The VC Bar

Welcome to the Volcano Café bar, a place for all things on or off topic and inane ramblings. There has been a need of late to find a place better suited to various theories, long comments and enthusiasm. This page will be less moderated than the main article pages and cleared out every month (this may change depending on use).

Have fun and don’t forget to tip the barman 😉

2,191 thoughts on “The VC Bar

  1. Constraining Santorini / Thera eruption date.

    One of the problems is that there’s not much *local* carbon-dating calibration material from around then.
    Another is that there’s a sorta-plateau in the *global* carbon calibration curve for that era, creating ambiguity.
    Also, eruption records in lonnng ice-cores, sediments etc etc records are ‘busy’, with multiple candidates…

    There’s some massive timbers from eg Gordian (E.Turkey) spanning that era, but their tree-ring sequences were ‘floating’, as not sufficient match to eg Irish bog-oaks and US Bristle-cones.

    I’ve belatedly found a big PNAS article which, as my link put it ‘Cuts The Gordian Knot’.
    Looks like they’ve managed to disentangle the complex, oft-contrary effects of mega-eruptions on tree growth at different altitudes, latitudes and seasons.
    Beyond ring narrowing and widening, there are distinct chemical changes *Within The Rings*, apparently related to volcanic effects.

    If proven, would eliminate one date for Santorini / Thera, incidentally confirming that ‘outlier’ as an ‘orphan’ eruption, and looks likely to revise much of the Eastern Med’s dating. YMMV…
    which led me to…
    Note reference to corrections, which were too arcane for me to grok…

    Still, as they politely say…
    “Chemical analysis of the dated tree-ring sequence identifies a chemical change in their growth environment around 1560 BC which, while requiring further substantiation, may be evidence of the Thera eruption.”

  2. There has just been a 30 km deep earthquake under Kilaueas southwest rift, mid way between its summit and the deep swarm. Maybe nothing important but if more happen I think this is the beginning. Maybe a plot could be made of all the quakes in 3d space under the big island like what was done at Holuhraun.

    🙂 i better hurry up with my article draft before it turns into a report.

    • Yes, only if more happen will it be significant, with more I mean several, not just 2 or 4, otherwise it would be within background levels.

    • Chad yes You right
      Nyiragongo in this video appears to be similar in viscosity to Hawaii and Galapagos hot basalts.

      I cannot see any diffrence from Hawaii in viscosity, indeed looks very similar. The sillica content is FAR lower than Hawaii, but temperature is important too. It seems
      NO good temperature measurements haves been done at Nyiragongo. But the lava fall does Not look ”more fluid” than normal Hawaii lava

    • This lava is fluid and smooth: 35% sillica
      Woud it be possible to blow glass with a blob from the lake? or is the sillica content too low for a nice strecthy glass? Many ocean entries in Hawaii forms so called glass bubble flakes ”Limou Pele”

      Blowing glass from Nyiragongo lake is perhaps not possible?
      Too little sillica and too much gunk? Nyiragongo haves so low sillica and little polymerisation that it never forms hawaiis long peles hairs.

  3. It’s been so long….. How is Lurk doing? He is a little close to the hurricane going into Fla…. is Lurk still on the planet … did i miss any important annoucement ?? Stay safe, Lurk! Best!motsfo

    • Wow!!! thats huge!
      Most of Congo Africa interior.
      But it coud be a sensitive satellite and the SO2 is of very low ammounts. Virunga magmas tends to be very alkaline and rich in CO2 but I have not expected the massive SO2 content

      • Both volcanoes are some of the most prolific SO2 sources on Earth, they are probably connected to a lot of shallow magma in the rift because the SO2 is always high regardless of activity, unlike Hawaii or Iceland where it drops like a stone after an eruption. I think you are right though in that instrument being very sensitive, the 2011 eruption was much larger and caused no wide scale effects. I think if you looked at holuhraun with that instrument it would look like the apocalypse had begun, or at the simultaneous plumes from fissure 8, sierra negra and ambae in 2018.

        Alkaline magma can have high SO2, at that temperature acid-base chemistry probably doesnt happen the way we are used to, or at all. Kilaueas lake is being kept at a higher pH than you would expect because its reacting with the rocks, so same thing just not as much. When it stabilises I hink it will quickly become much more acidic, down to pH of <1 like most acid lakes. That is assuming it survives long enough of course.

