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bandicam 2020-08-18 11-31-14-595



CITATION: Henry, A., Prasher, R. & Majumdar, A. Five thermal energy grand challenges for decarbonization. Nat Energy (2020)., PublishedDOI

ABSTRACT:  Roughly 90% of the world’s energy use today involves generation or manipulation of heat over a wide range of temperatures. Here, we note five key applications of research in thermal energy that could help make significant progress towards mitigating climate change at the necessary scale and urgency.


TO MITIGATE CLIMATE CHANGE WE MUST LIMIT GLOBAL WARMING TO LESS THAN 2C SINCE PRE-INDUSTRIAL:  Advancing our ability to transport, store, convert and efficiently utilize thermal energy will play an indispensable role in avoiding a greater than 2 °C rise in global average temperature. Even though this critical need exists, there is a significant disconnect between current research in thermal sciences and what is needed for deep decarbonization. Here, we highlight five thermal science and engineering grand challenges that we believe could have a meaningful impact on global emissions. These were identified based on estimations of the size of their potential impact (that is, by assessing the fraction of global greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions that could be abated if the technology was maximally successful), as well as our own opinions and qualitative assessments of the magnitude of the opportunities for scientific advancement and technological breakthroughs. For example, improving the efficiency of heat engines in the stationary power sector is not highlighted here, despite the fact that it could be impactful, because current heat engines already operate very close to their thermodynamic limits.

THE PROBLEM WITH RENEWABLES: As solar and wind electricity penetration has increased, its intermittency has hastened the need for low-cost storage over a wide range of time scales, from seconds to days, and even seasonal storage. THE RENEWABLE SOLUTION DOES NOT WORK WITHOUT STORAGE BUT THERE IS NO PRACTICAL STORAGE SOLUTION. Pumped Hydro is geographically limited and Lithium-Ion Batteries are too expensive. These technologies will not fully decarbonize the grid. It is necessary to solve this problem to fully decarbonize the grid.

THE ANSWER IS THERMAL STORAGE: Solving this problem could enable full decarbonization of the grid, thereby reducing global GHG emissions by ~25%. To do that, the storage problem must be solved and to do that we must address this thermodynamics issue:  It is easy to convert electricity to heat but there is a large efficiency penalty when converting the heat back to electricity.


(1) Amy Caleb 2017: Pumping liquid metal at high temperatures up to 1,673 Kelvin[LINK] ABSTRACT: Heat is fundamental to power generation and many industrial processes, and is most useful at high temperatures because it can be converted more efficiently to other types of energy. However, efficient transportation, storage and conversion of heat at extreme temperatures (more than about 1,300 kelvin) is impractical for many applications. Liquid metals can be very effective media for transferring heat at high temperatures, but liquid-metal pumping has been limited by the corrosion of metal infrastructures. Here we demonstrate a ceramic, mechanical pump that can be used to continuously circulate liquid tin at temperatures of around 1,473–1,673 kelvin. Our approach to liquid-metal pumping is enabled by the use of ceramics for the mechanical and sealing components, but owing to the brittle nature of ceramics their use requires careful engineering. Our set-up enables effective heat transfer using a liquid at previously unattainable temperatures, and could be used for thermal storage and transport, electric power production, and chemical or materials processing.

The full text of the Amy Caleb paper is available for download in PDF format from this site. Here is the link: CALEB2017PDF  ….  WARNING: Clicking on this link will cause a large pdf file to  be downloaded to your device.

PDF] Pumping liquid metal at high temperatures up to 1,673 kelvin ...

(2) Robert Laughlin (2017) Pumped thermal grid storage with heat exchange [LINK] ABSTRACT:  A thermal heat-pump grid storage technology is described based on closed-cycle Brayton engine transfers of heat from a cryogenic storage fluid to molten solar salt. Round-trip efficiency, computed as a function of turbomachinery polytropic efficiency and total heat exchanger steel mass, is found to be competitive with pumped hydro. The cost per engine watt and cost per stored joule based are estimated based on the present-day prices of power gas turbines and market prices of steel and nitrate salt. Comparison is made with electrochemical and mechanical grid storage technologies.

The link provided above is to the full text of the Laughlin paper. If the link fails, the full text PDF may be downloaded from this site. Here is the link: LAUGHLIN2017PDF  WARNING: Clicking on this link will cause a large pdf file to  be downloaded to your device.

bandicam 2020-08-18 11-12-18-475


  1. The traditional solution to intermittency of renewable energy from wind and solar in the form of fossil fueled backup contains the contradiction of a need for fossil fuels in the climate action effort to replace fossil fuels with renewable energy. Therefore, from the anti fossil fuel position of climate science, it is necessary to find alternative solutions to the intermittency issue in wind and solar renewable energy.
  2. Although pumped hydro has been traditionally used for this purpose, this solution is location specific and is not a global solution. In the papers reviewed above and those listed in the bibliography below, are described new technologies currently under development that may offer a purely renewable energy storage solution to address intermittency in wind and solar without the contradiction of the need for fossil fuels to move the global energy infrastructure away from fossil fuels in a climate action effort to limit the temperature rise in anthropogenic global warming to 2C since pre-industrial.
  3. Foremost among these energy storage technologies proposed in the the last decade, 2010-2020, are Thermal Energy Storage (TES), Pumped Heat Electricity Storage (PHES), and thermal energy storage with Phase Change Material (PCM). These alternatives to pumped hydro are currently under development with pumped hydro being currently the only storage technology available to address the intermittency issue in renewable energy.
  4. The Henry (2017) paper presented above addresses two TES technologies citing the Caleb (2017) and Laughlin (2017) where energy storage is envisioned in molten metals and in molten salt. Advances in TES technology and engineering as well ongoing developments in PCM and PHES are described in the bibliography below over the period from 2011 to 2020. Advances in the science, technology, and engineering of such energy storage systems are encouraging and may one day lead to a solution to intermittency of wind and solar power in the absence of pumped hydro.


Waterwheel Design and the Different Types of Waterwheel

  1. In the history of energy that drove human progress since the Neolithic Revolution from human power, animal power, the invention of the wheel, water wheels, windmills, the combustion of carbon based fuels, and nuclear power, the evolution of energy technology was orderly and progressive. These changes were driven by ideas and innovations in a market economy. The dynamics of a market for energy that selects winners and losers is the evolutionary process gave us the fossil fueled economy we live in.
  2. However, certain downsides to fossil fuels were identified in the 1960s when smog, oil spills, acid rain, and other environmental issues emerged as serious downsides to fossil fuels from both human welfare and ecology points of view. The 1960s hippie movement against fossil fuels, described in a related post [LINK] was a product of these weaknesses in fossil fuel energy.
  3. These environmental weaknesses of fossil fuels spearheaded the renewable energy movement more than 50 years ago with innovations in wind, solar, tidal, and geothermal energy. However, in the market for energy, even as renewable energy was being developed and implemented, fossil fuels regained the upper hand with technological innovations needed to overcome environmental laws enforced by the newly formed Environmental Protection Agency (EPA). The acid rain story, presented in a related post [LINK] , is instructive in this historical context.
  4. These innovations by the fossil fuel industry solved the smog, the acid rain, and oil spill problems and weakened the case against fossil fuels. At the same time, the widespread implementation of renewables revealed their operational weaknesses in terms of intermittency, and power output variability not under human control, the need for fossil fueled backup power, and high maintenance cost. As a result, renewables could not compete with the new improved fossil fuel energy product free of smog and acid rain. Wind, solar, tidal, and geothermal waned and retreated into a near death experience. This left the large and growing environmental movement against fossil fuels in shock because it had seemed for a time that the war against fossil fuels had been won and that clean green renewables were the future of energy.
  5. The rise of fear based climate change environmentalism is best understood in this context. As described in the related post [LINK] , fear based climate change is preached by climate scientists and activist with horrific predictions of extreme heat, the collapse of polar ice sheets, catastrophic sea level rise, extreme weather in terms of storms, droughts, floods, heat waves, forest fires, mass extinctions, and the collapse of civilization. Even the phraseology to describe global warming and climate change turned into global heating and climate crisis or climate emergency. The fear is then further extended to the whole of the planet with the assessment that if we continue to burn fossil fuels it will be the end of life on earth and the end of the the planet itself.
  6. At issue is the use of fossil fuels because all of these fearful things are described as the effect of burning fossil fuels. We are told that burning fossil fuels creates CO2 from very old carbon from under the ground that does not belong in today’s atmosphere. And that when this old CO2 is released into the atmosphere it causes atmospheric CO2 to rise [LINK]  and that in turn causes warming (or heating) by way of the greenhouse effect of CO2 . And that therefore, the only solution to the global heating crisis is to take “climate action” and that means to stop using fossil fuels and move the world’s energy infrastructure to wind and solar renewables.
  7. We propose that the interpretation of this argument as a rationale for moving the world’s energy infrastructure from fossil fuels to wind and solar renewables is that there was no rational case for renewables because of their operational drawbacks particularly in terms of intermittency and unreliability. The theory of catastrophic climate change was needed to force the issue with fear based activism against fossil fuels having failed to compete in the market for energy.
  8. Belatedly, after more than two decades of forced implementation of a flawed energy model with fear based activism against fossil fuels, climate science now boasts that the technologies such as TES, PCM, and PHES are currently in development and that these technologies hold the promise of solving the unreliability and intermittency problem of wind and solar renewable energy.
  9. In the context of the history of the cart before the horse forced implementation of wind and solar renewables with fear based activism, the promising developments for reliable wind and solar renewables after the fact reveals the fallacy of forced fear based activism as a method for promoting renewables. A technology still under development and not ready for the market was thus imposed with activism.
  10. This grotesque history of the attempt to force an energy transition with an incomplete and yet undeveloped technology is revealed as yet another criminal failure in a poorly thought out activism against fossil fuels before the alternative energy technology development was complete and before the technology was at hand.
  11. The admission at this late stage in the climate movement that technologies for reliability of renewables are still in development in addition to the fear mongering lies needed to push that incomplete technology discredits the climate movement. There should be criminal charges or at the least lawsuits against the perpetrators of this scam.




  1. First, biomass was thought to be renewable green energy but the logical flaws in that assessment is now widely recognized so that biomass is no longer either renewable or green.
  2. With regard to solar: the amount of space it takes is such that it cannot be used on a large scale and what makes that worse is that solar requires exclusive use of the land it is on and the absence of shade.
  3. The absence of sunshine at night these facilities can generate power only during the day. Also, at extreme latitudes, the solar energy available from the sun during the three winter months is essentially zero. To use this technology under those conditions, it would be necessary to store enough power for the months of no sunshine – an impossibility.
  4. The Netherlands has 2,300 windmills installed on land and in the ocean for renewable energy as part of their climate action policy. The question is how many do we need to replace fossil fuels?  We take the current consumption of energy in the Netherlands of 2,440 petajoules. Of that, electricity accounts for 379 petajoules. or 106 billion kw-hours.
  5. Wind turbines on average yield 5 megawatts per wind turbine.  5 megawatts = 5,000 kilowatts. At continuous production every hour of the day and every day of the year, one wind turbine can deliver 5000*24*365 = 43.8 million kw hours. For the 106 billion kw hours needed we require 2,420 wind turbines.
  6. Wind turbine installation requires a minimum distance between them to avoid wind-shadow interference among them. This distancing requirement implies that the distance between wind turbines should be at least 5 times the height of the turbines.
  7. Typically, wind turbines are about 200 meters tall. This means that they should be spaced 1km apart. Therefore, to install 2,420 wind turbines in the sea off the coast of the Netherlands, we need 2,500 square km. If a square, it will be 50km by 50km.
  8. The computations above are based on the maximum power output continuously year round from each of these turbines. This output is available only between wind speeds of 10 to 15 meters per second. . Above 15 m/s they have to turn off the turbines to protect them from the wind. Most of the time the winds speed is below 10m/s with  correspondingly lower power output.
  9. A good rule of thumb is that on average, we get 25% of the power output under ideal wind conditions of 10-15m/s. This means that the number of turbines we need are 4*2420 or 9,680 turbines. So instead of 2500 sqkm we will need 10,000 sqkm or 100km by 100km.
  10. Yet another consideration is that the average we computed above is the average between very high and very low output with the very low output frequently zero. When the wind velocity is too low we don’t have power. This means that to use wind turbines, we must be able to store power for those times when the turbines are not delivering.
  11. The amount of energy that must be stored for this function is enormous and so battery storage is not an option. What is being proposed is hydrogen. When there is too much power, the excess power is used to electrolyze sea water and make hydrogen. When there is insufficient wind and insufficient power, liquid hydrogen combustion generates and delivers power.
  12. Although the liquid hydrogen option looks good on paper, the hidden complexity of this solution is that these back and forth energy conversions are not efficient but suffer enormous inefficiency losses. In the conversion to hydrogen and back to electricity 2/3 of the energy is lost to inefficiencies such that only 1/3 of the energy generated at high wind speed can be delivered at low wind speed.
  13. To compensate for these inefficiency losses, we need more than 9,680 wind turbines. To compensate for a 75% efficiency loss, we need 2.5*9680 = 24,200 wind turbines. The area of ocean needed now goes up to 150km by 150km or 22,500 sqkm. 
  14. It is noted that the analysis above is just for providing the electricity currently being consumed in the Netherlands that account for 16% of the total energy consumed by the country – as for example energy for transport (cars and trucks), home heating, and other direct uses for fossil fuels. 
  15. To supply the total energy needs of the Netherlands, we will need 157,000 wind turbines. The area needed now explodes to 400km by 400km or 160,000 sqkm – compared with 41,453 sqkm for the country of the Netherlands. The North Sea region accessible and usable by the Netherlands for wind turbines does not contain sufficient area for the number of wind turbines needed. Add to that the eletrolysis and and hydrogen storage tanks. 
  16. Now consider that wind turbines cost about 5 million Euros each (installed). The wind turbine energy system described above will cosgt 800 billion Euros – not including the facilities needed to store and use hydrogen. Also not included is the additional cost of modifying the electricity grid to deliver the wind energy involving hundreds of billions of Euros of investment needed. 
  17. But the worst news of all is yet to come. It is that the life span of wind turbines in the salty sea environment is 20 years although they last about 30 years on land. That cost is not a one time investment but an ongoing maintenance cost to keep the facility in operation. 
  18. In his September 2020 video, Jan adds the ecological damage caused by renewable energy along the lines of the presentation made in the Michael Moore film Planet of the Humans. He says as follows: 
  19. Many of the measures taken to save the planet from climate change are made at the expense of the environmental. The advantages of Green technologies are exaggerated. Here are some drawbacks of green energy that are not widely known or appreciated. 
  20. Biomass is already under fire now that it has become clear that forests are being felled on a large scale for the production of biomass. Greens vehemently oppose deforestation in Amazonia for agricultural purposes but ironically supported deforestation elsewhere for biomass until recently. Currently, global energy consumption is about 13.5 gigatons of oil equivalent =5.67E20 Joules per year. The total amount of wood in our forests worldwide is 536 gigatons of wood in the world’s forests. The thermal value of wood is 18 megajoules per kg of wood. Thus the available heat energy in the world’s forests is 9.5E21 Joules.  If we use forests for all our energy needs, we will use them all up in 17 years not counting planting and re-growth.
  21. Another form of agricultural renewable energy is biofuel as for ethanol and palm oil. The problem here is that energy production competes with food production for agricultural land. A dramatic example is the millions of acres of forest lands burned and cleared for palm oil in Indonesia. The climate movement that once pushed for biofuels has now backed off from biofuels.  [RELATED POST ON BIOFUELS]
  22. There are similar drawbacks to solar energy. Fields of solar panels compete with agriculture for land. The use of solar panels also raise serious environmental issues. The mining of rare earths needed to make solar panels is environmentally destructive and a greatly increased scale of this operation will wreak ecological destruction oon a grand scale. The ecological issues with these materials in solar cells re-appear at the end of their useful life in their disposal.  At the end of their lifespan, solar panels are shredded. Only the glass and metal are recycled. The rest of the solar cell is discarded. The toxic substances that were mined in the DRC now end up in the environment of the renewable energy consumers. Recycling is too costly because the toxic minerals are baked into the solar cells. 



