Magnetism: From Neuroscience to Climate Change?

By Neuroskeptic | October 16, 2015 7:50 am
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(Credit: NASA Goddard Space Flight Center)

A few weeks ago, a pair of Canadian scientists, David Vares and Michael Persinger, published a paper concluding that climate change is not caused by carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions from burning fossil fuels, as most people believe.

Instead, they say, global warming and the rise in CO2 are both caused by decreases in the strength of the earth’s magnetic field: Earth’s Diminishing Magnetic Dipole Moment is Driving Global Carbon Dioxide Levels and Global Warming.

 

Why is a neuroscience blogger like me writing about a climate science paper? Because the senior author, Michael Persinger, is a well-known neuroscientist.

Persinger is a professor at Laurentian University in Canada. He’s perhaps best known for this researches in the field of “neurotheology“, the study of the neural basis of religious experiences. Much of his work has focussed on magnetic phenomena and their influence on the brain.

In the new paper, Vares and Persinger report a correlation between the strength of the earth’s magnetic dipole moment, atmospheric CO2, and global temperatures.

vares_persinger

Then again, this is just a correlation, and correlation is not causation. A correlation exists between CO2 levels and any other variable which has increased or decreased since 1980, such as, say, the average ticket price at American cinemas. It seems unlikely that movie tickets affect the atmosphere directly.

To provide a direct causal link between the diminishing of the earth’s magnetic field and increasing atmospheric CO2 levels, Vares and Persinger cite a 2008 paper that found that magnetism affects the solubility of CO2 in water. With a weaker field, CO2 would become less soluble in the oceans and some would be released into atmosphere.

However, as John Mashey (who brought this paper to my attention) pointed out to me, the cited 2008 paper explicitly rejects the idea that geomagnetism can explain global warming (although acknowledging that it might exacerbate it):

The magnitude of the [geomagnetic-CO2] mechanism is small compared to the magnitude of the preponderant mechanisms driving the exchange of carbon between ocean and atmosphere, such as water temperature, biological pumping, overturning circulation… it would be preposterous to make the weakening Earth’s magnetic field responsible for global warming.

Vares and Persinger go on to say that although CO2 is rising, this in itself “does not cause global warming”. Instead, they say that the change in energy associated with the Earth’s changing magnetic field “translates into an equivalent temperature” and this may relate to climate change.

However, I believe there is a serious error in their calculation here. Vares and Persinger write (my emphasis) that

If the CO2 increases into the atmosphere from the sea water because of the diminished magnetic field are associated with the increased temperature, then that energy should translate into an equivalent temperature. Applying the classic definition that 4.18 J is required to increase 1 cc (10^−6 m3) of water 1˚C at standard temperature and pressure (STP), then the total energy within the 5.1 x 10^18 m3 will be 2.1 x 10^13 J.

With 1.72 x 10^13 J equivalence available from the change, the analogous temperature shift will be 1.2˚C. This implies that there is an equilibrium system by which the removal of the source energy is related quantifiably to the increase or decrease of the two connected variables. Thus, the equivalent value of the 1.2˚C would be reflected in the increase due to the release of CO2.

4.18 J of energy are required to raise the temperature of 1 cc (ml) of water by 1˚C. There are 10^6 (one million) cc in one m3 (cubic meter) volume. Therefore in order to raise the temperature of 5.1 x 10^18 m3 of water, we require 4.18 x 5.1 x 10^18 x 10^6 = 2.131 x 10^25 J. Vares and Persinger state this value as 2.1 x 10^13 J, which is too small by 12 orders of magnitude. The error is that they appear to have multiplied by 10^ -6 instead of 10^6.

So I believe that the proposed “equivalence” between the amount of energy provided by the Earth’s magnetic field, and the amount of energy needed to cause global warming, is an error. Global temperatures have in fact risen by a bit less than 1 ˚C since 1970. If I’m right, the change in magnetic energy would in fact only heat the oceans by 0.0000000000012 ˚C, not 1.2˚C as Vares and Persinger state.

