PETM: Good Science Meets Science Journalism in the Gulf of Mexico

Guest “Oy vey!” by David Middleton

4 June 2022

Qamariya Nasrullah

How ancient ocean life in the Gulf of Mexico escaped mass extinction
The geology of the sheltered basin helped protect life against global warming.

A bout of global warming 56 million years ago acidified oceans and wiped out marine life. But in the Gulf of Mexico, the effect was much milder. Research on the unique geology of this North American basin has revealed how life was able to escape local extinction.

The Palaeocene-Eocene Thermal Maximum (PETM) was a brief period of global warming, which saw a 5°C to 8°C spike in temperature and caused large changes in ocean chemistry. This caused a severe deep-sea benthic foraminifera extinction, known as the Benthic Extinction Event (BEE).

“This event, known as the Paleocene-Eocene Thermal Maximum, or PETM, is very important to understand because it’s pointing towards a very powerful, albeit brief, injection of carbon into the atmosphere that’s akin to what’s happening now,” says lead author Dr Bob Cunningham, from the University of Texas, US. 

New research, published in Marine and Petroleum Geology, explores the biological responses during this geological time period, including the mud, sand and limestone deposits found across the Gulf of Mexico. Sifting through rock chips brought up during oil and gas drilling across 25 sites, the researchers found an abundance of fossilised radiolarians – a type of plankton – that appeared to survive, and even thrive, during a time when other ocean organisms were being wiped out.

[…]

Cosmos

“How ancient ocean life in the Gulf of Mexico escaped mass extinction”

The PETM was not a “mass extinction”. For that matter, benthic foraminifera actually recovered from “extinction”…

Palaeogeography, Palaeoclimatology, Palaeoecology 279 (2009) 186–200.

Extinction and recovery of benthic foraminifera across the Paleocene–Eocene Thermal Maximum at the Alamedilla section (Southern Spain)

L. Alegret , S. Ortiz E., Molina

A b s t r a c t

A complete succession of lower bathyal–upper abyssal sediments was deposited across the Paleocene–Eocene Thermal Maximum (PETM) at Alamedilla (Betic Cordillera, Southern Spain), where the benthic foraminiferal turnover and extinction event associated with the negative carbon isotope excursion (CIE) across the PETM have been investigated. Detailed quantitative analyses of benthic foraminifera allowed us to distinguish assemblages with paleoecological and paleoenvironmental significance: pre extinction fauna, extinction fauna, survival fauna (including disaster and opportunistic fauna) and recovery fauna. These assemblages have been associated with significant parts of the δ13C curve for which a relative chronology has been established. The correlation between the benthic turnover, the δ13C curve, the calcite and silicate mineral content, and sedimentation rates, allowed us to establish the sequence of events across the PETM. At Alamedilla, the benthic extinction event (BEE) affected ~37% of the species and it has been recorded over a 30-cm-thick interval that was deposited in c.a. 10 ky, suggesting a gradual but rapid pattern of extinction. The beginning of the BEE coincides with the onset of the CIE (+0 ky) and with an interval with abundant calcite, and it has been recorded under oxic conditions at the seafloor (as inferred from the benthic foraminiferal assemblages and the reddish colour of the sediments). We conclude that dissolution and dysoxia were not the cause of the extinctions, which were probably related to intense warming that occurred before the onset of the CIE.

The BEE is immediately overlain by a survival interval dominated by agglutinated species (the Glomospira Acme). The low calcite content recorded within the survival interval may result from the interaction between dilution of the carbonate compounds by silicicate minerals (as inferred from the increased sedimentation rates), and the effects of carbonate dissolution triggered by the shoaling of the CCD.  We suggest that Glomospira species (disaster fauna) may have bloomed opportunistically in areas with methane dissociation, in and around the North Atlantic. The disaster fauna was rapidly replaced by opportunistic taxa, which point to oxic and, possibly, oligotrophic conditions at the seafloor. The CCD gradually dropped during this interval, and calcite preservation improved towards the recovery interval, during which the δ13C values and the calcite content recovered (c.a. +71.25 to 94.23 ky) and stabilized (N94.23 ky), coeval with a sharp decrease in sedimentation rates.

Alegret, Otriz & Molina 2009

Benthic foram’s appear to have an even higher recovery rate from extinction than the Incilius genus of toads

Figure 1. This provides an entirely different perspective on the word extinction.  Alegret, L., S. Ortiz & E. Molina.  Extinction and recovery of benthic foraminifera across the Paleocene–Eocene Thermal Maximum at the Alamedilla section (Southern Spain).  Palaeogeography, Palaeoclimatology, Palaeoecology 279 (2009) 186–200

The shoaling (shallowing) of the lysocline during the PETM is represented by the 30 cm thick band of red clay from 13.4 to 13.7 m on the lithology column in figure 1.  When the lysocline and carbonate compensation depth (CCD)  briefly shoaled, the transition from calcareous to siliceous ooze moved shoreward.  When the CCD dropped back down to its pre-PETM depth, the transition from calcareous to siliceous ooze moved seaward… Leaving a 30 cm thick layer of red clay in the middle of a thick marl sequence.  Rising and falling sea levels also could have caused the deposition of a similar layer of red clay.

Figure 2. “Schematic cross section of the ocean showing different depositional zones based on the calcite compensation depth (Nichols, 2009).” WVU GEOL 616

The benthic foram’s above and below the red clay horizon ceased to exist at that location for about 70,000 to 220,000 years.  However, the fact that at least some of them returned to that location after the PETM might indicate that the benthic foram “mass extinction” was more of a benthic foram depositional “mass relocation,” rather than a true extinction.

“The geology of the sheltered basin helped protect life against global warming”

The short answer is: No, it didn’t.

The Cosmos article is supposedly about this paper:

Productivity and organic carbon trends through the Wilcox Group in the deep Gulf of Mexico: Evidence for ventilation during the Paleocene-Eocene Thermal Maximum

Robert Cunninghamab, Marcie Purkey Phillipsb, John W. Sneddenb, Ian O.Nortonb, Christopher M.Loweryb, Jon W.Virdellb, Craig D.Barriec, Aaron Averyd

a. ChargeSearch, Llano, TX, 78743, USA
b. The University of Texas at Austin, Institute of Geophysics, Austin, TX, 78712, USA
c. GeoMark Research, Houston, TX, 77095, USA
d. Paleo Data Inc., New Orleans, LA, 70124, USA

Highlights
PETM identified in deep-water Wilcox Gp across the northern Gulf of Mexico (GoM).

Calcareous nannofossil shift to oligotrophy and loss of benthic foraminifera mark PETM.

Radiolarian bursts during and after PETM driven by runoff-enhanced nutrient supply.

• TOC in Wilcox Gp and PETM <3% in deep basin versus >3% in restricted margin settings.

• Biotic and geochemical responses indicate GoM was open and ventilated through PETM.

[…]

1. Introduction

During the Paleocene and Eocene greenhouse, deposition in the Gulf of Mexico (GoM) basin led to economically important petroleum-bearing deltaic and deep-water sands, coal resources, and petroleum source rocks hosted in the Wilcox Group (Gp). Tremendous industry focus has helped constrain the distribution and properties of these deposits, but paleoclimatic and paleoceanographic processes operating during deposition, especially in the deep-water GoM, are less clear. Of particular importance is unraveling the impacts of Laramide uplift, the Paleocene-Eocene Thermal Maximum (PETM), and restriction of the GoM due to the collision of the Cuban arc with Yucatan-Bahamas-Florida.

Paleogene global warming enhanced the hydrological feedbacks of chemical and physical weathering which combined with Laramide uplift of the Rocky Mountains to enhance fluvial runoff and sediment supply (Foreman et al., 2012Kraus et al., 2015Hessler et al., 2017). Massive coal deposits associated with paralic and delta systems of the paleo-Mississippi, Brazos, Colorado, and Rio Grande Rivers form the largest lignite producing region in the United States (Fig. 1EIA, 2017). They contribute to a peak in global terrestrial organic matter deposition and Paleocene carbon isotope maximum (Dyni, 2003Kurtz et al., 2003Littler et al., 2014). Source beds for a petroleum system extending from the coastal plain into deep water containing terrestrial and marine organic matter were deposited in deltaic to submarine fan environments of the Wilcox Gp (McDade, 1992McDade et al., 1993Hood et al., 2002Ferworn et al., 2003Holguin-Quinones et al., 2005).