      • Nyiragongo is a Nephelinite so indeed its an extremely alkaline volcanic rock and very insanely low in sillica. Its also rich in volcanic CO2, Nyiragongo is very CO2 saturated.

        The sillicate Nephelinite seems to have a relationship with the non sillicate magma Carbonatite. Both of the plutonic versions of these are often found togther in rock outcrops.
        Most of Lengai is built from Nephelinite with carbonatite being a later addition in activity. Both of these magmas are very high in CO2 gas

      • Nyiragongo haves indeed a huge SO2 output GVP reports between 8000 and 6000 tons of SO2 everyday!
        Thats on pair with Halema’uma’u in 2017 and perhaps even more so.
        Nyiragongos 2019 emissions was often around 7000 tons of sulfur everyday.

        Nyiragongo does not seem to produce the massive VOG clouds that hovered over Hawaii for 36 years.
        Perhaps because atmospheric conditions are diffrent over Continetal Congo?

        • Nyiragongo is tall and prominent and the top is also very windy and cold, the emissions blow away. Kilauea is much lower and has no prominence at all, so its emissions hug the ground. Mauna loa also creates a low pressure zone in the trade winds that sucks the vog in where it cant escape.

          Also, are you two the same person or know each other in real life? You also really need to stop repeating the same comment so much, its on every page that I have gone back and looked at and copied almost word for word.

          • CHAD yes Icey cold Sweden remains one of the worlds most happiest countries 2020 for third year in row!. Sweden is a very small uniform country, with an extremely high living standard and excellent gender equality. Social Democracy provides free Healthcare and Education. And persons haves trust in society and plenty of paid vacation and acceptable job wages.

            Having free acess to healthcare and university is a HUMAN RIGHT and not something for just a few. And thats very central here in Scandinavia and northen Europe.
            Scandinavia is absolutley amazing at equal opportunities for everyone.

            Its a very Democratic country too Sweden
            Its around 7 parties in the parlament to vote on. Freedom of speech is very very strong in Finland and Sweden. And democracy insututions are very sequre and stands very strong, compared to many other places in the world.

            Sweden like all Scandinavian countries are also very very very safe to live in. It is one of the most peaceful countries I think.

            The taxes are higher than US
            But you gets plenty of left in the pocket.
            The system is made .. so you get gets plenty left in the pocket after tax. And thats the thing
            Thats why noneone complains about taxes here.

            Scandinavia is also a very GREEN society
            Almost all our electricity comes from hydropower ( river electricity ) and we recycles Absolutley everything we waste.

            Sweden is a liberal capitalistic society mixed economy
            built on good socalist ideas, and it works very well. The freedom of speech is specialy strong Here in North Europe, and been that for 250 years

        • Not the same person, but I knows watcher, its a very close friend.
          Watcher likes volcanoes and is a close Swedish friend.
          I was realtively long ago since we meet. Quite close friend indeed
          Both haves a love for africa

        • Quite long ago I meet her, close friend but perhaps not the closest.
          I haves many other friends too, My friend count here in Sweden have been decreasing over the years. Corona destroys alot of stuff.

        • I lives in Stockholm, ..she in a smaller city south of me.
          So whats my opinion on Sweden? well I finds it boring to be stuck here..
          No active volcanoes, No spectacular landscapes, and we haves an ocean thats so sick and overfeed with agicultural runoff ( Baltic Sea ) that the entire sea here looks like a pond in a farmfield. BUT Sweden does have alot of nature.. alot of beautyful forests. Most European countries outside Scandinavia have destroyed their nature long ago.

          • I advise against moving out of Sweden, it is easily one of the safest and best places on Earth to live in and is the envy of most of the Western world for its sustainable energy and high standard of living. I wanted at one point to live in Hawaii with the same reason in mind of living in a geologically stable (boring) area, and specifically to live in Puna exactly because I watched that short documentary on the eruption there in 1955, and thought I would one day see a volcano form in my back yard. This was way back in 2011, if only I knew…
            Now you couldnt pay me to live there, visit yes but theres a lot of problems you dont see on the advertising, least of all the absurd cost of living and low minimum wage. Its a rich persons paradise and a prison for everyone else.

            Children always want to be adults, but adults wish for the ignorant bliss of their childhood. There is supposed to be the wisdom of old age after that, but im not overly optimistic anyone under 30 today will get that far with the way the world is going… 🙁

          • Here is the right field to comment lol
            Yes Sweden is amazing…. all Scandinavian countries are
            The best combination of capitalism and socialism in a democratic ways
            But yes… its boring here… NO active volcanoes, and the Baltic Sea is in
            a very very very dire condition.

