“How else do you explain it?”
I would like to offer a common-sense climate driver theory that you have hopefully heard at least parts of before. But then I would like to offer an investigative method that I suspect you haven’t heard before; and one that you may become interested in promoting – the investigation, that is. Call it an easily tested prediction. I’m a career Engineer/Manager and would like to share some simple perspectives on the issue of Global Warming.
I believe that it is obvious that the prime climate driver is not CO2 and that it is also not the Sun. The issue with the Sun as not being the prime driver is, I believe, perfectly understandable at the highest and most salient levels (i.e. not buried in some immense depth-of-detail confusion).
The variability of the Sun apparently does have its significant high-frequency but low-amplitude signature on climate (by solar variability, I mean all of its many variants: mean brightness, mean solar distance, sun-spot cycles, coronal discharge events, etc.). However, the Sun operates on the Earth with huge positive feedbacks. And this simple fact all but eliminates it as the prime-driver. When I say prime, I’m talking about the prime-driver-force that accounts for the repeated low-frequency but high-amplitude major transitions from glaciation to interglacial and visa versa.
Updated below in the comments section by Piers Corbyn
When the Earth is glaciated, it becomes hugely reflective of solar radiation and, as such, should latch hard to this frozen state; if not for some other powerful driver that repeatedly overwrites this situation. Similarly, when the Earth is interglacial, it becomes hugely absorbing and so should latch hard to this warm state; if not for some other powerful driver that repeatedly overwrites this situation. If you go through what is required in order to explain these major transitions, with positive-feedback solar-variation, you get a ridiculously choreographed set of conditions. A set of conditions that requires great solar variability and critical timing and repeated performance; such that the Sun is easily dismissed as the prime-driver even as it imprints its high-frequency but low-amplitude signature in many significant ways.
The question then is: “just what is that immensely powerful, low-frequency but high-amplitude driver that overwrites (hammers) stable-latching-states and causes abrupt major climatic transitions?” I theorize that the answer is very likely the second most profound source of Earthly energy…the central-core nuclear reactor.
We have known for a long time that the Earth is exothermic and to an extent that would easily cause the interior to go cool long before its 4.5B year’s age. We also know that other planets in our solar system are exothermic; and most likely for the very same reason. It really doesn’t take much leap-of-faith to recognize that there is a huge and very hot nuclear reactor at the center of this currently interglacial Earth. And this is becoming widely recognized.
The earth originated in a molten ball, entirely molten, through and through. We strongly believe that heavy elements like iron and nickel gravitationally precipitated to the center. But what about even heavier elements like thorium and uranium? These would have precipitated to the center of the center. And we also we know that sufficient quantity of these radioactive elements, with sufficient proximity-density, will spontaneously chain react to generate enormous heat.
So it seems likely that such a reactor may exist. And this explanation becomes a simple “Occam’s razor” answer to the question: “just where is it that the enormous amounts of heat energy come from that drive ongoing continental drift, 10’s of thousands of volcanoes, the circulation of the vast internal mantel and all the Earth’s repeated earthquakes?” This energy is not left-over primordial heat and it surely cannot be explained by solar phenomena. Likely, it comes from a core central nuclear reactor.
But here is the real leap-of-faith (I think not really): we now know that the Sun has complicated internal weather patterns; weather patterns that account for many phenomena we observe. We also know that the Earth has complicated internal weather patterns that account for magnetic-flipping. So how hard can it be to imagine that the center of the core of the Earth has internal weather patterns?
One can easily theorize a highly viscous, swirling pool of fissioning heavy-materials, at the core of the core of the Earth (estimated at ~10 kilometers diameter) – accounting for a significant primary-heat to sustain an interglacial period (and to drive more rapidly continental drift along with earthquake/volcanic activity). When peaking in rate of reaction kinetics, chaotic pushes and shoves, from outside this center, might occasionally disrupt it; so as to scatter the materials into a relatively larger volume with lower proximity-density. And then the rate of reaction kinetics drops significantly (as would the rate of continental drift and the frequency of earthquake/volcanic activity).
One can also easily theorize that these chaotic pushes and shoves are the rule, rather than exception (i.e. chaotic pushes and shoves rule when the reaction kinetics are peaking). And that the reactor spends most of its life at a reduced output with its fissioning materials relatively scattered – just as the Earth spends most of its time in glaciation. One can also theorize that over extended time, relative stability slowly materializes from the chaos. Gravitational precipitation slowly re-emerges and the reaction kinetics take off for an enduring yet relatively short period of time – just as the Earth experiences sustained, yet relatively short-lived interglacial warming periods. I submit that this weather variability to the reactor’s rate of reaction kinetics is the prime-driver to major Earth climate changes.
