Climate change and a flat earth (I can’t believe we’re still dealing with this argument)

I'm not sure where this meme originated. if anyone knows, please tell me so that I can give credit.

Image via Terry Pratchett’s “Discovery World.”

When I started this blog, I wanted it to be entirely about science and the fundamental concepts of logic. As such, I decided that topics like religion and politics where off limits. However, anytime that a politician makes a statement about science, they enter my territory and I feel obliged to deal with their comments (by the same token, I only talk about religion when people use it to make claims about science). One of the most common and irritating ways that this occurs is when politicians try to compare modern science (usually climate research) to the idea that the earth is flat and/or we are the canter of the universe. This argument is used ad nauseum and I have dealt with it before. Nevertheless, it is once again featuring prominently in our political dialogue, so I feel the need to explain why it is utter nonsense yet again.

I am, of course, referring to the recent comments by Trump advisor Anthony Scaramucci on CNN. When asked about the scientific consensus on climate change, he made several hopelessly ignorant comments like, “There was an overwhelming science that the Earth was flat, and there was an overwhelming science that we were the center of the world.” Statements like that are, however, absurd for numerous reasons.

First, and most obviously, they are blatantly false. Science is an extremely careful, empirical, and systematic process of making observations, forming hypotheses, and empirically testing those hypotheses by using repeatable, controlled* experiments, and that system is an extremely recent one. It has only existed in its modern form for the last few centuries. In contrast, we have known that the earth was round since the ancient Greeks! So there can’t possibly have been a scientific consensus that the earth was flat because science as we know it did not even exist then! Similarly, the idea that we are the center of the universe was discredited long before modern science, and the idea was largely based on religion. Indeed, although Galileo slightly predates modern science, when he demonstrated that the earth was not the center of the universe, he did so by applying the same basic type of systematic observations and reasoning that scientists use today. Thus, although modern science never said that the earth was the center of the universe, scientific reasoning was the thing that discredited that idea.

I want to elaborate on that last point for a second, because I want to be clear that I am not suggesting that there were no scientists before the modern era. There certainly were, but science was not the formalized discipline that it is now. In other words, although there were people who were making observations, testing hypotheses, etc., there was not a standard for the type of reasoning that qualified as science, nor was there the vast body of philosophical thought about the nature of science that we have today. My point is that the “science” that said that the earth is flat and the earth is the center of the universe is not actually the same thing that we know as science today, thus the comparison is invalid (i.e., it is an equivocation fallacy because it uses the word “science” to mean two different things).

Further, so far I have only been talking about the general concept of what science is, but we also have to take into account the tools that are available to scientists. For example, the statistics and mathematical formulas that we use today have only been around for about 100 years (sometimes much less than that). Those mathematics are extremely important because they are what allow us to rigorously examine our data and assign confidence values to our results. Similarly, today we can use computers to analyze millions of data points, run massive simulations, and do analyses that were unimaginable to scientists just a few decades ago. Further, our ability to accurately make the measurements that we use in those analyses has also increased astronomically. For example, we now have satellites that can continuously collect very precise data from all of the world. Tools like that give us incredible power for understanding our planet and the universe in general, and they give modern science a major advantage over past scientific endeavors.

There is also another problem here, and it is a more fundamental one. If this argument actually worked, then you could use it any time that you wanted, rather than simply for climate change. In other words, if the fact that people used to think that the earth was flat actually gave you cate blanche to reject science, then you would never have to accept any scientific result that you didn’t like. For example, I could say, “scientists say that washing your hands helps prevent the spread of disease, but they were wrong about the earth being flat, so I don’t have to listen to them when they say that we should wash our hands.” That is obviously absurd, but that is exactly the same thing that Scaramucci did. His argument was logically identical, which means that if either of those arguments worked, then both should work, and the fact that the hand washing example is clearly absurd means that the climate change argument must also be absurd. That’s how logic works.

Nevertheless, you might be tempted to think, “but scientists aren’t completely, 100% sure that we are causing climate change, so it is always possible that they are wrong.” Technically, that is true, but here is the important qualifier: science never gives us 100% certainty. It is inherently a skeptical process, and it only tells us what is most likely true given the current evidence, not what is absolutely true (details here). So sure, it is true that I can’t be 100% sure that we are causing climate change, but I also can’t 100% sure that the earth is round. Indeed, I can’t be 100% sure that you even exist, nor can I be 100% sure that Donald Trump isn’t an alien squid from another universe. However, the fact that I can’t be 100% sure about those things does not mean that I get to have any form of practical doubt about them. It would clearly be ridiculous for me to actually think that Trump is an alien squid, and politicians should not make laws based on that notion. Even so, the fact that we can’t be 100% sure about climate change does not mean that you get to have any practical doubt about it, nor should we be basing laws on that doubt.

In technical terms, what I have been describing is known as an argument from ignorance fallacy. It can occur in many ways, but one of its forms happens when you say, “we can’t be sure that X is true, therefore X is false” or “we can’t be sure that X is true, therefore it is reasonable to believe that it isn’t true.” This is not logically valid. The fact that we can’t be completely certain of a conclusion does not mean that you can assume that all of the evidence supporting that conclusion is false. This comes back to one of my favorite topics: the burden of proof. The person making a claim is always responsible for providing the evidence to support that claim. In other words, if you want to claim that we aren’t causing climate change, then you must provide actual evidence that we aren’t. You can’t simply assert that we can’t be 100% certain, the models might be wrong, etc. If you want to claim that all of the scientific evidence is wrong, then you have to provide evidence to support that claim, not speculations. Further, although it is true that science never proves anything with 100% certainty, there are some topics that are so well supported by so many lines of evidence that it is almost unthinkable that they could actually be totally wrong, and anthropogenic climate change is one of those topics (others include atomic theory, the germ theory of diseases, etc.).

This brings me to the final topic that I want to discuss here: the actual evidence for climate change. You see, so far I have been talking in pretty general terms about science, but Scaramucci’s statements are particularly absurd and misguided when we focus in on climate change, because there is so much evidence supporting it. As I have explained in more detail elsewhere, we have tested the sun, volcanoes, and other natural drivers of climate change, and they can’t explain the current warming by themselves (Meehl, et al. 2004; Hansen et al. 2005; Wild et al. 2007; Lockwood and Frohlich 2007, 2008; Lean and Rind 2008; Foster and Rahmstorf 2011; Imbers et al. 2014). However, including our greenhouse gases in the calculations does explain the warming trend (Stott et al. 2001; Meehl et al. 2004; Allen et al. 2006; Lean and Rind 2008; Imbers et al. 2014). In other words, we know that our emissions are driving the warming, because we have tested the natural drivers of climate change, and none of them (even when combined) can account for the current increase in temperatures. Further, we know that CO2 traps heat and is largely responsible for both our climate and past climate changes (Lorius et al. 1990; Tripati et al. 2009; Shakun et al. 2012), we know that we have greatly increased the CO2 in the atmosphere (Bohm et al. 2002; Ghosh and Brand 2003;Wei et al. 2009), and we have used satellites to directly measure the amount of heat energy that CO2 in our atmosphere is trapping, and (just as expected) it is trapping an increasing amount of heat (Harries et al. 2001; Griggs and Harries 2007). In other words, we have direct evidence that our CO2 is causing the earth to trap more heat (i.e., warm). The evidence is overwhelming, and when you look at the scientific literature, you will find thousands of papers saying that we are causing climate change, and only a tiny handful that disagree. The scientific consensus on this topic is incredible (details here), and the consensus among scientists exists because of the evidence. Scientists do not “believe” in climate change (as Scaramucci erroneously asserts), rather we accept it as fact because of the overwhelming evidence. There is simply no serious debate on this topic among actual scientists.

