Atlantic warming turbocharges Pacific trade winds

Aug 03, 2014
The 1997 El Nino seen by TOPEX/Poseidon. Credit: NASA

New research has found rapid warming of the Atlantic Ocean, likely caused by global warming, has turbocharged Pacific Equatorial trade winds. Currently the winds are at a level never before seen on observed records, which extend back to the 1860s.

The increase in these winds has caused eastern tropical Pacific cooling, amplified the Californian drought, accelerated sea level rise three times faster than the global average in the Western Pacific and has slowed the rise of global average temperatures since 2001.

It may even be responsible for making El Nino events less common over the past decade due to its cooling impact on in the eastern Pacific.

"We were surprised to find the main cause of the Pacific climate trends of the past 20 years had its origin in the Atlantic Ocean," said co-lead author Dr Shayne McGregor from the ARC Centre of Excellence for Climate System Science (ARCCSS) at the University of New South Wales.

"It highlights how changes in the climate in one part of the world can have extensive impacts around the globe."

The record-breaking increase in Pacific Equatorial over the past 20 years had, until now, baffled researchers.

Originally, this trade wind intensification was considered to be a response to Pacific decadal variability. However, the strength of the winds was much more powerful than expected due to the changes in Pacific sea surface temperature.

Another riddle was that previous research indicated that under scenarios Pacific Equatorial Trade winds would slow down over the coming century.

The solution was found in the rapid warming of the Atlantic Ocean basin, which has created unexpected pressure differences between the Atlantic and Pacific. This has produced wind anomalies that have given Pacific Equatorial trade winds an additional big push.

"The rapid warming of the Atlantic Ocean created high pressure zones in the upper atmosphere over that basin and low pressure zones close to the surface of the ocean," said Prof Axel Timmermann co-lead and corresponding author from the University of Hawaii.

"The rising air parcels, over the Atlantic eventually sink over the eastern tropical Pacific, thus creating higher surface pressure there. The enormous pressure see-saw with high pressure in the Pacific and low pressure in the Atlantic gave the Pacific trade winds an extra kick, amplifying their strength. It's like giving a playground roundabout an extra push as it spins past."

Many climate models appear to have underestimated the magnitude of the coupling between the two ocean basins, which may explain why they struggled to produce the recent increase in Pacific Equatorial trade wind trends.

While active, the stronger Equatorial trade winds have caused far greater overturning of ocean water in the West Pacific, pushing more atmospheric heat into the ocean, as shown by co-author and ARCCSS Chief Investigator Prof Matthew England earlier this year. This increased overturning appears to explain much of the recent slowdown in the rise of global average surface temperatures.

Importantly, the researchers don't expect the current pressure difference between the two basins to last. When it does end, they expect to see some rapid changes, including a sudden acceleration of global average surface temperatures.

"It will be difficult to predict when the Pacific cooling trend and its contribution to the global hiatus in surface temperatures will come to an end," Prof England said.

"However, a large El Niño event is one candidate that has the potential to drive the system back to a more synchronized Atlantic/Pacific warming situation."

Explore further: Pacific trade winds stall global surface warming—for now

More information: Recent Walker circulation strengthening and Pacific cooling amplified by Atlantic warming, Nature Climate Change, DOI: 10.1038/nclimate2330

add to favorites email to friend print save as pdf

Related Stories

UN weather agency warns of 'El Nino' this year

Apr 15, 2014

The UN weather agency Tuesday warned there was a good chance of an "El Nino" climate phenomenon in the Pacific Ocean this year, bringing droughts and heavy rainfall to the rest of the world.

Changing El Nino could reshape Pacific Ocean biology

Jun 15, 2012

Over the past few decades, the scientific understanding of El Nino has grown increasingly complex. Traditionally viewed as a periodic warming focused largely in the eastern equatorial Pacific Ocean, El Nino is associated ...

Recommended for you

Implications for the fate of green fertilizers

2 hours ago

The use of green fertilizers is a practice that has been around since humans first began growing food, but researchers are warning that modern techniques for the creation of these fertilizers could have implications ...

Ditching coal a massive step to climate goal: experts

4 hours ago

Phasing out coal as an electricity source by 2050 would bring the world 0.5 degrees Celsius closer to the UN's targeted cap for climate warming, an analysis said on the eve of Tuesday's UN climate summit.

Monitoring heavy metals using mussels

7 hours ago

A research team in Malaysia has concluded that caged mussels are useful for monitoring heavy metal contamination in coastal waters in the Strait of Johore. Initial results indicate more pollution in the eastern ...

