Massive range of underwater volcanoes heating the world’s oceans

“The massive mid-ocean ridge system is a continuous range of underwater volcanoes that wraps around the globe like seams on a baseball, stretching nearly 65,000 kilometers (40,390 miles),” according to the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA).

“The ridge system forms the longest and largest mountain range on Earth, winding its way between the continents,” NOAA continues.

The majority of the system is underwater, with an average water depth to the top of the ridge of 2,500 meters (8,200 feet).”

“The mid-ocean ridge is the most extensive chain of mountains on Earth, with more than 90 percent of the mountain range lying in the deep ocean.

The nearly continuous, global mid-ocean ridge system is clearly visible on this map of global topography above and below sea level. – NOAA

“Despite being such prominent feature on our planet, much of the mid-ocean ridge system remains a mystery. While we have mapped about half of the global mid-ocean ridge in high resolution, less than one percent of the mid-ocean ridge has been explored in detail using submersibles or remotely operated vehicles.”

The Mid-Atlantic Ridge, which is only a part of the mid-ocean ridge, extends for about 10,000 miles (16,000 km) in a curving path from the Arctic Ocean to near the southern tip of Africa. The ridge is equidistant between the continents on either side of it.
For a hint of what kind of activity occurs on the Mid-Atlantic Ridge, look at Iceland.

Due to Iceland’s location on the Mid-Atlantic Ridge and its location over a hot spot, the country boasts a high concentration of active volcanoes, comments reader Winston Smith. “Over the past 500 years,” says Smith, “Iceland’s volcanoes have produced ONE THIRD of the TOTAL GLOBAL LAVA OUTPUT.” (The total global lava output that we are aware of).

Think about that! More than forty thousand miles of underwater volcanoes – who knows how many are active? – spewing out red-hot magma (as much as 2000 degrees F), and we can’t figure out what is heating our seas?

Wake up, people. We are being played.

Look at Iceland’s Bárðarbunga 2014–2015 [like Cowabunga only larger], says Smith. “Lava flow was between 250 and 350 cubic metres per second and came from a dyke over 40 km long. An ice-filled subsidence bowl over 100 square kilometres in area and up to 65 metres deep formed as well.”

Or look at Mount Vesuvius’ eruption in 1779 (only 240 years ago). Lava fountains during that eruption are believed to have reached at least 3,000 m (9,843 ft) in height.

13 thoughts on “Massive range of underwater volcanoes heating the world’s oceans”

  1. The vulcanos are a consequence of the movements of continents but have little influence on the earth heating. Acc. to some studies the oceans heated up 2.6C° (4.7 F) to 3.5°C in the last 10.000 years since the ice age. The enourmeous heat capacity of the oceans is one major reason for the stable climate we have on earth.

  2. This ocean heating should be investigated.
    It must be said……,there is a LOT of water in the oceans !

    Is there a way of calculating the thermal output of under water volcanoes and undersea vents ?

    Very difficult !

    • Yes, there is indeed a lot of water. But heat rises, right? All we need is for the top few inches of ocean water to be heated in order to increase evaporation and therefore increase rainfall and snowfall

      • If what you say is happening there should be a heat plumb over the ridges. By measuring the water temperature profile over the ridge and over a similar depth of water not near a ridge you should be able to calculate the heat input from the ridge for a section of ridge using the specific heat of sea water a well know number. Do this for a statistically significant number of sample sections then you can come up with an average heat flux per mile or Kilo of ridge then multiply by the overall length of ridges and you have a decent approximation of the heat input into the oceans.
        However I don’t believe that you will find the plumbs exist because of ocean currents and the overall heat transfer from the core of the earth is a relative constant over human time scales whether the ridges were there or not.

      • You probably are correct, Robert. “Something” is triggering an increase in volcanic activity, and the ocean floor, especially near the expanding ridges, is thinner, the molten core would be closer, and there wouldn’t necessary be a plume of heat showing up relative the general area near the ridges, and their activity.

        The surface volcanoes are certainly affecting the amount of heat reaching the surface from the less active Sun with their aerosols, and as you point out, warmer water evaporates faster than cooler water.

        So, with the cooling from above, as the Sun becomes even less active, with all the additional moisture being sent up from the warming oceans, the snow and ice accumulation should accelerate, as I am sure you have pointed out.

        And even when the Sun becomes more active during its next warming cycle, the snow and ice cover may completely offset the warming by reflecting vastly more of it back into space, while the increased solar energy will also continue to warm the ocean.

        I can “see” the cycle leading into the ice age – it seems that obvious. It isn’t any one thing, but a period in time when all the factors are in alignment.

      • Salt water is most dense at 39F.
        Salt water up to 45 f is often denser then artic surface water. This sets up a heat transport system from the equator, to the poles, then back.
        The deep ocean T is fairly stable at about 4c.
        Yet if there is centennial shifts in global volcanism, over decades this layer of the ocean could warm, and propogate towards the surface.

  3. I wonder how the global warming nuts plan to control this? Certainly warming oceans have great consequences for our weather and I severely doubt we understand much of it.

  4. They probably don’t make much difference when the water above them is very deep. But in shallow water, like that of the Arctic, extra-ordinary undersea volcanic activity will make a significant difference to the climate of the surrounding countries.

    • It wouldn’t matter how deep the water column is, heat introduced into it will affect it. It will be more noticeable if the column is shorter, of course.

      Although heat, in air and water, generally rises, it actually is a transfer of kinetic energy, I believe, and the direction of the vibration of the excited atom isn’t just up and down, it is in all directions, thus heat will transfer down as well, thus the heat from the surface will warm the water below it, and the heat at the ridges will warm up and sideways. The end result is the entire mass of water is gaining energy, and as long as it isn’t losing more energy at the surface and to the land masses than it is receiving either from the Sun or the volcanic activity at the bottom, it will warm.

      You are correct in believing that the local climates near warming water will be affected more, but the global climate will be affected by both.

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