Thursday, June 26, 2008

Poles Are Hot

Saturn's polar aurora imaged by Hubble Space Telescope

Earth's changing climate is always on our mind. According to a newspaper, the North Pole is melting faster than usual, so fast that some scientists think it could melt completely. For the first time in recent memory the Northwest Passage between Atlantic and Pacific is navigable. This is not the first time the climate has changed, for Greenland was once green. Fossils found in the Arctic indicate that it was once home to turtles and even champsosaurs, creatures similiar to Australia's crocodiles.

Humans still put too much junk in the air. A US presidential candidate has proposed a 300 million dollar prize for a better car battery. His people must have been inspired by the Google X-Prize and NASA Centennial Challenges. These prizes nearly all end up being won. This would bring out every lab and backyard inventor until a battery was invented.

In research published by NATURE, scientists have found that the North Pole is home to massive volcanic eruptions. A 1999 event was a big as the eruption that buried Pompeii. The eruption occurred at a depth of 4000 meters beneath the Arctic. Previously scientists thought that explosive eruptions were impossible at such crushing depths. Though humans still put too much junk in the air, these eruptions may contribute to polar melting. Some of this research was done by Germany's Alfred Wegener Institute for Sea and Polar Research. Wegener spent much of his life arguing that the continents moved. Though he was ignored in his own time, Wegener's work led to the theory of plate tectonics.

In the Antarctic, we have found massive lakes thousands of feet beneath the ice. Existence of liquid water where sunlight never shines is proof of massive sources of heat. Though we think of them as cold, Earth's North and South poles are home to volcanic activity. As this blog has chronicled, we have found many examples of polar hot spots. Saturn's poles contain the highest temperatures of the surface. Most telling, the moon Enceladus contains a massive eruption of vapour at its South Pole. As we saw earlier this week, the heat is many times more than could be caused by "radioactive decay." Something is causing the poles of these highly diverse worlds to be hot.

Carl Brannen has pointed out this article:

Chemical clues point to dusty origin for Earth-like planets.

""To achieve this condition, the density of dust in the chondrule-forming regions of the early solar system must have been at least about 10 grams per cubic meter, and possibly much more. This is at least 100 times the densities considered by previous models of chondrule formation, which had assumed at most densities of only about 0.1 grams per cubic meter, and normally considerably less."

The biggest mystery about Earth is how it formed at all. Since Pierre Laplace scientists have theorised that planets collapsed from dust clouds. Particles colliding at orbital velocities will simply not stick together, unless those particles have the mass of mountains. Hypothesising that gas in deep Space could have densities near 10 grams per cubic meter just adds more epicycles.

The Big Bang created many billions of tiny Black Holes. If these little holes collided with dust clouds, they would trigger planetary formation like a pearl forming around a grain of sand. These Black Holes are too tiny to suck everything up, but the small amount they do eat produces radiation. That radiation would exit in polar jets, the classic sign of a singularity. If tiny Black Holes existed in planets they would tend to make the poles warmer, exactly as observed. A Black Hole woud also account for planetary magnetic fields and how planets first formed.

We know more about outer space than we do about Earth's interior. Our North Pole is warming at an alarming rate. Some of this warming might be due to volcanic activity. We have found such activity at the South Pole, and at the poles of Saturn and Enceladus. A planet 's core could easily conceal mysteries like a Black Hole.

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