Climate change report identifies 'the most vulnerable'

8 hours ago

Extreme weather events leave populations with not enough food both in the short- and the long-term. A new report by the Environmental Change Institute (ECI) at the School of Geography and the Environment ...

User comments : 67

Adjust slider to filter visible comments by rank

Display comments: newest first

antigoracle
2.1 / 5 (19) Aug 04, 2014
It will be difficult to predict when the Pacific cooling trend and its contribution to the global hiatus in surface temperatures will come to an end

Of course it is, when everything coming from AGW Cult is based on the CO2 lies.
A warmer Atlantic ocean should have led to more and stronger hurricanes, which of course never happened.
kcy2014
2.3 / 5 (16) Aug 04, 2014
On the other hand, this is the coldest Summer I remember. It's likely caused by global cooling.
wasp171
1.6 / 5 (15) Aug 04, 2014
Again the same brain washing stuff.
Zero science
10 Propaganda!
Vietvet
4.5 / 5 (16) Aug 04, 2014
I knew the science denying trolls would show up, just surprised it took them so long.
cartoons
4.1 / 5 (11) Aug 04, 2014
It certainly is a worry.
It's also a worry that some can't yet come to grips with the problem.
This cartoon depicts their approach to the problem

http://cartoonmic...usel-891

Cheers
Mick
Da Schneib
3.7 / 5 (11) Aug 04, 2014
It will be difficult to predict when the Pacific cooling trend and its contribution to the global hiatus in surface temperatures will come to an end

Of course it is, when everything coming from AGW Cult is based on the CO2 lies.
A warmer Atlantic ocean should have led to more and stronger hurricanes, which of course never happened.


More hurricanes? No, that's wrong. Stronger ones, yes. See http://www.gfdl.n...rricanes Examine figure 1. They reference Emanuel 2007, and have a link to a PDF of the scientific paper. Like all the rest of the graphs the deniers ignore, it's going up.
Da Schneib
4.1 / 5 (13) Aug 04, 2014
Actually, after reading the NOAA article more thoroughly, I may be wrong: NOAA says that it's premature to conclude that the apparent correlation between SSTs and more powerful hurricanes is firm. The evidence is equivocated, and statistical, and we may not really be able to establish a trend for several more decades.

Either way, oracle, you're wrong. Either we're already seeing it, or we can't expect to see it yet.
DDBear
2.4 / 5 (13) Aug 04, 2014
I am neutral on debate over the scientific merits of global warming predictions. But one thing that really bugs me about global warming scientists is that they fail to promote the only technology that can provide an immediate solution - nuclear energy. If there is such a need to be alarmed over the rise in global temperatures, then there should be an equal push toward nuclear energy to fix it.
runrig
4.4 / 5 (14) Aug 04, 2014
It will be difficult to predict when the Pacific cooling trend and its contribution to the global hiatus in surface temperatures will come to an end

Of course it is, when everything coming from AGW Cult is based on the CO2 lies.
A warmer Atlantic ocean should have led to more and stronger hurricanes, which of course never happened.

No it shouldn't .... unless you are a denier who thinks one dimensionally about weather/climate. Complicated systems like hurricanes have more than one trigger to their formation. Wind-shear and dryness aloft being two that would inhibit formation.
By your logic (if you admit a warmer Atlantic) then the laws of physics whereby it is self evident that warm air rises and over seas takes copious WV .... Is wrong.... FFS squared.
runrig
4.4 / 5 (14) Aug 04, 2014
On the other hand, this is the coldest Summer I remember. It's likely caused by global cooling.

Tell that to the parts of the NH that are having a hot summer sunshine, and lean about weather vs climate.
Da Schneib
3.9 / 5 (11) Aug 04, 2014
... one thing that really bugs me about global warming scientists is that they fail to promote the only technology that can provide an immediate solution - nuclear energy. If there is such a need to be alarmed over the rise in global temperatures, then there should be an equal push toward nuclear energy to fix it.


Err, what, all of them?

As far as promoting nuclear energy, that's not their job. Their job is to find out what's going to happen and make it clear. They're doing that the best they can. Nuclear power is a public policy decision and therefore up to the Congress, not the scientists, in the US. But the real kicker is that the nuclear plants need to be built in India and China; the scientists can only say what's going to happen, not what India and China do about it.

Personally I think you're right, nuclear is a necessary component, but how do you propose they should do something about it? Realistically, now.
runrig
4.3 / 5 (12) Aug 04, 2014
Again the same brain washing stuff.
Zero science
10 Propaganda!

