Will affect marine and wildlife for decades – And can you imagine how much heat pumped into the Pacific Ocean? Hawaii’s glowing orange lava flows can get hotter than 1,600 F (871 C), according to the USGS.
That’s 8 times the boiling point.
We’re looking at the biggest water heater in the world.
Lava from Kilauea’s eruption, which began May 3, finally reached the Pacific Ocean on May 20.
In it’s 30-mile trek to the ocean, the lava has not only destroyed more than 600 homes and vaporized Hawaii’s largest fresh-water lake, it has covered tide pools, hot springs and coastal waters, and creatde new shoreline as it entered the ocean and solidified.
The United States Geological Survey (USGS) calculates that the lava has already created nearly a mile of new land in Kapoho Bay.
In addition to creating new land, the lava can also affect sensitive marine life in many ways.
Scientists say that when lava meets water, its off-gas makes the water more acidic.
The lava also sheds tiny particles of a glassy substance when it touches water, which can be harmful for fish with gills.
Scientists can only guess at the amount of similar underwater volcanic activity that may be taking place all of the time, day and night, throughout the year.
But still, they (some of them, anyway) try to blame humans for heating our seas.