Archive for the ‘Geology’ Category

Article by Peter Morcombe (gallopingcamel) with some assistance from Tim Channon.


While investigating Nikolov & Zeller’s “Unified Theory of Climate” it seemed odd that professional scientists could not agree what the temperature of an airless Earth should be. Given that one needs to know this in order to compute the Greenhouse Effect (GHE), I tried to settle the question by analyzing the Diviner LRE data that accurately mapped the Moon’s surface temperature. This effort failed as my spreadsheet could not handle even the “Level 3” data. The Diviner team did much better and showed that the Moon’s average temperature is 197.3 Kelvin.

While the temperature of the Moon is now known with impressive precision, would an airless Earth have the same temperature or would the different rates of rotation have an effect?


Fossil fuels puzzle

Posted: April 12, 2014 by oldbrew in Astrophysics, Energy, Carbon cycle, Geology, Uncertainty

Do all so-called fossil fuels originate from fossils or not?
It’s a puzzle, sometimes called the abiotic (non-biological) argument.

Dinosaur fossil  [image credit: wikipedia]

Dinosaur fossil
[image credit: wikipedia]

We know there’s methane elsewhere in the solar system:

‘The presence of methane on Saturn’s moon Titan and in the atmospheres of Jupiter, Saturn, Uranus and Neptune is cited as evidence of the formation of hydrocarbons without biology, for example by Thomas Gold. (Terrestrial natural gas is composed primarily of methane). Some comets contain “massive amounts of an organic material almost identical to high grade oil shale (kerogen),” the equivalent of cubic kilometers of such mixed with other material; for instance, corresponding hydrocarbons were detected during a probe fly-by through the tail of Comet Halley in 1986.’



From Buzzfeed

LOS ANGELES — A shallow magnitude-5.1 earthquake struck the Los Angeles area Friday night, causing minor damage and injuries, scattered power outages, and gas leaks.

The earthquake occurred at 9:09 p.m. at a depth of 4.6 miles and was centered near Brea in Orange County — about 20 miles southeast of downtown Los Angeles. It was immediately followed by dozens of aftershocks, including a 3.4 and 3.6 magnitude.


No gas here, strange tale of the crater

Posted: November 22, 2013 by tchannon in Energy, Geology, Politics

I was unaware of this until today when someone pointed to a photograph in a newspaper.


Image from

Derwese, Turkmenistan

Remarkably Microsoft have a good shot Bing



MP4 video on site

Huge half-ton chunk of Russian meteorite lifted from lakebed

The meteorite if that is what it is, has broken into fragments.

Various news outlets have the story and pictures.


From the London Evening Standard:

Energy Minister Michael Fallon: The South East must accept fracking
Joe Murphy, Political Editor

nimbyThe South East must accept shale gas exploration for the sake of Britain’s economic future, Energy Minister Michael Fallon declared today.

He stepped after Surrey-based peer Lord Howell caused outrage by saying “desolate” areas of the North East should be targeted instead.

“It cannot be right to confine it to areas of the industrial North,” he told the Evening Standard.

“Shale exists under towns, villages and countryside. Shale gas is everywhere and could well be in quantity under attractive areas of the country as well as industrial areas.”

The Tory minister was cool about the remarks made by Lord Howell of Guildford, who is George Osborne’s father in law and a former Energy Secretary.

“He has apologised and it’s probably best left there,” he said. Lord Howell has been widely condemned by northern politicians and bishops for suggesting drilling should avoid the South.


george-mitchellFrom the New York Times:


George P. Mitchell, the son of a Greek goatherd who capped a career as one of the most prominent independent oilmen in the United States by unlocking immense natural gas and petroleum resources trapped in shale rock formations, died on Friday in Galveston, Tex. He was 94.

On a hunch, Mr. Mitchell began drilling shale rock formations in the Texas dirt fields where he had long pumped oil and gas.

Mr. Mitchell’s role in championing new drilling and production techniques like hydraulic fracturing, or “fracking,” is credited with creating an unexpected natural gas boom in the United States. In a letter to President Obama last year, Daniel Yergin, the energy scholar and author, proposed that Mr. Mitchell be awarded the Presidential Medal of Freedom.

“It is because of him that we can talk seriously about ‘energy independence,’ ” he said. (Mr. Mitchell did not receive the award.)


From the Chronicle Journal:

cloudVictoria Ahearn, The Canadian PressFriday, April 5, 2013 – 06:00TORONTO – American paleoecologist Dr. Robert Dull believes he’s pretty much solved the mystery behind a catastrophic global climate change event from the sixth century.As the new History series “Perfect Storms” shows, Dull has found solid circumstantial evidence that an eruption at El Salvador’s Lake Ilopango volcano was the cause of the so-called Dust Veil of AD 356, when a thick dust and ash cloud over the Northern Hemisphere cooled parts of the Earth and led to millions of deaths.


Apart from a couple of gripes and moans about co2 from gas, this NYT article is a lot better than most of theirs concerning fossil fuels. Here’s the kicker; Susan Brantley is distinguished professor of geosciences and director of the Earth and Environmental Systems Institute – at Pennsylvania State University.

The Facts on Fracking
Susan Brantley and Anna Meyendorff

Some of the local effects of drilling and fracking have gotten a lot of press but caused few problems, while others are more serious. For example, of the tens of thousands of deep injection wells in use by the energy industry across the United States, only about eight locations have experienced injection-induced earthquakes, most too weak to feel and none causing significant damage.

The Pennsylvania experience with water contamination is also instructive. In Pennsylvania, shale gas is accessed at depths of thousands of feet while drinking water is extracted from depths of only hundreds of feet. Nowhere in the state have fracking compounds injected at depth been shown to contaminate drinking water.


all.7z 1061565012

cc: ‘The Team’
date: Tue, 12 Aug 2003 11:21:57 -0400
from: Gabi Hegerl
to: “Michael E. Mann” <>, Tom Crowley

I have seen Balliunas give a talk quite a long while ago, unfortunately, I

cannot recall what the meeting was, it was some kind of global change meeting,

more than 5 years ago.

I do recall that I was thoroughly unimpressed though. There was not much real

exchange between her and the audience. I remember that Jerry North was there

also, because we exchanged amazement in differences in style of approach between the
detection side of work he and I presented, and her – well lets say

more-qualitative style…


At 11:07 AM -0400 8/12/03, Michael E. Mann wrote:

Thanks Tom,
The impact ratings you provided seem to be on a different scale from the ones I’ve seen,
but the relative magnitudes and ordering appear about right (in the ratings I’ve seen,
CR comes in at 0.4!).