Written by James Kamis on January 16, 2016, modified on September 21, 2017
Figure 1: Geological heat flow from earth’s mantle is here shown breaking
through earth’s outer crust thereby altering earth’s oceans, atmosphere, and climate.
(credit National Geographic and modified by J. Kamis)
After ten years of research the Plate Climatology Theory was formally introduced on October 7th, 2014 in a previous Climate Change Dispatch (CCD) post. Recently the theory was presented at the American Meteorological Society Annual convention in New Orleans on January 13, 2016, (see here) thereby marking it “published” by a major and well recognized scientific organization.
It is here contended that two previous studies support the dominant role of geological heat flow in directly causing the end or beginning of many major glacial periods. The authors of these studies do not agree with this conclusion. However, they do agree that the beginning and end of many Ice Ages and coincides with beginning or end of significant worldwide volcanic heat flow pulses. Both studies incorrectly conclude that atmospheric Global Warming is the direct cause of ending or beginning of Ice Ages. Furthermore, they conclude that increased or decreased worldwide volcanic heat flow is only a side effect of the atmospheric warming. It here contended that increased worldwide volcanic activity is the direct cause of ending and beginning of Ice Ages and that atmospheric Global Warming is a side effect, again as per the Plate Climatology Theory.
The two studies are: Harvard published in August 28,2009 (see here), and Lamont-Doherty Earth Observatory study published on February 5, 2015(see here). A very brief review of how these say end or begin is as follows.
The Harvard study contends that periods of increased Atmospheric Global Warming act to melt or partially melt Polar Ice Caps which relieves ice overburden pressure on sub-glacial volcanoes. The sub-glacial volcanoes become active, emit heat, and accelerate Polar Ice Cap Melting ending an Ice Age.
The Lamont-Doherty Earth Observatory study contends that worldwide ocean sea levels control the increase or decrease of ocean floor volcanism. Works like this. Higher sea levels form atmospheric Global Warming act to melt Polar Ice Caps. The melt water acts to raise worldwide sea level. This increases ocean column overburden pressure on seafloor volcanoes. The volcanoes stop erupting. Conversely when atmospheric warming ends Polar Ice caps increase in thickness and worldwide sea levels drop. Less ocean column overburden pressure acts to reactivate seafloor volcanoes.
Both studies conclude that atmospheric Global Warming is the direct cause of Ice Age endings and beginnings by invoking overly complicated and incorrect explanations. A much more direct and data supported explanation is that geological forces, primarily in the form of volcanically induced heat flow and chemically charged heated fluid flow is the direct cause of ending and beginning Ice Ages. This geological heat flow comes from Earth’s major upper crustal continental drift plate boundaries.
This is a monumental step forward for Plate Climatology Theory.
This is because when correct interpretation of the two above-mentioned studies is considered in context with a broad list of other ways geological forces influence or in some cases drive climate trends and climate related events:
- Generate all El Nino's / La Nina's events
- Melting of selected Antarctic Glaciers located atop the giant West Antarctic Rift / Fault System
- Melting of the base of the Arctic Sea Ice
- Slowing down the Gulf Stream ocean current
- Emitting significant amounts of methane and CO2 into the atmosphere
- Acting like deep ocean “forest fires” to diversify and spread coral reefs
- Significantly influence plankton blooms which largely control earth’s atmospheric oxygen content
- Significantly influence the temperature and chemistry of the oceans
- Act in concert with normal atmospheric processes to control earth’s climate
Numerous CCD posts during the last two years provide the reader with additional details that document the validity of the above bullets. An overview of the theory is:
The Sun, quite obviously, is the first order driver of earth’s climate, but a much neglected second order driver can contribute significantly to natural variations. The overall theory contends that periods of active earth tectonics and volcanism can be correlated to periods of active climate change and climate related events. To describe this new theory, the term Plate Climatology is designated. In general, increased tectonic activity, either locally or globally, equates to more faulting and volcanic activity which leads to more heat and chemically charged fluid (air or liquid phase) release from these active geological features into both the oceans and atmosphere.
Altered heat and fluid input equate to climate change.
This effect has been largely hidden from scientific investigation because the heat and fluid release is primarily from two under explored/under monitored regions. First, earth’s Deep Oceans which contain major geological features such as Divergent Plate Boundaries (tectonic plate pull-apart boundaries), Transform Plate Boundaries (tectonic plate side sliding boundaries), Convergent Plate Boundaries (Subduction and Abduction Zones), and High Heat Flow Volcanic regions. The associated heat and fluid release from these geological features acts to alter ocean temperatures, densities, and chemical compositions. The “Altered Oceans” then influence or drive climate changes and climate related events.
Secondly, earth’s Polar Ice Caps which contain major geological features such as: Divergent (tectonic plate pull-apart boundaries), Transform Plate Boundaries (tectonic plate side sliding boundaries), and High Heat Flow Volcanic regions. The associated heat and fluid release from these geological features act to alter sub-ice sheet temperatures. The altered Sub-Glacial Ice Sheets then influence or drive climate changes and climate related events. Many connections between Geology and Climate are explored and explained in this theory.
Validation of the Plate Climatology Theory marks the beginning of a new era concerning how we move forward with research of, and more importantly reshape our views of what influences earth’s climate. It is now obvious that the study of climate must include many varying but interconnected aspects; atmospheric, oceanic, biologic, astronomical, and geologic.
It has always made common sense that if major geological plate boundary geological forces have the power to move continents 2-3 centimeters per year, frequently create large tsunamis that mix thousands of feet of ocean column, support vast chemosynthetic communities, and contain 90% of the planets known active volcanoes that they can certainly/easily influence our climate and climate related events in a dramatic fashion. However, it is no longer necessary to rely on just common sense when judging the validity of the Plate Climatology Theory (PCT). An absolutely mountain of compelling, diverse, and mainstream research now proves that the PCT is correct.
Note from author
Special thanks to the folks at Climate Change Dispatch for believing in, editing, and posting a theory from an unknown, non-university, and non-governmental geologist. CCD provided me with a vehicle to get my theory out to the public when other more mainstream outlets locked me out. It is important to note that in the now two years of association with CCD they never once asked me to alter / “sugar coat” any of the facts. To the contrary, whenever they found a technical error or misstatement in one of my articles they asked that I correct it, no matter the consequences. CCD is an excellent example of how the American Free Press System and the process of freelance journalism should work.