Duggan Flanakin, Author at CFACT

  1. At the end of the useful life of wind turbines of 20 to 30 years, they must be removed, discarded, and replaced. The waste disposal issue involves the concrete and rebar foundations and the very large blades that are up to 107 meters (351 feet) long. No part of these waste items is recyclable.
  2. The volume of this waste disposal issue is enormous. Blade disposal alone is estimated to be 43 megatons by 2050, approximately 1.4 megatons per year on average equivalent to dumping a million cars a year. 
  3. This dumping problem is made worse by the toxic nature of the the material. The toxicity issue is described by Flanakin as “a toxic amalgam of composites, fiberglass, epoxy, polyvinyl chloride foam, polyethylene terephthalate foam, balsa wood, and polyurethane coatings”. 
  4. The blades are so large and heavy that a tractor trailer can haul only one blade at a time to the landfill at a cost of $400,000 per blade. The volume of this disposal is 8,000 blades a year in the USA alone (. That’s 8,000 fossil fueled tractor trailer trips to the landfill every year in addition to the pollution of the soil with the blade materials. The total annual cost in the USA for blade disposal alone is $3.2 billion. At the same time blade disposal is using up US landfill disposal capacity. A blade disposal environmental crisis lies in wait. And then there are those solar panel and battery wastes to be disposed of as well. 
  5. Yet another issue with wind turbines not well known is that wind farms create unsafe flying conditions because the rotational force of turbines creates turbulence that makes flying overhead and landing close by dangerous. This feature of wind farms is known to affect air ambulance services. 
  6. This analysis by Duggan Flanakin was provided by the wuwt website. For details please visit this wuwt post at this link [THE REFERENCE WUWT POST BY FLANAKIN] 


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  1. Thess, André. “Thermodynamic efficiency of pumped heat electricity storage.” Physical review letters 111.11 (2013): 110602Pumped heat electricity storage (PHES) has been recently suggested as a potential solution to the large-scale energy storage problem. PHES requires neither underground caverns as compressed air energy storage (CAES) nor kilometer-sized water reservoirs like pumped hydrostorage and can therefore be constructed anywhere in the world. However, since no large PHES system exists yet, and theoretical predictions are scarce, the efficiency of such systems is unknown. Here we formulate a simple thermodynamic model that predicts the efficiency of PHES as a function of the temperature of the thermal energy storage at maximum output power. The resulting equation is free of adjustable parameters and nearly as simple as the well-known Carnot formula. Our theory predicts that for storage temperatures above 400°C PHES has a higher efficiency than existing CAES and that PHES can even compete with the efficiencies predicted for advanced-adiabatic CAES.
  2. Howes, Jonathan. “Concept and development of a pumped heat electricity storage device.” Proceedings of the IEEE 100.2 (2011): 493-503.  This paper addresses the early conceptualization of a system for reversible heat/work conversion based upon the heat engine cycle, developed in 1833 by John Ericsson, in combination with utility scale thermal energy storage in particulate mineral (e.g., gravel) and the development and test of the first prototype. Using these test results, mathematical modeling of the engine/heat pump has yielded improved second and third prototypes. Design of the second prototype and its behavior under test is discussed. Extant test results are used to extrapolate to the predicted performance of utility scale equipment.
  3. Ni, Fan, and Hugo S. Caram. “Analysis of pumped heat electricity storage process using exponential matrix solutions.” Applied Thermal Engineering 84 (2015): 34-44.  Pumped heat electricity storage (PHES) is a recently proposed competitive energy storage solution for large scale electrical energy storage (EES). It is especially valuable for regions where specific geological structures are not available. The performance of PHES depends on two factors: the operations of turbomachines and the thermal storage system. The former is characterized by pressure ratio, polytropic efficiency and gas heat capacity ratio. The latter contains the parameters of heat regenerators that can be summarized into two dimensionless numbers: length Λ and step time π. The overall process operation can be described by temperature difference representing the energy stored per unit heat capacity, the storage bed utilization ratio and the turn-around efficiency. Exponential matrix solutions are obtained for a discretized heat transfer model of a typical pumped heat electricity storage process. Using the cyclic steady state and transient state solutions, we are able to analyze how dimensionless length and step time affect the storage bed utilization ratio as well as the turn-around efficiency. This model provides basic guidance for further development of such processes.
  4. Roskosch, Dennis, and Burak Atakan. “Pumped heat electricity storage: potential analysis and orc requirements.” Energy Procedia 129 (2017): 1026-1033.  The rising share of renewable energy sources in power generation leads to the need of energy storage capacities. In this context, also some interest in thermal energy storages, especially in a concept called pumped heat electricity storage (PHES), arises. One possible design of such a PHES system consists of a compression heat pump, a thermal storage and an organic Rankine cycle (ORC). The present work analyses the general thermodynamic potential and limits of such a system and deals with the unusual requirements for the ORC. The potential analysis starts with the optimal case of combining two Carnot cycles with irreversible heat transfer. It is found that the efficiency of the entire process increases with increasing storage temperature and in general roundtrip efficiencies up to 70 % are predicted. Afterwards the cycles are transferred to cycles that are more realistic by considering technical aspects and a hypothetical working fluid which is optimized by an inverse engineering approach. This leads to lowered roundtrip efficiencies, which now, decrease with increasing storage temperatures. In a second step the specific ORC requirements as part of a PHES are considered, emphasizing the working fluid parameters. Especially, the use of a latent thermal energy storage leads to an ORC design differing from common (e.g. geothermal) applications. It is shown that the efficiency of the ORC and of the entire process strongly depends on the superheating at the expander inlet; here, the superheating must be held as small as possible, contrary to ORCs using common heat sources. [FULL TEXT PDF]
  5. Dietrich, Axel, Frank Dammel, and Peter Stephan. “Exergoeconomic Analysis of a Pumped Heat Electricity Storage System with Concrete Thermal Energy Storage.” International Journal of Thermodynamics 19.1 (2016).  Within the last 25 years the share of renewable energy sources in electrical energy production in Germany has been rising considerably. The volatility of renewable energy sources results in an increasing mismatch between supply and demand of electrical energy creating the need for storage capacities. The storage of electrical energy via the detour of thermal energy can be realized by a relatively new technology known as Pumped Heat Electricity Storage systems. This paper examines the exergoeconomic performance of such a storage system. A sample system comprising a concrete thermal energy storage is introduced; unsteady operations are simulated and analyzed. Although the achieved efficiencies are reasonable economical operations of the analyzed Pumped Heat Electricity Storage System are currently not possible. For the analyzed operation scenario the exergetic system efficiency, electrical energy output to electrical energy input, amounts to 27:3%. Considering the storage capacity and the lack of geological requirements the Pumped Heat Electricity Storage system can compete with pumped hydro and compressed air energy storage. However, prices of the order of 60 ct/(kWh) are not competitive considering current energy prices. Based on improved system designs as well as rising energy prices we assess Pumped Heat Electricity Storage Systems as a potential alternative to established storage technologies.
  6. Levelised Cost of Storage for Pumped Heat Energy Storage in comparison with other energy storage technologies, AndrewSmallbonea, VerenaJülchb, RobinWardlea, Anthony PaulRoskillyaa.  Sir Joseph Swan Centre for Energy Research, Newcastle University, Newcastle upon UK, Fraunhofer Insitute for Solar Energy Systems ISE, Freiburg, Germany. 2017.  ABSTRACT:  Future electricity systems which plan to use large proportions of intermittent (e.g. wind, solar or tidal generation) or inflexible (e.g. nuclear, coal, etc.) electricity generation sources require an increasing scale-up of energy storage to match the supply with hourly, daily and seasonal electricity demand profiles. Evaluation of how to meet this scale of energy storage has predominantly been based on the deployment of a handful of technologies including batteries, Pumped Hydro, Compressed Air Energy Storage and Power-to-Gas. However, for technical, confidentiality and data availability reasons the majority of such analyses have been unable to properly consider and have therefore neglected the potential of Pumped Heat Energy Storage, which has thus not been benchmarked or considered in a much detail relative to competitive solutions. This paper presents an economic analysis of a Pumped Heat Energy Storage system using data obtained during the development of the world’s first grid-scale demonstrator project. A Pumped Heat Energy Storage system stores electricity in the form of thermal energy using a proprietary reversible heat pump (engine) by compressing and expanding gas. Two thermal storage tanks are used to store heat at the temperature of the hot and cold gas. Using the Levelised Cost of Storage method, the cost of stored electricity of a demonstration plant proved to be between 2.7 and 5.0 €ct/kW h, depending on the assumptions considered. The Levelised Cost of Storage of Pumped Heat Energy Storage was then compared to other energy storage technologies at 100 MW and 400 MW h scales. The results show that Pumped Heat Energy Storage is cost-competitive with Compressed Air Energy Storage systems and may be even cost-competitive with Pumped Hydroelectricity Storage with the additional advantage of full flexibility for location. As with all other technologies, the Levelised Cost of Storage proved strongly dependent on the number of storage cycles per year. The low specific cost per storage capacity of Pumped Heat Energy Storage indicated that the technology could also be a valid option for long-term storage, even though it was designed for short-term operation. Based on the resulting Levelised Cost of Storage, Pumped Heat Energy Storage should be considered a cost-effective solution for electricity storage. However, the analysis did highlight that the Levelised Cost of Storage of a Pumped Heat Energy Storage system is sensitive to assumptions on capital expenditure and round trip efficiencies, emphasising a need for further empirical evidence at grid-scale and detailed cost analysis. [FULL TEXT PDF]
  7. Arce, Pablo, et al. “Overview of thermal energy storage (TES) potential energy savings and climate change mitigation in Spain and Europe.” Applied energy 88.8 (2011): 2764-2774.  Thermal energy storage (TES) is nowadays presented as one of the most feasible solutions in achieving energy savings and environmentally correct behaviors. Its potential applications have led to R&D activities and to the development of various technologies. However, so far there is no available data on a national scale in Spain and on a continental level in Europe, to corroborate the associated energetic and environmental benefits derived from TES. This is why, based on a previous potential calculation initiative model performed in Germany, this work intends to provide a first overview of the Spanish TES potential as well as an European overview. Load reductions, energy savings, and CO2 emissions reductions are tackled for the buildings and industrial sector. Results depend on the amount of implementation and show that, in the case of Europe for instance, yearly CO2 emissions may get to be cut down up to around 6% in reference to 1990 emission levels.
  8. Zhou, Zhihua, et al. “Phase change materials for solar thermal energy storage in residential buildings in cold climate.” Renewable and Sustainable Energy Reviews 48 (2015): 692-703Heating accounts for a large proportion of energy consumption in residential buildings located in cold climate. Solar energy plays an important role in responding to the growing demand of energy as well as dealing with pressing climate change and air pollution issues. Solar energy is featured with low-density and intermittency, therefore an appropriate storage method is required. This paper reports a critical review of existing studies on thermal storage systems that employ various methods. Latent heat storage using phase change materials (PCMs) is one of the most effective methods to store thermal energy, and it can significantly reduce area for solar collector. During the application of PCM, the solid–liquid phase change can be used to store a large quantity of energy where the selection of the PCM is most critical. A numerical study is presented in this study to explore the effectiveness of NH4Al(SO4)2·12H2O as a new inorganic phase change material (PCM). Its characteristics and heat transfer patterns were studied by means of both experiment and simulation. The results show that heat absorption and storage are more efficient when temperature of heat source is 26.5 °C greater than the phase transition temperature. According to heat transfer characteristics at both radial and axial directions, it is suggested to set up some small exchangers so that solar energy can be stored unit by unit in practice. Such system is more effective in low density residential buildings.
  9. Zhou, Dan, Chang-Ying Zhao, and Yuan Tian. “Review on thermal energy storage with phase change materials (PCMs) in building applications.” Applied energy 92 (2012): 593-605. Thermal energy storage with phase change materials (PCMs) offers a high thermal storage density with a moderate temperature variation, and has attracted growing attention due to its important role in achieving energy conservation in buildings with thermal comfort. Various methods have been investigated by previous researchers to incorporate PCMs into the building structures, and it has been found that with the help of PCMs the indoor temperature fluctuations can be reduced significantly whilst maintaining desirable thermal comfort. This paper summarises previous works on latent thermal energy storage in building applications, covering PCMs, the impregnation methods, current building applications and their thermal performance analyses, as well as numerical simulation of buildings with PCMs. Over 100 references are included in this paper.
  10. Soares, Nelson, et al. “Review of passive PCM latent heat thermal energy storage systems towards buildings’ energy efficiency.” Energy and buildings 59 (2013): 82-103.  This paper aims to explore how and where phase change materials (PCMs) are used in passive latent heat thermal energy storage (LHTES) systems, and to present an overview of how these construction solutions are related to building’s energy performance. A survey on research trends are firstly presented followed by the discussion of some physical and theoretical considerations about the building and the potential of integrating PCMs in construction elements. The different types of PCMs and main criteria that govern their selection are reviewed, as well as the main methods to measure PCMs’ thermal properties, and the techniques to incorporate PCMs into building elements. The numerical modeling of heat transfer with phase-change and heat transfer enhanced techniques are discussed, followed by a review of several passive LHTES systems with PCMs. Studies on dynamic simulation of energy in buildings (DSEB) incorporating PCMs are reviewed, mainly those supported by EnergyPlus, ESP-r and TRNSYS software tools. Lifecycle assessments, both environmental and economic are discussed. This review shows that passive construction solutions with PCMs provide the potential for reducing energy consumption for heating and cooling due to the load reduction/shifting, and for increasing indoor thermal comfort due to the reduced indoor temperature fluctuations.
  11. H Abedin, Ali, and Marc A Rosen. “A critical review of thermochemical energy storage systems.” The open renewable energy journal 4.1 (2011).  Thermal energy storage (TES) is an advanced technology for storing thermal energy that can mitigate environmental impacts and facilitate more efficient and clean energy systems. Thermochemical TES is an emerging method with the potential for high energy density storage. Where space is limited, therefore, thermochemical TES has the highest potential to achieve the required compact thermal energy storage. Thermochemical TES is presently undergoing research and experimentation. In order to develop an understanding of thermochemical TES systems and to improve their implementation, comprehensive analyses and investigations are required. Here, principles of thermochemical TES are presented and thermochemical TES is critically assessed and compared with other TES types. Recent advances are discussed.

Michalea King


Warming Greenland ice sheet passes point of no return

PDF) Dynamic ice loss from the Greenland Ice Sheet driven by ...


Greenland’s ice sheet has melted to a point of no return, according to new study
By Max Claypool and Brandon Miller, CNN [LINK]  

  1. Greenland’s ice sheet has melted to a point of no return, and efforts to slow global warming will not stop it from disintegrating according to a new study by researchers at Ohio State University. The ice sheet is now in this new dynamic state, where even if we went back to a climate that was more like what we had 20 or 30 years ago, we would still be pretty quickly losing mass,” Ian Howat, co-author of the study and a professor at Ohio State University, said.
  2. Greenland’s ice sheet dumps more than 280 billion metric tons of melting ice into the ocean each year, making it the greatest single contributor to global sea level rise, according to Michalea King, the lead author of the study and researcher at Ohio State University. The ice loss has been so massive in recent years, she said, that it has caused a measurable change in the gravitational field over Greenland. Ice melting in Greenland contributes more than a millimeter rise to sea level every year, and that’s likely to get worse. Sea levels are projected to rise by more than 3 feet by the end of the century, wiping away beaches and coastal properties.Coastal states like Florida, and low-lying island nations are particularly vulnerable. Just 3 feet of sea level rise could put large areas of coastline underwater. Forty percent of the US population resides in coastal areas that are vulnerable to sea level rise. There’s a lot of places, like in Florida especially, where one meter alone would cover a lot of existing land areas, and that’s exacerbated when you get storms and hurricanes and things like that, that then cause extra surge on top of a higher baseline.
  3. The study also found that the ice sheet is retreating in rapid bursts, leading to a sudden and unpredictable rise in sea levels, making it difficult to prepare for the effects. The study used four decades of satellite data to measure changes in Greenland’s ice sheet. The authors found that after 2000, the ice sheet shrank so rapidly that replenishing snowfall would not keep up with the rate of melting from parts of the glacier newly exposed to warmer ocean water, even if climate change were reversed. Entire coasts of ice are retreating at once due to climate change. All 200 glaciers that make up the Greenland ice sheet have been observed retreating within the same episode.
  4. Even though the retreat of the Greenland Ice sheet likely cannot be reversed, it’s just the first in a series of tipping points. If climate change continues at this rate, the rate of melting will get much worse. “We’ve passed the point of no return but there’s obviously more to come,” Howat said. “Rather than being a single tipping point in which we’ve gone from a happy ice sheet to a rapidly collapsing ice sheet, it’s more of a staircase where we’ve fallen off the first step but there’s many more steps to go down into the pit.” (translation: it is a tipping point but that does not mean we don’t take climate action because there are more tipping points down the line).



King, M.D., Howat, I.M., Candela, S.G. et al. Dynamic ice loss from the Greenland Ice Sheet driven by sustained glacier retreat. Commun Earth Environ 1, 1 (2020). [FULL TEXT]    Abstract:  The Greenland Ice Sheet is losing mass at accelerated rates in the 21st century, making it the largest single contributor to rising sea levels. Faster flow of outlet glaciers has substantially contributed to this loss, with the cause of speedup, and potential for future change, uncertain. Here we combine more than three decades of remotely sensed observational products of outlet glacier velocity, elevation, and front position changes over the full ice sheet. We compare decadal variability in discharge and calving front position and find that increased glacier discharge was due almost entirely to the retreat of glacier fronts, rather than inland ice sheet processes, with a remarkably consistent speedup of 4–5% per km of retreat across the ice sheet. We show that widespread retreat between 2000 and 2005 resulted in a step-increase in discharge and a switch to a new dynamic state of sustained mass loss that would persist even under a decline in surface melt.