Superimposed on long-term Paleogene warming were several spikes in global temperatures known as hyperthermal events with the largest being the PETM which occurred at ∼56 Ma (Dickens et al., 1995Charles et al., 2011Westerhold et al., 2015). The relatively short, ∼170 thousand year, duration of the PETM is attributed to a massive influx of isotopically-light greenhouse carbon into the ocean-atmosphere system (Dickens et al., 19951997Svensen et al., 2004Lourens et al., 2005Zachos et al., 2005Sluijs et al., 2007Storey et al., 2007Rohl et al., 2007Frieling et al., 2016) which resulted in a global negative carbon isotope excursion (CIE) recorded in both marine and terrestrial settings (Komar and Zeebe, 2011). Biotic changes observed over the PETM provide additional recognition of the event including a switch to oligotrophic conditions in surface waters, especially in open oceans (Boersma et al., 1998Bralower, 2002Gibbs et al., 2006Carmichael et al., 2017) and a severe deep-sea benthic foraminifera extinction, the Benthic Extinction Event (BEE), affecting both calcareous and agglutinated forms (Galeoti et al., 2004Kaminski and Gradstein, 2005Thomas, 1998Thomas and Monechi, 2007). Additional responses, deoxygenation and organic carbon enrichment, are recognized as a feedback mechanism for restoring ocean-atmosphere biogeochemistry to the pre-PETM state (Bowen and Zachos, 2010Dickson et al., 2014Komar and Zeebe, 2017Penman and Zachos, 2018).

[…]

Cunningham et al., 2022

Not much sheltering going on in the paper. The PETM clearly left a serious mark on the Gulf of Mexico.

3.2. Biostratigraphy

Biostratigraphic analysis through the Paleocene-Eocene sedimentary record was conducted on twenty-five wells. Microfossil assemblages are often diluted by the massive sandstone influx of the Wilcox Gp, especially in the western GoM; however, a chronostratigraphic framework has been resolved using calcareous nannofossils and foraminifera to determine geologic age from the K-Pg boundary to the top of the Eocene as data allowed. The chronostratigraphic framework used in this study is based on depositional episodes or supersequences comprising the Wilcox and Claiborne Groups (Galloway et al., 2011) including LW, MW, and UW subgroups and the QC and SP Formations (Fig. 3). For simplicity, the lower Paleocene Midway Gp is undifferentiated and included within the LW. Age assignments of microfossil marker species follow the Paleogene Biostratigraphy Chart – Gulf Basin, USA produced by PaleoData, Inc. (Waterman et al., 2011) and the 2016 Geologic Time Scale of Ogg et al. (2016). Since cuttings are most typically produced from industry wells for biostratigraphic analysis, last appearance datums (LADs) and ACMEs of marker taxa are typically applied for age analysis. 

Cunningham et al., 2022

Last appearance datums (LADs) are extinctions, sometimes local, sometimes temporary (as in the BEE of the PETM), sometimes permanent.

The PETM was identified in 12 wells (see Supplemental Material, Table S1). Higher reliability interpretations are based on calcareous nannofossil excursion taxa that exclusively existed during the PETM event including any and all species of RhomboasterDiscoaster salisburgensis var. araneus, and D. salisburgensis var. anartios (Kahn and Aubry, 2004Bralower and Self-Trail, 2016Bybell and Self-Trail, 19941997). Although foraminiferal excursion taxa also existed, none have been observed in the GoM. Additional criteria used to support PETM interpretations include a switch from eutrophic to oligotrophic surface water conditions based on select nannofossils (Table 2) and an abrupt decrease in both calcareous and agglutinated benthic foraminiferal abundance. Other PETM constraints such as the dinoflagellate Apectodinium homomorphum acme and negative CIE are highly reliable and have been employed globally and elsewhere in the mid-Atlantic coastal plain of the United States and GoM (Sluijs et al., 2014Demchuk et al., 2019Zarra et al., 2019Smith et al., 2020Podrecca et al., 2021), but these data types are not typically collected during commercial drilling and are currently not available for any industry wells used in this study.

Cunningham et al., 2022

The surface waters of the Gulf of Mexico abruptly switched from eutrophic (enriched in plant nutrients and low oxygenation) to oligotrophic (deficiency of plant nutrients and abundance of dissolved oxygen).

Had life in the Gulf of Mexico been sheltered from global warming during the Paleocene and Eocene, the source rocks and deepwater reservoir rocks of the Wilcox formation wouldn’t exist.

Figure 3. Left to right: Generalized cross section along northern GOM region (Galloway et al., 2009), depositional phases are numbered. Relative sea level (Miller et al., 2005), atmospheric CO(Berner & Kothavala, 2001) and temperature anomalies (Royer et al., 2004). Click for image.

The Gulf of Mexico not only wasn’t sheltered from the global warming at PETM time, it may have been one of the sources of the PETM carbon isotope excursion (CIE).

Research Offers New Evidence about the Gulf of Mexico’s Past
Geologists Find Clues to Historic Climate Change, Origin of Wilcox Formation

By Jeannie Kever 713-743-0778

February 16, 2016

Geologists studying a region in the Mexican state of Veracruz have discovered evidence to explain the origin of the Wilcox Formation, one of Mexico’s most productive oil plays, as well as support for the theory that water levels in the Gulf of Mexico dropped dramatically as it was separated from the rest of the world’s oceans and the earth entered a period of extreme warming.

The drop in water levels and the warming, known as the Paleocene-Eocene thermal maximum (PETM), occurred around 55.8 million years ago. The Gulf refilled about 850,000 years later.

Geologist Don Van Nieuwenhuise said the study, published in the February edition of Interpretation, explains the distribution of the Wilcox Formation from onshore Texas and Mexico into the deep waters of the Gulf and offers insight into the episode of extreme warming more than 55 million years ago, with potential implications for climate change today.

[…]

The findings support the theory that the Gulf of Mexico was landlocked as the Paleocene Epoch morphed into the warmer Eocene, punctuated by a massive loss of water due to evaporation and, millennia later, was inundated again.

Van Nieuwenhuise said oil producers long have been puzzled about the Wilcox Formation’s appearance in the Gulf’s deeper waters, hundreds of miles from where it appears onshore. This new information could mean there are still-undiscovered sections of the formation, also known as the Paleocene/Eocene Chicontepec Formation, he said.

[…]

The researchers said waters in the Gulf dropped at least 650 feet, leaving an exposed area that refilled less than a million years later – the blink of an eye in geologic time.

“Proving the existence of the Paleocene-Eocene drawdown would profoundly alter the interpretation of the Gulf’s geologic history with academic and economic ramifications,” the researchers wrote. “The theory, if further validated, would provide a revised context and would enhance predictability for petroleum exploration. … We can add another line of evidence that the (Gulf of Mexico) drawdown occurred and that it likely happened near the Paleocene-Eocene boundary,” or in the era between the Paleocene and Eocene epochs.

[…]

Analysis of samples from the outcrop convinced the researchers that the “coal” was in fact a fossilized oil seep dating to the late Paleocene/early Eocene. Samples from above and below the oil contained fossilized sea life, additional evidence that the area was once submerged.

The researchers report that the oil seep developed after a dramatic drop in water levels in the Gulf, triggered by evaporation and coinciding with the PETM, the previously reported surge in temperatures. They conclude the dropping sea levels reduced pressure on hydrate-rich sediments, resulting in a massive methane release. Although there is not yet proof the warming was triggered by the methane release, Cossey said the timing fits.

“We know there was an increase in temperatures about 56 million years ago,” he said. “If we know the drawdown in the Gulf of Mexico caused that, we can better understand how natural events on earth can affect the climate.”

[…]

University of Houston

When the ultra-deepwater Wilcox (AKA Lower Tertiary) play was discovered, it was thought that high quality Eocene-Paleocene reservoirs were unlikely to be found. While the Wilcox is a prolific oil & gas (mostly gas) play in Southeast Texas and South Louisiana, few offshore wells encountered reservoir quality Wilcox sandstones. The initial discovery well targeted what was thought to be a Cretaceous carbonate objective:

In 1996, ten years after initial acreage leasing in the PFB (Perdido Fold Belt), the industry consortium of Shell, Texaco, Amoco and Mobil combined resources to drill the “largest remaining undrilled structure in North America” named BAHA (Figure 3). The BAHA 1 (Alaminos Canyon Block 600) was designed to test fractured Mesozoic carbonates with a proposed total depth of 22,000 ft (6707 m) in 7612 ft (2321 m) of water.

