As many as ten million underwater volcanoes

And we wonder what is heating our seas

Ten million underwater volcanoes

And we wonder what is heating our seas
By Robert W. Felix

We’ve learned a lot in the last 25 years, especially when it comes to underwater volcanoes.  When I began researching and writing Not by Fire but by Ice in 1991, scientists guestimated that there were 10,000 submarine volcanoes in the entire world.

Two years later, marine geophysicists discovered 1,133 previously unmapped underwater volcanoes off the coast of Easter Island.

And they were huge. (Still are.) Some of the newly-found volcanoes rose almost 1½ miles above the seafloor. Even then, their peaks remained about 1½ miles below the water’s surface. They’re packed into a relatively small area about the size of New York state.

We have no idea how many volcanoes may be lurking beneath the seas. What we do know, is that they are pumping awesome amounts of re-hot basalt – up to 1,200ºC (2,200ºF) hot – into the inky black water.

Superheated molten lava about 1,200ºC (2,200ºF) erupts, producing a bright flash as it blows into the water before settling back to the sea floor. Image courtesy of NSF and NOAA

Beginning with the first edition of Not by Fire but by Ice, I made the audacious suggestion that those underwater volcanoes were heating our seas. (See Chapter 10, “Fish Stew.” )

Global-warming alarmists scoffed. A mere 11,000 submarine volcanoes could not possibly be heating the seas. Impossible. After all, the oceans cover 71 percent of our planet.

But the number of underwater volcanoes kept climbing. By 2005, NASA was forced to admit that there might be one million submarine volcanoes. As many as 75,000 of those underwater behemoths soar half-a-mile above the surrounding seafloor and several thousand of those, in turn, might be active.

Even so, global-warming alarmists never wavered. One million underwater volcanoes were not enough to heat the seas.

Still, the discoveries kept coming.

Soon, the estimated number of submarine volcanoes had jumped to more than three million.

But any thought that three million underwater volcanoes might affect ocean temperature was considered heretical. I mean, natural forces couldn’t possibly be heating the seas. Could they? Let’s keep blaming humans.

How long can this denial continue? Especially with ever more discoveries coming to light.

Reader Joe Franco just sent me a study by professors Fisher and Wheat that estimates the number of hydrothermally active seamounts at somewhere between 100,000 and 10,000,000. (“Hydrothermally active” means they are heating the water.)

You read that right: Ten million!

The two professors base their conclusion on the fact that a significant fraction of the seamounts already surveyed appear to be hydrothermally active.

These seamounts are also huge. As many as a million of those planetary-sized hot water heaters have a diameter greater than 7 km and stand more than 2 km high (more than 4.2 miles across and 1.2 miles high).

That’s taller than New Hampshire’s Mt. Washington, which, at 6,289 feet, stands almost exactly 1.2 miles high. Mt. Washington is the highest peak in the Northeastern United States

As if that weren’t enough, Fisher and Wheat estimate that another 1 to 10 million smaller hydrothermal features (such as black smokers) may dot the ocean floor. Those “smaller hydrothermal features” stand some 100 meters (330 ft) high.

So what do we have here?

A “significant fraction” of a million seamounts taller than Mount Washington, and up to ten million smaller hydrothermal features, the height of a 30-story building, are pumping vast amounts of heat into the seas, and we refuse to admit that they could be affecting ocean temperatures?

 I think it’s time to wake up.

See entire paper by Fisher and White, entitled “Seamounts as Conduits for Massive Fluid, Heat, and Solute Fluxes on Ridge Flanks.”

Andrew T. Fisher is Professor, Earth and Planetary Sciences Department and Institute for Geophysics and Planetary Physics, University of California, Santa Cruz, CA. C. Geoffrey Wheat is Research Professor, Global Undersea Research Unit, University of Alaska Fairbanks, based at Moss Landing, CA, USA.


16 thoughts on “As many as ten million underwater volcanoes”

  1. I would also suggest, that many of these dormant mounts and volcanos, are still radiating heat and CO2/SO2 into their locality would still add significant values into the local seas.
    You may also find that the active sea mounts and erupting sea volcano’s become more active during the Sun’s perturbations around the Solar System BarryCentre during the affected cycle with high AMP events during a Grand Solar Minimum.
    After all, it is a peer reviewed scientific fact that the incidence of land based volcanism rises significantly during a GSM, with a number of documented large eruptions which have added to the climate forcing during a Minimum. The AD 600 Minimum triple eruptions and Maunder with the Laki eruption are cases in mind.
    If it happens on land the sea is no different.

  2. If you want to get an idea of how much volcanoes heat the oceans, just measure the temperature sea water near Hawaiian lava flowing into the sea or near sea floor eruptions. There are 332,500,000 cubic miles of ocean water. That’s 33 cubic miles of water for each of 10 million volcanoes. Extrapolate water temps near modern eruptions to 33 cubic miles of water and I doubt that you will see much warming.

    • I agree but my suggestion is that short bursts of volcanic activity might put a plume of slightly warmer water to the surface and alter patterns such as the ENSO.
      Off the S tip of the Californian peninsular sea surface temps rose dramatically last year. They also seem to be able to turn off quite abruptly.
      About 8 years ago I found a huge melt hole in the Arctic polar satellite shots but NASA quietly removed this image from the series. The clear blue-water circle was probably over 50km diameter and surrounded by white ice for 100s of km. It seems entirely logical for a volcanic eruption on the sea-bed to feed above 0ºC water to the underside of the ice. As soon as a hole appeared there would be a positive feed-back melting cycle from the long summer sunshine.
      So, while the quantity of heat is small compared with the volume of water there could easily be localised anomalies that could trigger pattern changes on the regional scale.

