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Lake of molten carbon causes hysterical outgassing by warmists

Comes a report that a lake of molten carbon underlies vast stretches of the western U.S.

This is scientifically fascinating. This is the kind of awesome information earth sciences geeks live for. When I was a little kid, I’d have been right on this, learning everything I could and probably hoping it would be possible to dive down and explore the lake someday.

Maybe this is also terrifying when you consider that it’s roughly (very roughly) centered on the Yellowstone supervolcano and covers areas that have been buried in almost unthinkably thick, vast lava flows at at times in their histories.

So how are we supposed to react? I’ll tell you how we’re supposed to react: “Eeek! Eeek! Climate change! If molten carbon ever gets loose, it’ll cause warming!”

People … people. If this discovery is accurate, and if large quantities of molten carbon or gaseous byproducts of molten carbon ever do get set loose … I assure you that warming will be the least of your worries.

In the meantime, enjoy the wondrous human capacity for discovering the unseen.

(H/T MtK)


  1. Bill St. Clair
    Bill St. Clair February 16, 2017 11:38 am

    Uh. Don’t we usually call molten carbon “oil”?

  2. Pat
    Pat February 16, 2017 11:45 am

    Very interesting.

    “Experts say there is a one in 700,000 annual chance of a volcanic eruption at the site. [Yellowstone]”

    We should be thankful that Yellowstone “boils over” so frequently and regularly. It may act as a pressure cooker release.

    That is one huge territory…

  3. Joel
    Joel February 16, 2017 12:46 pm

    I can picture the writer thinking, “Damned Americans, they’ll destroy the earth yet” and looking in vain for ways to work that angle into the article…

  4. Comrade X
    Comrade X February 16, 2017 2:26 pm

    “one in 700,000” well that should be enough reason by itself to spend a few trillion dollars to fix, don’t ya know.

  5. just waiting
    just waiting February 16, 2017 2:32 pm

    LOL Looks like one of those congressional districting maps

  6. david
    david February 16, 2017 3:24 pm

    @ Bill – coal is carbon also. But what I did not read in the linked story was whether or not this is burnable carbon. I mean, maybe when it chills it would turn to diamonds? Doubt it, but that carbon/oil/coal trinity caught my fancy immediately.

    Houston, we’re gonna need a new pipeline!

  7. Bill St. Clair
    Bill St. Clair February 16, 2017 6:34 pm

    I forgot my chemistry about carbon, so I looked it up.

    “At normal atmospheric pressure, carbon does not melt when heated, it sublimes. i.e. when heated, carbon undergoes a phase change directly from solid to gas. If the pressure is increased to 10 atmospheres carbon (graphite) is observed to melt at 3550 °C.”

    So if there is indeed a lake of molten carbon under Yellowstone, it’s very hot and at very high pressure.

    Oil is CnH2n+2, an assortment of hydrocarbons (

  8. R.L. Wurdack
    R.L. Wurdack February 17, 2017 7:40 am

    If we could tap that energy we wouldn’t have to worry about oil, but if it gets loose Fukishima will look like a walk in the park.

  9. Scott
    Scott February 17, 2017 5:05 pm

    Is this stuff sort of oil-to-be? Or coal-to-be? Just needs to cook for a few million years? Looks kinda like photos of those huge land carvings you see in the old Hot Rods of The Gods Von Daniken Aliens Did It books from the ’70s..

  10. John
    John February 17, 2017 6:10 pm

    June 2014 news pieces also had much about this find (aka speculative read) to intrigue the curious:

    May politics never blind all of us. We occupy an intriguing place.

    May the lamp of curiosity, awe, and wonder, not ever go out…

  11. Kristophr
    Kristophr February 18, 2017 9:51 am

    Drill into it, bring it up, add water to the hot carbon, get instant hydrocarbons. Why wait for the oil to form?

  12. pyrrhus
    pyrrhus February 18, 2017 11:51 am

    Yellowstone is more than a million years overdue for a super volcanic eruption, maybe this pool has something to do with that. BTW,if it’s pure carbon, it’s worthless as a fuel.

  13. Comrade X
    Comrade X February 18, 2017 1:34 pm

    All of this gives new meaning to me the next time I take a dip into a hot spring, maybe it might be good to test the waters a little first!

    The neatest one I ever visited was;

    However it was before there was a bridge over to it, which made it more of an adventure to get there and because of that now I understand there are a few too many people sometimes bringing along with it what a few too many people tend to add, like; bad attitudes, trash, e coli , etc.

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