by Judith Curry
“The atmosphere bias of climate science makes it impossible for them to see geological forces and therefore, impossible for them to understand the earth’s climate.” – Thongchai
When conducting the literature survey for my report on sea level rise [link; see section 4.2], I became intrigued by under-ocean heat sources.
“Wunsch (2018) identified lower bounds on uncertainties in ocean temperature trends for the period 1994-2013. The trend in integrated ocean temperature was estimated by Wunsch to be 0.011 ± 0.001 oC/decade (note: this rate of warming is much less than the surface warming, owing to the large volume of ocean water). This corresponds to a 20- year average ocean heating rate of 0.48 ±0.1 W/m2 of which 0.1 W/m2 arises from the geothermal forcing. I have rarely seen geothermal forcing (e.g. underwater volcanoes) mentioned as a source of ocean warming – the numbers cited by Wunsch reflect nearly a 20% contribution by geothermal forcing to overall global ocean warming over the past two decades.”
Makes me wonder how much of the TOA radiative energy imbalance calculated from ocean heat content reflects seafloor geothermal heat fluxes?
Climate modelers are beginning to pay attention to seafloor geothermal fluxes. The first such study that I’ve spotted is Adcroft et al. (2012), using a uniform geothermal heat flux of 50 mW/m2 through the sea floor. They found substantial changes in deep circulation to this heat flux.
The GFDL ESM2 Global Coupled Climate-Carbon Earth System Model (2012) [link] states that it incorporates ocean geothermal heat flux following Adcroft et al. I don’t know if this is what the current (CMIP6) version of ESM2 uses.
The most interesting analysis that I’ve spotted on this is Downes et al. (2016) The transient response of Southern Ocean Circulation to Geothermal Heating in a Global Climate Model [link]
Abstract. Model and observational studies have concluded that geothermal heating significantly alters the global overturning circulation and the properties of the widely distributed Antarctic Bottom Water. Here two distinct geothermal heat flux datasets are tested under different experimental designs in a fully coupled model that mimics the control run of a typical Coupled Model Intercomparison Project (CMIP) climate model. The regional analysis herein reveals that bottom temperature and transport changes, due to the inclusion of geothermal heating, are propagated throughout the water column, most prominently in the Southern Ocean, with the background density structure and major circulation pathways acting as drivers of these changes. While geothermal heating enhances Southern Ocean abyssal overturning circulation by 20%–50%, upwelling of warmer deep waters and cooling of upper ocean waters within the Antarctic Circumpolar Current (ACC) region decrease its transport by 3–5 Sv (1 Sv = 106 m3 s−1). The transient responses in regional bottom temperature increases exceed 0.1°C. The large-scale features that are shown to transport anomalies far from their geothermal source all exist in the Southern Ocean. Such features include steeply sloping isopycnals, weak abyssal stratification, voluminous southward flowing deep waters and exported bottom waters, the ACC, and the polar gyres. Recently the Southern Ocean has been identified as a prime region for deep ocean warming; geothermal heating should be included in climate models to ensure accurate representation of these abyssal temperature changes.
This is by no means an exhaustive literature survey on incorporation of seafloor geothermal heat flux into ocean models, but I suspect that the GFDL model is the most advanced one in this regard.
The motivation for this particular thread is an email that I received today, and also some tweets I spotted.
Why the Miocene? This blurb from the current AGU Call for Abstracts provides a good summary:
“The Miocene (23 to 5.3 mya) is a crucial, dynamical interval in Earth’s history that provides unparalleled insights into the functioning of greenhouse climates. At times during the Miocene, Antarctic ice volume was half modern, the Arctic Ocean was ice-free in winter, and extratropical temperatures nearly as warm as in the Eocene. This is an enigma, because the continental configurations and ocean circulation were much closer to modern than in the Paleogene, and atmospheric pCO2 was in the 300-600 ppm range. Taken at face value, this implies either a system highly sensitive to greenhouse gas forcing or the presence of still unexplained forcings and feedbacks.”
A blog post by Thongchai suggests that the mid Miocene warming is caused by solid Earth dynamics [link].
“The general consensus in the bibliography below seems to be that the Mid Miocene warming event is best explained in terms of deep ocean circulation or the so called “oceanographic control of Miocene climate“. Many of these authors who are still in paleo climate research now tend to soft pedal these anomalies and discrepancies in public discourse to present the Mid Miocene warming in terms of the CO2 greenhouse effect although their new improved assessment appears to contradict what they had written twenty or more years ago. In many of the works below, particularly the later papers, it appears that the authors are struggling to relate grossly anomalous situations to the greenhouse effect of atmospheric CO2.”
The list of references is interesting; this is a provocative hypothesis that has been inadequately investigated.
With regards to the impact of geothermal ocean warming, Ron Clutz has a good post summarizing the published literature on this. Some excerpts:
“Little attention is paid to geothermal heat fluxes warming the ocean from below, mostly because of limited observations and weak understanding about the timing and extent of eruptions.”
“There appear to be three major issues around heating of the ocean from below through the seafloor:
1. Is geothermal energy powerful enough to make a difference upon the vast ocean heat capacity?
2. If so, Is geothermal energy variable enough to create temperature differentials?
3. Most of the ocean floor is unexplored, so how much can we generalize from the few places we have studied?”
“Without geothermal heat fluxes, the temperatures of the abyssal ocean would be up to 0.5 C lower than observed, deep stratification would be reinforced by about 25%, and the strength of the abyssal circulation would decrease by between 25% and 50%, substantially altering the ability of the deep ocean to transport and store not only heat but also carbon and other climatically important tracers . It has been hypothesised that interactions between the ocean circulation and geothermal heating are responsible for abrupt climatic changes during the last glacial cycle.”
“Geothermal heating contributes to an overall warming of bottom waters by about 0.4◦C, decreasing the stability of the water column and enhancing the formation rates of North Atlantic Deep Water and Antarctic Bottom Water by 1.5 Sv (10% ) and 3 Sv (33% ), respectively. Increased inﬂux of Antarctic Bottom Water leads to a radiocarbon enrichment of Paciﬁc Ocean waters, increasing ∆14C values in the deep North Paciﬁc from -269◦/◦◦when geothermal heating is ignored in the model, to -242◦/◦◦when geothermal heating is included. A stronger and deeper Atlantic meridional overturning cell causes warming of the North Atlantic deep western boundary current by up to 1.5◦C,”
Lots of interesting material and references in Ron’s blog post.
A series of papers on mid-ocean spreading zone seismic activity and global temperatures have been published by Arthur Viterito [link]. As per personal communication with AV, the seismic data he used is from IRIS Wilber 3 [link]. Note the jump in the late 1990’s.
Our understanding of the link between sea floor geothermal heat flux and climate seems to be in its infancy
There seems to be a sufficient number of publications and observational evidence that lend credence to a link; the issue is the magnitude of the effect. Dismissing such an effect as unimportant given our current state of understanding is misguided.
Since this is a topic that I haven’t spent a lot of time investigating, I look forward to insights and references from the comments.
Reblogged this on Climate- Science.
The vertical profile of ocean warming (if it can be believed) suggests warming decreasing with depth. It’s hard to imagine that the heat is originating from below. Also, we need to distinguish between the average geothermal heat flux versus any increasing in that over time, the latter being “forcing”. Finally, any increase in geothermal heat flux would probably take centuries to be felt at the surface… the ocean abyss has stable stratification, and so must be slowly forced upward on the large scale by convective sinking in certain polar regions.
Direct surface warming by seafloor geothermal flux isn’t the point. The issues are using ocean heat content in inferring TOA flux imbalance and ocean circulation changes (which indirectly influence surface warming via atmosphere/cloud response).
i’ve heard enough times that the oceans are warming top/down from the surface and bottom/up from the floor. Is there any truth in this? (moreover, do we even have any measurements that would confirm this?)
“Finally, any increase in geothermal heat flux would probably take centuries to be felt at the surface…”
So, could this uncertainty or lack of knowledge of any significant heat flux event occurring centuries ago possibly contribute to a warmer surface temperature than is being modeled currently?
None of this should obscure the salient fact that global geothermal flux ( 1000K hotter than the old cold sea floor, the annual magma heat flux is simply minute compared to the overall global geothermal flux, and as it reflects the slow decline of radioisotopic energy release, that flux is going down not up.
As its inhomgeneity in turn reflects mantle convection, and crustal drift over hot spots arising from it, the time scale of regional, let alone global basla flux changes is absurdly slow relative to the rate of antropogenic climate change
I’m a great fan of Bernie Wunsch, and hope you will invite him to comment- I suspect you are grasping at a very thin straw.
Sorry for the paragraph break- the preceeding should begin :
None of this should obscure the salient fact that the global geothermal flux ( ~ 100 mw/m2) is an order of magnitude smalller than present anthropogenic radiative forcing
And should continue:
The release of heat from midocean ridge spreading and other submarine volcanic activity , including island arc vulcanism, is highly localised. In contrast to the area and thermal mass of the cold basaltic sea floor – it pans over 350,000,000 km2, the annual ridge spread is reckoned in just hundreds of square kilometers.- just a part per million of the total area and thermal mass of the abyss-
While MORB lava is > 1000K hotter than the old cold sea floor, the annual magma heat flux is simply minute compared to the overall global geothermal flux- there’s just not emough of it , and efforts to elevate the geothermal flux it into yet another climate policy distraction areaccordingly about as likely to succeed as an attempt to boil a bathtub with a match.
Sorry for my late return to the topic, and so to my point. I fully agree with Roy’s view of the interesting but minute warming caused by geothermal heat flux at separate active regions, e.g. hot spots like Hawaii, mid-ocean ridges, and still active submarine volcanoes.
The heat capacity of water and its possibility to be forced into convective motion based on density loss due to warming from average geothermal flux would be very quickly dispersed in the huge volume of abyssal cold water.
It should also be understood that ocean currents are not limited to the topmost part of the water column. Many studies especially involving deep sea manganese nodule mining, have definitely proven that the deep sea realm is not a dead calm region, but bottom sediments are moved by near bottom currents; So any geothermal “leaks” are quickly dispersed, thus hardly leading to convective water motion of meaningful magnitude.
To include deep sea geothermal warming in the climate warming debate seems to be pointless, although interesting for deep sea oceanographers. The amount of oceanic geothermal warming attributed is minute, in the range of some tens of milliwatt/m2. Comparing this to the energies being constantly received from the Sun, places ocean floor heat into a completely different league. Above all, using this minute geothermal heat is completely lost in the various processes governing Earth’s climate variability. I would assume that even a small cloud casting a shade would be sufficient to override any hadal heat.
Boris Winterhalter | August 2, 2019 at 7:11 am
The deep oceans seem cold, but actually they are hot, at ~275K they are already ~20K above the wel known Te of 255K.
Although Geothermal Fluxes (GF) are small, the entire continental crust below ~10-20 m is heated by the very small average GF of ~65 mW/m^2.
What you seem to overlook is that the solar heating of the surface is not continuous. Heat stored during the day is lost again during the night. Same for heat accumulated during spring/summer, lost again during autumn/winter.
Below ~500m no warming from above due to the seasonal warming/cooling cycles.
Interested to hear how the deep oceans have been heated from the surface to their current temperatures, or the much higher ocean floor temperatures during the Cretaceous.
Afaik water sinking to the ocean floor is mostly AABW, the coldest, densest water in our oceans.
It would seem obvious that the heat content of the deep oceans must be from geothermal origin, just as the crust.
Boris, Am I wasting my time posting here? The actual geothermal heat is significant and significantly variable, in the magma record that is straightforward to calculate, so I did. And you can easily check the facts. I will just put the table from my paper up again. While solar insolation is far more energetic at 340 W/m^2 currently, it can be responded to by the very large natural feedbacks, currently 140W/m^2. internal geothermal heat cannot, and that is also neither tiny nor insignificant. That’s plain wrong assertion, unsupported by the well reported facts and best estimates.
Solar heat reaching the surface is strongly controlled by the normal ocean evaporation and cloud formation cooling plus the consequential cloud albedo, the mechanism that has maintained the planet in its narrow range since there were oceans, currently 140W/M^2 in total, and variable at 2.6W/m^2 per SST degree per Roy Spencer, if I understand his work. So solar variations are matched by appropriate feedback so less or more heat reaches the surface and is lost by it and equilibrium is maintained. BUT internal volcanic warming keeps coming and cannot be controlled, so requires a new equilibrium that balances the new heat level which can vary the set point of the system a few degrees each way. The maximum maga injection occurs at interglacials, then decays to the ice age level, with another bump at 41Ka, which was probably responsible for the former ice age cycle range.
As far as quantifiable heat being tiny/insignificant, you may believe what you like, but current knowledge suggests c.3,000 Km^3 of magma crystallise in the oceans pa, from perhaps 1 Million volcanoes, of which c.100,000 are over 1Km high. Their output, equally demonstrably from the record, increases significantly at the 100Ka maximum of the three convolved Milankovitch gravitational cycles,. Solar insolation averages out over an eccentric year so can’t deliver the heat required to launch an interglacial from the insolation effect of the 100Ka cycle. But volcanoes can, probably from the gravitational effect of the same cycle, with sustained heat delivery at levels above 1.4W/m^2 over thousands of years. With no direct compensating effect available, the oceans must keep getting hotter, even when an event like the Younger Dryas re froze the atmosphere and SST, , the oceans just kept keep warming, from below, not above. And to correct another error of fact, submarine volcanoes on the fast moving 7Km thin ocean floor dwarf land volcanoes in both output and numbers., I suggest that is simply due to 1/10 the Bernouill viscous force. It’s all here: http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.3259379
And here are the concluding numbers again. If you find a problem with them, do let me know please. They have been well checked over the three years it has taken to develop the approach in the paper, both by me and independently. This is not, and can never be, precise, but the submarine volcanic heat is in the right place at the right time, on the right scale, and the smoking gun is there for all to see.
Is there a cheat sheet of all the possible natural causes for climate change that are unsettled? The ‘consensus’ buries all these in the other-things-equal, category, I guess.
The biggest unknown knowns relate to solar indirect effects, geological processes, century to millennial scale ocean circulations, Earth and sun’s magnetic fields, planet/moon gravitational effects, slow modes of the carbon cycle.
The known processes are solar variability, volcanic eruptions, internal variability of the ocean/atmosphere circulations and induced variations in cloudiness, fast modes of the carbon cycle.
And clouds, Dr. Judith. You’ve listed all but the biggest possible cause.
Clouds are included in current climate models (hardly an unknown); the other processes are not. I amended my comment to make this distinction.
I do want to say I have said this many times.
Ice Extent is treated as a result of all the things everyone mentions.
If I dump ice on my lawn the lawn stays cold until the ice thaws and is gone.
Ice Causes Ice Ages, Warm Periods happen when the ice is gone.
It snows most in the warmest times and then ice advances and increases and causes colder.
This is recorded in Ice Core Data. It is not acknowledged or discussed.
There are internal responses to external factors in every dynamic cycle. The tires on your car vibrate if the internal mass is not evenly distributed.
You all ignore internal factors that do naturally counter external forcing.
Head on down this wrong path, you are not better than years ago, so far.
The official biggest unknown is how indirect solar variability links to variability of the ocean/atmosphere circulations, ENSO, the AMO, and NAO/AO. It’s a generally unquestioned assumption that these are internal, it is not a known.
And changes in earth axis and precession.
Ian Plimer wrote a book called Heaven + Earth in 2009, and it lists all the myriad factors relevant to the climate.
As Dr. Roy points out, it is only the change in geothermal heat that is relevant to oceanic warming. Let’s assume that it was 0.1 W/m2 per your post, and that it has recently increased by say 10%. I can’t imagine why it would do that, but for the sake of discussion …
At that rate, per my calculations (which as always should be checked), it would take 4,690 years for the ocean to warm by a tenth of a degree C …
Not seeing anything that is even slightly significant here. What am I missing?
Read Wunsch’s paper; he sees 20% of recent warming
As far as I can see, Wunsch uses the number from ECCO who assert 0.095W/m2 without reference.
Do you know the original source for the 0.095 is?
Thanks, Dr. Judith. I read Wunsch. He makes the unsubstantiated claim that 20% of the warming in his model is due to geothermal heat.
But for that to be true, the geothermal heat would have to have INCREASED by 0.1 W/m2 … that is to say, it would have to have doubled in a mere 20 year period.
Seriously, if (as most assume) the geothermal heating is approximately constant over any given 20-year period, how can that be ADDING to the warming? It was there before the 20-year period, it was there during the period, it was there after the period. How can that make the ocean warmer?
Again I ask, what am I missing?
PS—He says that the oceanic warming is “0.0011 ± 0.0001 °C/y” … seriously? His claimed uncertainty is one ten-thousandth of a degree per year??? Dr. Judith, you’re the uncontested queen of the uncertainty question, so I gotta ask …
Can you say with a straight face that we know the oceanic temperature trend for 1.35E+18 cubic metres (1,350,000,000,000,000,000 m3) of ocean volume to the nearest ten thousandth of a degree per year?
This is not known better than the error margins.
I emailed Dr Wunsch and it seems that Willis Eschenbach is correct about geothermal not contributing to the imbalance, which seems physically obvious. He didn’t mean that a fifth of the imbalance was due to geothermal, because that would require a relatively recent change from near zero to 0.1 W m-2. But it provides an order-of-magnitude context I guess: the best estimate is that we’ve cause ocean heating at 5 times the rate of the Earth’s entire geothermal heat flux, which is an interesting if random statistic.
Judith, it looks like you’re implying ocean heat imbalance isn’t the main way in which TOA imbalance reveals itself, is that right?
Willis: regarding “His claimed uncertainty is one ten-thousandth of a degree per year??? …we know the oceanic temperature trend for 1.35E+18 cubic metres (1,350,000,000,000,000,000 m3) of ocean volume to the nearest ten thousandth of a degree per year?”
That’s basically what the paper’s about as I read it. It’s an estimate of the mean, and if all our data were independent then we’d know it to far better precision than that. This paper shows how the lack of independence between our data samples makes the precision worse, to the level you quote.
The Mid-Atlantic Ridge (MAR) is known as a mid-ocean ridge, an underwater mountain system formed by plate tectonics. It is the result of a convergent plate boundary that runs from 87° N – about 333 km (207 mi) south of the North Pole – to 54 °S, just north of the coast of Antarctica.
The MAR also has a deep rift valley at is crest which marks the location where the two plates are moving apart. This rift valley runs along the axis of the ridge for nearly its entire length, measuring some 80 to 120 km (50 to 75 miles) wide. The rift marks the actual boundary between adjacent tectonic plates, and is where magma from the mantle reaches the seafloor.
Where this magma is able to reach the surface, the result is basaltic volcanoes and islands. Where it is still submerged, it produces “pillow lava”. As the plates move further apart, new ocean lithosphere is formed at the ridge and the ocean basin gets wider. This process, known as “sea floor spreading”, is happening at an average rate of about 2.5 cm per year (1 inch).
The map illustrate the sea ice thickness in the Northern Hemisphere.
“The first such study that I’ve spotted is Adcroft et al. (2012), using a uniform geothermal heat flux of 50 W/m2 through the sea floor.”
You must have missed an “m”. I hope he means 50mW/m2.
correct, thx for spotting that! now fixed
[Wikipedia] “Mean heat flow is 65 mW/m2 over continental crust and 101 mW/m2 over oceanic crust. This is 0.087 watt/square meter on average.”
Interestingly, 30 years ago the estimate of an average geothermal flux was 70mW/m2, today it is 90 mW/m2. Possibly a result of more oceanic data. For a quantity so highly variable both in time and space I find it remarkable that a scientist would dare to estimate an average.
A result of writing about stuff that not enough is known about.
Reblogged this on Climate Collections.
What we know about the abyssal zone is about as much as we know about the surface of the moon, which of course, makes it ripe for speculations of all sorts to explain how bad GCMs are despite the fact the imaginary greenhouse effect is simply accepted on faith alone.
The Arctic zone also has three underwater ridges with explosive tempers.
One of them, Kolbeinsey Ridge, is located in Iceland, about 100 kilometers from Kolbeinsey Island which is also part of the ridge. This mountain system remains active. For example, Kolbeinsey Island was 700 meters long in 1616. By 1985, it had shrunk to 42 meters in length and stood five meters high. The island might completely submerge by the end of the 21st century. The first evidence of volcanic activity dates to 1372. Another eruption was recorded in 1755, and the latest officially recorded eruption took place in 1999, although local residents claim that small earthquakes measuring up to three points on the Richter Scale are common here.
Thank you for this post. If for no other reason, investigating geological considerations add to our knowledge of the totality of earth systems.
Someone was thinking about it 40 years ago as evidenced by this study.
An interesting report suggesting as many as 100 million sea mounts on the sea floor.
I read somewhere that geothermal heat keeps oceans 0.4 degree C warmer than they otherwise would be. As a constant source over periods of interest – it cannot cause changes in ocean heat content. A matter of heat gain and heat loss at some equilibrium heat content. Although there are implications for ocean heat retention – as opposed to thermal inertia and heat in the pipeline – in a warming atmosphere.
I don’t consider volcanic eruptions a “constant source”. Speaking of volcanoes, there is no trace of Iceland, Etna, or Mauricius on your map.
I hate to be repetitive but the debate below keeps ignoring the apparent conclusion that the data we now have suggests there is over 6 times more heat arriving on the ocean floor as magma at c1,300 degrees than there is conducted heat, at point sources that create fast rising plumes and circulation of their own, not diffuse warming by conduction (note, in my use of real physics heat rises and the dominant ocean heat sink, heated mainly by the sun directly, controls the atmospheric temperatures, even over land). The reason the heat is missing is because it was never there, it didn’t go downwards.This is also 100% susceptible to Jo Nova’s “numbers”. Facts beat beliefs and opinions. This is simple basic physics, hard to disprove, so nobody want to try and spoil the fun of debating their personal beliefs, or, worse, finding them wrong in fact, it appears from here. Maybe I’m wrong?
I keep trying to present the increasingly accurate and detailed evidence geologists have made available regarding submarine volcano output and number of main cycle submarine volcanoes, not hard once you do the homework, but no one appears to want to consider this basic and highly variable reality of ocean warming is even happening at the scale it must happen. Keep trotting out the same 0.1W/m^2 of conductive warming as if there were no volcanoes, much as the modellers have. That is just wrong. Please either correct my physics or remove your blinkers? For those of you who are Profs with students, any degree student can validate the referenced data and calculations.