This was the initial test of the promising exploration trend encompassing several large salt-cored anticlines created by a series of thrusted box folds trending southwest to northeast that traverse the boundary between Mexican and US territorial waters (Figure 3). However, the well was abandoned due to mechanical problems at 11,208 ft (3417 m) resulting from a narrow drilling margin encountered while drilling the Eocene section. Although the well did not achieve its objective, it did prove a working petroleum system, and was able to qualify and hold the lease by logging 15 ft (5 m) of oil pay in an upper Eocene sand.

Five years later in 2001, BAHA 2 was drilled on Alaminos Canyon Block 557 in 7790 ft (2375 m) water to
19,164 ft (5843 m) (Figure 4). The primary target was fractured shallow-to-deepwater Mesozoic carbonates, with a secondary target (but considered much higher risk) of deepwater turbidites in the Lower Tertiary Oligocene to Paleocene (Frio to Wilcox). The well did test the Mesozoic carbonates, but found them to be nonporous, non-fractured chalks and micritic limestone. And the well did encounter extensive Wilcox equivalent turbidite sands over a 4500-ft (1372-m) gross interval. It also found 12 ft (4 m) of oil in the Upper Wilcox, again proving a working petroleum system (Figure 5).

The results of this well had two profound impacts on the petroleum industry: 1) the massive sand-rich turbidite section of the Wilcox was very encouraging for future exploration potential; and 2) the final cost to drill was $112 million. If this cost could not be reduced considerably, this new and exciting trend would be “dead in the water.”

Meyer et al., 2005

The isolation of the Gulf of Mexico with an evaporation-driven drop in sea level, could explain both the presence of Wilcox and Frio reservoir quality sandstones in the ultra-deepwater and at least partially explain the PETM CIE via a massive dislocation of seafloor methane hydrates. Cossey et al., 2021 (the U of H article refers to their earlier work) conclude that the Gulf of Mexico was isolated from the Atlantic Ocean during the PETM; while Cunningham et al., 2022 (the subject of the Cosmos article) conclude that they remained connected during the PETM.

Figure 4. Paleogeography of Gulf of Mexico at PETM time (Cossey et al., 2021).

The major difference between Cossey et al., 2021 and Cunningham et al., 2022, is that the latter conclude that there was an open seaway between Florida and Cuba. Either way, the Gulf of Mexico was not sheltered from the PETM.

The PETM and, more broadly, the intense global warming of the Paleocene and Eocene Epochs played integral roles in the formation of one of the most prolific hydrocarbon basins in the world.

Of course, the really cool thing about geology, is that we almost never have unique solutions. This is why Chamberlin’s Method of Multiple Working Hypotheses is so important. And this is why geology is so cool…

You see the story yet? It’s all pretty much here.
In a language you can’t yet understand, but it’s here.
A tale of upheaval and battles won and lost.
Gothic tales of sweeping change, peaceful times, and then great trauma again.
And it all connects to our little friend.
That’s what we are, we geologists.
Storytellers.
Interpreters, actually.
That’s what you gentlemen are going to become.
And how does this relate to the moon? From 240,000 miles away you have to give the most complete possible description of what you’re seeing.
Not just which rocks you plan to bring back but their context.
That and knowing which ones to pick up in the first place is what might separate you guys from those little robots.
You know, the ones some jaded souls think should have your job.
You see, you have to become our eyes and ears out there.
And for you to do that, you first have to learn the language of this little rock here.


–David Clennon as Dr. Leon (Lee) Silver, From the Earth to the Moon, Episode 10, Galileo Was Right, 1998

References

Alegret, L., S. Ortiz & E. Molina.  Extinction and recovery of benthic foraminifera across the Paleocene–Eocene Thermal Maximum at the Alamedilla section (Southern Spain).  Palaeogeography, Palaeoclimatology, Palaeoecology 279 (2009) 186–200

Berner, R.A. and Z. Kothavala, 2001. GEOCARB III: A Revised Model of Atmospheric CO2 over Phanerozoic Time, American Journal of Science, v.301, pp.182-204, February 2001.

Cossey, Stephen, Joshua Rosenfeld, Mark Bitter & James Pindell. (2021). Update on the Paleogene Water-Level Drawdown Hypothesis, Gulf of Mexico. Gulf Coast Association of Geological Societies. 10. 123-141.

Cunningham, Robert, Marcie Purkey Phillips, John W. Snedden, Ian O. Norton, Christopher M. Lowery, Jon W. Virdell, Craig D. Barrie, Aaron Avery, Productivity and organic carbon trends through the Wilcox Group in the deep Gulf of Mexico: Evidence for ventilation during the Paleocene-Eocene Thermal Maximum, Marine and Petroleum Geology, Volume 140, 2022, 105634, ISSN 0264-8172, https://doi.org/10.1016/j.marpetgeo.2022.105634.

Galloway, William. (2008). “Chapter 15 Depositional Evolution of the Gulf of Mexico Sedimentary Basin”. Volume 5: Ed. Andrew D. Miall, The Sedimentary Basins of the United States and Canada., ISBN: 978-0-444-50425-8, Elsevier B.V., pp. 505-549. (Special thanks to Dr. Gallloway for sending me a copy of this)

Galloway, William E., et al. “Gulf of Mexico.” GEO ExPro, 2009, www.geoexpro.com/articles/2009/03/gulf-of-mexico.

Meyer, Dave, Larry Zarra, David Rains, Bob Meltz, and Tom Hall. (2005). Emergence of the Lower Tertiary Wilcox trend in the deepwater Gulf of Mexico. World Oil. 226. 72-77.

Miller, Kenneth & Kominz, Michelle & V Browning, James & Wright, James & Mountain, Gregory & E Katz, Miriam & J Sugarman, Peter & Cramer, Benjamin & Christie-Blick, Nicholas & Pekar, S. (2005). “The Phanerozoic Record of Global Sea-Level Change”. Science (New York, N.Y.). 310. 1293-8. 10.1126/science.1116412.

Royer, D. L., R. A. Berner, I. P. Montanez, N. J. Tabor and D. J. Beerling. CO2 as a primary driver of Phanerozoic climate.  GSA Today, Vol. 14, No. 3. (2004), pp. 4-10

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Tom Halla
June 7, 2022 6:14 am

Real geology is complex.

Pillage Idiot
Reply to  Tom Halla
June 7, 2022 9:39 am

Yep. Best modelling in the world, yet the oil companies frequently take losses in the tens of millions of dollars from drilling dry holes.

I propose a new rule to increase the accuracy of global warming models. When your model is invalidated by the real world data NOT matching the model predictions, the research team must personally pay a $10,000,000 penalty.

How many of those “climate scientists” would be willing to stand by their predictions under that condition?

Redge
Reply to  Pillage Idiot
June 7, 2022 10:48 am

All of them, because in reality, the taxpayer foots the bill

Ron Long
June 7, 2022 6:34 am

Lots of geology, David, but the punchline for me is “mass relocation”. When the environment moves the adapted life forms move with it. So, life survived the PETM and we humans are proof that nothing bad happened, why fear a few additional degrees (way short of the PETM)? Barrick, in Nevada just discovered a gold deposit, Goldrush, by drilling 4,000 foot deep holes, hard to imagine what it’s like to drill 22,000 feet.

Frank from NoVA
June 7, 2022 6:46 am

‘“This event, known as the Paleocene-Eocene Thermal Maximum, or PETM, is very important to understand because it’s pointing towards a very powerful, albeit brief, injection of carbon into the atmosphere that’s akin to what’s happening now,” says lead author Dr Bob Cunningham, from the University of Texas, US. ‘

This is BS. Our own Willis E. and the lads at ICSF / CLINTEL have reviewed the 65my CENOGRID data and come to the conclusion that PETM, as well as all the other times in this extensive time series, had absolutely nothing to do with CO2 and everything to do with plate tectonics.

Frank from NoVA
Reply to  Frank from NoVA
June 7, 2022 6:47 am

Here’s a link:

watch

Frank from NoVA
Reply to  David Middleton
June 7, 2022 7:36 am

Thanks David. As a non-repentant SLB wireline hand way back in my youth, I was always impressed when watching geologic time transverse across my camera / screen.