I’m not a climate scientist, but this seems to me like a problem for the attempt to suggest a causal link to underlie the correlation that Vares and Persinger report.

Dr Persinger made the following comments in response to a draft of this post:

Vares and Persinger agree that correlation is not necessarily causation. The latter can only be discerned by direct experimentation. That “correlation is not causation” can be applied to any discipline of science, from medicine to geophysics. However when correlations are extraordinarily strong such as the relationship between downward global magnetic dipole drift and upward global carbon dioxide and water temperature new interpretations can be examined quantitatively.

The energy associated with a diminished ~2.9 microTesla within the space occupied by the 5.1·1018 m3 within 10 km of ocean calculates to be 1.7 x 10^13 Joules. For comparison Knox and Douglass (International Journal of Geosciences, 2010, 1, 99-101) showed that the earth’s global warming trend was between 0.09 Watts per meter squared to 0.63 Watts per meter squared. When applied over the surface of the terrestrial oceans the values are 10^13 Joules per second to 10^15 Joules per second.  This is the same range as our calculations and suggests but does not prove that the loss of energy from diminished magnetic dipole may be contributing to the increased global warming trend.

Calculations for specific quantities of water require that the numbers of seconds elapsed during the decades of the diminished dipole must be multiplied by the diminished dipole energy. There within lies the test of the validity of the contribution of the warming trend. The original paper can be found in the International Journal of Geosciences, 2015, 6, 846-852. Vares and Persinger have provided insights to a working manuscript where the important component of any correlation, time, is investigated.

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  • D Samuel Schwarzkopf

    The correlation plot at the top of your post reminded me of this hilarious website…
    http://www.tylervigen.com/spurious-correlations

    • Bill C

      Well it’s possible the correlations aren’t entirely spurious. There is a pretty good correlation with earth spin rate and global average temperature change. But if you try to use the former to predict the latter you have to invoke, like, resonance in multiple universes (or make errors like 1/E6 instead of 1E6) to get the right magnitude of the effect.

  • S. Hawkins
    • John C

      I knew it.

    • http://therightplanet.com/ Brent P.

      Broccoli.

    • HarryWiggs

      I hope this is a Poe….;)

      • John Mashey

        No, it isn’t. I looked at some of their other publications.

        • HarryWiggs

          I was afraid you might report it wasn’t…;(

    • http://chieftain20.wordpress.com/ chieftain20

      Up you go!

  • Aurvara

    So is the magnetic field’s diminishing strength responsible for New Atheism?
    I can see it now. How the Earth’s diminishing magnetic field strength causes a rise in global temperature and a fall in belief in god.
    A climate science and neurotheology twofor.

    • Shen Penn

      Some people are claiming they can reduce the belief in God by applying magnetic impulses to the brain. Is this valid research?

    • Jordan Gray

      “If God is real then why is there suffering?”
      “Well, if you’d like to know, the Bible says ‘abc’, and ‘xyz’.”
      “HA! Anything else you say/said is now false, you bigoted loon!”
      (don’t look up ‘bigot’)

  • http://www.mazepath.com/uncleal/qz4.htm Uncle Al

    If you are not a subsidized victim, then you are a paying fool. Hey there, Social Justice warriors determined to make the World right, Youtube v=RDqTwSO1DDc (If 8 seconds discredits your dogma, you’ve got bad trouble with your outrage.)

    Social Justice reveals the evils of society to be not merely capitalism and technology, but reason itself. Civilization is alienation from nature creating inequality among all men. Youtube v=7W33HRc1A6c Only the Carbon Tax on Everything can save us! Double it, triple it! Reduce all oxidative civilization by 80%. End civilization, have no effect on Klimate Kaos (pathological right ordinate scale)

    http://news.sciencemag.org/sites/default/files/warming_05.jpg

  • John Mashey

    Skeptical Science website has a good list of wrong arguments at http://www.skepticalscience.com/fixednum.php
    but this one is too new (and too silly) to be included yet.

