Written by James Kamis on November 14, 2017
The Plate Climatology Theory was originally posted on Climate Change Dispatch October 7, 2014. Since that time other information in the form of several relatively new publications has been incorporated into the theory, and as a result key aspects of the theory have been strengthened. Not proven, but strengthened. This new information does prove one thing, that this theory should be given strong consideration by all scientists studying Global Climate.
In posting this theory I am:
- In no way attempting to prove the other guys wrong. Rather Plate Climatology is intended to be additive to the excellent work done to date. It may open the way to resolving the "Natural Variation" question currently being debated by Climate Scientists. What could be more natural then geological events influencing Climate.
- Hoping that if this theory gains traction with the science community that it not be used as a political football. That would be contrary to how science should work. 3.) Wanting it to act as a catalyst for future research and provide a platform to join what are now several independently researched branches of science; Geology, Climatology, Meteorology, and Biology. The science of Climate is extremely complex and necessitates a multi-discipline approach.
Two aspects of the Plate Climatology Theory have been strengthened as detailed below.
Update 1: Sub-Ocean Tectonism, Volcanism, Heat Flow, and Fluid Expulsion .... the origin of El Nino.
Research done by Kessler et al as referenced below, can be interpreted to show that a deep ocean Geological heat point source for El Ninos has been located east of Papua New Guinea. This deep ocean heat point source location fits perfectly with the Plate Climatology Theory because it is an area of known active ocean volcanism, and at the juncture of several major plate boundaries. Additionally, using published ocean temperature maps of El Nino, it is possible to discern the western most starting point of El Ninos. All maps indicate an area east of Papua New Guinea, which fits perfectly with the newly defined Kessler heated ocean area. Other geologists have previously proposed this same area as the generating point of El Nino occurrences (see Mandeville reference below).
In fairness to Kessler et al, it is important to note that they do not interpret the results of their research as I do. Their work is comprehensive and documents the distribution of heated ocean water by a system of complex ocean currents. It is best that readers take a moment to study both of the references to their work listed below. It is obviously excellent work. However, I have a basic disagreement with their conclusion which implies that it is ultimately all about the atmosphere. I believe it is all about the geological heating influence at deep ocean plate boundaries and associated volcanism.
Other indirect evidence that collaborates the geological origin of El Ninos
- All El Nina's originate at a "point" source in the western Pacific, in fact the same source point (see attached El Nino maps below). Climate Scientists currently maintain that El Nina's are fueled by Solar energy that is somehow focused into the deep ocean, then modified by complex ocean currents. There are many problems with this theory. First, why do all El Nina's originate at the same point? It's very difficult to believe that they would not occur in other areas of the western Pacific where the solar energy is just as strong. Secondly, it is also very difficult to believe that there are not other areas of the Pacific where complex ocean currents wouldn't form El Nina's or at least minor El Nina's. Lastly, La Nina's form at the same point as El Nina's. In my opinion the point source origin of El Nina's is clear evidence that they are not formed by solar energy, rather it shows that they are formed by a deep ocean geological phenomenon. Once formed El Nina's migrate east, become progressively shallower, and fan out. During this progression they maintain a strong, clear and definable temperature pattern. This pattern/ progression is unique and unlike any other temperature patterns in the Pacific. This can also be interpreted as strong evidence that the control/ origin of El Nina's is a unique event, specifically heat from a deep sea floor geologically controlled phenomenon.
- El Nina's often occur in "bundles", so multiple El Nina's happen in a short time span, grouped together. Typically the first El Nino in a bundle is low intensity, subsequent El Nina's become progressively more intense, ending with a final maximum I high intensity El Nino. This El Nino bundle pattern is very similar to the progression of well monitored and well understood land based volcanic and tectonic events. Which typically build through time to a final large volcanic eruption or fault movement.
- The temperature boundaries of El Nina's with normal sea water are relatively sharp. This implies that the energy source that generates the El Nino is very strong I intense and is likely an extremely high temperature sea water pulse. This El Nino sharp boundary contrast matches well with the known extreme temperature boundary contrast in smaller deep ocean vent / fumaroles. Conversely this sharp boundary contrast does not match up well with a solar / atmospheric origin for El Nina's as is currently proposed by most Climate Scientists.
