Volcano Moons

Well, it looks like some other folks have started to discover the Moon / Earthquake / Volcanism / Weather connections.

We’ve got earthquakes well established as precursors to volcanic activity (even special modes of tremor that say ‘real soon now’ when the harmonic tremor gets rolling).

We’ve got major quakes in subduction zones several years prior to melt causing major volcanic eruptions as an understood modality.

We’ve got the weather tied to volcanic activity with generalized cooling and lots of condensation nuclei.

(We’re going to ignore the ‘earthquake weather’ thesis as it isn’t well proven – despite frequent observations of it)

In Santa Clara, a local geologist uses lunar phase and perigee to predict quakes, and predicted the Loma Prieta quake (aka the San Francisco Superbowl quake). (Jim Berkland’s site.)

There is even a very long term cyclical tie between the long cycle lunar motions and weather, including a 1500-1800 year cyclical oscillation of the lunar orbit (shades of that 1470 year +/- 250 year Bond Event Cycle…)


So I’m not surprised to see that someone has “suddenly” discovered a lunar connection to volcanoes. This story is from a while back (i.e. not news) but I just ran into it while looking up the historical dates of Etna and Vesuvius eruptions. (Yes, I’m looking to see if it’s about time for Vesuvius to get active again. Not the little burps of lately, but a big one…) So I ran into this National Geographic article.

While I have to give them kudos for their voyage of personal discovery and have to praise National Geographic for publishing it: the article is Yet Another “Eureka! I found it!” when others have had the idea and been talking about it for generations. So: “Good for you, you caught up with The Ancients who frequently talked about earthquakes and volcanoes in the same breath and talked about the heavens driving events on earth.” Oh, and dozens of other folks who have for a very long time postulated tidal flexing of the crust as causing all sorts of geologic events.

Volcano, Weather, Cultural connections

Volcano, Weather, Cultural connections

With that said, they do show a nice bit of ‘wiggle matching’ work with real data on a real volcano. They also had the bright idea to look at a very active volcano and measure it in ‘real time’ (i.e. not just looking for giant eruptions in rock layers). So they have proven the connection in that short term lunar motions modulate ongoing activity in very active minor volcanoes. That still leaves the “leap” to longer cycles setting off larger volcanic breaks.

The Article (warning: I got an ‘undertone’ pop up add when I first visited, just rapidly hit the bottom of the page, click on page 2, then back to page 1, and it ought to be gone without the need to click the close box and let them tally a ‘you looked!’. Due to the offensive pop up, I’ll be quoting more here than I normally would so folks don’t really have to hit the link):


Are Volcanic Eruptions Tied to Lunar Cycle?
Brian Handwerk
For National Geographic News
February 15, 2002

The horrors unleashed by the recent eruption of Congo’s Mount Nyiragongo have demonstrated once again our uneasy relationship with the fires that rage below Earth’s surface.

Note that date, 2002. So a decade ago.

There then follows a colorful description of folks being fried by the volcano… then the sciency part begins:

If predicting eruptions is a confusing puzzle, volcano hunters Steve and Donna O’Meara believe that they may have identified a key piece. The husband-and-wife team are investigating a connection that some volcano watchers have noted since early times, but none has adequately studied—the role of the moon in affecting volcanic activity.

The O’Mearas’ interest in this lunar theory began by chance back in 1996, while the duo was studying an erupting volcano in the field. Steve is an astronomer by training, and it was his experience in this seemingly unrelated field that led him to a fateful discovery.

At least they do note that other folks have noticed this “since early times”… but the ‘sellers puff’ on their discovery is still a bit thick.

While compiling detailed journals of his scientific observations, he began to notice a correlation between increasing volcanic activity and lunar cycles. Pouring through stacks of data he had collected over twenty years in the field, Steve examined past eruptions and saw some of the same patterns. Further research suggested that a lunar pattern was also apparent in some famous historic eruptions, such as Krakatoa in 1883.

Other observers throughout history had noted the possibility of such a connection, but always as a footnote, and always when looking back at eruptions that had already occurred.
No one had given the matter comprehensive study, and no one had attempted to employ these lunar patterns as one of the tools to predict future volcanic eruptions.

Stromboli, a Volcanic Hotspot

Supported by the National Geographic Society, the husband-and-wife team set out to test just that possibility at one of Earth’s volcanic hotspots, the summit of Stromboli on Italy’s Aeolian Islands.