    It falls into the gremlins+leprechauns group, i.e.:

    a) An idea is proposed to account for global warming,often a correlation without causation, but more specifically, either there is no physical mechanism or the numbers don’t work, or both.
    Thus, gremlins are doing it.

    b) at the same time, by some unknown mechanism, leprechauns magically nullify the well-understood Greenhouse Effect, data on human generation of CO2, oceanacidification, etc, etc.

    • Archangel Raphael

      Jeffery Beall is NOT the end all

      PhDUH

      Persinger has been studying the BRAIN for most of his career and a librarian called Jeff gets to be judge and jury of a competing data source?

      do you know what censorship is?
      its many incarnations … borne of ignorance?

      it is rife in the world you live in

      • http://blogs.discovermagazine.com/neuroskeptic/ Neuroskeptic

        M. Persinger has been studying the BRAIN for most of his lengthy career

        Indeed he has, but this post is about his work on the climate, which is rather different from the brain.

        • Archangel Raphael

          wow
          now I see what

  • AndyK

    What’s dangerous here is that you have authors who do not understand geophysics–they may well be brilliant neuroscientists, but I have no idea. Their retrieved magnetic data is from a single site–the Boulder, CO geomagnetic observatory. Earth’s field is not a simple dipole–on large it is, but huge fluctuations occur that diverge from the standard dipole model. Diminishing magnitude (if it even exists, but I haven’t looked at the data) at one site is statistically meaningless for a ‘global reduction’ in dipole moment. For reference, they’re looking at about a 3000 nT reduction since 1970; Earths global field varies from something like 30000 nT to 70000 nT depending on where you are. I would need to look at the data, but it’s very possible that the apparent reduction in dipole moment is caused by magnetic polar wander (movement of the magnetic pole over time–the same reason the declination needs to be reprinted on maps periodically).

    I cannot believe this passed peer review, especially in a geoscience journal. Their results, based solely on the magnetic data, are statistically meaningless.

    • John Mashey

      It’s in a SCIRP jounral.
      Again, read what Jeffrey Beall says of SCIRP:
      http://scholarlyoa.com/?s=scirp

      NS linked to other infromation on PErsinger, which may be helpful.

      • AndyK

        Indeed, I wasn’t even touching that one. ‘SCIRP. Nuff said.’

        • Archangel Raphael

          Andy K do you believe in jesus?

  • John C

    This sounds like one of Bernie Sanders’ theories.

  • Dan Riley

    So, according to their reply, 10^13 J/(30 years) is the same range as 10^13 J/sec? Only they want (30 years)*10^13 J (clearly nonsense). Combined with the 10^6 vs. 10^-6 mistake, this suggests (but does not prove) the authors don’t understand the difference between multiplication and division.

  • From Morocco

    Thanks to Gold Open Access, predatory journals causing havoc in developing countries and reveal pseudoscientists.

    What if we create a database containing the names of pseudoscientists?

  • george

    i just talk about new science mostly. for an example, the molecular density of carbon dioxide decreases when bombarded. the mass loss and energy can be found on step by step basis. using the equation

    E=mc^3-sqr(pi*V!)

    someone check my math.

  • Maida Emir

    It should be considered a huge component in the climatic change caused by the change of inclination of the axis of the earth, as described in the http://www.planetseed.com/pt-br/relatedarticle/sol-e-terra-e-mudanca-de-temperatura, and the recent information about this a http://www.dn.pt/ciencia/interior/nasa_diz_que_sismo_no_chile_mudou_o_eixo_da_terra_video_1508820.html.

    • HarryWiggs

      The axial tilt and orbital effects on climate are well-understood, and are not the major component of the current warming. In fact, were it not for anthropogenic inputs, we would be cooling. We are *incontrovertibly* not cooling.

