Non-Linear Cold Blob Rising Over North Atlantic

The reason life survived on Earth for so long, and blossomed into animals, and now mind, is that the planet is equipped with homeostatic mechanisms (homeo means similar in Greek, and stasis, standing still). However, those mechanisms tend to be geological.

Human civilization is now having an impact on the biosphere of a violence probably never seen before. The changes are faster than what geology, or even life, can accommodate.

Some will brandish the impact of the Yucatan asteroid, and claim that was worse; however that’s just a theory: the biosphere was clearly under stress at the time from the Deccan Traps eruptions, and had been under that stress for hundreds of thousands of years, if not millions. At its worst, the Asteroid was just the straw which broke the Camel’s back.

2015 will be the warmest year since the end of the Eemian, 115,000 years ago. So why are record low temperatures appearing just south of Iceland? Yes, record lows, lower than ever recorded.

While The Rest Of Planet Is At Record Warmth, Off Iceland, Record Colds Are Achieved!

While The Rest Of Planet Is At Record Warmth, Off Iceland, Record Colds Are Achieved!

That was fully expected, and a demonstration of Non-Linearity of the incipient global warming. A phenomenon is linear when it looks like a line. Global warming is not going up like a line, as some places are warming at a rate ten times higher than the average, and some regions are cooling (and some are cooling spectacularly, off Iceland and some seas around Antarctica, for reasons related to warming).

The Dryas events were extremely fast and pronounced cooling events which happened several times during the period 10,000 years to 15,000 Before Present. Some lasted around a millennium, others, just a century. They vanished as fast as they came. They are named after a tundra flower, the Dryas. In Scandinavia forests were replaced by tundra graced with Dryas (hence the name). In Britain, average temperature collapsed to minus 5 degree Celsius, and glaciers formed at elevation.

These spastic events of drastic cooling, while, overall, de-glaciation was going on, long remained a mystery. Overall, the great glaciation which had brought glaciers down to New York, was on its way out, the planet was globally, irresistibly warming. So why would temperatures collapse in some places around Greenland by 15 degrees Celsius? The solution to the Dryas events’ spastic glaciation riddle? The same as always! Warming is non-linear.

What’s the theory? The details are uncertain, but we know that the Gulf Stream (aka the North Atlantic “Conveyor”) shorted, literally: analyses of deep sea sediments have shown this. The conveyor sends an enormous current of warm tropical waters northward.

When the warm tropical waters become very cold between Iceland and Spitzbergen, they sink to the bottom of the sea, and head south. This sinking, plus the pushing by trade winds in the tropics, is what provides the energy of the Gulf Stream.

However, if the warm tropical waters are capped by a very cold, but light sweet(er) water lid, they will get cold early, and sink before Iceland. This is what happened in the Dryas events.

 And It Is Happening Again, Albeit On A Smaller Scale

And It Is Happening Again, Albeit On A Smaller Scale

Was it in response to a sudden influx of fresh water from Lake Agassiz and deglaciation in North America, and Greenland? Sudden freezing there would have removed the freshwater lid, hence the brutal switchback to warming after the brutal cooling. By the way, the sea level rising speed responded quickly, by a factor of three. After the typical Dryas cooling, oceanic rise rebounded to 18 millimeter per year right away (this shows that those who expect a slow rise of sea level rise are deluding themselves, or, more to the point, are trying to delude us!)

Nowadays a Dryas-like mechanism would have to rest on the melting of Greenland alone (that’s the only place with significant ice). This is, of course, insufficient, but summer 2015, cool and rainy over the northern North Atlantic is evidence that the effect is on. Scientific analysis confirms it. See: “Exceptional Twentieth Century Slow Down of Atlantic Ocean Overturning Circulation” (Nature, 23 March, 2015).

The exact nature of what is going on at this point is a matter of debate among experts. What is sure is that something is going on.

The Atlantic Conveyor Is A Subtle Thing, Yet Dominates Glaciation In The Arctic

The Atlantic Conveyor Is A Subtle Thing, Yet Dominates Glaciation In The Arctic

A similar situation beckons in Antarctica, where ice shield melting creates a freshwater lid all around which in turn freeze, extending the ice cap in the Austral winter.