So the big claim to fame is that he’s going to use it to ‘predict’? As though other folks failed to note that lunar cycles are completely predictable? Gee, yet another “State the obvious and claim it is a discovery”… Oh, and make it the body of the ‘work’ so as to really lay claim. Sigh. Yes, I understand the need for ‘sellers puff’ and self glorification, even if I can’t bring myself to indulge in it. But really, the bit that is important the bit for which they ought to be claiming credit, is the idea of looking at a highly active volcano and measuring it to do the very good wiggle match to a lunar prediction. That’s the really juicy bit.

There then follows a description of Stromboli as such a frequently active little spit ball. Then back to the work:

Although living conditions on Stromboli left much to be desired, the climate was ideal for research because of the continually active eruptions and the occurrence of several important lunar events. The moon entered some important phases during the team’s time on Stromboli. In the 14-day span of observations the moon reached perigee (the point when its orbit is nearest the Earth) and also experienced a full moon phase. The full moon is a point at which the moon exerts particularly great influence on the Earth, as evidenced by high tides.

The team’s task was to determine when the greatest peaks in eruption activity occurred, and what connection the increased activity might have with the moon’s gravitational pull. Following the patterns they had seen in the past, the O’Mearas predicted that during the volcano’s ongoing eruptions, there would be peaks in volcanic activity at perigee and at full moon. In this case, events bore out that hypothesis and in fact the greatest spike in volcanic activity occurred at a point in time just between full moon and perigee.

Page 2 then has the caveats about volcanoes being chaotic events and not being able to just say “Full moon – volcanoes erupt” about any old volcano.

I also would have liked a longer set of observations, but this was a 2 week National Geographic paid vacation to Stromboli to make some good stories and video footage, not a ‘just the facts, gather all you can’ research effort. I’m sure they had plenty of volcano activity records for other times to look at ‘back in the lab on the internet’…

But it’s nice to see someone actually did it.

All we need now is a really good set of total volcanic activity, a nice set of lunar influence graphs (including all the cycles up to the 1500 year / 5000 year range) and a whole lot of fancy statistical wiggle matching to prove what has been known for millenia: The moon has a strong influence on events on earth, including the geologic ones.

Tide Cycles, Bond Events, Akkadian Fall, and Dust Layers

Tide Cycles, Bond Events, Akkadian Fall, and Dust Layers

(From a paper that is dated 2000. “Accepted February 2, 2000.
Copyright © The National Academy of Sciences” link below)

Next thing you know, they might even start to think that the Sun has an impact as it changes. Heck, some day they might even “discover” that the planetary motions and orbital resonance ties all those influences together so “they all come together when they come”… and that it is no accident that volcanoes and cold times happen together with periods of low solar activity and high cosmic ray counts / increased clouds. Oh, and that those Taurid Meteor swarms arriving in a resonant timing interval is also no accident, being part of that same orbital resonance game…


I think I need to get a whole lot better at understanding and explaining Orbital Resonance and revisit that question of Spin Orbital Momentum coupling.

But still, it’s nice to have confirmation for a real time prediction of volcano modulation via lunar position / gravity / tides; and see it confirmed.

(Footnote on quotes: As an educational non-profit use, extensive quotations fall under USA “Fair Use” doctrine.)

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About E.M.Smith

A technical managerial sort interested in things from Stonehenge to computer science. My present "hot buttons' are the mythology of Climate Change and ancient metrology; but things change...
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21 Responses to Volcano Moons

  1. adolfogiurfa says:

    This comment goes better here:From Michele Casati:
    Alignment 22-23 March:
    and “Musing from the Chiefio”´s regular M.Vukcevic:
    “Pack your sh@#´s folks, WE are leaving! (George Carlin)

  2. George says:

    Another thing I don’t believe is given enough credence is the impact on ice ages on mantle material. Now, they know that when the glaciers recede and the land rebounds, the mantle begins to flow back into the regions where it was pushed out from the weight of ice. Now think about this for a minute … mantle material pushed out of a large portion of North America. Large lakes even such as Missoula, Lahontan, and Bonneville held enormous quantities of water which also pushed down on the crust forcing mantle to move elsewhere.

    We see rather prolific Pleistocene volcanism in places such as Utah and Northern Arizona and Southern California and Nevada. Then once the ice recedes and the crust rebounds, this mantle material begins to flow back North and this volcanic activity begins to decline until it peters out completely about 1000 years ago or so. When we get the next glaciation, that ice will again push down on the crust, the mantle material will be squeezed out and likely pop out someplace where we don’t see volcanoes today.

