Jun 26 2008

Global Warming – Or Simply Massive Under Sea Volcanoes? – Updated!

Published by at 2:14 pm under All General Discussions,Global Warming

Keep Checking Back For Updates Below!

One of the disconnects the Church of Al Gore/IPCC has yet to address regarding so-called Global Warming is why is it the Arctic ice extent is receding (thus all the chicken-little screams) while the Antarctic ice extent is growing at historic rates. Given the fact CO2 levels are ubiquitous across the Earth, if this was really a global climate driver we should see higher temperatures (and less ice) across the globe, adjusted for latitude and the amount of land vs sea surface area. Here is the Northern ice extent plots from NOAA


And here is the southern ice extent plots:



Well it seems we may have an answer to why the Arctic water temperatures were rising and the ice was melting – massive undersea volcanoes:

Recent massive volcanoes have risen from the ocean floor deep under the Arctic ice cap, spewing plumes of fragmented magma into the sea, scientists who filmed the aftermath reported Wednesday.

The eruptions — as big as the one that buried Pompei — took place in 1999 along the Gakkel Ridge, an underwater mountain chain snaking 1,800 kilometres (1,100 miles) from the northern tip of Greenland to Siberia.

Scientists suspected even at the time that a simultaneous series of earthquakes were linked to these volcanic spasms.

But when a team led of scientists led by Robert Sohn of the Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution in Massachusetts finally got a first-ever glimpse of the ocean floor 4,000 meters (13,000 feet) beneath the Arctic pack ice, they were astonished.

What they saw was unmistakable evidence of explosive eruptions rather than the gradual secretion of lava bubbling up from Earth’s mantle onto the ocean floor.

Folks need to understand that the Arctic Ocean is a fairly closed system because it resides in a large bowl shaped depression with only limited outlets that rise to much shallower depths, as seen in the following picture:



The natural basin that is the Arctic Ocean is possibly the reason why Arctic water temperatures were rising because the warming caused by these massive underwater explosions couldn’t really circulate out of the basin. Is this the real culprit for why the ice and glaciers have been receding in the Arctic and ice as been growing in the Antarctic? Seems highly possible.

Update: In case folks are wondering the Gakkel Ridge is that ridge running through the middle of the basin (click to go to enlarged version).


Update: Is it simply coincidence that the regions of the Arctic Ocean experiencing thin ice (which has so many ‘scientists’ blowing hot air about Global Warming) is the same region that is right over these massive undersea volcanoes just discovered?



Seriously, I doubt this is coincidence.  I would need to see exact locations of the volcanoes, the deep sea current paths and a depth chart to be sure, but it seems obvious to me that the warm waters and thin ice are to the Russian side of the Lomonosov Ridge, which cuts the Arctic Ocean basin in half – the same side as the Gakkel Ridge where the volcanoes are.  And it is not surprising the warm water from the volcanoes has risen to the surface and spread out into the shallow continental shelf where it stays warmers. That is exactly how one would expect the warm water to travel out of the hot spot near the North Pole.

Looks like the Arctic Ocean is going to be the place that destroys the Global Warming mythology. How appropriate! 

Update: More here from National Geographic, which notes these eruptions generated the largest earthquake swarm in recorded history along these kinds of spreading ocean ridges.

This earthquake swarm was the largest in recorded history along a spreading mid-ocean ridge and prompted researchers to return to the area for further investigation.

In 2007 Sohn and his team stumbled across the glassy pyroclastic rock deposits while searching for hydrothermal vent fields in the Gakkel Ridge.

Powerful eruptions sent a plume of carbon dioxide, helium, and liquid lava up into the Arctic waters. When the material cooled, rock debris fell to the ocean floor, he explained.

The article actually confirms some of my initial speculation on how this event could have created significant warming in the region that now shows thin ice.

“The dispersal of the particles does not necessarily indicate that the eruptions were highly energetic, only that the eruption heated the surrounding seawater and the rising plume of heated water carried the lava fragments upwards where currents could disperse them,” Clague said.

And this article notes the swarm included over 300 quakes, which is why the region is now being investigated.