For a single example check out the recent Mayotte event of an ocean blob caused by the formation of 1 new volcano over 6 months, 800m high and 5Km/^3 = 5,000 megatonnes of energy/ more than the whole US annual electrical consumption of 20EJ/5,500TWh, then imagine what 1,000 large submarine volcanoes can do over their active lives. El Nino anyone? (needs a cyclic cause)
POINT: Considering conduction alone woefully underestimates the average heat entering the oceans from the 100,000 or so active volcanoes 1Km or so high, also the effect of that intense localised heat. This is not gentle pervasive conduction. Obs the atmosphere does not significantly warm the oceans, the Sun does. And the volcanoes you can’t see add a bit. The atmosphere is predominantly a very smart thermostatic insulation for the planet, that’s keeps it in a green and blue range, through major perturbations of all kinds.
I calculate the current volcanic heat to be a global 0.7W/m^2 or 1×10^22J pa, 320TW. Why not use this more realistic number? Table 3 refers. Numbers need tuning. But not scaling.
PS None of this significantly affects the apparently clear and fact based identification of the primary cause of the current and well documented short term interglacial range of warming and cooling, on a roughly 300 year cycle, at 0.4 deg per century. This has now been attributed by Fourier analysis of the actual data to three known solar cycles, with no other candidates of similar periodicity, and at very high correlation, by Lüdecker and Weiss. All the short term variation observed and debated as catastrophic by climate “science” computer models is accounted for by this basic analysis of the natural output variabilities of our solar heater. “All we see is cycles”. The current steep rise is a simple factor of two cycles reinforcing each other, which is ending about now.
NO signal corresponding to an AGW effect appeared in the frequency power spectrum. Simples!
Presentation here, paper is easy to find. So short term variability is solar driven, and the smoking gun is our sun, not ineffectual AGW. How nard was that science to do, yet no one in climate science thought to apply this most basic of analytical tools to the actual data, as has been done for ice ages, and the magma record. By Germans (and an Austrian). Wonder why? Too basic and realistic for most academics to be bothered with?
Key graph here:
In addition to this clearly identified short term driver of temperature anomaly I suggest, based on the natural geological evidence, and its similar Fourier analysis that shows Milankovitch period peaks, that variable and intense submarine volcanicity drives the 7Ka interglacial warming, when this activity doubles or more at max eccentricity, and that this very obvious direct heating (which also varies each ice age cycle dependent on the varying combined power of the three different MIlankovitch cycles, as with the shorter term solar cycle combinations), determines the amount of the ice age warming anomaly, limited by the overpowering atmospheric capping effect as insolation-reducing clouds form at increasing rate with accelerating oceanic evaporation caused by rising SST (non-linear). The oceanic storage heater is clearly warming the atmosphere here.
BUT no runaway occurs, more clouds form and more precipitation happens, oceans rise 130 metres, it gets soggy for Mammoths, we need a boat to get back to the thawing UK from Europe again, etc. etc.. BTW If you ever believe that the combined negative feedback system of oceans and atmosphere will allow a thermal runaway to occur, upwards at least, look at the flat lining of the temperature and ocean level rise as the feedback enforces a new equilibrium to maintain the planetary heat balance at each interglacial.
It will take more than AGW, for a start. Asteroids? Super volcanoes? No problem – since we had oceans to dampen the atmosphere and shield the surface from the sun.
Another surface related point. You may care to consider exactly HOW the oceans rose relentlessly throughout the last 7Ka interglacial warming period while the Younger Dryas took the atmosphere back to glacial temperatures for a few 1,000 years, but clearly not the oceans. So where did that heat come from, then?
Oceans were clearly not bothered by what the SST was doing. More going on below? I suggest, speculatively, that more active surface volcanoes were cooling the surface, perhaps helped by a super volcano or two, while more submarine volcanoes were definitely warming the deep oceans through the same gravitational seismic effect.. etc.
What is wrong with these basic deterministic applied physics based explanations from the natural evidence? Too simple? Do tell…please. Sceptically of course, with data and physics. What’s wrong with my numbers? (Eugene Parker) :-)
“Our understanding of the link between sea floor geothermal heat flux and climate seems to be in its infancy.”
More broadly that sentence could be rewritten to read “climate science is in it’s infancy.”
A number of references to the literature are particularly important here.
“Although the ocean is largely heated and thermally driven at the surface, several recent studies suggest that the OGH (ocean geothermal heating) can also aﬀect the ocean dynamic and heat budget. …. By applying spatially constant or variable heat ﬂux in Ocean General Circulation Models (OGCMs) forced with the present day climate, it is shown that the OGH is a signiﬁcant forcing that can weaken the stability of the water column, warm the bottom water and strengthen the thermohaline circulation…”
Ballarotta, M. et al., (2015), “Impact of the oceanic geothermal heat flux on a glacial ocean state”, Climate of the Past Discussions, 11, 3597-3624
“….the additional destabilizing (geothermal) heat flux tends to promote a more vigorous full‐depth overturning having approximately 10% greater volume flux than with no bottom heating.”
Mullarney, J.C., Griffiths, R.W., and Hughes, G.O., (2006), “The effects of geothermal heating on the ocean overturning circulation”, Geophysical Research Letters, DOI:10.1029/2005GL024956
“….geothermal heating induces a substantial change in the deep circulation which is larger than previously assumed…. The numerical ocean model responds most strongly in the Indo‐Pacific with an increase in meridional overturning of 1.8 Sv, enhancing the existing overturning by approximately 25%.”
Adcroft, A., Scott, J.R., and Marotzke, J., (2001) “Impact of geothermal heating on the global ocean circulation”, Geophysical Research Letters, DOI:10.1029/2000GL012182
“An intensification of the AMOC is associated with an increase in the upward surface longwave, sensible, and latent heat fluxes from the ocean to the atmosphere along with an increased net downward surface shortwave heat flux into the ocean via the reduction in the surface albedo over the Labrador, Greenland, and Barents Seas in the fall and peaking in the winter…. The increased net upward heat flux from the more open ocean surface … as well as through the thinly ice-covered ocean to the atmosphere in the fall further increases the SAT (Surface Air Temperature) and inhibits sea ice formation in the winter … leading to the largest decrease in sea ice concentration and increase in Arctic SAT over the Labrador, Greenland, and Barents Sea in March.”
Mahajan, S., Zhang, R., and Delworth, T. (2011) “Impact of the Atlantic Meridional Overturning Circulation (AMOC) on Arctic Surface Air Temperature and Sea Ice Variability”, Journal of Climate, DOI:10.1175/2011JCLI4002.1
In a nutshell, increased geothermal flux at the bottom intensifies the MOC, enabling greater heat transfer into the North Atlantic/Arctic. And we know that there has been greater oceanic geothermal heat flux as the high end seismic frequencies in the mid-ocean spreading zones have increased dramatically since the early 1990s.
Viterito, A. “The correlation of seismic activity and recent global warming.” J. Earth Sci. Clim. Change 7 (2016): 345.
“increasing seismic activity for the globe’s high geothermal flux areas (HGFA), an indicator of increasing geothermal forcing, is highly correlated with average global temperatures from 1979 to 2015 (r = 0.785).”
Land volcanic activity increases during climate warming, like following the Permian extinction, or following the Younger Dryas to the early Holocene. Seafloor volcanic activity increases during glacial climates, because of the fall in sea level. Both then act as negative feedbacks that stabilize the climate system.
Exactly. This is very important. The effect of bottom warming on oceanic circulation is disproportionate.
Surface warming and surface cooling produces very weak oceanic currents, however bottom warming and surface cooling results in very powerful currents, as anybody that has watched a large pan of water warming at the fire can attest. The end result could actually be that of cooling the surface as it promotes water mixing.
While I think ocean bottom warming probably doesn’t change sufficiently to alter climate at timescales relevant to us, I would dare to say that it might have a very important role in glacial-interglacial climate changes. During the glacial period a big part of the oceans (up to 120 meters) moves on top of the continents. Those changes on crustal weight are known to have a powerful effect on both land and ocean volcanic activity to the point that some authors consider that half of the CO2 increase at deglaciations comes from increased volcanic activity. Changes in geothermal activity and changes in sea level must necessarily result in a quite altered bottom circulation.
I appreciate the post, Javier. I find this topic very interesting.
Is there an estimation for how many submarine super volcanoes there are, and how many are known?
Here’s an example that science is concerned is set to go: https://www.nature.com/articles/s41598-018-21066-w#Fig1
You may recall a scenario I queried you about, a bit of fanciful layman contemplation. I referred to the idea as a zipper effect; where a submarine super volcano in shallow oceans, near, or under, glaciation of the LIA sets in motion a catastrophic cascade of events. Could such an event happen that leads to a warming climate lasting over many millennia? While you described that there’s no evidence for this happening, or study for such; it would not seem to be too far fetched “if” a super volcano could be found that fits suspect criteria. I’d be interested in hearing theories by scientists who could illuminate by hypothesizing the possible, or nix it all together.
I believe there were discussions of the underwater volcanoes melting arctic ice awhile back, per this article:
But what could a much larger event set in motion?
Yes, jungletrunks. I remember that discussion. I couldn’t offer you any insight about undersea volcanoes effect on climate. I haven’t run into anything since and a recent query failed to show anything relevant, I am afraid. Submarine volcanicity appears to be a quite small subfield and its effect on climate doesn’t appear to attract much academic interest, as this post shows.
As always I appreciate the response, Javier, for entertaining basic questions.
Good point. So we can look at it as a net increase in temperature. Or a driver. What causes a deep ocean circulation change? The ideal point to insert warmth is at the cool bottom. By allowing ocean circulation changes to have an impact, some of their CO2/warmth arguments about long timeframes are weakened.
It is now thought that the oceans are also fed by “springs of the deep”…bringing superheated water from the mantle into the biosphere. Given that these things work on geologic timescales and the science is in its infancy, we have no real idea whether this is a constant or sporadic source of heat also. http://www.spacedaily.com/reports/Is_there_an_ocean_beneath_our_feet_999.html
And another study here
Does the geothermal flux affect energy balance methods? Do people subtract this flux when computing ocean heat uptake from the atmosphere from temperatures?
The point about constant geothermal flux means stable ocean temperatures is well made. But, if there are variable geothermal fluxes in critical areas it might vary other things. The Drake Passage is a key point in ocean circulation. If there was increased volcanism in this area it might influence ocean currents. If you consider the Coanda effect, where a minor intense flow deflects a much larger flow, could an eruption in the Drake Passage area influence the Humboldt current and thus be a factor in the El Nino cycle?
Very accurate attention. Similarly with the Gulf Stream near Iceland.
In the Atlantic, continents are moving away from each other. This means that underwater volcanic activity is constant.
Yep, where it is, is much more important than magnitude. Certain locations as pointed out above will have disproportionate effects.
What an interesting discussion. I will print this out and read it more carefully later.
Yet another distraction about a infinitesimal small temperature adjustment spanning many centuries just to throw shade on climate change projections.
A far more relevant topic should be what’s in the water and why are our oceans and lakes and rivers turning into toxic dead zones.
“PFAS Contamination Crisis: New Data Show 712 Sites in 49 States”
There are over 80,000 synthetic compounds and engineered molecules being dispersed into our environment with more added every day. Only a tiny fraction are actually tested and monitored for their long term effect on the rest of the food web yet they have been spread around the planet from the polar ice caps to the highest mountains to the bottom of the deepest ocean.
I don’t think there is any practical way to remove all the stuff we have dumped into the environment but we should at least stop adding more.
Good topic. Would be interesting to see the distribution if heat flux of oceanic crust, i.e., contoured by % total flux, which would show large lateral variation perp to ridges declining rapidly away from ridges. So there us also an important vertical variation w/ highest flux at shallowest depths, meaning changes in flux can propagate to the surface without heating the entire ocean – in fact their distribution as narrow high intensity bands would get lots of % of heat to surface quickly.
Not an area of any knowledge for me, so let’s follow the citations.
The Wunsch (2018) paper cited in Judith’s report is here:
That cite to ECCO is here:
Where the trail stops as there is no cite given for the source of the 0.095W/m2, it is merely asserted.
But I think it seems from Wunsch (2018) that the 0.095W/m2 is NOT the *change*, but rather the *absolute* number for oceanic geothermal flux. Note that the absolute number quoted by Adcroft is just 0.05W/m2, so a *change* in 20 years of 0.095W/m2 (a factor of three from baseline!) seems way, way beyond the realms of any possibility.
In other words I think Judith has misinterpreted absolute numbers for anomalies. Very happy to be corrected by others.
Short version: it’s still not undersea volcanoes
But it could be volcanoes.!!! We cant rule out volcanoes because the observations are so scarce. so it could be volcanos. It could be unicorns!!!
it could be planet X ! !!! There is always a missing link!!!
That is the crazy thing about science explanations, by their very NATURE
they are always underdetermined by the evidence. In theory, it ALWAYS could be something else, something hitherto unobserved that could explain things better. It could be. Logically could be.
However, if your objection to a theory is that it could be something else,
then your objection doesnt amount to anything more than a philosophical obsvervation about the contingency of science. It could be otherwise.
Put another way, if your objection to a scientific explanation is that it could be something else, or that something important is missing, or that the understanding is incomplete, then what you are doing is more rightly regarded as philosophy and it doesnt become science until you actually do the work on the “missing link”
Sure Mosh, but Judith does claim to have found the missing link – it’s the 0.1W/m2 geothermal. Thing is, it doesn’t seem to exist, as far as the literature is concerned, because that’s the absolute rather than the change amount. At least as far as I can tell.
“…it could be something else, then your objection doesnt amount to anything more than a philosophical obsvervation.”
An interesting take, but isn’t an informed “something else” always relevant until it isn’t? In the case of this threads topic it seems especially true considering the vast amount of unknowns about the deep oceans; or perhaps not so deep in remote regions. Questioning a theory through hypothesis is always relevant as a litmus to the presumed. To wit, gravity is settled science because there’s nothing that makes sense challenging the science.
Your “reductio ad absurdum” is fallacious. The unicorn hypothesis, unlike volcanoes, lacks falsifiability, and does not belong to the realm of science. Planet X existence lacks evidence on top of a lack of evidence for any effect of the known planets on Earth’s climate at relevant timescales.
Volcanoes, however, have a known effect on weather and there is paleoclimatical evidence suggesting an effect on climate from large enough volcanic activity. The effect of underwater volcanoes has not been studied so much, but it is plausible that they might have some unquantified effect.
Any theory of climate must demonstrate that it is superior to competing hypotheses. The question is that they are not incompatible. Even if CO2 has effect on temperature, that doesn’t mean that underwater volcanoes can’t have an effect too.
Your attempt to disprove a geothermal flux hypothesis of climate effect through “reductio ad absurdum” has failed. Based on what we know such climatic effect cannot be discarded and should not be ignored but researched, unlike unicorns or planet X.
What is the relevance of climactic effects of surface volcanoes to the question of climatic effects from underwater volcanoes?
It seems to me that the mechanism of any impact from the two types of volcanoes would necessarily be completely different.
It seems to me that there is no reason to theorize that because surface volcanoes have an effect, there is a reason to theorize that underwater volcanoes might have an effect.
Please elaborate on your chain of logic.
Steven Mosher: Put another way, if your objection to a scientific explanation is that it could be something else, or that something important is missing, or that the understanding is incomplete, then what you are doing is more rightly regarded as philosophy and it doesnt become science until you actually do the work on the “missing link”
It all depends, does it not, on how much evidence there is that something important still needs to be explained or quantified. The evidence presented here that change in underwater volcanic activity is responsible for change in ocean temperatures is pretty meager (cf Willis Eschenbach and others). But it is a fact that underwater volcanic activity has not been well investigated. Is there sufficient reason to rule it out a priori ?
Occam’s razor is that entities should not be multiplied beyond necessity. When ” necessity” has been satisfied has seldom been clear. There seemed to be “necessity” for Maxwell’s luminiferous aether, for about 5 decades, until there wasn’t. Contrariwise, physicists denied the necessity for a powerhouse to drive the continental plates apart, again for about 5 decades, until they found additional evidence decades after biologists and geologists had asserted that necessity.
You, instead of thoughtfully addressing the question of whether more knowledge is necessary to understand global warming, present us with Mosher’s razor: Entities should not be multiplied. Or maybe it’s “entities should not be multiplied beyond college literature” (presumably the inspiration for your ubiquitous unicorns.)
The evidientiary case that CO2 alone is responsible for all post 1880 warming is full of liabilities. Even the 97% consensus is not convinced: 97% (probably more) scientists agree that at least half of global warming is caused by human activity, which includes deforestation, urbanization, population growth, and other activities; which leaves up to half unexplained. And even the human activities may be more than half non-CO2 (wording here varies among questionnaires, so a summary is really hard to support.) Statements of the “consensus” allow up to 3/4 of warming since 1880 or so unexplained.
More than anthropogenic CO2 is necessary. Underwater volcanic activity, now that it is being studied more than ever before, is not looking good, at least not now. But unicorns ain’t in it.
MM, excellent comment. (i imagine with mosh’s razor we’d all be lookin’ like zz-top) False paradigms in science abound and we shouldn’t just fall in love with the first one that comes along…
Javier, if planet x turns out to be be a brown dwarf instead, then all bets are off(!)
The really big question to me here is are mosher’s malatov cocktail comments effective or not? He just lobs one (laced with unicorns) and then never comes back to answer for it. Is he enlightening us with his superior intelligence or just habitually annoying us with his stupidity? Nice if he’d just clime down off his high horse and discuss things like a man. (mosh, enough of your rope-a-dope style)…
Underwater volcanoes are not different from surface volcanoes in what they produce: energy, material, and gases. While the effect is different, and underwater emissions cannot reach the stratosphere, it is clear that any effect must be proportional to the amount of volcanic activity. Their climatic effect cannot be rejected without a good estimate of their activity. Do underwater volcanoes significantly contribute to greenhouse gases? I doubt you have an answer to that. And as the article says, do we know how much geothermal energy contributes to ocean temperature and to the strength of oceanic currents? This isn’t an unicorn, that is a fallacious argument, but then Mosher is a known user of fallacies in his argumentations, something that is common to a lot of alarmists, like the 97% of scientists meme.
as soon as someone actually understands the argument, i am happy to sit back and laugh at the misunderstandings.
lets see if you can tell me what my argument is.
Steven Mosher: lets see if you can tell me what my argument is.
That’s a good one. Despite many tries, I don’t think you can tell you what your argument is. Unless it’s “There is nothing important that is not known about either CO2 or climate.” If that’s it, “argument” is too respectful a word for your meanderings.
lets see if you can tell me what my argument is
Well, Mosh, why don’t you tell us what your argument is. Explain it better. (that shouldn’t be too difficult for the english major) Nobody here wants to sit around and play mind games with a dunderhead like you. Just put it out there fair & square and let’s just see where you’re argument goes. (that’s how everybody else does it) Do you think you’re special or something?
There is the current explanation that won. I think it’s that underwater volcanoes don’t matter. A model could be built to prove they matter. That hasn’t been built. That data to feed into the model probably isn’t there yet.
I’ve heard the argument that God is always hiding someplace new. As soon as science rules out one hiding place, he moves to another. Where is natural variability? At the bottom of the oceans.
Even the warming was hiding in the oceans. Where did it go? I know it’s here somewhere.
Their climatic effect cannot be rejected without a good estimate of their activity.
You didn’t actually answer my question. What is the reason why you mentioned surface volcano effect on the climate? The mechanism of effect on the climate from underwater volcanoes would necessarily be totally different. Apples and oranges.
And it looks to me like your logic is backwards. There is no reason to consider the climactic effect of underwater volcanoes if you don’t have a plausible theory of a mechanism for effect, which you have tested on some way.
Do you have one? Have you tested it?
Once you do, then you might look to see if you can quantify a change in underwater volcano activity which might correlate with changes in the climate.
That is how the usury of co2 effect on the climate has been developed.
I agree with what Steven says below. It seems to me that is how science should work. You develop a theory of how a mechanism might work, a testable mechanism, and then you test your theory. It doesn’t seem to be very scientific to me to say that there might be a mechanism for how underwater volcanoes might affect the climate, and there might be changes in undetwater activity that could correlate with measured changes in the climate, and then go trolling for data without testing your theory of mechanism in any way. To do so might come across as trying to confirm a bias, or a desired outcome.
Usury = theory
“Judith does claim to have found the missing link”
> The unicorn hypothesis, unlike volcanoes, lacks falsifiability, and does not belong to the realm of science.
And what would be the falsifier to “it’s volcanoes?”
What would the falsifiier be to “It might be (underwater) volcanoes?”
“And what would be the falsifier to “it’s volcanoes?”
1st, one should define what is being investigated regarding volcanoes.
A) How much additional heat is being put out and where?
B) Is the additional heat having an impact on ocean currents and how is this impacting weather?
An unscientific individual would argue it doesn’t or can’t have an impact with little understanding of A or B or even the volume of undersea volcanic activity.
If mapping was available of present ocean currents, then these could be compared to updated maps after new volcanic activity was uncovered. If after repeated comparisons were conducted at multiple locations, it found little to no change in ocean currents; the hypothesis that currents are impacted by undersea volcanoes could be falsified.
> If after repeated comparisons were conducted at multiple locations, it found little to no change in ocean currents; the hypothesis that currents are impacted by undersea volcanoes could be falsified.
Thanks, and in a sense I agree. I suppose the same process to the question to climatic impacts, how would it work.
Now the question that bugs me is how we can say that repeated comparisons falsify a conjecture. There is a tension between a logical concept within a probabilistic framework. Unless we can formalize our inductive reasoning, a judgment call needs to be made. Popper famously ranted against induction.
Volcanoes under ice makes the ice melt as seen on iceland, it is suggested that this also has an effect on WAIS.
As for the deep ocean as a whole, it’s worth looking at global seismicity as this is a sign of global sea bottom volcanism.
Signs of increasing global volcanism 1973-2007
Hans, that website is properly nuts.
Large numbers of lives are at stake, possibly millions. Our quest is to determine the cosmic window in which they will occur.
There is another level. It is for the Phoenix Quest, for being able to understand the pattern sequence of escalating trends which herald an avalanche of the crust.
It’s predicated on the output of a psychic(!) and all too predictably, it’s wrong:
Looking this up turned up a whole subculture of nutcases with weird, often Biblical theories about earthquakes:
The only thing we can learn from this, I guess, is that you “sceptics” aren’t very, well, sceptical.
That site is informative.
But what does the Biblical Prophecy page have to do with Mandeville. He writes that his books are in progress.
you “sceptics” aren’t very, well, sceptical.
Lumping all “sceptics” is no more informative than lumping all believers, e.g. AOC and James Hansen.