  • Randy Shelly

    Your calculations are correct. Aside from the mathematical error, their conclusions defied common sense, given the weakness of Earth’s magnetic field.

  • Marc

    Isn’t the idea that climate change is man-caused likewise primarily a matter only of correlation?

    • http://blogs.discovermagazine.com/neuroskeptic/ Neuroskeptic

      The difference is that there is a known mechanism by which
      CO2 could cause climate change. Whereas there is no plausible mechanism for geomagnetic changes (at least not in this paper, as I showed with my recalculation.)

      • http://oldephartte.blogspot.ca/ opit

        “a known mechanism by which

        CO2 could cause climate change.” That’s missing in action around here. What do you have ?

  • Overburdened_Planet

    “The error is that they appear to have multiplied by 10^ -6 instead of 10^6.”

    Earth’s Weakening Magnetic Field Linked to Math Error

  • Overburdened_Planet

    With a decrease in the number of pirates, there has been an increase in global warming over the same period.

    Therefore, global warming is caused by pirates.

    • Archangel Raphael

      IF you factor in ignorance, the reasons for global warming will increase exponentially, therefore we do not know what causes it, in fact some PhD are willing to stake their reputations on the line and suggest the sun and universe is ‘electrical’ not ‘nuclear’.

      Einstein’s theories are based on the ‘aether’ not being detectable
      What if he was wrong about the aether which eastern beliefs link to the atma?

      what is the atma?
      it is the entry level learning curve for a scientist into the metaphysical realm where consciousness is debated and they MUST leave their blackboard jungle + evolution + math behind….

      • Overburdened_Planet

        You had me at “IF you factor in ignorance…”

        Consciousness causes global warming?

        Fascinating…

  • wangweilin

    I always thought the sun was the largest contributor to global heat…. No sun, no heat. Problem solved.

    • DL

      The sun is a superfluous influence. The main cause of the global warming is tax dollars given out to prove there is global warming. Would you like a few million dollars? Just start a study proving it and the government will rejoyce and tax you until the warming goes away!

      • HarryWiggs

        I’ll assume you’re just joking. For now….

        • DL

          Only on the sun comment. The sun is definitly THE major influence on our climate. The tax dollar part is much too true. There are several Universities that have been caught fudging their data in order to maintain their grants. Uncle Sam doesn’t pay them to counter their agenda. Sad but true.

          • HarryWiggs

            The sun is most definitely the main heat source the planet has, but it is NOT to proximate cause of our anthropogenic influence on the post-industrial heating of the planet. “Uncle Sam” isn’t in the business, nor is it even all that interested, in funding fudged data., such as it exists. The lion’s share of the current data is, sad but true, in support of the FACT we are the proximate cause of the devastation we are seeing, and will see.

          • DL

            You underestimate the greedy and power hungry politicians in our country/world. Just as Al Gore invented the Internet, other politicians have taken the concept of global warming/climate change and latched onto it to further their agendas. The Earth has many times had more CO2 in it than now. The Earth is still here, still has animals and vegetation, etc. Water vapor is by far the greatest green house gas by a factor of over 1000 times so why not vilify it? The absurdity that a rise of less than .002% atmospheric concentration would be of concern. The present concentration of ~ 400 PPM is far less than past peaks of over 8000 PPM in the past. However, if CO2 is your view, then why not consider deforestation a major culprit since vegetation consumes CO2? Another factoid to consider, the latest Icelandic volcanic eruption put enough CO2, methane, and other green house gases into the air to equal over 5 years worth of man made green house gases and polutants. Considering that there are many volcanoes erupting continuously all the time, it makes man’s CO2 polutions seem trivial.