            I loves Hawaiis Big Island too!, the tropical small town life quiet and far away from anything, and that crystal clear ocean.
            Living on the Big Island… is not easy there is hardly any jobs…

            Im wanting Iceland now, the next best thing and its Scandinavian

          • The Baltic Sea here is in such a terrible state here, thats its almost unbelivable! the entire sea is becomming a green plankton sludge.
            The smell is so bad in summer that the coasts are being abdandomed.
            For 100 s of kilometers the dense green sludge spreads out. Soon the ecosystem will collapse. Visibility in summer is around 20 centimeters, with as low as 5 centimeters inshore. Russia, Baltic States, Poland, Germany, Denmark and Sweden… pours down agicultural runoff in this ocean.

            Yes Sweden is amazing… but boring, and our ocean is tragicaly sick

          • A happy country indeed, but just as the western world,
            we are perhaps not the healthiest, Arteryschorosis runs rampant here, heart disease kills almost everyone here. Im not safe either from becomming a victim of this, despite being only 25, many young already haves it. But swedish health have increased alot since 1990 s, and thats good, more physical activity and less sugar among the population.
            Still we are getting older in Sweden and haves high rates of cardiovascular diseases.

          • Yes of course I known JS, been friends since childhood, we lives at completely different locations now since a decade.

          • Yes watcher is my friend and JEEZ if I wrote comment above here its because I thinked what she coud say…
            wrote what I thinked… I apologize came from my mind…
            we are not the same person.

          • Last time I meet her was in 2015, wonderful person
            “Watcher” lives in a small town outside Gothenburg, often rainy there.
            She is one that help me to get adopted into Sweden as a smaller kid.
            Exactly where she lives… I will kepp secret

    • 2006 SO2 plume from Nyiramulagira, just as crazy looking! But a sensitive space instrument.

  4. We have a bout of tremor on the big Island associated with some deep quakes.
    2020-09-16 13:26:13 2.3 44.8
    2020-09-16 13:21:23 2.8 40.7
    2020-09-16 13:17:38 2.4 35.4

    • The root of all conspiracy theories is the belief that some powerful people have something to hide and immoral interests to pursue. Unfortunately people use conspiracy theories to add some spice into their life by pretending to study and fight boogeymen, and boost their ego be pretending to be against powerful interests. Some use as vessel to expel prejudice, put their desired group in a victim position to emulate their heroes without doing any work.
      It should be known that most governments of the world are full of immoral and greedy men whose morals are dependent on how much they get paid and their reelection. I believe that everyone should be on guard for shady actions done by governments and corporations.
      The mere fact that several operations existed to align public interests into desired positions should alleviate any skepticism in government outreach and the numerous experiments on civilians show the immorality.

  5. Albert / anyone here

    How cold was the Mediterranean during the peak of the Pleistocene Ice Ages?
    ( Saale Glaciation) That was a very brutal glaciation, with the icewall going well into Ukraine. Mediterranean is told to have been 11 C colder than today during the winter. ( really freezing during winter? )

    • It was never frozen, though the shallow parts were less saline than today due to increased freshwater inflow from the glacial lakes further north and probably got some sea ice, the ocean itself was about 4 C lower than now. There is apparently also evidence of periodic increases in volcanism associated with the act of rising sea levels, but I only read this in a book once so it may not be an accepted theory anymore.

      Etna also began to turn from a tall glaciated silicic stratovolcano (Ellittico stage, about 45000-15000 years ago) into a basaltic volcano with massive supply at the beginning of the holocene, this is probably a coincidence but who knows.

    • it woud be alot drier too
      11 C cooler in winter the reading the data for Mediterranean.

      Very little rainfall, as the icesheets sucked up atmospheric moisture.
      And a colder Earth means less moisture in the atmosphere. Less evaporation. Much of Europe became a frozen tundra with permafrost going down to Romania during the height of the glacials. In the Glaciation Europe, trees was a rare sight in the cold and very dry climate.

      Mediterranean was a ”cool steppe” back then, with cold and dry adapted animals like saiga antelope, camels, reindeer, musxox and mammoth present as far south as South Spain during the coldest parts of the Ice Age.