Introduction:  The Greenland Ice Sheet (GrIS) has been losing mass for several decades1 due to both increased surface meltwater runoff and ablation of marine-terminating outlet glaciers via calving and submarine melting, termed ice discharge. Total GrIS mass loss over the 1992–2018 period was due to approximately equal contributions from both terms1 but with greater contribution from increased melt runoff after 2000, when mass losses accelerated2,3,4. Estimates of ice sheet discharge over multiple decades and at annual, or finer, resolution provide insight into the ice sheet’s response to long-term climate forcing and ongoing change4,5. Seasonal and interannual variability in ice sheet dynamics are challenging to resolve prior to the year 2000 due to temporal and spatial data gaps. Here, we apply the rigorous methodology in ref. 3 to gain improved constraints on estimates of ice sheet discharge over three decades, including the period leading up to the onset of rapid glacier retreat and acceleration. Rates of Greenland glacier retreat have accelerated6 and previous work has identified relationships between glacier speed and retreat7 and glacier area8 for smaller subsets of Greenland glaciers. We also then combine these data with high-resolution observations of time-varying calving front position changes and perform a GrIS-wide analysis of how these two variables relate on individual, regional, and ice sheet-wide spatial scales over the multi-decadal record. We discuss the timing of changes in retreat, thinning, and acceleration across the ice sheet, quantify the sensitivity of ice discharge to retreat, and describe the roles of both long-term changes in ice dynamics and surface mass balance in preconditioning regions of the ice sheet for rapid retreat, thinning, and accelerated discharge. We find that GrIS-wide discharge is now ~14% greater than the rate observed during 1985–1999, following an observed step-increase during the early 2000’s. Widespread glacier retreat explains nearly all (>90%) of the observed multi-decadal variability in discharge, with a observed increase in discharge of 4–5% per every weighted mean kilometer of retreat. We find that this sensitivity is proportionally consistent across different regions of the ice sheet, despite highly variable long-term trends in discharge. Following the step-increase in discharge, GrIS-wide totals have remained relatively stable at rates near 495–500 Gt yr−1, reflecting an increase that was sufficient to effectively shift the ice sheet to a state of persistent mass loss.

Results:  Long-term changes in ice discharge and comparison with other studies. We find a step-increase in decadal-scale ice discharge (Fig. 1a), with a ~60 Gt yr−1, or 14%, increase between 1985–1999 and 2007–2018 means. After reaching a temporally local maximum in 2005, annual D then temporarily decreased for 3 years. Following the temporary decline, discharge accelerated again at a slower pace of 2 Gt yr−2 during 2008–2018, reaching a peak annual value of 502 ± 9 Gt yr−1 in 2017 and 2018, or 17% above the 1980’s average. The increase in mean annual D since 2008 has been mostly due to a steady increase in seasonal minimum values increasing with a trend of 3 Gt yr−2 since 2007, indicating greater wintertime velocities relative to summertime maxima, most evident in the northwest (Supplementary Fig. 1) and in the most recent 3 years of the central west. The seasonal amplitude in D has also changed, increasing by nearly 50%, from a 1985–1990 average of 17 ± 6 to 25 ± 6 Gt yr−1 for 2000–2018. To account for the uncertainty in D due to this temporal gap in ice thickness observations, we estimate D assuming the end member-cases of (1) all thickness change occurring in the first year, which maximizes the impact of thinning at the start of the period, and (2) all thinning occurring in the last year, which minimizes the impact until ~2000. We find that during the 1985–1999 period, estimates of D can vary by an average 13 Gt yr−1 (Fig. 1a) depending on when thinning occurred between temporally sparse elevation data (AeroDEM, ~1985 and ASTER, nominally ~2000), described in more details in the Methods section.


Although Greenland’s summer ice melt and melt ponds in July and August can be understood as an atmospheric phenomenon, the Iceland hotspot under Greenland and other related geological features of this region of the Arctic require that the extreme instability of the ice sheet described in the paper must be understood in terms of geological features under the Greenland ice sheet specifically with respect to the Iceland Hot Spot rather than exclusively in terms of the atmosphere above it. Details of these geological features of the Greenland-Iceland region of the Arctic may be found in the bibliography provided below. See also:  


  1. Martos, Yasmina M., et al. “Geothermal heat flux reveals the Iceland hotspot track underneath Greenland.” Geophysical research letters 45.16 (2018): 8214-8222. ABSTRACT: Curie depths beneath Greenland are revealed by spectral analysis of data from the World Digital Magnetic Anomaly Map 2. A thermal model of the lithosphere then provides a corresponding geothermal heat flux map. This new map exhibits significantly higher frequency but lower amplitude variation than earlier heat flux maps and provides an important boundary condition for numerical ice‐sheet models and interpretation of borehole temperature profiles. In addition, it reveals new geologically significant features. Notably, we identify a prominent quasi‐linear elevated geothermal heat flux anomaly running northwest–southeast across Greenland. We interpret this feature to be the relic of the passage of the Iceland hotspot from 80 to 50 Ma. The expected partial melting of the lithosphere and magmatic underplating or intrusion into the lower crust is compatible with models of observed satellite gravity data and recent seismic observations. Our geological interpretation has potentially significant implications for the geodynamic evolution of Greenland.  IN PLAIN LANGUAGE: Heat escaping from the Earth’s interior provides important clues about areas of geology and geodynamics. In addition, where a region is covered by an ice sheet, such as Greenland, variations in the heat supplied from the Earth’s interior can potentially influence how the ice flows, and hence its future changes. Unfortunately, in ice covered regions direct measurements of heat flow are limited to sparse boreholes, meaning this important quantity is poorly understood. In this study we used variations in the Earth’s magnetic field to map out the variations in the amount of heat being supplied to the base of the Greenland Ice Sheet from the Earth’s interior. Ice sheet models incorporating these new and improved results will help better constrain future predictions of ice sheet evolution. Overall, the new map not only shows less extreme variations than previous studies, but also reveals a previously unseen band of warmer than expected rock stretching northwest to southeast across Greenland. This band, together with lithospheric models derived from gravity data, is interpreted to be the scar left as the Greenland tectonic plate moved over a region of hot upwelling mantle (the material beneath the tectonic plates), which now underlies Iceland. [LINK] 
  2. Rezvanbehbahani, Soroush, et al. “Predicting the geothermal heat flux in Greenland: A machine learning approach.” Geophysical Research Letters 44.24 (2017): 12-271.  ABSTRACT:  Geothermal heat flux (GHF) is a crucial boundary condition for making accurate predictions of ice sheet mass loss, yet it is poorly known in Greenland due to inaccessibility of the bedrock. Here we use a machine learning algorithm on a large collection of relevant geologic features and global GHF measurements and produce a GHF map of Greenland that we argue is within ∼15% accuracy. The main features of our predicted GHF map include a large region with high GHF in central‐north Greenland surrounding the NorthGRIP ice core site, and hot spots in the Jakobshavn Isbræ catchment, upstream of Petermann Gletscher, and near the terminus of Nioghalvfjerdsfjorden glacier. Our model also captures the trajectory of Greenland movement over the Icelandic plume by predicting a stripe of elevated GHF in central‐east Greenland. Finally, we show that our model can produce substantially more accurate predictions if additional measurements of GHF in Greenland are provided.  IN PLAIN LANGUAGE:The heat generated at the interior regions of Earth (geothermal heat flux, GHF) can be high enough to melt the bottom layers of ice sheets, decrease friction between ice and bedrock, and increase ice discharge to the ocean. This heat, however, cannot be directly measured in ice sheets because the bedrock is inaccessible. Here we present a novel approach to estimate this heat. We combine all the available geologic, tectonic, and GHF data that are available on all continents. We then establish a complex relationship between GHF and all the geologic‐tectonic features using machine learning techniques and then predict the GHF for the Greenland Ice Sheet. We utilize all information from available ice cores and bedrock boreholes to improve the GHF prediction in Greenland. Thus, the new GHF map honors tectonic settings, regional geology, and measurements from ice cores and can be used as an important input parameter to numerical ice sheet models that aim at lowering the uncertainties of future sea level rise predictions. [FULL TEXT]
  3. Alley, R. B., et al. “Possible role for tectonics in the evolving stability of the Greenland Ice Sheet.” Journal of Geophysical Research: Earth Surface 124.1 (2019): 97-115. ABSTRACT: The history of the Greenland Ice Sheet has been influenced by the geodynamic response to ice sheet fluctuations, and this interaction may help explain past deglaciations under modest climate forcing. We hypothesize that when the Iceland hot spot passed beneath north‐central Greenland, it thinned the lithosphere and left anomalous heat likely with partially melted rock; however, it did not break through the crust to supply voluminous flood basalts. Subsequent Plio‐Pleistocene glacial‐interglacial cycles caused large and rapidly migrating stresses, driving dike formation and other processes that shifted melted rock toward the surface. The resulting increase in surface geothermal flux favored a thinner, faster‐responding ice sheet that was more prone to deglaciation. If this hypothesis of control through changes in geothermal flux is correct, then the long‐term (105 to 106 years) trend now is toward lower geothermal flux, but with higher‐frequency (≤104 to 105 years) oscillations linked to glacial‐interglacial cycles. Whether the geothermal flux is increasing or decreasing now is not known but is of societal relevance due to its possible impact on ice flow. We infer that projections of the future of the ice sheet and its effect on sea level must integrate geologic and geophysical data as well as glaciological, atmospheric, oceanic, and paleoclimatic information.  IN PLAIN LANGUAGE: The behavior of the Greenland Ice Sheet and its effect on future sea level depends on its geologic history as well as on greenhouse warming. The Iceland hot spot passed beneath Greenland millions of years ago, and left hot, possibly melted rock deep beneath the island. Since then, growth and shrinkage of the ice sheet have changed stresses in the rocks beneath. These stress changes may have shifted the melted rock upward, perhaps all the way to the base of the ice sheet, probably in pulses tied to times of rapid ice sheet change. This would have changed the heat flow from the Earth into the base of the ice, which affects how easily the ice sheet grows and shrinks. The future of the ice sheet depends primarily on how much the climate warms, but better understanding of the interactions between the ice and the rocks beneath will allow better predictions of ice sheet changes. [FULL TEXT]

Global Volcanism Program | NW Eifuku

Scientists Link Underwater Eruptions to Climate Change 

Mantle plume - Wikiwand

Hydrothermal Vents / Undersea New Zealand / Ocean Floor / Science ...




  1. The theory of AGW climate change is that our use of fossil fuels causes emissions of CO2 to the atmosphere and that the CO2 being released into the atmosphere is not part of the current account of the carbon cycle but a perturbation of the current current account of the carbon cycle with very old carbon that was removed from the atmosphere millions of years ago.
  2. Climate science has determined that about half of the CO2 (50%) thus emitted stays in the atmosphere (the so called airborne fraction) and causes atmospheric CO2 concentration to rise. The value of the retained fraction was derived from the observed rate of rise in atmospheric CO2 concentration. The retained fraction is therefore a product of circular reasoning.
  3. The need for circular reasoning to determine the retained fraction derives from an extreme state of uncertainty in natural carbon cycle flows of CO2. These flows, atmosphere to ocean, ocean to atmosphere, atmosphere to photosynthesis, respiration to atmosphere, volcanism to atmosphere, etc are an order of magnitude larger than fossil fuel emissions and they cannot be directly measured. They are inferred from relevant data and therefore the estimates of carbon cycle flow rates contain large uncertainties. These uncertainties, though stated in terms of estimated standard deviation values, are nevertheless ignored when making the mass balance for the retained fraction estimate.
  4. In related posts it is shown that when the uncertainty in carbon cycle flow estimates are taken into account it is not possible to derive an estimate for the net effect of fossil fuel emissions. It is for this reason that the estimates of net flows of fossil fuel emissions to the atmosphere, to the ocean, to photosynthesis, and from respiration are derived with circular reasoning based on observed changes in the atmosphere and the ocean, estimates of changes in the mass of vegetation created by photosynthesis, and an estimate of respiration. Therefore in truth, the net flows of CO2 from fossil fuel emissions to atmosphere and ocean used in climate science are not known but guessed.
  5. Statistical analysis and mass balance measures do not support these flow assumptions. Detrended correlation analysis does not show that atmospheric or oceanic CO2 concentration is responsive to fossil fuel emissions at an annual time scale [LINK] [LINK] [LINK] [LINK] .
  6. In the case of the proposed effect of fossil fuel emissions on atmospheric CO2 concentration, a further test is carried out using a Monte Carlo simulation of the carbon cycle. No evidence is found net of uncertainty in carbon cycle flows that atmospheric composition is changed by fossil fuel emissions [LINK] .
  7. In the case of the issue of ocean acidification with fossil fuel emissions the attribution fails in both correlation analysis and a mass balance. For example, it is claimed that 30% of the CO2 in fossil fuel emissions dissolve in the ocean and cause acidification but correlation analysis does not show that ocean CO2 content is responsive to fossil fuel emissions at an annual time scale.
  8. In a mass balance analysis of the ocean acidification hypothesis we find that (a) there is not enough carbon dioxide in fossil fuel emissions to explain observed changes in ocean acidification extent, and (b) the ocean contains extensive geological carbon can acidify the ocean to a much greater extent than is possible with relatively minute flows of fossil fuel emissions.
  9. Climate science says that 50% of fossil fuel emissions goes into the atmosphere and stays there so that it can accumulate, 20% goes into photosynthesis, and the remaining 30% goes into the ocean. Thirty percent of 36 gigatons per year is about 11 gigatons per year going into the 14E8 gigatons of ocean meaning that in a hundred years we will be get up to 1ppm CO2 in the ocean. The ocean has access to much greater sources of carbon from nature as we describe below. Only 0.2% of the planet’s carbon is in the crust where we live much of that in the form of carbon life forms such as fish, humans, animals and trees. The rest of the planet’s carbon is under the sea floor in the mantle and core and the regular leakage from there is the crust’s ony source of carbon.
  10. Nature’s geological carbon from the mantle continually discharges into the ocean in sufficient quantity to explain changes in oceanic pH as seen in the bibliography below where large  flows CO2 from hydrothermal vents, mantle plumes, and sub-marine volcanism are described. Fossil fuel emissions and the atmosphere itself are comparatively insignificant in this context.
  11. The fear of ocean acidification in climate science appears to have been derived from paleo data for the PETM event (Paleocene Eocene Thermal Maximum) 55 million years ago described in related posts [LINK] [LINK] .  The noteworthy part of the PETM ocean acidification event is that it was a natural phenomenon in which the ocean had acidified itself with geological carbon from the mantle. In the ocean acidification argument of climate science, this important detail of the PETM is ignored and its extreme devastation and mass extinction are used as the fear element in the view that ocean acidification is a bad thing and that itherefore fossil fuels are a bad thing. The horror of the PETM caused by geological carbon is then used as an argument against fossil fuel emissions.

We conclude that the insistence of climate science that observed changes in oceanic pH described as ocean acidification are caused by fossil fuel emissions and that they can be attenuated by taking climate action in the form of cutting fossil fuel emissions, is inconsistent with the data. The fear of ocean acidification by fossil fuel emissions is yet another example of the atmosphere bias of climate science.



GCF4:   [LINK]

GCF3:   [LINK]

GCF2:   [LINK]

GCF1:   [LINK] 

PLANETARY CARBON MASS BALANCE:  humans, like all life on earth, are carbon life forms created from the carbon that came from the mantle of the planet but a rather insignificant portion of it. In terms of total weight, humans constitute 0.05212% of the total mass of life on earth. Yet we imagine that our numbers are so huge that the planet will be overwhelmed by our population bomb. All the life on earth taken together is 0.000002875065% of the crust of the planet by weight. The crust of the planet we see in the pictures from space and where we live and where we have things like land, ocean, atmosphere, climate, and carbon life forms, is 0.3203% of the planet by weight. The other 99.6797% of the planet, the mantle and core, is a place where we have never been and will never be and on which we have no impact whatsoever. In terms of the much feared element carbon that is said to cause planetary devastation by way of climate change and ocean acidification, a mass balance shows that the crust of the planet where we live contains 0.201% of the planet’s carbon with the other 99.8% of the carbon inventory of the planet  being in the mantle and core. 