    Long Valley erupted about 760,000 years ago. Yellowstone had its last major eruption about 640,000 years ago. These eruptions were about one glacial period apart. It might work like kind of popping a zit. Ice builds and pushed down, mantle gets moved around and maybe builds up South of the edge of the ice and kaboom. Once erupted, though, it can relieve a LOT of material so might might take quite a long time for it to build up again.

    I wonder if we have data of good enough resolution to plot eruptions against the glacial cycle.

  3. E.M.Smith says:


    The Classic Maya Collapse refers to the decline and abandonment of the Classic Period Maya cities of the southern Maya lowlands of Mesoamerica between the 8th and 9th centuries. This should not be confused with the collapse of the Preclassic Maya in the 2nd century AD. The Classic Period of Mesoamerican chronology is generally defined as the period from AD 300 to 900, the last 100 years of which, from AD 800 to 900, are frequently referred to as the Terminal Classic.[1] The Classic Maya Collapse is one of the biggest mysteries in archaeology. What makes this development so intriguing is the combination of the cultural sophistication attained by the Maya before the collapse and the relative suddenness of the collapse itself.

    Looking on that long lunar cycle chart above, the last / right most tick mark is 1000 AD so just a bit to the left of it is the Classic Maya Collapse… at about the bottom of the dip in the dark lines… and about the same as the down ‘dip’ of “The Dark Ages” cold period on the other chart… Looks like Central America “has issues” during cold dips too (likely droughts). So, check that off the list of places to move…


    puts a drought in Africa during the Little Ice Age:

    “The African Sahel region in particular has suffered multiple megadroughts throughout history, with the most recent lasting from approximately 1400 AD to 1750 AD. North America experienced at least four megadroughts during the Medieval Warm Period.”

    So looks like a “Sahel” vs “North America” oscillator with cold giving drought in the Sahel. Warm in N. America.

    China and the Yuan Dynasty map to the Little Ice Age as drought:

    Megadroughts have historically led to the mass migration of humans away from drought affected lands, resulting in a significant population decline from pre-drought levels. They are suspected of playing a primary role in the collapse of several pre-industrial civilizations, including the Anasazi of the North American Southwest, the Khmer Empire of Cambodia, the Mayan of Mesoamerica, the Tiwanaku of Bolivia, and the Yuan Dynasty of China.


    The Yuan Dynasty (Chinese: 元朝, p Yuán Cháo; Mongolian: Dai Ön Ulus[2]) was the Chinese branch of Mongol Borjigin dynasty established by Genghis Khan. Although the Mongolians had ruled northern China for decades, it was not until 1271 that Kublai Khan officially proclaimed the dynasty in the traditional Chinese style.[3] His realm – the Great Yuan Empire (t 大元帝國, s 大元帝国, p Dà Yuán Dìguó) – was by this point isolated from the other khanates and controlled only most of present-day China and its surrounding areas including modern Mongolia.[4] It was the first non-Han dynasty to rule all of China and lasted until 1368, after which its remnants in Mongolia were known as the Northern Yuan.

    Though that looks more like the onset of the LIA. Maybe China acts as the Canary? First called?


    I think I need to do a “History of Chinese Droughts and Famines”…


    The community grew to urban proportions between 600 and 800 AD, becoming an important regional power in the southern Andes. According to early estimates, at its maximum extent, the city covered approximately 6.5 square kilometers, and had between 15,000–30,000 inhabitants. However, satellite imaging was used recently to map the extent of fossilized suka kollus across the three primary valleys of Tiwanaku, arriving at population-carrying capacity estimates of anywhere between 285,000 and 1,482,000 people.

    The empire continued to grow, absorbing cultures rather than eradicating them. William H. Isbell states that “Tiahuanaco underwent a dramatic transformation between 600 and 700 that established new monumental standards for civic architecture and greatly increased the resident population.” Archaeologists note a dramatic adoption of Tiwanaku ceramics in the cultures who became part of the Tiwanaku empire. Tiwanaku gained its power through the trade it implemented between all of the cities within its empire. The elites gained their status by control of the surplus of food obtained from all regions and redistributed among all the people. Control of llama herds became very significant to Tiwanaku, as they were essential for carrying goods back and forth between the center and the periphery. The animals may also have symbolized the distance between the commoners and the elites.

