Future Volcanic Eruptions Will Screw With Climate Change. . .

Peter Hess at Inverse

Climate change doesn’t happen in a vacuum. Many factors contribute to it, not the least of which is volcanic activity. And while you probably think of a volcano in terms of the heat produced, the gas and dust it emits actually affect climate change a lot more than you might think.

In a study published Tuesday in Nature Communications, scientists at the National Center for Atmospheric Research report that major volcanic eruptions could cause more disruption to the global climate than they have in the past. By examining the conditions that followed the eruption of the Indonesian volcano Mount Tambora in 1815, the Boulder, Colorado scientists predict what would happen if this type of major eruption occurred in 2085.

The potential alterations to the climate will not be in the Earth’s favor. While the scientists predict that the cooling that will follow a future eruption of that scale would be even more extreme, it will not offset the effects of a warming climate. Furthermore, they predict that the eruption will disrupt the water cycle, decreasing global precipitation.

The effects of a “volcanic winter” occur as the ash and smoke from an eruption obscure rays from the sun, decreasing their ability to heat the Earth. When Mount Tambora erupted in 1815, thousands of people died instantly, and it is considered the most destructive eruption on Earth in 10,000 years. The dust and gas it emitted into the atmosphere altered global climate for a year afterward, which is why 1816 is known as “The Year Without a Summer.” Global temperatures dipped so severely that crops failed, even in places far away from the volcano. Farms in the northern United States suffered frost damage in August, as did farms in Europe. The massive volcanic eruption triggered a global subsistence crisis, which is estimated to have killed an additional 10,000 people.

Using computer climate models, the researchers of the new study concluded that, if an eruption like Mount Tambora’s happens in 2085, the Earth will cool up to 40 percent more than the 1815 eruption, assuming current rates of climate change continue. However, they also predict that the cooling will be spread out over several years.

The reason the temperature change will so drawn out, they explain, is because ocean temperature is becoming increasingly stratified — that is, separated into layers based on temperature. As this happens, the surface water in the ocean will be increasingly less able to moderate the cooling effects of the eruption, causing a longer and more severe cooling event. Because the cooling in 1815-1816 occurred at a time when ocean temperature was not as stratified, it was absorbed to some degree by the water.

Read the rest of the article HERE.

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A massive hole just opened up in Antarctica’s ice and scientists can’t explain it

antarctic hole

Thanks to its usefulness as an indicator of how badly humans are messing up the Earth with global warming, scientists like to keep a pretty close eye on the ice in Antarctica. Now, a massive hole the size of Lake Superior has appeared many miles inland from where the ice meets the ocean, and scientists have little concrete explanation as to why it’s there.

The hole, which is called a polynya, is incredibly puzzling because of its odd behavior. This isn’t the first time it’s been spotted, having appeared last year for a brief period as well, and long before that it was detected back in the 1970s. However, it disappeared for several decades before showing back up, throwing a huge kink in many scientific explanations for its existence.

Source

Could the story above be related to this story below on undersea volcanos?

More than one million underwater volcanoes – Oregon State University

According to Oregon State University (OSU), there may be more than one million underwater volcanoes. Here’s how their website puts it:

“If an estimate of 4,000 volcanoes per million square kilometers on the floor of the Pacific Ocean is extrapolated for all the oceans than there are more than a million submarine (underwater) volcanoes. Perhaps as many as 75,000 of these volcanoes rise over half a mile (1 kilometer) above the ocean floor.”

Your thoughts? Are they related?

Explosive Volcanism Triggered the Little Ice Age

Headline at Ice Age Now blog:

Volcanism alone can explain the Little Ice Age (LIA), researchers insist. Low sunspot activity is not the culprit.

Precisely dated records of ice-cap growth from Arctic Canada and Iceland show that “Little Ice Age summer cold and ice growth began abruptly between 1275 and 1300 AD, followed by a substantial intensification 1430–1455 AD,” researchers found.These intervals of sudden ice growth coincide with two of the most volcanically perturbed half-centuries of the past millennium, the study shows. “Explosive volcanism produces abrupt summer cooling at these times.”“Our results suggest that the onset of the LIA can be linked to an unusual 50-year-long episode with four large sulfur-rich explosive eruptions, each with global sulfate loading >60 Tg.

”Once the ice age was triggered, cold summers were maintained by sea-ice/ocean feedbacks long after volcanic aerosols were removed. the authors assert. “Large changes in solar irradiance are not required.

Full Post is HERE.
The original research document is HERE.

