Three Million Underwater Volcanoes Can’t be Wrong

“This paper totally blows the man-made CO2 hype out of the water and underscores your own predictions of the amount if underwater volcanic activity,” says analytical chemist Hans Schreuder.

Most estimates of volcanogenic carbon dioxide emission are woefully low, says consulting geologist Timothy Casey.

An enormous and unmeasured amount of carbon dioxide degases from volcanoes, mostly submarine.

Underwater eruption
Underwater eruption

Lava contains a surprising amount of carbon dioxide, says Casey in his new paper, “Volcanic Carbon Dioxide.”  (Principia Scientific International, 16 June 2014). In fact, CO2 is the second most abundantly emitted volcanic gas next to steam.

Carbon dioxide emissions from volcanoes – especially from underwater volcanoes – dwarf anthropogenic contributions (man-made) sources, says Casey. Unfortunately, some researchers dismiss not only mid-oceanic-ridge emissions, but all other forms of submarine volcanism altogether, which is a major oversight.

According to one study, Pacific mid-plate seamounts number between 22,000 and 55,000, of which 2,000 are active volcanoes, says Casey. One researcher even dismisses those few, justifying the omission by claiming that mid oceanic ridges discharge less CO2 than is consumed by hydrothermal carbonate systems.

Submarine lakes of liquid carbon dioxide

In point of fact, says Casey, carbon dioxide escapes these hydrothermal vent systems in such quantities that it sometimes accumulates in submarine lakes of liquid carbon dioxide. There is nothing to prevent that superheated carbon dioxide from dissolving into the seawater or otherwise making its way to the surface.

Since seawater in the vicinity of hydrothermal vent systems is saturated with carbon dioxide, and since seawater elsewhere is not saturated with CO2, it stands to reason that this saturation came from the hydrothermal vent system, Casey argues. If the vent system consumed more carbon dioxide than it emitted, the seawater in the vicinity of hydrothermal vent systems would be CO2 depleted.

Because the oceans occupy twice the surface area of land, it would be easy to believe that one the oceans would contain twice the number of volcanoes as exist on land. But the number of submarine volcanoes is far, far higher than that.

3,477,403 submarine volcanoes exist worldwide

As Casey points out, after surveying 201,055 submarine volcanoes, Hillier & Watts estimated that a total of 3,477,403 submarine volcanoes exist worldwide, of which, Casey estimates, 139,096 are active.

Casey’s conclusion? Three Million Volcanoes Can’t be Wrong.

I’m including the four references that I think are most relevant.

Hillier, J. K., & Watts, A. B., 2007, “Global distribution of seamounts from ship- track bathymetry data”, Geophysical. Research. Letters, Vol. 34, L13304, doi:10.1029/2007GL029874

Plimer, I. R., 2001a short history of planet earth, 250 pp., ISBN13: 978-0-7333-1004- 0

Plimer, I. R., 2009Heaven and Earth: Global Warming, the Missing Science, 503 pp., ISBN13: 978-1-9214-2114-3

Wishart, I., 2009Air Con: The Seriously Inconvenient Truth about Global Warming, ISBN13: 978-0-9582-4014-7

See entire paper:

Thanks to Hans Schreuder for this link

“To those of us who can see through the official mist, the CO2 issue is nothing more than a political ruse, eagerly underwritten by academics who have never thought for themselves and only regurgitate what was written in their textbooks,” says Hans. “No critical thought, no acceptance that the old “masters” might have been wrong, such as Kirchoff, Arrhenius et al.”

Note:  In an attempt to make it readable for the layman, I’ve taken great liberties with Casey’s paper, simplifying, simplifying, simplifying. If you think I went too far, you’re welcome to point out your disagreements in the comments section.

I think the original paper – 20 pages long, quite technical, with more than 60 entries in the bibliography – would have made the average reader’s eyes cross very quickly.

29 thoughts on “Three Million Underwater Volcanoes Can’t be Wrong”

  1. Carbonate marine sediment subduction may recharge
    magma co2 levels , much paleo-co2 is sequestered in
    carbonate shelves the world over , mostly , it stays
    there . What happened to all that old co2 ? ; you might be standing on it .

  2. If not already posted Australia, tonight, has just abolished the CO2 tax..finally some Gov showing a little bit of sense ..but for how long.

    • And on this yes plenty of CO2 to dissolve into the ocean , to be released when it gets warmer.. of course.

  3. The SO2 and CO2 when combined with H2O form H2SO4 and Carbonic acid. If there is any acidification of the oceans it is likely that acids formed from volcanic gases are the biggest source of these acids.
    Again it has nothing to do with humans and is a natural process. It is quite likely not a serious problem at all.