      Wow Reindeer and wholly mammoths as far south as Gibraltar almost in this article

    • The air temperature was
      11 C cooler in winter for Mediterranean during the Ice Age. The most significant diffrences was that it was alot drier than today

    • Don’t forget the sea-level fall. 100 metres ? 120 metres ?? Made the Med look a very different place. When did Black Sea become isolated ? Gibraltar Sill stayed open, though. The End-Messinian (Zanclean ?) mega-flood’s canyon seems to have found a new role. Still, the Med’s rivers must have cut down into their post-Messinian deltas with some enthusiasm.

      Did the hydrology change much ? With climate bands being squeezed towards Equator, and more rain in North Africa etc, there were certainly many permanent and seasonal waterways where we now see only barren wadis. Did the Tibesti Massif make its own weather ?? What was the new balance between river / Atlantic inflows / outflows ??

    • Nik Kelly
      Africa and the whole world became alot drier during the Ice Age. Sahara expanded enormously during the dry glacials. ( sahara was largest during the ice ages )
      Ice Ages is when deserts are largest, because of the cold dry atmosphere. The desert extended 100 s of kilometers north and south during the Ice age.

      It was during the warm Interglacial peaks like Eemian and Holocene Optimum that Sahara became rainy and Green.

    • Steppe and Desert and Savannah where the major biomes during the Glacial Peaks

      Trees where a rare sight, the climate was simply too dry.
      And the low carbon dioxide levels at 170 PPM made it difficult for forests to grow during the Ice Ages

      • Did somebody not have the idea to irrigate the Sahara not long back? (May well have been the Nazis?)
        I wonder how different Africa would look with a giant sea in the middle of it, and the mediterranean obviously a lot smaller. Having said that a lot of land from ancient civilisatios has been lost as the sea level has rose in the Med.

  6. I’m hoping this link to Nature is okay but delete it if you wish.

    Coronavirus reinfections: three questions scientists are asking

    Sorting out whether ‘immunological memory’ affects symptoms during a second infection is crucial, particularly for vaccine development. If symptoms are generally reduced the second time, as in the Hong Kong man, that suggests the immune system is responding as it should.

    But if symptoms are consistently worse during a second bout of COVID-19, as they were in the person in Nevada, the immune system might be making things worse, says immunologist Gabrielle Belz at the University of Queensland and the Walter and Eliza Hall Institute of Medical Research in Victoria, Australia. For example, some cases of severe COVID-19 are worsened by rogue immune responses that damage healthy tissue. People who have experienced this during a first infection might have immune cells that are primed to respond in a disproportionate way again the second time, says Belz.

    Another possibility is that antibodies produced in response to SARS-CoV-2 help, rather than fight, the virus during a second infection. This phenomenon, called antibody-dependent enhancement, is rare — but researchers found worrying signs of it while trying to develop vaccines against related coronaviruses, responsible for severe acute respiratory syndrome and Middle East respiratory syndrome.

    • Just published in Scientific American

      What COVID-19 Reinfection Means for Vaccines

      If SARS-CoV-2, the virus that causes COVID-19, follows the precedent set by its coronavirus cousins, reinfection will soon become the rule, rather than the exception.

      …The first question is how long any immunity, whether natural or vaccine-mediated, will last. The second and more difficult question is whether a strong immune response can, in some, facilitate future infections, and if reinfection does occur, whether it might increase, rather than decrease, the amount of virus in the body. The third and final question concerns the mechanisms by which coronaviruses reestablish infection in a person who has already been infected once before. One possibility is that they inactivate our memory cells—the equivalent of disconnecting the alarm. This is what the measles virus does upon first infection: target and kill memory B cells specifically. For now, whether this is the case for coronaviruses is unknown.

      If SARS-CoV-2 doesn’t wipe out memory response upon reinfection, there is more or less a clear path forward for vaccine development. Over time, we may have to create new generations of vaccines because of antigenic drift, as we do with the flu. Aside from the fact that we may have to revaccinate people amid fading immunity, barring any other complications a vaccine will be able to protect us from reinfection. If SARS-CoV-2 it does tamper with our immune memory, however, we might be in trouble.

      There remains much we don’t know about COVID-19 specifically and human coronaviruses at large. What is clear at this moment is that reinfection and the mechanisms that drive it are a key piece of this puzzle—one we can’t leave out, and one that will bedevil our efforts for months and years to come as we struggle to put this genie back in its bottle.

      And, from India a new pre-print at The Lancet (so not yet peer reviewed).