To illustrate this a different way, a few weeks ago, I attended the annual meeting of the Ecological Society of Australia, and there were lots of talks about the effects that climate change is having and will have on plants and animals, but not one of those talks hedged their comments with statements like, “if climate change is real.” Rather, all of them treated anthropogenic climate change as a scientific fact because that is what it is, and it is absolutely crazy to suggest that we should act as if it isn’t settled just because some non-scientists over 2000 years ago thought that the earno matter what crackpot notion you believeth was flat! Further, the fact that a handful of scientists today disagree doesn’t help that argument either because there will always be a few who disagree on any topic (this is an appeal to authority fallacy). Having an advanced degree does not guarantee that you know what you are talking about, and you can sadly find plenty of crackpots even among scientists (note: before you accuse me of committing an appeal to authority fallacy by citing the consensus, please read this post on the difference between appealing to authority and deferring to experts).

To be clear, there is disagreement about the extent of climate change that we are going to cause. There are lots of variables that have to be considered, and there are admittedly still topics that we are actively studying in order to refine out models. However, although the models may be imprecise about the extent of the warming, it is almost unthinkable that we are wrong about the warming itself. Indeed, the idea that we are causing the climate to change is not based on the predictive models, rather it is based on research like the papers I presented earlier. Further, out models have actually done a pretty good job of predicting the current warming, so although they aren’t perfect, they probably aren’t that far off (Hansen et al. 2006; Frame and Stone 2012; Rahmstorf et al. 2012; Cowtan et al. 2015; Marotzke and Firster 2015).

In short, the science that said that the earth is flat or that we are the center of the universe was not the same thing as what we know as science today. Further, the past few decades have furnished us with a fantastic array of amazing tools for collecting and analyzing massive amounts of data, and when we apply those tools to the topic of climate change, we get an extremely consistent result: it is real and we are the main cause of it. Because of that evidence, there is no serious debate about this among scientists. Yes, there are a few dissenting voices, but those will always be there. Further, yes, it is always technically possible that we are wrong, but it is also technically possible that Donald Trump is a space squid, and the fact that something is technically possible does not mean that it is rational to think that it is actually true.

*Note: When I said that science uses controlled experiments, I was not referring specifically to randomized controlled trials (RCTs). Although they are a particularly powerful design, they are far from the only one, and they often aren’t applicable in fields outside of medicine. In climate research, for example, we generally can’t do RCTs, but we can still control our experiments and analyses by measuring all of the confounding factors and including those factors in out analyses.

Related posts

Literature cited

  • Allen et al. 2006. Quantifying anthropogenic influence on recent near-surface temperature change. Surveys in Geophysics 27:491–544.
  • Bohm et al. 2002. Evidence for preindustrial variations in the marine surface water carbonate system from coralline sponges. Geochemistry, Geophysics, Geosystems 3:1–13.
  • Cowtan et al. 2015. Robust comparison of climate models with observations using blended land air and ocean sea surface temperatures. Geophysical Research Letters 42:6526–6534.
  • Foster and Rahmstorf 2011. Global temperature evolution 1979–2010. Environmental Research Letters 7:011002.
  • Frame and Stone 2012. Assessment of the first consensus prediction on climate change. Nature Climate Change 3:357–359.
  • Ghosh and Brand. 2003. Stable isotope ratio mass spectrometry in global climate change research. International Journal of Mass Spectrometry 228:1–33.
  • Griggs and Harries. 2007. Comparison of spectrally resolved outgoing longwave radiation over the tropical Pacific between 1970 and 2003 Using IRIS, IMG, and AIRS. Journal of Climate 20:3982-4001.
  • Hansen et al. 2005. Earth’s energy imbalance: confirmation and implications. Science 308:1431.
  • Hansen et al. 2006. Global temperature change. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences 10314288–14293.
  • Harries et al. 2001. Increases in greenhouse forcing inferred from the outgoing longwave radiation spectra of the Earth in 1970 and 1997. Nature 410:355–357.
  • Imbers et al. 2014. Sensitivity of climate change detection and attribution to the characterization of internal climate variability. Journal of Climate 27:3477–3491.
  • Lean and Rind. 2008. How natural and anthropogenic influences alter global and regional surface temperatures: 1889 to 2006. Geophysical Research Letters 35:L18701.
  • Lockwood and Frohlich. 2007. Recently oppositely directed trends in solar climate forcings and the global mean surface air temperature. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences 463:2447–2460.
  • Lockwood and Frohlich. 2008. Recently oppositely directed trends in solar climate forcings and the global mean surface air temperature. II. Different reconstructions of the total solar irradiance variation and dependence on response time scale. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences 464:1367–1385.
    Lorius et al. 1990. The ice-core record: climate sensitivity and future greenhouse warming. Nature 139–145.
  • Marotzke and Firster 2015. Forcing, feedback and internal variability in global temperature trends. Nature 517:565–570.
  • Meehl, et al. 2004. Combinations of natural and anthropogenic forcings in the twentieth-century climate. Journal of Climate 17:3721–3727.
  • Rahmstorf et al. 2012. Comparing climate projections to observations up to 2011. Environmental Research Letters 7:044035.
  • Shakun et al. 2012. Global warming preceded by increasing carbon dioxide
  • Stott et al. 2001. Attribution of twentieth century temperature change to natural and anthropogenic causes. Climate Dynamics17:1–21.
  • Tripati et al. 2009. Coupling CO2 and ice sheet stability over major climate transitions of the last 20 million years. Science 326:1394–1397.
  • Wei et al. 2009. Evidence for ocean acidification in the Great Barrier Reef of Australia. Geochimica et Cosmochimica Acta 73:2332–2346.
  • Wild et al. 2007. Impact of global dimming and brightening on global warming. Geophysical Research Letters


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18 Responses to Climate change and a flat earth (I can’t believe we’re still dealing with this argument)

  1. Fallacy Man says:

    If anyone decides to debate me on climate change here, please do me a favor and first make sure that your argument isn’t one of the ones that I have already debunked here
    https://thelogicofscience.com/2016/10/18/debunking-25-arguments-against-climate-change-in-5-sentences-or-less-each/

    Liked by 1 person

    • Ray says:

      Thank you so much for your posts. I have a question about a recent article that claims NOAA is tampering with data – http://www.zerohedge.com/news/2016-12-28/100-us-warming-due-noaa-data-tampering

      I looked back at the previous posts and think number 17 indirectly addresses it but I was hoping you could provide your input.

      Thanks

      Like

      • Fallacy Man says:

        Hi, let me give you the brief answer, the longer answer, and the really long answer.

        The brief answer is that there are adjustments that have to be made to the data, but they aren’t dishonest manipulations. Rather, they are corrections, or calibrations to compensate for known errors and biases in the data. This is perfectly normal and happens in all areas of science (it is in fact the correct approach). Raw data nearly always has biases and issues that need to be correct before they can be analyzed. This is especially true for data as complex as climate data which are being collected by numerous different methods from hundreds of locations all over the world. Different weather stations, methods, etc. have biases that absolutely have to be compensated for before the data can be correctly analyzed. Further, the methods have changed over time, and that has to be taken into account as well. To use a simple analogy that works well, imaging that 40 years ago, you put a weather station in your back yard and have been recording the temperature every day since, However, in the intervening years, a large tree has grown and now shades the weather station. That is going to produce a spurious cooling trend, and you have to adjust for that to see what is actually happening. The same type of thing happens with real data as well.