- Information on selected geologically monitored deep sea vents/fumaroles show that they are perfect analogies to the much larger El Nina's. These geologically driven vents / fumaroles typically occur at major deep continental rift boundaries or at major fault segments associated with the plate movements. These point source vents / fumaroles emit extremely hot chemically charged water forming plumes of hot water that migrate east, become progressively shallower, and fan out. This progression, there sharp temperature boundary, and propensity to turn on and off is a very good match to the larger El Nino events.
Sub-Ocean Tectonism, Volcanism, Heat Flow, and Fluid Expulsion .... North Atlantic Ocean Heating Patterns
A publication in Nature by Li et al (see reference below) contends that recent unusually high North Atlantic Ocean near surface temperatures are the cause of increased ice mass in Antarctica. Li's theory essentially invokes a Domino like effect from these anomalous North Atlantic high sea temperatures. They induce changes in; atmospheric wind directions, wind temperatures, and weather patterns. These changed weather patterns are then theorized to be responsible for increased ice mass in Antarctica.
Upon reviewing Li's North Atlantic temperature anomaly map, and then overlaying the trace of the Mid Atlantic Ridge/ Rift, I discovered that there is a very close match between the two maps. (see attached temperature map). I believe this match strongly implies a cause and effect relationship between heat release at the Mid Atlantic Rift system and subsequent localized heating of the overlying North Atlantic Ocean. In fairness to Li et al, it is clear that strong North Atlantic currents play a role in modifying the mapped pattern of heated ocean water. However, this modification is not enough to hide the telltale signature that shows the Mid Atlantic Ridge as the primary cause of the ocean heating.
I believe that Li's temperature maps can be interpreted in a more direct manner. I here theorize that the high near surface temperatures in the North Atlantic are responsible for:
- Melting of the southern Greenland Ice Sheet
- Melting of a portion of the Arctic Ice Sheet
- Have nothing do with increased Ice Mass in the Antarctica
Update 2: The Relationship of Oceanic Plankton Levels and Ocean CO2 Concentrations with Deep Ocean Tectonics and Volcanism
Worldwide deep ocean tectonic activity and associated heat and fluid release may have a much greater effect on plankton levels and ocean CO2 concentrations than previously thought.
Chemosynthesis is a fascinating new branch of biology. It is now well known that deep ocean vents have biologic communities associated with them. These vents release significant amounts of heat and chemicals which supply food for numerous biological communities. The number of vents and their overall effect on the ocean is largely unknown, save a few isolated areas. Ongoing research shows that there is likely significantly more heat and chemical release than previously thought. The implications of Chemosynthesis have not been fully appreciated. However, it is in essence a confirmation that geologically driven deep ocean geological events are likely to be significant.
Given that deep ocean chemosynthesis exists, it is a logical next step to theorize that increased heat anomalies in the oceans also may have an effect/ alter shallow plankton blooms. More heat may be acting to alter plankton blooms in several ways; alter ocean current patterns, alter ocean chemical composition, and alter temperature upwelling patterns.
Below find an image from NASA of a Plankton bloom under the Ross Ice sheet in Antarctica. The Ross Ice sheet is an isolated area where the Antarctic Ice sheet is actually retreating, not advancing like the rest of the Antarctic Ice Sheet. It's very interesting to note that recently it has been discovered that ocean temperatures beneath the Ross Ice sheet are unusually warm relative to other areas of the Antarctic. I theorize that this local ice retreat and unusual plankton bloom are caused or indirectly effected by geologically induced heat release from a deep ocean vent or fault zone.
I freely admit that the subject of Plankton Blooms is an extremely complex subject, and therefore one that I am not well qualified to discuss. However, the nature of Plankton Blooms is still under great debate and to my knowledge none of the debate includes the possible influence of geologically controlled events.
Recent publications can be interpreted to have strengthened many aspects the Plate Climatology Theory, still it remains just that a Theory. However it is now abundantly clear that Climate Scientists are struggling to explain observed "Natural Variations" in recent Climate Patterns. I continue to believe that Geological Phenomenon, especially those in the deep ocean floors, are strong candidates to explain much of this natural variation.