Plate Climatology Theory: Heat from tectonic activity contributes to climate change

The Sun, quite obviously, is the first order driver of Earth’s climate, but a much neglected second order driver can contribute significantly to short term variations. The theory proposed by geologist James Kamis is that periods of active Earth Tectonism or Volcanism, either locally or worldwide, can be correlated to periods of active climate change and climate-related events.

In general increased global tectonic activity equates to more faulting and crustal plate movement which leads to more global heat release from faults, fractures and volcanoes that are more active.

Altered heat input equates to climate change.

This effect has been largely hidden from scientific investigation because the primary heat release is within underexplored/monitored deep ocean regions; deep ocean rifts (Plate pull-apart boundaries), fumaroles, traverse faults, and other faults. Ocean temperatures, densities, and chemical compositions are altered by this varying tectonic activity. The “Altered Oceans” then influence or drive climate changes and climate related events.

Many connections between Geology/Climate are explored and explained in this theory. The aim of publishing this theory is to accomplish two objectives — 1.) Raise awareness of the strong connection between Geology and Climate and 2.) Act as a catalyst for future research.

Read the paper.

5 thoughts on “Plate Climatology Theory: Heat from tectonic activity contributes to climate change”

  1. I don’t know if the theory holds water, but at least it’s a theory.

    So what order “driver” is (anthropogenic) CO2? The more we know, the more it seems to me that it’s like me claiming to be responsible for winning a sports championship because I attended every home game and the home field advantage seemed to have contributed to the wins. Third order (a single gas of minor importance) within a second order (the atmosphere) = a sixth order driver? Controlling the climate with one hair on the tail trying to wag the dog?

  2. Coach: Good analogy.
    But, I would argue that your attendance at the home games has a hugely greater effect on your team’s success than anthropogenic CO2 has on the world’s climates.

  3. Seems to me, a land based volcano emits enough gasses to alter the climate but I have not seen enough evidence to suggest they alter the ocean temperature enough to change climate.

  4. I applaud the idea that disciplines other than climatology may have other. non-manmade CO2, theories about global warming. The trouble with science is that one of the requisites for graduation in a field is that you support current dogma. To do otherwise would jeopardize your future in that field. Climatologists have to swear on the bible of Global Warming before they can even call themselves a climatologist. Often discoveries in other fields are the only thing that can break the dogma in a discipline.

    On the other hand, I’m not so sure that this isn’t just another way of injecting the “hidden heat/cool in the ocean” argument back into the global warming debate. One could argue that if geothrmal factors figure into global warming, the lack of geothermal heating could be the cause of the pause. Again, they won’t need to substantiate or quantify the claim. Just the possibility that it exists can help explain why the theory isn’t working as expected. Sadly, I fear the second case is more likely true.

  5. I see plate tectonics occurring over geologic time, hence they wouldn’t effect observable weather.

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