    • Good one Steven. Now add in the fact that freshwater lakes and rivers are not showing any decrease in pH. None. Nada.

      If “global-warming”, er, um, “climate-change”, oops now it’s “extreme weather events”… was causing acidification then these fresh water systems would also be affected. D-uh?

      Peace from Canada

  4. Hello Robert,

    Time to fire up the ‘Wayback Macnine’ and return to 9 April, 2010, when we had the following discussion:

    Bob Ludwick

    “3,477,403 Underwater Volcanoes EXACTLY?

    9 Apr 10 – Reader calls me on my numbers

    page delimiter

    Hello Robert,

    I can understand the ‘Watermelons’ publishing glaringly stupid data, but please don’t fall prey to the same temptation yourself.

    The article that precipitated this note appeared on your site on 31 March and included this helpful bit of information: “3,477,403 Underwater Volcanoes”. Not 3,477,402 or 3, 477, 404, but 3,477,403. Exactly. No more or no less. Extrapolated from a survey of exactly 201,055 undersea volcanos. +/- 0. (See Acid Oceans Due to Underwater Volcanoes?)

    This reminds me of the the following gem: “…….a January 12, 1999 Associated Press article by Randolph E. Schmid, titled “Researchers: 1998 was the hottest year on record.”: “The NASA findings indicate a mean worldwide temperature of about 58.496 degrees F., topping the previous record, set in 1995 of 58.154.”

    I particularly like the touch of using ‘about’, followed by a world temperature quoted to 1/1000 degree F. One wonders how they would have done if they had gone for precision. I also find it amusing that NASA was cited as the source of the temperature figures. I wonder if they weigh the shuttle to +/- one grain when doing their launch calculations?

    Now I don’t doubt for a minute that undersea volcanos are contributing a huge amount of heat and acidification to the ocean, that the location and amount of heat contributed varies randomly with the whims of the volcanos, that the random injection of heat pulses causes equally random ‘nudges’ to ocean current flows, with all that that implies, and that the heat and CO2/SO2 injections swamp ANY contributions by human civilization. But publishing the number of undersea volcanos with a precision of +/- 3 parts in 10^7?

    Please remember that paper and computer files are defenseless; they will let you write anything on/in them that you want, no matter how patently senseless. Don’t embarrass them needlessly.

    Bob Ludwick

    * * *

    Hi Bob,

    You are correct, of course. The thought that anyone knows exactly how many
    volcanoes lurk beneath the seas is ludicrous. We know more about the moon
    than we know about underwater volcanoes.

    But that number does help bring attention to my point, namely, that
    underwater volcanoes are heating the seas.

    I’ve been saying “more than three million underwater volcanoes” for several
    years, so it’s nice to see a scientific study that helps confirm my statements
    even if the numbers are absurdly precise.

    In 1991 when I began my research for “Not by Fire but by Ice,” scientists
    thought there might be 10,000 underwater volcanoes in the entire world. Even
    with that small number, they believed that 80 percent of all volcanic activity
    occurred underwater.

    Then, in 1993, marine geophysicists aboard the research vessel Melville
    discovered 1,133 previously unmapped underwater volcanoes off the coast of
    Easter Island. (I know, I know, there’s one of those exact numbers again. But
    that’s what they said.) Some of the newly discovered submarine volcanoes rose
    as much as a mile and a half above the seafloor.

    All this in a comparatively small area of only 55,000 square miles, about the
    size of New York state.

    To go from 10,000 underwater volcanoes to more than three million in less
    than 20 years shows how little we knew – or know – about nature. I shudder
    to think of how much we must still have to learn.

    To try to control so-called global warming, to think that we can control
    something that we don’t begin to understand, is foolhardy beyond belief.

    Thank you for your interest.


    • Hey, look how far I’ve come! The title rounds it out to three million. As I said in my answer to you previously, “To go from 10,000 underwater volcanoes to more than three million in less than 20 years shows how little we knew – or know – about nature. I shudder
      to think of how much we must still have to learn.”

  5. And the EPA has yet to regulate the amount of CO2 these volcanoes put out. We have to get these Regulators in the water now, before we all die.

  6. This is exactly why the average layman SHOULD be skeptical of AGW alarmism! What portion of global CO2 emissions do we as humans emit vs. that released through natural processes, and what part is taken back up by the biosphere? What of the sun? You could go on and on. To “claim” that fossil fuels – which brought all of our great wealth and societal advancement in the 20th century to light – is now the scourge destined to kill us all, is outright laughable.

