Dec 09 2005

Earth Science & Mysteries

Published by at 10:34 pm under All General Discussions,Global Warming

A lot of news today on why we have a lot to learn about our home planet and what is happening to it.

We start with the news that the North Pole is accelerating the pace of its meandering:

Earth’s north magnetic pole is rapidly drifting away from Canada and toward Siberia, scientists said Thursday.

Despite accelerated movement over the last century, the possibility Earth’s modestly fading magnetic field will collapse is remote. The magnetic poles are part of the magnetic field generated by liquid iron in Earth’s core and are different from the geographic poles, the surface points marking the axis of the planet’s rotation.

Scientists have long known magnetic poles migrate and in rare cases, swap places. Exactly why this happens is a mystery.

“This may be part of a normal oscillation and it will eventually migrate back toward Canada,” Joseph Stoner, a paleomagnetist at Oregon State University, said Thursday at an American Geophysical Union meeting.

Yes folks, the direction your compass points is not exactly the same each year.

Then there is news (but not new theory) that the next ocean basin is forming in eastern Africa. The Great Rift Valley has long been predicted to be the beginnings of a new ocean. Along the Atlantic and Pacific oceans are extended rifts where the ocean floor is spreading apart (See this previous post for a graphic). The same seems to be happening in Africa

Researchers from Britain, France, Italy and the U.S. have been observing the 37-mile long fissure since it split open in September in the Afar desert and estimate it will take a million years to fully form into an ocean, said Dereje Ayalew, who leads the team of 18 scientists studying the phenomenon.

The fissure, now 13 feet wide, formed in just three weeks after a Sept. 14 earthquake in a barren region called Boina, some 621 miles north east of the capital, Addis Ababa, said Dereje.

“We believe we have seen the birth of a new ocean basin,” said Dereje of Addis Ababa University. “This is unprecedented in scientific history because we usually see the split after it has happened. But here we are watching the phenomenon.”

Which leads me to the eco-warriors and their mental quagmire over global warming. Clinton comes out today stating an obvious fact of nature:

In a show-stealing appearance rumored to have ired the US delegation, Clinton defended the UN’s Kyoto Protocol on greenhouse gases that was ditched by his successor, President George W. Bush, and said the switch to cleaner energy would create millions of jobs for the American economy.

“There’s no longer any serious doubt that climate change is real, accelerating, …

But he cannot stop himself but jump into the realm of sci-fi fantasy:

…and caused by human activities,” Clinton said.

Sorry, that last bit is not a fact. Just the opposite. The El Nino’ phenomena, the large earth quakes and new rift activity, the North Pole migrating at a faster pace all point to an increase in the fluidity or surface heat ( or both) of the molten core. There are mixed messages on receding shorelines in the Gulf (which apparently are due to local human activity – but not global warming).

The truths is the earth has been warming since the Little Ice Age gave us the Dark Ages and The Plague. We do not know if human activity is responsible for 1%, 10%, 25% or more of the global change. And it really is important to know this before we go off on half baked schemes like Kyoto. If our activities account for 1% of the global warming phenomena, then Kyoto’s 10% reduction on 1% on the engine of global change is negligible. That would be like trying to slow down from 100 MPH and only reaching 99.9 MPH.

If the core is heating there is a plausible explanation, with time scales which explain the ice ages over the eons. Our solar system could be entering a zone of higher gravitational tides in our Milky Way galaxy. We are currently in a low density region between the spiral arms, regions where gravitational forces from the higher density of star systems causes gravitational tides and forces at much higher levels than in the less dense regions.

If we are entering this kind of region we would see the similar activities to those experienced by Jupiter’s moon Io from gas giant’s gravitational field.

The phenomena we see makes me tend to believe there is something much stronger at work here than an increase on CO2 gas. But my theory is as valid as the green house gas theory. They are both pure speculation at this time.

And that is why this happened today. People got fed up with World Fantasy Day.