Tell us pray how you *know* it is "zero science"?
Are you an expert, and able to judge?
Or perhaps is the reason you say this is because you gain the *science* from denialist's Blogs.
I think I know the answer to that my friend.
Da Schneib
4.2 / 5 (11) Aug 04, 2014
On the other hand, this is the coldest Summer I remember. It's likely caused by global cooling.

Tell that to the parts of the NH that are having a hot summer sunshine, and lean about weather vs climate.


And to drought-stricken California.
Mike_Massen
4.1 / 5 (13) Aug 04, 2014
antigoracle shows supreme denial of physics with
..AGW Cult is based on the CO2 lies
So all the experiments which prove CO2 re-radiates are lies & therefore show hundreds of cases of fraud ?
@kcy2014
Short term observations & comments betray short term thinking with minimal attention span.
DDBear shows ignorance of engineering practicalities of the energy industry
..only technology that can provide an immediate solution - nuclear energy
Far far quicker & many would argue cheaper & safer to install renewables as an 'immediate solution'.

Takes much much longer to get nuclear approved, built & commissioned than solar/wind !

Why would you want fixed infrastructure becoming radioactive with risk of leakage affecting dozens of generations when solar is being built Eg Upon homes in Australia which has Reduced energy consumption, a fossil plant closed, others have turned off turbines as solar takes up the slack.

We have no urgent need for nuclear but we do for smart management !
txsoldier45
1.8 / 5 (12) Aug 04, 2014
When scientists use the words "likely" and "may even" it means they are guessing. Money for more research and carbon credits is what the Global Warming/Climate Change crowd is really after.
Mike_Massen
4.1 / 5 (11) Aug 04, 2014
txsoldier45 having just joined today (4th Aug 14) muttered
When scientists use the words "likely" and "may even" it means they are guessing.
You wouldn't be saying that if you knew the difference between media hype from misinterpreted peer reviewed journals & Science.

Science is probabilistic & asymptotic, the word 'likely' in Science has a particular meaning. It is not guessing, it is the balance of probability.

However txsoldier45 shows his ignorance of economics, science, history & plain good sense with this idiocy
Money for more research and carbon credits is what the Global Warming/Climate Change crowd is really after.
Which 'crowd' ?
Look at the numbers, Scientists are not paid as much as fossil fuel execs & the crowd that profit from status quo.

Who has more to gain & hold onto commercially - decades of fossil fuel exploiters or scientists who observe climate change events correlated with increased green house gases ?

Who has received BY FAR the greatest incomes ?
Da Schneib
4.2 / 5 (10) Aug 04, 2014
"Likely" means 2 chances out of 3. "Very likely" means 9 out of 10. "May even" means a probability of a probability. From the mouth (or pen) of a scientist, these terms have precise meanings, just as "theory" has a precise meaning which is not present in the colloquial usage of the term. Ignorance of this terminology leads to many cases of confusion.

Scientists don't "guess." They speculate, and when they do they identify it carefully. That's why science is science and religion and politics aren't.
Da Schneib
4.1 / 5 (9) Aug 04, 2014
Mike, India and China aren't going to be OK with renewables. They have coal and will burn it. I really think we'd rather have them build out nuclear plants, don't you? It's not like they're gonna get secret nuclear technology or something, they both are already nuclear-armed states. And I don't think they're gonna listen to "no."
Captain Stumpy
4.3 / 5 (11) Aug 04, 2014
But one thing that really bugs me about global warming scientists is that they fail to promote the only technology that can provide an immediate solution - nuclear energy. If there is such a need to be alarmed over the rise in global temperatures, then there should be an equal push toward nuclear energy to fix it
@ddbear
why only nuclear energy? why not renewable energy too?

science is not about endorsing products like an athlete... see the response from Da Schneib. It is pretty good... and relevant
When scientists use the words "likely" and "may even" it means they are guessing
@txsoldier45
read the study to see the statistical analysis to know HOW likely or how "may even" applies. It is like a soldier and his grenade: how likely will it eliminate the target?
Money for more research and carbon credits is what the Global Warming/Climate Change crowd is really after
a personal conjecture spoken like a man who is NOT AWARE of or knowledgeable about science & how it work
nilbud
4.3 / 5 (7) Aug 04, 2014
Why does America produce so many of these moronic clowns who think their paranoid delusions trump reality. It must be a function of the brainwashing process employed in the primary schools.
Captain Stumpy
4.6 / 5 (10) Aug 04, 2014
Why does America produce so many of these moronic clowns who think their paranoid delusions trump reality. It must be a function of the brainwashing process employed in the primary schools.
@nilbud
it is not that we produce more of them... it is that they are taught (via freedom of speech) that their opinion is just as valid as others, and therefore they ASSUME that their opinion is also as valid as a scientist who studied for years on a subject and has empirical data supporting their argument...
It is actually a failing to instill a scientific base of knowledge and understanding of HOW that knowledge is produced and found moreso than a brainwashing process in schools...