The Dutch, so far as I know, are still trying to finance the building of an anti-neutrino detection facility off the coast of Venezuela for the purposes of beginning to monitor this central-core-reactor and, of course, to simply establish its true presence. However, let's assume that there is a central core-reactor and that its output variability truly accounts for major climate transitions.
There should then be some correlation of the timing of major climatic transitions to volcanic activity though this has not been established despite several attempts. But that might be because we've looked for the wrong correlation. And as we know, most volcanic activity takes place under the oceans and this may also be shielding most of the correlation. But what is more, the AGW CO2-biased attempts at establishing a correlation have looked for major volcanic events (with their attendant large CO2 release) to precede transitions from glaciation-to-interglacial. And this has not been borne out in the attempted correlations.
However, if the central-reactor variability is the real cause, then increased volcanic/earthquake activity might more likely follow transitions from glaciation-to-interglacial. And then reductions in volcanic/earthquake activity might more likely follow the reverse transitions from interglacial-to-glaciation. Maybe this correlation can be established if it is objectively looked for?
But here is what I think is the more interesting part – a smoking gun if you will. If this is true, that central reactor variability drives major climate change, then the rate of sub-oceanic crust formation (and the rate of continental drift) should correlate well to major climate transitions; though likely phase-shifted in time.
We have become quite expert at measuring continental drift and its rates. If these rates can be plotted backward in time far enough to cover several major climate transitions, a high level of correlation may be observed. The reason I'm excited about the possibility of a continental-drift-rate correlation to major climate-transitions is that continental-drift (or the creation of sub-oceanic crust) is a slow and continuous process that leaves "continuous" temporal evidence in the ocean floors (like the ice-cores left essentially “continuous” CO2 concentration and temperature evidence). Volcanic/earthquake eruptions, on the other hand, are spurious events that do not leave a continuous trail and so any correlation would be necessarily much more difficult to establish.
To my knowledge, no attempt has been made to establish this type of correlation (continental drift rate, or crust creation rate, to major climate changes) but it might be possible; and it would provide compelling evidence to the theory of central-core-reactor variability as the primary cause of major climate-transitions. Additionally, the size and shape of the temporal shift would provide great insight into all manner of thermal dynamics from the center to the crust.
We studied ice-cores at low temporal resolution and came to support erroneous conclusions from our initial analysis. Then we went back and did a high-temporal-resolution analysis which showed a very much more informed result. Your guess is as good as mine to explain why this obvious fact hasn’t already changed our AGW direction (by leaving out the “A”). But what I’m suggesting is that we do the same thing with sub-oceanic crust samples to see if the rate of crust growth (or continental drift) does directly correlate to the time-line of major climate swings. This might be a big project. But it could be very worthwhile – the most worthwhile I can think of. And it fits well into the “smoking gun” category.
For all I know, a reassessment of the currently taken samples would reveal the correlation; in which case the project scope might be fairly small. However, a higher temporal analysis may be required (not so likely) and that might significantly complicate the size and scope of the project.
This Earth has spent ~12,000 years in this current major thermal upswing. On average the Earth spends 100,000 years glaciated, then 7,000-10,000 years interglacial, before dropping back to 100,000 more years of glaciation. This cycle has repeated for about a million years. So it is a stark fact that we are overdue for the next fall to glaciation.
We have no idea as to exactly when this will occur, as we don’t yet know what even causes these major swings. It could be 500 or 1,000 years yet in front of us (somewhat unlikely). It could be that the next fall to glaciation is about to start - we just do not yet know. But we do know this: it will
happen, it will
be abrupt (in geologic terms), and it will
be severe to us and all other forms of life here on Earth. And it is not too difficult to imagine that if central-reactor variability is the real cause, then elevated levels of earthquake and volcanic activity would precede the scattering event which would largely shut the reactor down and precipitate the next fall to glaciation. This just might be where we find ourselves right now today!!
Somehow we have managed to convince ourselves to be looking for a subtle, nuanced needle-in-a-haystack. What we should be looking for is a hammer in an otherwise empty drawer. There is nothing subtle or nuanced about these major climate-transitions. They’re very abrupt and severe. It is manifest that whatever causes them, it overwrites all other considerations. Yet many of us remain convinced we are sinners who must punish ourselves for nuanced Vitamin C(O2) emissions. This is inconsistent with common sense. We are not sinners. We are good custodians of the Earth. Inevitably this Earth will fall to glaciation. And that is what we must begin to prepare for.
The analysis could be done many different ways. Here is one simple approach:
Then plot Rate vs. Time for all the pairs of samples and overlay Earth glacial history. The correlation is there or it is not. There may likely be a time phasing offset between the two data sets arising from a delay between reactor output change “cause” and Earth surface change “effect”. But this assumes that crust creation rate is an early indicator of any change to the rate of reactor kinetics.
Ronald D. Voisin