        I explained this in more detail here
        https://thelogicofscience.wordpress.com/2015/02/09/the-ghcn-temperature-adjustment-myth/

        and if you want a really good and thorough (but quite long) explanation, I strongly recommend this piece from arstechnica.com
        http://arstechnica.com/science/2016/01/thorough-not-thoroughly-fabricated-the-truth-about-global-temperature-data/

        Like

  2. realthog says:

    Many thanks for this excellent summary. It’s monumentally distressing that the alien space squid (I can believe that part!) is stuffing the incoming administration with science deniers, particularly AGW deniers, as willfuly ignorant as himself. Anthony Scaramucci is far from the only one.

    Like

  3. Holding the Line in Florida says:

    I agree with realthog, excellent post as always, and I am afraid that this sort of nonsense is going to become commonplace as the Age of Trump begins. Watch the movie Idiocracy, a blueprint of the future.

    Like

    • higgsbosoff says:

      Someone actually made the argument that Idiocracy is utopia by comparison. Sure, in Idiocracy everything’s going to shit due to general low IQ, but at least they do have a significant respect for the concept of intelligence – that they acknowledge as the now-lost source of clever, working solutions to problems. What we have now is active spite of science, rationality and/or smart, sensible solutions in general. As Gove eloquently said when campaigning for Brexit, these people “are tired of experts”.

      Like

  4. Hello Fallacy Man, my name is Marc Linquist.

    I have really enjoyed your work here for quite some time. I would be happy to debate the cause of this warming with anyone. I should tell you a little about myself first though. I’m not a trained scientist, I am a lowly electrician with a lifetime love of geology. I am also a member of scienceforums.net, this might be the best way to gauge my attitude towards science. View my profile here; http://www.scienceforums.net/user/88603-arc/

    You said: “The person making a claim is always responsible for providing the evidence to support that claim. In other words, if you want to claim that we aren’t causing climate change, then you must provide actual evidence that we aren’t.” I can do that.

    The reason the results and consensus are what they are is primarily the result of our current standard model of geology. It does not explain the formation of mt. ranges, plate movement, mid ocean ridges, extensional or compressional surface features and hundreds of others. The historic hyper-thermal events that have occurred though deep geologic time are still unanswered. The std model is horrendously inadequate to explain these and hundreds of the other inconsistencies. But geologists are an optimistic bunch and will brush aside all these pesky unanswered details.

    My original goal for the past 30 years was to solve this “Tectonic Plate” mystery. What are the true dynamics involved in our surface geology. I stumbled across the key to this quest five years ago, the accurate predictions of observations followed with ease when this model was applied to our planet. The surprise came when the evidence predicted the historic climate record. Glacial and Inter-glacial periods, Holocene warming and cooling periods and even those many geologically ancient extinction boundary events like the Paleocene–Eocene Thermal Maximum.

    I know; “Extraordinary claims require extraordinary evidence”. I have that. The great thing about science is a model’s ability to make predictions of observations over rule all other arguments. Authoritative opinions take a back seat to predictions of observations. Any counter argument must be backed up by superior predictions of observations. This is how science works. This is why someone such as myself can make such a bold claim. This model makes stunning predictions. My model can be viewed at: http://www.electroplatetectonics.com/ Thanks for your time and your hard work here and elsewhere. Marc

    Like

    • Fallacy Man says:

      I am attempting to read your article (please forgive me if it takes some time to form a proper assessment as it is quite long); however, I am having great difficulty figuring out exactly what you are suggesting (perhaps this is just because I have very little background in geology). Can you please provide a few sentence summary of exactly what you are arguing?

      Also, I am finding your graphs quite confusing. For example, there is a repeated graph (sometimes called Fig 1) that has C14 data and earthquakes (as well as marking certain warm and cool periods), but it is not at all clear how the earthquakes are plotted. What is their Y access? Why are some points on there twice with black lines connecting them? Is it meant to show that the number of earthquakes is increasing? Also, why does the C14 data stop roughly 50 years ago? Surely we have those data for the past 50 years.

      Like

  5. largo says:

    Just because it is unreasonable to believe that a particular claim is untrue, it does not follow that it is unreasonable not to believe that it is true. Having the best possible evidence for something does not make another person unreasonable for being ignorant or non-committed on it. If I am farming my homestead not bothering anybody, and you should ascertain somehow that I was agnostic on the earth being round — or indeed if you should ascertain somehow that I thought it was flat — would you have grounds to knock on my door and to say to be “stop being unreasonable!’? No, it would you exhibiting unreasonableness if you did so. Not so much because it’s not your place, but in what sense am I *being* anything in this case? If we are living and letting live, in what sense does it make to speak of my ‘being unreasonable’?

    I am not saying this to suggest that we have a disagreement of substance. I may be speaking more to rhetoric than anything else. And rhetoric is important. As to whether you think this comment of mine on rhetoric is important, I leave that up to you. Cheers mate.

    Like

    • Fallacy Man says:

      I’m going to have to disagree with you on this. I would say that it is unreasonable to choose not to believe something when faced with overwhelming evidence for it. I would in fact say that it would be completely unreasonable for someone to be agnostic about the earth being round, because the fact that it is round is so clearly true. Now, it might be unreasonable for me to track this person down, go to his home, and try to persuade him, but that is a very different thing from writing general articles aimed at explaining to agnostics why their position is unreasonable. Further, this is particularly true for a topic like climate change where public opinion goes a long way towards shaping policy, and those policies affect the whole world. We can’t afford for people to be agnostic on topics like that.

      To be clear here, I am talking about being agnostic in the face of overwhelming evidence, rather than true ignorance. In other words, if someone is living in the middle of nowhere and has never encountered the evidence for a round earth, then they could easily be forgiven for being agnostic, and their agnosticism would not be at all unreasonable because they have not encountered the evidence. That is, however, very different from someone being agnostic after they have been shown the evidence.

      Liked by 1 person

  6. lindaglasto says:

    An excellent article. The flat earth on a turtle meme is from Terry Pratchett’s Discworld series.

    Like

  7. That’s quite all right, it is long despite my attempts to trim it down. There is a substantial inter-relationship between the solar magnetic flux, the Earth’s magnetic field generator and Plate Tectonic processes. That graph simply has the Japanese earthquakes from the wiki list placed chronologically along the solar magnetic proxy data line. That’s it. Just that simple.

    That particular proxy data ended at 1950, while the earthquakes not only continued but substantially increased in number and strength. I guess I could have continued them almost vertically beyond the end of the 14C proxy line. But I thought it would be better to just continue them down below close to the (X axis) date scale. They are so numerous at that point in time that they need to be place almost vertical just to be aligned to their corresponding date.Their is no other purpose for their almost vertical position so they have no real Y axis orientation. What I wanted to convey in that graph was that there is a correlation of earthquake activity to solar magnetic intensity. Where solar magnetic energy suddenly changed intensity, either going up or down, there were usually corresponding seismic events. And when the solar magnetic energy increased continually for an extended period, as it did from around 1850 to the present, you see an almost continual series of earthquakes and the level of energy they released is on average substantially higher. As I stated; “This works out to one single 8.0 earthquake every 53 years on average for the Edo period vs one single 8.0 earthquake every 15 years on average for the period that followed it to the most recent events”.

    So, what are the mechanics involved in all this? Well, the answer is an amazingly simple concept. The reason the solar magnetic proxy can predict earthquake activity is the Sun’s magnetic energy
    is coupled to the Earth’s magnetic field, and through that can induce increased amplitude into the Earth’s liquid iron core.

    http://pubs.usgs.gov/fs/fs-0095-00/fs-0095-00.pdf
    Referring to the NOAA article;
    “Gerard C. Bond, a researcher at the Lamont Doherty Earth Observatory has suggested that the ~1,500 year cycle of ice-buildup in the North Atlantic is related to solar cycles; when the sun is at its most energetic, the Earth’s magnetic field is strengthened.”