Frank from NoVA
Reply to  David Middleton
June 7, 2022 8:16 am

Technology’s wonderful. Back in the day, they had to pull the pipe to log a well. I started off near the end of the ‘panel’ era and finished a few years into the ‘computer’ era, which was when MWD was barely nascent..

MarkW
Reply to  David Middleton
June 7, 2022 8:52 am

A few years ago I interviewed with a company that was working on a way to use pressure changes in the drilling mud to send data from the drill to the surface. At least that’s how I remember it. Obviously they didn’t allow me too close to their technology.

Tony Sullivan
Reply to  David Middleton
June 7, 2022 9:38 am

Hope that I just helped reverse the trend.

Frank from NoVA
Reply to  David Middleton
June 7, 2022 9:41 am

I noticed that too. Who could possible be against geology?

Derg
Reply to  David Middleton
June 7, 2022 7:36 pm

Word Salad Bob?

bigoilbob
Reply to  Derg
June 8, 2022 7:08 am

Nope. The posts Mr. Middleton references are indeed uncontroversial and technically correct.

The data that is sent back to the surface real time via mud pulsing is mostly WOB and other drilling data. Not LWD data. But this is just an adder to Mr. Middleton’s posts, not a disputation of them.

Frank from NoVA
Reply to  David Middleton
June 7, 2022 9:15 am

I would imagine that knowing formation pressures in real-time is probably a big deal in GOM. Back in the dark ages, we had the repeat formation tester for pressures – set it with wireline / retrieve it with drill pipe.

I always wonder if our politicians, and the public in general, have even the slightest clue what it takes to provide the fuels and chemicals that make modern life possible.

Frank from NoVA
Reply to  David Middleton
June 7, 2022 1:31 pm

Never worked stateside / GOM. Does density vs neutron log not work there to discern between oil and gas?

bigoilbob
Reply to  David Middleton
June 8, 2022 7:13 am

Gong for $9 gas in the deep Anadarko 40 years ago, this was the first things we looked for. Even us shave tails could see it.

Richard Brimage
Reply to  Frank from NoVA
June 8, 2022 3:59 am

Repeat fished tool we called it.

bigoilbob
Reply to  Richard Brimage
June 8, 2022 7:15 am

I’ll Cliffie Clavin you here. Repeat fishing tool. You are referring to repeat formation testing. Run separately.

bigoilbob
Reply to  bigoilbob
June 8, 2022 7:41 am

But I’ll also confess that Mr. Middleton’s referencing of LWD formation pressure collection technology post dates my retirement. I doubt that they get stuck like the old timey RFT tools. but I don’t have any experience with them.

Clyde Spencer
Reply to  David Middleton
June 7, 2022 8:35 am

David,
Because it should take less energy to out-gas the dissolved light 12C isotope than 13C from warming oceans, I expect isotopic fractionation to enrich the atmosphere in 12C. It obviously wasn’t the result of burning fossil fuels! What I don’t know is if the fractionation is linear or not. If, for some reason I don’t fathom (pardon the pun), higher temperatures accelerate the fractionation, then there is an explanation for the PETM CIE.

MarkW
Reply to  David Middleton
June 7, 2022 8:50 am

If the oceans warmed significantly, there would be a pulse of CO2 being released from the oceans. In other words, it was caused by the warming, it did not cause the warmin.

TBeholder
Reply to  David Middleton
June 8, 2022 3:42 am

Underwater volcanoes could warm a lot of water, in that convection keeps the water flowing through, and once it lost gas, it does not matter if it stays warm later. While convection still pushes it upward. So the effect can be quite disproportional to the average temperatures.
It looks plausible that a sudden increase in underwater volcano activity could locally deplete the methane layer this way.
Obviously, volcanism also can create a lot of acid.

MGC
Reply to  MarkW
June 7, 2022 9:24 am

re: “If the oceans warmed significantly, there would be a pulse of CO2 being released from the oceans”

Not in this case.

If that ocean warming was due to increased greenhouse effect in the atmosphere, due to increase of CO2 in the atmosphere (and this is what the evidence demonstrates) then the CO2 level in the oceans would be increasing, as they absorb excess CO2 out of the air.

This is exactly what is happening right now. The world is warming yet CO2 content of the oceans is increasing. See attached graph.

co2_time_series_air vs ocean 03-08-2017-1024x907.jpg
Clyde Spencer
Reply to  MGC
June 7, 2022 5:09 pm

If that ocean warming was due to increased greenhouse effect

The operative word here is “If.”

The oceans are not dissolving more CO2 because Earth is warming, but because CO2 is being transferred from the temporary seqestration in the Arctic tundra to the oceans.

MGC
Reply to  Clyde Spencer
June 7, 2022 6:29 pm

Clyde –

The point, which you seemed to have missed, was that warming does not automatically lead to emissions of CO2 from out of the oceans, as MarkW was incorrectly claiming.

MGC
Reply to  Frank from NoVA
June 7, 2022 9:27 am

Frank wants to pretend that a single amateur analysis by “our own Willis E.” , who has zero geological training, should somehow supersede multiple, far more rigorous research studies that have been published in the scientific literature by professional geologists.

Unbelievable.

Frank from NoVA
Reply to  MGC
June 7, 2022 4:05 pm

Well, if you’d like to point out the errors in his analysis, feel free, but spare us your fallacious appeal to authority. And in anticipation of your response, please refrain from the use of ad hominem.

MGC
Reply to  Frank from NoVA
June 7, 2022 4:34 pm

Sorry, Frank, but I’ll accept the research evidence and conclusions of professional geologists over amateur non-geologist blog writers any day of the week, and twice on Sundays.

Frank from NoVA
Reply to  MGC
June 7, 2022 6:00 pm

You know, of course, that it wasn’t that long ago that Alfred Wegener’s theory of continental drift was almost universally derided by ‘professional geologists’. Again, I’m asking you to point out the flaws in WE’s analysis, not a restatement of your previous appeal to authority fallacy.

MGC
Reply to  Frank from NoVA
June 7, 2022 6:26 pm

Pointing to published research by science professionals is not an “appeal to authority” fallacy.

If anyone here is guilty of “appeal to authority” Frank, it is you. Your entire argument thus far has consisted of nothing other than “because Willis E. says so”. You’ve not even provided a link to his argument.

Frank from NoVA
Reply to  MGC
June 7, 2022 7:15 pm

I posted a link previously to a presentation that refers to WE’s analysis, which also happens to have been published on WUWT, linked below.

https://wattsupwiththat.com/2020/09/15/cooling-the-hothouse/

Again, feel free to point out what you think he’s gotten wrong.

MGC
Reply to  Frank from NoVA
June 7, 2022 8:23 pm

Frank, you really imagine that this reference somehow demonstrates that the PETM event was “all about plate tectonics”?

Sorry, but you’ve got to be kidding! The term “plate tectonics” was not even mentioned, at all … anywhere … in that article!

And the big grand finale, Figure 5 of that article, doesn’t even show the PETM event, for pete’s sake.

Furthermore, the Figure 5 graph and the accompanying “analysis” are looking at trends that occur over tens of millions of years. The PETM event was hundreds of times more rapid than that.

Arguments about what happens on time scales that are orders of magnitude different are totally, totally irrelevant. It’s like trying to say something meaningful about what happens during the time that a baseball is in contact with a baseball bat as the ball is hit, using a calendar as your method of analysis. It’s a total joke.

This article you reference is in reality nothing but a terribly mixed up jumble of all kinds of tangential handwaving platitudes, demonstrating pretty much nothing at all about the PETM. Nothing.

The worst part here, though, is anyone actually believing that this reference somehow “demonstrates that the PETM event was all about plate tectonics”.

SMH in disbelief.

Frank from NoVA
Reply to  MGC
June 8, 2022 8:31 am

One trait you share with your fellow alarmists is the ability to avoid facts and reason by changing the subject. Specifically, you’ve ignored 65my+ of hard data, while focusing solely on PETM (5 cites above, if I’ve counted correctly), which at least two posters here have pointed out was 1) a transient warming during the early Eocene ‘hot-house’, 2) most likely caused by a large igneous flood event, neither of which are at all relevant to today’s climate.

