All posts by Chris Shinghirtis

Is it possible that the condition of the core does not affect the climate at all?

 Please note I borrowed the following question from lakepowell.net

and I am surprised to find that Geologists dont even mention the possibility of Vulcanism in some way affecting climate!!! Is this possible? Is it possible that the biggest part of our planet, the sub-surface core does not in any way affect the cycles of the climate?

Is it possible that the sub-surface itself is affected by “constructions” like the Milankovitch theories and Solar Cycles etc etc?

 

What causes Climate Change?Although the basic causes of climate change are still not fully understood, many clues have been collected. Possible causes include: (1) Tectonic Causes

  • Landmass distribution: Shifting continents (continental drift) causing changes in circulatory patterns of ocean currents. It seems that whenever there is a large land mass at one of the Earth’s poles, either the north pole or south pole, there are ice ages.
  • Undersea ridge activity: “Sea floor spreading” (associated with continental drift) causing variations in ocean displacement.

(2) Astronomical Causes

  • 21,000 year cycle: Elliptical orbit of the Earth around the Sun (precession of the equinoxes)
  • 41,000 year cycle: Cycle of the +/- 1.5° wobble in Earth’s orbit
  • 100,000 year cycle: Variations in solar energy output

(3) Atmospheric Causes

  • Heat retention: Due to gases such as carbon dioxide and methane in Earth’s atmosphere– the “greenhouse effect”
  • Solar reflectivity: Due to clouds, volcanic dust, polar ice caps

We can also separately consider climate changes over several different time scales:

  • 1) Long term (millions of  years);
  • 2) Medium term (thousands of years);
  • 3) Short term (decades to hundreds of years).

 

 

Heaven or Hell?

     It seems that human kind is stuck somewhere in the middle of the world according to geologists. We are able to see the effects of the climate, and we are able to see the effects of the sub-surface in the form of volcanic eruptions, and earthquakes, but as far as we are concerned there is no connection between the two. The weather is not related to the magmatic interior of the earth! Or is it?

      This question begs an answer. It begs an answer if only because it seems to me it has rarely been asked. We can see that the climate goes from hot periods to cold periods, we can see that volcanic eruptions can actually change the weather, we can see that periods of warming in the climate are often followed by periods of increased volcanism, and even periods of increased siesmicity. One study a few months ago found that even super-tsunamis seem to occur more frequently during periods of warming. The theory was that the increased amount of rain during these periods is the culprit responsible for landslides and the like which are usually the culprit in such cataclysmic events. But why is it that the warming of the core is never suspected?

       The earth is devided into four realms(for the most part anyway.) These are the sub-surface magmatic core, the sea, the land and the sky. I know this is kind of primitive but it should be enough to get my point across. We know that land and sub-surface interact through earthquakes and volcanic eruptions, plate tectonics etc. We know also that sea and sub-surface also interact through undersea eruptions, earthquakes, and plate tectonics. However we know also that the sea interacts with the sub-surface in one more way. Apparently there is somekind of contact at certain points especially in the spreading sea floor. It is possible that water penetrates deep below the surface of the sea bed and so somekind of further interaction is possible at the extreme limits of the lithosphere.

       We know too that the atmosphere  interacts with the sub-surface through volcanic eruptions and the deposit of various chemicals into the atmosphere some of which can cool the climate.  So we can see that there is interaction on all levels, some of it simple, some of it more complex. Why then can we not suspect somekind of interaction between the warming of the climate and the sub-surface of the earth?

     We know about the phenomenon of the El Nino, but is it possible that the El Nino is actually a consequence of some cyclical event deep down inside the earth? Is it possible that the El Nino actually developes as a response to a warming trend within the earth? It seems much more plausible to believe that that to assume some other mechanism.

     The sub-surface of the earth may itself undergo cyclical warming which might then cause the seas to warm and cool accordingly. My point being that it is quite possible that the sub-surface conditions of the earth may well affect the temperature of the seas, and by so doing may well affect the climate.

     So we have entertained the thought that perhaps there is a one way connection between sub-surface vulcanism, and the climate. However, it may well be reciprical. It is quite possible that the ice on the poles may actually cool more than just the surface of the earth.  By the same token it is just as possible that the warming of the climate may cause the warming of the sub-surface as well. Certainly it should not be dismissed offhand.

Earth Core Warming

This is the theory of Earth Core Warming which presumes that if there is Global Warming in the sense that  the climate of the earth is warming due to greenhouse gasses emitted during the past one hundred fifty years of human development then it is possible that the earth’s core will also warm, and that the consequences of such warming may well be catastrophic. I am assuming that there is a direct and intimate connection between the atmospheric climate and condition in the the sub-surface of the earth.