  1. Hilton, David R., Gary M. McMurtry, and Rob Kreulen. “Evidence for extensive degassing of the Hawaiian mantle plume from helium‐carbon relationships at Kilauea volcano.” Geophysical research letters 24.23 (1997): 3065-3068.  We report helium and carbon isotope and abundance characteristics of solfataras and steam fumaroles located within and around the central summit caldera of Kilauea volcano, Hawaii. Kilauea fluids are characterized by high‐³He ‘hotspot’ ³He/4He ratios of between 13.7 and 15.9 RA (where RA = air ³He/4He) together with CO2/³He and δ13C(CO2) values of 4.6–8.4 (×109) and −3.4 to −3.6‰, respectively. We combine our measurements with CO2 flux estimates to reconstruct the ³He characteristics of Kilauea parental magma allowing an estimate of the ³He characteristics of the Kilauea mantle source. Derived ³He contents of ∼3.3×10−11 cm³STP/g indicate that Kilauea magma sources are highly depleted in primordial ³He, compared to model estimates of magma sources supplying both spreading ridges and ocean islands. Our results are consistent with the notion that the Hawaiian plume has undergone extensive degassing prior to incorporation into the source region of Kilauea volcano. We suggest that degassing of mantle plumes, at Hawaii and possibly elsewhere, can act as an important control on the range of ³He/4He ratios observed to characterize ocean island basalts (OIBs); in turn, this can affect the relationship between helium isotopes and other tracers of mantle sources. Plume degassing can also explain the puzzling observation that the ³He content of most OIBs is less than that of mid‐ocean ridge basalts (MORBs). [FULL TEXT]
  2. Davies, Geoffrey F. “Mantle plumes, mantle stirring and hotspot chemistry.” Earth and Planetary Science Letters 99.1-2 (1990): 94-109.  Recent advances in understanding plume dynamics allow the role of mantle plumes, the presumed cause of volcanic hotspots and source of the hotspots’ oceanic island basalts (OIBs), to be specified in more detail than hitherto. Their role in sampling a mantle with single-layer convection and an increase in viscosity with depth by two or three orders of magnitude is considered here. Plumes would sample thin tabular regions at the bottom of the mantle. This region would be expected in the assumed mantle model to have properties appropriate to OIB sources, including greater heterogeneity, greater age and less depletion of incompatible elements than the shallow mantle sampled by ocean ridges. All proposed sources of recycled material, including oceanic crust, oceanic sediments and continental lithosphere, can be accommodated in this model. However it is noted that clear evidence for a source with primitive refractory element ratios is still lacking, as is undisputed evidence for differences between MORB source and plume source40Ar/36Ar and129Xe/130Xe ratios.40Ar/36Ar ratios do not exclude nearly complete early degassing of the mantle. High3He/4He ratios in some plumes might come from some remaining less degassed mantle or from the core.
  3. Gill, J. B., et al. “Tuffaceous mud is a volumetrically important volcaniclastic facies of submarine arc volcanism and record of climate change.” Geochemistry, Geophysics, Geosystems 19.4 (2018): 1217-1243.  The inorganic portion of tuffaceous mud and mudstone in an oceanic island arc can be mostly volcanic in origin. Consequently, a large volume of submarine volcaniclastic material is as extremely fine‐grained as products of subaerial eruptions (<100 µm). Using results of IODP Expedition 350 in the Izu rear arc, we show that such material can accumulate at high rates (12–20 cm/k.y.) within 13 km of the nearest seamount summit and scores of km behind the volcanic front. The geochemistry of bulk, acid‐leached mud, and its discrete vitriclasts, shows that >75% of the mud is volcanic, and that most of it was derived from proximal rear arc volcanic sources. It faithfully preserves integrated igneous geochemical information about arc evolution in much the same way that terrigenous shales track the evolution of continental crust. In addition, their high sedimentation rate enables high resolution study of climate cycles, including the effects of Pleistocene glaciation on the behavior of the Kuroshio Current in the Shikoku Basin south of Japan. IN PLAIN LANGUAGE: Submarine arc volcanism near subduction zones is both more voluminous, and more finely fragmental, than commonly believed, and this lasts for millions of years. These conclusions result from re‐interpretating the origin of fine‐grained sediments previously thought to be clay‐sized particles from continents (hemi‐pelagic mud). The evidence comes from geochemistry, scanning electron microscopy, X‐ray diffraction, and grain size analysis of the sediments. The muds contain >25% continentally‐sourced material only during Pleistocene glacial stages when it was delivered to IODP drill site U1437 by large meanders of the Kuroshio Current. [FULL TEXT]
  4. Herndon, J. Marvin. “Evidence of variable Earthheat production, global non-anthropogenic climate change, and geoengineered global warming and polar melting.” J Geog Environ Earth Sci Intn 10.1 (2017): 16.  Climate models evaluated by the IPCC are based on the assumptions that: (1) Heat derived from the Sun is constant; (2) Heat derived from within the Earth is constant; and, (3) Anthropogenic contributions to atmospheric warming stem mainly from heat retention by CO2 and other greenhouse gases. Geophysical evidence of variable earthquake activity and geological evidence of variable submarine volcanism presented here indicate that heat added to the oceans is variable. The increasing occurrences of earthquakes of magnitudes ≥6 and ≥7 during 1973-2015 indicate volcanic activity is increasing and therefore Earth-heat, as well as volcanic CO2 additions, is increasing. Moreover, increased heat additions to the ocean act to decrease seawater solubility of CO2, ultimately releasing additional CO2 to the atmosphere. Furthermore, increasing submarine volcanic activity implies increasing ocean acidification, but data are insufficient to make quantitative estimates. The validity of IPCC evaluations and assessments depends critically upon due consideration being given to all processes that potentially affect Earth’s heat balance. In addition to the geological and geophysical processes discussed, the scientific community, including IPCC scientists, has turned a blind eye to ongoing tropospheric geoengineering that in recent years has been occurring on a near-daily, near-global basis. Tropospheric aerosolized particulates, evidenced as coal fly ash, inhibit rainfall, heat the atmosphere, and cause global warming. Evidence obtained from an accidental air-drop release indicates efforts to melt glacial ice and enhance global warming. By ignoring ongoing tropospheric geoengineering, IPCC assessments are compromised, as is the moral authority of the United Nations. {FULL TEXT PDF DOWNLOAD LINK -> HERNDON2017 
  5. White, James DL, John L. Smellie, and David A. Clague. Explosive subaqueous volcanism. Vol. 140. Washington, DC: American Geophysical Union, 2003. Does significant explosivity occur during volcanic eruptions at substantial water depths? And if so, how does it happen and what are its general and focused effects? Recent results have provided compelling new evidence for such eruptions in a variety of unexpected settings, and the scientific community is taking note. Explosive Subaqueous Volcanism explores this uncharted domain, from explosive caldera-forming eruptions to pyroclastic deposits on the Mid-Atlantic Ridge, and more.
    Features include studies on and interpretations of: • Subaqueous eruption dynamics
    • Explosive eruptions in the modern deep sea • Pumiceous subsea silicic eruptions in the modern seafloor • Subaqueous pumiceous deposits • Economic significance of explosive submarine volcanism Volcanologists, marine geologists, marine biologists, economic geologists, the broader Earth science community, mining engineers, and coastal civil engineers and civil defense planners will find this work an exacting measure of emerging paradigms, current debates, and future research needs.
  6. Blankenship, Donald D., et al. “Active volcanism beneath the West Antarctic ice sheet and implications for ice-sheet stability.” Nature 361.6412 (1993): 526-529.  IT is widely understood that the collapse of the West Antarctic ice sheet (WAIS) would cause a global sea level rise of 6 m, yet there continues to be considerable debate about the detailed response of this ice sheet to climate changel–3. Because its bed is grounded well below sea level, the stability of the WAIS may depend on geologically controlled conditions at the base which are independent of climate. In particular, heat supplied to the base of the ice sheet could increase basal melting and thereby trigger ice streaming, by providing the water for a lubricating basal layer of till on which ice streams are thought to slide4,5. Ice streams act to protect the reservoir of slowly moving inland ice from exposure to oceanic degradation, thus enhancing ice-sheet stability. Here we present aerogeophysical evidence for active volcanism and associated elevated heat flow beneath the WAIS near the critical region where ice streaming begins. If this heat flow is indeed controlling ice-stream formation, then penetration of ocean waters inland of the thin hot crust of the active portion of the West Antarctic rift system could lead to the disappearance of ice streams, and possibly trigger a collapse of the inland ice reservoir.
  7. Kump, Lee R., and Mark E. Barley. “Increased subaerial volcanism and the rise of atmospheric oxygen 2.5 billion years ago.” Nature 448.7157 (2007): 1033-1036.  The hypothesis that the establishment of a permanently oxygenated atmosphere at the Archaean–Proterozoic transition (2.5 billion years ago) occurred when oxygen-producing cyanobacteria evolved1 is contradicted by biomarker evidence for their presence in rocks 200 million years older2. To sustain vanishingly low oxygen levels despite near-modern rates of oxygen production from 2.7–2.5 billion years ago thus requires that oxygen sinks must have been much larger than they are now. Here we propose that the rise of atmospheric oxygen occurred because the predominant sink for oxygen in the Archaean era—enhanced submarine volcanism—was abruptly and permanently diminished during the Archaean–Proterozoic transition. Observations3,4,5 are consistent with the corollary that subaerial volcanism only became widespread after a major tectonic episode of continental stabilization at the beginning of the Proterozoic. Submarine volcanoes are more reducing than subaerial volcanoes6, so a shift from predominantly submarine to a mix of subaerial and submarine volcanism more similar to that observed today would have reduced the overall sink for oxygen and led to the rise of atmospheric oxygen.

The oceans are acidifying at the fastest rate in 300 million years ...







  1. Humboldt Bay has been fertile ground for oyster farmers for decades. The multimillion-dollar industry has sustained the small communities that dot the Northern California coastline. However, recent harvests have come up short and have put many small, family-owned businesses at risk. Fresh oysters are getting harder and harder to come by and it’s all due to one factor: Ocean Acidification. As more carbon has entered the atmosphere, the oceans have become more acidic, hurting not only oyster farmers but marine food webs across the world.
  2. Since the beginning of the Industrial Revolution in the mid-18th century, carbon dioxide in our atmosphere increased from 280 parts ppm to above 410 ppm due to the burning of fossil fuels. Combustion,of fossil fuels creates CO2, a greenhouse gas (GHG), which traps some of the sun’s heat in our atmosphere, allowing us to live in a warm, habitable planet, and not a freezing wasteland. However, the human-caused increase of these gasses has led to higher global temperatures and caused changes in our climate, like more frequent and intense storms and wildfires, etc.
  3. But there is another problem with too much atmospheric CO2 – the ocean absorbs 30% of CO2 from the atmosphere. When CO2 is dissolved in the ocean, it forms carbonic acid (H2CO3) and increases the acidity of the water. This is a naturally occurring process called carbon sequestration, which also helps keep our planet at a livable temperature. Oceanic phytoplankton and algae also absorb CO2, which they use to photosynthesize, breathing it in and releasing oxygen out. However, with so much extra carbon dioxide in the atmosphere, the ocean is starting to become too acidic.
  4. Measuring the potential hydrogen (pH) content of water tells us how acidic or basic water is. The pH scale is from 0 to 14, with 7 is the neutral point (pure water). The closer a solution’s pH is to 0, the more acidic it is; the closer a solution’s pH is to 14, the more basic it is. Ocean water is still slightly alkaline, or basic. But since the beginning of the Industrial Revolution, the ocean pH levels have dropped from 8.2 to 8.1. This seems small, but it’s actually equal to a 30% increase in acidity. By the end of this century, if we continue to burn fossil fuels at our current rate, ocean pH could drop to under 7.8 pH, more than 150% more acidic than ever previously observed in human existence. In fact, ocean water hasn’t seen a pH level that low in more than 20 million years. pH is measuring in a base 10 scale – meaning that a solution with a pH of 3 is 10 times more acidic than a solution with a pH of 4.
  5. Why does ocean acidification matter?  The ocean is vital to all life on Earth, from the marine creatures to humans all around the planet who rely on the ocean for their livelihood. Even though most of us don’t spend the majority of our time in the ocean, our actions on the land affect everything the sea, like its temperature, acidity, and the well-being of its plants and animals.
  6. Even small shifts in pH can make a big difference in the health of marine critters. Calcifying organisms (e.g. snails, clams, crabs, lobsters, and oysters, various ocean plants, and pteropods) have shells or skeletons that are made out of calcium carbonate. Coral polyps, animals that live in large colonies, are also made out of calcium carbonate and are the building blocks of coral reefs. More acidic salt water makes it more difficult for these calcifying organisms to build and maintain their shells, making it harder for them to survive.
  7. Changes in ocean chemistry can even hurt non-calcifying animals. The Seattle Times reported that pollock, a valuable fish species on the U.S. West Coast, have a harder time finding other predators in more acidic water. The risks to these animals threaten entire global food webs, and humans are part of these food webs.
  8. Many jobs and economies are tied to fish and shellfish. The global mollusk aquaculture industry is worth more than $29 billion a year, and ocean acidification is a huge threat to this market. It is estimated that by 2100, losses due to declines in mollusk production from ocean acidification may be around USD 130 billion. Pacific Northwest oyster hatcheries have already been impacted, as they have seen declines in larval settlement and survival rates.
  9. Coral reefs are very important to everyone, not just those who live near these ecosystems. They are biodiversity hotspots, provide coastal protection, are important fisheries habitats, a source of life-saving medicine, and generate huge tourism and recreation value. And it’s not just about money. More than 3 billion people rely on food from the ocean as their primary source of protein. Without seafood to eat, many of these people will have to move where there is food available, and they will lose that healthy, local protein source.
  10. What can we do?  Despite this seemingly overwhelming challenge, many people around the world researching, educating and creating policies to help people mitigate and adapt to these changes. For instance, NOAA’s Ocean Acidification Program builds relationships between scientists, resource managers, policymakers, and the public to better research and monitor the effects of changing ocean chemistry on ecosystems, like fisheries and coral reefs. Supporting programs like this help assure these important collaborations continue. Educational tools like NOAA Data in the Classroom’s ocean acidification module teaches students about ocean and coastal acidification through interactive web maps, apps, and videos.
  11. Shellfish farmers, whose livelihoods depend on healthy marine ecosystems, are preparing for these shifts in ocean chemistry. For example, Bill Mook grows tiny oysters in tanks in coastal Maine. Researchers have built and started using a “black box”, which measures the amount of carbonate in seawater pumped into his hatchery. This technology tells him how his oysters grow in different pH conditions, which may help these shellfish adapt to changing waters.
  12. To fight ocean acidification we must take Climate Action. Our energy system has powered our economy for a couple of centuries; now we need to move away from fossil fuels as an energy source and shift towards renewable power, like wave, solar and geothermal. Governments and industries must implement these cleaner systems on a large scale. It goes beyond just putting your own solar panels on your roof, but also working for change energy policy at the city, state, national, and even international level. The more people who take action and talk to our energy companies and governments, the more likely it is they will respond and start making this shift. If we act now, we can continue to enjoy healthy coral reefs, eat delicious oysters, and assure the survival of our One Ocean for generations to come.




  1. What the Seattle Times actually wrote about the Pollock “Alaska pollock accounts for 40% of the U.S. commercial fish catch, and feeds a billion-dollar industry based in Seattle. The pollock boom of the 1980s and 1990s was a boost for the industrial and maritime economy oof Seattle. The major pollock stocks are in in the Eastern Bering Sea where the pollock population is stable but there is some fear of over-fishing the pollock as was done before by the Japanese and the Koreans.Juvenile pollock eat zooplankton and small fish. Older pollock feed on other fish, and juvenile pollock. Many fish species and seabirds feed on pollock.
  2. There is no evidence that the pollock is threatened by ocean acidification. If there is a threat to this industry, it is over-fishing and perhaps the pollock itself, a species that eats its own young for lunch.
  3. Most of the article expresses a worry about the a ability of bivalves such as oysters and pteropods to survive ocean acidification. This analysis leads to the conclusion that we must take climate action to get rid of fossil fuels and move our energy infrastructure to renewable energy that includes solar and wind. No evidence is found that bivalves are endangered by ocean acidification (see bibliography below). What we find in the literature is that bivalves thrive in high carbonate environments such as hydrothermal vent ecosystems as shown in the two Youtube videos presented above and in this related post [LINK] .
  4. The point of the discussion on ocean acidification is then presented as an urgent need for a solution to what is presented as a danger to the survival of ocean life such as bivalves and pollock. the solution suggested is that we must at once take climate action. We must cease and desist the use of fossil fuels that are creating the CO2 30% of which is responsible for the ocean acidification horror described. To do that we must overhaul the world energy infrastructure away from fossil fuels and to renewable energy specifically wind and solar. Prior demands for climate action to avert extreme weather, forest fires, droughts, floods, and heatwaves and thereby to save the planet has not had the impact sought and it is thought that the Bambi Principle applied to bivalves will be what it takes to get rid of fossil fuels and to embrace wind and solar.
  5. In related posts we show that observed changes in ocean acidification cannot be explained in terms of fossil fuel emissions because there are not enough fossil fuel emissions to explain the changes. This finding is further strengthened with detrended correlation analysis that shows the absence of a correlation relationship that is necessary for the causation assumed. [LINK] [LINK] .
  6. It is relevant in this context, that the ocean has access to far more carbon directly from geological sources in the mantle in terms of mantle plumes, magmatism, submarine volcanism, tectonics, and hydrothermal vents. These sources of carbon dioxide are described in a related post [LINK]  and a survey of the relevant literature on this topic is presented in the bibliography below. It should be mentioned that most of the world’s volcanism – more than 80%, is submarine.
  7. It is also relevant here to point out that of the mass of the ocean and atmosphere taken together, the atmosphere is an insignificant portion. It is an extreme form of the atmosphere bias of climate science that insists that all changes in the ocean, including changes in its chemistry, must be understood in terms of events in the atmosphere.
  8. The study of ocean acidification should consider that ocean acidification events in the paleo record show that the ocean can and does acidify itself – as for example in the PETM event 55 million years ago when the acidification was entirely geological. [LINK] . The notion that ocean acidification is caused by fossil fuel emissions is the result of the atmosphere bias in climate science or perhaps the anti fossil fuel activism of climate science that appears to be the primary factor in the science even more so than the science itself.

