What Esker and Noel have in common: planetary formation/buoyancy/atmospheric loss/surface expansion

For years, occasionally I mused on the  'expanding Earth hypothesis' (EEH), as an amateur. It is a fringe idea.

One reason was the continents do seem to fit together as the cover of a smaller Earth. A geologist  a hundred years before had blown up a balloon to illustrate the idea, but in the age of computers cartoonist Neal Adams has done the service of animating it.

 Don't be hung up that the continental shelves are not in the video (too much too explain).

The alternative, supercontinent theory, is seemingly ad hoc.  Having just one that broke up (called Pangaea)  did not do the trick. Apparently based on the need explain data like matching geologies on the parts of Antarctica to the otherwise-wrong places, there had to have been 5 or 6 super-continents that contorted themselves on the ocean (imagine a teenager making a snow angel and sliding on the snow as well).

part 2

There were dual questions involving dinosaurs ...
  • how could they have done the impossible and moved around?
  • why did they became extinct?
For this reason, most EEHs held that an increase in mass can happen at the center of  planets!

But it seemed to  most there was no reasonable way the Earth could have been gaining mass.

part 3

In this part I mention two more fringe theories.

Davie Esker's has a seemingly bizarre buoyancy hypothesis about the dinosaurs:
  1. 250 millions years ago Earth's atmosphere density was 2/3 that of water, and big animals just sort of floated around.
  2. that the thinning of the atmosphere caused the extinction of the dinosaurs (as well as the huge insects)
J Marvin Herndon's even-the-sun-was-a-gas-giant hypothesis (criticism)
  • the Sun and all four inner planets were gas giants,
  • the sun exploded and blew the atmospheres off the four inner planets

part 4

All this was why last week I blogged about David Noel's fringe mega-theory, including a EEH. opinion. He hypothesized that - among other things  - Earth's atmosphere then was like Venus' is now, (inter alia 90 times as dense).  It has virtues the other EEHs do not:
  • the inner planets don't have to be gas giants, they can be gas normals
  • no sun explosion is necessary, simply atmospheric bleed off (and accepted geology has the creation of the moon that could have triggered it)
  • no weird addition of mass at the center of the Earth
  • no need for the Earth to be expanding much at all now, a  natural end to expansion
  • two sources for EEH, atmospheric bleedoff, and growing tidal motions, putting lateral stress on the surface
  • minor expansion cracks on the moon due to it only having its bled over atmosphere for a while

part 5

Googling, I ran across this article about the same topic as this blog post from 18 months ago. This guy agrees there a problem with the mainstream but thinks along gravity/cosmology lines (sort of like I  used to), not realizing that recently discovered exoplanets have probably  busted the textbootk 'cold line' theory of planetary formation (gas giants have been spotted closer to stars than Earth is to the sun), probably leaving planetary formation up for grabs.

part 6 

Mars has expansionesque cracks, probably (that could be an other post), but no moon remotely big enough to explain atmospheric bleedoff...Not that I know anything ....  a NASA spacecraft did detect debris around Mars two tiny moons ... the asteroid belt is nearby .. maybe Mars small size meant its gas atmosphere was a) less dense b) doomed (especially with big asteroids flying by on a regular basis) leading to a bit of expansion, but not so much as bigger Earth with the thicker atmospheric, bleedoff and tidal rocking

part 7

One could, I suppose, look at this videocapture, which is someone rotating  the planet  on Google Earth using a Geology overlay showing the age of the crust.

He claims floods - you can turn down the sound.

part 8

back to Noel and Esker (remember them?) comparing the two air density claims:
  • buoyancy hypothesis:  an ancient air density about 520 times higher than now 
  • Noel EEH: an ancient air density 90 times higher than now


Was the Earth-moon barycenter once outside the Earth?

I recently read another 'expanding Earth' hypothesis. Again, from an Australian.:)

Anyway, this one is the most sensible so far.

From memory, with some garnish.

part one

The core hypothesis is that Venus is the norm for terrestrial planets, and that Earth billions of years ago was similar, namely thick atmosphere, very high in CO2, extreme barometric pressure (~90 times Earth), and basically no atmospheric oxygen.

Then the normative freak collision, a huge celestial object (that itself broke up) plowed through the atmosphere and got a big chunk of crust, too. Thus creating a vast halo of particulates which accreted into a moon.

Anyway here is where it gets interesting, with some of Noel's timing being uncertain (maybe because it is impossible).

The moon back then was closer (scientists agree), and if the Earth was also sufficiently smaller than it is now then the barycenter of the moon-Earth together would have been outside the Earth! Meaning as a pair they would technically have been dual planets.

But because Earth had an atmosphere, there would have been (for at least hundreds of millions of years) a shared gravity well, and the Earth's atmosphere would have bled over to the moon's.