@vtg I am aware of observation bias. I was quickly looking for increase of earthquakes, improbable probably.
Quick quote, a section heading: Why it might seem that there are more earthquakes
That is probably right, but it was 2010. Any updates?
Matthew, his books seem to based on a psychic prophecy…
“The layer is present in the deep central parts of the Nansen and Amundsen Basins away from continental slopes and ocean ridges and is spatially coherent across the interior parts of the deep basins. Here we show that the layer is most likely formed by convection induced by geothermal heat supplied from Earth’s interior. Data from 1991 to 1996 indicate that the layer was in a quasi steady state where the geothermal heat supply was balanced by heat exchange with a colder boundary. After 1996 there is evidence of a reformation of the layer in the Amundsen Basin after a water exchange. Simple numerical calculations show that it is possible to generate a layer similar to the one observed in 2001 in 4–5 years, starting from initial profiles with no warm homogeneous bottom layer. Limited hydrographic observations from 2001 indicate that the entire deep-water column in the Amundsen Basin is warmer compared to earlier years. We argue that this is due to a major deep-water renewal that occurred between 1996 and 2001.”
Possible impact on Arctic waters from geothermal activity
“There seems to be a sufficient number of publications and observational evidence that lend credence to a link; the issue is the magnitude of the effect. Dismissing such an effect as unimportant given our current state of understanding is misguided.”
yes in theory all of the rise and fall in temperatures over the ages could be due to changes in unobserved geothermal flux
Or the flux could be relatively constant and c02 is a still a problem
I found this on a random blog post
“There seems to be a sufficient number of publications and observational evidence that lend credence to a link between c02 and rising temperatures; the issue is the magnitude of the effect. Dismissing such an effect as unimportant given our current state of understanding is misguided.”
I remember discussing this topic on this site some years ago after attending a dinner at Cambridge university where I was sat next to a vulcanologist who said the latest research was showing that there were tens of thousands more undersea volcanoes and vents than previously thought, perhaps many millions more.
That is interesting in itself, but as they had presumably always been there- its just we didn’t know about them- the question then arises as to what effect they have. It seems likely that the effect they have today is the same as1000 or 5000 years ago. It is only significant if their effect today is appreciably different to the past, because of more frequent eruptions, or hotter water is being created, or the recently active ones are uniquely geographically placed to affect ocean circulation patterns. .
The answer to that is we don’t know or more accurately why should that be? Do eruptions happen in cycles?
So my guess is that the impact on ocean temperatures today is little different to the past and its not a significant part of any recent noticeable warming.
No doubt those with more knowledge than me of this subject will do more research and we shall see. Its certainly an interesting and under discussed topic
What makes you think that more frequent eruptions, or the location of eruptions, would significantly affect the climate?
What is the mechanism you imagine by which the characteristics of erruptions would impact climate?
It would seem to me that logically, before you go about looking for correlations (between characteristics of eruptions and changes in climate), you should first have a testable theory of causation.
Otherwise, you might give the impression of someone looking to confirm a bias.
I agree not Unicorns.
“the question then arises as to what effect they have. It seems likely that the effect they have today is the same as1000 or 5000 years ago.”
An astounding conclusion based on minimal evidence. Isn’t it likely that undersea eruptions change as tectonic plates move and that areas of activity adjust quite frequently with plate tension. Is it really unreasonable that this could impact ocean currents?
I didn’t say that. my response was really a query
‘The answer to that is we don’t know or more accurately why should that be? Do eruptions happen in cycles?’
So we don’t know if the output is pretty constant, therefore the effect has always been the same but its just that we couldn’t measure it. Or activity has spiked coincident with the rise in temperatures we can identify and therefore may be a partial explanation for it.
As I also say we need more research in order to identify if this is a red herring or a hypothesis with legs
if the underwater volcanoes are proven to cause noticeable warming then if there if there is for some reason much more activity then it is reasonable to assume that this will affect temperature by a greater factor.
We don’t know if there has been more activity recently than in the past, or if more heat has therefore been released, or been released in a more strategic location. So it is unproven and needs more research. How is that confirmation bias?
Noticeable warming of the climate? What is your theory of causation (a proposed mechanism) by which underwater volcanoes would noticeably warm the climate?. I wasn’t asking what the implications would be if such a causation were proven.
I was asking for your (testable) theory of causation. Your answer suggests to me that you don’t have one.
IMO, a significant problem these days, generally, is that people spend a lot of time looking for correlations without testable (and probable) theories for mechanisms of causation. That’s why I’m asking.
Steven Mosher: yes in theory all of the rise and fall in temperatures over the ages could be due to changes in unobserved geothermal flux
Has that been proposed? If I read Judith Curry’s summary of Wunsch correctly, he has proposed that as much as 20% of recent deep ocean warming may be attributable to undersea volcanic activity. That’s hardly “all” over the ages.
To be clear, as I explained to my brother-in-law recently, all the scientific knowledge points to increased atmospheric CO2 having at least some warming effect. Getting from “at least some CO2 effect” to a climate sensitivity to a doubling of CO2 concentration more than 1K requires leaps of faith over serious holes, and counter-arguments based on evidence about the heat flows that result from the warming.
If I read Judith Curry’s summary of Wunsch correctly, he has proposed that as much as 20% of recent deep ocean warming may be attributable to undersea volcanic activity.
That does appear to be Judith’s summary.
But it does *not* appear to be what Wunsch’s numbers actually say.
verytallguy: But it does *not* appear to be what Wunsch’s numbers actually say.
OK, but no one has said what Mosher claimed. Right?
I think Mosh was being rhetorical rather than literal. But I’m not too interested; I’m much more interested in what people think of Judith’s position that Winsch is proposing a change of 0.1W/m2 geothermal over 20 years.
I’m pretty sure she’s got the wrong end of the stick here. What do you think?
verytallguy: I think Mosh was being rhetorical rather than literal.
What he wrote was not claimed by anybody.
I’m pretty sure she’s got the wrong end of the stick here. What do you think?
At best it is a possibility of a “high end estimate,” but maybe she was being rhetorical also.
In case you didn’t read my response above, I checked with Dr Wunsch and 0.1 W m-2 is the recent mean rather than the change. So we’d expect it to contribute ~0 to the recent imbalance.
That sentence in his paper confused me too, I too thought he meant that it added to the heat imbalance, which was confusing as all hell since that makes no physical sense. But I guess he was just giving an interesting comparison.
yes, I saw your response. Thanks for contacting Dr Wunsch. Judith doesn’t seem to have registered the significance.
This is the sentence:
Over 20 years, the heating rate is approximately 0.48 ± 0.16 W/m2 including 0.095 W/m2 from geothermal heating (ECCO Consortium, 2017a).
I actually don’t think it’s confusing about what was meant and he is meaning to include the geothermal flux as part of the overall heating rate of the 1994-2013 period of study. The point though is that there has always been a positive geothermal flux so the ocean and Earth system as a whole would necessarily already be in balance with that flux otherwise the ocean would have boiled long ago. Therefore, as you say, we have no reason to believe there is any current imbalance due to geothermal fluxes.
To put it another way, it is technically correct to say that geothermal flux contributed ~ 0.1W/m2 to the 1994-2013 average heating rate of 0.48W/m2, according to the ECCO data, as Wunsch and Judith have done. However, it would be equally technically correct to say that the 0.48W/m2 heating rate includes ~ 200W/m2 from the Sun.
Mosh. I think we’re quite far from deploying unicorns here. We’re or correction mostly other people are discussing a paper that suggest geothermal fluxes may have been underestimated. We’ve got other recent work that suggest basal glacial melt of ice sheets both in Antarctica and Greenland may also have been underestimated. We’re definitely not in a unicorn situation at present. Plus as always if discussion is stifled we dont learn new things. Always be sceptical. Both of stuff you know and new stuff. Dont discard such scepticism, just because you vaguely like what something says. Thought that was your mantra? Unicorns are only required. If and only if people are talking complete goobeldy gook, with no scientific basis at all. Really not sure that statement applies here. So why so sensitive?
Personally, I’d be less intersted in overall flux and more intersted in point sources and their locations. As small tweaks in the wrong place may have disproportional effects on currents and heat transport.
The really big question to me here is are mosher’s malatov cocktail comments effective or not? He just lobs one (laced with unicorns) and then never comes back to answer for it. Is he enlightening us with his superior intelligence or just habitually annoying us with his stupidity? Nice if he’d just clime down off his high horse and discuss things like a man. (mosh, enough of your rope-a-dope style)…
They’re just still grumpy about volcanos since scientists came along and found a volcano under the West Antarctic Ice Sheet (WAIS) and stopped the fun of blaming all the melt there on Exxon.
Volcano researchers fouled their WAIS narrative, people who study hurricanes shot down that disaster narrative, even the damn polar bear scientists stubbornly cling to honesty.
At least the New York Times is still willing to claim it will be cheaper, easy, and would somehow reduce CO2 emissions to use solar panels to replace the nuclear power plants supplying the city.
You are getting closer to understanding that we have entered the Ice Making stage of this Ice Age. Nature is taking the heat stored in the oceans and moving that heat to the poles and putting it into the atmosphere thus keeping the average surface temperature of the earth relatively constant. That would be in the mid 60’F.
I do wonder what is going on in the discussions of sea level and global heat flux through the oceanic crust. I would have thought that this is something that should be well recognised and considered in overall concepts of sea level change.
I studied geology at the University of Newcastle (UK) from 1986 to 1989. As far as I can recall, in every year of undergraduate study we were reminded that ridge activity was a substantial cause of global sea level change. We were encouraged to think about how changes in flux would impact on the sea level curves we would draw.
We were also constantly reminded that it is not only heat flow from the ridges that would impact – an increase in the heat would also result in an increase ine ‘ridge volume’ – a more active ridge would be hotter and more buoyant and would therefore change the volume of ocean water displaced.
Now, timescales here are important, but common sense, in my view, would immediately discount the idea that the flux would remain constant – we know that this is not the case elsewhere. In the comments above, it has been mentioned that we don’t have sufficient data coverage to spot the changes over decades to centuries, and I think that is the main stumbling block to further understanding.
Apparently zooplankton thrives around deep ocean vents and whales pursue this food. Some vents are up to 700 degrees F hot, which should cause upward thermal mixing. This might upset the notion of unmoving stratification from ocean bottom to the surface. Upwelling with much plankton is said to be initiated by coastal winds, but I wonder how much underwater volcanic activity drives this activity. After all, the whales at the coast of India feed constantly in the area, which would point to a constant heat/plankton driver.
I’m going to quote from this webpage
“Average heatflow is greater than 100 mW/m² for ocean floor younger than 10 million years. However, the variability in measured heatflow is quite large for young seafloor, because a significant amount of heat escapes from our planet’s interor not by conduction through the crust and sediment cover, but via springs of heated seawater called hydrothermal vents.”
My hunch is that geothermal heat ought to be considered in re analysis because it alters circulation rates, and this implies it can impact the way the whole ocean turns over. This in turn can alter the carbon cycle model results. And if we reduce emissions to a case like an RCP6/RCP4.5 hybrid, then the carbon cycle starts playing a critical role.
It’s much to simplistic to conclude AGW science as settled while there remains vast amounts of unknowns about oceanic events, and also other effects, that could be fundamental to a continuing, even elevating causation for GW.
My biggest issue with AGW theory is the idea that the event that initiated long lasting global warming, causing the end of the LIA, and the resultant warming that lasted millennia; would have abruptly ended 150 years ago if not for the reckless behavior of manmade CO2 (person made for the PC fanatic).
In consideration to the before are those who brush off, as unlikely, the possibility that natural warming could also have sped up through feedback loops; much in the same way a piece of ice melts ever faster as its surface area diminishes, albeit through more complex mechanisms.
A closed book AGW scientist will suggest the latter argument to be just too coincidental (unlikely), because the bump in warming exactly coincides with human release of CO2 (the hockey stick), but there’s another possibility; humans wouldn’t have likely reached population densities, nor achieved relevant technologies that enabled such “pollution”, if it had not been for the consequential, beneficial, effects of the LIA ending in the first place! “What came first, chicken or egg”. Why can’t the hockey stick be “natural”; i.e., “melting ever faster as its surface area diminishes”.
Using the before reasoning, If we could devolve the predisposition of not jumping to the conclusion of human causation as being “obvious”, and instead take the position of “what came first, chicken or egg” type of reasoning, then perhaps we can begin to look at myriad other causes for why warming coincided with the rise of human population. The last 150 years of warming could be that last bit of requisite ice melting, there goes the albedo! The last stage for what perhaps was initiated by a catastrophic cascading oceanic event occurring millennia ago.
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I’ve always said, understand the oceans, understand the climate…it is that easy. What warms the oceans warms the atmosphere above it.
Understand the Oceans, Understand the Global Temperatures
Here at CO2isLife we have consistently maintained that to understand the climate you have to understand the oceans. The oceans, not CO2, is are the major drivers of global climate and temperatures. The oceans contain 2,000x more energy than the atmosphere, and CO2’s only defined mechanism by which to affect climate change is by thermalizing
I’ll try some simple reality again…… watching people debate the predictions of unprovable consensual beliefs about the atmsosphere, which are clearly wrong on the measurable facts, when quantifiable evidence based deterministic explanation is available, never fails to amuse and amaze.
The irresolvable distractions of consensus science win every time. Nobody wants a simple evidence based practical answer well within a few tens of percent of the reality, perhaps? But there is one available, and you can easily check the maths and physical laws for yourself.
It’s not even hard. No models required. I have posted before, but no one seems interested in reality. What’s wrong with my numbers? Too simple for y’all? ;-)
SSRN link: https://papers.ssrn.com/sol3/papers.cfm?abstract_id=3259379
I used basic deterministic physics to quantify the total heat entering the well mixed total oceans oceans from the estimated number and known average output of submarine volcanoes. The data was available and verifiable regarding amount and variability , from data analysis that had revealed dominant MIlankovitch peaks in the dated emissions, primarily from Scott White and Steffen Kutterolf respectively. After research into solid gravitational tides, I propose the variability in solid gravitational tides as causal, not requiring proof as an actual and thermally capable Milankovitch synchronised effect, because that unavoidable heating effect of the magma is a clear deterministic effect, the warming must happen. The heat also goes upwards as in real physics, not downwards as in consensual climate VR games. Also helps stop the ocean surface from freezing in glacial periods, as the clouds disappear and the non linear atmospheric control of insolation becomes increasingly weaker in effect with SSTs close to freezing in the polar oceans, with the possibility of an albedo led runaway ice over? Hasn’t happen in this ice age cycle or the last. Yet.
All the numbers are in Table 3, I quantify this first pass estimate at around 0.7W/M^2 currently, with considerable increases, by over 100%, observed in the power spectrum of actual deposition at interglacial 100Ka events and maintained over thousands of years across the interglacial warming event. I am tending towards believing the off-peak amount may be less, and the relative increase greater than double, so peakier, but it doesn’t alter the clear and substantive effect, that atmospheric models entirely discount as weak and constant. It is neither. Probably dominant in the long term cycle.Wrong in fact.
I need Kutterolf to get his maths guy to reveal the energy under the power spectrum – and Judy to stop ignoring my very clear and basic work, and expressing surprise when these well easy to quantify numbers are “discovered”..
There is a problem with explaining where another 320TW of internal heat is coming from in addition to the 50TW, perhaps its the solid tide stirring? But the heat is released, the magma emissions are a giveaway, so that’s someone else’s problem :-). I will stick with planetary twerking as the primary cause of ice ages. BTW several regional extreme events are likely due to spontaneus and cyclical events, and the ocean blobs arising, There may also be internal cycles that deliver events like ENSO, Nishinoshima off Japan caused one such major climate event through an oceanic blob, and the recent climate extremes that followed the 5Km^3 brand new volcano that grew in 6 months near Mayotte off Madagascar, with serious effects on local climate and the IOD, hence drought in OZ, etc.. You can make it up, but you really don’t have to when there are quantifiable natural explanations Figure out how much heat is involved in 5Km^3 of 1000 degree delta T magma crystalising, apply that to a 100M of surface water assuming a one degree of SST increase and figure the area involved, play with the numbers. nock yourself out. It’s real and non trivial. etc.
PS While we are on Fourier analysis as a strong technique to identify causal effects of climate variability in actual data, and reject others, the below paper, and its You Tube video delivery, is very interesting in attributing most short term change over the last 2Ka B to multiple known solar cycles.
PPS Updated Conclusion to my own paper to include Ludecke and Weiss’s work is at the WIP link below, not yet on SSRN.
NEW POINT: The entire range of the current 100Ka climate cycle can now be substantively accounted for by known higher rate and shorter period cyclic solar variation, superimposed upon longer term, slower and ultimately larger submarine geothermal heating. No statistical models are required to prove this, deterministic physics and actual data do the job.
As I explain, the dominant atmospheric effect is in fact to impose equilibrium at whatever SST is required to maintain the heat balance that current heat budgets require, by modifying insolation. The atmosphere does not cause instability, rather it is the strong control that enforces Gaia, a strong control that successfully manages super volcanoes, asteroids and the many smaller effects, including any human contributions – what humans?
The interglacial event does not cause volcanoes, volcanoes cause the interglacial, by warming the oceans at “peak magma”. The CO2 that accompanies this is largely irrelevant, except to reviving flora. Maybe atmospheric emissions were a cause of the Dryas events, while the oceans were kept warming by the relentless peak magma beneath the oceans and the rising heat of consensus denying deterministic convection.
Deterministic reality is the reverse of consensual science. Planetary Twerking as quantified by John Wahr is the probable cause of interglacials. The solar variability creates the noise, the atmosphere imposes calm. Simples!
But carry on debating the “atmosphere as agent of change” consensual science heads in the clouds stuff, where really only SST control happens.
The physical answer and the actual, natural evidence regarding solar cycles and the geothermal variability, dismissed in spite of (because of?) its known magnitude and variability, will still be parked here, waiting patiently to be noticed like the Beetle in Woody Allen’s “The Sleeper” , when y’all are done with the pointless argument about CO2 that just can’t and really isn’t., but makes SO much money for the promoters of the carefully selected unprovable nonsense, used to promote a an undeliverable cure to a non-problem subsidising “renewable” enrgy solutions too weak and intermittent to replace the supposed problem in simple fact. Again, avoiding the numbers by consensual assertion and personal attacks on truth tellers.
Is it yet time to point out where change really comes from?
The facts must win in the end, because the head in the clouds stuff isn’t real, is it? And this is, I suggest. Evidence based. No consensus required. Novel.
TTFN. I’ll be back. If a climate documentary seems preferable to another climate Sci Fi paper, enjoy! Better still please tell me what’s wrong, of significance, with my numbers or basic physics – so I can tune the reality and/or conclusions. Or withdraw if wrong.
E&OE. There is only me, the laws of physics and the data.
“ 1. Is geothermal energy powerful enough to make a difference upon the vast ocean heat capacity?”
No it is not, but it may influence global temperatures indirectly, and in my view it does affect the North Atlantic accumulated cyclone energy ACE, i.e the hurricanes’ intensity.
In case you might ask but how does that work?
The heat being transferred from the ocean surface back into the atmosphere at high latitudes is as large as 50 -100W/m2 depending on the strength of the westerly cold winds blowing at high latitudes. By using the atmospheric pressure as a rough guide it is possible to estimate trend in the heat loss. More heath is taken out, faster and deeper is down-welling. It should be pointed out that the sinking current velocity has short term (in time and distance) vertical component directly proportional to its salinity but subsequently it has by far much longer term (in time and distance) horizontal component that is inversely proportional to the depth at which current flows. In another words colder and more saline water sinks faster and deeper, but then closer it is to the sea floor the lower is its onward velocity.
One part of the return current up-wells some 15 or so years later in the North Atlantic’s tropics along the west coast of North Africa, the area where the N. Atlantic hurricanes are initiated. Greater the temperature differential between the up-welling and the surface currents in the area more likely is that a hurricane will be spawned.
Consequently, the temperature and arrival time of the cold up-welling current reflects the heat lost in the down-welling process which, as mentioned above, is related to the wind intensity (or the atmospheric pressure) in the region to the south of the Denmark straits.
The current flows along and across the mid-Atlantic volcanic ridge, at the times of the more active ridge even the smallest temperature rise of these waters will lift the current further from the sea floor, increasing its velocity.
After Ron Clutz wrote his blog post I did several days of research but came up empty handed. ARGO doesn’t help because it samples ‘only’ down to 2000 meters when average ocean depth is about 3700. Findings about deep layer stability/instability are for a few small basins, in my opinion not extendible to vast oceans. The deep thermohaline circulation driven by polar sea ice formation has a return time of about 800 years, which suggests any change in deep seafloor geothermal activity is irrelevant to perceived surface climate change since ~1970. Presumably enhanced underwater volcanism would be detectible by seismic activity; it hasn’t been. Geothermal heat from seafloor spreading (e.g. midAtlantic ridge) is provably (magnetic reversals) very slow and steady. The recent discovery of deep thermal vent ‘smokers’ is fascinating, with much new biology. But that life does not extend far from them suggests how puny their overall ocean impact probably is
So deep sea geothermal heat is a speculative hypothesis with ‘no’ data one way or the other.
I concluded there were much more interesting relevant climate ‘known unknowns’ to think about, with much more ‘data’ with respect to natural variability and attribution. Like Arctic ice cycles (essay Northwest Passage in ebook Blowing Smoke), or AMOC and Greenland’s ice sheet, or the buildup to a record and then recent dissipation of Antarctic sea ice.
Another example of a more interesting thing to study is a recent paper supporting Eschenbach’s tropical Tstorm regulatory hypothesis. It found that a more accurate parameterization of western tropical Pacific convection increased heat loss to space and made the model studied run cooler globally, and closer to ‘reality’.
ristvan: a recent paper supporting Eschenbach’s tropical Tstorm regulatory hypothesis.
Do you have the reference? I saw something along that line, but I lost (?)it and didn’t download it.
I believe Eschenbach has a good understanding of tropical factors.
He has written nothing I have seen that addresses ice cycles, he seems to have little understanding of polar factors.
Maybe Willis has already responded, but I interpreted his original comment about clouds to mean that we don’t know what kinds of internally-generated cloud forcing there might be in the climate system. The IPCC party line is that global average cloud changes only occur as a result of temperature changes, but I think there is sufficient evidence that (for example) circulation changes associated with ENSO alter the global average cloud cover, changes which occur *before* temperature changes. Who know what else might be going on to change clouds and thus cause climate forcing?