So let’s look at the entirety of the data over the period, not because you’re either capable of, or willing to, comprehend it, but because it might be useful to others:

First, we have Westerhold et al, who have compiled O18 and C13 data from multiple sources to provide a robust 65my+ record of Earth’s history. Kudos to them for doing so. Unfortunately, post-modern science being what it is, and given the need to toe the CAGW line in order to obtain funding, they Mann-up their headline temperature graph by grafting on to it both the modern instrument record and various GCM projections, including the now notorious projections using RCP 8.5.

Second, we have the afore-referenced Willis Eschenbach, who being a good analyst, graphs the O18 temperatures against the log of the C13 CO2 record. In line with CAGW theory, one would expect these to plot out linearly, but the results are very clearly non-linear. Instead, the data, which can also be graphed vs time, shows there are six separate regimes (warm house x 2 , hot house x 1, cool house x 2 and ice house x 1), within each of which there is clearly a wide variation in CO2 concentration compared to a relatively narrow variation in temperature. At this point, then, any only CO2 ‘drives the climate alarmism’ is clearly shown to be erroneous, and a good analyst would now search for other explanations.

Third, and finally, we have the video I referenced, which brings into clear view the missing explanation for the 18C temperature variation over the past 65my+, which is geology, specifically continental drift after the break-up of Pangea. As noted therein, the oceans, by far, store and release the vast majority of the sun’s energy absorbed by the Earth, and the oceans currents are the primary transporters of this energy. And as also noted therein, each of the six separate regimes noted above correspond nicely with well documented openings and closings of ocean seaways, and therefore changes in ocean currents, that are clearly found in the geological record.

So there you have it, my friend. When you’re finished shaking your head, take comfort in the fact that there is no need to obsess over a reoccurrence of a PETM-like warming, nor any other manifestation of CAGW, including the use of fossil fuels!

MGC
Reply to  Frank from NoVA
June 8, 2022 9:46 am

re: “focusing solely on PETM”

This article is about the PETM. So of course that is the focus of my comments. Duh!

re: “the PETM was … most likely caused by a large igneous flood event”

The “large igneous flood event” is what released the greenhouse warming gases into the air. The actual cause of the PETM warming was the greenhouse gases themselves, not the “igneous flood event”.

re: “the graph by Willis E, the video on continental drift, etc. etc.

Again, all of these arguments are focused on processes that occur over tens of millions of years time. No one is claiming that such processes “don’t affect the earth’s climate”. Of course they do. But those processes are far, far too slow to “explain” the PETM warming event, which occurred hundreds of times more rapidly. And also disappeared just as rapidly.

Your “argument” is like trying to claim that the change of seasons is what is responsible for daytime being warmer than night time. It’s a ridiculous non-sequitur.

“So there you have it, my friend”. When you’re finished with your irrelevant handwaving about factors that act far too slowly to have caused the observed PETM warming, then please come back to scientific reality and, specifically, to the well demonstrated fact that, yes, adding lots of CO2 to the air does create substantial warming. Warming that, if left unchecked now, has the potential to pose highly costly risks to human society.

Frank from NoVA
Reply to  MGC
June 8, 2022 11:06 am

From the head of the post:

‘“This event, known as the Paleocene-Eocene Thermal Maximum, or PETM, is very important to understand because it’s pointing towards a very powerful, albeit brief, injection of carbon into the atmosphere that’s akin to what’s happening now,” says lead author Dr Bob Cunningham, from the University of Texas, US.’

Oh, I get it now. You’re upset because I disparaged Dr. Bob’s specious comparison of the PETM carbon incursion event to ‘what’s happening now’ by pointing out that, with the exception of said incursion (that I should have noted), there’s no evidence in the 65my+ geological data to support Dr. Bob’s conclusions.

So fine, we can compromise. I can agree that plate tectonics does not explain the transient PETM warming and you can agree that, as 1) the Earth is currently in an ‘ice-house’ state geologically, 2) there is no extent basalt flooding occurring at this time and 3) aside from the transient PETM warming there is no evidence that CO2 drove the Earth’s temperature at any other time during the past 65my+, that there is no need for the type of climate alarmism cited by Dr. Bob, above.

MGC
Reply to  Frank from NoVA
June 8, 2022 12:26 pm

re: “You’re upset because I disparaged .. etc.etc etc.

No, I’m just pointing out that your entire “argument” is clearly erroneous.

“aside from the transient PETM warming there is no evidence that CO2 drove the Earth’s temperature at any other time during the past 65my+”

Also false. Check out:

Royer Geochimica Acta 2006

Lacis et al Science 2010.

It seems to me that you’re just trying to pretend that the existence of climatic influences other than CO2 somehow “proves” that CO2 influence “doesn’t exist”.

Why do you want to pretend away well established scientific reality?

Frank from NoVA
Reply to  MGC
June 8, 2022 3:00 pm

Lacis et al, aka Gavin Schmidt? GCMs? Holy non-existent hot spot, are you kidding me? Try reading Wijngaarden, W., & Happer, W. (2020, June 4) ‘Dependence of Earth’s Thermal Radiation on Five Most Abundant Greenhouse Gases’ and see what real science looks like.

As of now, I have to conclude that you’re a hopeless troll and not worth corresponding with. However, given that you believe the GCMs represent reality, I’m curious what you think a doubling of CO2 means in terms of total forcing and change in surface temperature at thermal equilibrium.

MGC
Reply to  Frank from NoVA
June 8, 2022 4:11 pm

Frank, I’ve read Wijngaarden & Happer 2020. You do realize that their analysis comes to essentially the exact same value for CO2 warming as everyone else finds, don’t you? Wijngaarden & Happer 2020 actually refutes, totally, the notion that CO2 warming influence “doesn’t exist”.

Wijngaarden & Happer 2020 differs from others in regard to how large are the effects of feedbacks for total forcing beyond just CO2. But even their value is within rounding error of the low side of the IPCC’s range.

The analysis of Wijngaarden & Happer 2020 however, considers only clear sky cases, so it is not genuinely representative of reality, since the majority of the sky is cloud covered.

And so, sorry, but no, because they don’t consider what goes on in the majority of the sky, their paper cannot in any way be considered a very good example of “what real science looks like”.

Frank from NoVA
Reply to  MGC
June 9, 2022 7:29 am

You’re ignoring the key take away from W&H, which is that adding more CO2 to the atmosphere will have a very negligible effect on temperature. You also miss that the clear sky impact is the worst case. This result, of course, is completely consistent with observations (65my worth), unlike the physically unrealistic GCMs that have vastly overstated observed warming and universally predict a mid-tropospheric ‘hot-spot’ that doesn’t exist. But since you seem to find the GCMs so authoritative, I’m still curious to know what you think a doubling of CO2 means in terms of total forcing and change in surface temperature at thermal equilibrium.

MGC
Reply to  Frank from NoVA
June 9, 2022 9:11 am

re: “adding more CO2 to the atmosphere will have a very negligible effect on temperature”

Totally incorrect. It was already mentioned that their result is within rounding error of the low side of the IPCC’s range. It is far from “very negligible”.

re: “This result, of course, is completely consistent with observations (65my worth)”

Wrong again. See Royer Geochemica Acta 2006, referenced earlier: “CO2, operating in combination with many other factors such as solar luminosity and paleogeography, has imparted strong control over global temperatures”

Not to mention that you’ve already as much as admitted that the PETM does in fact provide evidence of the CO2 warming effect. Does the CO2 warming effect just appear only during the PETM but then magically disappear all throughout the rest of history?

re: “the clear sky impact is the worst case”

Also wrong. It is likely that cloudy areas represent a positive feedback.

re: “GCMs have vastly overstated observed warming”

Yet another well worn talking point bandied about within the “skeptical” echo chamber that is totally wrong.

Don’t you ever get tired of blindly parroting false talking points? You really need to find a reputable source of information, pal!

re: “I’m still curious to know what you think a doubling of CO2 means in terms of total forcing and change in surface temperature at thermal equilibrium”

I’d guess that the equilibrium climate sensitivity is probably somewhere around 3, maybe a little less. That would translate to 3 to 3.5 degrees C surface temperature increase for a doubling of CO2. I base that value not on climate models but on the research that simply looks at how the climate has actually responded to perturbation, in both recent and long term history.

Note by the way that we are on track for more than a doubling of CO2. Some smaller additional increases from other greenhouse gases like methane also need to be factored in to estimate actual total peak warming.

