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Hydrothermal Vents May Heat Oceans

More Than Anyone Realized

Spewing hot fluids up 300C (572F) onto the sea
 

 

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9 Oct.10) — (Excerpts) Scientists from the MARUM Center for Marine Environmental Sciences and the Max Planck Institute for Marine Microbiology in Bremen on board the German research vessel Meteor have discovered a new hydrothermal vent 500 kilometres south-west of the Azores.

Chimney-like structures spew hot fluids of up to 300 degrees Celsius (572F) into the sea. (Credit: MARUM)

The vent with chimneys as high as one meter and fluids with temperatures up to 300 degrees Celsius (572F) was found at one thousand metres water depth in the middle of the Atlantic Ocean.

Since the discovery of the new vent, the scientists have been intensively searching the water column with the multibeam echosounder. To their astonishment, they have already found at least five other sites with gas plumes. Some even lie outside the volcanically active spreading zone in areas where hydrothermal activity was previously not assumed to occur.

"Our results indicate that many more of these small active sites exist along the Mid-Atlantic Ridge than previously assumed," said Dr. Nicole Dubilier, the chief scientist of the expedition. "This could change our understanding of the contribution of hydrothermal activity to the thermal budget of the oceans.

"One of the questions that the team would like to answer is why the hydrothermal sources in this area emit so much methane -- a very potent greenhouse gas," says chief scientist Nicole Dubilier.

As you already know, I've been saying for years that underwater volcanoes heat the seas. In fact, I devoted an entire chapter to this in "Not by Fire but by Ice."

Entitled "Fish Stew," the chapter begins thusly:

Underwater volcanoes affect our lives and our weather in ways we don't understand. But how can we understand, when we don't know how many there are? How can we understand, when we keep finding new ones by the thousands?

Watch video blog: “News from the main deck” on youTube

See entire article:
http://wattsupwiththat.com/2010/10/10/hydrothermal-vents-may-contribute-more-to-the-thermal-budget-of-the-oceans-than-previously-assumed/
Thanks to Dennis McCleney and Laurel for this link

"It looks like the “experts” are starting to catch on to what you’ve been saying for years," says Dennis.

"Your site was the first I ever found thermal vent info on," says Laurel.


 





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