      Whole Genome Sequencing Confirmed SARS-CoV-2 Reinfections Among Healthcare Workers in India with Increased Severity in the Second Episode

      While this study raises important questions, we are mindful that in the context of millions of infections, a few rare or uncommon presentations are not unexpected. With that caveat, we suggest that reinfection with SARS-CoV-2 is possible, that the second episode may be more clinically severe and that this is worthy of worldwide attention and surveillance for its implications on the danger to HCWs on the frontlines of the pandemic.

      • And also the following two also peer reviewed and not from wacky sources. Delete if you think not suitable.

        Questions concerning the proximal origin of SARS-CoV-2

        …These unique features of SARS-CoV-2 raise several questions concerning the
        proximal origin of the virus that require further discussion.

        Might SARS‐CoV‐2 Have Arisen via Serial Passage through an Animal Host or Cell Culture?

        And whether or not gain‐of‐function research is determined to have played a role in SARS‐CoV‐2’s emergence, the fact that it creates opportunities for pandemic viruses to leak out of labs calls for a re‐examination of the moratorium against this practice, because the emergence of this novel coronavirus has demonstrated that the international public health community is not prepared to handle the leak of a pandemic virus. Furthermore, none of the gain‐of‐function research conducted since 2014 has provided humanity with any tools at all to fight back against the ongoing pandemic caused by this novel coronavirus.

    • Snag is immunity response to ‘caught in the wild’ Covid may differ very, very markedly from vaccination prompted…

      This is why *good* clinical trials are done with ‘Due Care’, scrutinised with near-paranoia.

      FWIW, I had my trivalent seasonal ‘flu jab two weeks back. Nothing for a couple of days, then my immune system ‘kicked off’ like a marching band. Hot & cold sweats, crazy dreams. Whatever, I got a new SciFi tale from the weirdest of those ‘Fevre Dreams’…

    • For a more technical look at some of the analysis so far (peer reviewed)

      Cell entry mechanisms of SARS-CoV-2

      A key to curbing SARS-CoV-2 is to understand how it enters cells. SARS-CoV-2 and SARS-CoV both use human ACE2 as entry receptor and human proteases as entry activators. Using biochemical and pseudovirus entry assays and SARS-CoV as a comparison, we have identified key cell entry mechanisms of SARS-CoV-2 that potentially contribute to the immune evasion, cell infectivity, and wide spread of the virus. This study also clarifies conflicting reports from recent studies on cell entry of SARS-CoV-2. Finally, by highlighting the potency and the evasiveness of SARS-CoV-2, the study provides insight into intervention strategies that target its cell entry mechanisms.

  7. I am of the view that America is about to destroy itself in a second civil war and that the repercussions present an existential threat to the entire planet. If there is anyone who cares to debate the topic, I am happy to elaborate my reasons. This is not an attack on any American political ideology, merely an observation from the outside.

    In brief, both sides of the partisan politics in the USA have crossed the Rubicon and are committed to violence. Withdrawal by either side would be an unacceptable win for the other. The usual method the USA uses to paper over social divisions is to employ patriotism by waging war on an external party, America has lagged behind China and Russia in developing new weapons and is likely to lose or fail to win a war against either.

    America has more guns than people and a second civil war is likely to cause deaths in the tens of millions. There are many issues of potential conflict, the main ones being economic. America has exported manufacturing and jobs to Asia to maintain competitiveness and profit and is unable to rebuild its domestic industries. The Covid virus has caused further loss of jobs and plans to reopen the economy are likely to make the death toll and economic consequences worse. Competition for jobs within the USA is likely to exacerbate already tense racial issues. There is a religious expectation of Apocalypse that is likely to be self-fulfilling. There are many more areas of potential conflict.

    Every friend, enemy and economic competitor of the USA can clearly see the potential to exploit the existing social divisions and cause America to defeat itself by supporting one side or the other, or all sides as the case may be. No help is available for Americans to avoid the march of history. All we can do is watch in dismay.

    • Yes bad stuff is on horizon
      Soon Trump will annex canada

      ”trumpchluss ”

      Just kidding lol

    • I don’t think it will come to civil war, but the tensions have been there since the 2008 financial crisis (and in some cases, since the birth of this country).

      I do worry about dictatorship if a certain person gets reelected however.

      The news is making the violence look much worse than it is. This is also what they do with natural disasters.