Frank from NoVA
Reply to  MGC
June 9, 2022 1:01 pm

‘It was already mentioned that their result is within rounding error of the low side of the IPCC’s range.’

  • Having a large (and ever widening) range from the ‘models’ isn’t something one should brag about. Q: Which one is the ‘science’? A: Probably none of them.

‘Does the CO2 warming effect just appear only during the PETM but then magically disappear all throughout the rest of history?’

  • According to the data, apparently so. Why do you ignore 65my+ of real data where CO2 doesn’t drive temperature in order to focus on a transient warming marked by massive basalt flows that occured during a much longer ‘hot house’ phase

“It is likely that cloudy areas represent a positive feedback.’

  • Low clouds have a net cooling effect.

‘Yet another well worn talking point bandied about within the “skeptical” echo chamber that is totally wrong.’

  • Christy’s (and others) work here is definitive. Again, the model’s all exhibit a ‘hot spot’ that hasn’t been picked up by satellite or radio sondes.

‘You really need to find a reputable source of information, pal!’

  • Data is reputable, the GCMs aren’t. It’s that simple.

‘That would translate to 3 to 3.5 degrees C surface temperature increase for a doubling of CO2.’

  • Thanks for this. I’ll call it 3.0 C to be ‘conservative’. I’m very curious as to what you / the IPCC believe the net forcing (CO2, CH4, H20, clouds, etc) in w/m2 is that is analogous to the surface temperature change.

By the way, I’m not trying to be difficult here. I just look at it that life has existed on Earth for 524my, at least, and that’s only possible if there balance of feedbacks are negative.

MGC
Reply to  Frank from NoVA
June 9, 2022 7:54 pm

re: “Why do you ignore 65my+ of real data where CO2 doesn’t drive temperature”

Easy. Because this claim is false. Other factors also having an influence is not “evidence” that CO2 has no influence.
Again, Royer, Geochemica Acta 2006.

re: “Low clouds have a net cooling effect”

Low clouds are disappearing as CO2 increases. Less net cooling is positive feedback.

re: “Christy’s (and others) work here is definitive.”

Christy’s “work” was a blatant cherry pick. He focused on the one small part of the atmosphere that has the greatest negative discrepancy between observations and models. He ignored all parts of the atmosphere where there is large positive discrepancy (more warming than models projected). And you swallowed his biased misrepresentation hook, line, and sinker.

re: “Data is reputable”

Misrepresentation of the data, a la Christy and others, is not.

I’ll say it again: you really need to find a reputable source of information on this topic. Say, the American Chemical Society; the American Institute of Physics; the American Meteorological Society; the U.S. National Academy of Sciences; the UK Royal Society. Those kinds of folks. It’s quite apparent that you’ve been fed lots and lots and lots of misleading if not outright false talking points.

re: “By the way, I’m not trying to be difficult here.”

Agreed. You’ve just been fed too many misrepresentations and false claims. Can’t see scientific reality through all that haze, my friend.

Frank from NoVA
Reply to  MGC
June 10, 2022 9:28 am

‘Other factors also having an influence is not “evidence” that CO2 has no influence.’

  • I never expressed the logical fallacy that ‘other factors having an influence means CO2 has no influence’. For the record none of the the scientists I cited, e.g., W-H and Christy, have expressed this either. What they have expressed is that increasing CO2 will have only a modest influence on temperature (as opposed to crop yields) going forward. And this modest effect on temperature over a very long period is certainly evident from the CENOGRID data.

‘Low clouds are disappearing as CO2 increases.’

  • I’d like a citation for this observation, unless it’s a prediction from a GCM, in which case, never mind.

‘He focused on the one small part of the atmosphere that has the greatest negative discrepancy between observations and models.’

  • The models are supposed to be accurate and ‘authoritative’, hence are being used to drive very disturbing changes in governance, e.g., collectivization. You and I both know that the models are highly ‘tuned’, because it just isn’t possible to numerically ‘solve’ the Naiver-Stokes equations for Earth’s large non-linear climate system without parameterizing. So any big miss like Christy and others have noted should be considered a falsification of the models under the scientific method.

‘I’ll say it again: you really need to find a reputable source of inyour formation on this topic. Say, the American Chemical Society; the American Institute of Physics;…’

  • I read the various statements on climate and the environment, including those related to fracking, on the ACS website, so will accept that all of your ‘authorities’ are on board with CAGW. To me, this is a just one more manifestation of Antonio Gramsci’s / Rudi Dutschke’s ‘long march through the institutions’, but it is certainly not ‘science’. Again, there is no data here, and I cannot imagine any card-carrying member of any of these societies actually believing that they all need to become unemployed to make the world a better place. I can certainly imagine, however, that there may be very large motives here to use the regulatory process for competitive purposes.

This discussion has been useful to me, at least, and I would like to take this opportunity to apologize for earlier attacking you as a person solely for having a different view on this issue.

One last thing; I’ve been casting around the web without success to find out how much net forcing, in w/m^2, the IPCC ascribes to their prediction of approximately 3C warming per CO2 doubling at thermal equilibrium. If you have a handle on this, please advise.

MGC
Reply to  Frank from NoVA
June 10, 2022 12:13 pm

re: “What they [W-H and Christy] have expressed is that increasing CO2 will have only a modest influence on temperature”

They are a distinct fringe minority of the worldwide scientific community. Moreover, the reasons why the W-H study is not representative (clouds) and thus likely to be a lowball figure have already been stated, as have the problems with Christy’s biased misrepresentations.

re: “this modest effect on temperature over a very long period is certainly evident from the CENOGRID data.”

Still wrong. Still relying on the unfortunate misrepresentations you’ve been fed.

See Figure 6, p. 627, from Rae et al, Annual Review of Earth and Planetary Sciences 2021 at:

https://www.annualreviews.org/doi/pdf/10.1146/annurev-earth-082420-063026

re: ‘Low clouds are disappearing as CO2 increases.’
I’d like a citation for this observation

There was an article about this just last week here on WUWT.
But you can see the data at:

https://www.climate4you.com/ClimateAndClouds.htm

re: “all of your ‘authorities’ are on board with CAGW … etc. etc. etc.”

Sorry, but this sounds far too much like just another unhinged zero evidence conspiracy theory fabrication … kinda like Trump’s election “fraud” lies.

re: So any big miss like Christy and others have noted should be considered a falsification of the models

I don’t see it as a “big miss” but as a problem with particular details. The models remain far from perfect, yet the overall observed trend has remained quite in line with what even very simple models projected decades ago.

Frank from NoVA
Reply to  MGC
June 10, 2022 3:53 pm

‘They are a distinct fringe minority of the worldwide scientific community.’

  • “If it’s consensus, it isn’t science. If it’s science, it’s not consensus. Period” – Michael Crichton. Also, note my earlier example of Alfred Wegener and continental drift theory.

‘Moreover, the reasons why the W-H study is not representative (clouds) and thus likely to be a lowball figure have already been stated…’

  • It’s actually a highball figure for CO2 given no ‘competition’ with H2O and the much higher slope (temperature vs. height) of the dry adiabat vs. the moist adiabat, i.e., basic meteorology.

“There was an article about this just last week here on WUWT.’

  • Re. clouds, I didn’t find the WUWT article (send me a link, please), but I did note this in the other link you provided: ‘There is a possibility that the step-like change shown 1998-1999 to some degree may be related to changes in the analysis procedure used for producing the data set, according to information from ISCCP.’

‘See Figure 6, p. 627, from Rae et al, Annual Review of Earth and Planetary Sciences 2021…’

  • Thanks for the article, which I’ve scanned through quickly. First impression is that the temperature (O18) data is spot on with Westerhold et al. CO2 data is very similar, albeit somewhat more sparse. (Ref. viewer page 19 of 35). But here’s the really, really big question – if you (the authors) are going to make conclusions about CO2 and climate change, i.e., temperature, why wouldn’t you produce a simple plot of temperature vs. CO2 to unambiguously demonstrate that relationship??? I think you and I both know that it’s because that plot would show that something vital is missing in the relationship, and that thing is the evolution of how energy was stored in the oceans and how ocean currents moved heat around from sources to sinks over geological time. And, once that is taken into account, the catastrophic part of the CAGW narrative falls apart.

‘Sorry, but this sounds far too much like just another unhinged zero evidence conspiracy theory fabrication … kinda like Trump’s election “fraud” lies.’

