Retrospectacle: A Neuroscience Blog

University of Michigan geophysicist Shaopeng Huang has found that even layers deep in the Earth have felt the increased heat from global warming, terming the change “rocky fever.”

“Not to feel global warming, one would need to hide beneath 600 feet of rocks,” Huang said. “Although its causes are debatable, recent global warming is indisputable.”

Huang was part of a 2000 study, cited in the National Research Council report on global warming, which showed that the 20th century was the warmest of the last five centuries. Now, the temperature increase has been found to permeate subsurface rock.

Here’s the paper describing the data (PDF, subscription required). Abstract here, open access.

Comments

  1. #1 Eric Irvine
    July 16, 2006

    How can a couple of degrees of average extra heat transfer though all that rock and effect core temperatures (thousands of degrees) at all? It’s like adding a drop of boiling water to a glacier; it’s not gonna have any real effect.

    Besides, isn’t the crust deeper than “600 feet of rocks”? The heat isn’t permeating very deep compared to the actual depth of the Earth.

  2. #2 Rob Knop
    July 16, 2006

    “Not to feel global warming, one would need to hide beneath 600 feet of rocks,” Huang said. “Although its causes are debatable, recent global warming is indisputable.”

    Er… this may be pedantic, but 600 feet down is hardly the core of the Earth (as suggested by the title of the post).

    -Rob

  3. #3 Shelley Batts
    July 16, 2006

    Duly noted, Rob = title corrected.

    I couldn’t upload the paper as the file was too large, but i’m happy to email it to anyone who would like to read it in more detail.

  4. #4 Jane Shevtsov
    July 17, 2006

    I wonder how the subsurface microbes are liking it.