Here is an interesting story that explains it somewhat: http://arstechnic...nformed/

txsoldier45
1.3 / 5 (13) Aug 04, 2014
@ Captain Stumpy: Manipulate the data to get to your desired conclusion. Call me names if you like. Statistical analysis is fine if you have the raw data to accompany it so we can fact check your work. You have to trust your sources to have trust in the results. Unfortunately lots of people don't trust what has been put out there.
mooster75
4.6 / 5 (11) Aug 04, 2014
But one thing that really bugs me about global warming scientists is that they fail to promote the only technology that can provide an immediate solution - nuclear energy.

So you're annoyed that scientists are scientists rather than lobbyists? I don't get it.
mooster75
4.4 / 5 (11) Aug 04, 2014
Money for more research and carbon credits is what the Global Warming/Climate Change crowd is really after.

You must be new; the moronic "great wealth made through Global Warming promotion" is usually the first argument a new denier makes here.
supamark23
4.6 / 5 (11) Aug 04, 2014
When scientists use the words "likely" and "may even" it means they are guessing. Money for more research and carbon credits is what the Global Warming/Climate Change crowd is really after.


No, it doesn't txsoldier45. It means they do not have the statistical proof for certainty (scientists aren't big on lying, unlike the denier crowd of teaparty astroturfers). The rest of your post is even dumber bullshit - why do you hate America so much? You sound like a muslim terrorist that wants to turn the whole world into a desert caliphate, you should be ashamed.
thermodynamics
4.6 / 5 (10) Aug 04, 2014
txsoldier45 said:
@ Captain Stumpy: Manipulate the data to get to your desired conclusion. Call me names if you like. Statistical analysis is fine if you have the raw data to accompany it so we can fact check your work. You have to trust your sources to have trust in the results. Unfortunately lots of people don't trust what has been put out there.


txsoldier45 are you aware that the data and code are available for you to work on if you would like. We have been through this before with deniers claiming that the data are manipulated and that the data are not available. The reality is that they are. All you have to do is go to the organization putting out a study and you will be able to get the data. Then are able to falsify the data using any code you want. Can you please tell us why you don't do that and can't show us how the data are "manipulated?"
Da Schneib
4.1 / 5 (9) Aug 04, 2014
But one thing that really bugs me about global warming scientists is that they fail to promote the only technology that can provide an immediate solution - nuclear energy.
@ddbear
why only nuclear energy? why not renewable energy too?

Good one. I should have added that. My opinion is we need every carbon-reducing solution we can get as fast as we can bring them on line. As we have already seen, there's a lot of resistance so the more solutions are available the better.

See also the recent article on here about spray-on perovskite solar cells, hot off the presses. Literally; they intend to *print* solar cells like newspaper, on rolls.

Hi Captain, pleased to almost meet you. :D Please call me "Schneib."
Da Schneib
4.1 / 5 (10) Aug 04, 2014
Money for more research and carbon credits is what the Global Warming/Climate Change crowd is really after.

You must be new; the moronic "great wealth made through Global Warming promotion" is usually the first argument a new denier makes here.

And the ones making the money are the deniers; the oil companies (which have much deeper pockets than governments) are paying them a mint.

Meanwhile, yes, we need money for research. Are you against cancer research too? That's science too, you know.

Hi mooster!
Da Schneib
4.3 / 5 (11) Aug 04, 2014
@ Captain Stumpy: Manipulate the data to get to your desired conclusion.

Nope. That's not how it works. Falsifying scientific data gets you kicked out of the club, and they always find out. When other people try to duplicate your results they can't. At which point you better have a darn good explanation or you'll never get published again.

Publish or perish.

Statistical analysis is fine if you have the raw data to accompany it so we can fact check your work. You have to trust your sources to have trust in the results. Unfortunately lots of people don't trust what has been put out there.
So you don't trust NASA and NOAA?