    This is called magnetic induction, it is a common electrical phenomena used throughout our modern electrified world. What it does for our planet though is incredibly simple. When the Earth’s molten iron core is “strengthened” as Dr. Bond noted, its molten iron is heated by the increased amplitude. This causes the core material to thermally expand. Which in turn causes it to press out the mantle.

    This is where the really cool stuff happens that no one had thought of before; When a very thick, viscous and extremely dense sphere is displaced from within in this manner the outside surface is stressed in proportion to the sphere’s thickness. A simple toy balloon has no strain differential between its inside surface and its outside surface due to it being so thin. But a sphere like the mantle with a thickness of about 2,900 kilometers (1,802 miles), and making up a whopping 84% of Earth’s total volume must release this differential through strain energy.

    What is really beautiful about this is the mantle’s thickness produces a mechanical increase of kinetic response in the mantle’s outer surface. What this means is a very minute thermal displacement of the mantle by the core requires the mantle’s outer surface to stretch proportional to the mantle’s thickness.

    What this simply means is that you would see a short time frame signal from increased solar magnetic energy as it traveled almost simultaneously in relay by induction then to thermal expansion of the core, then on to the displacement of the mantle where it would produce in the crust plate movement and seismic events. This relay is what can be seen in that graph.

    The reason the Medieval Warm Period and the Little Ice Age are synchronized to the Solar magnetic energy levels is the strain energy response at the mantle’s outer surface is a thermal response. As the mantle’s surface is stretched and even torn, thermal energy is released. This content is substantial and quickly relayed into the ocean through the oceanic crust and volcanic mid-ocean ridges.

    With the mantle’s mass at 67% of the Earth’s total; The ocean is a mere 0.022 percent of the total mass of Earth while the atmosphere weighs a little over a millionth (0.000 001) or 1/1,200,000 of one Earth mass.

    Like

    • Fallacy Man says:

      I have not yet finished the entire thing, but several things are emerging that perhaps you could comment on.

      Regarding the C14 data and earthquakes, first, I am very skeptical that measurements are reliable from several hundred years ago. Indeed, our modern seismograph only dates back to the 1880s and was developed by scientists working in Japan. This closely matches the massive uptick in earthquakes that you show for Japan, and I strongly suspect that what you are illustrating is simply the advent of a new technology rather than an actual change (much like how the supposed change is autism rates is largely just a change in diagnostic criteria).

      Further, if we look at earthquakes globally over the past 100 years or so, you’d be pretty hard pressed to claim that there is a consistent pattern of increase. There was a spike in the 50s and 60s, and a spike in the past decade, but you don’t get the type of steady pattern that you get with climate data. Indeed, it is not even clear if the current spike and the spike in the 50s is meaningful or just statistical noise. That poor of a match seems like it creates a significant problem for your hypothesis (see the third slide of this presentation https://www.google.com/url?sa=t&rct=j&q=&esrc=s&source=web&cd=3&ved=0ahUKEwiqkYrB74DRAhUF04MKHSLSCGEQFggpMAI&url=https%3A%2F%2Fgsa.confex.com%2Fgsa%2F2014AM%2Fwebprogram%2FHandout%2FPaper242140%2F178-1_Lay_%2520Wedam_BallroomA.pdf&usg=AFQjCNEMM1CJUC-G8FYb-fvLMSscvC4u9g&sig2=hXaq4IMrJoVXFF0R0RUgmg&cad=rja)

      Second, the sun is not the only thing that affects the ratio of C14 in the atmosphere. For example, burning fossil fuels lowers the amount of it in the atmosphere (relative to the other isotopes) because fossil fuels do not contain C14 (thus only C12 and C13 is released by burning them). As a result, C14 is an unreliable indicator of solar activity following the start of the industrial revolution. So the decreasing C14 in the past 100 years is at least partially from our activities, not the sun. To make things even more complicated, we also know that the nuclear tests we did in the mid-century majorly skewed the C14 ratio.

      Additionally, although you are proposing a fairly new mechanism through which the sun could affect climate (i.e., by affecting the earth’s magnetic field), it nevertheless seems like you are proposing many of the same ideas that scientists have already looked at and discredited. In other words, there should be a strong autocorrelation between solar outputs and the requirements for your model. For example, I found several studies that looked at past C14 levels to examine how the sun affects climate, and many of the correlations that you are talking about do indeed exist, and have led scientists to conclude that the sun is at least partially responsible for past climate changes and probably even some of the warming in the early 20th century. However, those correlations break down in the last half of 20th century (also see the papers about the sun that I cited in my original post about climate change arguments).

      Indeed, I found this paper (http://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0012821X06007667) which seems to be proposing something quite similar to what you are, and it talks about many of the same correlations that you discuss. Nevertheless, even it states that although the magnetic fields of the earth and the sun may affect climate, the correlations fail after the 1980s and greenhouse gasses are the most likely source since then.

      Finally, it seems to me that there are several key observations that your model cannot explain with regards to climate change. For example, we know that CO2 traps heat and affects the climate, we know that we have greatly increased the amount of CO2 in the atmosphere, and we know from satellites that the earth is trapping an increasing amount of energy specifically at the frequency that CO2 traps. In other words, we know that our CO2 is causing the earth to trap excess heat. Can your model explain that as something other than anthropogenic climate change?

      Liked by 1 person

      • Sorry for taking so long to get back to you. It’s been a busy couple of weeks around here.
        And thanks again for your time here. I hope everyone who visits this site appreciates the high standard you have established here and the level of hard work you have put in to it.

        “Regarding the C14 data and earthquakes, first, I am very skeptical that measurements are reliable from several hundred years ago. Indeed, our modern seismograph only dates back to the 1880s and was developed by scientists working in Japan. This closely matches the massive uptick in earthquakes that you show for Japan, and I strongly suspect that what you are illustrating is simply the advent of a new technology rather than an actual change (much like how the supposed change is autism rates is largely just a change in diagnostic criteria).”

        I hope you have had the time to read a little farther during this intervening period. I added some reference numbers to the left hand margin so we can better correspond. I had already addressed this where I wrote at ref. # 2.2 – “It could be argued that the increase of these events are simply concurrent with the seismic recording work by John Milne, James Alfred Ewing and Thomas Gray, who recorded in Japan from 1880 to 1895, and the observed increase is the result of that development of recording seismic events during and following that period.”

        What you will see following that portion is the research of Katsuhiko Ishibashi, of Kobe University, that was published in the ANNALS OF GEOPHYSICS, VOL. 47, N. 2/3, April/June 2004, and titled; Status of historical seismology in Japan

        I clearly show using Katsuhiko Ishibashi’s work that the Japanese were more than capable of documenting all of the destructive earthquakes throughout the Edo period, and when the most destructive events from the index that occurred since the beginning of the Edo period to the present are examined together and tallied there is likely no explanation within the standard model for the discrepancy between the Edo and the following period of dramatic increase that extends to the modern era.

        As I stated before;
        “This works out to one single 8.0 earthquake every 53 years on average for the Edo period vs one single 8.0 earthquake every 15 years on average for the period that followed it to the most recent events

        “Further, if we look at earthquakes globally over the past 100 years or so, you’d be pretty hard pressed to claim that there is a consistent pattern of increase. There was a spike in the 50s and 60s, and a spike in the past decade, but you don’t get the type of steady pattern that you get with climate data. Indeed, it is not even clear if the current spike and the spike in the 50s is meaningful or just statistical noise.” That poor of a match seems like it creates a significant problem for your hypothesis (see the third slide of this presentation https://www.google.com/url?sa=t&rct=j&q=&esrc=s&source=web&cd=3&ved=0ahUKEwiqkYrB74DRAhUF04MKHSLSCGEQFggpMAI&url=https%3A%2F%2Fgsa.confex.com%2Fgsa%2F2014AM%2Fwebprogram%2FHandout%2FPaper242140%2F178-1_Lay_%2520Wedam_BallroomA.pdf&usg=AFQjCNEMM1CJUC-G8FYb-fvLMSscvC4u9g&sig2=hXaq4IMrJoVXFF0R0RUgmg&cad=rja)”

        I’m afraid I have to disagree with you, that graph you refer to does not go earlier than 1900, the period I’m referring to is correlating earthquakes that began before the 1300’s.