    • Before a thing, event, or set of circumstances can come into existence, it must first be possible. A precursor state must exist upon which another force can act to result in the outcome as a changed state. This law applies to the entire universe and everything in it.

      From the current state of global affairs, it is possible to achieve a global civilization that can satisfy the reasonable needs and aspirations of a sustainable global population by 2050; without depleting, polluting or otherwise harming the environment, biological diversity and resources of the planet for future generations.

      Nuclear war is not only possible; but inevitable. The most likely trigger is a perceived existential threat to the USA from a civil war or an enemy, or both. If significant harm to the planet and future generations is to be avoided, it would be wiser to employ high altitude EMP and biological weapons in each continent. A better civilization and a sustainable population is the best outcome we can extract from such a war.

      • The current model of civilization is ecologically and economically unsustainable because of overpopulation and overconsumption by a rapidly growing middle class; resulting in waste and pollution, degraded and collapsing ecosystems, habitats and species, competition for and over exploitation of resources.
      • Competition by humans for territory and resources has already resulted in 83% loss of animals. About 60% of all mammals on Earth are now livestock, mostly cattle and pigs, 36% are human and just 4% are wild animals. About 70% of birds are poultry for human consumption and 30% are wild birds. It is a massive human caused extinction event.
      • A loss of about 50% of the world’s primary forests has been partly offset by industrial plantations and new forests caused by climate change in areas previously too cold to support them; but the new growth does not compensate for the massive loss of biodiversity.
      • 7.8 billion people naturally wanting a good quality of life is the main driver for consumption; but competition for economic survival and prosperity is the main reason that consumption is ecologically destructive, unsustainable, wasteful, polluting and unequal in its benefits.
      • As of 2012, the United States alone was using 30% of the world’s resources. If everyone were to consume at that rate, we would need 3-5 planets to sustain this type of living. If we consumed at the rate of Qatar, we would need 8.7 planet Earths.
      • There is nothing more essential to life than water. From Cape Town to Flint, Michigan; and from rural, sub-Saharan Africa to Australia’s Murray-Darling basin and Asia’s megacities, there is a global water crisis. People are struggling to access the quantity and quality of water they need for drinking, cooking, bathing, handwashing, and growing their food. Water scarcity was listed in 2019 by the World Economic Forum as one of the largest global risks in terms of potential impact over the next decade.
      • Resources are quickly becoming depleted, with about ⅓ already gone. With new consumer markets rising in the developing countries which account for a much higher percent of the world’s population, this number can only rise.
      • It is mathematically impossible for the global population and global middle class to keep increasing and consuming at its current exponential rate without collapse by 2050 and there is no indication that rate is declining.
      • Even if the global population was to magically stop in its tracks at 7.8 billion, of whom over 50% have now commendably been lifted out of poverty, with many achieving middle class incomes and lifestyles, there is no way to undo the damage that has already been done and it will continue to worsen as more people expect better quality of life.
      • Every military decision maker with any intelligence, friend or foe, knows the current global population and overconsumption by the global rich and middle class is unsustainable and is the cause of irresolvable problems.
      • They know only the realistic and achievable way to achieve a sustainable global civilization is to significantly and quickly reduce the global population; particularly the number of middle class consumers competing for limited resources and creating the waste and climate altering pollution; more particularly the highest and most wasteful consumers.
      • The only realistic and achievable way to achieve such a drastic reduction, within human control, is by using nuclear, biological and chemical weapons, disease and starvation.
      • The consequences of nuclear war include the destruction of communication and power grids, water supplies, sanitation systems, fuel delivery and transport systems by EMP, resulting in mass starvation and disease; particularly in energy, transport and technology dependant cities; rendering the release of engineered diseases redundant in all but undeveloped regions and rural areas.
      • Nuclear war is an unavoidable progression of the next major conflict because nuclear weapons are ubiquitous, the most effective means of defeating an enemy and must be used or lost in a major conflict; and because a major conflict is inevitable. The conflict has already begun with a retreat into nationalism and protectionism.
      • Notwithstanding its potentially devastating ecological impact, nuclear war is also the most efficient use of available technology capable of achieving a sustainable population of ecologically responsible consumers.
      • An extended period of nuclear winter caused by smoke and particles lifted into the stratosphere may delay or reverse the process of human caused climate change; and even a worst case nuclear winter is survivable by those adequately prepared.
      • A nuclear war is unlikely to result in the loss of the human knowledge and technology that has been accumulated over the centuries. A robust, technologically advanced, ecologically sustainable, economically viable and socially just global civilization can be quickly rebuilt in the aftermath; but with better, globally enforceable laws and regulations.
      • The major powers are actively preparing for such a war and strongly indicating by their actions it is likely to occur within a few years.
      • The only realistic defence in a nuclear war is a successful first strike, or having no strategic value. It is only a matter of time and opportunity before a military decision maker, probably American, decides the time to strike first is now.

