Vindication – “In a surprise finding, undersea hot lava is baking ocean sediments and releasing greenhouse gases,” says this article by Larry O’Hanlon.
Click to enlarge image. Image courtesy of WHOI
Scientists had previously thought of the oceans as being a carbon sink, says O’Hanlon. This reverses that belief, changing the oceans into a carbon source.
This is what I’ve been saying all along. “We have it backwards: Rising CO2 levels don’t cause warmer seas, warmer seas cause higher CO2 levels. (“Not by Fire but by Ice,” p. 192)
“The discovery has big implications for calculating the Earth’s current carbon budget, as well as for how past climates were thrown in to disarray by “intrusive” volcanic activity beneath the seafloor,” says O’Hanlon.
Underwater volcanoes caused natural global warming, in other words.
Researchers at the Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution were especially surprised at how far the magma had spread. “The sills of magma were not just a few kilometers (1.8 miles) away from the spreading center ridge, as expected, but up to 50 kilometers (31 miles) away. That vastly increases the volume of sediments the hot rock can cook and from which methane and other carbon-rich gases can be released.
“Sills derived from intrusive volcanism in sedimentary basins have been linked to huge natural methane fluxes in the past,” says David Goldberg of the Lamont-Doherty Earth Observatory, who cites as an example the 55-million-year-old sills of the Norwegian margin, “suspected of having caused global climate change.”
Natural global warming, in other words.
“All that gas buoys up through the sediments and into the ocean, heating up the deep waters.” (Italics added)
Underwater volcanoes heated the water, in other words.
Thanks to Michael Gershman for this link