        For example; the first one that I place on the solar magnetic record is referred to as GRN 2; – May 27, 1293(G) May 20, 1293(J) 7.1–7.5, Name: 1293 Kamakura earthquake, location: 35.2°N 139.4°E, It possibly triggered a tsunami (though not all experts agree) and the death toll (DT) has been reported as 23,024.

        The Edo period (1603-1868) to the present is where my argument is based, a counter argument to my model will need to explain where and how the missing data of the Edo period’s earthquakes were lost or misplaced. The Edo either had as many seismic events as the following period starting around 1850 to the present did or the data was lost for some unknown reasons. The extensive research by Katsuhiko Ishibashi and others has been thorough;

        Ref.# 2.4
        http://www.earth-prints.org/bitstream/2122/763/1/02Ishibashi.pdf
        7. Some recent results of historical seismology in Japan
        7.1. Recurrence history of great interplate earthquakes along the Nankai trough
        Page 361.
        “The 1707 Ho’ei and 1854 Ansei earthquakes took place in the Edo period causing widespread severe disasters due to strong ground motions and tsunamis , and an enormous number of records has been preserved.”

        It is hard to imagine how the “enormous number of records” of some earthquakes was somehow saved and all of the records of the others were lost from the vast “mountains of primary documents” that existed throughout Japan.

        3. Periodization of Japanese history and historical documents
        Page 345.
        “During the Edo period of long-term peace and stability, economic and cultural developments of Japan created mountains of primary documents, not only in the ruling class but also among the commoners of burgeoning cities and taxed villages. These documents include official histories, records and diaries of the Tokugawa shogunate; histories, chronicles, records and diaries of 250-or-so regional lords; numerous records memoranda, letters and diaries by urban merchants and leading farmers in villages; and private writings of various kinds among the ruling warrior class.”

        “Second, the sun is not the only thing that affects the ratio of C14 in the atmosphere. For example, burning fossil fuels lowers the amount of it in the atmosphere (relative to the other isotopes) because fossil fuels do not contain C14 (thus only C12 and C13 is released by burning them). As a result, C14 is an unreliable indicator of solar activity following the start of the industrial revolution. So the decreasing C14 in the past 100 years is at least partially from our activities, not the sun. To make things even more complicated, we also know that the nuclear tests we did in the mid-century majorly skewed the C14 ratio.”

        I believe the researchers of the study below have taken your concerns into account. The most current sunspot numbers (last several centuries) were done by direct observation and do not need to rely on dendrochronologic evidence.

        https://solarscience.msfc.nasa.gov/SunspotCycle.shtml
        “In 1610, shortly after viewing the sun with his new telescope, Galileo Galilei (or was it Thomas Harriot?) made the first European observations of Sunspots. Continuous daily observations were started at the Zurich Observatory in 1849 and earlier observations have been used to extend the records back to 1610.”

        I believe the direct observational data record is used to calibrate the dendrochronologic record to the historical reconstructed pre-direct observation record, though. The study below has been able to extend the record to an amazing 11,400 years.

        Ref. # 2.0 http://www.ncdc.noaa.gov/paleo/pubs/solanki2004/solanki2004.html
        ftp://ftp.ncdc.noaa.gov/pub/data/paleo/climate_forcing/solar_variability/solanki2004-ssn.txt

        Unusual activity of the Sun during recent decades compared to the previous 11,000 years
        Nature, Vol. 431, No. 7012, pp. 1084 – 1087, 28 October 2004.

        Although I’m at a loss as to how to down load an image for this response (probably not possible) on my site; http://www.electroplatetectonic.com, the image is at Ref. #1.9.3 – Fig.3

        ABSTRACT:
        “Direct observations of sunspot numbers are available for the past four centuries, but longer time series are required, for example, for the identification of a possible solar influence on climate and for testing models of the solar dynamo. Here we report a reconstruction of the sunspot number covering the past 11,400 years, based on dendrochronologically dated radiocarbon concentrations. We combine physics-based models for each of the processes connecting the radiocarbon concentration with sunspot number. According to our reconstruction, the level of solar activity during the past 70 years is exceptional, and the previous period of equally high activity occurred more than 8,000 years ago. We find that during the past 11,400 years the Sun spent only of the order of 10% of the time at a similarly high level of magnetic activity and almost all of the earlier high-activity periods were shorter than the present episode. Although the rarity of the current episode of high average sunspot numbers may indicate that the Sun has contributed to the unusual climate change during the twentieth century, we point out that solar variability is unlikely to have been the dominant cause of the strong warming during the past three decades.”

        If you refer to the research above you can see that they conclude the solar magnetic energy is;

        “According to our reconstruction, the level of solar activity during the past 70 years is exceptional.”

        This model only requires that the solar magnetic record be just that “exceptional” at the exact time to produce the needed thermal expansion of the molten core and the concurrent strain energy thermal response at the crust mantle boundary. That “exceptional” period began when the Japanese earthquakes began to increase in numbers and intensities, and also when global temperatures began slowly climbing since the end of the Little Ice Age.

        These are remarkable correlations between very distinct phenomena that can be predicted by this model. The strain energy response at the crust/mantle boundary is a thermal response to the outward displacement of the mantle, a slow infinitesimal displacement that moves the divergent boundaries apart as can be observed to be occurring at the world’s divergent plate boundaries.

        It is the Pacific Plate’s exceptional expanse, extending from its subducted edge near Japan, out to its opposing and now subducted divergent plate boundary at the N. American margin, which produces the proportionate and greatly amplified earthquakes that this model has shown to be increasing in response to when the solar magnetic energy begins its initial increase at the end of the Little Ice Age.

        The reason for the amplification of the energies that are produced and seen in Japan when the mantle displaces inward or outward, such as is currently happening at the divergent boundaries, is explained with a simple concept;

        Imagine the Earth with one single belt of seafloor around the equator with one end considered attached, immovable while the other end is a short distance away unconnected. Now we apply the thermal increase that displaces the mantle and extends the crust. We can now see the gap between the plate’s ends open a given degree.

        Now we all know that if the belt was divided in half and then in quarters it would with each reduction in length show a proportional reduction in movement. This means that a wider ocean plate like the Pacific would show more movement than a narrower one. And the Pacific plate having the widest expanse of plate material shows an unusually large amount of movement resulting in more infill. While the Atlantic being narrower shows a proportionally smaller amount of movement.

        This is why the San Andreas Fault is one of the most volatile in the world. That section of oceanic crust extends all the way across the Pacific to the Mariana Trench where it is anchored. The extreme distance multiplies the non-connected end’s movement as shown in the example above. A very small outward movement in the mantle will produce divergent boundary and fault movement proportionate to the plates distance from its trench or continental attachment point.

        And this is also why there is so much seismic activity in Japan. And it is Japan that allows this model to show a record of the change in the Sun’s magnetic field and its inductance of the Earth’s core.

        The researchers conclude that;
        “Although the rarity of the current episode of high average sunspot numbers may indicate that the Sun has contributed to the unusual climate change during the twentieth century, we point out that solar variability is unlikely to have been the dominant cause of the strong warming during the past three decades.”

