If the freedom of speech is taken away then dumb and silent we may be led, like sheep to the slaughter.

- George Washington

Saturday, 27 November 2010

Another Nail in the Global Warming Coffin

Via Cats, a link to this article:
Recent massive volcanoes have risen from the ocean floor deep under the Arctic ice cap, spewing plumes of fragmented magma into the sea, scientists who filmed the aftermath reported Wednesday.

The eruptions -- as big as the one that buried Pompei -- took place in 1999 along the Gakkel Ridge, an underwater mountain chain snaking 1,800 kilometres (1,100 miles) from the northern tip of Greenland to Siberia.

Scientists suspected even at the time that a simultaneous series of earthquakes were linked to these volcanic spasms.

But when a team led of scientists led by Robert Sohn of the Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution in Massachusetts finally got a first-ever glimpse of the ocean floor 4,000 meters (13,000 feet) beneath the Arctic pack ice, they were astonished.

What they saw was unmistakable evidence of explosive eruptions rather than the gradual secretion of lava bubbling up from Earth's mantle onto the ocean floor.
A quick look at Google Earth reveals that the Arctic Ocean is in a basin, surrounded by land on all sides - Greenland, northern Canada, Siberia, northern Europe, and so on. So if volcanoes are erupting explosively in such a basin, and pumping out vast quantities of molten lava beneath the sea, and that sea is covered with an ice-cap, what do we think might happen to the ice-cap? I would imagine it would start to melt around the edges: which is precisely what is happening.

One of the 'unexplained' anomalies of the Warmist argument is that while the Arctic ice-cap is slowly melting, the Antarctic cap is actually growing (graphs and analysis here). This article provides a very credible explanation for the anomaly, and of course it is nothing to do with CO2, fossil fuels, the family dog, or any of the other guilt-inducing reasons they come up with for restricting our lives in the name of the planet.

So the polar bears can blame good old Gaia when they are plummeting through the sky and landing in our cities.

Any day now, I expect to see the Greenies organising risky but valiant expeditions beneath the polar ice to plug these evil volcanoes and save the planet.

Or, on past experience, demanding that you and I do it, while they watch and comment from the relative safety of the Rainbow Warrior. (And blow you to smithereens if you hesitate.)

The wheels are coming off the wagon.


  1. Or you could consider this:

    'A recent study discovered active volcanoes on the floor of the Arctic Ocean, and some people have wondered if they are causing sea ice to melt.

    While volcanic eruptions surely warmed the ocean in the immediate vicinity of the eruptions, the amount of heat they produced compared to the large volume of the Arctic Ocean is small. The Arctic Ocean covers 14 million square kilometers (5.4 million square miles), about 1 ½ times the size of the United States or 58 times the size of the United Kingdom. In its deepest spots, the Arctic Ocean is 4,000 to 5,500 meters (13,000 to 18,000 feet) deep. The heat from the volcanoes would have dispersed over an enormous volume and had little effect on ocean temperature, much as a bucket of boiling water emptied into a lake would have little effect on the lake's temperature.

    Second, the eruptions would have introduced heat deep below the sea ice that floats on the ocean surface. The tops of even the tallest undersea volcanoes are more than 1,000 meters (3,000 feet) deep. The Arctic Ocean is strongly stratified, which prevents layer mixing and makes it difficult for any deep water, even deep water warmed by heat from volcanoes, to reach the surface and melt the ice. This layering results from a strong density gradient: water layers near the surface are less salty and therefore less dense, while bottom waters are the densest. Unlike most oceans, where density gradients are determined by both salinity and temperature, Arctic Ocean waters are heavily stratified primarily because of variations in salinity.'

    From here:


  2. Thanks for posting that, and good to see an alternative view. Of course, the Arctic basin is huge, with a massive volume of cold water. But then (according to the article you quote), these volcanoes are - possibly - up to 4km in height, which is not an insignificant feature. That would be three times the height of Mt St Helens, for example. While I can accept that the effect on the overall temperature is relatively slight, don't forget that they don't need to boil the whole of the Arctic Ocean like a pan on the stove, just produce a small but consistent melting of the ice-cap. The Warmists keep telling us that a rise in temperature of even 0.1 degree can be catastrophic, after all, and heat rises, even in stratified solutions, just more slowly. These eruptions started happening 11 years ago. Remind me how long we have been concerned about the melting ice-cap - three or four years?

    I'm not convinced either way at the moment, but this is an interesting development and something I was not aware of, hence the post. I'm afraid that I no longer trust the 'scientific consensus', given that the AGW people have admitted to exaggerating things to get us all to pay attention and that a lot of the 'facts' turn out to be conjecture and estimate, based on dodgy computer models. I'll take everything with a pinch of salt - suitably stratified, of course.

  3. It's true, Richard, that some have 'gone beyond the data'. But you get self-publicists and zealots in any endeavour. Most climate researchers just report what they find and the overwhelming majority find evidence of change in the direction of global warming. The word is 'global' there of course. What troubles me is the selective focus that you come across among the 'sceptics' that fastens on those few exaggerations as significant of something larger, and overlooks the 'global'.

    Scientists get it wrong of course. There are famous examples throughout the history of science when the 'consensus' has been wrong. But those examples tend to be based on grand theories which need to be revised. The consensus on climate may be wrong. The difference is though that the data are driving most of the interpetation in this case: the theory arises from the data, rather than predicting that which has yet to be observed.

  4. "But you get self-publicists and zealots in any endeavour." Indeed, but I would have expected better of 'mainstream scientists', who constantly tell us that their views are based on the science, not any emotional or political considerations. I would have thought that the term 'scientist' ought to be the exact opposite of zealot - unless it's a zealot for the truth.