“Abrupt onset of the Little Ice Age triggered by volcanism and sustained by sea-ice/ocean feedbacks,” published on 31 January 2012

From a comment on the Ice Age Now Post:

From what I see on this page it sounds like the researchers are not aware of what causes the increased volcanic activity and earthquakes in the first place. Namely a very weak solar cycle is directly linked to a substantial increase in volcanic activity. The “experts” are still having a hard time connecting the dots.

I have published the graphic below several times showing an increase in volcanic activity during grand minimums. The question is still open, how does a quiet sun cause an increase in volcanic activity on the earth?

GTEMPS

Your thoughts are most welcome?  What is the solar connection to earthquakes on the planet? It looks like the sudden cool down starts before the plethora of volcanic eruptions on the chart. Does the cooling cause eruptions?

 

Sunspots and Volcanos?[Updated]

Anthony Mengotto in a comment brought up and interesting point, the sun is growing quiet, while volcanism is increasing. I have always wondered it there was a connection. Does vulcanism fluctuate with the increase and decrease of sunspots? The Smithsonian/USGS Weekly reports go back to the winter of 2000, which covers the Solar Cycle 23 peak and Solar Cycle 24 peak. This data allowed me to take a median date for the peaks and compare with the number of active volcanos. I did the same for Solar Cycle 23 minimum and the most recent measurement as Solar Cycle 24 seeks the minimum. The results are in the chart below.

solar_spots_volcanos

It looks like there could be a relationship, high spots lower vulcanism, fewer spots higher vulcanism.

I picked the mid-point of the high spot count and low spots just to test the idea. There was a lot of variation in the numbers, so a more valid analysis might be to pick four fixed points in each year and plot the results on a graph of the sunspots. Plus, minimum is not until 2019 -2020.  I will use this analysis as a Python learning project, so stay tuned.

Readers thoughts are most welcome.

Update: this is the chart that got me thinking about grand minimums and volcanos:

Volcanic activity

Summer of 1816 in New Hampshire: A Tale of Two Freezes

Ric Werme writing at Watt Up With That has an interesting weather story that takes place during the Dalton Minimum. The article is quite long and he provides this Executive Summary:

  • The proximate cause of the cold weather in 1816 is the explosion of Mt Tambora in April 1815. This may have been the largest volcanic explosion in recorded human history and lofted a lot of sulfuric acid aerosols into the stratosphere. However, 1816 is just one of several cold years blamed on volcanoes, solar activity, and other causes.
  • There were warm days, even a few hot days. There were even some warm months mixed in with the cold ones, so the result was that the annual average temperature wasn’t very far from average. In this and other cases, small deviations can add up to a major impact on the length of the growing season, number of growing degree days, etc.
  • I think the weather pattern was most affected by high latitude cooling and the polar jet stream (the storm track) shifting southward. South of the storm track there was less cooling, but they were still affected by weather systems from the north. There are signs that the jet stream had a “meridional” flow which allows polar air to surge south and tropical air to surge north.The effect of volcanic aerosols is poorly documented, likely because its poorly understood. Pretty much all of the sources talk about the amount of aerosol and the effect on global temperatures. However, I think the effects vary with latitude and that had a major effect on temperatures at different latitudes and the intensity of various weather events.
  • What set 1816 apart from other years were two freeze events. If frosts in June and August hadn’t happened, the harvest would have been very different, and few people would write about the weather of 1816. There was plenty of other cold weather in 1816, so this essay is way too long and needs this executive summary
  • A claim that snow or frosts occurred in every month of the year does not hold for parts of New Hampshire in July. There may have been such events in western Connecticut or Massachusetts, or even Virginia, but some descriptions may be exaggerated. It doesn’t affect the outcome of the year, as most everything that made it through July was killed in August.
  • 1816 set into motion changes in New Hampshire that probably would have happened later, but traces of them still exist today.

The full article is HERE.

I found the comments on the article equally interesting.  My grandmother Thomas was an avid gardener and had a kitchen garden all of her adult life. She kept a record of the last spring frost and the first fall frost in Nevada County CA and adjusted her planting and harvesting based on the record of the past.   An 1812 summer with late and early frosts would have thrown her for a loop.

