Just…. WOW…

    The earth is STILL at its lowest CO2 levels since complex life evolved 600 million years ago (when CO2 levels were 7,000+ ppm), exceeded only by the Permian-Triassic Extinction event 250 million years ago when CO2 levels actually fell below 150ppm…

    Just 12,000 years ago, CO2 levels fell to the dangerously low level of 170ppm, which is just 20ppm short of all life going extinct from photosynthesis shutdown… We should be ecstatic CO2 levels are recovering to healthier levels, but, alas…

    For the most part, CO2 fluctuations are an EFFECT (not a cause) of natural global warming/cooling cycles: i.e. more ocean CO2 outgassed during natural warming events, and more CO2 ocean absorption during natural cooling events.. Yes, manmade CO2 emissions have assisted in CO2’s beneficial recovery since 1850, but this is to be celebrated, not maligned..

    When (not if) this absurd CAGW hypothesis is officially disconfirmed, it’ll be interesting to see what the blowback will be against Leftist “scientists”, politicians, corporate cronies and enviro-wackos that perpetuated this CO2 Warmageddon insanity.

  19. “The global CO2 degassing rates at rift systems, however, are just a fraction of the anthropogenic carbon release today”, adds Brune, who values his job and is willing to say things based on PC guesswork, rather than lose that job. My guesswork (based on Lake Nyos) is that rift CO2 is an order of magnitude or more higher than human generated CO2.

  20. “The global CO2 degassing rates at rift systems, however, are just a fraction of the anthropogenic carbon release today”

    And yet they go on to say:

    “rift-related CO2 degassing rates reached more than 300% of present-day values.
    …we find that two prominent periods of enhanced rifting 160 to 100 million years ago and after 55 million years ago coincided with greenhouse climate episodes, during which <b<atmospheric CO2 concentrations were more than three times higher than today.

    Apparently, modern CO2 concentrations are not even close to “unprecedented.” They have a long way to go just to match past highs. So, that brings up a question. When CO2 concentrations were more than three times higher than today, why didn’t the “oceans boil” or the planet experience “runaway global warming” from the positive feedbacks programmed into computer models?

    The news should be that the earth survived past greenhouse climate episodes, and many species survived as well. That should be good news to alarmists. Except, their climate alarmism is simply the means to an end. So, no, this news will not make them happy.

  21. Using numerical carbon cycle models the authors simulated the effect of increased CO2 degassing from the rifts and showed that both rifting periods correlate with higher CO2 concentrations in the atmosphere at that time.

    So the models told them. I see. Observational evidence is where?

  22. Closing of the American isthmus joining North and South America 2.8 million years ago was probably more important climatically.

  23. The carbon distribution on Earth is highly unbalanced: In fact only one-hundred-thousandth of the carbon dioxide on our planet is found in the atmosphere, biosphere and the oceans with the remaining 99.999% bound in the deep Earth. However, this enormous carbon store at depth is not isolated from the atmosphere.

    Makes sense and doesn’t favour CACA faith. Somewhat redundant statement, I know.

  24. Carbonatite and kimberlite intrusives and their kin have originated from deep within the Earth’s mantle – around 600 km down in the case of kimberlite. Such intrusives are totally unrelated to rift zones and the movement of continents relative to one another. Intrusive carbonatite looks very much like crystalline granite but its principal component is carbonate. The gas associated with kimberlites was mainly carbon dioxide, with native carbon in the form of diamonds being an occasional feature.

  25. Carbonatite and kimberlite intrusives and their kin have originated from deep within the Earth’s mantle – around 600 km down in the case of kimberlite. Such intrusives are totally unrelated to rift zones and the movement of continents relative to one another. Intrusive carbonatite looks very much like crystalline granite but its principal component is carbonate. The gas associated with kimberlites was mainly carbon dioxide, with native carbon in the form of diamonds being an occasional feature.