          • HarryWiggs

            All the answers to your incorrect assumptions about the role of CO2 and water vapor are contained in these links..that is, if you REALLY care to learn, and aren’t, as I strongly suspect, are only interested in tin foil-hatted ‘gummint’ conspiracies, and also as an outright denier.

            http://pubs.giss.nasa.gov/abs/la09300d.html

            http://hvo.wr.usgs.gov/volcanowatch/archive/2007/07_02_15.html

            http://www.skepticalscience.com/co2-higher-in-past-intermediate.htm

            http://climate.nasa.gov/evidence/

            For those *actually* interested in the credible science, and not in nutjob conspiracy theories, enjoy the links!

          • DL

            By reading your links it only affirms that our climatologist are only guessing the approximate effect of CO2 on climate change. One of the clues is the oft used phrase “and other greenhouse gases”. Just maybe next year they’ll find that the “other greenhouse gases” play a bigger role than first realized. One study took as an example “the last 650,000 years”. Hmm. Less than a 1% sampling. If I were to submit work with less than a 1% sampling I would be fired and/or laughed out of the office. The fact that the climate is changing is not the issue. The issue is why. Frankly, we don’t know. There are way too many variables to point a finger at just one. On a lighter note, I do appreciate some of the results of our atttempt to “clean up” the earth’s atmosphere. Particulates are a major concern in populated areas and along travel routes. Just look how much “junk” goes into the air from diesel engines. Like semi’s, trains, buses, ships, and let us not forget about airplanes. I remember the days when I could not see from one side of downtown Cincinnati to the other. A distance of only 6 to 8 city blocks. The black coal goo dripping down the sides of buildings. Now, it is easy to see the whole city from the overlooks in the parks overlooking the city. Man is a great polluter but I don’t believe he has mastered climate change, yet. But maybe that is part of the problem. We think we can actually change climate by throwing a few chemicles into the air. Maybe we should try that cloud seading again and see how that turns out. And maybe a tin foil hat is in order, as well as a tin foil shirt and pants, to protect me from cell phone radiation. I have read that they cause cancer. Nothing like a little unshielded microwave in your pocket. 😉 I would venture to say that neither of us is likely to change our minds any time soon. All we can do is wait and see but I doubt if we will live another few hundred or thousands of years to see the answer. A side note though, Cincinnati has been getting cooler the last few years. This year there were only 5 days above 90. We used to get that many above 100 when I was a kid. The hot and cold places move around from time to time.

          • http://oldephartte.blogspot.ca/ opit

            Particulate emissions from diesels may seem offensive, but I remember tanks blowing off a bunch of smoke on startup and only causing coughing. Increasing heat of formation to reduce particulate intensity seems to have had the not so wonderful effect of vastly increased toxicity for the particles formed by the higher heat process !
            oldephartte@gmail.com
            opit@operamail.com

          • wangweilin

            Inasmuch as various government labs and scientist have been caught fudging the data, I find your faith in them disturbing. Over 95% of model predictions have been incorrect. For example, Artic and Antarctic ice levels are building above average. Oh yeah, the North Pole was supposed to be ice free by now. See Denmark’s data. I would think they know something about ice…

          • wangweilin
          • wangweilin

            If you look over geological time scales you find the planet has had higher CO2 levels with very vibrant and lush ecologies. So CO2 is not a problem. Also if you look at temperature vs CO2 over geologic timeframes you see temperature rise leads CO2 rise. Yet today you have a whole industry devoted to the opposite theory of CO2 rising before temperature. CO2 levels 6700 years ago were quite lower than today, but temperatures were relatively the same. CO2 as a ‘destroyer’ of the environment is bogus.

      • wangweilin

        Oh now I understand. Where do I sign up? /S

      • http://oldephartte.blogspot.ca/ opit

        Go to the IPCC website and read the part where they declare they do no scientific research. Rather they provide briefing papers to governments based on the supposition of co2 emissions causing uncontrolled thermal change of dramatic proportions….and declare no proof is necessary.
        Since they cannot predict the past through modeling – let alone the future – you can understand their reluctance to talk about their shaky premises.