Why not? As thermo correctly points out, it's all on line, as are the programs they use to analyze it. It's public data, paid for by the taxpayers; they *have* to put it out in public.
DDBear
1.5 / 5 (11) Aug 04, 2014
@CaptainStumpy - regarding renewable energy, you mean producing carbon emissions in Chinese solar cell factories, and then more carbon emissions to transport them to the US, and then more carbon emissions to install and maintain them etc. with very little electricity production? Studies have shown that when the full lifecycle is taken into account, current renewable energy technologies have a negative contribution to global warming. Right now nuclear energy is the only technology that produces clean energy on a large enough scale, without the manufacturing waste, to have a positive effect on global warming.
Da Schneib
4.3 / 5 (11) Aug 04, 2014
For reference of bystanders and lurkers, here's the temperature data from NASA's Goddard Institute for Space Studies (GISS):
http://data.giss....gistemp/

Here's their climate analysis program repository:
http://www.giss.n.../modelE/
Note that this version of the code was used for NASA's input to the IPCC AR4 report.
Da Schneib
4.2 / 5 (10) Aug 04, 2014
@CaptainStumpy - regarding renewable energy, you mean producing carbon emissions in Chinese solar cell factories.
Ummm, no.

Read this:
http://phys.org/n...lls.html

It's right here on this site.
DDBear
1.6 / 5 (10) Aug 04, 2014
@DaSchneib, that is a theoretical technology. It would be wonderful it such a theoretical method could be put to practice, but right now the only existing technology that could make an immediate impact is nuclear energy (which also has some exciting new safer types under development).
Captain Stumpy
4.6 / 5 (10) Aug 04, 2014
You have to trust your sources to have trust in the results. Unfortunately lots of people don't trust what has been put out there.
@tex
you don't TRUST it because you have NO IDEA how it is obtained. Learn about the scientific method and you will see that SCIENCE is based upon EMPIRICAL DATA, not guesses and hunches that sound good. Oh, yeah... the RAW DATA? its out there if you look... you can get it for about ANY study (See Thermodynamics post to you about it)

Please call me "Schneib."
@Schneib
Enjoying the discourse so far... you are doing a great job! Glad to meet you! I am always ready to learn something new... so thanks for continuing to post links and supporting evidence! :-)
Da Schneib
4.3 / 5 (11) Aug 05, 2014
@DaSchneib, that is a theoretical technology.
Ummm, no, they've tested it. And it's not the only way to make roll-printed solar cells; there's a company in San Jose, CA, USA, making them with a different technology, who have been selling them like hotcakes to the Germans. Once they have enough money they're going to expand into the domestic market.

Meanwhile, did you read the article?

Please note: I'm in favor of nuclear. I'm also in favor of renewables. I'm also in favor of electric cars and buses. I'm also in favor of carbon capture, but if you wanna talk about a theoretical technology that's real pie in the sky. For that matter, I'm in favor of natural gas because it makes *less* carbon; every little bit helps. I'm in favor of increased efficiency, and better insulation, and LED and other technology light bulbs, and every other little thing anyone can come up with. We'll need it all before we're done.
Da Schneib
4.3 / 5 (12) Aug 05, 2014
For the lurkers and bystanders, materials science is advancing rapidly on various fronts with various solar cell technologies. This is an extremely "hot" area of research right now. Hardly a week goes by that I don't see another article on some new discovery in this field. A list of all of them would be quite difficult to keep up-to-date because it's moving so fast. Everything from quantum dots, to organics similar to the organic LEDs being used now in TVs for backlighting behind LCD screens, to perovskites, to back-reflecting the light through the cells to increase absorption of photons and production of electrons, and many more, is being pushed as fast as they can. So dissing solar cells is simply either prejudice or lack of knowledge.
Da Schneib
4 / 5 (8) Aug 05, 2014
Update: I hadn't looked into thin film solar in a while. It turns out the company was Nanosolar, and they went out of business because of Chinese "dumping."

Turns out the new hot company is First Solar, and they've gone into the domestic market.

Check it out:
http://www.forbes...roadmap/

You can look them up on Wikipedia to see an overview of their thin-film technology.

The Chinese have been hit with punitive tariffs to bring their attempts at killing US solar companies to a halt by increasing their costs to above their manufacturing costs; they were "dumping" and now they're being sanctioned.

Meanwhile there are eight or ten other US companies using a different thin-film technology as well, all of whom are doing fine.
rockwolf1000
4.4 / 5 (7) Aug 05, 2014
@DaSchneib, that is a theoretical technology. It would be wonderful it such a theoretical method could be put to practice, but right now the only existing technology that could make an immediate impact is nuclear energy (which also has some exciting new safer types under development).