    And I think I ought to make it clear that I don't deny that the climate is changing - nobody does, as far as I know. But it always has, sometimes catastrophically, and always will. The key point is whether, and if so how much, Man and his activities are the cause, or even a cause. Yes, there is evidence that the world is heating up (although not much of it tonight), but the world has been as warm, or warmer, at several points in recorded history - something which the AGW crowd seem keen to ignore.

    That's where I take issue with the "we're only basing this on the data" argument. Most of the data is not primary, in that we have only had reliable temperature figures for a few tens of years. The key to getting data is correlating ancient things like tree-rings and Arctic ice cores with known temperatures to work up a reliable historic record - and this is precisely where the fudging seems to happen (e.g. the Harry_read_me file). Britian has, on several occasions, been much warmer than it is today. There is a hillside about 10 miles from here which today is cold and windswept and supports only scrub and rough grass and a few sheep, and yet there is clear evidence of arable farming there in the Bronze Age: unthinkable today. The temperature graph goes up and down, up and down over history - but the 'disinterested' scientists only want us to see the most recent 'up'.

    I don't have the scientific backgroud to say with any certainty that either viewpoint is correct - but my half-century-old bullshit detector is telling me that things maybe ain't what they seem. The fact that this volcano story may explain an anomaly in the known facts was of interest to me.

    It's all very well to say that "the data are driving most of the interpetation". Good data, interpreted transparently, is one thing. But here we seem to have 5% data and 95% interpretation, in which case I want to know who is doing the interpretation, how they are doing it, and who is paying them to do it. There's too much riding on this to simply accept their word for it. (If I read a report on smoking and health and found that the research was paid for by the tobacco industry, for example, I would be highly suspicious, and the bar for acceptance of the findings would be set significantly higher.)

    And you've got to admit that systematically freezing out the non-consensus scientists and deleting data rather than allowing others to have access to it (in case they came to the wrong conclusions?) is pretty shameful behaviour and not conducive to trust.

  5. Scientists are just people. The behaviour of the East Anglia crowd was certainly shameful. But they are in a tiny minority. Again, sceptics fasten on that as though it is the mask that slipped on a whole conspiracy and ignore the likes of the US Geological survey and big league universities. It's not worth mentioning in any debate that tries to keep as sense of proportion.

    'Non-consensus' results will get published. It's just that there are so few of them. You think the journal 'Nature' won't publish results that contradict the majority?

  6. Tell you what, in the interests of informed comment (not something I'm qualified to provide) why don't you try posting some of your main points on somewhere like this:


    Or this:



    You could let us know what they say.

  7. East Anglia crowd are a tiny minority? I thought the CRU were fairly major players, and had a lot of input into the IPCC reports. Maybe not. But one of the main things we learned from the Climategate emails was that there has been a concerted and organised campaign to keep non-consensus scientists from being published; so yes, I am prepared to believe that Nature would be part of that. Stranger things have happened.

    Jim, you know very well that the science in the two sources you mentioned would be way over my head, so there would be little point in my posting anything over there. I am not a scientist campaigning for a particular point of view, just an ordinary chap commenting on what he reads and sees. You may as well suggest that I go on a track day with Valentino Rossi to show that I don't know the Highway Code.

  8. I started off in the Warmist camp, a long time ago.
    CO2 IS a greenhouse gas. We ARE releasing colossal quantities from storage. There will be an effect. It may not be trivial.

    There was no need for scientists to deceive. They got our attention, got a lot of funding.

    For some reason I don't really understand, it became a good political card to tell us that we, (or somebody else), should cut down drastically on our lifestyle.

    An alarming quantity of scientists sold out.

    As always, the cover up is even worse than the crime. Since Climategate, any scientist who still maintains that serious man-made warming is an undeniable fact; is a liar or a fool.

    This Global Warming thing has gained its own momentum, and its proponents can no longer be trusted.

    This is just my view, and I came to it reluctantly. Now I'm annoyed about being conned. When others finally see it, they will also be annoyed. If there turns out to be a real problem, we're stuck with it. That's the result of crying wolf.

  9. I think I'd agree with much of that. I did my intellectual growing-up period in the early 70s, when environmentalism was starting to go mainstream, especially among da yoof. For us, there was no question - we shouldn't pollute the air or the seas, we should 'Stop at Two', we shouldn't be wasteful, we should recycle where possible. I have retained most of those attitudes into middle age, quite willingly; the only one I have turned 180° on is the nuclear power question, where I am now very much in favour. But as for the rest, well, you won't find a much greener household than mine.

    The global warming thing ought to be a pushover for someone like me. And yet I find I am resisting the arguments more strongly as time goes by. I suspect it is for the reasons you give here: a feeling of being conned, of being told the debate is over when it is nothing of the sort. As a moderately intelligent person I like to question and explore, and when I am told that questioning and exploring are over, and that people of a sceptical frame of mind are right-wing nutjobs in the pay of Texaco, then I tend to react negatively. I ask myself what do they have to hide.

    I think I would agree that, like you, I came to the viewpoint reluctantly.

  10. I take my cue regarding climate change from the people who are always pushing the need for change (don't fly, don't use central heating, don't overconsume..) like Al Gore and George Monbiot.

    In short, when they start to act as if it's a problem, I'll start to think they may be onto something...

  11. Yes, and nowhere better demonstrated than here, where Phelim MacAleer tries to ask Franny Armstrong whether she flew to the Age of Stupid premiere in New York. The lack of an answer, and the response of the whole team, tell you all you need to know about Green hypocrisy.


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