      • Hm. I am more of an optimist. The problems we are facing are huge. But they are also solvable. The worst way to address them is by ignoring them. Some of the world try to do that, with predictable consequences. But reality always wins. The fires in the amazon, australia and california – and now russia – happened right when predicted. At some point even the most ardent deniers will find themselves overtaken by the facts. Our young people know better. And we are making progress. Even the US, with all its propaganda and denial, is actually doing quite well in reducing CO2 (obviously from a very high level, but still), and is leading in carbon-free technology. As for nuclear weapons, that seems so last century.. Even Trump, hardly the most restrained of people, has withheld from war. Every world leader has too much to lose. You would wish there were more Merkels in the world though. You are right with the biodiversity numbers. Our cattle is as big a problem as our own numbers.

        • Unless we can make food, of all kinds, completely artificially, we cant solve the food problems. Our obsession with meat is a big problem but it is also one without an answer, our species is not a dedicated herbivore and all the plants we can eat struggle to grow anywhere without a huge cost to the environment too, cattle at the very least can eat wild vegetation. Still, given the evidence that at least pigs and probably most large mammals are smart enough to realise their situation we probably need to do something else. Making stuff out of algae is probably a good first step because its already partly done and that will maybe also help with CO2 emissions if we get a large scale.

          Really worldwide agriculture needs a total overhaul just as large as what is currently being done with energy. We need an Elon Musk of agriculture to disrupt the fundamentals. Elon is not a philanthropist (well, maybe he is but I doubt it), throwing money randomly does nothing except send it into organised crime, Musk has a total and utter determination to fulfill his personal goals, and a lot of money to play with that he will use very deliberately. He wants to live on Mars, to do that you need a colony, and to do that you need cheap transport in space and also vehicles that dont need air. Making that happen just so happens to mean reusable rockets, power without fossil fuels, and vast advances in battery technology, which will make a huge difference in the future, and until Elon actually leaves for the red planet hes still here with the rest of us, might as well put his tech to good use. It is more complicated than that but we need this over all sectors.

          • The current measures required to end to stop ecological devastation would lead to a huge centralization of power, and with the corrupt, greedy,xenophobic, narcissistic, and dishonest people in government, I wouldn’t be too dissatisfied with their response. The greatest atrocities in human history started with the excuses “We have to do this.” “There is no other way.” “It is our right” or “It is what we deserve”
            Scientists should not retreat into despair concerning this issues, humanity has come along way and it is not a inevitable conclusion that we kill each other. Hatred and hopelessness doesn’t achieve anything. The world needs more scientific breakthroughs and less political bullS#I.
            Man is fickle and I don’t think Allah will tolerate this anymore. [My religious side is dominant this month:)]
            Dying from a higher power is much cooler than dying due to greed and selfishness. So we should go for that.

        • Most of the funding for the “ignore climate change” politicians comes from the oil industry, at least in the United States. Also I think in Russia, but there the government controls the oil industry.

          • I was going to actually say that in my other comment, except about the US puppet that I live in. Australia is great and you couldnt pay me to live anywhere else except New Zealand, but our obsession with fossil fuels is so absurd that the cost of ownership of an EV is actually higher than an ICE car in some areas, as well as the CO2 emissions per km, no that isnt a joke.

      • With all due respect, 2012 data is pretty non-current, especially with the significant improvement in the Chinese and Indian economies in recent years.

        I get that you had a bad experience with a crazy American girlfriend, but you seem intent on assigning blame for all evils on one country. Yes, we have a history of being militarily aggressive. That does not translate into “nuclear war is inevitable and will be instigated by US aggression”.

        I agree with Albert that nukes are kind of 20th century. And there are many other conflicts potentially over water rights as the planet warms, that could be a risk to everyone.