I know what else might be going on to change clouds and thus cause climate forcing? Ewing and Donn knew and published it in the 1950’s and they did their research and formed theory without ice core data which would have proved their theory to be correct.
An important factor in cloud changes and climate forcing is sea ice and the temperature that sea ice is formed and thawed. Ocean temperatures, crossing the threshold cause sea ice to form or thaw.
When oceans are cold and there is a large extent of sea ice, there is little evaporation and clouds and snowfall on Greenland and Antarctic and many mountain glaciers and other ice sheets. There is a lack of evaporation and a lack of clouds and snowfall in cold places. Ice depletes, then retreats, causing warming.
When oceans get warm and sea ice thaws, there is much evaporation and clouds and snowfall on Greenland and Antarctic and many mountain glaciers and other ice sheets. There is much evaporation and clouds and much snowfall in cold places. Ice is replenished, then ice advances, causing cooling.
Climate is self correcting, Bill Gray said that at a conference in Washington DC, several years ago, he told the TRCS panel that all the climate sensitivities you promote are much too high. TRCS had presented a chart with numbers from many. Bill Gray said any warming will cause more evaporation and precipitation and any warming will be countered. He said sensitivity might be 0.2 or 0.3 or, maybe 0.4, nothing like what so called skeptics promote.
Thanks for the 2.6W/m^2 as the response to 1 degree of SST. I hope that is global average as I used it that way. I had been asking this question for ages of climate scientists to ask what the natural atmospheric feedback to the supposed effect of AGW was, then I “found” your estimate while reading John Christy’s presentation on actual tropospheric temperatures again.
The key event in the natural cycles for me was the flat lining of the interglacial 7Ka warming that clearly happens when CO2 is still desorbing from warming oceans. That says the atmosphere shuts down further SST rise by varying the 150W/m^2 of evaporation and albedo to reduce insolation , a very large effect that has to vary very little to maintain equilibrium, as its effect increases non linearly with temperature. And that CO2 has little impact on serious stuff. I suggest this keeps the lid on things until the volcanic activity reduces below a level where the effect is required, and the neo glacial begins.
As I would like to introduce you to the reality of magma heating of the oceans I will try to call, just to introduce the idea, the paper and the actual quantifications. Which are also above. Whenever Judy mentions geothermal I respond with the facts we know, but it always appears a surprise, when the facts of the variable submarine magma emissions across ice ages are well known, just nobody calculated the actual heating effect. Until I did. Heads in the clouds, where SST stability is in fact maintained by the oceans and the atmosphere, not instability.
Von Shukman mentions the 0.1 W/m^2 although, I believe it was 0.09W/m^2. She did 2 papers on the Argo float derived forcing. This is all from memory but the first was 0.72W/m^2 (2010) and second was 0.64W/m^2 when the floats were more widespread. However, she then corrected (ie distributed) this for global (including land) coverage which resulted in 0.38W/m^2.
Like some other commenters I too see the geomthermal flux as irrelevant if it’s constant. If it’s not, things get interesting.
It’s all very woolly when you add in the uncertainty of (suppposedly) 0.1W/m^2 out of 0.38W/m^2 (this 0.1W/m^2 was cited by Von Shukman as well as this JC blog post. It corresponds to a minuscule temp difference over 20 years (in the oceans). And although the Argo floats are accurate to 0.003°(?) the algorithm that averages the model cells containing containing millions of cu km of water per float are also expected to be exquisitely accurate too- and in depth as well as area. Sounds a bit far-fetched.
It is funny how an idea flung out at a moments whim, starts a cavalcade of wide ideas. People seem to forget that oceans are REEEALLY vast, and that the heat capacity of same water is substantial. Furthermore, ocean floor heat flux is trivial compared to solar insolation. Thirdly ocean currents are not driven by minute temperature differences. The most inmportant factors influencing global ocean currents are a combination of Earth’s rotation, lunat tides, persisten winds, et cetera.
Sea floor geothermal heat fluxes may have very local effects, but considering the vastness of our oceans and the minute specs of heat sources of a very trivial magnitude compared to energy coming from the Sun there are more important research needs, e.g. the role of clouds determining our global climate. Don’t forget that IPCC has in its latest updated report page 666 states clearly that CO2 is just a fancy invention called the control knob but water vapour is the main real driver of climate.: https://www.ipcc.ch/site/assets/uploads/2018/02/WG1AR5_Chapter08_FINAL.pdf
Other interesting observations:
Nature volume 453, pages 1236–1238 (26 June 2008)
Explosive volcanism on the ultraslow-spreading Gakkel ridge, Arctic Ocean
Roughly 60% of the Earth’s outer surface is composed of oceanic crust formed by volcanic processes at mid-ocean ridges. Although only a small fraction of this vast volcanic terrain has been visually surveyed or sampled, the available evidence suggests that explosive eruptions are rare on mid-ocean ridges, particularly at depths below the critical point for seawater (3,000 m)1. A pyroclastic deposit has never been observed on the sea floor below 3,000 m, presumably because the volatile content of mid-ocean-ridge basalts is generally too low to produce the gas fractions required for fragmenting a magma at such high hydrostatic pressure. We employed new deep submergence technologies during an International Polar Year expedition to the Gakkel ridge in the Arctic Basin at 85° E, to acquire photographic and video images of ‘zero-age’ volcanic terrain on this remote, ice-covered ridge. Here we present images revealing that the axial valley at 4,000 m water depth is blanketed with unconsolidated pyroclastic deposits, including bubble wall fragments (limu o Pele)2, covering a large (>10 km2) area. At least 13.5 wt% CO2 is necessary to fragment magma at these depths3, which is about tenfold the highest values previously measured in a mid-ocean-ridge basalt4. These observations raise important questions about the accumulation and discharge of magmatic volatiles at ultraslow spreading rates on the Gakkel ridge5 and demonstrate that large-scale pyroclastic activity is possible along even the deepest portions of the global mid-ocean ridge volcanic system.
An essay referencing the before research:
Here are a few things to consider:
“Seafloor hydrothermal systems are known to respond to seismic and magmatic activity along mid-ocean ridges, often resulting in locally positive changes in hydrothermal discharge rate, temperature and microbial activity, and shifts in composition occurring at the time of earthquake swarms and axial crustal dike injections. Corresponding regional effects have also been observed.”
Davis E, Becker K, Dziak R, Cassidy J, Wang K, et al. (2004) Hydrological response to a seafloor spreading episode on the Juan de Fuca Ridge. Nature 430(6997): 335-338. DOI: 10.1038/nature02755
As to the “regional effects” cited above:
“An international team of earth scientists report movement of warmed sea water through the flat, Pacific Ocean floor off Costa Rica. The movement is greater than that off midocean volcanic ridges. The finding suggests possible marine life in a part of the ocean once considered barren…
Carol Stein, professor of earth and environmental sciences at the University of Illinois at Chicago, is a member of the research team that has studied the region, located between 50 and 150 miles offshore and covering an area the size of Connecticut. … Stein and her colleagues found that seawater on this cold ocean floor is flowing through cracks and crevices faster and in greater quantity than what is typically found at mid-ocean ridges formed by rising lava. Water temperatures, while not as hot as by the ridge lava outcrops, are surprisingly warm as well….Finding so much movement in a bland area of the ocean was surprising. “It’s like finding Old Faithful in Illinois,” said Stein. “When we went out to try to get a feel for how much heat was coming from the ocean floor and how much sea water might be moving through it, we found that there was much more heat than we expected at the outcrops.”
Volcanoes under glaciers – potential melting?
The NSF reports: “Previously unsuspected volcanic activity confirmed under West Antarctic Ice Sheet at Pine Island Glacier”
de Vries, M.V.W., Bingham, R.G. and Hein, A.S., 2018.A new volcanic province: an inventory of subglacial volcanoes in West Antarctica Geological Society, London, Special Publications, 461(1), pp.231-248.
It has been hypothesised that interactions between the ocean circulation and geothermal heating are responsible for abrupt climatic changes during the last glacial cycle.”
Not likely! abrupt changes are on the surface, the deep oceans have not changed rapidly or there would be more evidence. No one would be just guessing.
Volcanic impacts on Glaciers
Barr, I.D., Lynch, C.M., Mullan, D., De Siena, L. and Spagnolo, M., 2018. Volcanic impacts on modern glaciers: A global synthesis. Earth-science reviews, 182, pp.186-203.
Barr et al. Review 56 volcano-glacier interactions
REINTHALER, JOHANNES, FRANK PAUL, HUGO DELGADO GRANADOS, ANDRÉS RIVERA, and CHRISTIAN HUGGEL. “Area changes of glaciers on active volcanoes in Latin America between 1986 and 2015 observed from multi-temporal satellite imagery.” Journal of Glaciology (2019): 1-15.
In above comments I see hardly any mention of the source of the OHC.
Our deep oceans are hot (~275K, already ~20K above the famous 255K T eff.)
Seasonal solar heating doesn’t penetrate much below ~400m before the water loses this energy again at the surface in the cold season. Inescapable conclusion is imo that the OHC of the oceans below ~500m is 100% of geothermal origin, just as all Earths crust is completely heated from below, except for the upper 10-20m of our continents.
Geothermal flux is ~100 mW/m^2 , capable of warming the average column (~3700m) 1K every 5000 year.
Likewise it takes 1 million km^3 magma cooling in the oceans to warm all ocean water 1K.
The temperature (OHC) of the deep oceans is a balance between this slow heating by geothermal minus cooling at high latitudes, mostly AABW .
For the last 80-90 my this balance has been mostly negative, with Earth slowly cooling and entering an ever deepening ice age.
The warm oceans before ~90 mya can be explained by the balance being on the warming side due to well over 100 million km^3 magma erupting into the oceans, mainly from the Ontong Java event.
Once we accept that the OHC is mostly from geothermal origin, it is possible for the little solar energy that actually reaches the surface (< 50%) to increase the temperature of the mixed surface layer a few degrees.
The atmosphere now only has to reduce the energy loss to space, and we have a balanced energy budget.
We should start thinking of solar energy in MJ/m^2 warming the upper 5-10m directly.
A good sunny day delivers some 20 MJ/m^2, enough energy to warm 5 m water around 1K.
You may want to refer to the Plate Climatology Theory (plateclimatology.com)
which i presented to the public on October 7, 2014 in a Climate Change Dispatch posting and a Principia Scientifica posting on October 21, 2014. The theory was published as part of the annual American Meteorlogist Society Conference January 13, 2016. (https://ams.confex.com/ams/96Annual/webprogram/Paper290033.html).
You can read my more than 80 theory artcilles on the theory website, listen to a 0ne hour video / audio review, or read the theory overview. I am currently in the process of submitting the theory to the American Association of Petroleum Geologist for publication in one of their online sites.
The theory website contains numerous artciles providing readers details of how high geologically induced heat flow effects climate and climate related events. Of special ineterest to you may be the articles concerning ocean spreading centers, other plate boundaries, El Nino / La Nina, the Artic, Antarcrica, and cuase so-called Ice Ages (subject of my latest paper.
I have been resserching and writing about the effect of geological forces on climate and cliimate related events since 1977 since being awe struck by the deep dive of the Alvin along the Galapagos Islands and the subsequent discovery of geothermally driven chemosynthetic life.
Only recently, statring in late 2014, have a few scientists been investigating how geological forces effetc our planet’s climate.
James Edward Kamis
Jim, thanks much pointing this out, interesting web site
Thank you, Jim.
I added “tectonic and volcanic activity” in the Lots of Theories page of the Matrix:
The idea of energy imbalance derives from very slow isopycnal mixing. 1000’s of years to thermal equilibrium as a result of eddy diffusion below the thermocline. Thus accumulating imbalances and ‘heat in the pipeline’. The simplest role for geothermal energy in climate is that rather than very slow warming – thermal inertia – more geothermal heat is retained in oceans in a warming atmosphere.
Ocean warming gives a direct measure of energy imbalances over a period. Ocean warming is commonly assumed to be all anthropogenic.
Post hiatus warming was largely the result of cloud change in the eastern Pacific. – https://www.mdpi.com/2225-1154/6/3/62 –
Eddy diffusion carries heat downward in the water column and convection upward – resulting in the temperature profile of oceans. Convection dominates.
Annual variation in ocean heat is the result of orbital eccentricity. Variation at depth implies that surface variability is propagated downward through eddy diffusion – in what is suspected to be higher rates of isopycnal mixing than originally assumed on the basis of the collapse of gravity waves at the surface.
It seems much more likely to involve basin wide turbulent flow dynamics. Although getting to the bottom of this even with ‘deep though’ level supercomputing seems unlikely.
This discussion has just come to my attention; I have not read all the comments.
A uniform heat flux does not explain the melting of Arctic Ice along the Russian shore but not the Canadian shore as shown by satellite photos.
I have studied this at length.
My observations and conclusions were published Dec 2018 in my book;
POLAR BEARS IN THE HOT TUB – Their Future and Ours.
There are 89 pages of photos, facts, and graphs for your comments.
I will attempt to attach an abstract of 14 pages after my comments.
1 The melting of Arctic Ice started suddenly in 1995. Photos show the ice increasing in area from 1952 through 1996 then decreasing by 2012.
2 Magma began rising at 35 km depth in 1990 as evidenced by earthquake records along the Atlantic Ridge north of Iceland and Svalbard and under the volcanic island chain from Iceland, through Svalbard to Severnaya.
I have entered over 300 events in a spread sheet to study this.
3 The Arctic Ocean rotates counterclockwise over the magma heated area north of Svalbard, then passes near the Russian shore melting that ice.
4 By the time the sea water has travelled the length of the Russian shore it has cooled and cannot melt ice along the Canadian shore.
5 Polar Bears in Canada have multiplied to the point that Nunavut Province appealed to have them removed from the endangered species list; it was rejected because “the bears may become endangered in the future”.
This logic of this decision surprises me – it seems to not be scientific.
Currently I am working on a theory of why the magma became active when it did. I feel I understand why.
Please see my latest paper on this. As you can see from Figure 2, 1995 was a watershed year – it is the year when mid-ocean seismic activity more than doubled, amplifying the 1997-1998 “Super El Nino” in the process, and, more importantly, it marked the first year of the “Pause” we are currently experiencing.
ABSTRACT OF POLAR BEARS IN THE HOT TUB
(I am sorry the photos and graphs do not appear here )
Table of Contents
Forwards by Chapters – One through Six 6
Chapter One – North Pole, Home of the Polar Bears 19
– South Pole, Home of the Penguins 31
Chapter Two – Fuel Types and CO2 Concentration 37
Chapter Three – Coal, As a Fuel 60
Chapter Four – Liquid Hydrocarbons 65
Chapter Five – Greenland’s Black Ice 71
Chapter Six – The Future – With Understanding and Wisdom 78
Table of References 86
This book, this ‘house’, was built one board, one shingle, one datapoint at a time. Each piece of data was examined then fitted carefully in place.
It is now my home, it is comfortable, it may endure for a time.
The goal is to ask and answer questions about the greatest challenge of our time.
How do we, the caretakers of the world, predict the future of this world?
Do we really understand our world? Do we understand Global Warming?
Can we control any part of it?
This book presents data, and new views for deniers, alarmists and the ‘don’t knows’.
“Lady, you cannot fly to the sun! It is too hot; your rocket will burn up!”
“Don’t be silly. They have it all figured out. We will fly at night”
Many scientists have it all figured out – with a hockey stick and theories and computer models.
Copyright © 2016 by Arthur Krugler
All rights reserved.
Published in the United States
Library of Congress Cataloging-in-Publication Data
ISBN-13 978-0692191989 (Krugler Engineering Group, Inc.)
Printed in the United States of America
POLAR BEARS in the HOT TUB
Ref. #1 A world map showing temperature increases in color.
NOAA Data: Air temperature increases from 1960 to 2016.
Red areas, around the North Pole increased 8 to 10 degrees F.
Tan areas increased 1 to 2 degrees.
Blue areas decreased +/-5 degrees.
Dark red dots north of Norway are volcanic islands increased 15 degrees.
These Arctic Circle islands lie in a straight line 2500 miles long,
and like the Hawaiian Islands, are also volcanic.
Why is the North Pole the only area so hot when Greenhouse Gasses are uniform?
Richard Feynman has said:
“It does not matter how beautiful your theory is,
It does not matter how smart you are,
If it does not agree with experiment, it’s wrong”
“The first principle is that you must not fool yourself and you are the easiest person to fool”
Our earth is one big experimental laboratory with lots of data – millions of years old.
Earth’s laboratory data does agree with Greenhouse Gas Theories.
POLAR BEARS in the HOT TUB
FORWARD for CHAPTER ONE – – North Pole; Home of POLAR BEARS
Observe these NOAA pictures of North Pole Ice Areas for four Years. (Ref. #2)
Note: Area of North Pole Ice (white area) has come and gone since 1952!
Polar Bears do not seem to care – population is now “stable” at some 30,000
bears; neither does ice volume seem to care. CO2 had increased steadily after the year 1740
with no consistent reaction from either bears or ice area or ice volume. They often moved
opposite to predictions.
POLAR BEARS in the HOT TUB
This next graph of Volume of Arctic Sea Ice is printed vertically. Note the years are from
2003 to 2018 as stated on the graph.
Ice volume at the North Pole does not respond to CO2 changes: volume comes and goes. CO2
has increased ever faster since1960 but ice volume since 2008 has not decreased. The
Northwest Passage is on hold.
Actually, the ice area and ice volume are reacting to, and are in step with, earthquakes and
magma which are now quiet; See the chart in Chapter One showing the rising CO2
concentration, air temperature rising but only after1980 and no melting of ice until the year
2,000. Neither ice area nor temperature respond directly to CO2 but do respond to quakes and
POLAR BEARS in the HOT TUB
FORWARD for CHAPTER ONE, continued – – SOUTH POLE
West Antarctica <> East Antarctica
The red dots locate volcanoes, both active and inactive. They are part of the Ring of Fire which
surrounds the Pacific Ocean.
At the South Pole, in contrast to the North Pole, ice does not come and go!
Ice volume of the larger area of East Antarctica on the right has increased.
CO2 has increased ever more rapidly since 1960; but the ice has not responded.
Sea Ice Shelves and Glaciers of West Antarctica and the Peninsula have not responded either.
Melting does occur where volcanoes exist beneath two glaciers and where warm water flows beneath
POLAR BEARS in the HOT TUB
FORWARD for CHAPTER TWO – THE CO2 HOCKEY STICK
Yogi Berra would advise, “Observe the graphs; there is so much to see”.
In the upper graph of 1,000 years, REF. #5, the CO2 hockey stick; note:
1 Before 1760, CO2 was DECREASING at 0.01 ppm /per year – YES -DECREASING,
even though population and the use of coal were INCREASING. If unchanged, CO2
concentration today would be 275 ppm.
2 CO2 suddenly started INCREASING after 1760 at 0.1 ppm/year; an abrupt change with a
clear reason for the change; production of coal gas.
3 Another abrupt change occurred after 1870, 110 years later, a three fold increase to 0.28
ppm/year, another change with a clear reason; petroleum.
4 Finally an even greater change occurred after 1960 to 2.6 ppm/year, a TENFOLD jump after
90 years of the constant slope of 0.28 ppm/year; turbine engines replacing piston engines for
jet airplanes burning jet fuel and power plants burning natural gas. The change from the 1800
slope is 28 times.
The history and chemistry of fuels is discussed in chapter 2 explaining why these changes
occurred and when.
POLAR BEARS in the HOT TUB
In the lower graph, Ref. #6, of 400,000 years of ice core data:
1 The graph shows temperature, CO2 and sea levels for four cycles.
2 Each cycle is 100,000 to 130,000 years long.
3 Usually CO2 concentration follows a temperature rise but not always.
4 Sea levels are erratic but do in a general way follow the 100,000 year cycle.
5 Note that increases in temperature, CO2 and sea level are very steep until a peak is reached
in 8,000 years, then the decline to an ice age is quite slow.
CO2 concentration did not change the rate of increase or decline.
6 At each peak and each valley, temperature, CO2 and sea level are at nearly identical values.
Temperature peaks are declining about 1.4 deg F each 100,000 years. Our world is cooling off.
7 Our Earth has been at a warm peak for 8500 years +/- and is in position to start descending
into an ice age except for two reasons;
– natural nuclear reactors in the earth and
– carbon nano-particulates from jet and piston engines.
POLAR BEARS in the HOT TUB
Historical Photograph; Typical of articles on coal plants -Ref. #7
Current Power Plant – Ref. #8
POLAR BEARS in the HOT TUB
FORWARD for CHAPTER THREE – COAL AS A FUEL
Coal has been a target of an extensive campaign to have it banned as a fuel.
Coal does create environmental problems if burned “as mined” because “coal” is not pure
carbon. Sulfur and nitrogen compounds are present in coal and also burn forming oxides
which then react with water to form strong sulfuric and nitric acids. These acid gases dissolve
in lakes and oceans killing plants, fish and aquatic life. A second reaction, sulfuric acid reacts
with salt in ocean water to form bleach which is very effective in killing organisms.
Both acids can be and have been successfully scrubbed from boiler stack gases in the US
solving the acid gas problem. Lakes in the US Northeast have recovered surprisingly quickly.
Stack gas from coal can be clean.
Burning coal does not produce water vapor and thus the stack gas is heavier than air. This gas
tends to settle to ground level for plants and fish to use, rather than rising into the atmosphere
to increase CO2 concentrations.
Replacing power plants that burn coal with plants that burn methane results in increased CO2
concentration in the atmosphere; this is the very result the “ban the coal” campaign is trying to
POLAR BEARS in the HOT TUB
favorite Ref. #9
POLAR BEARS in the HOT TUB
FORWARD for CHAPTER FOUR – LIQUID FUELS
Liquid fuels are largely a transportation fuel because of their high energy density, ease of
transportation, storage and low cost. It is used in piston engines for cars as gasoline, diesel
engines, and turbines engines both for jet aircraft and some turbine driven power plants which
use liquid fuels; most turbines can use either gas or liquid fuel.
Burning liquid hydrocarbon fuels in any engine creates an exhaust gas that is slightly lighter
than air; the exhaust gas rises slowly into the atmosphere increasing CO2 concentrations.
Carbon particles are also formed and are carried with the exhaust gas.
While the increased CO2 concentration from liquid fuels does not appreciably affect
temperature, there are two serious problems.
Combustion is not complete and very small carbon particles are produced. Though extremely
small, 3 to 60 nanometers in diameter, (0.000,003” to 0.000,060 inches), they are so numerous
they affect both temperature and the melting of snow and ice by absorbing sunlight. Note, few
jet planes create as much smoke as shown in the photos but they all create particulates.