        Unfortunately, the researchers have no evidence outside of the standard model to evaluate the “exceptional” solar magnetic energy levels that occur simultaneously with increased sunspot numbers. And thus do not link the data to the current warming.

        But it has been linked prior by others;
        http://pubs.usgs.gov…/fs-0095-00.pdf
        “An early association between sunspots and terrestrial phenomena was the observation that the number and intensity of aurora borealis sightings were greatest during sunspot maxima when the sun was most active (active sun), and lowest during sunspot minima (quiet sun). Another terrestrial observation was that the Maunder Minimum coincided with the coldest part of the Little Ice Age.”

        This is reasonable evidence that the “exceptional” solar magnetic energy shown in the research above would produce by way of this model’s mechanism, the needed strain energy response at the crust/mantle boundary, the subsequent thermal discharge into the Deep Ocean and the corresponding record of Japanese earthquake activity.

        “Additionally, although you are proposing a fairly new mechanism through which the sun could affect climate (i.e., by affecting the earth’s magnetic field), it nevertheless seems like you are proposing many of the same ideas that scientists have already looked at and discredited. In other words, there should be a strong autocorrelation between solar outputs and the requirements for your model. For example, I found several studies that looked at past C14 levels to examine how the sun affects climate, and many of the correlations that you are talking about do indeed exist, and have led scientists to conclude that the sun is at least partially responsible for past climate changes and probably even some of the warming in the early 20th century. However, those correlations break down in the last half of 20th century (also see the papers about the sun that I cited in my original post about climate change arguments).”

        “Indeed, I found this paper (http://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0012821X06007667) which seems to be proposing something quite similar to what you are, and it talks about many of the same correlations that you discuss. Nevertheless, even it states that although the magnetic fields of the earth and the sun may affect climate, the correlations fail after the 1980s and greenhouse gasses are the most likely source since then.
        Finally, it seems to me that there are several key observations that your model cannot explain with regards to climate change. For example, we know that CO2 traps heat and affects the climate, we know that we have greatly increased the amount of CO2 in the atmosphere, and we know from satellites that the earth is trapping an increasing amount of energy specifically at the frequency that CO2 traps. In other words, we know that our CO2 is causing the earth to trap excess heat. Can your model explain that as something other than anthropogenic climate change?”

        Their model is not suggesting the mantle is displacing, they have noticed though the solar thermal and solar magnetic do interact and are at times simultaneous in their variation of energy.
        They state;
        “No forcing factor, be it changes in CO2 concentration in the atmosphere or changes in cosmic ray flux modulated by solar activity and geomagnetism, or possibly other factors, can at present be neglected or shown to be the overwhelming single driver of climate change in past centuries. Intensive data acquisition is required to further probe indications that the Earth’s and Sun’s magnetic fields may have significant bearing on climate change at certain time scales.”

        This clear climate correlation that I have shown above and in this model overall is really only secondary to the stunning geological predictions of observations that the model’s mechanism can produce. Our discussion should have actually began there and then progressed to the climate portion as it became relevant to do so. But I have found most people find geology as interesting as paint drying on a wall. Since most interest lies in climate I chose to introduce the model from that direction.

        I believe Occam’s razor is the best tool to decide your question;
        “Can your model explain that as something other than anthropological climate change?”

        My counter question to you and any others is;
        Can your model explain the data from before and during the last 150 years, and describe any mechanism in detail that would explain the correlations of solar magnetic with seismic and climate variability that I have shown previously above?

        Please refer to Ref. # 3.9 at http://www.electroplatetectonics.com, for related images used in this section, thanks.
        The solar magnetic and climate synchronicity is not just limited to the Medieval Warm Period or The Little Ice Age and the subsequent “extraordinary” warming period that followed up to the present. The solar magnetic energy levels that are recorded in tree ring 14C samples for the last 1100 years are bolstered by even greater data content from ice cores that shows an additional 11,400 years of solar magnetic and climate coupling.

        Consider the following;
        Image Ref. #3.9.1, Graph A
        http://www.ncdc.noaa.gov/paleo/pubs/alley2000/alley2000.html

        “This figure, adapted from the NRC (2002) report Abrupt Climate Change: Inevitable Surprises, comes from data in Alley (2000) and Cuffey and Clow (1997). It shows the clear, abrupt increases in temperature in the Greenland Ice Sheet Project 2 (GISP2) record at the end of the last glacial period and at the end of the Younger Dryas. The cooling as temperatures returned to the glacial conditions of the Younger Dryas takes place over a longer period in a step-wise fashion.”

        Image Ref. # 3.9.2, Graph B
        The data from Alley (Graph A) was used to make this graph B by Giorgiogp2, who has no connection to this author or this paper and was provided through Wikipedia Creative Commons. It was compiled from Data source: http://www.ncdc.noaa.gov/paleo/pubs/alley2000/alley2000.html,

        I took this graph and reversed it to have the most recent events on the right so it could then be more easily compared to the solar magnetic 14C content data in graph D2 (below), which I had previously used to correlate the Japanese earthquake data and solar magnetic flux of the later part of the 20th century.

        Image Ref. # 3.9.4, Graph D1 and D2.
        I then plotted the points of both the solar magnetic flux and temperature in synchronized chronological order between the two graphs, now referred as D1 and D2.
        What stands out first is the extremely high solar magnetic energy at 1 to the left on graph D2, the energy level is higher than even the unusually high solar magnetic level mentioned above and shown as the red vertical line extending above and to the right of Pt. 23.
        Pt. 1 on the far left side of the graph occurred at the end of the Younger Dryas cold period that saw a rapid return to glacial conditions in the higher latitudes of the Northern Hemisphere between 12.9–11.5 ka BP. The high solar magnetic energy of Pt. 1 of D2 correlates to when the temperature climbed out of the Younger Dryas cold period at Pt. 1 of D1.

        Let’s look at graph A (3.9.1) again for additional clarity.
        As you can see the extreme solar magnetic energy of point 1 occurred simultaneously with the temperature increase as the climate climbed out of the Younger Dryes, a remarkable correlation of two extreme events. It should also be noted this rise is as precipitous as the most recent solar magnetic energy level (Red) seen in graph D2 below.

        The 8.2 Kyr Event at Pt. 3 is very easily seen in graph D2, the solar magnetic energy level decrease from the graphs 4th highest peak of Pt.2 is clearly shown.

        http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/8.2_kiloyear_event
        “The 8.2 kiloyear event was a sudden decrease in global temperatures . . . .and lasted for the next two to four centuries. Milder than the Younger Dryas cold spell that preceded it, but more severe than the Little Ice Age that would follow, the 8.2 kiloyear cooling was a significant exception to general trends of the Holocene climatic optimum. During the event, atmospheric methane concentration decreased by 80 ppb or 15% emission reduction by cooling and drying at a hemispheric scale.”

        What is important to understand is the spacing between the vertical lines such as Pt.3 on graph D2 shows a rather unusually large gap indicating an extended period of low magnetic energy. This would allow the dissipation of planetary thermal content and a substantial drop in average temperatures as the cooling ocean thermohyline allows the atmospheric content to move down also.

        Other pronounce points such as 4-5, 10-11 and 15-16 allowed enough cooling (gaps between lines) to show as such on graph D1.

        The surface temperature variation is simply a byproduct of the strain energy at the crust/mantle boundary as the Earth’s field generator response to the variations in the Sun’s magnetic field generator.

