Monday, March 7, 2016

{5b} Earth's Earliest Climate - By Angela Hessler

This is Repost from my mud wrestling blog WUWTW.  It's my attempt to systematically explore and describe this Global Heat and Moisture Distribution Engine that sustains us all.

I believe unfamiliarity with our planet's life story is at the root of society's inability to grasp serious climate science.  This in turn makes people frighteningly gullibility when it comes to falling for the most pathetic of con jobs that the Republican/libertarian PR Machine keep producing and broadcasting.

Listen to them deny basic Earth observations and geophysical fundamentals, or that favorite, denying the science by attacking messengers in order to ignore the scientific information.   It's like the Inhofes and Kochs and Christies and Lindzens, all them, possess a mind's eye concept of our planet with the depth of a post card.  

No appreciation whatsoever for the complexity of what we have here, or the eons of evolutionary "tinkering" that created this fantastic planet we were born into.  Nor any conception of the massive momentum that goes into our weather systems and global circulation patterns.  All they can see from within their protective bubble is resources to consume, power and money.  That their attitude is infantile and suicidal don't seem to matter.

That's why I started this project , because I wanted to share some of the learning process that's gone into building my own understanding and appreciation of evolution and in turn our climate system.  Admittedly I'm no scholar, but I sure am a student of my Earth and have some valuable information to share.  I challenge you to try and do a better job.  Please!

In this fifth installment I rely on an expert to present an excellent summation of the state of our understanding regarding the evolution of our climate system.  Ironically, after I finally finished working on condensing Dr. Angela Hessler's paper, (not an easy task for such a compactly written report), I started researching getting permission to post this, only to find the following:
TERMS OF USE - You may reproduce this material, without modifications, in print or electronic form for your personal, non-commercial purposes or for non-commercial use in an educational environment.
Well, okay if that's how it's got to be, he says with a smile, I wasn't feeling that good about my trimming anyways.  I did venture to highlight key sentences.  With no further ado, here's Dr. Angela Hessler's informed grand tour of the evolution of our climate system.

Earth's Earliest Climate
By: Angela M. Hessler | now with the Deep Time Institute  
(Chevron Energy Technology Company) © 2011 Nature Education 

Citation: Hessler, A. M. (2011) Earth’s Earliest Climate. Nature Education Knowledge 3(10):24

When we discuss climate change today, we are mostly concerned with how such change will impact our environment and our lives. We look to the past to help understand climate cycles and how our current anthropogenic changes fit into natural change. Even more, we look to the past to help us find solutions.

Perhaps the most compelling reason to understand “deep-time” climate change is in how it relates to the origin and evolution of life on Earth, and possibly beyond. Despite the stark differences between today’s world and that of the Archean, it is clear that at both times, climate has impacted — and been impacted by — life on Earth.

This paper will take you as far back in the climate record as is currently possible, to the Archean Eon, from 3.9 to 2.5 billion years ago (Bya) (Figure 1). Peering so deeply back in time, far beyond the resolution of many isotope analysis methods, we invariably lose the details about climate and atmosphere chemistry that we can achieve — for instance, analyzing 500,000 year-old gas bubbles in Antarctic ice cores. Instead, we must ask fundamental questions: What was Earth’s surface like? Was its climate hot? Was it icy? Was there a greenhouse effect? For answers, we look to three far-flung Archean terranes.

Isua in West Greenland, Barberton in South Africa, and Pilbara in Western Australia.