    Climate change AKA global warming AKA climate weirding is nothing more but a scam perpetuated upon the peoples of the world by an elitist subculture hellbent on redistribution of wealth. Period. And it’s not because I’m a radical, or have an agenda, or am a political dissident – it’s because I have been brought up to question everything, and do my own research. When an otherwise solid argument begins looking like Swiss cheese after investigating more deeply, you have to question the premise of PRESUMED fact and come to a different conclusion.

    *THAT* is what skepticism is all about.

    • I agree that it’s a scam being perpetuated by the elitists, but I don’t believe they want to redistribute the wealth. I believe they want to concentrate it into their own hands. Anytime we send so-called “foreign aid” to tin-pot dictatorships, you can rest assured the funds are not used to better the lives of anyone except the dictators and their cronies.

      Powerful people who aren’t motivated by pure motives don’t really want to see their subjects to be able to grow and develop their own potential (or wealth). If they did, they might become a threat to said potentate. It often reminds me of what powerful kings in the past did when they got word that they were destined be replaced by a newborn. They called for the murder of all newborns of a certain age.

      There are lots and lots of ways these days that a war against babies is being waged.

      I think one of the fundamental changes being implemented in America is to shut down the ability of anyone to become anything they are willing to honestly work hard for. The powerful groups don’t want to share their power, so they have set up all kinds of rules and regulations and booby traps to prevent competition from gaining a foothold. This used to be the land of opportunity. Now it’s becoming more like Europe (all kings and peasants).

      • I would say the Oligarchical Elites (OEs)want to redistribute JUST ENOUGH wealth to appease the New Workers of the Third World, who will have a slightly or somewhat improved living standard, and be quite happy about it.

        The OEs also want to redistribute JUST ENOUGH wealth to keep the necessary levels of industry & agriculture to support the OEs in the style they are accustomed to. They also need their serfs fed, clothed & sheltered sufficiently that the serfs will not revolt. … At least not much.

        In the meantime, the people of “advanced” counties will have to see the error of their ways, and accept a substantially reduced standard of living, if they survive at all, because the last 100 years of abundance was, well, you know, an accidental aberration that should have never happened in the first place.


  7. he wrote: “Unfortunately, some researchers dismiss not only mid-oceanic-ridge emissions, but all other forms of submarine volcanism altogether, which is a major oversight.’

    Not an oversight. Intentional – because the volcanic emission facts destroy the AGW theory.

  8. ” CO2 is the second most abundantly emitted volcanic gas next to steam ”

    Steam is a Vapour, not a gas. If you compress a gas, is stays compressed gas, a vapour will drop out a liquid when compressed.
    If the opening statement is wrong/mis-leading, I will not even read the next bit.


    • I normally don’t reply in this manner BUT – this is the most ridiculous comment I have ever read.

      Smugly completely dismissing a presentation because YOU think you’re clever and try to ridicule based on semantics !

      LPG – “liquid” petroleum gas stored in my gas bottle at high pressure at ambient temperature – Vapour ?

      No ! Under pressure there is little doubt it exists in a liquid form.

      All gases can be compressed to liquid – liquid oxygen/nitrogen anyone ?

      Or how about dry-ice ?

      All gases can also be “condensed” by reducing their temperature but compressing them helps achieve “liquefaction” enormously.

      Just because water vapour – gaseous H2O – is one of the few elements/compounds exhibiting these properties at ambient pressure and temperatures doesn’t negate the accuracy of the sentence YOU find “wrong/mis-leading” !!

      You then dismiss the whole article because YOU think you’re clever !

      Typical AGW “true-believer” attitude – I’ll bet you are one aren’t you !

      If I am wrong on that last point you are completely wrong in your claim !

    • I think that is being too pedantic!

      1. A gas has one defined state at room temperature whereas a vapour is a substance that is in gaseous and liquid equilibrium at room temperature, at a given pressure. A gas can also refer to a single element of matter with its own unique physical and chemical properties, for example oxygen, nitrogen and neon.
      2. Because vapour is actually the gaseous state of an element, vapour particles will be of a single element and may have a definite shape whereas gas particles when observed under microscopic view do not have a definite shape and will be a collection of atoms, ions, electrons and molecules. However both gas and vapour particles are in a random motion, colliding with each other or the walls of the containing vessel when observed under a microscope.

      Read more: Difference Between Vapor and Gas | Difference Between | Vapor vs Gas

    • I see folks teasing you. H2O is indeed both a gas and a vapor.

      The definition for vapor is a chemical which is mostly liquid or solid liquid or solid at standard temperature and pressure (760 Torr, 4degC) which is in its gas state.

  9. Should have added refrigerant gases – if they aren’t liquid under pressure the whole refrigeration cycle breaks down and all the devices we pay good money for obviously don’t work in pete’s world !

    Luckily they do in the real world !