    The elites’ power continued to grow along with the surplus of resources until about 950. At this time a dramatic shift in climate occurred, as is typical for the region. A significant drop in precipitation occurred in the Titicaca Basin, with some archaeologists venturing to suggest a great drought. As the rain became less and less many of the cities furthest away from Lake Titicaca began to produce fewer crops to give to the elites. As the surplus of food dropped, the elites’ power began to fall. Due to the resiliency of the raised fields, the capital city became the last place of production, but in the end even the intelligent design of the fields was no match for the weather. Tiwanaku disappeared around 1000 because food production, the empire’s source of power and authority, dried up. The land was not inhabited again for many years. In isolated places, some remnants of the Tiwanaku people, like the Uros, may have survived until today.

    Interesting… Growing during the cold cycle, collapses during the transition to the warm MWP… presently pretty empty area. Hmmm….

    Looks like Ecuador / Peru area are “on the list” of places to check out. Latitude movement of rain bands would imply Brazil likely does well too.


    Has it starting about 800 AD and ending in the 13th century. So they “like it warm”… Not on the list for a cooling cycle…

    Interesting… By this system, California may do OK… From the NYT:


    BEGINNING about 1,100 years ago, what is now California baked in two droughts, the first lasting 220 years and the second 140 years. Each was much more intense than the mere six-year dry spells that afflict modern California from time to time, new studies of past climates show. The findings suggest, in fact, that relatively wet periods like the 20th century have been the exception rather than the rule in California for at least the last 3,500 years, and that mega-droughts are likely to recur.

    That has California megadroughts at the START of a strong warming trend. About 900 AD. So our recent ‘water shortages’ are likely what we get now as we didn’t warm as much as during the MWP ‘out here’. Further, it implies that during cooling we stay under a ‘cool loop’ of the jet stream and stay damp, if a bit colder than usual…

    Needs more detail, but on a first look, it’s a nice pattern ;-)

    Well, looks like “Major Drought By Region and Cycle State” will be a productive ‘play it forward’… Also, as a first generalization, perhaps the Pacific Coast of the Americas does OK and most of the “issues” are elsewhere.

    Wonder if there are any records of Megadroughts in Australia…


    Major Australian Droughts Traced to Different Causes

    ScienceDaily (Dec. 30, 2009) — Southeastern Australia has been subject to several severe, long-term droughts during the past century, including the “Federation” drought (1895-1900), the “World War II” drought (1937-1945),

    Looks like they get droughts during hot times, implying that cooling will give more water to Australia (which we’ve seen the last couple of years, IMHO…)


    has the US Midwest drying up in the 12th century (a warm top) so perhaps does well in cold times too. During the 2nd century warm top too….

    Almost 900 years ago, in the mid-12th century, the southwestern U.S. was in the middle of a multi-decade megadrought. It was the most recent extended period of severe drought known for this region. But it was not the first.

    The second century A.D. saw an extended dry period of more than 100 years characterized by a multi-decade drought lasting nearly 50 years, says a new study from scientists at the University of Arizona.


    Mentions a Ming Dynasty drought in the 1600s, so again during the cold phase.

    Spatial drought patterns during four historical Asian droughts. Mean PDSI over each of four regional droughts identified from the historical record. (A) The Ming Dynasty drought (1638 to 1641) (19). (B) The Strange Parallels drought (1756 to 1768) (17, 20, 21). (C) The East India drought of the late 18th century (1790 and 1792 to 1796) (12, 22, 23). In 1791, much of India appears to be slightly wet, except the region around Chennai where the drought persisted (22). (D) The late Victorian Great Drought (1876 to 1878) (18).

    OK, enough for now… but it looks like the cold turn is more a question of “winners and loosers” than one of ‘we all lose’… South America looks good, Central America not so much, North America OK (Patagonia / Chile not explored yet). Asia gets hosed, but Australia likely to do well (needs confirmation). Europe a mixed bag with North Africa / Egypt / Mesopotamia ‘having issues’ while “up north” is cold but not dried out and blowing in the wind… Sub Saharan Africa TBD.

    I’m also pretty sure at this point that a detailed mapping of historical droughts to the cycle charts above will be Very Useful.

  4. Scarlet Pumpernickel says:

    Interesting with the large solar flare the other day we saw several large earthquakes go off all over the globe.

  5. George says:

    Don’t assume that things will respond to a future change in conditions the same way they did in the past. Some things can make it better or worse. The form of government or economic system in the area can make it better or worse able to handle a change in conditions.