When considering nonlinearity, subtlety and surprises are of the essence. This is true in physics, as it is in psychology, history, or politics.

And the morality in all this? The USA has played god. The European Union made a honest to goodness effort to reduce CO2 emission, while the USA, paying lip service to the opposite of what it was doing went right ahead, with its factory, the Plutocratic Republic of China, to use and abuse fossil fuels as never before.

So now what? Is god still American, as usual? At first it seems so: the USA started to frack massively and massive amounts of fossil fuels were extracted from the USA’s generous soil. When American companies tried the same in Poland, it failed: the underground god (Pluto?) did not cooperate: Polish soil is adverse to fracking.

Here comes the punchline: sea level has been rising fast along the Eastern seashore of the USA.  Actually, three to four times faster than the world average. That’s more than one centimeter per year.

Why? Imagine a traffic jam. Or rather a crash ahead: things come to a halt, cars, water piles up behind. Maybe the Washington politicians will soon have to learn to swim, and not just against the tide of world public opinion.

The USA is going to be punished with its own instruments. Meanwhile 20 countries formed the V20, a group of twenty countries whose existence is immediately threatened by global warming, although they caused it not.

A Two Degree Celsius rise of temperature is indeed way too much: nonlinearity is upon us. Evil is always nonlinear.

Patrice Ayme’

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23 Responses to “Non-Linear Cold Blob Rising Over North Atlantic”

  1. gmax Says:

    I am speechless. Stunning. So soon, so much, with so little warming yet. Let me gather my thoughts, if any…


  2. Olin Morchiba Says:

    ‘The solution to the Dryas events’ spastic glaciation riddle? The same always! Warming is non-linear.’

    Olin Morchiba: Spastic is not so PC, PA


  3. Paul Handover Says:

    Very interesting essay. Part of me is not surprised, although I didn’t have the level of understanding you display, because the natural world has to be a very complex process. Another example of something I would like to republish over on Learning from Dogs.


    • Patrice Ayme Says:

      You are more than welcome to reproduce it, Paul! After all, you are the one who induced me to write it, so I wrote it with you and your readers in mind.

      I had been thinking of writing it for 6 months, since the blob appeared, but had not gone all the way to do it, but the mention of it in the essay you published today got me there. I was also completely aghast when I saw today’s comment of Sue (to which commenter GMax called my attention privately). Although I did not address what Sue said, or rather, quoted. It just showed me how much work needs to be done, when intelligent, sensitive, honest people get manipulated so much by terrible disinformation.


      • Paul Handover Says:

        I have just reread Sue’s comments and was puzzled by your interpretation, and GMax, that she is being terribly misinformed. Care to say a little more?


        • Patrice Ayme Says:

          Kind Sue seemed to have said Sue read past warming was unexplained (so by extension, it’s not understood now). Actually it’s understood 99.9%… No time right now, I will go back to it.


        • Patrice Ayme Says:

          I went back to see what could have riled up GMax. Found it:
          Sue said: “Gregg Braden’s book Of both Oil production, Global Population vs Food Production, And Ice Age temperature changes, both warming and cooling..
          It is also interesting in that in his book he states this global temperature change happened without what we know as common causing factors of CO 2, from industry. He asks us to consider if Co2 was not the trigger then, then what was? ”

          Preceding large scale warming and cooling episodes were caused by orbital parameter changes. Mr. Braden ought to read more science. With all due respects, Braden wrote zillions of sensation books full of pata-science. He lives off that. Very well.


  4. EugenR Says:

    Is this phenomena connected to the turn around change of the golf stream flow that as to my knowledge brought the ice age in the northern hemisphere?


    • Patrice Ayme Says:

      Phenomenon, plural, phenomena. And the Gulf Stream is named after the Gulf of Mexico out of which it surges, not from the VW Golf, which, hopefully, will drive VW into bankruptcy for unlawfully gazing hundreds of thousands of people to death (only a slight exaggeration; pollution from cars does kill millions).
      What was the question?
      Ice Ages started 3.5 million years ago. Something about the closing of the passage between the Americas???? It would have shut down heat transfer to the Arctic, hence glaciation, hence albedo augmentation, hence further cooling, hence freezing CO2 and CH4, etc.