Another link between CO2 and mass extinctions of species






  1. Baker, Edward T., and Christopher R. German. “On the global distribution of hydrothermal vent fields.” Mid-Ocean Ridges: Hydrothermal Interactions Between the Lithosphere and Oceans, Geophys. Monogr. Ser 148 (2004): 245-266.  The “magmatic budget hypothesis” proposes that variability in magma supply is the primary control on the large-scale hydrothermal distribution pattern along oceanic spreading ridges. The concept is simple but several factors make testing the hypothesis complex: scant hydrothermal flux measurements, temporal lags between magmatic and hydrothermal processes, the role of permeability, nonmagmatic heat sources, and the uncertainties of vent-field exploration. Here we examine this hypothesis by summarizing our current state of knowledge of the global distribution of active vent fields, which presently number ~280, roughly a quarter of our predicted population of ~1000. Approximately 20% of the global ridge system has now been surveyed at least cursorily for active sites, but only half that length has been studied in sufficient detail for statistical treatment. Using 11 ridge sections totaling 6140 km we find a robust linear correlation between either site frequency or hydrothermal plume incidence and the magmatic budget estimated from crustal thickness. These trends cover spreading rates of 10–150 mm/yr and strongly support the magma budget hypothesis. A secondary control, permeability, may become increasingly important as spreading rates decrease and deep faults mine supplemental heat from direct cooling of the upper mantle, cooling gabbroic intrusions, and serpentinization of underlying ultramafics. Preliminary observations and theory suggest that hydrothermal activity on hotspot-affected ridges is relatively deficient, although paucity of data precludes generalizing this result. While the fullness of our conclusions depends upon further detailed study of vent field frequency, especially on slow-spreading ridges, they are consistent with global distributions of deep-ocean Helium3, a magmatic tracer.
  2. German, Christopher R., Sven Petersen, and Mark D. Hannington. “Hydrothermal exploration of mid-ocean ridges: where might the largest sulfide deposits be forming?.” Chemical Geology 420 (2016): 114-126.  Here, we review the relationship between the distribution of modern-day seafloor hydrothermal activity along the global mid-ocean ridge crest and the nature of the mineral deposits being formed at those sites. Since the first discovery of seafloor venting, a sustained body of exploration has now prospected for one form of hydrothermal activity in particular – high temperature “black smoker” venting – along > 30% of the global mid-ocean ridge crest. While that still leaves most of that ~ 60,000 km continuous network to be explored, some important trends have already emerged. First, it is now known that submarine venting can occur along all mid-ocean ridges, regardless of spreading rate, and in all ocean basins. Further, to a first approximation, the abundance of currently active venting, as deduced from water column plume signals, can be scaled linearly with seafloor spreading rate (a simple proxy for magmatic heat-flux). What can also be recognized, however, is that there is an “excess” of high temperature venting along slow and ultra-slow spreading ridges when compared to what was originally predicted from seafloor spreading/magmatic heat-budget models. An examination of hydrothermal systems tracked to source on the slow spreading Mid-Atlantic Ridge reveals that no more than half of the sites responsible for the “black smoker” plume signals observed in the overlying water column are associated with magmatic systems comparable to those known from fast-spreading ridges. The other half of all currently known active high-temperature submarine systems on the Mid-Atlantic Ridge are hosted under tectonic control. These systems appear both to be longer-lived than, and to give rise to much larger sulfide deposits than, their magmatic counterparts — presumably as a result of sustained fluid flow. A majority of these tectonic-hosted systems also involve water–rock interaction with ultramafic sources. Importantly, from a mineral resource perspective, this subset of tectonic-hosted vent-sites also represents the only actively-forming seafloor massive sulfide deposits on mid-ocean ridges that exhibit high concentrations of Cu and Au in their surface samples (> 10 wt.% average Cu content and > 3 ppm average Au). Along ultraslow-spreading ridges, first detailed examinations of hydrothermally active sites suggest that sulfide deposit formation at those sites may depart even further from the spreading-rate model than slow-spreading ridges do. Hydrothermal plume distributions along ultraslow ridges follow the same (~ 50:50) distribution of “black smoker” plume signals between magmatic and tectonic settings as the slow spreading MAR. However, the first three “black smoker” sites tracked to source on any ultra-slow ridges have all revealed high temperature vent-sites that host large polymetallic sulfide deposits in both magmatic as well as tectonic settings. Further, deposits in both types of setting have now been revealed to exhibit moderate to high concentrations of Cu and Au, respectively. An important implication is that ultra-slow ridges may represent the strongest mineral resource potential for the global ridge crest, despite being host to the lowest magmatic heat budget.
  3. Baker, Edward T., et al. “How many vent fields? New estimates of vent field populations on ocean ridges from precise mapping of hydrothermal discharge locations.” Earth and Planetary Science Letters 449 (2016): 186-196.  Decades of exploration for venting sites along spreading ridge crests have produced global datasets that yield estimated mean site spacings. This conclusion demands that sites where hydrothermal fluid leaks from the seafloor are improbably rare along the 66 000 km global ridge system, despite the high bulk permeability of ridge crest axes. However, to date, exploration methods have neither reliably detected plumes from isolated low-temperature, particle-poor, diffuse sources, nor differentiated individual, closely spaced (clustered within a few kilometers) sites of any kind. Here we describe a much lower mean discharge spacing of 3–20 km, revealed by towing real-time oxidation–reduction–potential and optical sensors continuously along four fast- and intermediate-rate (>55 mm/yr) spreading ridge sections totaling 1470 km length. This closer spacing reflects both discovery of isolated sites discharging particle-poor plumes (25% of all sites) and improved discrimination (at a spatial resolution of ∼1 km) among clustered discrete and diffuse sources. Consequently, the number of active vent sites on fast- and intermediate-rate spreading ridges may be at least a factor of 3–6 higher than now presumed. This increase provides new quantitative constraints for models of seafloor processes such as dispersal of fauna among seafloor and crustal chemosynthetic habitats, biogeochemical impacts of diffuse venting, and spatial patterns of hydrothermal discharge.
  4. Baker, Edward Thomas, et al. “The NE Lau Basin: Widespread and abundant hydrothermal venting in the back-arc region behind a superfast subduction zone.” Frontiers in Marine Science 6 (2019): 382The distribution of hydrothermal venting reveals important clues about the presence of magma in submarine settings. The NE Lau Basin in the southwest Pacific Ocean is a complex back-arc region of widespread hydrothermal activity. It includes spreading ridges, arc volcanoes, and intra-plate volcanoes that provide a perhaps unique laboratory for studying interactions between hydrothermal activity and magma sources. Since 2004, multiple cruises have explored the water column of the NE Lau Basin. Here, we use these data to identify and characterize 43 active hydrothermal sites by means of optical, temperature, and chemical tracers in plumes discharged by each site. Seventeen of 20 prominent volcanic edifices dispersed among the Tofua arc, spreading ridges, and plate interiors host active hydrothermal sites. Fourteen apparently discharge high-temperature fluids, including a multi-year submarine eruption at the intra-plate volcano W Mata. The 430 km of spreading ridges host 31 active sites, one an eruption event in 2008. Our data show that the relationship between site spatial density (sites/100 km of ridge crest) and ridge spreading rate (8–42 mm/year) in the NE Lau Basin follows the same linear trend as previously established for the faster-spreading (40–90 mm/year) ridges in the central Lau Basin. The lower site density in the NE Lau Basin compared to the southern Lau is consistent with recent plate reconstructions that more than halved earlier estimates of ∼50–100 mm/year spreading rates in the NE Lau Basin. Combined data from the spreading ridges throughout the entire Lau back-arc basin demonstrates that hydrothermal sites, normalized to spreading rate, are ∼10× more common than expected based on existing mid-ocean ridge data. This increase documents the ability of meticulous exploration, using both turbidity and chemical sensors, to more fully describe the true hydrothermal population of a spreading ridge, compared to conventional techniques. It further reveals that the Lau back-arc basin, benefiting from both ridge and arc magma sources, supports an exceptionally high population of ridge and intra-plate hydrothermal sites.
  5. Lund, D. C., et al. “Enhanced East Pacific Rise hydrothermal activity during the last two glacial terminations.” Science 351.6272 (2016): 478-482.  Mid-ocean ridge magmatism is driven by seafloor spreading and decompression melting of the upper mantle. Melt production is apparently modulated by glacial-interglacial changes in sea level, raising the possibility that magmatic flux acts as a negative feedback on ice-sheet size. The timing of melt variability is poorly constrained, however, precluding a clear link between ridge magmatism and Pleistocene climate transitions. Here we present well-dated sedimentary records from the East Pacific Rise that show evidence of enhanced hydrothermal activity during the last two glacial terminations. We suggest that glacial maxima and lowering of sea level caused anomalous melting in the upper mantle and that the subsequent magmatic anomalies promoted deglaciation through the release of mantle heat and carbon at mid-ocean ridges.
  6. Geissler, Wolfram H., et al. “Thickness of the oceanic crust, the lithosphere, and the mantle transition zone in the vicinity of the Tristan da Cunha hot spot estimated from ocean-bottom and ocean-island seismometer receiver functions.” Tectonophysics 716 (2017): 33-51.  The most prominent hotspot in the South Atlantic is Tristan da Cunha, which is widely considered to be underlain by a mantle plume. But the existence, location and size of this mantle plume have not been established due to the lack of regional geophysical observations. A passive seismic experiment using ocean bottom seismometers aims to investigate the lithosphere and upper mantle structure beneath the hotspot. Using the Ps receiver function method we calculate a thickness of 5 to 8 km for the oceanic crust at 17 ocean-bottom stations deployed around the islands. Within the errors of the method the thickness of the oceanic crust is very close to the global mean. The Tristan hotspot seems to have contributed little additional magmatic material or heat to the melting zone at the mid-oceanic ridge, which could be detected as thickened oceanic crust. Magmatic activity on the archipelago and surrounding seamounts seems to have only affected the crustal thickness locally. Furthermore, we imaged the mantle transition zone discontinuities by analysing receiver functions at the permanent seismological station TRIS and surrounding OBS stations. Our observations provide evidence for a thickened (cold) mantle transition zone west and northwest of the islands, which excludes the presence of a deep-reaching mantle plume. We have some indications of a thinned, hot mantle transition zone south of Tristan da Cunha inferred from sparse and noisy observations, which might indicate the location of a Tristan mantle plume at mid-mantle depths. Sp receiver functions image the base of lithosphere at about 60 to 75 km beneath the islands, which argues for a compositionally controlled seismological lithosphere-asthenosphere boundary beneath the study area.




Quick Facts on Ice Shelves | National Snow and Ice Data Center

Antarctica's Ross Ice Shelf, World's Largest, is Melting in a Way ...

Science of the Ross Ice Shelf

NASA space lasers to reveal new depths of planet's ice loss






  1. In the prior interglacial, the Eemian, the West Antarctic Ice Sheet (WAIS) had disintegrated and created a sudden and rapid sea level rise of 3 to 6 meters or perhaps as high as 5 to 9 meters. Details of this are reported in a related post [LINK] . In the AGW climate change era, these events have created an expectation of a similar fate for the WAIS with similar catastrophic sea level rise that may serve to motivate climate action in the form of moving the world’s energy infrastructure from fossil fuels to renewable energy. Recently, after 40 years of failed alarming forecasts of the imminent demise of the WAIS and a catastrophic sea level rise [LINK], this line of research was given a boost with the availability of satellite data from ICE-SAT-2 of ice conditions on Antarctica [LINK] . Here we describe the new findings reported from Ice-Sat-2 data in the new era of Antarctica and critical commentary with reference to the atmosphere bias of climate science in such evaluations that imply inadequate consideration of geological effects in West Antarctica, a region known to be geologically active [LINK] and a single minded obsession of describing all ice melt phenomena in terms of atmospheric composition and thereby related to fossil fuels and the need for climate action. Climate science is therefore best understood as anti fossil fuel activism [LINK]
  2. The new ice data from ICE-SAT-2 have rejuvenated the interest in the “Antarctica melting” line of research. This post is a review of a recent paper on this topic that we feel is representative of the current view of the ice melt impact of climate change on West Antarctica in the ICE-SAT-2 era. It should be noted that a geographical bias of this line of research that favors West Antarctica corresponds with high levels of geological activity in this region. These details of the WAIS are not considered in the interpretation of ice melt data provided by ICE-SAT-2. Here we offer a critical review of one such paper reviewed online by Phys.Org {Satellite record gives unprecedented view of Antarctic ice shelf melt pattern over 25 years, by Robert Monroe, University of California – San Diego} [LINK]  and published in Nature Geoscience:  CITATION:  Adusumilli, Susheel, et al. “Interannual variations in meltwater input to the Southern Ocean from Antarctic ice shelves.” Nature Geoscience (2020): ABSTRACT: The Antarctic ice sheet has been losing mass over past decades through the accelerated flow of its glaciers, conditioned by ocean temperature and bed topography. Glaciers retreating along retrograde slopes (that is, the bed elevation drops in the inland direction) are potentially unstable, while subglacial ridges slow down the glacial retreat. Despite major advances in the mapping of subglacial bed topography, significant sectors of Antarctica remain poorly resolved and critical spatial details are missing. Here we present a novel, high-resolution and physically based description of Antarctic bed topography using mass conservation. Our results reveal previously unknown basal features with major implications for glacier response to climate change. For example, glaciers flowing across the Transantarctic Mountains are protected by broad, stabilizing ridges. Conversely, in the marine basin of Wilkes Land, East Antarctica, we find retrograde slopes along Ninnis and Denman glaciers, with stabilizing slopes beneath Moscow University, Totten and Lambert glacier system, despite corrections in bed elevation of up to 1 km for the latter. This transformative description of bed topography redefines the high- and lower-risk sectors for rapid sea level rise from Antarctica; it will also significantly impact model projections of sea level rise from Antarctica in the coming centuries.

Summary of the paper by Phys.Org:  A science team led by researchers at Scripps Institution of Oceanography at UC San Diego has created a detailed history of mass loss from Antarctica’s floating ice shelves. The researchers used a 25-year record of data from four separate European Space Agency satellite missions, NASA ice velocity data, and outputs from NASA computer models to find that these ice shelves have experienced a loss of nearly 4,000 gigatons since 1994—producing an amount of meltwater that can nearly fill the Grand Canyon—as a result of melting from increased heat in the ocean under the ice shelves. This is the most convincing evidence so far that long-term changes in the Southern Ocean are the reason for ongoing Antarctic ice loss,” said lead author Susheel Adusumilli. “It’s incredible that we are able to use satellites that orbit above the earth to see changes in regions of the ocean where even ships can’t go.” The NASA-funded study appears Aug. 10 in the journal Nature Geoscience and includes co-authors from NASA’s Goddard Space Flight Center, Earth and Space Research in Corvallis, Ore. and Colorado School of Mines. Detailed information on Antarctic ice shelves is hard to come by because of their vast size, and the difficulty for scientists to physically reach them. Satellites allow for year-round monitoring and are the only practical way to routinely collect information on Antarctic ice loss. For this study, the team used data from European Space Agency radar satellites, which send radio waves to the ground up to 20,000 times a second and measure the travel time of those waves as they bounce back to the satellite. Researchers can use that information to determine the precise height of land or ice. The result of analyzing these radar signals is the first-ever analysis of changes in melt of all Antarctic ice shelves, which collectively cover an area of 1.5 million square kilometers (580,000 square miles) – more than three times larger than California. The 25-year record showed that there is a lot of variation around Antarctica in the rate at which the ocean is melting the ice shelves, but in total, there is more loss than gain of ice shelf mass. Although ice shelf loss itself does not directly contribute to sea-level rise because ice shelves are already floating, ice shelves do act as a buffer to help slow the slide of ice sheets from land into the ocean, and when they become smaller this effect is weakened. If the West Antarctic Ice Sheet were to completely melt into the ocean, it would raise sea levels worldwide by around 3 meters (10 feet). Although that amount of melt is unlikely in the coming decades, even four inches of sea-level rise can double the frequency of flooding on the U.S. West Coast. The researchers also identified the depths in the ocean at which melting is occurring. This is important, they said, because increased melting of ice shelves has major environmental consequences beyond global sea-level rise. Melting ice produces water that is colder and fresher than the surrounding ocean. Depending on where this water ends up in the ocean, it can have a large effect on ocean circulation and climate around the globe. “We now have a continuous and detailed record of how all the ice shelves have changed since the mid 1990s, and where the meltwater has entered the ocean,” said Scripps Oceanography glaciologist Helen Amanda Fricker, a co-author. “This will allow us to decipher the atmospheric and ocean forces responsible for the changes, and how the meltwater affects the ocean, allowing us to improve models that predict future sea-level rise.”



