Why El Niños originate from geologic, not atmospheric, sources

The National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) has just made it official: this year’s emerging 2015 El Niño is identical to the 1998 El Niño. These two El Niños have remarkably similar Sea Surface Height Anomalies (Figure 1), Shallow Sea Surface Temperature maps, and most importantly the exact same deep ocean fixed / non-moving heat source point (Figure 1.).

Figure 1.)  Sea Surface Height maps comparing the 1998 and 2015 El Nino’s. Sea surface height is used by NASA as an excellent proxy for sea surface temperature.Figure 1.) Sea Surface Height maps comparing the 1998 and 2015 El Niños. Sea surface height is used by NASA as an excellent proxy for sea surface temperature.

Even more telling, it can now be confidently stated that every single El Niño in recorded history has had the same exact deep ocean fixed / non-moving heat source point! The implications of this fact are profound, because it strongly suggests, if not proves that all El Niños have been generated / fueled by deep ocean geological heat flow and NOT atmospheric warming. This contention fits very well into Plate Climatology Theory, which states that fixed / non-moving geological deep ocean heat sources drive many climate patterns and climate related events including the generation of El Niños.

Climate scientists, especially those favoring the theory of man-made global warming, are at a loss to explain the striking similarity between the 1998 and 2015 El Niños. Their problem can be boiled down to this: “Climate Change” should equal a changing climate, not identical climate.

Stated another way, they have contended in no uncertain terms that: man-made CO2 has risen catastrophically in recent years, the newly “adjusted” atmospheric temperature data properly reflects a warming atmosphere, ocean current patterns have been altered by the atmosphere, and that ocean temperatures have been altered by atmospheric changes. None of this explains why the 1998 and 2015 El Niños are so similar. If the atmosphere has radically changed these El Niños should be different, not absolutely identical.

In an attempt to somehow explain this giant disconnect, climate scientists have been furiously modifying their computer-generated climate models. To date the updated climate models have failed to spit out a believable explanation for this disconnect. Why? Their computer models utilize historical and current day atmospheric El Niño data. This atmospheric data is an “effect” of, and not the “cause” of El Niños.

Climate scientists should be modeling the true cause of El Niño generation: heat flow from geological forces. Heat flow from deep ocean geological forces acts to alter the overlying ocean temperatures, currents, and chemistry. These changes in ocean parameters then act to change the atmosphere in complex ways. So modeling these complex and interacting atmospheric changes will not spit out a believable answer about what generates El Niños.

Data confirming the contention that deep ocean geologic heat flow forces drive / generate El Niños is diverse, compelling, and accurate:

  • Fixed / non-moving heat sources are associated with fixed geological features such as volcanoes, faults, and hydrothermal vents. Conversely fixed / non-moving heat sources are not associated with ever changing atmospheric or ocean currents.
  • All El Niños have originated at the same deep ocean fixed heat point source located east of the Papua New Guinea / Solomon Island area. Recent deep-ocean temperature data from publications by Kessler et al proves that such a hot spot exists in this area. Additionally, very new data from a National Science Foundation-funded ESA Satellite study shows that thousands of heretofore unrecognized seamounts (deep-ocean volcanoes) have been identified in the Papua New Guinea / Solomon Island area.
  • The geology of deep ocean regions in the Papua New Guinea / Solomon Islands area is known to be complex and active deep-ocean geological region. In fact it is one of the most complex and unique deep-ocean areas on earth. It is known to emit huge amounts of heat energy into the overlying ocean.
  • The shape of El Niño sea surface temperature anomalies are unique / one of a kind.
  • The El Niño sea surface temperature anomalies have “linear” and “intense” boundaries inferring that the energy source is not moving and very powerful.
  • The fixed heat source point nature and lateral distribution outline of deep-ocean geological hydrothermal vents are a very good mini-analogy of the larger El Niños.
  • The fixed heat point source nature of large atmospheric continental / land volcanic eruptions is a fair analogue of El Niños.
  • El Niños do not occur in an atmospherically predictable fashion. Changes in the atmospheric temperatures do not correspond with El Niño occurrences.
  • El Niño-like events do not occur elsewhere in Pacific. Why? If they are atmospheric in origin, there should at least be other mini-El Niños. There are none.
  • La Ninas originate from same point source as El Niños.
  • Atmospherically based El Niño prediction models consistently fail, likely because they are modelling the “effects” of geologically warmed oceans and not the “cause” of the El Niños.
  • Historical records indicate that the first “recorded” El Niño occurred in 1525 as observed by Spanish explorers. Other studies suggest strong ancient El Niños ended Peruvian civilizations. The main point here is that strong El Niños are natural, and that they are not increasing in relationship to man-made atmospheric global warming as contended by many climate scientists.

The heat point source for El Niños hasn’t changed in many years, and for that matter neither has the insistence of many climate scientists that El Niño occurrences and similarities are driven by the atmosphere. It’s clearly time to consider changing this paradigm.

James Edward Kamis is a Geologist and AAPG member of 41 years and who has always been fascinated by the connection between Geology and Climate. Years of research / observation have convinced him that the Earth’s Heat Flow Engine, which drives the outer crustal plates, is also an important driver of the Earth’s climate.

REFERENCES

https://www.washingtonpost.com/blogs/capital-weather-gang/wp/2015/08/13/el-nino-then-and-now-a-side-by-side-comparison-of-1997-and-2015/

https://www.washingtonpost.com/blogs/capital-weather-gang/wp/2015/08/13/el-nino-then-and-now-a-side-by-side-comparison-of-1997-and-2015/

http://sealevel.jpl.nasa.gov/elnino2015/1997vs2015-latest-still.jpg

http://www.dailymail.co.uk/sciencetech/article-3226737/Stunning-animation-reveals-shocking-similarity-year-s-El-Ni-o-monster-weather-1997.html

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    Rich

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    Finally! I have been asking questions about the contribution of sub-ocean volcanic vents and their associated heat input on these and other blogs for more than ten years. Always to be told “It is miniscule and can be ignored.” “It has essentially no effect.” “Are you a complete loon?” and worse.

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    Peter

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    It would be interesting to see a plot of El Niño vs sea level at Kiribati, since Kiribati is right in the middle of the red zone on the chart.

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    Jim

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    Rich, you are correct in stating that Climate Scientists have for many years considered heat and fluid flow from volcanoes and other geological features inconsequential. Three recent studies have forced folks to rethink that notion. An MIT study which concludes sulphur emissions from continental volcanoes have significantly contributed to “cooling” the atmosphere thereby helping generate a warming “pause”. Two other studies…Lamont-Doherty and Harvard prove a strong connection between volcanism and changes in ice ages. Scientists now need three things more properly define the relationship between geology and climate; time, research funding, strangely climate change…a change in the “Political Climate” specifically.

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    Thomas F.

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    Could you provide more information on the “Heat Point Source” in the above Figure 1? Is it an undersea volcano that is creating the hot Pacific water? A huge undersea volcanic vent? If volcanic in nature, surely there would be almost continual minor earthquakes that could be detected. Have there been research vessels in the area? What are the “heat point” sources?

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