  • siempre44

    The very same arguments about association vs causality can be made about CO2 and climate in general.
    The best association is to correlate money to the whole warming scam. The more money to be made by creating a scam, the more the scam is increased. Since the Earth has been gradually warming for 10000 years, this is a perfect scam since it just scares people with the status quo. After all, warming gradually is the prevailing climate , cooling would be climate change.

    • http://blogs.discovermagazine.com/neuroskeptic/ Neuroskeptic

      The difference is that there is a highly plausible mechanism by which CO2 could cause climate change, indeed it would be difficult to explain how a large increase in CO2 would not cause some degree of warming.

      Whereas there is no plausible mechanism for geomagnetic changes.

      • siempre44

        Actually, current climate studies have actually moved CO2 away from being a main climate driver. The whole greenhouse idea is actually a much more subtle climate driver because Earth has a thin atmosphere. Realize Earth’s atmosphere is so thin that the temp goes down 3 degrees Fahrenheit for every 1000 feet of elevation on average.
        Whether the magnetic field could affect climate shift is a new theory and I haven’t read the original paper to comment. But, realize the climate journals are publishing new theories because the actual science is breaking through the politics of the warming scam so alternate ideas can once again be published. CO2 is simply too weak a gas to actually drive main climate change and so new ideas of what drives climate are needed and are getting into the literature.

    • Lotharsson

      …except the Earth has NOT been “gradually warming for 10000 years”. The last 8000 years or so have been an interglacial period characterised by gradual COOLING after a much faster (in geological terms) period of warming that marked the transition from glacial to interglacial period.

      The “scam” is apparently so perfect that it requires counter-factual assertions.

      • siempre44

        Well you are right about this being a perfect scam …and the scam will last as long as people don’t look at real science. Your statement of the huge variability over 1000’s of years within the greater trend is an excellent argument against the warming scam . As you point out, there are multiple small climate shifts lasting 1000s of years, not the ridiculous 200 years since fossil fuels have even been used.Fossil fuels really didn’t become commonly used until WW1 , so to ascribe warming to them means there would need to be a massively high signal continuing to rise but we have 20 years of no rise so even within the tiny sample of the last 100 years the trend doesn’t hold. But, as you point out, real climate trends are measured in millennia, not years or decades.

        • Lotharsson

          You’ve attributed a number positions to me based on my comment were neither asserted nor implied. One such position is the polar opposite of the implication that I made and others are completely made up. In doing so you have quite bizarrely adopted my comment – the one that points out evidence undermining your “perfect scam” notion – as evidence *supporting* your “scam” idea.

          I think my work here is done.

    • John Mashey

      ” Since the Earth has been gradually warming for 10000 years,”

      False.
      Marcott et al(2013)
      http://www.realclimate.org/index.php/archives/2013/09/paleoclimate-the-end-of-the-holocene/comment-page-2

      PAGES2K
      http://thinkprogress.org/climate/2013/07/08/2261531/most-comprehensive-paleoclimate-reconstruction-confirms-hockey-stick/

      Earth was slowly cooling, as expected, although less fast than usual during an interglacial, until Indutrial Revoltuion.

      For a great explanation of the effects, see William Ruddiman, Earth Transformed (2013).

  • Lotharsson

    I’m no physicist but I did some undergraduate physics decades ago and I think these guys are fairly careless and either fairly confused or lacking understanding of what they do not understand – and not just with respect to their willingness to completely ignore all of the physical evidence that undermines some of their key unsubstantiated assertions. (The assertion that, if one of their assumptions holds, “most of the [additional] CO2 will originate from this source [the ocean, released due to declining magnetic field intensity] rather than exclusively human activity” is a truly impressive head in the sand moment ignoring considerable evidence that essentially all of the additional CO2 in that period is due to human activity. There is more head in the sand with their implicit waving away of the the greenhouse gas effect itself, despite the fundamental properties driving the warming effect being easily measured in a lab. Mentioning “global warming on Mars” gets an honourable mention too.)

