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ANTARCTICA RAINFOREST

Posted on: April 3, 2020

ANTARCTICA-RAINFOREST

(1)  THE ANTARCTICA RAIN FOREST STORY IN THE GUARDIAN

Think of Antarctica and it is probably sweeping expanses of ice, and the odd penguin, that come to mind. But at the time of the dinosaurs the continent was covered in swampy rainforest. Now experts say they have found the most southerly evidence yet of this environment in plant material extracted from beneath the seafloor in West Antarctica. The Cretaceous, 145-66 MYA (million years ago), was a warm period during which Earth had a greenhouse climate and vegetation grew in Antarctica. This new discovery reveals that swampy rainforests were thriving near the south pole about 90m years ago but that temperatures were higher than expected. Such conditions could only have been produced if carbon dioxide levels were far higher than previously thought and there were no glaciers in the region. We didn’t know that this Cretaceous greenhouse climate was that extreme. It shows what carbon dioxide can do. In 2017, the scientists drilled a narrow hole down into the seafloor near the Pine Island glacier in west Antarctica. This location is about 2,000km (1,200 miles) from today’s south pole, but about 90m years ago it was about 900km from the pole. The hole was drilled and material extracted using a remotely operated rig. It is like a spaceship sitting on the seafloor. The first few meters of material were glacial sediment, dating to about 25,000 years ago, while the next 25m were sandstone, dating to about 45m years ago.  In the next three metres the scientists found exciting new material in mudstone, topped by a coal-like material, and packed with soil from the ancient forest, complete with roots, spores and pollen from conifer trees and ferns. They found evidence of more than 65 different kinds of plants within the material, revealing that the landscape near the south pole would have been covered in a swampy conifer rainforest similar to that found today in the north-western part of the South Island of New Zealand. The material was dated to between 92 and 83 MYA. It would have had average annual temperatures of 12-13C  which is warmer than in Germany today. The analysis of chemicals left by photosynthetic cyanobacteria revealed that surface waters were at a pleasant 20C. Computer modelling shows that such an environment so close to the south pole would only have been possible if greenhouse gas concentrations were far higher than previously thought and the land surface were covered in vegetation. There were no ice sheets present. Studying the Antarctic ecosystem is hugely important in understanding past and future climate change because unabated use of fossil fuels use could push concentrations of carbon dioxide to levels similar to those 90m years ago by the start of the next century. If we have an atmosphere of more than 1,000 parts per million of carbon dioxide, we are committing ourselves to a future planet that has little to no ice.

 

(2)  THE CITED RESEARCH PAPER

Article: Published: 01 April 2020: Temperate rainforests near the South Pole during peak Cretaceous warmth. Johann P. Klages, Ulrich Salzmann, […]the Science Team of Expedition PS104. Nature volume 580, pages81–86(2020)Cite this article: Abstract: The mid-Cretaceous period was one of the warmest intervals of the past 140 million years, driven by atmospheric carbon dioxide levels of around 1,000 parts per million by volume. In the near absence of proximal geological records from south of the Antarctic Circle, it is disputed whether polar ice could exist under such environmental conditions. Here we use a sedimentary sequence recovered from the West Antarctic shelf—the southernmost Cretaceous record reported so far—and show that a temperate lowland rainforest environment existed at a palaeolatitude of about 82° S during the Turonian–Santonian age (92 to 83 million years ago). This record contains an intact 3-metre-long network of in situ fossil roots embedded in a mudstone matrix containing diverse pollen and spores. A climate model simulation shows that the reconstructed temperate climate at this high latitude requires a combination of both atmospheric carbon dioxide concentrations of 1,120–1,680 parts per million by volume and a vegetated land surface without major Antarctic glaciation, highlighting the important cooling effect exerted by ice albedo under high levels of atmospheric carbon dioxide.

 

 

