Thongchai Thailand

The Geology of ENSO

Posted on: July 3, 2019

papua-newguinea

 

[LIST OF POSTS ON THIS SITE]

 

THIS POST IS DERIVED FROM A LECTURE BY GEOLOGIST JAMES KAMIS   [LINK]. IMAGE#1 TO IMAGE#4 ARE TAKEN FROM THE SLIDES USED IN THE LECTURE.

 

 

ENSO IMAGE #1 (JAMES KAMIS)

elnino-1

 

 

ENSO IMAGE #2 (JAMES KAMIS)

ELNINO2

 

 

ENSO IMAGE #3 (JAMES KAMIS)

elnino3

 

ENSO IMAGE#4 (JAMES KAMIS)

elnino4

 

 

IMAGE#5 AND IMAGE#6 ARE PROVIDED BY JAN NULL (PHOTO BELOW), METEOROLOGIST AT GOLDEN GATE WEATHER SERVICES AND A RECOGNIZED SOURCE OF ENSO INFORMATION [LINK]  

janNull

 

IMAGE#5: (JAN NULL)bandicam 2019-07-03 11-47-06-708

 

IMAGE #6 (JAN NULL)

bandicam 2019-07-03 11-48-49-549

 

 

  1. The El Nino/La Nina event in the Western Pacific Ocean, also known as the El Nino Southern Oscillation or ENSO, is one of the most influential climate events on earth. It is a climate phenomenon that is repeatedly created at the same exact location on the planet. It affects ocean currents and animal migration patterns, and is thought to have caused migration in South American civilizations in a distant past. Here we present the case that the ENSO phenomenon is the creation of geological forces.
  2. Consider for example that all ENSO events originate in the exact same deep ocean location in the offshore region near Papua New Guinea / Solomon Islands. This area is one of the most volcanically active regions on earth.
  3. The bright yellow slide on the left frame of the IMAGE#1 is an El Nino sea surface temperature map. This map shows that the El Nino is a very intense temperature event for both the ocean and the atmosphere. The well defined boundary between the hot red areas and the cooler yellow areas indicate that the energy source is very powerful. The shape of El Nino is not like any other shape in the Pacific Ocean or any other ocean for that matter. There the ocean currents swirl as in swirling hurricanes powered by ocean warming. That is not what happens in El Ninos. These are long linear events.
  4. Also, the El Nino doesn’t occur anywhere else on earth. They form only in this specific spot offshore Papua New Guinea. The analogy for that is in the upper right hand frame of the IMAGE#1. This is a land volcano erupting and sending volcanic ash into the air currents that flow from left to right. That is kind of what El Ninos do. Ocean currents carry the warm water from the left side to the right all the way to South America.
  5. Another interesting aspect is on the lower right slide of IMAGE#1. This is a snapshot of the warming of El Nino. The warming does not occur in uniform fashion. Rather it occurs as in this time lapse video in distinct pulses. So there will be a pulse of very high heat flow originating from the source and flowing, staying together, toward South America. The cumulative effect of these pulses makes the well defined cone shaped feature seen in the left frame of the IMAGE#1.
  6. Climate model simulation of the timing ENSO events consistently fail. The reason for the failure is their exclusive reliance on atmospheric forces to explain all observed climate phenomena on earth. Volcanic activity is not rhythmic or deterministic. It is chaotic and irregular. Such erratic behavior is an issue that climate science is unable to address purely in atmospheric terms but a feature of the ENSO cycle that matches the behavior of volcanic activity.
  7. Yet another issue that relates to AGW assumptions is that there is no evidence of a trend that would indicate that ENSO events are becoming more intense or more frequent over time. Descriptions of these events go back to the time of Spanish explorers of the Americas in the 15th and 16th centuries. Earlier records of these events are found in ancient Mayan and Aztec records. These early records contain details of very strong ENSO events with civilization changing impacts.
  8. The left frame of IMAGE#2 demonstrates the extreme point source of ENSO events in the context of he vast expanse of the Pacific Ocean. The right frame of IMAGE#2 is a close look at the location of this point source along the Pacific Ring of Fire (PROF), the most intense active volcanic area on earth. The black markers are the locations of the main fault lines of the PROF. The image also shows the five plate boundaries as well as locations of known highly active volcanoes on the ocean floor marked with red triangles.
  9. Historically, these characteristics of this region did not receive much attention in climate and geological research. Insufficient data and an atmospheric bias in climate research are the likely reasons for that. It is thus that the role of geological forces in ENSO cycles did not receive much attention. There are 360 million sq.km of ocean with 3,800 buoys to take temperature data – or one buoy per 9,000 sq.km corresponding to an area 3000 km squared, roughly the distance from Bangkok to Beijing, a 4.5 hour flight. The buoys are also limited to a depth of less than 2,000 meters, well above ocean floor volcanoes at depths of 4,000 to 6,000 meters. It is not possible for these buoys to identify the point source of heat that becomes well dispersed as it rises. With regard to atmospheric bias, it should be noted that investigation of the ENSO event with only atmospheric and shallow ocean data resulted in so many conflicting theories that this line of research has not led to any satisfactory conclusions except that ENSO events are caused by some “unknown natural force”.
  10. In February 2015 there was a large swarm of seismic activity and again four months later in June of 2015 in a lagged fashion as shown in IMAGE#3. This was the trigger of the 2014-2016 El Nino event described by various sources as “unusually warm waters developing between South America and mid Pacific Ocean with drought in Venezuela, Australia and the Pacific islands and flooding in other places; more tropical cyclones than normal in the Pacific and fewer than normal in the Atlantic”. It is generally conceded that seismic activity is associated with El Nino events.
  11. IMAGE#4: El Ninos are created by a pulse of heat. La Ninas form when the magma at the source of the heat cools down and the fractures in the fault above open up with sea water still being circulated through this fractured system but it’s much cooler sea water. Additionally, the icy methane clathrates that fill these layers and the sediment layers associated with the faults, re-establish themselves and act to rapidly cool the ocean water. The right fame of IMAGE#4 is a display of these ENSO temperature cycles 1965 to 2010 with El Ninos events in red and La Nina events in blue. The periods with no color are normal years without an ENSO effect. Some examples of sudden drop from extremely high to extremely low temperatures are seen in this image and made somewhat clearer in the Jan Null data in IMAGE#6 where can see the almost vertical temperature drop in the 1997/1998 ENSO. The energy change in such changes is immense in terms of power (energy per unit time). In particular, note the greater change in energy in these events than the energy needed to form an El Nino. Other scientists have noted this difference and it is generally recognized that the transition event from ElNino to ElNina occurs on a regular basis in ENSO events with strong El Ninas. Various examples can be seen in the chart provided by Jan Null in IMAGE#6. These events provide additional evidence that the methane clathrate plays a key role in the La Nina cooling events. Natural gas from geological sources mixing with sea water form clathrates and this physical reaction is strongly endothermic.

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