“The Gakkel Ridge is covered with sea-ice the whole year. To detect little earthquakes, which accompany geological processes, we have to deploy our seismometers on drifting ice floes.” This unusual measuring method proved highly successful: in a first test in the summer 2001 – during the “Arctic Mid-Ocean Ridge Expedition (AMORE)” on the research icebreaker Polarstern – the seismometers recorded explosive sounds by the minute, which originated from the seafloor of the volcanic region. “This was a rare and random recording of a submarine eruption in close proximity,” says Schlindwein. “I postulated in 2001 that the volcano is still active. However, it seemed highly improbable to me that the recorded sounds originated from an explosive volcanic eruption, because of the water depth of 4 kilometres.”

The scientist regards the matter differently after her participation in the Oden-Expedition 2007, during which systematic earthquake measurements were taken by Schlindwein’s team in the active volcanic region: “Our endeavours now concentrate on reconstructing and understanding the explosive volcanic episodes from 1999 and 2001 by means of the accompanying earthquakes. We want to know, which geological features led to a gas pressure so high that it even enabled an explosive eruption in these water depths.” Like Robert Reves-Sohn, she presumes that explosive eruptions are far more common in the scarcely explored ultraslow-spreading ridges than presumed so far.

And even more here:

The Arctic seabed is as explosive geologically as it is politically judging by the “fountains” of gas and molten lava that have been blasting out of underwater volcanoes near the North Pole.

“Explosive volatile discharge has clearly been a widespread, and ongoing, process,” according to an international team that sent unmanned probes to the strange fiery world beneath the Arctic ice.
They returned with images and data showing that red-hot magma has been rising from deep inside the earth and blown the tops off dozens of submarine volcanoes, four kilometres below the ice. “Jets or fountains of material were probably blasted one, maybe even two, kilometres up into the water,” says geophysicist Robert Sohn of the Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution, who led the expedition.

Again, why is it not plausible that the Arctic Melt is actually the result of volcanic activity that rivals that which buried Pompeii? Can the IPCC actually claim this historic level of volcanic activity is having negligible impact on Arctic Ice? Gimme a break.

Update: BTW, Symonsez you need to check out this post.

Update: Reader Crosspatch pointed me to a site which can show comparisons of arctic ice depths across two years. So I decided to look at 1998 (before the volcanic explosions) and 1999 (after). Here is what the results show (click here to enlarge):

Dark Purple is thick ice, reds and yellows thin ice. What is interesting to note is the 1999 year shows the shallow edges thinning out dramatically – which makes sense. The heated sea water would rise and probably run across the thicker ice, spreading, and possibly settling against the north coast of Russia. It would take time to actually melt thick ice. So I did a second comparison, 1998 to 2000, to see what heating over time might do – and it looks like a hole starts to develop (red area) right about where these explosions and venting took place (click here to enlarge):

By 2001 the depth of snow and ice returns to typical levels. In fact, if you compare 2008 to 1999, 2008 is looking like it will do better. Anyway, I am not sure if this effected Arctic Ice depths and extent – but I cannot see how if couldn’t have some effect.

Addendum: After getting some sleep on the matter I wanted to add one more observation to this. Ice thickness is important to the underwater shape of the ice sheet. As folks know with ice bergs, 90% of the ice mass extends below the water’s surface. Areas of thick ice look like inverted mountains while areas of thin ice look like the valleys.

Super heated water rising from the sea floor would hit the upside down mountain peaks first, and then start to flow towards the thinner ice as it rises – which is why you could get hot spots (which would look like basins in relief on the bottom topology of the ice sheet). The interesting thing about the 2008 ice thickness data is it looks like it large, long ‘valleys’ formed, just like rushing water forms valleys from storm run off. I have added a 2006-2008 comparison to show these features.

In the 2006 picture the ice sheet is lumpy, where dark regions reflect where the ice protrudes the farthest underwater, the light purple being regions where the ice is not as deep, and red/yellow thin spots. 2006 is interesting because there was another warm spot forming off the coast of Russia – which could mean the volcanoes were active or whatever. But 2008 is interesting with its radiating bands of light and dark purples, looking just like valleys etched by flowing water from a single point along the same ridge as the volcanoes.