"which also has some exciting new safer types under development" Which also qualifies as theoretical technology would you agree?
FastEddy
1.4 / 5 (10) Aug 05, 2014
"Warming" Atlantic? So, where are all the hurricanes? Florida so far has not had one going on nine + years !!

BTW: It is raining in Taxifornia right now ... Al Gore is proven wrong again. (How come his camera crew killed that Polar bear, anyway?)
FastEddy
1.4 / 5 (10) Aug 05, 2014
NOAA is now offering all expenses paid Caribbean cruises ... to explore this very idea. Your tax dollars at work? (Google NOAA Atlantic Fleet / images = nine cruise ships = too cool! ... I especially like NOAA Ship Ferdinand R. Hassler [with two single and six double staterooms] which cruises from New Hampshire to Mexico :)
FastEddy
1.4 / 5 (10) Aug 05, 2014
... My opinion is we need every carbon-reducing solution we can get as fast as we can bring them on line. As we have already seen, there's a lot of resistance so the more solutions are available the better. ...


No more soda pop for you!
FastEddy
1.7 / 5 (9) Aug 05, 2014
... [It] bugs me about global warming scientists is that they fail to promote the only technology that can provide an immediate solution - nuclear energy. If there is such a need to be alarmed over the rise in global temperatures, then there should be an equal push toward nuclear energy to fix it.


Dittos fur sure. The next best alternative is natural gas (except that there is Carbon in it :0] )

Chinese environmental concerns are getting a huge boost from the Chinese g'ment purchase and construction of 120+ nuke power plants.
FastEddy
1.4 / 5 (9) Aug 05, 2014
... [It] bugs me about global warming scientists is that they fail to promote the only technology that can provide an immediate solution - nuclear energy. If there is such a need to be alarmed over the rise in global temperatures, then there should be an equal push toward nuclear energy to fix it.


Dittos fur sure. The next best alternative is natural gas (except that there is Carbon in it :0] )

Chinese environmental concerns are getting a huge boost from the Chinese g'ment purchase and construction of 120+ nuke power plants.
Da Schneib
4.3 / 5 (11) Aug 05, 2014
Dittos fur sure. The next best alternative is natural gas (except that there is Carbon in it :0] )

Chinese environmental concerns are getting a huge boost from the Chinese g'ment purchase and construction of 120+ nuke power plants.

A significant fraction of natural gas' energy comes from hydrogen burning to water vapor; and because natural gas is a short-chain alkane rather than the long-chain and ring alkanes (crude oil, as well as gasoline and diesel and kerosene (jet fuel) produced from it), it has a higher fraction of hydrogen. It therefore reduces carbon emissions.

Do you have a source for this claim about the Chinese getting ready to build out 120 nuclear plants? This would be good news if it's true (at least for carbon emissions).
Da Schneib
4.2 / 5 (10) Aug 05, 2014
Quick research shows China has 28 plants under construction and 20 already built. Are you perhaps talking about their plans to have 120 GWe by 2030?

http://www.world-...r-Power/

Also worth mentioning is that China intends to use a closed fuel cycle; they will reprocess, which means orders of magnitude less nuclear waste.
Whydening Gyre
4 / 5 (4) Aug 05, 2014
Just a dumb question -
What if all that natural gas and methane primarily, (distilled from oil deeper in the earth I assume) bubbles to the surface, mixes with our oxygen - and the earth "lights a match"?(volcano comes to mind)
That magma for sure has to be way hotter than the ignition point of the resultant mix.
Which reminds me... Any body ever come up with a concrete explanation for the demise of Denovan or Clovis peoples other than an airburst meteor?
Just a thought that made me go - hmmm.
Da Schneib
4 / 5 (8) Aug 05, 2014
Actually, the bigger risk is a volcano underneath a coal field. This has happened once: the Siberian Traps, which are suspected as a primary cause of the Permian extinction, the worst mass extinction in Earth's history, in which 90% of all species extant at the time are believed to have gone extinct.
Whydening Gyre
4 / 5 (4) Aug 05, 2014
Actually, the bigger risk is a volcano underneath a coal field. This has happened once: the Siberian Traps, which are suspected as a primary cause of the Permian extinction, the worst mass extinction in Earth's history, in which 90% of all species extant at the time are believed to have gone extinct.