    I wouldn’t bet that because a specific region weathered a certain change in conditions in the past that it would have the same resilience a thousand years in the future with a completely different government and economic system.

    How many fruits and veggies was Europe getting from South America in the 9th century?

  6. omanuel says:

    The Solar System is definitely a system of interconnected planets, moons, astroids, and other debris orbiting the Sun.

    Modern science has largely ignored this, perhaps out of anger at astrologers for predicting the future of events on Earth by the influence of other parts of the cosmos, when astronomers and astrophysicists couldn’t figure out what made the Sun shine!

    Resentment and a false sense of superiority toward astrologers and ancient Sun worshippers,


    May also explain the reluctance of astronomers and astrophysicists to consider experimental evidence that the Sun itself ejected all of the material that now orbits it.


  7. John F. Hultquist says:

    Subduction zone volcanoes (Mt. St. Helens, for example) are warmed from below and are built from material that chemically alters in the presence of water wherein there are hydrogen ions (pH ~~ potential for or power of Hydrogen).
    Explained here:

    There are many things happening within the upper parts of a volcano but think of the total as something like a bottle of sparkling wine – inside is a mixture with dissolved gas. Just as the CO2 in a wine will expand when the top is loosened, so too will the gas in the innards of a volcano expand when the mass of rocks at the top is moved, shaken, or stirred. The smaller Moon is much closer than the Sun and so “the moon is responsible for 56% of the earth’s tidal energy while the sun claims responsibility for a mere 44%.”
    Maximum force is when we have “Spring Tides” – Sun, Moon, Earth along a straight line:

    My thought is that earthquakes and volcanoes have a multifaceted cause waiting for a nudge (or trigger) to set something in motion. When you realize that all mountains are not equally solid, it is not a huge jump to expect a connection such as you explain in this post.

  8. E.M.Smith says:


    So true… BTW, I’m pretty sure that Stonehenge was a giant astronomical observatory, not limited to just the sun. There is a frequently ignored series of 19 holes in a horseshoe shape. Easily ignored given all the big rocks. Hard to understand until you find out that a very ancient discovery was a conical hat shaped object with lunar symbols on it detailing the 19 year lunar cycle…

    So it has a lunar cycle counter. It counts / times solstices and equinoxes. It has some stellar alignments. IMHO it likely also ‘discovered’ precession. The “A” holes seem to indicate a need to ‘recalibrate’ some views for wobble and precession. Eventually I think they realized that to keep it ‘in sync’ would require a rebuild and even THAT would still have to deal with drift from precession. After that, I think they went to more ‘adaptable’ methods than giant stone blocks ;-)

    It gives a very nice solar calendar, a seasons mark, a lunar cycle calculator / recorder, and a solar eclipse predictor. IMHO, it also indicates, via the embodied measures, that they used the stars and a pendulum to make a ‘rod’ and had both time and length standards from that. Elsewhere there are stones with squares cut in them that measure things, like a quart or pint volume, based on ancient length measures (derived from the Foot IIRC) but since the foot and rod are also related, all of this looks to link back to the pendulum used to lay out units of measure at Stonehenge.

    Would “modern” researchers like to forget that the ancients knew more than they did (until quite recently…)? You bet.

    IMHO, the fact that the area ‘near’ the sun (our local stellar group area) has a low density of materials in it as compared to further out sure argues for our sun having ‘blown up’ and pushed that interstellar ‘stuff’ out of the way (then the remnants nearer the sun condense back to make all the planets et. al.) Otherwise, the inner planets ought to have much more ‘light elements’. (Where did all our iron come from? Oh, some nova “somewhere”, but we don’t find it’s remnant anywhere nearby and we don’t find space filled with Iron between us and other starts ‘over there somewhere’…. Hmmmm…

    One of those loose ends that always nagged at me until your “Sun as collapsed precursor nova” idea was presented. It just wraps up so many loose ends…


    The first step is finding those places that will have the lowest inherent strains from REAL Climate change as we hit a cold patch. The largest stress seems to be drought (from historical records). After that, I intend to look at which of them is most likely able to cope. (Feel free to ‘run ahead’ and post ideas…)

    So noting that Peru looks like it’s had ‘good times during cooling’ is a nice first step. Means unlikely to be a lot of stresses there (unless they come from outside). That Europe has advantages now that it didn’t have then (like, oh, nuclear weapons and advanced mechanized armies and….) does imply they may use them to avoid excruciating issues (and the potential influx of a hoard of folks from droughts in the south / east of there…); but that is more speculative.