bandicam 2020-03-22 22-57-56-637


    1. CLAIM: “These ice shelves have experienced a loss of nearly 4,000 gigatons since 1994—producing an amount of meltwater that can nearly fill the Grand Canyon. RESPONSE: The total melt over 26 years of 4,000 gigatons is less than 2% of the weight of one large ice shelf. If only one ice shelf is melting, it melted at a rate of 0.077% per year and if that melt rate persists it will be gone in another thousand years or so. It is noted that ice shelf melt does not have a sea level rise interpretation. The melt rate appears to be rather insignificant and that insignificance is the likely reason that the Grand Canyon was invoked. This kind of data analysis made on behalf of the science of climate science by a scientific organization like Phys.Org is the real horror of climate change. 
    2. CLAIM: —as a result of melting from increased heat in the ocean under the ice shelves. RESPONSE:  It is a given that the melt implies the availability of heat but the more pertinent issue is the source of the heat energy, specifically, whether the source of the heat is anthropogenic global warming or whether it is natural as for example geothermal heat. The region under study is geologically active with significant geological features under the ice and under the water as seen in the bibliography below. As well, the location of the ice shelf melt events tend to favor locations known for geological activity and that in turn implies a role for geological heat sources. Several studies have identified hydrothermal vents as the heat source that warms the Deep Circumpolar Circulation that can transfer heat to the ice shelves as seen in the bibliography below. 
    3. CLAIMThis is the most convincing evidence so far that long-term changes in the Southern Ocean are the reason for ongoing Antarctic ice loss,”  RESPONSE:  The long term changes in the Southern Ocean in terms of climate change and warm water currents from the tropics may transfer some heat to the deep Antarctic Circumpolar Current but significant evidence is provided in the bibliography below (see for example the various works of Stephanie Downes) that a more credible and readily available source of heat that explains the relative warmth of the Circumpolar Current is the extensive  hydrothermal vent activity where the the Circumpolar Current crosses the mid-ocean ridge. Therefore, it is has not been established that the source of heat in the warming of the Circumpolar Current is anthropogenic global warming.  
    4. CLAIM:  The 25-year record showed that there is a lot of variation around Antarctica in the rate at which the ocean is melting the ice shelves, but in total, there is more loss than gain of ice shelf mass.  RESPONSEThat there is a lot of variation provides more support for local variable sources of geological heat (see bibliography below) as opposed to a uniform global source of heat in the form of anthropogenic global warming. 
    5. CLAIM: If the West Antarctic Ice Sheet were to completely melt into the ocean, it would raise sea levels worldwide by around 3 meters (10 feet). Although that amount of melt is unlikely in the coming decades, even four inches of sea-level rise can double the frequency of flooding on the U.S. West CoastRESPONSE: The continued saga in AGW climate change theory about a collapse of the WAIS and the consequent catastrophic sea level rise is derived not from Holocene [LINK] realities but from what happened in the previous interglacial, the Eemian [LINK]  when the climate was dramatically different from what we see in the Holocene. This line of illogical and unscientific climate fearology obsession with Eemian-like sea level rise caused by the disintegration of the WAIS [LINK] has now persisted for more than 40 years with failed forecast after failed forecast. Here we see that this comical chapter in climate science continues to this day unabated by the 100% failures of the past. In any case, ice melt in West Antarctica does not necessarily have a climate change interpretation because the region is geologically active in terms of the West Antarctic Rift system and the Marie Byrd mantle plume as described in a related post [LINK] and in the bibliography. The attribution of  ice melt events to anthropogenic global warming in such an active geological zone would require substantive unbiased empirical evidence to support the proposed causation mechanism.
    6. CLAIM We now have a continuous and detailed record of how all the ice shelves have changed since the mid 1990s, and where the meltwater has entered the ocean. This will allow us to decipher the atmospheric and ocean forces responsible for the changes, and how the meltwater affects the ocean, allowing us to improve models that predict future sea-level rise.”  RESPONSE:  Fully agree with this assessment. Now that you have the melt data, all  features of the region must be considered to determine how this melt occurs. Particularly so, it is imperative that the study of ice melt phenomena in this corner of the globe must not be studied exclusively in terms of anthropogenic global warming because these events are unique to this region that is also known for unique geological features that can provide the necessary heat balance for the observed melt. 


kamis-byrd area



  1. Fisher, Andrew T., et al. “High geothermal heat flux measured below the West Antarctic Ice Sheet.” Science advances 1.6 (2015): e1500093.  The geothermal heat flux is a critical thermal boundary condition that influences the melting, flow, and mass balance of ice sheets, but measurements of this parameter are difficult to make in ice-covered regions. We report the first direct measurement of geothermal heat flux into the base of the West Antarctic Ice Sheet (WAIS), below Subglacial Lake Whillans, determined from the thermal gradient and the thermal conductivity of sediment under the lake. The heat flux at this site is 285 ± 80 mW/m2, significantly higher than the continental and regional averages estimated for this site using regional geophysical and glaciological models. Independent temperature measurements in the ice indicate an upward heat flux through the WAIS of 105 ± 13 mW/m2. The difference between these heat flux values could contribute to basal melting and/or be advected from Subglacial Lake Whillans by flowing water. The high geothermal heat flux may help to explain why ice streams and subglacial lakes are so abundant and dynamic in this region.
  2. Herterich, Klaus. “A three-dimensional model of the Antarctic ice sheet.” Annals of glaciology 11 (1988): 32-35.  A preliminary version of a three-dimensional ice-sheet model for later use in climate models, but excluding ice shelves and basal sliding, is presented and applied to the Antarctic ice sheet. In the model, the three-dimensional fields of velocity and temperature are calculated in the coupled mode, and the temperature equation is integrated for 150 000 years; the shape of the Antarctic ice sheet remains fixed. The results from the model are consistent with a stationary state in the central parts of the Antarctic ice sheet, but not in marginal areas, where the flow in the model is too small. Including a parameterized form of basal sliding that is dependent on the water pressure is likely to improve the situation. [FULL TEXT]
  3. Engelhardt, Hermann. “Ice temperature and high geothermal flux at Siple Dome, West Antarctica, from borehole measurements.” Journal of Glaciology 50.169 (2004): 251-256.  A vertical temperature profile through the West Antarctic ice sheet (WAIS) at the summit of Siple Dome reveals an elevated geothermal flux. This could be the root cause for the existence of a dynamic ice-stream system in the WAIS. Siple Dome is still frozen on its bed, but adjacent ice streams have bed temperatures at the pressure-melting point of ice. Although present-day temperature increases due to climatic change do not have an immediate effect on the basal conditions that control the velocity of the ice, indirect effects like a rapid disintegration of the floating ice shelves or additional melt-water input at the surface could give rise to speed-up of the ice streams with an ensuing rise in sea level. Ongoing melt at the base of the ice and changes at the margins will allow continued rapid flow of the ice streams with a possibility of disintegration, within a relatively short period of time, of at least part of the WAIS. [FULL TEXT]
  4. Schroeder, Dustin M., et al. “Evidence for elevated and spatially variable geothermal flux beneath the West Antarctic Ice Sheet.” Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences 111.25 (2014): 9070-9072.  Heterogeneous hydrologic, lithologic, and geologic basal boundary conditions can exert strong control on the evolution, stability, and sea level contribution of marine ice sheets. Geothermal flux is one of the most dynamically critical ice sheet boundary conditions but is extremely difficult to constrain at the scale required to understand and predict the behavior of rapidly changing glaciers. This lack of observational constraint on geothermal flux is particularly problematic for the glacier catchments of the West Antarctic Ice Sheet within the low topography of the West Antarctic Rift System where geothermal fluxes are expected to be high, heterogeneous, and possibly transient. We use airborne radar sounding data with a subglacial water routing model to estimate the distribution of basal melting and geothermal flux beneath Thwaites Glacier, West Antarctica. We show that the Thwaites Glacier catchment has a minimum average geothermal flux of ∼114 ± 10 mW/m2 with areas of high flux exceeding 200 mW/m2 consistent with hypothesized rift-associated magmatic migration and volcanism. These areas of highest geothermal flux include the westernmost tributary of Thwaites Glacier adjacent to the subaerial Mount Takahe volcano and the upper reaches of the central tributary near the West Antarctic Ice Sheet Divide ice core drilling site. [FULL TEXT]
  5. Begeman, Carolyn Branecky, Slawek M. Tulaczyk, and Andrew T. Fisher. “Spatially variable geothermal heat flux in West Antarctica: evidence and implications.” Geophysical Research Letters 44.19 (2017): 9823-9832.  Geothermal heat flux (GHF) is an important part of the basal heat budget of continental ice sheets. The difficulty of measuring GHF below ice sheets has directly hindered progress in the understanding of ice sheet dynamics. We present a new GHF measurement from below the West Antarctic Ice Sheet, made in subglacial sediment near the grounding zone of the Whillans Ice Stream. The measured GHF is 88 ± 7 mW m−2, a relatively high value compared to other continental settings and to other GHF measurements along the eastern Ross Sea of 55 mW m−2 and 69 ± 21 mW m−2 but within the range of regional values indicated by geophysical estimates. The new GHF measurement was made ~100 km from the only other direct GHF measurement below the ice sheet, which was considerably higher at 285 ± 80 mW m−2, suggesting spatial variability that could be explained by shallow magmatic intrusions or the advection of heat by crustal fluids. Analytical calculations suggest that spatial variability in GHF exceeds spatial variability in the conductive heat flux through ice along the Siple Coast. Accurate GHF measurements and high‐resolution GHF models may be necessary to reliably predict ice sheet evolution, including responses to ongoing and future climate change. [FULL TEXT]
  6. Carson, Chris J., et al. “Hot rocks in a cold place: high sub-glacial heat flow in East Antarctica.” Journal of the Geological Society 171.1 (2014): 9-12.  Numerical models are the primary predictive tools for understanding the dynamic behaviour of the Antarctic ice sheet. However, a key boundary parameter, sub-glacial heat flow, remains poorly constrained. We show that variations in abundance and distribution of heat-producing elements within the Antarctic continental crust result in greater and more variable regional sub-glacial heat flows than currently assumed in ice modelling studies. Such elevated heat flows would have a fundamental effect on ice sheet behaviour and highlight that geological controls on heat flow must be considered to obtain more accurate and refined predictions of ice mass balance and sea-level change[FULL TEXT]
  7. Larour, E., et al. “Ice flow sensitivity to geothermal heat flux of Pine Island Glacier, Antarctica.” Journal of Geophysical Research: Earth Surface 117.F4 (2012).  Model projections of ice flow in a changing climate are dependent on model inputs such as surface elevation, bedrock position or surface temperatures, among others. Of all these inputs, geothermal heat flux is the one for which uncertainty is greatest. In the area of Pine Island Glacier, Antarctica, available data sets differ by up to a factor of 2.5. Here, we evaluate the impact of such uncertainty on ice flow, using sampling analyses based on the Latin‐Hypercube method. First, we quantify the impact of geothermal heat flux errors on ice hardness, a thermal parameter that critically controls the magnitude of ice flow. Second, we quantify the impact of the same errors on mass balance, specifically on the mass flux advecting through thirteen fluxgates distributed across Pine Island Glacier. We contrast our results with similar uncertainties generated by errors in the specification of ice thickness. Model outputs indicate that geothermal heat flux errors yield uncertainties on ice hardness on the order of 5–7%, with maximum uncertainty reaching 15%. Resulting uncertainties in mass balance remain however below 1%. We discuss the uncertainty distribution and its relationship to the amount of heat available at the base of the ice sheet from friction, viscous and geothermal heating. We also show that comparatively, errors in ice thickness contribute more to model uncertainty than errors in geothermal heat flux, especially for fast‐flowing ice streams. [FULL TEXT]
  8. Thoma, Malte, et al. “Modelling circumpolar deep water intrusions on the Amundsen Sea continental shelf, Antarctica.” Geophysical Research Letters 35.18 (2008). [FULL TEXT]   Results are presented from an isopycnic coordinate model of ocean circulation in the Amundsen Sea, focusing on the delivery of Circumpolar Deep Water (CDW) to the inner continental shelf around Pine Island Bay. The warmest waters to reach this region are channeled through a submarine trough, accessed via bathymetric irregularities along the shelf break. Temporal variability in the influx of CDW is related to regional wind forcing. Easterly winds over the shelf edge change to westerlies when the Amundsen Sea Low migrates west and south in winter/spring. This drives seasonal on‐shelf flow, while inter‐annual changes in the wind forcing lead to inflow variability on a decadal timescale. A modelled period of warming following low CDW influx in the late 1980’s and early 1990’s coincides with a period of observed thinning and acceleration of Pine Island Glacier.
  9. Moffat, C., B. Owens, and R. C. Beardsley. “On the characteristics of Circumpolar Deep Water intrusions to the west Antarctic Peninsula continental shelf.” Journal of Geophysical Research: Oceans 114.C5 (2009).  [FULL TEXT]  Hydrographic and current velocity observations collected from March 2001 to February 2003 on the west Antarctic Peninsula shelf as part of the Southern Ocean Global Ecosystems Dynamics program are used to characterize intrusions of Upper Circumpolar Deep Water (UCDW) and Lower Circumpolar Deep Water (LCDW) onto the shelf and Marguerite Bay. UCDW is found on the middle and outer shelf along Marguerite Trough, which connects the shelf break to Marguerite Bay, and at another location farther south. UCDW intrudes in the form of frequent (four per month) and small horizontal scales (≈4 km) warm eddy‐like structures with maximum vertical scales of a few hundred meters. However, no evidence of UCDW intrusions was found in Marguerite Bay. LCDW was found in several deep depressions connected to the shelf break, including Marguerite Trough, forming a tongue of relatively dense water 95 m thick (on average) that reaches into Marguerite Bay through Marguerite Trough. A steady advective‐diffusive balance for the LCDW intrusion is used to make an estimation of the average upwelling rate and diffusivity in the deep layer within Marguerite Trough, which suggest the LCDW layer is renewed approximately every six weeks.
  10. Wåhlin, A. K., et al. “Inflow of warm Circumpolar Deep Water in the central Amundsen shelf.” Journal of Physical Oceanography 40.6 (2010): 1427-1434. [FULL TEXT]   The thinning and acceleration of the West Antarctic Ice Sheet has been attributed to basal melting induced by intrusions of relatively warm salty water across the continental shelf. A hydrographic section including lowered acoustic Doppler current profiler measurements showing such an inflow in the channel leading to the Getz and Dotson Ice Shelves is presented here. The flow rate was 0.3–0.4 Sv (1 Sv ≡ 106 m3 s−1), and the subsurface heat loss was estimated to be 1.2–1.6 TW. Assuming that the inflow persists throughout the year, it corresponds to an ice melt of 110–130 km3 yr−1, which exceeds recent estimates of the net ice glacier ice volume loss in the Amundsen Sea. The results also show a 100–150-m-thick intermediate water mass consisting of Circumpolar Deep Water that has been modified (cooled and freshened) by subsurface melting of ice shelves and/or icebergs. This water mass has not previously been reported in the region, possibly because of the paucity of historical data.
  11. Dinniman, Michael S., John M. Klinck, and Walker O. Smith Jr. “A model study of Circumpolar Deep Water on the West Antarctic Peninsula and Ross Sea continental shelves.” Deep Sea Research Part II: Topical Studies in Oceanography 58.13-16 (2011): 1508-1523.  [FULL TEXT]   Transport of relatively warm, nutrient-rich Circumpolar Deep Water (CDW) onto continental shelves around Antarctica has important effects on physical and biological processes. However, the characteristics of the CDW along the shelf break, as well as what happens to it once it has been advected onto the continental shelf, differ spatially. In the present study high resolution (4–5 km) regional models of the Ross Sea and the West Antarctic Peninsula coastal ocean are used to compare differences in CDW transport. The models compared very well with observations from both regions. Examining the fluxes not only of heat, but also of a simulated “dye” representing CDW, shows that in both cases CDW crosses the shelf break in specific locations primarily determined by the bathymetry, but eventually floods much of the shelf. The frequency of intrusions in Marguerite Trough was ca. 2–3 per month, similar to recent mooring observations. A significant correlation between the along shelf break wind stress and the cross shelf break dye flux through Marguerite Trough was observed, suggesting that intrusions are at least partially related to short duration wind events. The primary difference between the CDW intrusions on the Ross and west Antarctic Peninsula shelves is that there is more vigorous mixing of the CDW with the surface waters in the Ross Sea, especially in the west where High Salinity Shelf Water is created. The models show that the CDW moving across the Antarctic Peninsula continental shelf towards the base of the ice shelves not only is warmer initially and travels a shorter distance than that advected towards the base of the Ross Ice Shelf, but it is also subjected to less vertical mixing with surface waters, which conserves the heat available to be advected under the ice shelves. This difference in vertical mixing also likely leads to differences in the supply of nutrients from the CDW into the upper water column, and thus modulates the impacts on surface biogeochemical processes.
  12. Steig, Eric J., et al. “Tropical forcing of Circumpolar Deep Water inflow and outlet glacier thinning in the Amundsen Sea Embayment, West Antarctica.” Annals of Glaciology 53.60 (2012): 19-28. [FULL TEXT]   Outlet glaciers draining the Antarctic ice sheet into the Amundsen Sea Embayment (ASE) have accelerated in recent decades, most likely as a result of increased melting of their ice-shelf termini by warm Circumpolar Deep Water (CDW). An ocean model forced with climate reanalysis data shows that, beginning in the early 1990s, an increase in westerly wind stress near the continental shelf edge drove an increase in CDW inflow onto the shelf. The change in local wind stress occurred predominantly in fall and early winter, associated with anomalous high sea-level pressure (SLP) to the north of the ASE and an increase in sea surface temperature (SST) in the central tropical Pacific. The SLP change is associated with geopotential height anomalies in the middle and upper troposphere, characteristic of a stationary Rossby wave response to tropical SST forcing, rather than with changes in the zonally symmetric circulation. Tropical Pacific warming similar to that of the 1990s occurred in the 1940s, and thus is a candidate for initiating the current period of ASE glacier retreat.
  13. Mashayek, A., et al. “The role of the geothermal heat flux in driving the abyssal ocean circulation.” Geophysical Research Letters 40.12 (2013): 3144-3149[FULL TEXT]  The results presented in this paper demonstrate that the geothermal heat flux (GHF) from the solid Earth into the ocean plays a non‐negligible role in determining both abyssal stratification and circulation strength. Based upon an ocean data set, we show that the map of upward heat flux at the ocean floor is consistent (within a factor of 2) with the ocean floor age‐dependent map of GHF. The observed buoyancy flux above the ocean floor is consistent with previous suggestions that the GHF acts to erode the abyssal stratification and thereby enhances the strength of the abyssal circulation. Idealized numerical simulations are performed using a zonally averaged single‐basin model which enables us to address the GHF impact as a function of the depth dependence of diapycnal diffusivity. We show that ignoring this vertical variation leads to an under‐prediction of the influence of the GHF on the abyssal circulation. Independent of the diffusivity profile, introduction of the GHF in the model leads to steepening of the Southern Ocean isopycnals and to strengthening of the eddy‐induced circulation and the Antarctic bottom water cell. The enhanced circulation ventilates the GHF derived heating to shallow depths, primarily in the Southern Ocean.
  14. Stewart, Andrew L., and Andrew F. Thompson. “Eddy‐mediated transport of warm Circumpolar Deep Water across the Antarctic shelf break.” Geophysical Research Letters 42.2 (2015): 432-440. [FULL TEXT]  The Antarctic Slope Front (ASF) modulates ventilation of the abyssal ocean via the export of dense Antarctic Bottom Water (AABW) and constrains shoreward transport of warm Circumpolar Deep Water (CDW) toward marine‐terminating glaciers. Along certain stretches of the continental shelf, particularly where AABW is exported, density surfaces connect the shelf waters to the mid-depth Circumpolar Deep Water offshore, offering a pathway for mesoscale eddies to transport CDW directly onto the continental shelf. Using an eddy‐resolving process model of the ASF, the authors show that mesoscale eddies can supply a dynamically significant transport of heat and mass across the continental shelf break. The shoreward transport of surface waters is purely wind driven, while the shoreward CDW transport is entirely due to mesoscale eddy transfer. The CDW flux is sensitive to all aspects of the model’s surface forcing and geometry, suggesting that shoreward eddy heat transport may be localized to favorable sections of the continental slope.
  15. Downes, Stephanie M., et al.  [LINK] “The transient response of southern ocean circulation to geothermal heating in a global climate model.” Journal of Climate 29.16 (2016): 5689-5708.  Model and observational studies have concluded that geothermal heating significantly alters the global overturning circulation and the properties of the widely distributed Antarctic Bottom Water. Here two distinct geothermal heat flux datasets are tested under different experimental designs in a fully coupled model that mimics the control run of a typical Coupled Model Intercomparison Project (CMIP) climate model. The regional analysis herein reveals that bottom temperature and transport changes, due to the inclusion of geothermal heating, are propagated throughout the water column, most prominently in the Southern Ocean, with the background density structure and major circulation pathways acting as drivers of these changes. While geothermal heating enhances Southern Ocean abyssal overturning circulation by 20%–50%, upwelling of warmer deep waters and cooling of upper ocean waters within the Antarctic Circumpolar Current (ACC) region decrease its transport by 3–5 Sv (1 Sv = 106 m3 s−1). The transient responses in regional bottom temperature increases exceed 0.1°C. The large-scale features that are shown to transport anomalies far from their geothermal source all exist in the Southern Ocean. Such features include steeply sloping isopycnals, weak abyssal stratification, voluminous southward flowing deep waters and exported bottom waters, the ACC, and the polar gyres. Recently the Southern Ocean has been identified as a prime region for deep ocean warming; geothermal heating should be included in climate models to ensure accurate representation of these abyssal temperature changes.
  16. Barnes, Jowan M., et al. “Idealised modelling of ocean circulation driven by conductive and hydrothermal fluxes at the seabed.” Ocean Modelling 122 (2018): 26-35[FULL TEXT]   Geothermal heating is increasingly recognised as an important factor affecting ocean circulation, with modelling studies suggesting that this heat source could lead to first-order changes in the formation rate of Antarctic Bottom Water, as well as a significant warming effect in the abyssal ocean. Where it has been represented in numerical models, however, the geothermal heat flux into the ocean is generally treated as an entirely conductive flux, despite an estimated one third of the global geothermal flux being introduced to the ocean via hydrothermal sources.