Am I seeing things? Who knows – again I don’t have the data to do any analysis, don’t have any seismic recordings to compare to the annual sea ice thickness, don’t have current maps. Hopefully some real scientists will have the money and time to work this all out. Seems it would be prudent before we make today’s energy prices a fond memory as we embark on a fool’s errand to cut CO2 emissions to no effect.

Final Update: Sweetness & Light has a graph of what appears to be average ice thickness, which shows 1999 – the year of the massive eruptions – as the point when the Arctic Ice started melting in earnest:

Given the fact this graph looks to be from the bible of the Church of Al Gore it seems hard not to notice the 1999 impact from the volcanoes and demand an explanation from Gore and the IPCC.

Final, Final Update: It seems there is a lot of information out on the Arctic Ocean and these volcanoes which has not been correlated yet. Here is a 2007 news report on the Arctic Ocean circulation patterns, which have been shifting dramatically over the last 20 years or so. These shifting patterns are the result of salinity changes – which could be a direct result of the volcanic activity changing salinity levels and causing the changes. The take away conclusion from this is the activity is not driven by CO2 or “Global Warming”:

A team of NASA and university scientists has detected an ongoing reversal in Arctic Ocean circulation triggered by atmospheric circulation changes that vary on decade-long time scales. The results suggest not all the large changes seen in Arctic climate in recent years are a result of long-term trends associated with global warming.

This is “NASA” too, as much as that extremist Hansen is (probably more so because these folks run the science missions, Hansen just attempts to understand the data and has a proven history of botching even that). Like I said way, way, way up in this now way too long post, it looks like the Global Warming myths may die cold death in the Arctic Ocean physical processes.

31 responses so far

31 Responses to “Global Warming – Or Simply Massive Under Sea Volcanoes? – Updated!”

  1. crosspatch says:

    So I had an errand to run today and as I often do when I am out and about, I had the radio on a local station with frequent traffic reports (KCBS San Francisco). A report came on about the smoky air due to wildfires in the surrounding counties and the gentleman being interviewed was positively predictable in his pandering to political correctness.

    First he started out by saying that all those particulates from the fires aren’t nearly as harmful as the particulates from vehicle engines but that they would have similar health impact. In other words, combustion of carbon from wood isn’t nearly as bad as combustion from coal or oil, which as everyone “knows”, is more evil than Hitler crossed with John Wayne Gacy. But it will cause exactly the same health impact. Much less evil but just as dangerous … give.me.a.break!!!!1111!!!eleven!!!!11

    Then he starts on “oh, and I want to remind everyone that the problem of wildfire smoke is only going to get worse with climate change …” and thats when my finger hit the button for another station.

    People … warmer climate means WETTER weather, not dryer. It also doesn’t mean higher daytime highs. It probably would mean MUCH higher nighttime lows. It just won’t get as cold at night.

    The driest period of the last 100 years was in the final glacial maximum immediately before the end of the last ice age. That is when the maximum amount of Earth’s water was bound up as ice and deserts reached their maximum size. There is one notable exception to that rule … the Southwestern US. During that period the jet stream was configured in such a way that the Southwest got a lot of rain … like what now falls in Seattle. That’s when places like Lake Bonneville (The Great Salt Lake is the remnant) and Lake Lahontan (what is left of that is now called Pyramid Lake North of Reno, NV) were formed.

    WARM = WET
    COLD = DRY

    Global warming is GOOD for plants, people, animals, and just about everything. Cooling would be a disaster.

    Let me give you a current set up for a major disaster:

    Torrential rain in the US midwest has resulted in the destruction of a large part of the US grain crop. Much of it is getting replanted but pretty late. There is a good chance that this late crop is at risk of getting bitten by frost. Temperatures this year are running colder than normal. There is a good chance there will be an early winter. Late planting, outright destruction of some crops and the possibility of an early winter mean potential disaster for grain crops. That means starvation in areas far away from Iowa. Global COOLING would be a much worse disaster than warming.