  • Let’s please not go there, but if you want to discuss the extent to which entities use the political / regulatory process to gain commercial advantage, we can discuss that at some point in the future.
MGC
Reply to  Frank from NoVA
June 11, 2022 8:11 am

re: ““If it’s consensus, it isn’t science. If it’s science, it’s not consensus.”

Sorry, but this is pure nonsense. Shame on Michael Crichton for uttering such a foolish statement.

History is littered with all kinds of pseudo-scientific crackpots claiming some grand new discovery that turned out to be nothing but an imaginary fairy tale. Fleischmann and Pons and their cold fusion fallacy is one example that comes to mind.

There needs to be a way to separate out the genuine new scientific advances, such as continental drift theory, from the crackpot nonsense. That method is review, analysis, and replication of results by others. In other words, consensus. Consensus is a requirement of real science.

In my view, the dismissal of scientific consensus by the so-called “skeptical” community is just a rationalization for accepting crackpot claims that the mainstream has rightfully rejected.

re: “Let’s please not go there” (conspiracy theories)

You might not want to go there, but in my view, this and the related consensus topic are the crux of the entire issue. So-called “skeptics” somehow want to imagine that scientific professionals from many different nations, from a wide variety of scientific disciplines, from all over the world, are all in cahoots to foist some kind of nefarious “scam” upon mankind, and have been doing so for decades.

Wildly absurd doesn’t even begin to properly describe such a notion. Its all just another excuse for giving credence to the crackpots.

Editor
Reply to  MGC
June 11, 2022 8:52 am

There is plenty of Consensus FAILURES through history it is why it is better to allow the scientific Method help determine what is viable and reproducible.

MGC
Reply to  Sunsettommy
June 11, 2022 1:49 pm

Scientific consensus and the scientific method are not an “either/or choice as you seem to be implying, tommy.

The current overwhelming worldwide scientific consensus on climate change is built on decades of methodical application of the scientific method.

MGC
Reply to  Frank from NoVA
June 11, 2022 8:22 am

re: “It’s actually a highball figure for CO2 given no ‘competition’ with H2O”

I don’t know what you mean by “no ‘competition’ with H2O” but in any event, this claim is wildly incorrect. The observed decrease in low cloud cover (caused by CO2 warming) is a large and significant positive feedback that W+H have not included. Their result is thus a lowball figure.

re: “if you (the authors) are going to make conclusions about CO2 and climate change, i.e., temperature, why wouldn’t you produce a simple plot of temperature vs. CO2 to unambiguously demonstrate that relationship”

The relationship is more than obvious in Figure 6.  The overall trends of the two, both in the short term and the long term, follow each other very closely.

re: “I think you and I both know that it’s because that plot would show that something vital is missing in the relationship”

I can’t understand how you could imagine such a thing. If I plotted CO2 vs temp for Figure 6 of that paper, there would be an extremely strong relationship. There is extraneous noise, yes, but there is no such “something vital missing”. The CO2 / temperature relationship is extremely clear.

Frank from NoVA
Reply to  MGC
June 11, 2022 10:50 pm

‘History is littered with all kinds of pseudo-scientific crackpots claiming some grand new discovery that turned out to be nothing but an imaginary fairy tale.’

  • One of these crackpots was Trofim Lysenko. He was very politically connected (Stalin) and as a result anyone who opposed his views was either cowed into silence or sent to the Gulag. Starvation was the result. CAGW is very much politicized science, from funding all the way to regulation. This is not to pick sides, but to say that both sides need to be heard.

‘The relationship is more than obvious in Figure 6.  The overall trends of the two, both in the short term and the long term, follow each other very closely.’

  • I think you mean Figure 7b, which I obviously missed on my cursory review, so thanks for pointing it out. In this figure they have color coded the various regimes according to Westerhold et al, and again it is clear that there are regimes where temperature varies significantly with little variation in CO2 and regimes where temperature varies very little with significant changes in CO2, hence there is no evidence that CO2 drives temperature.

Something else I failed to catch previously was your comment on Christy:

‘I don’t see it as a “big miss” but as a problem with particular details.’

  • A miss of 2x+ is a big miss, not a problem with particular details. And as you also mentioned previously:

‘He ignored all parts of the atmosphere where there is large positive discrepancy (more warming than models projected).’

  • So, not only do the models get in wrong where Christy pointed out, but they get it wrong elsewhere and with the opposite sign – not a good show by the models.

Finally, to reiterate a previous request, I’ve been casting around the web without success to find out how much net forcing, in w/m^2, the IPCC ascribes to their prediction of approximately 3C warming per CO2 doubling at thermal equilibrium. I’m asking for this because it goes to the heart of the models’ abiltiy to make accurate predictions. I haven’t been able to find it, but am assuming that you might be able to find it in the IPCC literature.

Again, this has been helpful / informative.

MGC
Reply to  Frank from NoVA
June 12, 2022 9:23 am

I didn’t even see figure 7 myself, Frank, which is the very CO2 vs temperature plot you were asking about!

Sorry, but I can’t even begin to fathom how anyone can look at that Figure 7 graph and still pretend, as you seem to be doing, that there is “not” an extremely clear, highly statistically significant relationship between CO2 and temperature.

We can expect CO2 levels to eventually reach 600-800 ppm or higher in the coming century. Look at Figure 7 and where temperatures are likely to rise to at those levels.

re: “A miss of 2x+ is a big miss”

Its a miss within only a small portion of the atmosphere. I’ll say it again: I find Christy’s illustration, looking at only the one small portion of the atmosphere that shows the greatest negative divergence between models and observations, to be quite biased if not downright disingenuous. He’s misled a lot of people into believing false conclusions that simply aren’t so.

re: “they get it wrong elsewhere and with the opposite sign”

Thus the issue seems to be how the accumulating heat is being allocated within the atmosphere, not the CO2 effect itself. The overall net warming trend estimates have been quite accurate, even from much simpler models that don’t make any regional heat allocation calculations at all.

re: “CAGW is very much politicized science, from funding all the way to regulation.”

Given that the projections have been accurate for decades now, and that there are clear geo-historical precedents, such as the PETM, there is little if any reasonable doubt at all anymore that the basic science is clearly correct. Thus, on this particular point, I would not agree that “both sides need to be heard”, anymore than “both sides” need to be heard in regard to the Theory of Evolution or the Big Bang Theory.

But yes, there are clearly still questions of exactly how much warming can be expected, what the cost consequences of that warming will be, and most importantly, what policies should be followed for dealing with the issue.

Frank from NoVA
Reply to  MGC
June 13, 2022 8:18 am

‘I didn’t even see figure 7 myself, Frank, which is the very CO2 vs temperature plot you were asking about!’

  • Just goes to show none of us are infallible.

‘Given that the projections have been accurate for decades now, and that there are clear geo-historical precedents, such as the PETM, there is little if any reasonable doubt at all anymore that the basic science is clearly correct.’

  • You’re assuming your premises to be true, i.e., ‘begging the question’.

‘But yes, there are clearly still questions of exactly how much warming can be expected, what the cost consequences of that warming will be, and most importantly, what policies should be followed for dealing with the issue.’

  • Agreed, agreed and agreed.

I see you have a couple of other responses, so will respond shortly.

MGC
Reply to  Frank from NoVA
June 13, 2022 8:58 am

re: “You’re assuming your premises to be true”

They are demonstrable facts, Frank.

Thanks for a prime example of why “skeptics” are not taken seriously by the scientific mainstream. They “question” demonstrable facts.

MGC
Reply to  Frank from NoVA
June 12, 2022 10:08 am

re: “how much net forcing, in w/m^2, the IPCC ascribes to their prediction of approximately 3C warming per CO2 doubling at thermal equilibrium”

Check out this reference, Frank:

http://www.globalwarmingequation.info/

The equation for radiative forcing of just CO2 alone is:

ΔF = 5.35 ln (C/C0)

For a doubling of CO2, ΔFCO2 = 5.35 ln(2) = 3.71 W/m2

The total net forcing should be ΔFtotal = (ΔFCO2)*(ECS)

where ECS = equilibrium climate sensitivity

ΔT for a doubling of CO2 all by itself (with no further feedbacks included) is 1.15 oC (see reference, or even W+H; they present the same value in their paper).