    • “Any sign of additional CO2 over the rift zones spotted by our new CO2 satellite?” Most of the 65,000 km of rifting is in deep ocean and the CO2 emitted will be dissolved into very cold water. Check on Lake Magadi in Kenya to appreciate how much carbonate is precipitated at surface.

  26. Can anyone explain why the collective denier voice of WUWT is bashing this article as if it has a warmist view ? Everyone sounds so silly because they don’t realize it actually supports their side. It claims climate scientists “forgot” or don’t take into account the natural source of CO2 caused by degassing of rifts, an argument that undercuts AGW. You all don’t seem to realize you are fighting a non existent enemy of your own making and harming your own ideology. Feels very Shakespearean, actually, a good classic tragedy all the way around. Humbling too, as it highlights the rather pathetic aspects of the human condition.

    • “Yeah right” wrote, “Can anyone explain why the collective denier voice of WUWT is bashing this article as if it has a warmist view ? Everyone sounds so silly because they don’t realize it actually supports their side…”

      You don’t get it, YR. The collective voice of WUWT is not mainly about “our side” vs “their side,” it is about good science vs. junk science. Or, if you prefer, it is about what is correct vs. what is untrue.

      I am skeptical of climate alarmism because the best evidence is that anthropogenic global warming is real, but modest and benign. Should the best evidence change, so will my opinion.

        “When my information changes, I alter my conclusions. What do you do, sir?”
        – John Maynard Keynes (paraphrased)

      On climate blogs (and presumably on most blogs which don’t pre-moderate), there’s a certain percentage of dummkopf comments, from “both sides” of the argument: some from the political Left and some from the Right. But there are two noticeable differences (other than the differing viewpoints) between “skeptic” blogs like WUWT and most “alarmist/activist” blogs like GregLaden “RobertScribbler”.

      1. The alarmist/activist blogs are usually censored to enforce the blog owner’s viewpoint, and suppress the “other side.” WUWT obviously isn’t.

      2. On WUWT, nonsense from either side gets critiqued and debunked, but on most alarmist/activist blogs even the most preposterous and ridiculous nonsense from “their side” stands uncriticized, and comments from the “other side” (skeptics/lukewarmists) are attacked mercilessly regardless of whether they are reasonable.

      In other words, YR, like you, most of the “regulars” at “alarmist/activist” blogs like GregLaden “RobertScribbler” are mainly concerned about “which side” someone and his remarks are on, and much less concerned about what is actually correct.

      [Because you asked so nicely. -mod]

      • Correction:

        Moderators, I used the wrong example. Would you please change “GregLaden” to “RobertScribbler” the two places where it appears in my comment above?

        Very sorry to have put you to the trouble!

      • Thank you, mod! I make lots of mistakes, but perhaps the worst of them are when, due to some sort of brain fart, I point a finger of blame at the wrong person.

    • “Can anyone explain why the collective denier voice of WUWT is bashing this article as if it has a warmist view ?” Geology seems to be one of those sciences where every commentators opinion carries as much weight as that of an actual experienced geologist. There’s a reason that the Almighty gave each of us two eyes, two ears but only one mouth.

  27. I swear a skimmed an article last year about el nino events being a cyclical heat release from the inner-earth’s core through volcano or rifts. I would love to read that in more depth. Anybody know about this or did I just dream about it?

  28. The concentration of carbon dioxide (CO2) in the atmosphere determines whether the Earth is in greenhouse or ice age state.

    The very first sentence is infantile imbecilic anti-sense.
    The temperature of earth, and whether it is in an ice age or not, determines the CO2 level.
    Not the other way round.
    CO2 is just another proxy of global temperature.

  29. I love it when the warmists use the term “pre-industrial”.
    It shows how narrow-minded, uncurious and stupid they are.

    Which pre-industrial level?
    500 ppm in the Palaeocene-Eocene?
    1000 ppm in the Cretaceous?
    2000 ppm in the Triassic?
    200-500ppm in the Carboniferous?
    10,000-20,000ppm at the Cambrian explosion?

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