 

Que Ball Sun Looking More Like the Dalton Minimum

Anthony Watts has an update on the progress of Solar Cycle 24 HERE:

sdo-02-11-2016-4500

According to the data Cycle 24 the lowest in 200 years which harkens back to the time of the Dalton Minimum and Solar Cycle 5

solar-cycle24-comparisonAnthony writes:

As you can see from the plots in Figure 1, the current level of activity of solar cycle 24 seems close to that of solar cycle number 5, which occurred beginning in May 1798 and ending in December 1810 (thus falling within the Dalton Minimum). The maximum smoothed sunspot number (monthly number of sunspots averaged over a twelve-month period) observed during the solar cycle was 49.2, in February 1805 (the second lowest of any cycle to date, as a result of being part of the Dalton Minimum), and the minimum was zero.(ref: Wikipedia)

The Dalton Minimum coincided with a period of lower-than-average global temperatures. During that period, there was only a  temperature variation of about 1 °C. However, was the lower number of sunspots the cause of the lower-than-average temperatures during this period, or was it related to some other phenomenon not well understood. Scientists have  suggested that a rise in volcanism was responsible for the cooling trend.

The Year Without a Summer in 1816 occurred during the Dalton Minimum. The prime reason for cooler temperatures that summer was the explosive eruption of Mount Tambora in Indonesia according to many scientists. Mount Tambora  was one of two largest eruptions in the past 2000 years.

The question in my mind is how to verify that volcanism increases during solar minimums? If you look at the chart below, it appears that major volcanos erupted during the cold periods. But, were those eruptions triggered by declining sun spots or some other phenomenon.

According  to the Smithsonian Institution’s Global Volcanism Program database of eruptions, a count of all the eruptions that started in each year, from 1945 to 2015. it shows about 35 new eruptions per year, with a lot of variation from about 25 to 50 per year. The trend over the full period is basically flat, and while there was a slight increase on average from about 1997 to 2008. There were 26 eruptions in 2015 and 37 in 2014. There is no noticeable increase during the solar cycle 24 decline. Smithsonian Institution’s Global Volcanism database has a lot to explore, more in a future post.

Your thoughts?

Heat From Deep Ocean Fault Punches Hole in Arctic Ice Sheet

This a report from the Climate Change Dispatch that I found very interesting. Some reader many know the details as it is from a November 2015 post.

Powerful deep Arctic Ocean geological heat flow forces have just sent us a very obvious signal, but are climate scientists listening? The answer is no, however geologists hear it loud and clear!

Ice_melt_hole

Figure 1

As winter begins to settle in across the Arctic Ocean and sea ice extent rapidly expands, a very interesting high temperature and low salinity hole has just been punched in the sea ice at a very telling location: directly above the deep ocean Gakkel Ridge Rift / Fault System (Figures 1, 2, and 3 in the original post).

This world class plate tectonic pull-apart rift is a 1,000-mile-long fault system on the seafloor that has in recent past pulsed massive amounts of heat into the overlying ocean and thereby melting large portions of the ice that floats above the heated ocean column.

So what if anything is to be learned from the recent October 12 geologically induced deep-ocean floor heat pulse that punched a small hole in the Arctic sea ice? Many things, most of which have surprisingly large implications concerning the entire climate change discussion.

Here is how it works:

Climate scientists who favor the theory of man-made global warming have maintained for many years that the accelerated melting rate of the Arctic sea ice during the 1999-2007 time period was entirely due to man-made CO2 emissions which acted to rapidly warm the atmosphere. This unusual Arctic melting was greater than the melting rate associated with Earth’s ongoing and very normal 11,500-year-long post-glacial period melt rate.

Many climate scientists have begrudgingly stuck to this human-induced atmospheric warming story even though diverse and compelling amounts of data have now cast serious doubt on this hypothesis. It is clear to most scientists that non-atmospheric natural forces play the dominate role in driving sea ice extent and thickness such as well known variations in Earth’s astronomical orbit patterns, long-term cyclic changes in deep-ocean current patterns, and most importantly variations in geologically induced heat and chemically charged fluid flow from deep ocean faults and volcanoes (see previous CCD posts).

The small geologically induced deep-ocean heat and fluid flow event of October 12 eloquently demonstrate that geological forces are still active and have the power to alter Arctic climate and climate-related events, melt sea ice.

Keep in mind this latest October 12 event is not associated with obvious earthquake swarms and proven volcanic eruptions as was the case during the 1999 – 2007 event. This earlier event was powerful but not obvious to those who did not understand its true nature. Even though it was associated with an extensive low-intensity earthquake swarm, a huge methane release, and a significant series of volcanic eruptions along the Gakkel Ridge it was, and still is dismissed as insignificant by most climate scientists advocating the theory of man-made global warming.

However, many other scientists now realize that the 1999-2007 Gakkel Ridge heat and chemically charged fluid flow event was the root cause of accelerated the Arctic sea ice melting rate. An event that fits well with the Plate Climatology Theory, geological forces strongly influence climate.

The question is what role did Plate Climatology play in Grand Minimums, what could it play in the Next Grand Minimum?