To reach 3 oC total temperature increase for a doubling of CO2, ECS would need to be: 3 / 1.15 = 2.61.

For ECS = 2.61:

ΔFtotal = (ΔFCO2)*(ECS) = (3.71)*(2.61) = 9.68 W/m2

Frank from NoVA
Reply to  MGC
June 13, 2022 9:13 am

Thanks for this – I’ll give it a look later today. I guess it would be better if I asked about a specific RCP from AR5, i.e., RCP8.5:

The literature (SOP) shows a forcing (basis 1313 ppm) of 8.5 w/m^2 and a mean temperature change for 2081-2100 of 3.7C relative to the 1986-2005 base period. Is the 8.5 w/m^2 the entire forcing or absent ‘feedbacks’, and if the latter, where might the ‘fully loaded’ forcing be available? Sorry to burden you with this, but the IPCC / dot gov sources I’ve looked at don’t seem to make this easily available.

Thanks again.

MGC
Reply to  Frank from NoVA
June 12, 2022 10:09 am

By the way, the Lysenko example is not a valid analogy. Lysenko had no genuine scientific evidence to back his position. Today’s climate science has decades of supporting evidence from researchers all over the world.

Frank from NoVA
Reply to  MGC
June 13, 2022 8:43 am

‘By the way, the Lysenko example is not a valid analogy.’

  • You’re, of course, correct that Lysenko had no valid evidence, but his ‘theory’ was still ruthlessly imposed by the government because it dovetailed with, and was co-opted by, the latter’s core ideology. If you’ll recall, Eisenhower warned about this in the same address wherein he warned of the so-called ‘military industrial complex’. This is in no way meant to imply that government funding of science, including climate, is universally wrong. Rather, it is to argue that where such funding occurs on a massive scale AND has policy implications that favor a vast expansion of government power, the acceptance of such research should be subjected to a much higher level of scrutiny.
c1ue
June 7, 2022 6:50 am

David,
This is off topic, but I don’t recall seeing your view on abiotic gas/oil.
As far as I can see, one of the main bodies of evidence behind biologic oil is the fact that you guys have been successfully finding oil using the biotic oil + geology basis for decades.
That abiotic formation can occur seems possible given the enormous volume of the Earth, but far less clear how common it is much less that it is the or a primary source of oil/gas.

c1ue
Reply to  David Middleton
June 8, 2022 12:23 am

Dave,
Upon review, I had read one of the 4 articles – but reading all 4 definitely gives me a much clearer and nuanced understanding of both the background and the secondary systems of information that was used to form this background.
Thank you very much.

MarkW
Reply to  c1ue
June 7, 2022 8:54 am

There is no potential source for abiotic gas/oil.

Kevin kilty
Reply to  MarkW
June 7, 2022 12:06 pm

I thought Thos. Gold had suggested primordial hydrocarbons (methane, ethane) rising from the mantle.

MarkW
Reply to  Kevin kilty
June 7, 2022 12:40 pm

When the earth formed, it was completely molten. At that time all the heavy stuff sank to the core and all the light stuff rose to the surface.
The only reason why the crust isn’t totally silicates is because of the late heavy bombardment added heavy elements to the crust after it formed.
The idea that there are deposits of carbon and hydrogen deep in the mantle is nonsense.

Clyde Spencer
Reply to  MarkW
June 7, 2022 5:15 pm

Just because I find dogmatic statements problematic, I’d like to know where the carbon comes from to create diamonds, and the carbonates of carbonatites.

Kevin kilty
Reply to  MarkW
June 7, 2022 8:26 pm

Except that Gold believed the entire volume was not molten. Another theory is that the methane came from high T reactions in the mantle.

June 7, 2022 6:57 am

Sorry — just more climate alarmism.

H. D. Hoese
June 7, 2022 7:35 am

Very interesting, also takes a geologist to understand the marine ecology about trophism with correct definitions.“The surface waters of the Gulf of Mexico abruptly switched from eutrophic (enriched in plant nutrients and low oxygenation) to oligotrophic (deficiency of plant nutrients and abundance of dissolved oxygen).” Vive la Vie!

“Using this approach, an equal number of estuaries were classified as oligotrophic (‘Good’), mesotrophic (‘Fair’) and eutrophic (‘Poor’).” Lemley, D. A., et al., 2015. Towards the classification of eutrophic condition in estuaries. Estuarine Coastal Shelf Science. 164:221-232. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.ecss.2015.07.033

Is that another reason why it can be called so anomalous? Hay, W. W. and J. F. Behensky, Jr. 1981. The northern Gulf of Mexico as an anomalous passive margin. Transactions Gulf Coast Association Geological Societies. 31:309-313.

H. D. Hoese
Reply to  David Middleton
June 7, 2022 9:20 am

It ought to be required reading for marine scientists of all persuasions. Critters sitting on and in hard rocks, soft rocks and no rocks at all. Also require marine geology courses.

Vuk
June 7, 2022 8:45 am

Today’s Telegraph has a good analysis of current state in the article :Putin’s war and green zealots doom the West to a ruinous energy bill

You are no longer needed, the oil companies were firmly told; your reserves of oil and gas will be left stranded with no one to sell to, and they are therefore not worth developing.
(Currently) western countries are forced to seek pricey alternatives to Russian hydrocarbons, but less principled countries such as China and India able to access the Russian product at what by today’s standards look like bargain basement prices.
https://www.telegraph.co.uk/business/2022/06/07/putins-war-green-zealots-doom-west-ruinous-energy-bill/

Frank from NoVA
Reply to  Vuk
June 7, 2022 9:33 am

A decent article, but I wish the author didn’t feel the need to tap dance around the root cause of this mess, which is the Brandon administration’s unholy alliance between progressive leftists and the new-cons.

Derg
Reply to  Frank from NoVA
June 7, 2022 7:39 pm

This ^

TBeholder
Reply to  Frank from NoVA
June 8, 2022 1:16 am

As far as the unofficially official press is concerned, it just happens. Because Predestination… err… Inevitably Historical Laws… err… Zeitgeist, lol (see also “How Dawkins Got Pwned”). Hey, it’s $CURRENT_YEAR, what you can do?
And occasionally because of some “less principled” oldthinkers who unbellyfeel it, of course.

Last edited 25 days ago by TBeholder
MarkW
June 7, 2022 8:47 am

A sheltered basin should be even more susceptible to global warming, not less.

Frank from NoVA
Reply to  MarkW
June 7, 2022 11:43 am

Death Valley’s deepest point is about 282 ft below sea level, so any isolated deep basin, e.g. the Mediterranean before it was inundated, must have been really hot, if only due to adiabatic compression.

Gary Pearse
June 7, 2022 9:51 am

“Radiolarian bursts during and after PETM driven by runoff-enhanced nutrient supply.”

Although not mentioned in the articles, runoff enhanced nutrient supply suggests to me that the warm conditions had a stronger effect on the land surface, probably extirpation of flora and fauna (soil organisms, etc) that fed the recovery of radiolarians. It seems something locally bad for critters and flora is actually good for ocean flora and fauna.

Even the land was okay with species moving to cooler latitudes as indicated by redwood chunks preserved in diamond ores in the region of the Arctic Circle.

https://www.livescience.com/23374-fossil-forest-redwood-diamond-mine.html

TBeholder
Reply to  Gary Pearse
June 8, 2022 12:51 am

There are many possibilities. Including simple and direct effects, indeed. Something they like stopped dropping into water. Or something they don’t like started.
Some species were pushed out and new ones moved in or evolved to deal with new threats. So, yet another plant adapted yet another poison to deal with bugs eating it, which coincidentally was toxic to these radiolarians even in very small doses. For example. Why not? This sort of thing is always possible.
Or a new bacteria appeared and disappeared. Happens all the time. The problem is, anything that’s gone without leaving inorganic remnants is invisible for us.

June 7, 2022 1:16 pm

The PETM is their favourite pet catastrophe, used as a finger-wag for what we’re supposed to be heading for. But the PETM happened in a hothouse world and is nothing at all like current mild warming during an interglacial within a glacial period. Fail.

TBeholder
June 8, 2022 12:09 am

The PETM was not a “mass extinction”.

…But since the $CURRENT_YEAR theology says warming is ZOMG HORROR… “so much the worse for the facts”.
Thanks for a analysis. Saved as a “textbook” case of how science is corrupted around such things.

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