        Occam’s Razor would favor the model that can explain these phenomena.
        The atmospheric warming that this model proposes is by way of a massive and quick influx of thermal content from the deep oceanic floor through the mid ocean ridges and volcanic vent systems. We should see evidence in the geologic record of thermal content releases at the oceanic crust and continental shelf’s boundary to the deep ocean.

        http://www.clim-past-discuss.net/7/1139/2011/cpd-7-1139-2011.pdf
        http://www.clim-past.net/7/831/2011/cp-7-831-2011.pdf
        Down the Rabbit Hole: toward appropriate discussion of methane release from gas hydrate systems during the Paleocene-Eocene thermal maximum and other past hyper-thermal events. G. R. Dickens

        This is a great article on a geologic mystery, the Early Eocene climatic optimum (EECO) ca. 52–50 million years ago. Where temperatures in at least high-latitudes and in the deep ocean, warmed by at least 5 C. from the late Paleocene ca. 57.5 million years ago, an additional 5–8 C. warming of the atmosphere and ocean occurred between 55.5 and 56.3 million years ago. This event is called the Paleocene-Eocene Thermal Maximum (PETM) and it lasted less than 200,000 years.

        Enormous amounts of 13C-depleted carbon rapidly entered the carbon cycle during the beginning of the Paleocene-Eocene thermal maximum. Explanation for this carbon input has been thermal warming causing the release of the gas hydrate on oceanic continental slopes, followed by release of methane CH4 from the seafloor and its subsequent oxidation to CO2 in the ocean or atmosphere.

        The revelation that atmospheric carbon looks to have followed by a thousand years the deep ocean warming is difficult to explain using the standard model. The strain energy at the crust/mantle boundary of this model would undoubtedly supply such a response. The thermal content would need to migrate into the seafloor mud and liberate the gas hydrate, the dissolved C02 was then carried to the surface and released where it produce the increased atmospheric greenhouse warming. The article continued with more incredible figures of geologic discharges.

        “The volume and timing of the release of carbon requires a massive discharge into the ocean with the mass depending on the 13C composition of the source. “About 6000–12000 Gigatonnes of Carbon with a 13C of −25‰. In comparison, burning and use of almost all fossil fuel reserves will emit about 4000–5000 Gigatonnes of Carbon by 2500 AD with a 13C value of about −30 ‰. Geologists have no mechanism within the framework of conventional carbon cycle models to explain a geologically rapid and truly global >2.5‰ negative 13C excursion, except by human extraction and burning of most known fossil fuel resources. This problem regarding the PETM forces the Earth Science community to “think outside the box” (G. R. Dickens 2011).”

        One would need a model with a mechanism that could produce a large rapid release of thermal content into the oceanic crust to melt and release the gas hydrate.

        http://www.pnas.org/content/101/25/9187.full.pdf
        Evidence for large methane releases to the atmosphere from deep-sea gas-hydrate dissociation during the last glacial episode

        “Past atmospheric methane-concentration oscillations recorded in polar ice cores vary together with rapid global climatic changes during the last glacial episode. In the ‘‘clathrate gun hypothesis,’’ massive releases of deep-sea methane from marine gas-hydrate dissociation led to these well known, global, abrupt warmings in the past. If evidence for such releases in the water column exists, however, the mechanism and eventual transfer to the atmosphere has not yet been documented clearly. Here we describe a high resolution marine-sediment record of stable carbon isotopic changes from the Papua Gulf, off Papua New Guinea, which exhibits two extremely depleted excursions (down to 9‰) at 39,000 and 55,000 years.”

        “These two records from the Santa Barbara Basin have shown that these inferred methane releases occurred during the last glacial episode in response to a warming of the intermediate waters and thus presumably of the deep-sea sediments. These deep-sea methane emissions occurred synchronously with rapid climate warmings associated with atmospheric methane increases and led Kennett et al. (6) to propose the ‘‘clathrate gun hypothesis,’’ which postulates that deep-sea methane hydrates played a significant role in late quaternary climate changes.”

        “The largest excursion at 39 ka is marked by two successive steps. First, a slight 18O decrease in benthic foraminifera, which might indicate a warming (1°C) of deep-sea waters preceding the inferred hydrate dissociation event. Although earthquakes or tsunamis might also have triggered dissociation of hydrates, this slight increase in temperature is in agreement with recent experimental studies emphasizing the critical role of temperature in the dissociation of hydrates.”

        This is what excites me so much about this model, to have a mechanism that can be fit to our current warming and that of the last 11,000 years and in turn be further applied to deeper ocean/atmospheric events at 39 and 55,000 years and then even deeper to the Paleocene-Eocene Thermal Maximum (PETM) at the late Paleocene ca. 57.5 million years ago. These were deep ocean warming’s that cannot be explained by the current models of geology or climate.

        We are currently seeing warming and acidification of ocean waters at depths that challenges an anthropological causation. CH4 dissolves and disassociates within the water column.

        http://www.whoi.edu/fileserver.do?id=217885&pt=2&p=60326
        “Methane emitted at the seafloor only rarely survives the trip through the water column to reach the atmosphere. At seafloor depths greater than ~100 m, O2 and N2 dissolved in ocean water almost completely replace CH4 in rising bubbles (McGinnis et al. 2006). Within the water column, oxidation by aerobic microbes is an important sink for dissolved CH4 over some depth ranges and at some locations (e.g., Mau et al. 2007). These oxidizing microbial communities are remarkably responsive to environmental changes, including variations in CH4 concentrations. For example, rapid deep water injection of large volumes of CH4 led to dramatically increased oxidation in the northern Gulf of Mexico in 2010 (Kessler et al. 2011, Yvon-Lewis et al. 2011). Water column CH4 oxidation mitigates the direct GHG impact of CH4 that is emitted at the seafloor, but it also depletes water column O2, acidifies ocean waters, and leads to the eventual release of the product CO2 to the atmosphere after residence times (Liro et al. 1993) of <50 years (water depths up to 500 m) to several hundred years (more profound water depths).”

        As I wrote earlier the mantle makes up 67% of the earth’s mass and 84% of its volume while the ocean is a mere .022, but the oceanic crust is not much more in proportion to the mantle than the ocean;
        http://solarviews.com/eng/earthint.htm
        Oceanic crust: 0.099% of Earth's mass; depth of 0-10 kilometers (0 – 6 miles)
        “The oceanic crust contains 0.147% of the mantle-crust mass. The oceanic ridge system, a 40,000-kilometer (25,000 mile) network of volcanoes, generates new oceanic crust at the rate of 17 km3 per year.”

        This hypothesis contends that strain energy derived heat content at the crust/mantle boundary is a forcing mechanism. That if a thermal content at the boundary was in a fractionally lower level than it is now the deep ocean, and more importantly the thermohaline circulation temperature would be lower than it is now. The reduced heat content of the ocean would then express a lower surface heat flux. And due to this, the solar input would not be able to furnish surface temperatures at current levels which would in turn produce increased snowfall amounts and lower seasonal temperatures.

        According to the model a very small amplitude increase of the magnetic field generator would produce the currently observed divergent plate boundary movement and impose thermal content into the ocean from the concurrent strain energy released from the mantle's displacement.

        The fact that we are currently in an interglacial during an ice age period that began 2.6 million years ago suggests that the planet has been in a thermal see-saw with the temperature balance point at close proximity to the forcing agent, where a fractionally small variable is able tip the temperature balance in the opposite direction. The longer periods of the glacial over the much shorter interglacial suggests that after an initial fractional ocean temperature decrease the resulting sunlight reflecting snow produces an albedo feedback that quickly reduces the effects of solar thermal radiation. This model requires a small heat content bias increase from strain energy at the crust/mantle boundary to warm the ocean to reverse the glacial mechanism.

        But again, this model is really about geology and can do amazing predictions of observations for it. If we were to get into the details of the plate movement and how an oscillating mantle solves a long series of former geologic mysteries the interplay of climate and geology mentioned above would become clearer.