Adding this to the StopTheACLU open thread.

7 responses so far

7 Responses to “Earth Science & Mysteries”

  1. patch says:

    ” Clinton defended the UN’s Kyoto Protocol on greenhouse gases that was ditched by his successor…”

    Someone refresh my memory. Wasn’t the Kyoto Protocol rejected overwhelmingly by the Senate while Mr. Clinton was in office?

    What a windbag phony.

  2. granitroc says:


    I’ve been waiting for someone to blame the polar shift or reversal on global warming. I guess once some of these wackos realize the consequences of polar reversal, there will be an immediate call for George Bush’s impeachment and the immediate signing of Kyoto!

    You’ve drawn a lot of geo-science phenomenon together, but some of your sources need a little bit of comment upon. First, yes indeed there is polar wandering, it has been observed for more than a century. A greater concern is the loss of magnetic field intensity. Many geophysicts think the loss of intensity is a prelude to a total collapse followed by a polar reversal. This has happened many times in the earth’s past and is likely to occur again. This process probably doesn’t occur quickly in terms of human time scale, but then again, no one has ever witnessed it.

    In the interim between polar reversals, there will be no magnetic north or south. The loss of the earth’s magnetic fields will have dire consequences to all life on earth. The field shields the planet from solar winds (the auroras are a manifestation of the solar winds blowing in the earth’s magnetosphere). The solar winds are highly charged particles that are deleterious to all biology. At the very least, humans will experience a higher rate of skin cancer. On the other end of the spectrum of possibility…, well think of the earth as one big microwave oven. Oh yes, our compasses won’t work either!

    The frequency of polar reversals have been quite erratic, so predicting one is still impossible. However one disturbing phenomenon in the South Atlantic is the near diminishment of the magnetic field. Like global warming, however, I wouldn’t lose any sleeping waiting for nature’s Armageddon to come.

    As to the new ocean in east Africa, I am quite skeptical of it forming in a million years. I don’t have a map in front of me, but I suspect the area is near or at a triple point spreading center. The rate of spreading would have to be extraordinary to qualify as an ocean basin in a million years. I would expect many tens of millions of years before a true ocean basin would form. But hey, we won’t be here anyway, so who cares.

    Now back to Kyoto. It truly amazes me on the disinformation promulgated on this topic. In fact, the U.S. leads the world in CO2 reduction. How can I claim this? Simple, we are the world’s leader in diversifying away from CO2 fuels. Look at the development of wind farms, geothermal fields, solar power, hydro power etc. While still a small percent of our electrical generation, it is many times more advanced than in any other country on a per capita basis. Besides electricity, look at federal mandates to increase auto fleet mileage efficiency. The better the MPG, the less fuel is burned; the less CO2 in the atmosphere. What other country is doing this? None.

    Also, we (the U.S.) have been modernizing our fleet of natural gas fired power plants (prime source for electricity in the U.S.). Using our high technology advantage, we have doubled the amount of electricity generated by a given quantity of fuel. Again, less fuel, less CO2. We are the world leaders in this.

    I could go on and on about every industry that has moved toward energy efficiency. I can’t think of one country that has attempted to emulate us. What Kyoto would do is really set up a market to buy and sell pollution credits. I really think Kyoto is a backdoor attempt to create new markets in the guise of doing something good for the environment. As has been said by others, the cost of implementing Kyoto is astronomical and for very little good. If you really want to look at this junk science, look at

    Statistically, the data used to claim global warming is unconvincing as the data correlation is, at best, poor. Worse still, there is a great deal of noise in the data, and the data itself is suspect. Not a good start for a theory. For the sake of argument, lets say there is global warming, what contribution comes from human activity? Sorry, we can’t tell, only guess.

    The eruption of Mt Pinutubo in the Philippines was an eye opener. This little volcano spewed enormous amounts of CO2 and ash in the atmosphere and caused global temperatures to fall. Our record of recent eruptions (say in the last million years) is woefully inadequate. How can we say ice ages or warm periods aren’t due to natural phenomena such as volcanic eruptions? We can’t!