    Just like climate “science” – the “settled science” says one thing while reality says another.

    The conclusion ??

    Reality MUST be wrong !!

  10. Or – from NASA

    ” NASA’s Cassini spacecraft has obtained new pictures of the liquid methane and ethane seas and lakes that reside near Titan’s north pole. ”

    Pete must contact NASA and tell their article is crap – there is no “liquid” methane or ethane – only condensed vapour !

  11. As I understand, there is no way to distinguish Volcanic CO2 from Fossil Fuel CO2. So, maybe man has been getting a bad rap for the amount of CO2 we are producing?

    Of course it has really never been about Man Created CO2, it been about how money can be made and people can be controlled and taxes.

  12. Not so sure there are that many underwater Volcanoes and I think 9/10 of what they’re talking about are nothing more but vents.

  13. Even if the EPA manages to stop all CO2 production in America, CO2 will still rise. It is hubris to think man can control CO2, and it is beyond hubris to think that USA can control global CO2 levels. Especially in light how CO2-active the oceans are.

  14. The vital part of this paper for me is the questioning of the anthropogenic fingerprinting of atmospheric CO2. If it can be shown that 14C and 13C depleted carbon is also significantly present in volcanic eruptions, besides being abundant in fossil fuel emissions, then the entire idea of the vast majority of the increase in atmospheric CO2 being due to fossil fuel burning in seriously undermined. The author suggests that the “same basin sediment kerogen (the carbon source for oil) in addition, no doubt, to some petroleum reservoirs have been subducted and are a major source for volcanic CO2 emissions at continental margins.”

    • “…If it can be shown that 14C and 13C depleted carbon is also significantly present in volcanic eruptions, besides being abundant in fossil fuel emissions, then the entire idea of the vast majority of the increase in atmospheric CO2 being due to fossil fuel burning in seriously undermined. …

      E.M. Smith (ChiefIO) already shot that warmist argument out of the water.

      The Trouble with C12-C13 Ratios

  15. Good one Robert, I shared this and the West Antarctic volcano story on social media. Neither of which was discussed in Australia that I could locate.

    Already several “friends” have messaged me and said we had no idea this information was available, and can you please keep updating your posts as your posts have made us seriously question what we have been told.

    Australia, has had a complete brainwashing with Climate Alarmism.

  16. If one googles for ocean acidification it certainly does seem to pose a threat for marine-life, including the demise of the greatest oxygensource on Earth, marine plankton, thanks to active volcanoes on the increase !
    So eventually our atmospheric oxygenpercentage could decrease to a level that would suffocate the biosphere, including innocent humans.
    Even plants have to breathe oxygen during nighttime.
    I believe the average atmospheric oxygenpercentage is round 21 %, whereas in ancient times it used to be nearly 30 percent! So e.g.forestfires would be unstoppable in these times with all that oxygen around.
    If the oxygencontent drops below 19% or whereabouts, our immunesystems would start to fail and eventually we would have massive human and animal die-off !

    • The problem with the information about ocean acidification is it is completely misleading – and deliberately so.

      Firstly CO2 in water is a very weak acid whilst the ocean is a very stable buffer with a pH averaging around 8. The concentration of CO2 to reduce that significantly will not come from the atmosphere – there isn’t enough CO2 in the atmosphere to make much difference.

      I can say this with confidence because the mass of the oceans is 268 times the mass of the atmosphere and CO2 is currently 0.04% of that.

      No honest chemist would claim the dissolving of the entire atmospheric mas of CO2 at once would make much difference to the pH of the oceans.

      Secondly it is a well known property of CO2 solution in water that increasing the temperature reduces the solubility of CO2 in water.

      Warm water naturally contains less CO2 than cold water – warm up a carbonated drink and see what happens – the CO2 comes out of solution.

      The oceans are outgassing CO2 due to the slight warming trend observed. The cause of this tend IS NOT known !

      I find alarmists stunningly contradictory and amusing.

      They point out the slight increasing trend in temperatures as alarming !

      They point out the side effect of this slight increasing trend in temperatures – rising sea levels – as alarming !

      Then they claim man’s CO2 emissions will increase ocean acidification as alarming.

      But you simply cannot have it both ways – that is an “Inconvenient Truth” !!

      Either the oceans are getting warmer and the CO2 concentration in seawater is decreasing and thus ocean acidification by manmade CO2 from the atmosphere is complete BS !!

      – or –

      The manmade CO2 from the atmosphere IS dissolving in cooler oceans causing ocean acidification and warming oceans and the associated sea level rises are BS !!

      Take your pick – REAL SCIENCE says you can’t have both.

  17. Most people think the solid form of CO2 is carbon dioxide. Lately I think it is dollar bills.

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