    Similarly, if California looks like it does OK; that’s not a final decision. (BUT it does make me more comfortable ;-) There’s still the risk of a hoard of Mexican and Central American folks running away from an End Maya Like event wanting to take over California. I could easily see, for example, finding that Nevada was better positioned with less ‘influx stress’. OTOH, knowing that, for example, Egypt has had a series of famines each time it gets cold and has had near extinction events during various Bond Events would argue pretty strongly for not wanting to be there…

    But the ‘political / technology prediction’ is a very hard one to get right. So I’m just starting with ‘what areas have a natural advantage’.

    In short: I’m making a first candidate for shopping list, not filling the cart…

    So while I’d likely find a nice valley back in the mountains of Peru to be the ‘least likely to be a problem’ (as it ought to have low stresses and few folks ‘headed in’) I could easily see as well a case for the EU deciding it could take over Peru for food using nuclear threats if the alternative is starvation… And there is little Peru could do about it. Similarly, if a starving China decides to waste a Million Man Army taking Australia, I doubt if anyone could stop it (and with a billion folks, China could lose a million and not suffer much…) But again, all of that part is way too hard to ‘get right’ in the amount of time that goes into a comment…

    So I’m left standing by my original points: I’m happy California looks to have ‘low stress’ and figure speaking Spanish and being good at growing things and fixing things will likely be a ‘good enough’ solution to an ‘influx’ problem. ( I could easily see me as a ‘seedsman’ just doing growouts from my seed archive, for example. Folks tend to like keeping the ‘seeds guy’ around ;-)

  9. Sera says:

    I had always assumed that the moon was responsible for the tidal forces ‘inside’ the earth, without which we would not have a magnetic field and would end up like Mars. And that the moon was also reponsible for “Geomagnetic Jerk”…


    These events are believed to be caused by changes in the flow patterns of the liquid outer core of the Earth. [2] Another theory is that they are due to torsional oscillations in the solid inner core of the Earth.[1][4] There have been claims that they are connected to strong earthquakes.[5]

  10. Hugo M says:

    Sera, tank you for that link!. Interestingly, when following the lead of who had worked on Geomagnetic Jerks, I arrived at the prominent French Geophysicist Vincent Courtillot.
    Courtillot in turn shares an interesting experience with Steven McIntyre. When requesting data from the East Anglia’s CRU, both had been brushed off by Phil Jones:

    “J’ai été en contact avec le professeur Jones pour essayer de voir si nous pouvions comparer nos données aux leurs. Pour l’instant, cela semble difficile, ce laboratoire ayant signé un accord de confidentialité avec les fournisseurs de données brutes.”


  11. Sera says:

    @ Hugo:

    You are welcome for the link, and I did not know about his (Courtillot) parallel with SM.

    @ EM:

    How about the Azores, or Bermuda?

  12. Pascvaks says:

    Thoughts -
    Our only hope is to speed up the Moon, get it in a smaller orbit, get the inside of the Earth heated up, and get global climate back to at least —what? 14KBP? OK?– 14KBP. Otherwise, as the Moon gets farther away, and things cool down magnetic-wise and temperature-wise via nuclear decay rundown in the interior of the planet, we’re sunk. Yes, the hardest part may very well be ‘how to give Mother Earth a shot of radioactive heavy metals on a regular basis via some super fast method that gets the stuff under the skin and doesn’t make a big dangerous explosion at the surface’. On second thought, this is all going to be harder than inventing a light bulb…. on third thought, it just may be easier to go with the flow….

    I have a feeling. I feel that when things get tough, the tough get going (well they always did before;-). This group goes this way, another that way, and still more groups go various other ways; oh yes, there are the groups that don’t go anywhere, and one of these just might be the toughest of the lot. We just can’t say who’s smarter, or luckier. But it’s our only chance, since there isn’t going to be any others. One or two might just make it, eventually. But, as I know you’ve all realized from watching the Discovery Channel, there’s going to be an awful lot of human murder and mayhem along the way; as well as, new G_ds, new Govs, new Meds, new Plagues, new Wars, new Floods, new Bugs, new Germs, not to mention some new Genes, and a whole slew –as they say– of little Corporals who want to have everybody do what they want (or they’ll blow your brains out and take their football and go home and cry).