        • I don’t assign blame for all ills to one country; and an unfortunate relationship 20 years ago has not coloured my perspective at all. People are a similar sense of being “me”, with similar needs, want and potential the world over. There are simply too many of us to provide for sustainably. The significant improvements to Asian economies is equally to blame for our intractable population and ecological problems in creating more unsustainable middle class consumers. Australians are probably worse than Americans for consumption per capita; and Middle Eastern nations certainly are. I simply see America as the product of history; one that is likely to transform into a necessary evil for the sake of a future good.

  8. Volcanos don’t just force ‘volcanic winters’, they may craft ice-ages, too !!
    Island-building in Southeast Asia created Earth’s northern ice sheets

    fair-use quote from lonnnng article:
    The Greenland ice sheet owes its existence to the growth of an arc of islands in Southeast Asia—stretching from Sumatra to New Guinea—over the last 15 million years, a new study claims.

    According to an analysis by researchers at the University of California, Berkeley, UC Santa Barbara and a research institute in Toulouse, France, as the Australian continent pushed these volcanic islands out of the ocean, the rocks were exposed to rain mixed with carbon dioxide, which is acidic. Minerals within the rocks dissolved and washed with the carbon into the ocean, consuming enough carbon dioxide to cool the planet and allow for large ice sheets to form over North America and Northern Europe.
    More information: Yuem Park el al., “Emergence of the Southeast Asian islands as a driver for Neogene cooling,” PNAS (2020).
    {Nik-note: This link not yet live, nor its Arxiv found…}

    FWIW, looking for that, I found some interesting open-access stuff on the Pleistocene & Neogene SE Asia / Indonesia Through-Flow. That’s the ‘tentacle’ of global thermohaline circulation which sorta sneaks through area’s maze of islands rather than take the lonnng scenic route East of Australia / New Zealand…

    • Add it to the list of suspects. I note that again, Australia is at fault for careless driving .. Other suspects for the CO2 reduction are the Himalayas (monsoon rains and erosion), Central America (breaking the east-west flow and forcing sea currents north-south) and the evolution of grass (an extremely efficient vegetation, as shown by the density of animals that live off it as opposed to forests).

  9. Australia needs to retake it’s test or it will end up like India & Africa i.e. involved in a crash.
    It should take note of Antarctica’s expert parking and the Carribbean’s maneuvering in a tight space.

    • There’s some concern, IIRC, that ice-cap thinning and isostatic rebound of Antarctica may spawn significant volcanism. Not too significant if up North on the lonnng Antarctic Peninsula, but multiple consequences if beneath the main ice-cap(s). Beyond the likely jökulhlaups, and possible triggering of massive glacial surges, ash-fall may change albedo across a wide area…

      Speaking of eruptions, isn’t Australia’s Eastern Hot-Spot now beneath the Tasman Sea ? Not so much the Hot-Spot’s own motion, but Oz’ tectonic plate trucking Nor’East at 62~~70 mm /year…

      • East Eustralia hotspot is I think under Bass Strait in theory, but I dont think it is actually conclusive that the hotspot has been active in the last 6 million years, the Newer Volcanics might be related to uplift of the area and decompression melting. The east coast of Australia is a ‘volcanic passive margin’ and there are volcanoes all along the coast that are of all ages from the Cretaceous up until under 1 million years, there are holocene volcanics at Undara/McBride field, and also at Newer Volcanic field which are at opposite ends of the line. I think a lot of hotspots are probably actually something to do with this effect, only a few really big ones like Hawaii seem to have deep mantle roots like all the diagrams show.

        • Yeah. That cluster around Atherton is around the same period as the Newer Volcanics Province. Has to be a different magma source.

          • That is a 3rd area then, Lake Eacham is about 9000-10,000 years old I found out and Lake Barrain is 14,000 years old, and theres a few other volcanoes there around that time, maybe there is actually a better chance of a new volcano here than in Newer Volcanics actually, its been longer since the last one and the repose is similar.
            Atherton is sort of like Newer Volcanics in style though, small monogenetic volcanoes. Nulla, Sturgeon and Chudleigh are similar and possibly all one massive single field separated by erosional structures, much more voluminous with long intervals between eruptions of huge size, almost like a smaller version of the columbia river basalts. McBride is I think actually a proper volcano, a true polygenetic shield, but im writing a draft about that so no more spoilers 🙂

    • As the last continent to leave Antarctica, Australia can take the credit for the expert parking, as well as prior ownership of the vehicle, whose tank of fuels every other nation seems keen to siphon when our back is turned.

Leave a Reply to Tallis Rockwell Cancel reply