While in the air the particles heated by the sun, heat the air around them.
Once settled on ice, the particles absorb sunlight and melt the ice.
Once settled on land, both the land surface and the air are heated.
Researchers are now reporting on the impact of carbon particulates on global warming. They
have a significant impact while CO2 has near zero.
Reducing particulates should be major and immediate undertaking.
One approach is to use fuel made from coal gasification; the FT process.
The second problem is sulfur and nitrogen compounds. Sulfur burns much like carbon but
produces a very strong acidic gas and Sulfuric Acid.
Nitrogen also reacts with oxygen to produce oxides and Nitric Acid
Both are absorbed in water lowering pH and killing aquatic life.
In contrast, CO2 is also absorbed by water but there is an equilibrium; at any temperature and
pressure there is a maximum CO2 concentration.
CO2 is necessary for all life; slightly higher concentrations are useful.
Reducing sulfur to a very low minimum should be a global priority.
Nitrogen should be carefully studied as it is a useful fertilizer and may not kill aquatic life.
POLAR BEARS in the HOT TUB
FORWARD for CHAPTER FIVE – GREENLAND’S BLACK ICE
Photo of miles of Greenland’s “black ice”.
Climate alarmists point to the large amount of ice on Greenland which is melting at increasing rates and
flowing to the oceans. Rising sea levels would cause major problems for coastal seas and low lying
Greenlands black Ice is caused by soot and the soot must arrive airborne; scientists agree.
Do you suppose this airborne soot settles only on Greenland?
Or would airborne soot also settle everywhere on earth? Land and Sea?
Does it affect melting of ice? Yes, black soot absorbs warming sunlight.
Does it affect global air temperature? Yes indeed; it absorbs light energy in the air.
Black soot on Greenlands ice is reported to be “soot, algae, bacteria and other micro life” but a chemical
analysis has not been presented on the web.
This is amazing – vital information is not available.
Black soot likely has only two sources; both from the burning of liquid and gas hydrocarbons. Chapter
5 contains an article on fuel vs particulates.
Requiring these fuels to contain oxygen compounds instead of current diesel and jet fuel would reduce
black ice and reduce melting of Greenlands and other ice.
Yes, soot does affect both melting of ice and air temperature.
POLAR BEARS in the HOT TUB
FORWARD for CHAPTER SIX – THE FUTURE – WITH WISDOM
CAN THE FUTURE OF POLAR BEARS BE PREDICTED?
CAN THE FUTURE OF ICE AND CLIMATE BE PREDICTED?
What about predicting our future ? The future of the planet?
Can we, the people, do anything about that future?
Chapter six is a discussion of the data, and resulting changes.
With understanding comes the ability to predict trends and outcomes.
As Yogi Berra said, “It is difficult to make predictions, especially about the future”. But he
also said, “ You can see a lot by observing”.
There is sufficient data for observations that lead to understanding, and with that the ability to
make predictions, after which, wise decisions can be made.
Action on energy efficiency and green energy can reduce the amount of fossil fuels burned.
This is desirable whenever economical.
There is an economic limit on the percentage of intermittent power if dependable alwaysavailable
power is required in tomorrows world. Providing that reliable power with total solar
would require 4 full size solar plants, three full size battery storage plants and a full size
operating gas plant; seven ‘solar’ plants plus the single gas plant. Very high costs are
Actions being taken to reduce CO2 will have minor effect on temperature or ice melt.
Changing diesel/jet fuels can immediately affect both temperature and melting ice by reducing
particulates. The engines also need study.
Finally, our world is entering an ice age with serious impacts on the future.
This dissertation is data and observation driven; not based on opinions.
Nor is it based on computer programs, forcing functions, radiation, albedo, earth movements or
other cycles; they are misleading.
The attention given historically to ocean-floor heating has been quite minimal, in proportion to the estimated steady, very gentle energy flow from the thin crust, which readily diffuses in the cold, deep layers. But underwater volcanism can provide bursts of super-heated water, which can readily convect to the surface.. “Smokers,” underwater vents which were discovered in 1977, are examples on a small scale. Decades later, geo-thermal effects upon surface climate, even if only episodic, deserve scientific reconsideration. Glad to see Judy raising awareness of this long-neglected factor.
On land geothermal heating is not spatially uniform and nor is it steady state; it is stochastic with a long tail distribution. We can expect similar behaviour under the ocean. Eighty percent of volcanoes occur under the ocean, implying four Krakatoas per century. Imagine the effect of such a major volcanic eruption on deep ocean circulation and on global mean sea level. Helium 3 only comes from the mantle and so is highly correlated with geothermal heat flux. http://whp-atlas.ucsd.edu/pacific/p06/sections/bottle/2500/P06_DELHE3_all_1000.jpg shows 3He plumes emanating from mid-ocean ridges. Based on observed 3He distribution my ball park estimate gives 1 deg C for geothermal heating of the deep ocean corresponding to about half a metre in global mean sea level. See http://fluidcatastrophe.net/
I heard Thomas Stocker himself say at a climate conference that we do not have the technology to measure the temperature of the deep oceans (meaning below around 2000 metres) .
So are we saying that not only has undersea volcanic activity increased recently, over what it has been before, but it has generated additional warming which was sufficient to find its way towards the surface and affect the readings of say the argo buoys, or indeed the surface water layers and indirectly the atmosphere?
“So are we saying that not only has undersea volcanic activity increased recently, over what it has been before,”
Upon what reliable data are you/we basing this conclusion? Do you have mapping of the ocean’s current /prior undersea volcanic activity? I am not aware that this data exists and without it you do not know about any trend.
climatereason: I am saying that a major, random, external forcing of deep ocean circulation is omitted from all climate models. This forcing is sufficient to account for the observed “red noise” character of global average temperature as described in http://www.lavoisier.com.au/articles/climate-policy/science-and-policy/john-reid-2017-1.php
PaulS | July 25, 2019 at 6:53 am |
Imo you should then mention the 199,52 W/m^2 energy loss at the surface.
Solar heats only a rather shallow surface layer. Energy in equals closely energy out:
day vs night
spring-summer vs autumn-winter etc.
Surface heating is like a zerosum game playing in the upper ~500m where solar heating is noticeable.
Geothermal only heats water in contact with the ocean floor, that has to be transported mostly to Antarctica before the energy can be released at the surface to atmosphere/space.
Cooling here is provided by mostly AABW that sinks to the ocean floor in all major basins. Also a zerosum game, with the last 90 my a slight imbalance towards cooling (1K/~5 my)
Ben Wouters, I agree. Energy balance at the outer system boundary (top of the atmosphere) is roughly a zero sum game. Yes, geothermal flux is trivial compared to solar heating, but that’s the wrong comparison. It should be compared to the net flux at the outer boundary to space, which again is very comparable. The space around the Earth (including the Sun) warms and cools, so that the energy balance is roughly zero. Geothermal flux needs to be radiated to space at the TOA or the energy accumulates.
edimbukvarevic | July 25, 2019 at 5:19 pm
I propose to see the deep oceans as thermally insulated from the surface by the solar heated surface layer. Water heated at the ocean floor can’t reach the surface by convection or conduction. Only area where this can happen is at high latitudes where the surface temperature is roughly equal to the deep ocean temperature.
Unless we have a magma eruption near the surface, all geothermally heated water has to be physically transported to mostly Antartica, where it can release its energy to the atmosphere.
The geothermal heating vs cooling at high latitude are another zero sum game, deciding the heat content (temperature of the deep oceans.
A route via Antarctica is unnecessary. Black “smokers” quite steadily spew plumes of super-heated (>100C) water, which convects strongly via buoyancy forces. Major underwater eruptions undoubtedly produce plumes that reach the surface directly.
john321s | July 25, 2019 at 6:14 pm
Sorry, I meant to write geothermal FLUX. But afaik is the hot water coming from these smokers rapidly mixed with surrounding water.
Magma erupting close to the surface may “penetrate” the surface layer and have an effect on the surface.
I have been following this spot for some time now:
Could be a new volcano forming an island near Svalbard, and may be responsible for the melting ice near Longyearbyen.
The 100 mW/m^2 geothermal flux takes ~5000 year to warm all ocean water 1K.
Likewise it takes 1 million km^3 magma to warm all ocean water 1K.
eg the magma erupting along the spreading ridges amount to 5-10 km^3 annually. So this takes 100.000 year to warm the oceans 1K.
The effect of other sources are pretty much unknown afaik.
I see the 100 mW/m^2 as the major heating source for the deep oceans.
Those respondents that have requested a “mechanism” for this variable thermal content that is delivered into the ocean from a geological source will find their answers at; https://www.electroplatetectonics.com/
I began working on this problem back in 2013 and did not discover James Kamis’ Plate Climatology Theory (plateclimatology.com) until several months ago. We have both been traveling down similar paths and I truly appreciate his contribution to this rather unexplored and exciting area of study.
I myself have been able to not only outline the actual mechanism but have been able to broadly apply it across many fields to produce incredibly accurate predictions of observations of climate forcing and plate tectonic dynamics. These predictions are not just general similarities but involve specific phenomena at specific times and places. This model modifies Plate Tectonics from a kinematic model to a dynamic model while explaining our planet’s variable climate history. Thank you Judith for your efforts here and elsewhere.
Marc Linquist – https://www.electroplatetectonics.com/
From BadAssScience: “Scientists blather on & on without actually putting anything together to help the world’s people build a better world.”
My Q: Like your never-ending diatribe here – why is that?
John … First, scientists are human. Second, “Scientists blather on & on without actually putting anything together to help the world’s people build a better world.” I’ll let you take that one back, as you know it’s absurd. Third, this is one of the few sites where a layman, like myself (maybe you?), can get information about climate change science that challenges the accepted alarmist narrative, and has a quite open, honest forum. Fourth, I suggest you sit back and take it all in, as you’ll here some interesting thoughts on both sides. Diatribe? No, more like classic dialectic.
Judith, judging by the responses you’ve really hit a nerve daring to suggest we pay closer attention to the seafloor and its contribution to earth’s climate. The current GCM’s are so incredibly crude and like clockwork we learn this lesson every year as new effects and errors in computation are regular “emergent” phenomena in model development. A good thing really but testifies to the crudeness of GCMs. First we failed on clouds. Then the contribution of CO2 release from oceanic volcanic sources and now abysmal heat flux from the hidden seafloor, 2/3’s of the planetary crustal area. What next? We have much to learn grasshoppers.
Climate modelling would have been a fascinating subject had it not gone full 100% SJW.
What a shame.
“The bases for judging (models) are a priori formulation, representing the relevant natural processes and choosing the discrete algorithms, and a posteriori solution behavior.” https://www.pnas.org/content/104/21/8709
Models are not much good at including all natural processes. And picking a solution trajectory from 1000’s of sensitive dependent on initial conditions – chaotically divergent -solutions is misguided at best.
But does this change the fundamental climate equation?
d(heat & work)/dt = energy in + geothermal heat + heat of combustion + nuclear heat – energy out
We are changing atmospheric composition in a complex dynamical system with all that implies for step changes in temperature, hydrology and biology.
Hello every one,
First off; James Edward Kamis is correct about this and both him and I have been walking down similar paths on this problem. I did not become aware of his Plate Climatology Theory (plateclimatology.com) until last year. I began working on this exciting idea in fall 2012 while I believe John began much further back in 2007 if I’m not mistaken.
What I have developed is a dynamical model of the Earth’s mode of operation that is based on the most recent research published in the last decade or so. https://www.electroplatetectonics.com/
This model is supported by actual predictions of observations. The model will show with remarkable rigor the step by step cause and effect of this forcing that begins from the mutual inductive coupling of the solar and planetary electromagnetics to the resultant thermal expansion derived oscillating displacement of the mantle and its strain energy derived thermal content at the crust/mantle boundary.
This research paper below is key to where this climate forcing is coming from;
Mantle thermal pulses below the Mid-Atlantic Ridge and temporal variations in the formation of oceanic lithosphere
Enrico Bonatti*†‡, Marco Ligi*, Daniele Brunelli*†, Anna Cipriani‡, Paola Fabretti*, Valentina Ferrante*†, Luca Gasperini* & Luisa Ottolini§
Quote: “A 20-Myr record of creation of oceanic lithosphere at a segment of the central Mid-Atlantic-Ridge is exposed along an uplifted sliver of lithosphere. The degree of melting of the mantle that is upwelling below the ridge, estimated from the chemistry of the exposed mantle rocks, as well as crustal thickness inferred from gravity measurements, show oscillations of ,3–4 Myr superimposed on a longer-term steady increase with time. The time lag between oscillations of mantle melting and crustal thickness indicates that the solid mantle is upwelling at an average rate of ,25mmyr, but this appears to vary through time.”
The key to this is the Earth’s mantle and its dominance over the crust, ocean and Biosphere. With the mantle’s mass at 67% of the Earth’s total; The ocean is a mere 0.022 percent of the total mass of Earth while the atmosphere weighs a little over a millionth or 1/1,200,000 of one Earth mass.
When the mantle is displaced outward, its thickness of 2,900 kilometers, causes its outer surface area to be subjected to immense strain energy forces at scales that result not as an outward movement at the crust/mantle boundary, but as a forced lateral expansion of the mantle’s highly viscus surface area, think inverse square law, causing tearing and decompression melting of the surrounding boundary area materials.
This reflex energy release will be shown to have occurred during periods of climate warming that correspond with crustal extension episodes like the Basin and Range Province and other similar and concurrent extension events from around the world, while the periodic cooling will be shown to have occurred when the mantle was subsiding and the divergent boundary infill was compressing the crust as the strain energy at the crust/mantle boundary was in decline.
The observed historic periods when CO2 increased post deep ocean warming is rigorously supported by this model. Even the cause of the Paleocene–Eocene Thermal Maximum PETM can be solved!
The model predicts the simultaneous mountain building that occurred during Plio-Pleistocene, where the vertical rise of the Himalayas, Andes and many other ranges were largely completed in the last several million years when the planet cooled and the mantle incrementally subsided. And remarkably, the irregular size of the Mid-Atlantic ridge will be shown to coincide with these others and all of them together mechanistically linked to our most recent Ice Age period.
These predictions are be supported by multiple sources that range from solar magnetic 14C proxies, Japanese earthquake records, ice core samples, to the most recent research papers that show this model predicted these observations in advance of their discovery.
Thank you Judith, for all your hard work here and elsewhere.
Marc linquist – https://www.electroplatetectonics.com/
There are close to a billion cubic km of water in the sea.
Thus in terms of global climate i doubt that geothermal heat is significant until something like a flood basalt happens on the sea floor – if this is geologically possible?
But I may be wrong of course.
Phil, please take a look at this video by James Edward Kamis; view the video here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=GX1e_uU5u3A
And his website here that also has the video presentation: http://www.plateclimatology.com/
It is all about scale and the mantle has that over the ocean by a massive amount. “With the mantle’s mass at 67% of the Earth’s total; The ocean is a mere 0.022 percent of the total mass of Earth while the atmosphere weighs a little over a millionth or 1/1,200,000 of one Earth mass.”
Here’s one comparison to consider; industrial cooling ponds are designed to maximize the surface area exposure to the atmosphere, right?
“Oceanic dimensions range from around 1500 km (932 miles) for the minimum width of the Atlantic to more than 13,000 km (8,077) for the north-south extent of the Atlantic and the width of the Paciﬁc. Typical depths are only 3–4 km. So horizontal dimensions of ocean basins are 1,000 times greater than the vertical dimension. A scale model of the Paciﬁc, the size of an 8.5 x ×11 inch sheet of paper, would have dimensions similar to the paper: a width of 10,000 km scales to 10 in, and a depth of 3 km scales to 0.003 in, the typical thickness of a piece of paper.”
And one more;
ftp://ftp.nodc.noaa.gov/pub/data.nodc/woa/PUBLICATIONS/grlheat05.pdf Warming of the world ocean, 1955–2003
S. Levitus, J. Antonov, and T. Boyer
National Oceanographic Data Center, NOAA, Silver Spring, Maryland, USA
Received 22 September 2004; revised 24 November 2004; accepted 8 December 2004; published 22 January 2005.
“Thus, a mean temperature change of 0.1 C. of the world ocean would correspond roughly to a mean temperature change of 100 C. of the global atmosphere if all the heat associated with this ocean anomaly was instantaneously transferred from the ocean to the atmosphere. This of course will not happen but this computation illustrates the enormous heat capacity of the ocean versus the atmosphere.”
The crust/upper mantle boundary alone has the heat capacity to phase change both the ocean and atmosphere.
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I’ll try another way. The attached table summarises the results from assessing the total heat released by the currently estimated population of submarine volcanoes. 0.7W/m^2 of geothermal heat from magma pa (320TW), increasing by over 100% at interglacials, added to the 0.09W/m^2 of internal heat from continuous conduction (50TW).The paper describing the process was already referred to above.
The physical volume of magma entering the oceans, at over 1,000Km^3 pa, is also significant in term of millimetres of sea level rise, but I assume volcanoes are becoming extinct and/or disappearing under continents as they are being formed on the other areas of the initially flat abyssal plains – a maximum during interglacials? It’s a mystery. There is an error in the table, the attribution regarding the specific mass per volcano pa that delivers the total magma entering the oceans today should be to Scott White, not Kutterolf, Kutterolf proved the MIlankovitch cycle related effects on volcanic activity. The mechanism appears to be variability in gravitational solid tides, BTW.
The atmosphere, and CO2, is innocent of changing things. Rather it stabilises STTs in response to varying solar and geothermal energy.
When you wrote of ‘The Childrens crusade’ I thought you meant the two that took place in 1212Ad but you obviously didn’t
“The second movement was led by a twelve-year-old French shepherd boy named Stephen of Cloyes, who said in June that he bore a letter for the king of France from Jesus. Large gangs of youth around his age were drawn to him, most of whom claimed to possess special gifts of God and thought themselves miracle workers.
Attracting a following of over 30,000 adults and children, he went to Saint-Denis, where he was reported to cause miracles. On the orders of Philip II, advised by the University of Paris, the people were implored to return home. Philip himself did not appear impressed, especially since his unexpected visitors were led by a mere child, and refused to take them seriously. ……..Although the Church was sceptical, many adults were impressed by his teaching”
seems like Children have been crusading for years and a few gullible adults were taken in. The children’s crusades eventually ended in failure.
Judith: This post appeared when I was away on vacation and unable to comment. I found this passage from the AGU call for abstracts extraordinary and more important than the discussion of geothermal heat.
““The Miocene (23 to 5.3 mya) is a crucial, dynamical interval in Earth’s history that provides unparalleled insights into the functioning of greenhouse climates. At times during the Miocene, Antarctic ice volume was half modern, the Arctic Ocean was ice-free in winter, and extratropical temperatures nearly as warm as in the Eocene. This is an enigma, because the continental configurations and ocean circulation were much closer to modern than in the Paleogene, and atmospheric pCO2 was in the 300-600 ppm range. Taken at face value, this implies either a system highly sensitive to greenhouse gas forcing or the presence of still unexplained forcings and feedbacks.”
An ice-free Arctic Ocean in winter obviously demands much more meridional transport of heat into the Arctic than at present. If that increased heat transport took place in the atmosphere and were driven by CO2, one would expect a similar increase towards both poles. So the increased transport of heat into the Arctic almost certainly involved ocean currents. Sea level would have been about 50 m higher. My first thought (probably wrong) is that there must have been a flow through the Arctic from Atlantic to Pacific made possible because North and South America had not yet connected.
At a widely publicized 2009 AGU talk, Richard Alley tried to demonstrate that there was substantial evidence that changes in CO2 were responsible for all major changes in climate from the faint sun paradox to recent ice ages. He even claims that the mid-Miocene climate optimum could have been driven by a rise in CO2. However, I can see no way to justify the cooling since the Miocene (to current interglacial conditions) as being driven by falling CO2 – particularly cooling in the Arctic. We can’t have near Eocene-conditions at one pole and an ice cap at the other pole during the Miocene and assert that CO2 is the only control knob. The mysteries of Miocene climate make estimating climate sensitivity based on Eocene warmth and CO2 a dubious proposition.
franktoo | August 9, 2019 at 3:26 pm
Would you explain why?
Except for the upper 10-20 m the entire continental crust is hot due to geothermal heat, although the flux is only ~0,065 W/m^2 (average).
Same for the oceans< except for the upper ~500 m they are hot due to geothermal heat. (flux ~0,1 W/m^2)
Deep oceans are on average cooling since ~85 mya at 1K every ~5 million years.
According GeocarbIII CO2 is decreasing for the last ~150 my from ~2300 ppm to our current levels. Deep oceans were warming up to 85 mya in a period when some 130 million km^3 magma erupted into the oceans.
( Ontong-Java event and others).
Ben Wouters asked: Would you explain why [the information in the AGU call for abstracts is important]?
The consensus asserts that paleoclimatology supports the idea that climate sensitivity must be high – an ECS of 3 and possibly significantly higher. I’d previously never serious studied those claims – assuming, perhaps wrongly, that estimates of temperatures and CO2 from millions of years ago would be too uncertain to be valuable. The general idea is, of course, that when CO2 was high, the planet had no ice caps, cold-blooded reptiles lived in the Arctic, etc. (Eocene and Cretaceous) The AGU abstract makes it clear that the Miocene doesn’t fit the simple pattern expected for CO2 acting as a “control knob”. The Miocene appears to have a “hot house” in the Arctic, an “ice house” in the Antarctic and CO2 similar to today. This hemispheric asymmetry likely arises from ocean currents transporting far more heat into the Arctic than they do today. If changes in ocean currents are responsible for dramatic differences during the Miocene – when the continents were relatively near their current positions, is it sensible to draw any conclusions from the Eocene and the Cretaceous – when the continents were much further away from their current positions.
Ben writes: “Except for the upper 10-20 m the entire continental crust is hot due to geothermal heat, although the flux is only ~0,065 W/m^2 (average). Same for the oceans, except for the upper ~500 m they are hot due to geothermal heat. (flux ~0,1 W/m^2).”
I disagree. The continental crust has a (linear?) temperature gradient warming from the surface to the mantle. To a first approximation, that temperature gradient is about what one would expect given the distance from the mantle to the surface and the thermal conductivity of the crust.
I’ve always assumed that the temperature of the deep ocean is controlled by the temperature of the water that subsided in the Arctic and Antarctic about 500 to 750 years ago, about half the length of time for one circuit of the meridional overturning current. There certainly are layers in the deep ocean labels Arctic and Antarctic deep water based on their temperature and salinity.