    The beauty of real science is that you get to focus on something real interesting and not be too distracted too often by the real world. No wonder real scientists like to get away to real places and feel the real Sun on their neck and get real dirty and take cold showers and eat real food off real bones and get real sick and have real out of body experiences and smoke that real stuff and drink real local hootch, and sleep under the stars, and howl at the Moon, and… ah.. and……. Sorry about that, disregard all after ‘thoughts’; got carried away by something; probably something in the water around here. I keep having the “Impossible Dreams” too.

  13. Pascvaks says:

    EM- If anyone here can understand me sometimes I have a feeling it’s you;-) You’re like a shotgun blast many times. Your posts give me a kolidescope of new images and thoughts that impact a lifetime of my own. Sometimes I’m able to bring them into focus, sometimes focus is hopeless and the result is more like an explosion and chain reaction. I’m saying ‘Thank You’ always, and ‘I’m Sorry if I’m Unintelligable’ sometimes (if you think I am;-)

  14. adolfogiurfa says:

    @Pascvaks: Really funny, that´s the way Global Warmers think, exaggerating the capacity of such oxygen consuming, oxygen breathing and CO2 producing fungi, coloring the surface of the earth, called humans by some, totally invisible as you reach 45,000 feet high flying in any plane.
    It´s funny because, those greek philosophers of the past, pondering about Arche (ἀρχή) ,that indefinable principle of everything, a totality comprising every singularity and formed out of these, could not convince those barbarians of the north, that multitude of “SMITHERS”, of seeing reality as an indivisible “Noumenon” but instead dividing it in many things, be it swords, instruments, iPods, iPads or Plasma TV´s, and so on…
    Universe is a totality, composed of singularities, which in turn are, each one of them, a copy, a replica, again, of the totality, “as above, so below”, or “So God created man in his own image, in the image of God he created him; male and female he created them”, making possible, through the interaction of such female and male singularities, cations and anions, for the totality to be immortal. “Smithers” simply don´t get it, they insist on “making things”, of dividing reality, thus it would´t be surprising some of them start hammer on an anvil to the moon itself! LOL!

  15. M Simon says:

    OK. Cooling compresses the crust. Which increases volcanism? I wonder. Any way you might want to take that into account along with everything else. If it is significant.

  16. M Simon says:

    Well. I’m perverse. I look forward to the stresses of the “zone”. The stresses will clear the air. Risk? To be sure. There is nothing like getting shot at and walking away alive. Of course some times you don’t walk away.

  17. adolfogiurfa says:

    @M Simon says:
    21 March 2012 at 10:46 am
    OK. Cooling compresses the crust. Which increases volcanism?


  18. E.M.Smith says:


    Well, I’m not sure I could get into the Azores or Bermuda on other than a tourist basis… I have been to the Bahamas and liked them, so I imagine Bermuda to be similar… There is also a risk from large tidal waves on islands when the inevitable rock fall from space happens; so any island would need to be a big one with some decent elevation.

    FWIW “Geomagnetic Jerk” always makes me think of a really annoying guy studying geomagnetism ;-)

    At any rate, I don’t know what the drought pattern is for them, but it is likely to be similar to nearby mainlands. I expect they get cooler and dryer, but that’s just a guess.


    When my kids were very little I taught them to howl at the full moon… it became a bit of fun and sometimes when driving at night we’d notice a full moon and all start to do the wolf pack howl.

    It’s been about a decade now that we’ve not done it (they are young adults and being all serious…) but there is still something primordially satisfying about it ;-) I have very fond memories of the occasional neighbor and some misc strangers giving us very strange looks, not to mention the spouse who refused to join in… but I’ve noticed they get a little smile in the corner of the mouth when a wolf howls in a movie on TV…

    Per the planet and nuclear fuels…

    There’s a theory that the Earth is at the ‘running low’ stage and vulcanism is slowing. Getting more “in” isn’t hard, just dump it into subduction zones and wait… The problem is getting a source. We’re talking megatons of something that can not be concentrated.

    At any rate, we’re going to have plate tectonics slow and halt. Then the atmosphere leave. Just a question of how fast…

    Per “understanding you”: Anyone who howls at the moon and enjoys when the neighbors dogs join the chorus understands the poetic soul ;-)

    What I write is typically translated into linear ordered form (as that is how written language works) but what I think, and the way I think it, is often non-linear and more ‘linked list / web’ of connections and not ordered neatly in one topic.