    A modelling study is presented which investigates the sensitivity of the geothermally forced circulation to the way heat is supplied to the abyssal ocean. An analytical two-dimensional model of the circulation is described, which demonstrates the effects of a volume flux through the ocean bed. A simulation using the NEMO numerical general circulation model in an idealised domain is then used to partition a heat flux between conductive and hydrothermal sources and explicitly test the sensitivity of the circulation to the formulation of the abyssal heat flux. Our simulations suggest that representing the hydrothermal flux as a mass exchange indeed changes the heat distribution in the abyssal ocean, increasing the advective heat transport from the abyss by up to 35% compared to conductive heat sources. Consequently, we suggest that the inclusion of hydrothermal fluxes can be an important addition to course-resolution ocean models.

  17. Downes, Stephanie M., et al. “Hydrothermal heat enhances abyssal mixing in the Antarctic Circumpolar Current.” Geophysical Research Letters 46.2 (2019): 812-821. Upwelling in the world’s strongest current, the Antarctic Circumpolar Current, is thought to be driven by wind stress, surface buoyancy flux, and mixing generated from the interaction between bottom currents and rough topography. However, the impact of localized injection of heat by hydrothermal vents where the Antarctic Circumpolar Current interacts with mid‐ocean ridges remains poorly understood. Here a circumpolar compilation of helium and physical measurements are used to show that while geothermal heat is transferred to the ocean over a broad area by conduction, heat transfer by convection dominates near hydrothermal vents. Buoyant hydrothermal plumes decrease stratification above the vent source and increase stratification to the south, altering the local vertical diffusivity and diapycnal upwelling within 500 m of the sea floor by an order of magnitude. Both the helium tracer and stratification signals induced by hydrothermal input are advected by the flow and influence properties downstream.






bandicam 2020-08-11 09-33-21-837



  1. Te Ao Maori is the Maori world view. It is based on the concepts of “Interconnectedness”  and  “interrelationship”  of all living  and non-living things on earth as the stuff of the planet earth. Karakia is a system of Māori incantations that invoke spiritual guidance and protection and to increase the spiritual goodwill and increase the likelihood of a favourable outcome. The New Zealand climate change impact report begins with a Karakia that acknowledges this vital connection of humans with the natural world, and the vital connection of each generation of humans to the generations of humans that came before and the generations of humans that will come after.
  2. This interconnection across nature and through time implies that ecosystems and human societies are connected such that actions and consequences span both entities. The Living Standards Framework for well-being, aka LSF,  [LINK] of the Government of New Zealand is derived from and consistent with these Maori spiritual values.
  3. The LSF is based on a value system consisting of four elements. These are (1) natural, (2) human, (3) social, and (4) financial &physical within the He Ara Waiora framework of the Maori. Waiora is the idea that human well being is based on water because water is the source of all life. It serves as a broad concept that links human wellbeing  to water (wai) because water is the source of all life.
  4. The Maori concept of well-being includes Kaitiakitanga (Stewardship by humans of the resources that humans need), Manaakitanga (care for others), Ohanga (prosperity) and Whanaungatanga (The spiritual force that connects humans into human societies)







ANSWER: THESE ARE THE FOUNDATIONAL CONCEPTS AND VALUE SYSTEMS OF THE “National climate change risk assessment for New Zealand” [LINK] . You must understand these concepts before you can understand what the report is about.


Ra Karakia - Māori Dawn Ceremony, Mount Eden |

Science of Meditation


National climate change risk assessment for New Zealand – Main report
Publication date: August 2020 Publication reference number: ME 1506
This report presents the findings of New Zealand’s first National Climate Change Risk Assessment (NCCRA). The risk assessment gives a national picture of how New Zealand may be affected by climate change-related hazards. It:

identifies the most significant risks and opportunities for New Zealand
highlights gaps in the information and data needed to properly assess and manage the risks and opportunities.
The risk assessment identifies 43 priority risks across five value domains (natural environment, human, economy, built environment and governance) and highlights 10 risks considered to be the most significant. These are risks from that need to be addressed most urgently. The risk assessment will enable the Government to prioritise action, including through a national adaptation plan.

The risk assessment will enable the Government to prioritise action, including through a national adaptation plan which will be developed over the next two years.

Further detail on the risk assessment’s findings are provided in the technical report, and the method report provides more information on the methodology used. There is also a Snapshot which summarises the main report. See links below.

Here are the key messages from the main report in Te Reo:

bandicam 2020-08-11 12-04-13-035





Monsoon floods, landslides ravage South Asia, at least 221 dead ...

India floods: At least 95 killed, hundreds of thousands evacuated ...

India floods: At least 95 killed, hundreds of thousands evacuated ...



Fox Climate Reporting Rates “Pants on Fire” – “Retired Accountant ...




  1. IN A RELATED POST ON THIS SITE, WE REPORT FINDINGS OF CLIMATE SCIENCE ON WHAT HAS BEEN TERMED THE “INTERNAL VARIABILITY ISSUE” [LINK] . Briefly, anthropogenic global warming is a theory about a causal relationship between fossil fuel emissions on global mean temperature by way of its effect on atmospheric CO2 concentration. The internal variability issue is that that although there is a signature of this human cause on long term trends in global mean temperature, climate in general also contains natural elements. Though these natural drivers of climate are not significant in long term mean global climate, they play a greater role in short term climate and in geographically localized regions that are less than significant latitudinal sections of the globe.
  2. In the case of India, we have a land area limited by latitude and longitude that constitutes less than 0.645% of land areas of the world. Therefore, in terms of the internal variability issue, Indian climate cannot be interpreted in terms of global warming because of its geographical limitations.
  3. In this context, we must understand Indian climate not just in terms of  global warming driven mainly by fossil fuel emissions, but also in terms of internal climate variability driven by nature. The authors of internal climate variability papers describe this difficulty thus:  “Internal variability in the climate system confounds assessment of human-induced climate change and imposes irreducible limits on the accuracy of climate change projections, especially at regional and decadal scales“.








daily evolution of All India Summer Monsoon Rainfall, cumulative, 2020

















Analysis: The final Paris climate deal | Carbon Brief

Paris Climate Summit: 5 Facts to Know | Time

Chart: The State of the Paris Agreement | Statista

The Only Solution to Climate Change & Scarce Natural Resources ...






  6. blogger’s note: Climate change takes us  right back to the population bomb just as Paul Ehrlich had explained in his recent lecture in Australia. 
  7. [LINK]  to the Paul Ehrich lecture


The Only Solution to Climate Change & Scarce Natural Resources ...




bandicam 2020-02-29 15-25-44-560

Life Changing Sadhguru Quotes about Love, Life and Happiness ...




CITATION: The case for consumption-based accounting of greenhouse gas emissions to promote local climate action. Author links open overlay panelHogne N.LarsenEdgar G.Hertwich rights and content.
ABSTRACT: We argue that a consumption-based perspective, illustrated through the use of the carbon footprint (CF), rather than more conventional production-based inventory, provides a more useful and less misleading indicator. We present an analysis of the CF of municipal services provided by the city of Trondheim. The use of data directly from the city’s accounting system ensures a reliable calculation of indirect emissions, and, with some minor modifications, also accurate data on direct emissions. Our analysis shows that approximately 93 percent of the total CF of municipal services is indirect emissions, located in upstream paths, underlining the need of introducing consumption-based indicators that takes into account upstream GHG emissions.


Trondheim's Old Town Walking Tour (Self Guided), Trondheim, Norway

Grise Fiord: Climate Change - Ellesmere Island Ice Shelves ...

Milne Ice shelf, Canada'S Fully Intact Ice Shelf Collapsed

Canada's Milne Ice Shelf Collapses Into Ice Islands | Digital Trends





Canada’s Last Intact Ice Shelf Collapses Due to Warming, By Associated Press, August 07, 2020 09:10 PM. The collapse of the Milne Ice Shelf, the last fully intact ice shelf in Canada, is seen reducing its size by about 43% according to Environment and Climate Change Canada. Satellite images taken July 30 to Aug. 4, 2020 over Ellesmere Island. Much of Canada’s remaining intact ice shelf has broken apart into hulking iceberg islands thanks to a hot summer and global warming, scientists said. Canada’s 4,000-year-old Milne Ice Shelf on the northwestern edge of Ellesmere Island had been the country’s last intact ice shelf until the end of July when ice analyst Adrienne White of the Canadian Ice Service noticed that satellite photos showed that about 43% of it had broken off. She said it happened around July 30 or 31. Two giant icebergs formed along with lots of smaller ones, and they have already started drifting away, White said. The biggest is nearly the size of Manhattan — 21 square miles (55 square kilometers) and 7 miles long (11.5 kilometers). They are 230 to 260 feet (70 to 80 meters) thick. “This is a huge, huge block of ice,” White said. “If one of these is moving toward an oil rig, there’s nothing you can really do aside from move your oil rig.” The 72-square mile (187 square kilometer) undulating white ice shelf of ridges and troughs dotted with blue meltwater had been larger than the District of Columbia but now is down to 41 square miles (106 square kilometers). Temperatures from May to early August in the region have been 9 degrees (5 degrees Celsius) warmer than the 1980 to 2010 average, University of Ottawa glaciology professor Luke Copland said. This is on top of an Arctic that already had been warming much faster than the rest of globe, with this region warming even faster. Without a doubt, it’s climate change,” Copland said, noting the ice shelf is melting from both hotter air above and warmer water below. The Milne was very special,” he added. “It’s an amazingly pretty location. Ice shelves are hundreds to thousands of years old, thicker than long-term sea ice, but not as big and old as glaciers, Copland said. Canada used to have a large continuous ice shelf across the northern coast of Ellesmere Island in the Canadian territory of Nunavut, but it has been breaking apart over the last decades because of man-made global warming, White said. By 2005 it was down to six remaining ice shelves but “the Milne was really the last complete ice shelf,” she said. There aren’t very many ice shelves around the Arctic anymore,” Copland said. “It seems we’ve lost pretty much all of them from northern Greenland and the Russian Arctic. There may be a few in a few protected fjords.




  1. What we find in the bibliography below is that though Arctic ice shelves were stable during the last glaciation period, they began disintegrating almost as soon as the Holocene interglacial got started after the Younger Dryas event – and particularly so in the warm periods of the warming and cooling cycles of the Holocene described in a related post. [LINK] .
  2.  Some stabilization of the ice shelves are seen in the cool periods of the Holocene identified by Mayewski (2004) as six cold events dated 9000″8000, 6000-5000YBP, 4200-3800YBP, 3500-2500YBP, 1200-1000YBP, and 600-150YBP; but with widespread instability and ice shelf destruction in the intervening warm periods identified as the Holocene Climate Optimum, the most notable of these events and also the Bronze Age Warming (BAW) also known as the Minoan Warm Period ≈3000YBP, the Roman Warm Period (RWP) ≈2000YBP, the Medieval Warm Period (MWP) ≈1000YBP, and the current warm period that began at the end of the most recent cold period that ended about 150YBP  and thought to be an artificial creation of the industrial economy  (AGW).
  3. Arctic ice shelves follow a pattern of stability and growth in the cold periods and destruction and decay in the warm periods. In this context, the human caused anthropogenic warming of the current warm period does not appear to be exceptional in its destruction of Arctic ice shelves. If anything, Arctic ice shelves have been relatively stable in the AGW era when compared with their destruction in the other Holocene warm periods listed above.
  4. Based on these findings reported in the bibliography below, we find little evidence for the alarm that anthropogenic global warming has created an unnatural and exceptional human caused destruction of Arctic ice shelves in the current warm period. An alternative view is found in in England (2008), where the authors do not find but predict a more violent sea shelf destruction in the current warm period yet to come. The Milne ice shelf collapse of 2020 reported in the media may be interpreted in terms of the beginning of the ice shelf destruction projected in England (2008). We will know in the next few decades if the relatively mild Arctic ice shelf destruction in the current warm period is about to give way to the kind of ice shelf destruction seen in prior warm periods of the Holocene – as projected by England (2008). 