How much can a geothermal heat flux of 0.065 W/m2 warm that water during that trip? A 1 W/m2 imbalance warming the top of the ocean is capable of warming the top 50 m mixed layer of the ocean covering 70% of the surface at an initial rate of 0.2 K/yr. A 0.065 W/m2 thermal flux could warm the bottom 50 m of the ocean at a rate of 0.009 K/yr. Unfortunately, warming from above makes the ocean stably stratified with respect to buoyancy-mediated convection (except deep water subsides near the poles due to temperature and salinity). Heating from below, however, promotes convection. So geothermal heat will not stay trapped in the bottom 50 m of the ocean for centuries. As best I can tell, the objective of the post was to speculate about the instability in ocean turnover (and eventually climate) that might be caused by global or local changes in geothermal heat flux. Such speculation is beyond my competence.
Ben writes: “Deep oceans are on average cooling since ~85 mya at 1K every ~5 million years. According GeocarbIII CO2 is decreasing for the last ~150 my from ~2300 ppm to our current levels. Deep oceans were warming up to 85 mya in a period when some 130 million km^3 magma erupted into the oceans.
These average rates of change have not be constant. CO2 didn’t gradually decline; there was a peak in the Eocene and plenty of pauses on the way down. GeocarbIII is a model; proxy data shows a more complex and uncertain pattern of change.
franktoo | August 12, 2019 at 2:05 am
Another example where geothermal heat can be the explanation. Deep oceans were cooling and since Antarctica is in direct contact with the worlds oceans it cooled as well, with the ice-sheet forming and growing.
The Arctic ocean/Nordic seas are at least partly isolated from the open oceans by the Greenland-Scotland Ridge. Being less deep than the open oceans the geothermal flux has a larger influence. Also much seismic activity took place, so the relatively warm water could very well be due to geothermal heat. (mantle plume?)
Yes, so the heat is coming from inside the Earth, the sun only warms the upper 10-20m.
This profile is for permafrost , but this general profile is found for higher surface temperatures as well.
Due the daily/seasonally warming/cooling at the surface solar heating has no influence anymore below ~500m. This solar heated surface layer creates an impenetrable barrier for bottom heated water. So all geothermally heated water has to be transported to mostly around Antarctica where the surface water is cold enough for this water to surface and exchange its energy with the atmosphere/space.
To me it is obvious that the heat content of the deep oceans is from geothermal origin. This makes it possible for the ~50% of solar energy that actually heats the surface to increase the surface temperature of the oceans to our observed values.
No greenhouse effect needed. Atmosphere merely reduces the energy loss of the surface to space some.
Ben wrote: “Yes, so the heat is coming from inside the Earth, the sun only warms the upper 10-20 m.”
If you are talking about the upper 10-20 m of LAND, your statement is partially correct. However, whenever something receives energy from more than one source, it is awkward to say which source is “warms” that object. The object’s temperature is the net result of all fluxes energy fluxes. If the objects temperature isn’t changing, then the net flux in and out of the object is zero. Average land surface receives 333 W/m2 of DLR and 160 W/m2 of SWR, but less than 0.1 W/m2 from below. It loses an average of 390 W/m2 as thermal IR, 80 W/m2 as latent heat and 23 W/m2 as sensible heat. These average values are the result of averaging a great deal of seasonal and geographic variation, but stable surface temperature is the result of balancing all of these fluxes and changing temperature is the result of their imbalance. Saying that anyone of these fluxes warms or cools the surface is an oversimplification.
Ben also wrote: “To me it is obvious that the heat content of the deep oceans is from geothermal origin. This makes it possible for the ~50% of solar energy that actually heats the surface to increase the surface temperature of the oceans to our observed values.”
The water in the deep ocean is brought to the surface or mixed layer (the top of the ocean stirred by surface winds) about once a millennia. The cold water in the bottom of the ocean is heated by geothermal heat, but the temperature change is negligible from heating a large volume of deep water with a flux of 0.1 W/m2 for only a millennium. The vast majority of the ocean is not getting much heat from the above. However, the small fraction of the ocean that is being stirred by the wind and warms and cools with the seasons has vastly bigger heat fluxes with the atmosphere and sun than the rest of the ocean gets from geothermal heat. If you read in Wikipedia about Antarctic Bottom Water (−0.8 to 2 °C (35 °F), salinities from 34.6 to 34.7 psu, depth range below 4000 m) and North Atlantic Deep Water (NADW has a temperature of 2-4 °C with a salinity of 34.9-35.0 psu found at a depth between 1500 and 4000 m), perhaps you may be convinced that the temperature of these masses of deep ocean were determined long ago when they subsided.
franktoo | August 16, 2019 at 6:26 am |
Solar penetration of soil, rock etc is measured in (parts of) millimeters.
However big the fluxes that warm the surface from above, for the heating of the continental crust only the TEMPERATURE of that upper mm or so is relevant, and conduction transfers energy.
The crust is heated from inside the Earth by magma (eg 1500 K),
and from above by that upper mm with a temperature of eg 290 K.
Heat flow is from inside the Earth to the surface. At the surface on average 65 mW/m^2 of interior heat is lost to the atmosphere/space.
Due to seasonal changes of the surface temperature the Geothermal Gradient centers on the average surface temp. Upper 10-20 m change seasonally as in the diagram I posted above.
I don’t see any conduction of surface heat below the 10-20 m.
Bottom water may seem cold, but actually it is some 20K warmer than the 255K Te the Earth is supposed to be at without atmosphere (our moon has a Te of ~270K, actual avg temp. ~197K!)
100 mW/m^2 is capable of warming the average ocean column (~3700m) 1K every ~5000 year.
AABW and NADW became cold after losing energy to the atmosphere.
Especially AABW sinks all the way to the ocean floor, picks up geothermal heat, transfers back to Antarctica and loses this energy again when surfacing.
The heat content (~temperature) of the deep oceans is imo the result of the balance between geothermal heating and surface cooling at (very) high latitudes.
Last ~85 my the deep oceans cooled some 15-20K. so this balance has been slightly negative, resulting eventually in our current ice age, which seems to be deepening with each glacial.
Ben: Our conversation doesn’t seem to be succeeding. I’ll make one last effort to write more clearly.
1) We need to distinguish between two meanings for heat flux and “warmed by”. There is thermodynamic heat flux, the net flux of energy from hot to cold. However, the TEMPERATURE of a location is determined by all of the energy fluxes to and from that location, not just heat flow from hot to cold. Insulation makes things warmer by slowing down heat loss. Rising CO2 is making surface temperature warmer because it is slowing down radiative cooling from the cold upper atmosphere to space.
2) Let’s apply these idea to the temperature of the crust 1 km below the surface. Your figure correctly shows that seasonal changes in temperature are detectable only 10 or 20 m below the surface. This is because seasonal changes last only six months. A change that lasts a century or a millennium will be detectable much deeper. The whole concept of reconstructing a history surface temperature with boreholes is based on the idea that old surface temperature changes have “penetrated” further into the ground – even though thermodynamic heat flux is upward. The temperature 1 km below the Sahara is warmer than 1 km below the Arctic because the former has been warmer for millions of years.
3) When discussing the deep ocean, you mentioned Te and 255 K. I start with the principle that a STATIC cold deep ocean between a warmer surface and an even warmer deep crust is thermodynamically impossible. Heat will flow into the colder deep ocean. A colder deep ocean must COME FROM somewhere. Today the cold deep ocean comes from subsidence in polar oceans. When polar regions were much warmer tens and hundreds of millions of years ago, it was impossible to have a deep ocean as cold as today. Te and 255 K are only relevant to the deep ocean to the extent that they are relevant to surface temperature.
So the temperature of the deep ocean starts with the temperature of water that subsides into it. The fact that it remains cold means that it isn’t warmed much from above or below while it remains near the bottom. Eventually deep water upwells in tropical and temperate regions, and its temperature can vary dramatically because of the large energy fluxes (hundreds of W/m2) at the surface. Eventually surface water is transported to polar regions where it subsides with a temperature and salinity characteristic of the location where it subsided. That water remains in the deep ocean for about a millennium. My calculation showed that a geothermal heat flux of 0.065 W/m2 won’t change the temperature of the deep ocean appreciably in a millennium. Therefore, I concluded that the temperature of the deep ocean is determined by the temperature of polar subsidence regions.
franktoo | August 17, 2019 at 8:38 am |
Let’s assume a stable Geothermal Gradient (GG) regime, mantle temp eg. 1500K, surface temp. steady at eg 300K, GG 25K/km. and the Geothermal Flux (GF) 65 mW/m^2.
The surface (upper mm or so) is warmed from above, and loses that energy plus the 65mW/m^2 GF maintaining the 300K temp.
For some reason the surface temp permanently increases 1K.
Even when assuming a constant temp. of 301K conducting down, the temperature at 40m was already 301K, so this is where the downward conduction stops. GF now can’t reach the surface and the crust begins to warm from below untill the gradient is stable again, now from 1500K to 301K and ~65 mW/m^2 is lost again at the surface. This is a slow process given the thickness of the crust and the small flux, so larger surface temp changes may temporarily penetrate deeper into the crust until the situation is stable again.
So yes, the crust below the Sahara is warmer than the crust below the Arctic, but not because the warmer surface temp. penetrated to 1km. down.
In both cases (assuming a stable regime) the entire crust is heated from below, except for the upper few meters where seasonal influences are felt.
Ben wrote: “So yes, the crust below the Sahara is warmer than the crust below the Arctic, but not because the warmer surface temp. penetrated to 1km. down. In both cases (assuming a stable regime) the entire crust is heated from below, except for the upper few meters where seasonal influences are felt.
You completely ignored paragraph 1). Local temperature everywhere is not determined SOLELY by the thermodynamic heat flux from hot to cold. Local temperature is the net result of all energy fluxes. Slowing down loss of heat (insulation) raises temperature. If we moved the Earth from its current location to the orbit of Jupiter, radioactive decay will still produce just as much geothermal heat inside the Earth, but the temperature 1 km below the surface will drop. Heat flow through the crust will actually increase because the surface will be colder and the temperature gradient driving conduction will be somewhat stronger. Nevertheless, the temperature will still drop despite the increase in heat flux from hot to cold. It may be misleading to say that a reduced flux of heat from the colder surface is “penetrating” 1 km below the surface, but the temperature 1 km below the surface will change because the surface temperature has changed. Your explanations for the temperature of the deep ocean and crust appear flawed because they only consider the energy flux from hot to cold, not the sum of all of the energy fluxes.
At one of the more militant skeptical websites that believes that radiation only travels from hot to cold, I saw a cartoon with an ice cube next to a cup of hot coffee and a caption that read: “Does radiation flowing from the ice cube make this cup of coffee warmer?” Ha. Ha. I suggested they surround the cup of coffee with an igloo of ice. The host thought that was funny. Then I said let’s put the igloo and the cup of coffee in interstellar space. Does it make the cup of coffee warmer now? The host struggled with my comments for a while and eventually deleted them all! Temperature is controlled by the sum of all energy fluxes, not just the flux in the direction expected from the 2LoT. I presume that you understand that radiative energy travels in both directions, and the net flux is from hot to cold. Conduction APPEARS to be a one-way flux of energy, but at the molecular scale you know this isn’t correct. The rate of heat conduction depends on the temperature at the cold end of the flux, not just the hot end. Heat isn’t being pushed from hot to cold; molecular collisions occur in both directions and those from the hotter direction are slightly more energetic. Evaporation also appears to transfer heat in one direction, from the ocean to the atmosphere. At a molecular level, of course, the transfer occurs in both directions. When the air is saturated, the downward and upward fluxes are equal and no latent heat is transferred – no matter how warm the ocean might be! In the real world, the rate of evaporation is controlled by the unsaturation of the atmosphere and wind speed, not the surface temperature of the ocean.
In thermodynamics, HEAT flows only from hot to cold. However, “heat” is the net flux of ENERGY fluxes traveling in both directions (really all directions). If one pays attention only to ENERGY fluxes from hot to cold, one can up with the wrong picture about what phenomena control temperature. Temperature is proportional to internal energy and internal depends on energy fluxes in all directions.
franktoo | August 18, 2019 at 6:55 pm |
Switch of the sun and the surface temp will drop to 40K or so, the temperature required to radiate the GF to space. GG will then be from 1500K to 40K. Unless the surface temp rises above the mantle temp the flux will be from inside to the surface. In a stable regime it doesn’t matter what heats the surface, only the surface temp is relevant for the GG and the GF, given our assumed crust thickness and mantle temp.
For the crust that’s all that matters. It is a classic conduction situation.
For the oceans I see only two options:
– the bulk of the OHC is from geothermal origin, the sun only warms a “shallow” mixed surface layer, which warms the atmosphere from below
(plus direct solar heating in eg the stratosphere etc.)
– the GHE warms the surface above the assumed 255K and no influence of geothermal is taken into account.
This implies that the atmosphere heats the oceans, since their temperature is ~270K or higher.
Wonder if any climate “scientist” warms his swimming pool with cold air ;-)
Ben wrote: “For the crust that’s all that matters. It is a classic conduction situation.”
Good. We disagree about a classic conduction problem and should be able to resolve it. Fourier’s law for one-dimensional conduction from Wikipedia on thermal conductivity:
q = k*(T2-T1)/L
where q is heat flux per unit area, k is thermal conductivity and L is distance. T2 would be mantle temperature Tm and T1 would be surface temperature, Ts. If you lower surface temperature to Ts’, the amount of geothermal heat escaping through the surface will increase.
Now let’s consider the temperature 1 km below the surface, Tb. If Tb doesn’t change when surface temperature changes, heat flux from the mantle to 1 km below the surface will remain the same:
q = k*(Tm-Tb)/L
while heat flux from 1 km below the surface to the surface will increase
q = k*(Tb-Ts’)/L versus q = k*(Tb-Ts)/L
So a location 1 km below the surface will continue to receive the same amount of geothermal heat from below, but will lose more to the surface. The law of conservation of energy requires the temperature 1 km below the surface to fall when surface temperature falls.
As I’ve repeatedly written, one needs to consider all of the energy fluxes to understand how temperature responds to a change. The same is true in the deep ocean,
franktoo | August 20, 2019 at 6:51 pm |
Yes, and now the next (milli)-meter cools a bit, then the next etc. etc until a new, slightly steeper GG is established and a stable, slightly higher flux is conducting from the hot mantle to the colder surface. (always assuming the mantle temperature is constant for this discussion)
The surface temp works as a kind of valve, regulating the flow of energy from the mantle, through the crust to the surface and evt. to space.
In no way energy from the surface can reach deep into the crust to create a higher temperature then the surface temp itself is.
Seems you have lost sight of what you disagree with:
I don’t see how anyone can argue that temperatures like in this image are NOT caused by heating from the mantle:
Referring to the temperature vs depth profiles Ben posted, he said:
“I don’t see how anyone can argue that temperatures like in this image are NOT caused by heating from the mantle.”
I showed the correct physics because the change in temperature with depth on mantle temperature, surface temperature, and thermal conductivity – not just the thermodynamic heat flux from hot to cold. Every one of the temperature vs depth curves in your Figure is the result of the equations I showed, not merely thermodynamic heat flux from hot to cold. Applying the correct physics – rather than just one’s intuition – is essential to getting the correct answer. For example:
1) If you don’t understand why crust temperature below the surface depends on surface temperature, you will discard all studies that reconstruct surface temperature from borehole records of changes in temperature with depth.
2) If you focus only on the direction of thermodynamic heat flux, you come to the incorrect conclusion that the current and past temperature at the bottom of the ocean is the result of current and past geothermal heat flux. The temperature of the deep ocean is determined by the temperature of the water subsiding in polar regions.
3) If you focus only on the direction of thermodynamic heat flux, more CO2 in the atmosphere can’t make the surface warmer. You can You hang out at https://principia-scientific.org and believe the denizens there have slain the “sky dragon”.
4) If you focus only on the direction of thermodynamic heat flux, increased DLR from rising GHG’s can raise only the temperature of the top 10 um of the ocean where DLR is absorbed.
The temperature of all objects changes in response to a change in any energy flux entering or leaving that object – not just the flux in the direction of thermodynamic heat flow.
“Marc, could you please give me a very short description, in plain words, how your model works and what drives the changes. I am fully aware of the role of the Sun and its variable magnetic field.”
Boris, thank you for taking the time to discuss this with me, I will try my best to keep this as short as possible, but it will be difficult. This whole idea is based on the mantle being an incompressible solid-state material. The mechanism at play is simply a thermal expansion cycle of the Earth’s field generating core/outer core.
I had expected that if the Sun’s solar magnetic generator fluctuates over million year time periods, the Earth’s field generating components would respond in a manner as Bond and others had noted. For example, as the Earth’s field generator’s output increased or decreased from its mutual inductive coupling to the Sun, the Earth’s field generator’s iron alloy components would respond to the energy increase with molecular level thermal expansion.
So, during periods of increased solar magnetic activity this energy increase would cause the mantle’s outward movement, against the force of gravity, and produce a strain energy response as the mantle’s viscosity resists the expansion, creating thermal heating of the mantle material as the strain tension is released.
The strain energy response and thermal release increases proportionally to the distance from the mantle-core boundary, culminating at the crust-mantle boundary with maximum surface area expansion and strain energy thermal heating. The mantle’s outer boundary surface area is stretched out and torn producing decompression melting of the surrounding surface area materials.
This exact mantle displacement and melting process is seen in the geologic record. http://www.researchgate.net/publication/10736864_Bonatti_E._et_al._Mantle_thermal_pulses_below_the_Mid-Atlantic_Ridge_and_temporal_variations_in_the_formation_of_oceanic_lithosphere._Nature_423_499-505
“Mantle thermal pulses below the Mid-Atlantic Ridge and temporal variations in the formation of oceanic lithosphere”
“A 20-Myr record of creation of oceanic lithosphere at a segment of the central Mid-Atlantic-Ridge is exposed along an uplifted sliver of lithosphere. The degree of melting of the mantle that is upwelling below the ridge, estimated from the chemistry of the exposed mantle rocks, as well as crustal thickness inferred from gravity measurements, show oscillations of ,3–4 Myr superimposed on a longer-term steady increase with time. The time lag between oscillations of mantle melting and crustal thickness indicates that the solid mantle is upwelling at an average rate of ,25mmyr, but this appears to vary through time.”
To test this idea I located the list of known Japanese earthquakes. They were compiled through historic documents located throughout Japan and are of multiple eye witness accounts over hundreds of years. I overlaid these onto a USGS solar magnetic proxy graph and they correlated as I suspected they would. We already know the commonly observed boundaries of the Medieval Warm and Little Ice Age periods will align perfectly to the solar magnetic record.
So it appears we can see a connection between crustal movements and the solar magnetic energy flux at time scales that support a very short time frame signal. One so short that the strain energy displacement seems to be the best candidate due to both the earthquake and climate markers that appears to be in sync with the solar magnetic record.
So that is the shortest explanation I can give you. The Medieval Warm Period occurred due to a strain energy derived warming that correlates to a high solar magnetic energy period. As the solar magnetic energy fell the mantle cooled enough to allow the dominant glacial climate to once again take command. Inter-glacial periods are so consistent in their occurrence that a solar magnetic forcing of volcanic activity seems to be a reasonably accurate explanation. With these brief spikes in temps like MWP and what is taking place now, as shown in James Kamis’ video, is the observable evidence of the smaller energy releases as the mantle processes these periodic releases of strain.
We can now imagine a very simple process whereby the fluctuating increase in magnetic field strength would produce a gradual thermal expansion of the field generator’s liquid iron and inner core. The mantle is then displaced in turn and the crust is then slowly displaced outward by the displacing mantle, thus causing the world’s divergent boundaries to be opened to receive fresh magma in a manner that is identical to what is currently happening at this moment at all divergent boundaries around the world. This is when the climate warms in an inter-glacial. The mantle is periodically straining under displacement loading, there is thermal energy being released at the crust/mantle boundary as the crust melts under the strain.
“If you look at the 5 mil.year graph showing the change towards glaciations some 3 mil.years ago, which seems to oincide with the closure of the Panama Isthmus??? So , can you for example see this connection in your model?”
Oh yes, I can show you why the Panama Isthmus closed. The interesting part is the reason it coincides with the glaciation. The model can show that the closing was just part of a worldwide increase in GPE in the crust that resulted in the substantial rise in many mountain ranges around the world, the Himalayas, The Andes, N. American Coast Range, and incredible as it sounds and which my model can prove, The Mid Atlantic Ridge.
We can imagine that these oscillations of “3-4 million years” are putting in place periodic amounts of new seafloor at divergent boundaries that, as the paper above explains are; “superimposed on a longer-term steady increased with time” that reveals a variability within the phenomena that would eventually allow it to reverse direction and thus allow for multi-million year periods when the crust would develop massive amounts of gravitational derived lateral compression as the crust follows the mantle downward when the planet’s magnetic field generator’s output incrementally decreases.
This newest divergent boundary infill of the last several million years is now the source of this compression. The infill has now become a point of leverage and began its new role as a shoring wedge resisting the building compression in the planet’s crust and forcing the tectonic plate to shift in the opposite direction, the compression bleeding away into convergent trenches and crustal folds as the world’s crustal plates shift to process the slowly developing gravitational potential energy. This compression would easily produce in the crust the folding and uplift that is seen in the geologic record. While the decrease in overall thermal content allows the dominant glacial bias to once again take hold of the planet.
Boris, this has been difficult to parse down without causing sizable gaps in the basic model. Please, if you have the time take a more comprehensive study of the model at;
As I have stated I am very much aware of the connection between Sun’s magnetic activity and the effect it has on our Earth’s magnetic shield and also induced electric currents in the bedrock, in fact during my studies in geophysics, I was given a task to study the variability of shallow electric ground currents.
You do also mention: “I overlaid these [earthquakes] onto a USGS solar magnetic proxy graph and they correlated as I suspected they would. We already know the commonly observed boundaries of the Medieval Warm and Little Ice Age periods will align perfectly to the solar magnetic record.” The connection between solar activity and global climate is also well documented by Svensmark and his colleagues, so what is new in your model?
Does your model explain why e.g. the Hawaii hotspot has remained at a stable locality while the crust has moved northward producing a chain of volcanic islands, where the last one Loihi seamount: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/L%C5%8D%CA%BBihi_Seamount forming a long continuance of the Emperor seamount chain : https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hawaiian%E2%80%93Emperor_seamount_chain
An interesting feature regarding Earth’s magnetism is the accelerating speed of movement of the north magnetic pole. How do you explain these new findings? Actually what I do not quite understand is the actual mechanisms involved in your melting or upwelling model. How does it relate to the observed hotspot activity?