Good one, The Da !
So, by extension, all those hydro carbons, heating, building and pushing up. Something pops, mixing with all that oxygen, someone lights match -
wouldn't be pretty. Bomb shelter comes to mind (a really deep one)...

It seems we're in sort of a catch 22, then.
Da Schneib
4 / 5 (8) Aug 05, 2014
Nawww. There's not enough methane to make an explosive mixture all over the atmosphere.

We think. (Crosses fingers.)

More seriously, the real risk is that methane is a stronger greenhouse gas than CO₂ though IIRC it has a shorter atmospheric lifetime than CO₂ does.
Whydening Gyre
4.4 / 5 (7) Aug 05, 2014
Nawww. There's not enough methane to make an explosive mixture all over the atmosphere.

We think. (Crosses fingers.)

Only has to be regional... Gas lights the oil.. oil lights the coal...
Bang... game over...:-)
Da Schneib
4.1 / 5 (9) Aug 05, 2014
Happens all the time: that's why Red Adair was always in funds. And underground coal fires happen all the time too; in fact there are currently thousands of such fires burning right now.
Whydening Gyre
4.5 / 5 (8) Aug 05, 2014
Happens all the time: that's why Red Adair was always in funds. And underground coal fires happen all the time too; in fact there are currently thousands of such fires burning right now.

That, I did not know... More CO2 release....
Whydening Gyre
4.5 / 5 (8) Aug 05, 2014
Happens all the time: that's why Red Adair was always in funds. And underground coal fires happen all the time too; in fact there are currently thousands of such fires burning right now.

Somehow, I find it more comforting to think of a relatively inert gas in the atmosphere vs a large amount of combustibles under my feet....
Da Schneib
3.9 / 5 (7) Aug 06, 2014
Well, the mantle is only about 50 km away (on a continent near sea level) and it's at anywhere from 500 C to 900 C. That's the top layer, the asthenosphere. However, intrusions from lower sections of the mantle often heat the overlying magma to temperatures as high as 1,200 C.

You should be way more worried about that than a little burning coal; it's a fair bit hotter.
Whydening Gyre
4.3 / 5 (6) Aug 06, 2014
Well, the mantle is only about 50 km away (on a continent near sea level) and it's at anywhere from 500 C to 900 C. That's the top layer, the asthenosphere. However, intrusions from lower sections of the mantle often heat the overlying magma to temperatures as high as 1,200 C.

You should be way more worried about that than a little burning coal; it's a fair bit hotter.

Why are we humans always on the brink of impending crisis?
No wonder we drink...
Da Schneib
3.9 / 5 (7) Aug 06, 2014
Volcanoes happen. :D
Mike_Massen
5 / 5 (6) Aug 06, 2014
Life is indeed on the edge & always has been, some say time is the fire in which we burn...

Recall reading a scifi story decades ago, re ancient lifeforms that lived in or near the center of the Earth, they detected our presence when we started affecting the lower crust re nuclear explosions or RF sensing etc.

Anyway, they came up to visit via artificially generated volcanoes in their multi layered technologically advanced pressure suits & were astounded as to how such a creature (us) could possibly exist in a stark environment so close to absolute zero whilst in a near vacuum & for such short periods - so it was little surprise we were wiped out simply by being in the presence of those millennial lifeforms from below...

A mere flash in the proverbial pan !

(WG - Red whine has the advantage {in appropriate qty} of being useful to lubricate the source of diverse philosophical meanderings plus it has resveratrol, tastes good & eases anxiety of impending entropy)
Whydening Gyre
5 / 5 (5) Aug 06, 2014
(WG - Red whine has the advantage {in appropriate qty} of being useful to lubricate the source of diverse philosophical meanderings plus it has resveratrol, tastes good & eases anxiety of impending entropy)

Bourbon has the same lubricating effect. Doesn't taste so good - til after the first one, anyway...
And I'm almost certain it has anti-oxidants or somethin'...
But - only at night. During the day, I just check phys org and the stock market as a break between projects. I use coffee, then...:-)
Captain Stumpy
4.2 / 5 (5) Aug 06, 2014
Happens all the time: that's why Red Adair was always in funds....

That, I did not know... More CO2 release....
@Whyde
Yep... Look here: https://en.wikipe...sylvania
there are a few others just in the US alone..
Bourbon has the same lubricating effect. Doesn't taste so good
bite your tongue HEATHEN LOL

try Lambrusco

that's why Red Adair was always in funds.
@Da Schneib
One HECK of a man! wish I would have been able to meet him...
studied about him at the academy. Learned some of his tricks there too
almost as famous to a Firefighter as Ben Franklin LOL

Da Schneib
4.3 / 5 (6) Aug 06, 2014
I saw a documentary on Red once. You're right, Captain, he was something else again.