    As others have pointed out they appear to generalise magnetic data from one location to the whole globe, then calculate the corresponding change in magnetic field energy (due to field intensity changes over 32 or 33 years) in the volume occupied by a simplified geometric model of the oceans, and calculate the number of *additional* CO2 molecules resident in a similar simple model of the atmosphere at the end of that period – and then it gets really weird. I *think* they’re trying to find a way to claim that the drop in magnetic field energy in the ocean is large enough (if redirected entirely) to power the process of liberating all the extra CO2 molecules from ocean into atmosphere. However *if* that’s what they’re doing they tie themselves up in knots trying to calculate it. Then they more or less handwave away the fact that the energy change they identify is about 10^7 times too small to liberate all the molecules they identify. They work around that problem by arguing that each molecule has about 10^7 times more than the average energy change for about 10^-7s, which might be dubious (especially since it isn’t substantiated in any way). However, even that calculation is badly botched because they do it over one second by making the erroneous argument that “The implicit assumption for J conversions is the temporal unit of one second” when they are (a) not doing a “J conversion” and (b) talking about a 33 years period rather than one second. Via that error they assign units of “seconds” to (what seem to be an implied) calculation that should either be unitless or should be larger by a factor of about 10^9. And that argument (if that is their argument) implies that the process momentarily piles up extra energy in a CO2 molecule (10^7 times the average energy thought to be available) to get the molecule into the atmosphere, and then pretty much all of that molecule’s extra energy somehow ends up back in the ocean (and the process repeats 10^7 times, and none of that extra energy goes anywhere else for long enough to bother mentioning!)

    That explanation for what they’re doing seems consistent with this:

    “If the CO2 increases into the atmosphere from the sea water because of the diminished magnetic field are associated with the increased temperature, then that energy should translate into an equivalent temperature [of the ocean].”

    I guess if you reckon your extra energy can be recycled 10^7 times over without any of it being lost elsewhere then you can assume it all remains in the ocean at the end of the process. If you also ignore the greenhouse gas (and any number of other) effects entirely you might then conclude that “This implies that there is an equilibrium system by which the removal of the source energy is related quantifiably to the increase or decrease of the two connected variables”.

    Well, that could be argued if the errors in the preceding discussion could be fixed, and there was a good reason to believe that there are only two connected variables…

    So would English as a second language be a factor that might explain some of the apparent incoherence and dubious physical statements? And are we entirely sure this is not a hoax paper?

    • John Mashey

      Yes, we are sure this is not a hoax paper. I’ve looked at other work of theirs.

      • Archangel Raphael

        comment deleted

  • Lotharsson

    Just to pile on to my previous comment, the Vares and Persinger response
    to the draft blog post appears to double down on the same category error – that of either confusing Joules for Watts (or confusing one second for thirty something years). They say “The [change in magnetic field] energy
    associated with … 10 km of ocean calculates to be 1.7 x
    10^13 Joules. …the earth’s global warming trend was between 0.09
    Watts per
    meter squared to 0.63 Watts per meter squared. When applied over the
    surface of the terrestrial oceans the values are 10^13 Joules per second
    to 10^15 Joules per second”. They continue that “This is the same range as our calculations…”, which is patently incorrect as one cannot validly compare Joules to Joules per seconds.

    They go on to argue that “Calculations for specific quantities of water require that the numbers
    of seconds elapsed during the decades of the diminished dipole must be
    multiplied by the diminished dipole energy”, but I suspect this is constitutes a different category error – the units of such a calculation would be Joule.seconds, not Joules and not Joules per second.