  2. crosspatch says:

    There is about a million square km more ice this year than there was last year in the Arctic.

    Same with the Antarctic. In fact, there is about a million square kilometers more in the Antarctic than the 1979 to 2000 average. Both poles combined, the total ice area is right about average, up about 3 million square km from last year’s low.

    This page has a lot of data, including an area where you can compare this year to last year visually.

    This graph shows the global ice coverage since 1979. The red line shows the departure from average. You can see the dramatic recovery of sea ice over the past year.

    That article in the Independent is a flat out lie.

  3. crosspatch says:

    Here is a visual comparison between this year and last year in the Arctic for today.

  4. crosspatch says:

    There is a problem with all that thinking, though. The eruptions were in 1999 and 2001. The Arctic ice didn’t start it’s shrinkage in any appreciable way until 2003 and it continued until 2007 until nearly completely recovering since 2007. NASA blames changes in wind that blew the ice out into the warmer Atlantic where it melted instead of blowing it against the continental shield where it would pack up and thicken.

    This graph shows Arctic ice since 1979 (click the graph to enlarge it once you get to the link).

  5. crosspatch says:

    Oh, something I just realized. Hydrothermal venting activity doesn’t need to correspond directly to surface eruptions. If you have some magma rise under the surface that creates cracks in the rock, you can have significant hydrothermal venting from water flowing through the cracks. So the amount of heat released into the water might not be always directly related to surface eruptions.

    A small quake that doesn’t result in an eruption can result in significant changes in the hydrology.

    Also, chemicals introduced into the water can change the freezing point until they are diluted out.

    Many people don’t appreciate, really, how much heat it takes to heat (and to freeze) water. It takes 1 calorie to raise 1 cc of water one degree C, or 1000 calories to raise one liter one degree C. How many liters are we talking about and how many degrees?

    Mt. St. Heles released 1.7 x 10e18 joules of energy. That is enough to heat 4,063,097,514,340,344 liters of water one degree. One cubic kilometer of water is 1 000 000 000 000 liters. The arctic ocean is 17 million cubic kilometers in volume. A Mount St Helens sized event wouldn’t raise the arctic ocean 1 degree C.

  6. BarbaraS says:

    This makes a lot more sense than the idea that humans have any control over the weather. Maybe this happened for a longer span of time back around 1000 or 1100 A.D. That would certainly explain why Greenland was filled with plants and vines at that time when Erikson discovered it.

  7. […] AJ at Stratasphere has done the best research on this, providing satellite imaging of the Ice thickness before, during, and after the massive event. […]

  8. AJStrata says:


    I think the delay in impacting the ice pack was due to the time it took to melt that much ice. The thinner regions along the land masses showed more impact first being thinner anyway. But over time these hot spots showed up (which fragmented the ice shelf by making pockets. Once the ice mass was weakened by these holes the currents and winds could start grinding in up more.

    Cheers, AJStrata

  9. VinceP1974 says:

    All of this information makes me get really angry when I see a politician or reporter talking about carbon anything.

  10. norm says:

    hey did this “research” come from harry potter? or narnia?

  11. norm says:

    or maybe from another video game?

  12. norm says:

    maybe you saw it on a non-existent videotape?

  13. AJStrata says:

    Poor Norm, out of his element again and left to trying to insult others to compensate for his ignorance.

    Too funny!

  14. AJStrata says:

    Sorry Norm,

    I realized you really don’t know where the research came from. Most of it is from NASA, you know those folks who really do know math and science. The folks I work with.



  15. gwood says:

    …hey did this “research” come from harry potter? or narnia?….

    From the one who relies upon the science of a divinity school dropout.

  16. […] What about this story? It’s about the massive undersea volcanoes that are erupting under the North Pole. […]

  17. VinceP1974 says:

    norm is a petty ignorant hateful Leftist

  18. Ice Melt…

    The scientists aren’t exactly acting like scientists here, but rather hoping that their preconceived notion of global warming comes true. They’re hoping that the polar ice cap melts so that they can “prove” that global warming exists, even though t…