Meanwhile the moon, being too small to retain lighter gases, would then have bled gas to outer space.

part two

Since the Earth would be slowly losing atmosphere, the barometric pressure at the surface would be constantly dropping. This would allow the gravity-compressed Earth to begin to expand. Cracks would form in the crust, destined to become oceans (inter alia: why current ocean floors are so young).

Noel does not say this, but maybe something about the special situation allowed edge-of-space micro-rain.

As I read it, this hypothesis holds the lowering surface barometric pressure allowed the creation of anaerobic life similar to coccolithophores. Namely protozoa that fixed CO2 with calcium (on the ground) into calcium carbonate.

This early life - Noel suggests - isolated oxygen. Which did not get a chance to all float into space ...

part three

Meanwhile the moon is still moving away. And the Earth is bigger. So eventually, the barycenter moves inside the Earth,  meaning the gravity well disappears, there is no more atmospheric bleed-over, and the planet has a true moon.

Thanks to new atmosphere, oxygen-based life appears, which fixes even more CO2 out of the air. 

Now here we are, hypothetically, on a planet that once had maybe as much as 95% CO2 in its atmosphere, but is now a trace gas.

  • I guess since CO2 is heavier than N or O, the surface barometric pressure would have continued to drop? Thus, even after the moon became a true moon, there would have been expansion, albeit at a a slower rate
  • re: micro-rain: the hydrogen for the water apparently from outer space (too light to be atmospheric), combining with the oxygen (freed up by the protozoa) only the H adding to Earth's mass, thus about 0.01% not 0.02%
  • in this Earth Expansion hypothesis (EEH) the expansion has a natural cessation point
  • the lithosphere being real, the loosest bit nearest the equator would move away the fastest, centrifugal force, hence the Himalayas -- the first EEH that is satisfying on this point
  • the onset (which the planet is still in) of glaciation not just because of the position of Antarctica but because of all the CO2 fixing?
  • All the changes guaranteed periodic mass extinctions. Poor Barney.
  • the planet has a vast amount of limestone. That from CO2 permanently fixed out of the atmosphere, the #volcanoes adding CO2 during the billions of year is unknown, ASFAIK

ADDED 2016-04-25

In 2013 famous NASA Venusian & Earth climatologist James Hansen clarified his remarks about Earth's potential future. Because his opinion is strikingly like an opposite of Noel's (and because, frankly, he is the type of negativist who sometimes turns out to be an opposite indicator) I will quote a big bit.
I get questions from the public about the Venus Syndrome: is there a danger of
'runaway' greenhouse warming on Earth leading to Venus-like conditions?”


“Venus today has a surface pressure of about 90 bars, compared with 1 bar on Earth. The Venus atmosphere is mostly CO2. The huge atmospheric depth and CO2 amount are the reason Venus has a surface temperature of nearly 500°C.”
“Venus and Earth probably had similar early atmospheric compositions, but on Earth the carbon is mostly in Earth's crust, not in the atmosphere. As long as Earth has an ocean most of the carbon will continue to be in the crust, because, although volcanoes inject crustal carbon into the atmosphere as CO2, the weathering process removes CO2 from the air and deposits it on the ocean floor as carbonates. Venus once had an ocean, but being closer to the Sun, its atmosphere became hot enough that hydrogen could escape from the upper atmosphere, as confirmed today by the extreme depletion on Venus of normal hydrogen relative to heavy hydrogen (deuterium), the lighter hydrogen being able to escape the gravitational field of Venus more readily.”
“Earth can "achieve" Venus-like conditions, in the sense of ~90 bar surface pressure, only after first getting rid of its ocean via escape of hydrogen to space”

As an amateur I am skeptical.

Note the 'similar early atmospheric compositions' bit. Hansen does not say what those are, precisely. (Noel has more guts). Then he changes tenses very quickly. He seems to want Earth as the more archetypal, with a kind of preCopernican feel.


where you think Life came from - where you think you came from

These questions are normally grouped separately as questions of evolutionary biology,  developmental psychology, and political ideology.

  1. how you think Life originated billions of year ago
  2. how you think your personality formed
  3. what you want society to be like

For the purpose of this post, I look at them as linked.

how did Life start?

  • abiogenisis, the athiest's choice (lightning hit a swamp or something)
  • God did it
  • you don't want to think about it

how does personality form?

  • genes + environment
  • God did it
  • you don't want to think about it

what should society be like?

  • one big nurturative safe space the world over, except for dissenters (whose careers should be destroyed)
  • everyone strives for themselves
  • you don't want to think about it
Long story short, I don't agree with any of these answers. 

What I think at this moment
  1. we would not fight over our beginning if humans weren't an admixture of different hominids (the simplest evidence is, the more admixtury a group is, the more they care)
  2. personality forms from original will, by each one of us, not a miracle but a phenomenon of what time is, what reality is
  3. 'society' is a secondary question which people are not ready for
this post is about spirituality. I mean it was. Since it is over.


It's 2016

FWIW Since I last posted on this blog I have changed some of my opinions.

And why is there no way to tab the first line of paragraphs?