        Sorry about the length, sometimes I don't know when to shut up. 🙂

        Like

        • Fallacy Man says:

          Wow, that may have taken the record for longest comment ever on my blog, which is no small feat, btw 🙂

          I think that we are going to have to try to discuss this one or two pieces at a time, otherwise we are both going to spend an eternity reading and writing responses, which is more time that I have at the moment. So I am just going to make a few (hopefully brief) comments about the earth quakes and climate correlations.

          First, regarding historical Japanese quakes, I read through the paper that you cited, but I am still far from convinced that the historical data provides sufficient resolution for the type of comparisons that you are making with the modern seismograph data. Indeed, that paper makes numerous references to fictitious events, gaps in data, etc. (to be fair, most of those did not come from the Edo period). To be clear, I’m not suggesting that those data aren’t useful, but I am dubious of staking such extraordinary claims on them. If you think about it, demonstrating that all of the historical quakes were recorded would be quite a difficult task. If a quake happened, but wasn’t recorded and didn’t leave behind distinct geological evidence, then we would never know that it happened. So it is quite difficult to be certain that all of the quakes were recorded (i.e., the fact that many quakes were reliably recorded does not mean that we can assume that all of them were). Nevertheless, even if we assume for a second that the records are reliable, I’m honestly not all that impressed by the correlation. It is interesting, but as I am sure that you are well aware, correlations abound, but few of them are causal. So we need to see if this is a consistent pattern that occurs world-wide, which brings me to my next major point.

          I think that the world-wide quake data over the past 100 years is far more important than you are acknowledging. Over the past century, the earth’s mean temperature has risen at an alarming rate, and you are proposing that this is being driven by a change in the sun’s electromagnetism which is in turn changing the earth’s core (if I am understanding you correctly). If that was true, however, then should not seismic activity also be undergoing a reasonably steady increase? That lack of correlation seems to me like a very serious problem. I realize that you are basing your argument on data before 1900, but if your argument is correct, then the pattern should hold after that, and it doesn’t appear to, which is grounds for falsification. Also, it is well known that the sun follows a roughly 11 year cycle, so if your model was correct, would we not expect seismic activity to also follow an 11 year cycle?

          Regarding the sun, yes, there has recently been a period of unusual activity, but I reiterate that numerous studies have looked at that to see if it can explain the warming, and they have concluded that it can’t. Indeed, even the Nature article that you cited says this. So I’m a bit confused about your argument here. Even the papers that you are citing are saying that the exceptional solar activity can’t account for the warming, so why are you saying that it does explain the warming? You said, “Unfortunately, the researchers have no evidence outside of the standard model to evaluate the ‘exceptional’ solar magnetic energy levels that occur simultaneously with increased sunspot numbers. And thus do not link the data to the current warming,” but that doesn’t really make sense. There are fairly standard statistical models which we can use to test if one variable is causing another, regardless of the physical mechanism through which they interact. In other words, I can statistically demonstrate that A causes B without needing to know how A causes B.

          “My counter question to you and any others is; Can your model explain the data from before and during the last 150 years, and describe any mechanism in detail that would explain the correlations of solar magnetic with seismic and climate variability that I have shown previously above?” I don’t actually have to explain past correlations, because correlations abound everywhere, and most of them are spurious. Can you explain to me, for example, why there is a correlation between Nicolas Cage movies and people drowning? (http://tylervigen.com/view_correlation?id=359) No, and you don’t need to. The fact that you found a correlation does not obligate me to explain it. Rather it obligates you to provide evidence that it is actually a causal relationship. I guarantee you that if I dig around, I can find some other things that correlate with climate data, and you and I would both agree that they are spurious.

          Things brings me to my final point which comes in three parts. First, don’t forget that we have extremely strong correlations between CO2 and climate data going back even longer than your seismic data. So both models have nice correlations. However, for the anthropogenic climate model, causality has actually been established, because we know that CO2 traps heat, we know that it helps to regulate out modern climate, and we know that increasing the amount of CO2 in an area causes more heat to be trapped. Thus, we have already established that a causal relationship exists between CO2 and climate, which then allows us to infer causation from those correlations.

          Second, I think that an affirming the consequent fallacy is happening with your correlations between past climate and solar activity (specifically sunspots). It is very well established that the sun does affect the climate (though it is not generally thought to do so through the mechanism that you are proposing), and many scientists have looked at past climate data and solar activity and concluded that the sun was partially responsible for driving those changes (it is generally thought that the sun [or other factors] caused a small initial warming, which caused the oceans to release CO2, and that CO2 drove the bulk of the warming). So those correlations that you are using as evidence also fit perfectly within the accepted understanding of the relationship between the earth and the sun.

          This brings me to my third and final part of this point, which I mentioned earlier, but is worth reiterating. If your model was correct, then the correlations should continue all the way to the present, and they don’t. Lots of studies have looked at the past solar data, confirmed that it can affect the climate, then followed the correlations through to the present, and they break down part way through the 20th century. Those studies have consistently concluded that solar activity does not match the warming trends and therefore cannot be the main driving factor. Similarly, seismic activity has not been increasing over the past century. In contrast, we know exactly the wavelength of IR that CO2 traps, and we know that our atmosphere has been steadily trapping more and more IR at that wavelength. That is extremely clear evidence that CO2 in the atmosphere is trapping more heat, and we know that the CO2 is hours. Ergo, we have extremely clear evidence that our CO2 is causing the earth to trap excess heat. Similarly, we have correlations between CO2 and climate data that go back thousands of years, but unlike the correlations with the solar data, those correlations continue into the present.

          Sorry, that still ended up being much longer than planned as I also struggle with brevity, but that last paragraph really contained the most important points as far as I’m concerned.

          P.S. all of my posts are set to lock the comments several weeks after they are posted (otherwise I keep getting comments on posts from years ago and it is just more than I have time to deal with). So if you try to comment and the post is locked, I haven’t blocked you or anything, and you can feel free to contact me by sending me a message through the blog’s facebook page (send a message rather than a wall post, because I often don’t see wall posts).

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          • Thanks, again for your time here.
            Yes, I figured this was way more than your schedule could accommodate. I did hesitated to begin this conversation within this format’s limited abilities. And I didn’t want to make this difficult for either one of us, after all science is about scratching that irresistible itch to find out what’s going on around us, and it should be as enjoyable as any learning experience could be.

            Again, this model is really more about the geological aspects of this planet’s surface processes. The climate portion is like those times when you have something with a specific purpose and then realize it can be used in a broader and then further still, an even more distantly related utility. With that in mind, our conversation here is limited to this communication bottleneck of our limited schedules and this format’s short comings and thus it is very difficult for me to show you this idea in piece meal fashion over an extended time period.

            This model’s strength is its ability to tie the leg’s of geology, climate and solar magnetic phenomena together into a single mutually supporting structure. Each leg as an integral component of the whole. I’m instead rather limited here to what resembles arguing against a claim of why one leg could not possible work as a stool. 🙂 With this in mind I would suggest we end our conversation where we both can be satisfied with our efforts.

            This model is in its initial stages and will continue to improve with time, but this venue is too limited to argue just the climate change aspect successfully. As I said; it was meant for geology. It is immensely unwieldy because of its size and interrelation between geology, solar magnetic and climate phenomena. And so requires a substantial investment of time to understand its subtleties. Maybe three or four reads over several weeks if one was inclined to do so.

            I would not have even attempted this with any other blogger. But you have shown a true to the science willingness to explore without prejudgments of any measure, and made this a welcoming experience.
            So, I will withdraw and thank you for your generosity and your offer to debate. 🙂

            Thanks again, Marc

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  8. Robert Jardine says:

    Outstanding. Thanks for this!

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