  1. Jeffries, MARTIN O. “Ellesmere Island ice shelves and ice islands.” Satellite image atlas of glaciers of the world: North America (2002): J147-J164bandicam 2020-08-08 18-04-32-443
  2. Antoniades, Dermot, et al. “Holocene dynamics of the Arctic’s largest ice shelf.” Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences 108.47 (2011): 18899-18904Ice shelves in the Arctic lost more than 90% of their total surface area during the 20th century and are continuing to disintegrate rapidly. The significance of these changes, however, is obscured by the poorly constrained ontogeny (origins and history) of Arctic ice shelves. Here we use the sedimentary record behind the largest remaining ice shelf in the Arctic, the Ward Hunt Ice Shelf (Ellesmere Island, Canada), to establish a long-term context in which to evaluate recent ice-shelf deterioration. Multiproxy analysis of sediment cores revealed pronounced biological and geochemical changes in Disraeli Fiord in response to the formation of the Ward Hunt Ice Shelf and its fluctuations through time. Our results show that the ice shelf was absent during the early Holocene and formed 4,000 years ago in response to climate cooling. Paleoecological data then indicate that the Ward Hunt Ice Shelf remained stable for almost three millennia before a major fracturing event that occurred ∼1,400 years ago. After reformation ∼800 years ago, freshwater was a constant feature of Disraeli Fiord until the catastrophic drainage of its epishelf lake in the early 21st century.
  3. EVANS, DAVID JA. “An early Holocene narwhal tusk from the Canadian High Arctic.” Boreas 18.1 (1989): 43-50.  A narwhal (Monodon monoceros) tusk from 34 m above sea level and located at 82°N on the northwest coast of Ellesmere Island has been radiocarbon dated at 6,830 ± 50 B.P. It was collected from a narrow coastal strip which is isolated from the adjacent Arctic Ocean by glacier ice, ice shelf and multiyear pack ice. The specimen represents an early Holocene range extension of 400–700 km over the present. Because the narwhal requires abundant open water to survive, the Holocene tusk is an important independent item of proxy data on palaeoclimatic change. Contemporary migration routes are directly related to seasonal sea ice in the inter‐island channels of the central Canadian Arctic archipelago. The presence of a narwhal on the northwest Ellesmere Island coast at 6,830 ± 50 B. P. suggests that sea ice and ice‐shelf conditions were more favourable at that time. A comprehensive chronological framework for late Quaternary and Holocene geomorphic/climatic events from northern Ellesmere Island records a warm early Holocene characterized by abundant driftwood entry into the high Arctic. This was followed by a mid‐Holocene climatic deterioration during which the ice shelves of the Ellesmere coast formed. Therefore, the narwhal tusk is further evidence that a period of maximum postglacial warmth occurred during the early Holocene in the Canadian high Arctic.
  4. Evans, David JA, and John England. “Geomorphological evidence of Holocene climatic change from northwest Ellesmere Island, Canadian high arctic.” The Holocene 2.2 (1992): 148-158.  Proxy data from the northern coast of Ellesmere Island are used to reconstruct Holocene palaeoclimate and appear to corroborate the ice core record from the Canadian and Greenland high arctic despite some regional variation. Geomorphological evidence indicates that deglaciation was associated with a marked climatic amelioration in the late Pleistocene/early Holocene (≥10 ka BP). This contrasts with glaciers on the south side of Grant Land Mountains which started to retreat at 7.5 ka BP perhaps due to significant differences in glacioclimatic regime and the influence of the Arctic Ocean. Indicators of sea ice conditions on northern Ellesmere Island suggest that the early Holocene was a period of considerable open water. Radiocarbon dates on driftwood collected from behind the north coast ice shelves suggest that the ice shelves formed during a mid-Holocene climatic deterioration. Geomorphic evidence shows that the ice shelves are presently breaking up and melting in response to recent warming. Glaciers have responded to Holocene climate change at varying rates which are related to drainage basin size. Many large glaciers are still advancing in response to the mid-Holocene climatic deterioration. Some glaciers display evidence of dual advances which may reflect mid-Holocene and ‘Little Ice Age’ accumulation. Other evidence of ‘Little Ice Age’ cold and recent warmth is perennial snowbank retreat and fluvially eroded ice wedge polygons near sea level. Different cryogenic systems on northern Ellesmere Island have responded to Holocene climate change at various rates: 103 a for glaciers with drainage basin areas >5 km2; 102 a for ice shelves and glaciers <5 km2; and 101 a for sea ice.
  5. England, John H., et al. “A millennial‐scale record of Arctic Ocean sea ice variability and the demise of the Ellesmere Island ice shelves.” Geophysical Research Letters 35.19 (2008) Sea‐ice ice shelves, at the apex of North America (>80° N), constitute the oldest sea ice in the Northern Hemisphere. We document the establishment and subsequent stability of the Ward Hunt Ice Shelf, and multiyear landfast sea ice in adjacent fiords, using 69 radiocarbon dates obtained on Holocene driftwood deposited prior to coastal blockage. These dates (47 of which are new) record a hiatus in driftwood deposition beginning ∼5500 cal yr BP, marking the inception of widespread multiyear landfast sea ice across northern Ellesmere Island. This chronology, together with historical observations of ice shelf breakup (∼1950 to present), provides the only millennial‐scale record of Arctic Ocean sea ice variability to which the past three decades of satellite surveillance can be compared. Removal of the remaining ice shelves would be unprecedented in the last 5500 years. This highlights the impact of ongoing 20th and 21st century climate warming that continues to break up the remaining ice shelves and soon may cause historically ice‐filled fiords nearby to open seasonally. [LINK] .

Iceland | Culture, History, Maps, & Flag | Britannica


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  1. The reason we’re in this mess is that we are burning fossil fuels. We are taking stored carbon from deep under the ground and sending it up into the atmosphere, wrapping the earth into warmer blankets, which means that the average temperature of the earth is increasing.
  2. And when you increase the average temperature of the earth of course you have more extreme weathers, for example. And also acidify the oceans – that’s a horrible thing because we know next to nothing of how that will actually change.
  3. In about 200 years we have changed the chemistry of the ocean more than in the earth’s past, more than what nature has for the past 50 million years or so. Humanity has changed the chemistry of the oceans in the last 200 years more than planet earth in the last 50 million years.
  4. Each day we put out about 100 million tons of CO2 into the atmosphere. This is like every single day there are 3 volcanoes going off non-stop – equal to what humanity is pouring into the atmosphere. It is the way we live. We change everything.
  5. Question: But every day we hear that China and India produce so much more CO2 so why should we do anything until they get their act together? Answer: Historically we are the biggest contributors. Half of the emission of CO2 into the atmosphere comes from the 10% richest part of the population of the earth. A person for example in India is responsible for about 2 tons per person per year but that figure in the US is 20 tons. So we are doing it, not the poor people.
  6. A lot of the emissions come from construction because we use a lot of cement. It also has to do with the food that we consume. Red meat! Red meat is a big source of CO2 emissions. Also, we keep cutting down trees which are kind of like natural vacuum cleaners for CO2. Planting trees are definitely helpful. Also eating less beef. Minimize food wastage. We waste an awful lot of the food we buy. One third of it ends up in trash landfills. When we throw our trash into landfills, it breaks down and creates Methane emissions and also CO2. Methane is a much more powerful greenhouse gas than CO2. Another source of emissions is clothes. We use an awful lot of clothes. It takes a great deal of energy and water and everything to produce clothes. Also, consumerism is to blame for our CO2 emissions. Manufacturing is a big contributor as well especially when it comes to electronics. Large mining operations need to mine all the metals in your electronic devices. And when we transport things around the world in aircraft and ships. And cars! Maybe we need to slow down a little bit. Consume a little bit less. We don’t need to fill out houses with crap that we don’t really need. How many vases do you have at home that are unused? And how do you commute to work? Do you drive, take public transport, or do you ride a bicycle or walk? These choices make a difference.


  1. The climate action methodology proposed is that of controlling the lifestyle and consumption of humans – “to slow down” – that is, to reduce emissions by reducing fossil fuel consumption. Although it sounds logical and although it is consistent with the environmental movement that led up to the climate argument against fossil fuels, it is noted that the climate action proposed here is inconsistent with the climate action proposal in mainstream climate science. The climate action demanded by climate science is not to reduce fossil fuel emissions by reducing energy consumption but to replace the fossil fueled energy infrastructure of the world with renewable energy. No reference is made to lowering consumption and the use of energy. Mainstream climate science wants an end to fossil fuels not just a lower consumption of fossil fuels. In this respect the presentation here is inconsistent with the most important aspect of the climate change movement that must be understood as a movement against fossil fuels [LINK]  .
  2. The extreme horror of ocean acidification described here is an impossibility. We don’t produce enough fossil fuel emissions to do the job. The causal connection between the use of fossil fuels and OA is made, as in all other OA presentations, with the unsubstantiated claim that the source of the carbon dioxide causing the acidification is our use of fossil fuels because we are “pumping more and more and more carbon dioxide into the atmosphere“.
  3. In a related post [LINK] it is shown that in the 60-year period 1955-2015, inorganic CO2 concentration in the ocean went up at an average rate of 0.002 MM/L (millimoles per liter) per year. Correlation analysis is presented to test whether changes in oceanic CO2 concentration is responsive to emissions at an annual time scale. The analysis failed to show such a causal relationship between emissions and changes in oceanic CO2 concentration.
  4. In that same study [LINK] , in terms of ppm by weight, the CO2 concentration of the ocean had increased from 88ppm to 110ppm for a gain of 22ppm at a rate of 0.367ppm per year. During this period fossil fuel emissions increased from 7.5 gigatonnes/year of CO2 (GTY) to 36.1GTY with cumulative emissions since 1851 rising from 258 GT to 1,505 GT with a total amount contributed in this period of 1,247 GT.  If all of these emissions had gone into the ocean it would have caused an increase of 0.91 ppm of CO2 in the ocean. Therefore, the observed rise of 22pm cannot be explained in terms of fossil fuel emissions. 
  5. Also, as shown in a related post, detrended correlation analysis does not show any evidence for causation of ocean acidification by fossil fuel emissions at an annual time scale [LINK] . Therefore natural sources of CO2 in the ocean itself must be considered. Known geological sources of CO2 in the ocean include plate tectonics, submarine volcanism, mantle plumes, hydrothermal vents, methane hydrates, and hydrocarbon seepage and these sources must be taken into account in the study of changes in oceanic inorganic CO2 concentration. More than 80% of volcanism on earth is submarine volcanism. It is necessary to overcome the extreme atmosphere bias of climate science to conduct a more realistic study of changes in oceanic CO2.
  6. In the PETM event 50 million years ago, the ocean acidified itself with geological carbon and caused a mass extinction of ocean creatures as well as a sudden rise in atmospheric CO2 [LINK] . The ocean’s role and a role for geological carbon from rifts, plate tectonics, mantle plumes, and seafloor volcanism in ocean acidification cannot be ignored.
  7. In the statement “Humanity has changed the chemistry of the oceans in the last 200 years more than planet earth in the last 50 million years.” it is inferred that it took the PETM 50 million years to happen. This is false. It occurred at a millennial time scale but it happened 50 million years ago. 
  8. The statement that “And also acidify the oceans – that’s a horrible thing because we know next to nothing of how that will actually change” echos a common theme in climate science that those aspects of the science they preach but know least about are the greatest dangers of global warming. The odd logic that “the less we know about climate change the more you should fear climate change” is actually pervasive in climate science [LINK]
  9. The claim that “And when you increase the average temperature of the earth of course you have more extreme weathers,” derives from a once pervasive procedure in climate research called “Event Attribution Science” that involves confirmation bias and circular reasoning. Since the heydays of Event Attribution when heat waves, wildfires, and even locust swarms could be attributed to climate change post hoc with climate model experiments [LINK]  , a significant paper has been published on the subject of “Internal Climate Variability” discussed in a related post [LINK] . Internal variability of climate that is natural makes it impossible to make sense of event attribution  science results. Therefore, the claim that extreme weather events can be attributed to AGW that has been an active part of climate science research activities for more than a decade, is no longer credible in the light of the internal variability issue. Briefly, AGW climate change is a theory about long term trends in global mean temperature and its interpretation in terms of short term climate events or localized climate is not possible because “Internal variability in the climate system confounds assessment of human-induced climate change and imposes irreducible limits on the accuracy of climate change projections, especially at regional and decadal scales” [LINK]  .


  1. Visit to Toyota of Iceland to see how companies are trying to save the planet instead of harm it and Toyota of Iceland recently won a top environmental award. Question: What are we looking at? Answer: We are the body and paint shop of this Toyota plant. These are the booths that we use to heat the cars once they have been painted and that helps dry the paint. In the old days we used to do it with fossil fuels. Now we use geothermal water. This geothermal energy heats the cars and so no oil is burnt. So we manage to decrease our impact on the environment dramatically by doing this. And that’s not all Toyota of Iceland is doing.
  2. They are also trying to reverse the effects of climate change by restoring a massive amount of wetlands. “What we used to do in the past, we’ve been digging ditches to drain the wetlands for farming purposes and other purposes. People don’t recognize their worth. We have dried up so much wetlands that it is increasing the emission of greenhouse gases. Drying out the wetlands emits methane and stored CO2 that was in the wetlands. So we are trying to restore some of these native wetlands. There didn’t use to be any water here so we closed these ditches here. The water is rising again. The emitting of greenhouse gases is slowing down and stopping. And we see the birds coming back in this place where they weren’t before. These wetlands actually store CO2.


  1. Although renewable energy in the context of climate action refers to wind and solar, it is true that geothermal energy is “renewable” in the sense that there is so much of it in the middle of the planet that it has all the properties of renewable energy. However, it is geological heat from the mantle that is also the source of volcanism, mantle plumes, hydrothermal vents, and carbon seeps and as such is not an energy source that is free of CO2. However certain locations in the world, such as Iceland, El Salvador, New Zealand, Kenya, and Philippines are located in geologically active areas of the world where a lot of heat (as well as CO2 emissions) in almost infinite quantity are readily available. In the climate change context, their use requires due consideration of their CO2 emissions. Yet another consideration is that locations such as Iceland where geothermal heat is easily accessed in plentiful quantities are necessarily in geologically active areas where significant CO2 flows of nature from volcanism, mantle plumes, rifting, and plate tectonics may be a larger source of CO2 than fossil fuel emissions of humans. It is a shortcoming and an anomalous aspect of climate science that it does not consider geological carbon flows in its CO2 mathematics and that could be the reason that observed changes in atmospheric CO2 cannot be explained only in terms of fossil fuel emissions as explained in related posts on this site [LINK] [LINK] . Significant geothermal flows in Iceland results from geological activity in the ocean floor in the Iceland – Greenland region  as shown in the charts below. The Arctic is a geologically very active area as described in a related post [LINK] and as displayed in the charts below, with the Greenland/Iceland mantle plume, the Mid Arctic Rift, Aleutian Island convergent plate boundary, and also a large number of active volcanoes under and around Iceland and Greenland. The failure of climate science to take note of these geothermal heat sources in the interpretation of Arctic ice melt phenomena blindly attributed to climate change is an area where this science could be improved.
  2. As for CO2 and CH4 emissions from wetlands that have gone dry and the action taken by Toyota to keep them wet as a way of reducing these CO2 and methane emissions, it appears that wetlands GHG emissions are understood very differently in Iceland than it is in the rest of the world where it is the wetlands that are identified as the source of GHG emissions and not their dry state. See for example “Methane emissions from wetlands: an Arctic example”, Anna Joabsson Torben Røjle Christensen, Global Change Biology: 21 March 2002″. Also  “Bioelectrochemical approach for control of methane emission from wetlands, Shentan Liuab Xiaojuan Fengc Xianning Technology, 2017.

Bioelectrochemical approach for control of methane emission from ...


Question: What percent of earth’s animal species will be lost to climate change in the next 20 to 50 years? Answer: What we know is that 25% of all plant and animal species on the earth are in danger of becoming extinct; and if we look through the history, we can find at least one event for the past 100 million years or so where the same or even worse has occurred. Mass extinctions, that’s what it is called. It was about 66 million years ago when an asteroid impacted us. But these days we are the asteroid. And we have to stop it (stop being asteroids). We must do everything we possibly can to stop it. … Ending music and commentary…. Looking down upon downtown Reykjavík, I met so many amazing people here today I am feeling a little bit overwhelmed. I am feeling a little bit daunted. I mean, what am I doing? I have a video camera on the end of a stick – and I am talking to myself. And I am about to go land on a glacier at ground zero for the climate crisis. And you know what? I don’t know anything. The science is so complex – the sociology of this whole expedition is so complex. I mean this issue is not just like … pollution …, it’s economics, it’s social justice, it’s how humanity relates to its precious mother earth. It’s how we relate to each other. It’s like an onion. The more you dig into the issues around climate change, around climate activism, the more complicated they get. I don’t know that I know any more now than when I started. And I’m going to bet I’ll be a little bit afraid of what I’m going to find out on those glaciers in the next couple of days.


Here the authors appear to make the case for the Anthropocene where the planet and all its creatures are at the mercy of human activity. Although some climate scientists including the famous Michael Mann subscribe to this notion, it is shown in a related post that this relationship between humans and the planet is not possible [LINK] and its relevance to the theory of AGW climate change and the needed climate action may be limited to providing the needed fear  based motivation for costly climate action.  If climate science is a science it should not contain wild speculations of this nature.

To conclude, this section of the idiot’s guide to climate change contains some good information but that information is intermingled and confused with misinformation, a misunderstanding of climate action, and extreme statements that cannot be supported by data or by logical arguments based on climate science as proposed in its current state. 

Iceland Loses First Glacier to Climate Change

Lithium Mining, Techniques, Mines, Occurence, Processing, Metal ...