    Below the surface (to the MSM) there is an enormous fight going on between geophysists and astrophysists on one side and meteorologists on the other. One of the major points of disagreement is whether the sun’s thermal output and solar activity (solar flares) are constant (within known cycles of approximately eleven years). The Global Warming crowd assumes it has been. Recent investigations seem to indicate solar output has been fluctuating and has a direct impact on our weather. This bit of true scientific investigation is coming from the geophysist and astrophysist crowd. If true, you can junk any correlation of global warming to human activity.

    As to the earth’s core heating up, this is a controversial topic and one not commonly accepted in the scientific community. Generally, it is believed the earth’s core is slowly cooling (again, the time frames are enormous). As an aside, and as a corrolary to the earth, we believe Mar’s metallic core cooled and solidified. At which time, its magnetic field disappeared and Mars became barren.

    There is some investigation as to the claim that the core is heating up. It is premised on the central core containing uranium or plutonium. Whether this will make the earth a Krypton corollary is uncertain, but as yet, this theory has few takers. Even if true, a heating core would not explain cycles of cooling and heating.

    Lastly, CO2 is the not the only greenhouse gas. The predominant greenhouse gas is water vapor. There are many scenarios where the percentage of water vapor in the atmosphere could change. Unfortunately, little science has been done on this topic, and besides, how would we blame Bush for this?

  3. AJStrata says:

    Excellent post GranitRoc. I was aware of most of that except the core warming. The fact we do travel, as a solar system, through regions of higher and lower gravitational tides is a fact. The question is do the climate and magnetic field fluctuations run on a cycle that would line up with the solar system migration.

    My recollection is the magnetic field is due to the flow of liquid metal in the outer core. So slowing the flow would result in a weaker field that could also wobble more as it weakened.

    Once we get to Mars it will be interesting to see the Mars volcanoes stopped and started on a similar cycle to cycles we see on the Earth. That would point to some extra-solar factor. Mars could be at that point where small increases in gravity can begin to apply rip forces internally and re-melt the core. All wild speculation, I know. But it works to some degree.

    I know very well about the solar flare/Sun controversy working near missions that study the Sun. The problem is our detailed measurements span such a short time it is impossible to extrapolate accurately. But I agree, that is more likely than anything else I have seen.

    My point was to throw out a theory which is as probable as the Global Warming crowds theory to illustrate neither have any solid backing. Your points are putting reality back in the debate. Thanks for the post.

  4. AJStrata says:


    In case you are not being facetious, yes the Senate did dump Kyoto under Clinton 99-0. And he did not do a thing to help or stop it.

    Cheers, AJStrata

  5. Bill in AZ says:

    There have been some interesting studies on solar activity that seem to strongly correlate to real observations here in the Southwest. Solar activity, as derived from the study of Beryllium-10 in Arctic ice, indicates that solar activity over the last few decades is around 2.5 times its background level over the last 1000 years. Its last peak was roughly 850-900 years ago. Tree ring studies indicate that the current drought we are experiencing is the worst in approximately the same timeframe, 850-900 years. Coincidentally, it is approximately 850-900 years ago that various Native American cultures in the area disappeared or moved on for unknown reasons.

    I know from personal exploring in the deserts and mountains here that some springs and water sources I could depend on when I was young are either gone or not reliable.

    solar studies

    Now, if Bush had implemented Kyoto 900 years ago…

  6. AJStrata says:


    Thanks for the link. And the laugh! Bush should have known!

    Seriously though, I wish the discussion could be based on facts and solid theory. I think it is something we may need to start planning for. But Kyoto is a waste of time and effort for nothing in return.

  7. az redneck says:

    You’re not saying bush/rove/cheney DIDN’T meet in Crawford 900 years ago to……??