      • Fantastic point! After all, heat rises. If the temperature in just the top few inches of the ocean were to increase, that would lead to increased evaporation and thence to increased precipitation. If that precipitation falls in the winter…well, you get the gist.

      • That’s kinda what I was thinking, local/regional effects, volcanic caused El-nino’s ? And then if there’s a lot of ash in the air , well I don’t think you can even imagine yet what it may be like.

  3. It’s like the old joke;

    1st man gazing out over the ocean: Boy! Look at all that water!
    2n man: Yeah, and that’s only the top of it.

    Most of the time, the top of it is still all we see. The bottom the ocean is the most mysterious and unexplored place imaginable . We probably know more about distant stars.

  4. Now imagine what this might look like w/out the water and water pressure at miles deep. OOOHH the c02. Great factual story, but may not be allowed on twitter, just heard they are trying to limit free speech by not allowing some words, fact, being one. I don’t use it , but if that’s the case make their stocks plummet. Let legitimate people do the business.

  5. Right now the Arctic Ocean is 15-20 degrees C warmer than usual, it’s unprecedented! The very strong El Nino is not enough to explain this warmth, underwater volcanoes in the Gakkel Ridge must be very active at the moment. Worldwide underwater volcanoes could even be the cause of El Ninos. At the same time Siberia is 10-15 degrees C below normal. The result: Read “Not by Fire but by Ice”, blizzards causing meters and meters of snow…

    • I find it difficult to believe the Arctic Ocean is 15 – 20 degrees C.

      The “scientific” explanation of El-Niño seems to me to be a description of the effects, not the cause. I have long felt that underwater volcanic activity is as likely a candidate for El-Niño as anything offered by “experts”. I also believe it is deliberately ignored because if the IPCC allowed real science into the narrative it would simply cease to exist- who would continue funding an organization that consistently argued the wrong case for decades ?

      An example of build up of pressure being released in the form of earthquake activity –

    • 267K is still well below zero C which is 273.15K
      However, the reason for the “higher than normal temperatures”, is in in the main due to the high speed stuck meridional Jet stream which brought a Tropical Cyclone right to the top of Greenland then stayed stuck in that feed direction for weeks. That Jetstream has been powering warm water vapour directly into the Arctic Ocean region for most of the last 4 weeks with the majority the storms then dropping snow over Siberia and the eastern Baltic states.
      No wonder the Atmosphere above the Arctic Ocean around Norway and part of Russia is warmer than normal.
      If you look at the charts for the SC20 period and 1974 as an example you can see similar wild swings in temperature, due to meridional weather systems affecting the Arctic region, but not to the extent of this early season.
      It’s a pity we don’t have the charts for the Dalton period, I would expect similar effects in the same region for the 1805 and 1812 winters, very wet and windy over the coastal region of Europe with a southerly gale feeding around a Blocking Scandinavian High dumping vast quantities of snow over Russia, Finland and Sweden on the easterly return air stream around the High.
      In 30 days the Arctic Ocean has moved from OC to below 1O C with a very early ice field over the majority of the Arctic Ocean.

  6. A study of bathymetric charts going back decades reveals the seamounts are rising up higher and higher –

    due to the magma uplift.

    The subterranean heat is warming the oceans which results in rapid evaporation of the sea water which results in the evaporated waters being carried to low pressure systems where record-breaking rainfall and raging flood waters are destroying villages and cities –

    leaving 26 million in poverty while causing over $500 billion in damages – in 2015.

    This devastation is occurring all across the world –

    with school buses, city buses, tour buses, SUV’s, cars, houses and bridges are bobbing up and down on the raging flood waters as if they are bath toys –

    unusually warm ocean waters results in rapid evaporation which results in record rainfall and raging flood waters.

    Simultaneously, our unusually warm ocean waters are melting the ice shelves, which are the support systems for the glaciers –

    the Ross Ice Shelf, for example, is the size of France, while some of the glaciers are the size of Pennsylvania.

    To see what comes next is equivalent to watching a domino effect.

    Decades of research into the true history of our Earth – includes the study of the historic documents going back over 600 years, along with the study of Earth’s topography, bathymetry, tectonic shifts, etc.

    This provides a completely different view than what has been spoon-fed to us by the geologists, glaciologists and their chemists.

    Nice article –

    I already woke up – a long time ago.

    I’ve been doing this research for decades.

    The trajectory of thousands of independent sources of data strongly suggests a worldwide cataclysm will soon be upon us – since catastrophic devastation is far more frequent than the public has been led to believe and sounds preposterous only because of the decades of programming the public has endured.

    I post thousands of links to reports online, along with brief explanations, so anyone who wants the truth can have it.
    Most people are content with lies – they’re content with their poisons, their drugs and their insane programming.

    This rapidly-approaching worldwide cataclysm will most likely leave very few survivors. Those who want to survive have already packed and left – most of them will die anyway because they failed to do the research necessary to know where to go to be relatively safe.

    Thank you for sharing the compilation of evidence.

  7. Well, obviously without this central heating system within the oceans, I bet Earth would at least be a partial snowball !
    Thank God for our natural heating system !

  8. As is pointed out, the heat is moving towards the poles, but mostly, it would seem, the north pole That heat may cause evaporation of the water, as someone said, but that heat is also basically lost straight up into space, especially between the fall and spring equinoxes.

    It would appear that this hot core is replacing the heat that the Sun isn’t putting out at this time, and I have to wonder. As I look at the ice core records and the series of periods that were warmer then it is today since the interglacial started, is perhaps the amount of heat being slowly dissipated, is that the reason each warm period has been cooler than the previous?

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