Hugely interesting, very important…but in some ways perhaps not important at all.
June 11, 2020
The attached article is one of the most fascinating that we have read in a long time and in many senses one of the most important. Yet in another way it is probably not very important at all. If that sounds something of a contradiction in terms, perhaps we could put it another way;
If there were a theory to explain the majority of the natural phenomena we currently attribute to Anthropogenic Global Warming (AGW) but that did not involve greenhouse gas emissions would anybody listen? Moreover, if there was very little we could actually do about it, would it actually matter? If you are still interested, then read on, but please do so with an open mind. We have put this into a new category of thinking Outside the Box.
The linked article is the summary of more than a decade’s work by the anonymous author and goes into considerable detail with full citations etc, and all the supporting evidence and detailed work is contained therein. This blogpost is thus both a summary of the key points and also something of a re-ordering them from the original, our role being simply to draw attention to what we think is likely a key part of our global ‘jigsaw puzzle’ and to put it in more of a lay-person’s terms. We note that the author spends a lot of time at the beginning stressing that they are not a climate change denier (to use that pejorative phrase) suggesting to us at least that they too are keen for the argument not to be discarded simply for not being in tune with the current group-think. Compelling as we think the following argument is, we don’t think for one minute that it will do much to shift the entrenched positions around AGW, which is why we suggest that ultimately it is not very important, but we believe it should at least be heard.
Finally, one important caveat. The following is our brief summary as we understand the facts presented. For more detail please read the article itself. If our understanding is incorrect and we mis-represent the article then we apologise, but equally please do not discard the theory without cross-checking the attached source.
A new Grand Theory
There is an old expression from the Soviet Union that ‘to a man with a hammer, everything looks like a nail’ and this is where we are now with ‘Climate’. The theory of Anthropogenic Global Warming, (AGW), now rebranded as Climate Change, has come to dominate almost all discourse around energy and environmental policy. It has become a Grand Theory of Everything. Any observations on weather, sea levels, ocean temperatures, glaciers, ice packs and so on is brought to our attention to ‘support’ the theory and, more importantly, the mitigation policies being advocated. The only justification required for the, at times quite extreme, policies demanded is to point to ‘the evidence’. The theory that justifies the policies is no longer questioned. No alternative theory is tolerated, the science is deemed to be ‘settled’ and anyone suggesting that the theory itself may be suspect is simply accused of ‘denying’ the observations. However, to question the theory is not to deny the observations, nor is there an incumbency effect, an alternate explanation has the same burden of proof as AGW.
Note that this is not to dismiss Green House Gas effect entirely, but rather to say that given that CO2 is less than 4% of total greenhouse gases (the rest is mainly water vapour) and given further that man made Co2 is around 4% of that 4%, it would be odd to think that the remaining 96% is entirely stable and that the only variable in this whole system is mankind. This article then is an attempt to offer an additional – not even an alternative – theory, but importantly we note that it is one that fits an even wider range of observable facts.
A number of things that aren’t very well explained
The author begins by highlighting a few of the natural phenomena that are observed by proponents of AGW but which are not fully explained by their theory. For example, Co2 emissions appear to have an annual cycle correlated with the sun’s lattitude that would not be consistent with AGW which is supposed to be a linear effect. Moreover, they appear to go up in the northern hemisphere summer when one might expect fewer fuels to be being consumed. Second, if, as is posited, the Greenhouse Gas Effect (GGE) is effectively preventing excess heat from escaping the earth’s atmosphere, then we should observe less heat radiation into space. But this isn’t happening either. The point here is not to shoot down AGW, rather to set the scene for the better explanatory power of this alternative construct or New Grand Theory of Everything. In our opinion this presents a compelling narrative as to what in fact is happening and thus we set this out below.
1) Sea levels are rising but so is variation and so too are deep ocean current speeds
First is the known and observed fact that sea levels are rising, but more importantly the fact that the variance on sea levels is out of the ordinary, something that can only be explained by a variation in height of the surrounding landmass or gravitational pull – either of the moon above or the earth below. Linked to this is the rise in the speed of global deep ocean currents, up 15% in the last 20 years. Conventional AGW wisdom has this as being down to higher wind speeds associated with global warming, but as the author points out there is simply not enough atmospheric kinetic energy to achieve this increase in speed of deep ocean currents. Think here of currents such as the East Australian Current (EAC) that Nemo rides with Crush the turtle which goes down as deep as 1000m. Indeed as the author points out, the only things capable of achieving this variation in sea level and deep ocean current acceleration are geophysical and geothermal impacts on the deep ocean conveyance currents. This then is where we start to look down the rabbit hole.
2) The ultra deep (Abyssal) Oceans are absorbing far more new heat than the surface oceans
It is a well known and intuitive phenomenon that the deeper we go in the oceans the colder it gets. However, as the article explains in a good deal of detail, at the very deepest levels, where not a lot of study actually takes place, the data that we do have on the temperature anomalies shows an excess heat anomaly relative to its volume of ocean water that is higher at the very deepest (abyssal) levels than this theory would suggest, with the largest contributions coming from the southern and pacific oceans. Of course this warmer water doesn’t just stay there, it moves upwards in the conveyance currents. In effect this suggests that the heat is rising up rather than sinking down.
3) The main surface heat anomalies occur in the same place – the mid Atlantic rise, driving alternate heating and cooling cycles
Next, and sticking with the oceans, we can observe that the heat anomalies being monitored by climate scientists always appear to occur at the same, broad, levels of longitude, and move eastward, whether the heat anomaly appears in the Northern or Southern Hemisphere. Specifically they appear to originate in an area known as the mid Atlantic Rise and to produce alternate heating and cooling cycles in Europe/Asia or Africa/Asia. Importantly, they don’t appear to heat both north and south at the same time which is another observation inconsistent with theory of general atmospheric heating causing the anomalies.