      Does that answer the question?


      • EugenR Says:

        Thanks for the correction. The WV golf is a good pinch. As to me I would forbid entirely the usage of private cars. Could you imagine what a wonderful cities could be without private cars. And if properly organized, the public transportation could be more comfortable than all these private cars stacked in the traffic jams.


        • Patrice Ayme Says:

          Well, one has to change urbanism first. Easier in Europe. I live presently in a megalopolis of more than eight millions, complete with wild spaces where lions prowl, and, out of the core, cars are a necessity.
          Changing urbanism means building giant, positive energy towers, food producing, weather making, half a kilometer tall, to start with. It’s feasible, but not even attempted. It would require to divert energy from plutocracy towards the real world, and that’s anathema.

          Liked by 1 person

  5. indravaruna Says:

    This movie was written by a Neocon NYC Jew, Robert Mark Kamen to Slander France.


  6. Patrice Ayme Says:

    [Sent to Learning from Dogs.]

    American superiority is as simple as controlling the largest temperate empire in the whole planet. Moreover, the USA’s underground is full of oil (the prime energy source for 150 years). Although, superficially China has the same area (10 million square kilometers), arable land there is no more than a fourth of that, and 1.5 billion people live there (not just 325 million). Most of Canada (same area) and Russia (70% larger) are frozen wastes. So far, when fracking was tried in Europe, it did not work, because of bad geology.

    God is American. So far. This has led Americans to be over-confident, and oblivious to the fact that difficulties in other places are not due to a failure of national character.

    However, the situation may change: if the Gulf Stream backs up, for example, as I pointed out at the end of:


  7. The changing North Atlantic. | Learning from Dogs Says:

    […] is an introduction, a rather long one I’m warning, to a republication of a recent post by Patrice Ayme. An introduction that offers a deeply personal memory of the Atlantic […]


  8. Kevin Berger Says:

    Bubble plumes off Washington, Oregon suggest warmer ocean may be releasing frozen methane


    • Patrice Ayme Says:

      Very interesting, Kevin, please keep the good links coming. I did not know they had visualized the CH4 plumes. I sent them this:

      Methane hydrates formed massively since the end of the Eemian, 115, 000 years ago. The Eemian was the last really warm interglacial, caused by Earth orbital parameters (warm summers melting the ice).
      CO2 reached 400ppm, and there was a rapid sea level rise at the end, reaching 6 meters above present sea level.

      After the end of the last great glaciation, warm waters transformed methane-water ice into plain methane catastrophically fast: craters in the sea bottom, and tsunamis in excess of fifty feet happened (some say 30 meters on the Scottish coast and what is presently the bottom of the southern North Sea).

      So far, the claim has been that massive releases of methane do not reach the ocean surface, so do not contribute to global warming. So far.

      In an Alpine lake above timber line last summer the release of gases was massive, and the thousands of bubbles unnerving, and probably dangerous.


  9. Patrice Ayme Says:

    [Sent to Learning from Dogs.]

    It requires a bold soul to sail away across the Atlantic, solo. And there to meet… the universe.

    Our starship, planet Earth, is two-third covered by water. What’s left, the continents, is the area of Mars. Mars lost its ocean, billion of years ago (from lack of a magnetic shield, and too low gravity, water molecules dissociated, and the atmospheric hydrogen escaped). Thus it lost its warmth (H20 is a strong greenhouse gas).

    We got the metals Earth enjoy (including its solar-like radioactive core creating the shield) from past exploding stars. Earth is an oasis of peace and love in an extremely beautiful, but inhuman universe. It’s the treasure which gives meaning to all other treasures.

    We will NOT escape the two degree Celsius rise, and the poles will melt. And the sea will rise (more sea, more sailing! ;-)) The question now is whether we want to avoid a five degree rise (that would be truly catastrophic, biosphere threatening). We have to work on that now.

    And it’s possible: solar PV roads are under construction in France and the USA. The French variant makes power for 5,000 in just one kilometer.

    Thanks Paul for republishing, and give your unique, thrilling perspective.


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