(3)  CRITICAL COMMENTARY

  1. In the cited research paper, the relevant evidence is a concurrence of two events in West Antarctica in the Cretaceous. These are the high level of atmospheric CO2 and the extreme year round warmth of West Antarctica that is necessary to explain the existence of a lush green rainforest in the region as implied by the fossil roots in the mudstone matrix.
  2. The researchers concluded from this concurrence that the two events were causally related to propose that the Cretaceous rainforest in Antarctica must have been the result of the warmth caused by the greenhouse effect of the high level of atmospheric CO2.  This causation interpretation is flawed.
  3. The concurrence of events A and B by itself does not imply either causation or the direction of the causation. If causation is to be inferred, one should consider that the concurrence of two events A and B could mean that A causes B or that B causes A or that a third unobserved variable causes both A and B. Of course, it could also mean that the concurrence was incidental and that it does not have a causation implication.
  4. Specifically, in this case, the conclusion drawn from the observed concurrence of high atmospheric CO2 and evidence of a rainforest is that high atmospheric CO2 caused warming by way of the greenhouse effect of carbon dioxide and that the warmth thus caused had created the conditions in West Antarctica that explain the rainforest. This specific interpretation of the concurrence is arbitrary and likely driven by the atmosphere bias in climate science.
  5. With no humans to burn fossil fuels in the Cretaceous, the source of the carbon that raised atmospheric CO2 concentration to 1000 ppm must have been the mantle. The leakage from the mantle to the atmosphere that supplied the CO2 must also have supplied geothermal heat. Therefore, the concurrence may not have the implication that A causes B but that a third unobserved variable causes both A and B and that third unobserved variable in this research is geological activity.
  6. Further support for the geological interpretation of this event are that (a) West Antarctica is a geologically active region as explained in a related post [LINK]  in terms of the West Antarctic Rift System and the Marie Byrd Mantle Plume. Therefore, it should be considered that geological events had caused both the high CO2 and the warmth.
  7. Yet another argument for the geological interpretation of the data and against the atmospheric source of the warmth by way of the greenhouse effect of atmospheric CO2 is that the greenhouse effect of atmospheric CO2 requires sunshine – but Antarctica does not have sunshine all year.  It gets sunshine only six months of the year. In the other six months, Antarctica is dark with no sunshine for the earth to re-radiate and for CO2 to trap.
  8. Also, it is not possible for the the greenhouse effect of atmospheric CO2 to turn an icy surface into rocks and dirt because ice does not absorb and re-radiate incident solar radiation at infra-red frequency. It reflects sunlight in an albedo effect at a high frequency that cannot be trapped by CO2 whatever its atmospheric concentration.
  9. CONCLUSION: In view of the above considerations, we find that the interpretation of the data in the cited paper is biased. The source of the bias is likely to be a combination of the atmosphere bias of climate science [LINK] [LINK] and the activism need of climate science to motivate climate action in their war against fossil fuels by creating a sufficient fear of atmospheric CO2 warming [LINK] [LINK]

 

LEFT: DECCAN TRAPS VOLCANISM   RIGHT: CIRCULAR REASONING

 

Courtesy: Rafe Champion [LINK] 

causation

 

THE MID CRETACEOUS SUPERPLUME WAS A VERY LARGE MANTLE PLUME OF MAGMA FLOW THAT HAD FLOWED UP THROUGH THE OCEAN AND VENTED INTO THE ATMOSPHERE. SUPERPLUME MAGMA COMES FROM CLOSE TO THE CORE WHERE THE TEMPERATURE IS 5000C.

THE CLIMATE SCIENCE POSITION IS THAT THE CO2 THUS BROUGHT TO THE ATMOSPHERE CAUSED THE WARMING KNOWN AS THE MID CRETACEOUS WARM PERIOD. THIS THEORY ASSUMES THE IMPOSSIBILITY THAT SUPERPLUME MAGMA CAN FLOW UP FROM THE MANTLE TO THE ATMOSPHERE WITHOUT WARMING THE OCEAN. THE CLIMATE SCIENCE THEORY OF THE MID CRETACEOUS WARM PERIOD IS AN EXTREME FORM OF THE ATMOSPHERE BIAS THAT PLAGUES THIS DISCIPLINE.

AN EXCELLENT CRITIQUE OF THIS CLIMATE SCIENCE POSITION IS PROVIDED BY BEN WOUTERS IN THE COMMENT SECTION BELOW WHERE HE EXPLAINS THAT THE MID CRETACEOUS WARMING IS A CREATION OF A WARM OCEAN WHICH WAS WARMED BY THE SUPERPLUME. 

 

 

 

 

 

 

8 Responses to "ANTARCTICA RAINFOREST"

Reblogged this on uwerolandgross.

Thank you Uwe. I hope this gets around because so much falsehood is being spread by that biased paper.

Posted on solarcycle24com @ proboards.com.

To me it is obvious that the warm climate in the Cretaceous was a worldwide phenomenon due to the hot deep oceans, maybe 10-20 C warmer than today. Reason for hot, deep oceans obviously NOT CO2 or the atmosphere, but gigantic magmatic events like the Ontong Java one, possibly 100 million km^3 magma erupting in the deep oceans.
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ontong_Java_Plateau
https://i2.wp.com/wattsupwiththat.com/wp-content/uploads/2019/06/image-2.png?resize=768%2C491&ssl=1
Realize that 1 million km^3 magma brings enough energy to the oceans to increase their temperature ~1K.
Also realize that the ~100 mW/m^2 geothermal flux brings enough energy to warm the oceans 1K every ~5000 years.
For deep ocean temperature reconstructions see eg.
https://agupubs.onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/full/10.1029/2011JC007255
especially figure 9
https://www.researchgate.net/publication/263205991_Evidence_for_global_cooling_in_the_Late_Cretaceous
especially figure 3
One needs to realize that the sun does NOT warm all ocean water, but only increases the temperature a bit of a shallow (max. ~500 m) surface layer.
The bulk of the oceans heat content is from geothermal origin.

Thank you sir. I will read.

Pse replace the link for the image with this one so the image will show up (probably 😉 )

Yes sir. Will do. Thank you.

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