Hello Boris, I want to thank you again for this conversation. It’s definitely an honor to have this opportunity to discuss such an interesting subject with someone of your background and expertise.
“. . . . .so what is new in your model? Does your model explain why e.g. the Hawaii hotspot has remained at a stable locality while the crust has moved northward producing a chain of volcanic islands”
There are many new ideas in this model and the Hawaiian-Emperor chain is a great place to start. But I will need to add some background to explain how this model relates to the observed timing and placement of the Islands.
The first item is that the oceanic plates are currently under compression.
“As most of the oceanic lithosphere is in a state of net compression, the question arises as to why intraplate deformation has developed in these regions and not in others.”
Newer research shows that there is no known source of this compression or any mechanism that results in a vast amount of Gravitational Potential Energy, that is, among other things, required to move tectonic plates and raise structures like the Himalayas. The research shows the GPE is vastly more than the most recent calculations of the standard model’s ridge push mechanism can provide.
Gravitational potential energy of the Tibetan Plateau and the forces driving the Indian plate
“We present a study of the vertically integrated deviatoric stress field for the Indian plate and the Tibetan Plateau associated with gravitational potential energy (GPE) differences. Although the driving forces for the Indian plate have been attributed solely to the mid-oceanic ridges that surround the entire southern boundary of the plate, previous estimates of vertically integrated stress magnitudes of 6–7 1012 N/m in Tibet far exceed those of 3 1012 N/m associated with GPE at mid-oceanic ridges, calling for an additional force to satisfy the stress magnitudes in Tibet. We use the Crust 2.0 data set to infer gravitational potential energy differences in the lithosphere. We then apply the thin sheet approach in order to obtain a global solution of vertically integrated deviatoric stresses associated only with GPE differences. Our results show large N-S extensional deviatoric stresses in Tibet that the ridge-push force fails to cancel.”
. . . .”there is no complete dynamic explanation for this large GPE of the Tibetan Plateau and the relatively fast movement of the Indian plate. There is no apparent down going slab attached to the Indian plate that might assist in driving the plate into Eurasia through the slab pull mechanism” . . . . .
. . . . “However, the ridge push, or vertically integrated deviatoric stress magnitude, which is 3 1012 N/m (Richardson, 1992; Harper, 1975; Lister; 1975; Parsons and Richter, 1980), is not sufficient to satisfy inferred stress magnitudes of 6–7 1012 N/m that result from GPE differences between the Tibetan Plateau and the surrounding lowlands (Molnar and Lyon-Caen, 1988). An additional force is required to explain the disparity between the excess GPE of Tibet relative to that of the mid-oceanic ridges” . . . .
. . “It is clear that something is missing as a driving force that does not have its source within the lithospheric shell.”
So, that is pretty interesting. They said specifically;
“there is no complete dynamic explanation for this large GPE of the Tibetan Plateau and the relatively fast movement of the Indian plate”
So, it appears the Hawaiian-Emperor chain is dependent on, or connected in some way to this same missing plate movement dynamic.
In my previous post, I had described how the “Mantle thermal pulses below the Mid-Atlantic Ridge and temporal variations in the formation of oceanic lithosphere” work as a drive mechanism for plate movement;
“We can imagine that these oscillations of “3-4 million years” are putting in place periodic amounts of new seafloor at divergent boundaries that, as the paper above explains are; “superimposed on a longer-term steady increased with time” that reveals a variability within the phenomena that would eventually allow it to reverse direction and thus allow for multi-million year periods when the crust would develop massive amounts of gravitational derived lateral compression as the crust follows the mantle downward when the planet’s magnetic field generator’s output incrementally decreases.”
“This newest divergent boundary infill of the last several million years is now the source of this compression. The infill has now become a point of leverage and began its new role as a shoring wedge resisting the building compression in the planet’s crust and forcing the tectonic plate to shift in the opposite direction, the compression bleeding away into convergent trenches and crustal folds as the world’s crustal plates shift to process the slowly developing gravitational potential energy.”
So, when we look at the way a “Hawaiian” type island forms, it is built as the plate it is located on moves over a magma source. And that would fit rather well to those “mantle thermal pulses” described above. And if we imagined that the crust was being periodically displaced outward in a manner that resembled what is currently happening at every divergent boundary right now we could say that all of these phenomena could be related to this mantle displacement Idea I have been describing.
“Actually what I do not quite understand is the actual mechanisms involved in your melting or upwelling model. How does it relate to the observed hotspot activity?”
Well, we’ve all at some point in our lives have bent something in our hands that was rather thick yet flexible, like an eraser when we were just kids, and we noticed that the outside radius was being forced to stretch, and eventually, started to slowly tear apart.
We learned that thin materials could deform with less damage and as the material’s thickness increased the more the damage that could be derived with proportionately lesser amounts of bending. A material’s thickness will impose a proportional and increasing differential of strain energy to the material’s outer surface area.
A very thick walled sphere will behave in the same way when it is displaced outward from within. The outer surface must have highly resilient properties to stretch to relieve the stresses that are imposed on it or it would simple tear itself at numerous stress relieving tears over its surface.
The Earth’s mantle is about 2,900 kilometers thick which would produce a substantial differential of strain energy at its surface. So if we could imagine the mantle is being displaced in a manner faster than its viscosity can respond, its surface would begin to fail at any place that has a localized weakness.
An interesting result when resilient materials fail like this is that the opposing edges of the tear are pulled up and back by the opposing surface tension forces. The edges are pulled up and away from each other resembling a raised surface.
If we could imagine that the mantle under the currently forming island is behaving in such a way. The island begins on what is described as a raised ocean floor anomaly. As the mantle is periodically subjected to strain the surface breaks against its viscosity releasing thermal energy that melts the local area materials. Lava is discharge at the surface until another pulse of strain energy arrives and repeats the process.
During this process the compression that is present in the crust is dissipating by continually moving the crust to a lower energy state. In times of higher strain energy pulses the islands will display a series of closely placed volcanic calderas across the islands surface.
The mantle tear would respond to the end of a mantle thermal pulse period by reforming to cooler solid mantle material that would end the island building process and allow the still moving plate to relocate the island some distance away before another pulse arrives and the weakened mantle area will once again tear causing decompression melting of the local mantle surface area and additional lava discharges.
So, how does this fit overall to observed plate movements?
The way this works is:
For the last several decades the global network of geodetic stations has allowed us to determined that the relative motions of thousands of points on the planet’s surface has shown that the net motions add up to zero for any global circuit. All of the observed tectonic plate domains that are semi-rigid and separating are matched by other domains which are converging.
It would then be most critical to any plate movement model to incorporate these facts into its description of operation. This model is dependent on a tremendous shear resistance between the crust and mantle that moderates the distribution of the compression that slowly moves away from its source at divergent boundaries to its final disposition at a convergent boundary.
For example, the Himalayas should not be anywhere close to the height that they are at. They should be sinking into the mantle at this moment. But, this model can explain this paradox by explaining that the Earth’s entire plate matrix is, to some degree, being held in a compressive load state by its shear resistance to the mantle.
Imagine how compression alone can hold a long series of unmortared bricks in suspension without falling. Now if these were instead massively wide plates lying over a planetary sphere we have an idea how the immense shear resistance could hold a compressive bias in the entire planetary plate matrix.
“As most of the oceanic lithosphere is in a state of net compression, the question arises as to why intraplate deformation has developed in these regions and not in others.”
In this model the compression that resides in the crust at this moment is much older than the mantle displacement period that is currently taking place. The compression that is in the crust right now could be referred to as fossil compression, being that it is supplied by residual or “fossil” gravitational potential energy in the crust that was produced over the last several million years as the mantle subsided during the Pleistocene and Pliocene periods and produced in the crust many of the massive ranges around the world that rose up so quickly during that time period.
This process then, that produces this residual and periodic supply of compression in the crust, could be described in the mechanical terms of a reciprocal compressive engine, or even terms describing a mechanically driven gravity actuated drive. This mechanism allows the newest divergent boundary infill to supply a means to periodically advance the plate into a state of compression, to move an Island over its magma source, compression that will ultimately end in a convergent trench.
The plate is first loaded at the divergent boundary when the mantle moves down, and then during the following period of low activity this very laterally concentrated load of compressive energy will slowly redistribute across the plate, and will be largely distributed into, and added with, the overall crustal matrix when the mantle will once again slowly displace outward and again adds another boundary infill for the next round of compression while adding another Hawaiian Island to the chain.
This process has thus supplied the crust with a net plus of compression, which currently allows us to observe the divergent boundary metrics to be in balance with the convergent boundary metrics, as is shown in the geodetic measurements, all the while holding and keeping the world’s mountain ranges from sinking into the mantle.
Boris: If you are interested in where the heat can come from, on time to cause interglacials in particular from an obvious effect we can measure daily, whose cause must vary deterministically with the MIlankovitch cycle, check out this simple approach based on actual data and basic Fourier analysis of its time series, with no models.
As an example, using the same approach, the heat released by the Mayotte submarine volcano’s 5Km^3 of magma in 6 months is roughly the entire electrical energy use of the USA per annum, 5,500TWh, or roughly 5,000 1 Megaton nuclear weapons. Which may have had something to do with the freak weather and flooding in Madagascar and Mozambique that followed that event. Somewhat more likely than the atmosphere magically delivering this much energy to a very small area of the oceans due to CO2 induced greenhouse effect that isn’t happening? I would suggest El NIno and other cycles are seismically related, and the dominant role of the atmosphere is to impose a varying equilibrium temperature that maintains the heat balance according to the level of volcanic heat entering the oceans, not to cause change or deliver heat to the oceans, as my paper details more precisely.
My comments and subsequent question are extremely simple and have probably been previously addressed, but here they go:
It takes more energy to heat water than any other material on earth, with the exception of ammonia; therefore, it takes a great deal of energy to heat water.
The earth’s oceans have approximate 269 times greater mass than the earth’s atmosphere.
Wouldn’t this make it virtually impossible for a 1 o 2 degree increase in atmospheric temperature to have any kind of measurable effect on the melting of polar and Antartic ice?
I know some very well educated people, several of them Ph Ds is various scientific disciplines, and they can’t answer the question.
Joe: If the Earth’s atmosphere and the oceans and ice were in an isolated system cut off from any other sources of heat, increasing the temperature of the atmosphere 1 or 2 degC wouldn’t appreciably warm the oceans and/or melt much ice as the isolated system approached equilibrium.
However, our climate system is not isolated. About 240 W/m2 of radiative energy is entering and leaving our planet at any time (not counting another 100 W/m2 of sunlight that is reflected back to space without being absorbed.) If you calculate the total heat capacity of the atmosphere and top 50 m of the ocean (the mixed layer of the ocean that warms and cools with the seasons), you can calculate that if 1 W/m2 more radiation enters the climate system that leaves it, our climate system will begin to warm at an initial rate of 0.2 K/yr. (As the climate system warms, it will emit more radiation to space and this initial rate will begin to slow.) So even a very small perturbation (0.4%) in the radiation balance at the top of the atmosphere can result in significant warming.
There is more to sea floor heating than volcanos.
I need to redo the calc but IIRC using estimates of heat flux at depth a significant portion of OHC comes just from straight flux.
Steven Burnett | August 22, 2019 at 9:28 pm
Numbers i use are:
– 100 mW/m^2 geothermal flux needs ~5000 year to warm ALL ocean water 1K
– it takes 1 million km^3 magma cooling down in the deep oceans to warm ALL ocean water 1K.
Makes it possible to compare eg the amount of magma entering at the spreading ridges (5-10 km^3/year against the geothermal flux;
100.000 year vs just ~5000 for the flux to warm the oceans 1K.
Ontong Java event produced ~100 million km^3, delivering enough energy to warm all ocean water 100K.
Thank you to @Brian R Catt for his post including a link to his paper:
The Thermal Effects of Magma On Ocean Heating Through Ice Ages Cycles, With Particular Reference to Interglacial Events
(October 2, 2018). Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=3259379 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.3259379
His abstract ends with: “To refine the above conclusions with greater precision will require improved submarine volcano emissions data, and physical correlation of this activity with changing global temperatures.”
Here is a NASA website with an interesting graph showing correlation:
“So how might all three of these variables — Earth’s rotation, movements in Earth’s core (formally known as the core angular momentum) and global surface air temperature — be related? That’s what researchers Jean Dickey and Steven Marcus of NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory, Pasadena, Calif., and colleague Olivier de Viron of the Universite Paris Diderot and Institut de Physique du Globe de Paris in France, set out to discover in a first-of-its-kind study.
The scientists mapped existing data from a model of fluid movements within Earth’s core and data on yearly averaged length-of-day observations against two time series of observed annual global average surface temperature….”
Thanks for picking up the need for better understanding and insight into planetary twerking. I will review it again but at first read It appears the referenced paper is focussed on movement in the liquid iron core and the effects on magnetic field that its movement may have, and is big on ideas but not on quantification.
It is certainly true that the North Pole is moving faster than “usual”, However, the forces I am interested in are the actual movements of the crust driven by the visco elastic motion of the Mantle under the variable gravitation arising from the changing planetary alignments on the Milankovitch cycle timings, that will directyl modify volcanic activity long term, and perhaps also deliver the short term effects like El Nino multi annually, as well as seasonal volcanism by increased ocean floor movement . This is a quite different gravitational / mass driven effect, that can vary volcanic activity directly by seismic activity responding to changing gravitational forces. But thanks, its something else I didn’t know.
BTW The authors comments at the end were a tad sad, typically presumptive genuflecting to the gods of AGW and grant funding, sadly. No real quantitative evedence to back the quantitative opinion, as I found with submarine volcano papers that insisted that atmospheric climate change somehow causes the increased volcanicity, the mechanism left entirely unaddressed, and that volcanic CO2 we know is inadequate in quantity somehow changes the climate significantly enough to cause an interglacial, etc. To rephrase a US President “It’s the magma, stupid”
Thanks again, I keep learning, and most of what I need has already been done, in multiple specialities. Just no one seems to have been able or willing enough to join the dots. Especially when it proves yet another observed reality is entirely the consequence of natural variability of the only two substantial heat sources reaching the planet’s surface in varying amounts, from below and above, stabilised by the smart thermal blanket of ocean and atmosphere, and nothing to do with CO2. Best.
franktoo | August 23, 2019 at 9:59 pm
In conduction we have only ONE heat flux, from the warm end of the material to the cold end. Not like radiation where two bodies radiate towards each other and the net heat transfer is the resultant of the fluxes.
If the surface cools on average, the crust will cool as well (slowly) until a new gradient and flux are established, but the crust is still completely heated from below (except the upper few meters of course)
Only half the story. Water in contact with the ocean floor is heated by that floor, flux ~100 mW/m^2. Enough energy to warm a 1 m layer 1K every 1,3 year. The Thermohaline Circulation takes up to 1000 years for one cycle, so bottom water is warmed considerably while in contact with the ocean floor.
A fresh flux of AABW, the coldest densest water in the oceans will replace the now heated and less dense previous flux, and start being warmed itself
So the temperature of the deep oceans is the result of geothermal warming minus cooling by AABW.
Is this bit of information of any relevance to this discussion? The deep oceans have cooled by about 15 C during the last 50 Ma – see Grossman et al. (2012) data in chart on p8 here: https://www.researchgate.net/publication/324017003_Phanerozoic_Temperatures_Tropical_Mean_Annual_Temperature_TMAT_Polar_Mean_Annual_Temperature_PMAT_and_Global_Mean_Annual_Temperature_GMAT_for_the_last_540_million_years
Peter Lang | August 25, 2019 at 8:11 pm
Absolutely. To me it is clear that the deep ocean temperatures are the base on which the ~50% of solar energy that actually reaches the surface does its warming. Once you understand that the heat content (~temperature) of the deep oceans comes from geothermal energy only, it is straightforward to explain the very high surface temperatures (~90 K higher than the average lunar surface temperatures.
I use these two deep ocean reconstructions:
especially fig 9, and
The deep oceans are cooling since ~85 mya, with some up and downs.
Relevant question should be: what made them so hot in the first place?
To me the answer is some 135 million km^3 that erupted into the deep oceans prior ~90 mya (1 million km^3 magma carries enough energy to warm ALL ocean water 1K).
See this post for a list:
Peter, It is of interest but the change in SST was well recorded from that time and more or less ended 5Ma BP, if the well used variable time scale chart is correct. That needs plotting on a linear time scale to be clear. But the most important point here is that conduction into the oceans is not the major geothermal effect on them. There is a much larger effect that drives this, if the Sun is being reasonably consistent in its cycles on these timescales. That most people here appear to simply ignore. I don’t understand why. https://www.dropbox.com/s/pgz8qpe2c989124/Global%20temperatures%20on%20multiple%20scales.jpg?dl=0
The focus on geothermal conducted heat is geothermal effect is taking a knife to a gunfight in the context of the overall Geothermal heating of the oceans, magma heating is much larger, more violent, localised and exciting. And largely ignored as insignificant and constant by atmospheric models, of which it is neither.
I now add the suggestion that perhaps the internal planetary energy available to create volcanoes is steadily declining and this shows up clearly in the three periods the last 50Ma and 5Ma cover. Gradual cooling for c.4Ma in a warm zone with not a lot of variability and very limited glaciation, followed by the onset of the cyclic extremes of ice ages as the submarine volcanic effects weaken and the long term stable state becomes glacial, interrupted by first the 41Ka ice age interglacial warming events of peak magma, and then the 100Ka. When only the MIlankovitch volcanic maximums can kick us back up to what I describe as the damp flatline of an interglacial, that is the smae’ish peak of both ice age cycles, helping to confirm the control effect of evaporating oceans and cloud albedo.
The direct magma heating of the oceans by submarine volcanos currently delivers around c.7 times more heat than conduction, given It may be there is more conduction into deep oceans than the continental heating of the air, simply because there is only 1/10 the amount of rock to get through on the thin and fast moving basaltic ocean crusts, so not uniform across the planet.
HOW MUCH? I have estimated 0.7W/m^2 or 320 TW from the mass of magma now estimated to enter the oceans using the available reported time series data and its Fourier analysis – versus 50TW conduction. Round numbers. No contest vs. conducted.
Paper is at
Table of key results at:
Magma heating of the oceans appears to be considerably more than double this amount at the peak emission MIlankovitch driven events that deliver interglacials, as the emissions observations show e.g. Greater than 2W/m^2 entering the oceans sustained 24/7 (still needs an energy analysis of the Fourier spectrum from its author Steffen Kutterolf to quantify the energy under the three main MIlankovitch peaks of the power spectrum). This not a theory, on the known deposition rates and basic heat physics. It’s A Level deterministic physics.
A lot of heat is continuously being inserted into the deep oceans at 1,300 degrees, and some of it reaches the surface in plumes in a matter of days, dependent on volcano height (obs). There is not a lot of very slow stuff going on around erupting volcanoes, however deep, convection applies, (sceptical convection, not the inverse convection of climate science’s lost heat that sunk into the oceans from the Troposphere). There are reckoned to be around 100K big volcanoes on the ocean floor, that have characteristic average outputs of 28X10^6 cubic metres pa, the rest is simple maths and physics.
The peak temperature since 5Ma has been steady, but the cold excursions increased in severity when the 100Ka ice age cycle took over from the 41Ka cycle. Because there is more time to cool, and glaciate, before the next hot magma injection at 100Ka than there was over 41Ka?
I suggest the system moved from 41Ka ice ages to 100Ka 1Ma BP when the shorter sharper peak of the 41Ka emissions maximum was no longer energetic enough, e.g. the mantle has lost the oomph to deliver enough magma in the time available from the 41K obliquity cause to kick the SST’s up to the flat lining interglacial maximum, a temperature that has apparently been the comfortable interglacial SST for the last 2.5Ma, which the ocean + atmosphere appears to impose with evaporation and cloud formation, to stabilise the rising SST with dampness that reduces insolation to compensate for the geothermal warming.
The atmosphere is clearly the dominant planetary thermostat, and the strongest control from water vapour is negative feedback of evaporation and clouds, not GHE, or the system would be unstable. The atmosphere’s main role is to stabilise the equilibrium dependent on the levels of the dominant solar energy input and the significant but smaller geothermal heat inputs, hence the ice cycle waveform as the equilibrium changes to maintain the heat balance.
So the 100Ka cycle now predominates, and shows lower peak emissions tha the 41Ka, but the 100Ka cause lasts longer so more energy is injected, over the 7Ka of the typical interglacial warming at peak magma, per the Fourier analysis of the magma deposition rate. Note this means the oceans keep warming from below regardless of the atmospheric temperature, as happened during the Younger Dryas when at SSTs returned to glacial levels.
But to be clear, the dominant geothermal heating of the oceans is hot magma meeting cold water, not conduction. And this magma heating is clearly declining, perhaps significantly between 50Ma BP and 5Ma BP, hence the ocean temperature fall is proportionate with the SST fall? Perhaps this cycle of 100Ka ice ages will end with a permanent ice age, when the volcanoes can no longer raise an interglacial, and we then rely on them to prevent the oceans icing over in an increasingly cloudless world with no warming feedback left in the atmosphere and the onset of long term ice planet status once the sea ice albedo kicks in due to lack of the geothermal heat required to avoid this. I think. And the evidence suggests.
Hope that is clear. I shall keep trying.
Brian Catt | August 26, 2019 at 10:58 am |
Could you provide some numbers to support this claim?
The 100 mW/m^2 flux delivers enough energy to warm ALL ocean water 1K every ~5000 year.
For magma to do the same you need ~1 million km^3 magma erupting in the deep oceans, so ~200 km^3/year to match the geothermal flux.
The Ontong Java event delivered some 100 million km^3. Flow rates up to 22 km^3/year.
Ben,Yes. The references were all in the post, including the paper as below. What happens when hot rock meets cold water in known and variable amounts. Table1,2 and 3 enumerate the text. Comment and questions on the approach and actual numbers welcome. The paper is being revised to get past the fearful editors of journals who dislike anything that suggests CO2 doesn’t control everything in the climate. They prefer papers on volcanoes to stick to geology with some ill considered conjectures about CO2 allowed, nothing supportable or real that crosses specialisation though. .http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.3259379
Apologies, my references were in the reply to Peter Lang, who I also communicate with on he hard realities of renewable enregy as a replacement for fossil fuel use. It isn’t. Except in Norway and Paraguay. Physics 101.