    So I’ll see a rain drop splash and see a mental imagining of a comet ‘splashing’ into the earth and connect to solar ‘splashing’ causing the comet orbit to perturb in the first place; all in about 1/10 second as flickers of one linked chain; the next second is back at the rain drop and how it feeds the life of the plant next to it in the soil and two “lists” will fire off. Zooming to ever smaller sizes in the soil. Bacteria, symbiotic nitrogen fixation, tendrils of roots with symbiotic fungal filaments dissolving mineral bits and surfaces of crystals with a single atom being let free to join a new structure of life leaving behind a splash like divot in the crystal face… and the other, larger in time, seeing life evolving from nothing to world dominating as the Earth winds down it’s nuclear furnace and prepares to snuff it all out in a billion years of frozen. Then the next second comes…

    Shotgun blast? Well, inside it is a bit more like riding a pissed off tiger sitting backwards yanking on the tail for “stability”… It’s a bit more controllable now, as things are slowing down with age and there are fewer ‘new chains’ to follow, more being known. But still sometimes the compulsion to understand all the connections comes… And occasionally I’ll pick one of the connection trees that has not been well explored or that has a new and interesting sparkle in it, and that one gets translated into linear fixed time words… So that you then can have a connection tree sparkle..


    Watch it with those Smithers derogatives, after all, I am one! ;-)

    One can enjoy making a blade and see the atoms being coaxed around at the same time. Just because some Smiths don’t notice it, that doesn’t mean we all don’t …

    @M. Simon:

    The crustal resistance to temperature flow leads me to think the direction of influence is outward from the mantel to the surface, not the other way round. Though adding a mile of ice to the crust has got to shift faults. The ‘outside in’ influence is most likely that the cold weather comes with some external driver that moves the crust / mantel too. Be it gravitational / tidal or the cosmic EMF…

    Well, “I am of two minds” on the ‘zone’ issue. It’s an approach avoidance conflict for me. Love the adrenalin rush and the ‘being really alive’ of such times; hate the being uncomfortable parts…

    Hey, I ride a motorcycle and trashed a couple of them… and liked it…

    My most annoying fear is the fear that society would become ‘stable’ and the “Evil Bastards” running this particular show would consolidate their positions for generations to come…

  19. adolfogiurfa says:

    @E.M.: My most annoying fear is the fear that society would become ‘stable’ and the “Evil Bastards” running this particular show would consolidate their positions for generations to come…

    Smithers won´t allow it, and if some strange folks appear around and by cheating the many think they will get the “Governance” of the world in their hands, they will start using the anvil and make swords again.

  20. E.M.Smith says:


    So now I know why the first bit of Smithing my Dad taught me was how to anneal a blade then harden the edge… (Cool the edge quickly, let the spine cool slowly, watch the surface color…)

    There was a tribe in South America in the jungle where a western Smith went to learn how they did smithing… they had an ‘odd shaped’ kind of machete. It turns out that they had a reason. At the forge, the local smith made a blade, then it was time to anneal and harden the edge. Blade warmed to anneal (a dull red IIRC) then was rapidly sunk into 1/2 of a mellon (inside surface) to the depth of the edge. THUNK! and set aside. The heat rapidly left the edge, making it hard, while the spine cooled most slowly and stayed supple, not prone to fracture. The residual heat of the spine helping the temper of the edge as the melon carbonized…

    A surprisingly elegant technique. And the blades were in profile the shape of the long melon ;-)

    Second thing he taught me was how to make a screwdriver. Then nails. Then customizing wrenches and pliers. (Made a regular wrench into a ‘dog leg’ wrench to adjust the brakes on a ’56 Chevy rather than buy the custom tool…) But we started with the blade…

  21. Eric Barnes says:

    George says:
    18 March 2012 at 10:52 pm

    “Another thing I don’t believe is given enough credence is the impact on ice ages on mantle material. Now, they know that when the glaciers recede and the land rebounds, the mantle begins to flow back into the regions where it was pushed out from the weight of ice. Now think about this for a minute … mantle material pushed out of a large portion of North America. Large lakes even such as Missoula, Lahontan, and Bonneville held enormous quantities of water which also pushed down on the crust forcing mantle to move elsewhere.”

    Agree George. I also think sustained volcanism can increase thermal mass and effectively warm the earth. Here’s a link with interesting correlations of sulfur emissions and temperature proxies.
    Not quite sure what to make of his claim about SO2?

    Throw this together with the declining atmospheric pressure through the last 60 million years or so, and the periodic nature of the glaciations of both the north and south pole and IMO it’s an EM Smith “dig here” moment.

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