    If we wish to attempt to correct those category errors so that we can validly compare the two quantities they cite, we can note that their paper addresses a 32 or 33
    year period which is about 10^9 seconds. Over that period 10^13 to 10^15
    Joules per second amounts to 10^22 to 10^24 Joules in total. Over that period
    they say the magnetic field energy change only amounts 10^13 Joules. Accordingly, even a
    back of the envelope calculation should have suggested that the magnetic
    field change was a billion times too small to account for
    observed ocean global warming (even if we assume that all of the energy change in the magnetic field ends up as ocean thermal energy – and it’s still far too small even if we restrict the resulting ocean warming to the top 1% of the model ocean they used).

  • Lotharsson

    Just to pile on to my previous comment, the Vares and Persinger response to the draft blog post appears to double down on the same category error – that of either confusing Joules for Watts, or confusing one second for thirty something years. (That assumes I haven’t misunderstood something fundamental in their argument which is always possible, especially as it is rather imprecisely expressed at a number of points.)

    They say “The [change in magnetic field] energy associated with … 10 km of ocean calculates to be 1.7 x 10^13 Joules. …the earth’s global warming trend was between 0.09 Watts per meter squared to 0.63 Watts per meter squared. When applied over the surface of the terrestrial oceans the values are 10^13 Joules per second to 10^15 Joules per second”. They continue that “This is the same range as our calculations…”, which is patently incorrect as one cannot validly compare Joules to Watts (Joules per second).

    They go on to argue that “Calculations for specific quantities of water require that the numbers of seconds elapsed during the decades of the diminished dipole must be multiplied by the diminished dipole energy”, but this appears to comprise a different category error – the units of such a calculation would presumably not be Joules nor Joules per second but rather Joule.seconds.

    If we wish to attempt to correct those category errors so that we can validly compare the two quantities they cite, we can note that their paper addresses a 32 or 33 year period which is about 10^9 seconds. Over that period 10^13 to 10^15 Joules per second amounts to 10^22 to 10^24 Joules in total. Over that period they say the magnetic field energy change only amounts 10^13 Joules. Accordingly, even a back of the envelope calculation should have suggested that the magnetic field change was a billion times too small to account for observed ocean global warming (even if we assume that all of the energy change in the magnetic field ends up as ocean thermal energy – and it’s still far too small even if we restrict the resulting ocean warming to the top 1% of the model ocean they used).

    • http://blogs.discovermagazine.com/neuroskeptic/ Neuroskeptic

      Great comment. I agree that the new J/second based calculation does not appear to be compatible with the published J based one.

      Sorry that your comment got caught in spam, by the way.

  • John Mashey

    This is an annotated version of the paper I sent NS a while back.
    The paper was so silly in so many ways I didn’t bother to check the math, so I missed the gaffe NS found.
    http://www.desmogblog.com/sites/beta.desmogblog.com/files/Vares.persinger.2015.IJG_2015080715030672.pdf

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  • Archangel Raphael

    I think most scientists are ignorant to a fault, and it is their own fault.

    There is clear evidence that the magnetic field of the earth rises and falls, and it appears that civilizations rise and fall as a result of this force.

    https://i0.wp.com/i98.photobucket.com/albums/l280/kachina2012/Codex4/4%20AGES%20Models%20DNA/Untitled.jpg
    And there is further evidence that this rise and fall [like a sine wave] corresponds and can be mapped alongside the precession of the equinox cycle, and their is further evidence that the ancients coded and tracked these cycles too.

    Therefore a ‘bible prophecy’ based on the EM field of the earth might in fact be credible too.

    selah V

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  • http://batman-news.com Fabio

    At the beginning of World War II, Hedy Lamarr and composer George Antheil developed a radio guidance system for Allied torpedoes, which used spread spectrum and frequency hopping technology to defeat the threat of jamming by the Axis powers. So according to your logic given she was only an actress she had no basis in working on such technology given they weren’t related. Now are we casting highbrow aspersions only to discredit a theory that doesn’t fit your narrative?

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Neuroskeptic

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Neuroskeptic is a British neuroscientist who takes a skeptical look at his own field, and beyond. His blog offers a look at the latest developments in neuroscience, psychiatry and psychology through a critical lens.

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