BEN: Thanks for engaging. I went away and did the arithmetic again to respond to your point directly. Your maths appears in the same ball park, but my calculations say the volcanic output required must be 290Km^3 pa to equate to 100mW/m^2. There is no obvious way this can be 1/3 less than my number, but that actually isn’t important.
Key point is this is amount of magma is no problem to 100,000 volcanoes with an average output of 28×10^6 m^3 pa, the output of submarine volcanoes, which will deliver a tad over 1W/m^2 of volcanic heat to the oceans at 1200 or so degrees by direct injection under current conditions. Job done. x10. This is best guess I can make from actual data regarding large volcano numbers and their average output under the current “quiet” global condition, as quantified by White for average output (checked by me) and the population from various estimates and proxies, such as atolls as a sanity check , for example
So yes, the key point is the amount of magma entering the oceans is a LOT more than anyone “believed”, because geologists believed the guessed consensus and didn’t do the arithmetic as the ability to estimate the real numbers better became available, just repeated the obvious consensual nonsense of 3-4Km^3 pa, based on a guess from years ago, and repeated as if fact. It isn’t even credible on the basics of plate tectonics, 4Km^3 won’t even fill the cracks in the 74,000Km of diverging plates, that takes c.10Km^3 on its own. The detail back up and research is all in the paper to check ……………..
And yes, I believe I was the first to publish this massive discrepancy, and the implications of the more realistic amounts of magma heating the oceans for long term and short term climate variability by internal heating. Including the fundamental driver of the ice age cycle interglacial that made the move from hunter gathering to surplus farming civilisation possible, this time around. I think that’s important, and it also dramatically lllustrates that most people haven’t a clue about the size of the forces or the time scales involved in delivering any significant change, and the insignificance of human o power and lifetimes on these mind boggling planetary scales..
Your geothermals may vary, but the maths is easy to check :-). It was the volcanoes wot dun it….. probably. Enjoy your original Cattsy. Comment welcome.
Brian Catt | August 27, 2019 at 8:12 am |
No problem. Had a look at your data but didn’t find magma flow numbers blowing the geothermal flux away.
You need about 200 km^3 magma each year to provide the same amount of energy as the flux delivers.
So let’s say 1000 km^3 annually (5x). The spreading ridges account for ~10 km^3. Am I missing something?
Ben wrote: “If the surface cools on average, the crust will cool as well (slowly) until a new gradient and flux are established, but the crust is still completely heated from below (except the upper few meters of course)”
Please remember that our discussion is about what factors determine the temperature at a particular location. ALL ENERGY fluxes entering and exiting a particular location together determine its temperature. If the temperature is stable, the sum of all the fluxes is zero. Then, a change in any one of these fluxes will change that temperature. You instinctively want to discuss the thermodynamic direction of HEAT flow, which is an entirely different subject. Then you use the ambiguous word heat, which means “make the temperature rise”, unless you are talking about thermodynamics. As I showed with calculations, the temperature 1 km below the surface DECREASES in response to a decrease in surface temperature, despite the fact that the upward heat flux from the mantle INCREASES. When you are discussing what factors determine the temperature at a particular location and why it changes, the DIRECTION of the thermodynamic heat flow is IRRELEVANT.
This is exactly why so many poorly informed skeptics incorrectly say that increasing DLR from the atmosphere can’t make the surface or the ocean warmer. They know that heat (in the thermodynamic sense) flows from hot to cold and the atmosphere is generally colder than the surface. Therefore they conclude that increasing DLR can’t raise the temperature of the surface or the ocean.
franktoo | August 26, 2019 at 5:57 pm
My claim is that the heat content of the entire crust is from geothermal origin, in spite of the small flux. (except the upper few meters obviously)
You disagreed with this. I haven;t seen any argument so far that shows me wrong.
Simple question: is the heat content of the crust from geothermal origin or not? (excluding the upper 10-20 m or so)
Ben writes: “Water in contact with the ocean floor is heated by that floor, flux ~100 mW/m^2. Enough energy to warm a 1 m layer 1K every 1.3 year.
Yes. And if the ocean floor only warmed the bottom 1 cm of ocean touching the crust, that heat flux would be capable of raising the temperature 100 K in 1.3 year. That would be absurd – and impossible since the ocean touching the crust would be hotter than the crust. The question is how far above the crust at the bottom of the ocean does that heat travel (or convect) upward in 1 year. Even the slightest bit of warming will make the water less dense and remove it from contact with the bottom of the ocean. Once out of contact with the ocean floor, the water can’t be warmed any further, except by mixing with water from below.
If we knew what volume of water was being overturned every millennium, it might be possible to estimate how much that water could be warmed by the geothermal flux from the ocean floor. Or one could attempt to track the temperature of bottom water from the point where it has just finished subsiding to where it is about to upwell and calculate the amount of heat that has been added. From a pragmatic point of view, Antarctic Bottom Water is defined by its salinity and temperature, so I doubt that its temperature changes appreciably. Otherwise we wouldn’t be able to characterize it as AABW and it wouldn’t be dense enough to remain at the bottom of the ocean.
Finally, under land the geothermal heat flux makes the temperature rise about 3.5 degC/100 m. If the same geothermal heat flux controlled temperature in the ocean, we might expect that the ocean floor 3000 or 4000 m below the surface would be at least 100 degC, just as it is below land. However, we know that the top of ocean crust at the bottom of the sea is near zero degC. Compared with land, the ocean bottom has been cooled at least 100 degC by the continuous flux of cold water that is subsiding in polar regions. Convection of cold polar water removes geothermal from the ocean floor 3 or 4 km below the surface much more effectively than conduction removes geothermal heat from 3 or 4 km under land surfaces. I think this provides the clearest evidence that subsidence of cold polar water is the dominant factor in determining the temperature of water at the bottom of the ocean.
ranktoo | August 26, 2019 at 8:41 pm
Again, this is only half the story. Without heating at the ocean floor, the oceans would fill up with AABW all the way to the mixed surface layer.
The heat content of the deep oceans is the result of two effects, warming at the floor and cooling around Antarctica mostly, which results in AABW sinking to the ocean floor.
Let’s rearrange the continents to around the 2 poles, beaches at ~45 N and ~45 S. Sun will keep the mixed surface layer of the ocean between these continents warmer than the deep oceans. No ice forming, no AABW or similar sinking into the oceans.
What will happen to the temperature of the deep oceans?
Ben asks: “The heat content of the deep oceans is the result of two effects, warming at the floor and cooling around Antarctica mostly, which results in AABW sinking to the ocean floor.
Let’s rearrange the continents to around the 2 poles, beaches at ~45 N and ~45 S. Sun will keep the mixed surface layer of the ocean between these continents warmer than the deep oceans. No ice forming, no AABW or similar sinking into the oceans.
What will happen to the temperature of the deep oceans?”
Good question. However, I’m pretty sure that large lakes are generally colder at the bottom. The obvious reason is that colder water is denser and sinks to the bottom.
If a body of water were heated only from below, one might expect a negligible temperature gradient to be present as convection carries heat to the cooler atmosphere above. In the real world, the sun shines for only half the day. At night, the surface of any body of water is still losing an average of 390 W/m2 of thermal infrared and 80 W/m2 of latent heat, while only receiving 333 W/m2 of DLR from the atmosphere. All of this heat is lost from the top 10 um of water at the surface. So the cold “skin layer” of the ocean is frequently sinking and bringing deeper water warmed earlier by sunlight to the surface.
Perhaps the correct organizing principle is that all large bodies of have the cold water at the bottom with a temperature equal to the coldest surface temperature they experience. When surface temperature is warmer, conduction and physical mixing from surface wind transfer heat to a “mixed layer” that “floats” above cold bottom water. If there are currents below the surface, there may be turbulent mixing deeper.
So what is the role for geothermal heat, which obviously provides some heat to the bottom of every body of water. There is a competition between subsidence of cold surface water to the bottom and heating from below. When subsidence is fast, there isn’t much time for geothermal heat to change the temperature very much. Subsidence in one location, of course, must be associated with upwelling somewhere else to create “overturning” that drives the coldest densest water to the bottom. The rate of overturning determines how long geothermal heat has the ability transfer heat to the coldest water at the bottom. However, any significant warming decreases the density of the water “touching” the bottom and moves it out of contact. So geothermal heat much warm a large amount of bottom water before its warming can be detected. There is a competition between subsidence of cold water and warming from geothermal heat.
Which comes back to my main point. The temperature at any location is determined by energy flows from all directions, no just the thermodynamic flux from warmer locations.
Non-authoritative sources say that 2000 foot deep Crater Lake (the deepest in the US) is 38 degF (similar to the deep ocean) below 300 feet. The edges, but not the center, freeze in winter. Unlike salty oceans, fresh water has its greatest density at 4 degC. So it looks like the temperature at the bottom of Crater Lake is above what one would expect if its temperature were determined by subsidence of the seasonally coldest/densest surface water. The geothermal heat flux appears to be unable to significantly warm the ANNUALLY-REPLENISHED cold water that sinks from the surface. We have “millennially-replenished” polar water at the bottom of the oceans.
Ben also wrote: “Again, this is only half the story. Without heating at the ocean floor, the oceans would fill up with AABW all the way to the mixed surface layer.”
We know that wind is responsible for stirring the mixed layer that responds to seasonal changes in irradiation: That mixed layer is deeper where it is windier. Tides and currents move water over the irregular ocean floor, producing turbulent mixing in some areas. Evaporation and rainfall change the density of surface water, allowing warmer water that is slightly saltier to sink and be replaced by colder less salty water from below. Also see Eckman pumping. ARGO is showing up how fast the 0.2 K/decade surface warming is penetrating below the mixed layer. CFCs show us how far surface water has subsided in polar regions and mixed elsewhere in the 80 years since we began manufacturing them. Lindzen likes to complain that the effective thermal “conductivity” in the oceans of AOGCMs due to bulk motion below the mixed layer is equivalent to the thermal conductivity of copper. Nevertheless, we have a pretty good understanding of how heat from the surface is penetrating the thermocline and deeper ocean. You might ask whether convection has moved geothermal heat from deep water and deposited it at the base of the thermocline.
franktoo | August 26, 2019 at 8:41 pm
You didn’t answer my simple question: is the heat content of the crust from geothermal origin or not? (excluding the upper 10-20 m or so)
This is essential, because imo the mechanism for the oceans is comparable.
Good to see you agree with me.
A plot of the Pacific:
Warm surface layer and Thermocline block bottom warmed water from reaching the surface, except where the dark blue water “reaches” the surface.
I’ve estimated the area of this cold water as between 5-10% of total ocean surface. Even at 10% and only accounting for the 100 mW/m^2 flux, 1 W/m^2 has to be exchanged with the atmosphere (“hidden” in the other energy the oceans lose there) to keep the deep oceans from warming. They have been cooling on average for the last ~85 my. Adding all other geothermal energy (magma erupting, smokers etc) will increase this number further.
I expect this to be happening:
AABW flows north, picking up geothermal energy, leaves the ocean floor and is picked up in the southbound NADW flow (Atlantic) or driven back towards Antarctica by each new AABW flux.
Ben Wouters asked: “You didn’t answer my simple question: is the heat content of the crust from geothermal origin or not? (excluding the upper 10-20 m or so)”.
I’ve answered the question numerous times. In this case you asked about “heat content”, rather than temperature, but these terms appear to mean the same this in this context. For the last time, thermodynamic heat flows from hot to cold. However temperature is determined by all of the fluxes entering and leaving a location. Temperature can be changed by a change in the flux in any direction. This debate started with a question about why the bottom of the ocean is near freezing today, but warmer in the past. The main factor – but not only – factor controlling the temperature at the bottom of oceans and large lakes appears to the coldest temperature of the densest water than is filling the bottom.
Consistent with the above idea that the flux in all directions matters, I did say: “There is a competition between subsidence of cold water and warming from geothermal heat.” But I also say that I haven’t seen any evidence that the geothermal heat flux is large enough to significantly change the temperature of the water that has subsided. At the meridional Figure for the Pacific with eWOCE at the top, the water at the bottom of the ocean is 1 deg as far north a 20 N (Hawaiian islands?). I don’t know for sure that there is a northward flow along the bottom at this meridian, nor do I know whether the flow stops at 20 degN. If it continues north of 20 degN, perhaps the geothermal heat flux has increased the temperature of water at the bottom of Pacific by 0.5 deg on its journey more than a quarter of the way around the world. An alternative is that warmer water from above is gradually mixing in to the bottom water. Without knowing the rate of flow along the bottom lowing and the total volume in contact with the bottom (the mixed layer at the bottom), it is impossible to calculate anything.
franktoo | August 28, 2019 at 11:13 pm
Correct, so for the crust we have ONLY conduction from the hot mantle to the colder surface, a one way flux, no back conduction, except for the few meters near the surface where the seasonally changing surface temperature has some influence.
So for almost the entire crust the temperature is determined by the flux from mantle to surface.
The surface temperature just REGULATES the flux, but isn’t a flux of itself.
We do know that the flux alone is capable of warming ALL ocean water 1K in ~5000 year. Since the deep oceans have been cooling for a long time, the inescapable conclusion is that the energy that the deep oceans “vent” near Antarctica closely matches ALL geothermal energy that entered the oceans during the time they where cooling.
To increase the temperature of the deep oceans we need something extra, like the creation of the Ontong Java plateau, depositing ~100 million km^3 magma into the oceans, capable of increasing the oceans temperature ~100K.
Ben, You are remarkably patient in this debate. I an unsure what conclusion the debate has for global climate, as the flux to space is obvious and fairly constant, its 1,600 degrees under the crust and 0 K outside in the dark so the heat flow won’t change the climate.
Net geothermal heat will flow into the oceans, so a negative tempertare profile is likely, no inversions in rock? On a macro scale, nothing else matters, I suggest. The rise in temperature as you enter the solid crust will be substantively similar on land and ocean floor, rock strata dependnent, ocean floors are mostly young basalt and continents not, but thermal properties not all that different compared to air and water.. The rate of heat transfer hence energy flow will be higher into water than air, also oceanic crust if 1/10 the thickness of the continents, so I would expect the rate of heat /energy transfer to be considerably higher in the oceans. but, in the end, we will have a small 0.1W/m^2 heat transfer to the atmospheres either way, I suggest disproportionately from the oceans. THis will need the ocean+atmosphere smart equilibrium controller to adjust to whatever oceanic SST is required to maintain the heat balance of the planet, as it always has. Basically insolation control will be decide SST. as ever, not any other heat source.
The point with all this is that the conducted heat is small and not significantly variable, so not a cause of change.
But that’s not the majority of the geothermal heat, as I hope I demonstrated in my other reply, summarised here – the direct magma heating is c.10 times the conduction at its lowest/current’ish levels, roughly, rising to over a sustained 20 times the internal conduction during peak magma events, at 100Ka and 41Ka. Large and significantly variable, requiring constant adjustment of the equilibrium SST by the negative feedback from the oceans, up and down. AKA the ice age cycle.
Brian Catt | August 28, 2019 at 5:37 am
Not of itself, but just as for the crust, I’m convinced that the heat content of the oceans is largely of geothermal origin, starting with the young oceans that were (close to) boiling since they were sitting on almost bare magma. This in spite of the small fluxes.
With the heat content of the deep oceans as a given, it is possible for the little solar energy that actually reaches the surface to warm a rather shallow layer from ~275K to ~290K at the surface.
So no heating of the surface by backradiation as Lacis et al claim:
“The Sun is the source of energy that heats Earth. Besides direct solar heating of the ground, there is also indirect longwave (LW) warming
arising from the thermal radiation that is emitted by the ground, then absorbed locally within the atmosphere, from which it is re-emitted in both
upward and downward directions, FURTHER HEATING the ground and maintaining the temperature gradient in the atmosphere.”
Brian wrote: “I an unsure what conclusion the debate has for global climate”.
The debate is important because many fallacies about our climate system begin with the idea that the only flux effecting temperature is the flux in the direction of thermodynamic heat flow. Many people mistakenly and notoriously believe that increasing DLR from rising GHGs can’t make the surface of the planet warmer because heat flows from the warmer surface to the colder atmosphere. At the link below, I listed several other mistakes that are commonly made when one focuses all of one’s attention on the direction of thermodynamic heat flux and ignore the fluxes in other directions:
The host of scienceofdoom.com has a number of excellent posts about the fundamentals of heat transfer that are relevant to climate. Many people instinctively (and wrongly) think like Ben does: heat is flowing from hot to cold and THAT flux controls temperature. If that were true, the bottoms of oceans and lakes wouldn’t be cold.
I can cite numerous other circumstances in climate science where a misunderstanding of basic principles results in claims of PROOF the climate science is FUNDAMENTALLY FLAWED. It is important to start with the right fundamentals.
I am inclined to agree with your analysis. The ocean SST is a function of solar radiation though, just not far down, a surface skin, but a key part of the planet’s smart thermostatic blanket thermostatic blanket that dampens the atmosphere by evaporation enough to maintain the solar insolation at an equilibrium heat balance. Clever, that. I assumed this when conidering the effect of the dominant geothermal heat from magma.
nb: Its not a little of the Sun’s heat energy that reaches the surface, its close to 1/3 of the 340w/m^2, half that not directly reflected back to space. Non trivial compared to anything else, BUT
Also one important difference between solar energy and geothermal energy is that while the input of solar energy is controlled by the atmospheric feedback, the magma heat entering the oceans cannot be controlled, so in this case the effect cannot be ameliorated and the equilibrium SST must change, whereas perfect atmospheric control can maintain stability by adjusting cooling and cloud insolation. If you doubt this look at the sea level rise of the last interglacial and how it isn’t affected by the Younger Dryas’ dive to glacial SSTs. Keeps right on rising, presumably warming, from all that extra magma. This also supports your position as far as geothermal heat warms the oceans rather than solar insolation, of course. There are no inversions at sea – or are their?
Brian Catt | August 28, 2019 at 1:42 pm
<blockquote.nb: Its not a little of the Sun’s heat energy that reaches the surface, its close to 1/3 of the 340w/m^2, half that not directly reflected back to space. Non trivial compared to anything else, BUT
Let’s look at the moon. Receives the same amount of solar energy as Earth:
~340 W/m^2. Albedo .11, So at the surface 303 W/m^2 on average warms that surface. Same calculation that gives 255K for Earth results in ~270K for the moon. Actual measured avg surface temp. ~197K.
Adding an Earthlike atmosphere to the moon will increase the albedo to ~.30, and some 78 W/m^2 is absorbed by that atmosphere, resulting in ~161 W/m^2 remaining to warm the surface.
Yet we are supposed to believe that the atmosphere is the reason for the much higher temperatures on Earth compared to the moon.
Since the deep oceans are ~270K or warmer, the atmosphere most also somehow have increased the temperature of those oceans from ~197K (or 255K if you believe that number) to those much higher temperatures.
Looking from the ocean floor up the entire temperature profile is one big inversion.
Temperature on the Moon is radically different from the Earth because the former has a very small effective heat capacity per unit surface area and because day and night each last two weeks, not 12 h. When you say the Earth receives 340 W/m2, that is the average of day and night. That is an average 680 W/m2 in daytime and 1360 W/m2 on the equator at noon. (All values pre-albedo.). However, the Earth spins so fast that temperature falls only about 10 degC between Tmin and Tmax 2 m above land, SST varies about 1 degC, and the upper atmosphere changes relatively little too. The Moon rotates so slowly that its surface has plenty of time to cool at night and heat during the day. So the equator of the sun has more time to warm until outgoing radiation is in equilibrium with pre-albedo 1360 W/m2.
Equilibrium temperature rises with the 1/4 power of irradiation, so one might expect the hottest surface of the Moon to be SQRT(2) hotter than the average temp on Earth without correcting for albedo. That is about right.
At night on the Moon, the temperature is falling towards absolute zero at a rate that depends on the conductivity and heat capacity of the surface. That is why the AVERAGE surface temperature on the Moon is much lower than on Earth and lower than the blackbody equivalent temperature of the Moon. If the Moon rotated once an hour, it’s surface temperature might be near its BBeq temperature. Your deductions about the Earth’s GHE from lunar data are incorrect for this reason.
franktoo | September 1, 2019 at 11:35 pm |
Most relevant difference is the heat capacity of the lunar regolith vs Earths oceans. Moons day time temperatures are close to radiative balance temps., night time temps are ~80K due to ~25-40K “base” temp from the geothermal flux and some carry over heat from the dayside. So the ~197K avg temp. is easily explained.
Even increasing the rotation rate to eg once every second won’t bring the temperature to the 270K Effective temperature since a difference will remain between equator and pole temps.
For Earth radiative balance temps are impossible for the oceans since solar energy directly heats at least their upper 5-10m. Even in desert areas we don’t see radiative balance temps.
So for Earth we should look at how much solar energy enters the oceans and soil and how much the temperature of the heated layer increases during a day, a summer etc.
eg in the (sub) tropics a good day of sunshine delivers some 20 MJ/m^2, enough energy to warm the upper 5m 1K.
Ben: The radioactive decay that powers geothermal heat flux (0.065 W/m2) is incredibly weak compared with the 100+ W/m2 fluxes in the atmosphere. Radioactivity decay makes the mantle molten not because it is a powerful source of energy, but because that energy can’t escape quickly through the crust – because it is well insulated. That insulation makes it nearly impossible for the geothermal heat flux to warm anything else, because the insulation cuts off that energy from the surface. Once you get through the crust (20? Km) the mantle does not get much hotter over the next 1000 km – because molten mantle flows and that flow transfers heat dramatically fasteris than conduction.
And the millennial flow/overturning of the ocean transfers cold water to the deep ocean dramatically faster than the geothermal heat flux can warm the deep ocean. 3 km below the ocean surface is 100 degC colder than below land surface.
How does heat “know” which was too travel between the mantle and the surface – if conduction is purely a one-way flux? When you look at a molecular level, all energy fluxes travel in both directions. Molecular collisions transfer kinetic energy in both direction, but slightly mor from the “hotter” direction than from the “colder” direction. (Individual molecules don’t have a temperature. Temperature Is a property of groups of rapidly dividing molecules.).
franktoo | September 2, 2019 at 1:20 am
Whatever causes the temperatures on both sides of the crust is irrelevant. The flux and gradient depend only on the TEMPERATURE difference (and distance and conductivity, Fourier’s law as you mentioned)
Then why took it ~85 my for the deep oceans to cool some17K?
Obviously since water can move around, and crust not (at least not very fast ;-) ).
Change the water into a gel with water like properties except the ability to flow, and the same temp profile as in the crust will develop.
Crust is a solid and molecules/atoms at the hot end vibrate much more than at the cold end.