4) We are seeing evidence of activity within the earth itself
Now, to continue with our alternate construct, consider the next unusual phenomenon, the fact that we can observe the earth is slowing in its rotation, which is due to a transfer of both kinetic energy and, more importantly, mass from the inner rotational body of the earth to its outer body. In effect a small part of the ‘core’ is leaking into the outer mantle and just as an ice skater extends their arms to slow the spin, so this transfer of mass is slowing the outer body relative to the inner body. This is a mean reverting phenomenon, although the author doesn’t give a clear idea of the periodicity, but they do note that the only phenomenon that appeared to coincide with the observable 32 year cycle of earthquakes and volcanoes was in fact a slowing of earth’s rotation. The author concedes that it is difficult to conclude that there has definitely been a meaningful change in volcanic and other activity due to observational disciple (or lack thereof) but they do argue that it is this increase in ‘mantle activity’ that lies behind the ocean phenomena discussed above. In addition to pushing up mass from the mantle (the slowing effect) we are also seeing a temporary cycle of ‘exothermic kinetic energy’ into the earth’s crust. Moreover, in addition to the Mid Atlantic Rise, the conveyance layer of the oceans passes near the poles where the mantle activity is higher and thus the deep oceans warmer. This not only drives the El Nino and La Nina effects (themselves appearing to get larger) but also means that the arctic and antarctic oceans no longer cool the air as much at the poles. Just as the wind couldn’t possibly be responsible (entirely if at all) for the increase in ocean currents, nor could the atmospheric temperature be responsible for observed temperature changes at the poles. In effect we are looking up when we should be looking down.
5) The Earth’s magnetic field is changing
So, holding that thought we can then consider another fascinating and observable phenomenon, the fact that the earth’s magnetic field is changing. First, we can see that the earth’s geomagnetic pole has wandered significantly in the last twenty years to an average speed of 55km per year .https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Earth%27s_magnetic_field#/media/File:Magnetic_North_Pole_Positions_2015.svg .
Some scientists believe this is part of a multi-millennial process whereby the north and south poles swap polarity (yes really), which would in fact produce multiple magnetic poles while in transition. Among other things it produces ‘holes’ in the earth’s magnetic field, a fact picked up recently by the European Space Agency, which also note that there has been a weakening in general of the earth’s magnetic field. https://www.esa.int/Applications/Observing_the_Earth/Swarm/Swarm_probes_weakening_of_Earth_s_magnetic_field There is apparently an established link between electromagnetic activity and global temperatures, something known as Schumann resonance https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Schumann_resonances. A lot of work has been done on this, something that which we make no claim to be qualified to judge, but the authors provide lots of supporting evidence and note that this is consistent with recent temperature changes. There may or may not be causality in that correlation, but then frankly correlation equals causality is almost the entire basis of the AGW, theory which observes rising temperature and rising Co2 and attributes the former to the latter.
6. Pulling it all together
To summarise our summary than. We know from its slowing that the earth is in a cyclical phase of shifting mass from its inner core into the mantle and ultimately to the asthenosphere (what we might think of as the earth’s crust). The small points where this warms the ultra deep ocean are responsible for faster deep ocean currents and warmer seas as the energy is distributed by conveyance to the ocean surface, so rather than atmosphere heats ocean, ocean heats atmosphere – or at least doesn’t cool it. This is particularly, but not exclusively, happening at the poles, where the lack of cooling has its effect on the atmosphere as well as the currents driving the weather systems such as La Nina and El Nino. The hotter asthenosphere also warms deep oil and deep sea methane, while gas hydrate vents become more active. In addition permafrost and tundra are heated, all releasing Co2 and Methane into the atmosphere. Thus we see that Co2 follows rather than leads the warming and it mostly comes from beneath our feet. Meanwhile, this mantle activity is also consistent with a lowering of the earth’s magnetic fields and an increased mobility in the north pole and to higher electromagnetic activity – all factors correlated if not causally linked to historically observable higher temperatures.
Conclusion: A bottom up rather than a top down explanation
The appeal of this construct is not only in its detail and working, but the fact that it can explain all of the phenomena being observed by scientists as opposed to relying on one theory (greenhouse gases) at the exclusion of all others and yet being unable to explain most of them. A warming coming from the atmosphere can not explain variations in sea levels, nor an acceleration in the ocean currents. It can not explain the alternate northern and southern hemisphere temperature anomalies, nor the warming of the southern oceans at the surface but also the very deepest levels. Other factors discussed in the article include the lack of reduction in solar radiation that would explain heat being trapped by the greenhouse effect and the annual cycle nature of the Co2 emissions that does not fit with a notion of dominant man made production of Co2.
By contrast, not only does the construct of a warming coming from within the earth rather than from its surface (and specifically the humans living upon it) explain all of the above, but it also explains other observations about the movement of the north pole, the weakening of the magnetic field and the anecdotally (but not scientifically) confirmed pick up in geothermal and geophysical activity.
The problem with this explanation of course is that there is nothing we can ‘do’ to stop it. We can still reduce carbon (rather than carbon di-oxide) emissions for health reasons, but the emphasis has to shift to mitigation rather than an attempt to control the effects by addressing the symptoms (Co2 and other emissions are caused by the heating rather than causing the heating).
That being said and as noted at the start, we accept that there are simply far too many powerful interest groups deeply committed to the AGW thesis and its accompanying industrial complex for this alternative thesis to be accepted any time soon – if ever. Thus we would restate that not only is it extremely interesting, it is both extremely important and almost certainly (and sadly perhaps) likely to be deemed not important at all.