As for libations, I'll confess to the occasional glass of Scotch whiskey, water back; and to a taste for California red wines, and good sake.
Captain Stumpy
3.7 / 5 (6) Aug 06, 2014
I saw a documentary on Red once. You're right, Captain, he was something else again.

As for libations, I'll confess to the occasional glass of Scotch whiskey, water back; and to a taste for California red wines, and good sake.
@Da Schneib
check this site out... http://saposjoint.net
when you get there, set up a profile, post around, check out some posts about the Chinese junk while there... hit me up for info.
it is a great site to be at and moderated heavily (No RealityCheck) spamming the group there... got his BS deleted and got banned too!)

Whyde should go there too... !!

I love Sake, Scotch and Mosel river wines, and a lot of Italian wines too (Especially Lambrusco- with or without food), especially wines that compliment food... makes me shudder at what might be in store for us in the future considering AGW and a good wine...lol

Might not have Ice lase or eiswein.
thermodynamics
5 / 5 (5) Aug 06, 2014
I saw a documentary on Red once. You're right, Captain, he was something else again.

As for libations, I'll confess to the occasional glass of Scotch whiskey, water back; and to a taste for California red wines, and good sake.


Oh, that brings back memories of a hotsi bath and sake in Osaka. I liked it so much I went back for a second round the same night and was carried back to the ship by the Chief and another sailor. I really like hot sake and have learned to pace myself now. :-)
Da Schneib
3.7 / 5 (6) Aug 06, 2014
Thanks Captain, I will!

I tend to like lighter reds, like pinots noir, petit syrahs, and some merlots. Very occasionally I'm in the mood for a heavy Bordeaux or a cabernet sauvignon, but not often. I don't usually like most white wines, but French chardonnay, and pinot grigio are occasionally on the menu for fish or nearly unseasoned chicken. I won't drink US chardonnay; they all use malo-lactic fermentation, and it smells like sour milk to me (yuk). My wife drinks a lot of fume blanc and US chardonnay. De gustibus non disputandum.

Anyway we're waaaay off topic. So see you over at Sapo's pretty soon.

Hamachi sashimi and sake, yum yum, and uni nigiri sushi and a caterpillar roll to start with. Now I'll have to go into town and get sushi and sashimi tomorrow. I've spent a fair bit of time in Japan, and I love Japanese food. I'm eating a burrito right now, with Tapatio picante and fresh sour cream, so it's too late to do it tonight. You bring back memories for me, too, thermo. :D
Da Schneib
3.9 / 5 (7) Aug 06, 2014
Hi, @Mike_Massen. In fact, life (I mean biologically) is a balancing act on the border between order and chaos, if you believe Stuart Kauffman. See: At Home In the Universe for details. ;)
howhot2
4.3 / 5 (6) Aug 08, 2014
I tend to like lighter reds, like pinots noir, petit syrahs, and some merlots. Very occasionally I'm in the mood for a heavy Bordeaux or a cabernet sauvignon, but not often. I don't usually like most white wines, but French chardonnay, and pinot grigio are occasionally on the menu for fish or nearly unseasoned chicken. I won't drink US chardonnay; they all use malo-lactic fermentation, and it smells like sour milk to me (yuk). My wife drinks a lot of fume blanc and US chardonnay. De gustibus non disputandum.


Ahh just about all white wines from California are drinkable to excellent IMHO. The reds are kind of monotone compared to the French. I love a Cotes du Rhone or the Beaujolais just as examples. Obviously the French are the masters. Spain has some wonderful reds like the Riojas as do the Italians Chiantis.

And to think there are dim bulb global warming deniers that don't care about these things. They don't care about anything except oil/coal profit.
Da Schneib
3.4 / 5 (5) Aug 08, 2014
Arghh! I just gave you a 1 star by mistake Captain! My apologies. Still getting used to my new computer's touchpad. And I am now registered on that site, so see you there too. But it's being kinda funky, lots of "this page cannot be displayed" errors. It's PHBB, so I might try Firefox when I get around to installing it.
Da Schneib
3.4 / 5 (5) Aug 08, 2014
Hi, howhot! Like I said, de gustibus non disputandum. ;)

Yes, global warming will make a mess of the wine industry. OTOH, the guys up in Oregon and Washington might like it...