The Sun, quite obviously, is the most important driver of earth's climate. However, geological forces are a much neglected second order driver that can contribute significantly to natural climate variations. The overall theory contends that periods of active earth tectonics and volcanism can be correlated to periods of active climate change and climate related events. To describe this new theory, the term “Plate Climatology” is proposed.
Massive amounts of heat are exchanged between earth's core and the oceans and atmosphere. These exchanges are generally well documented. In many cases substantial short term, sub-climate timescale effects have been observed, such as drastic reduction in globally averaged temperature or local rises in oceanic temperatures. However, a significant portion of this effect has been hidden from scientific investigation due to the fact that the heat and fluid release are from two under explored/under monitored regions: earth's deep oceans and the polar ice caps.
The deep oceans contain major geological features such as: divergent plate boundaries (tectonic plate pull-apart boundaries), transform plate boundaries (tectonic plate side sliding boundaries), convergent plate boundaries (subduction and obduction zones), and high heat flow volcanic regions. In this theory, it is proposed the magnitude of the associated heat and fluid release from these geological features has been vastly under-estimated and subsequently, the potential exists for significant impacts to ocean temperature and chemical composition. This can then impact the atmosphere through many well-known ocean-atmosphere interactions.
The polar ice caps also contain major geological features such as: Divergent (tectonic plate pull-apart boundaries), Transform Plate Boundaries (tectonic plate side sliding boundaries), and high heat flow volcanic regions. The fluid and heat release at the poles acts in different ways, primarily altering sub-ice sheet temperatures. The resultant melting or ice loss is mistakenly used as indicators for climate change.
Many connections between Geology and Climate are explored and explained in this theory including but not limited to; El Nino formation in relation to the New Guinea / Solomon Island deep ocean geothermal high heat flow area, melting of the Arctic Ice Cap during the 2000-2007 time period in relation to the Mid-Arctic Rift System, and melting of the Antarctic Ice Sheet as related in relation to the West Antarctic Rift System.
The science of Climate is extremely complex and necessitates a multi-discipline approach including the effect of geological forces. It is hoped that this new theory would be a catalyst for future research and provide a platform to further bring together several branches of science; Geology, Climatology, Meteorology, and Biology.
Supplementary URL: www.plateclimatology.com