Not by Fire but by Ice
THE NEXT ICE AGE - NOW!
Photo by Richard Arculus
Thus read the May 24, 2000 announcement from the Australian Commonwealth Scientific and Industrial Organization (CSIRO).
sent a team of researchers to the Soloman Islands east of Australia to
study a "dormant" underwater volcano.
Instead, their target was very much alive.
The scientists watched in amazement as lava and ash blasted
through the surface of the Pacific Ocean and then continued rising
more than 200 feet into the sky. Plumes of steam and smoke rose
thousands of feet above the ocean's surface.
They were witnessing the birth of the Island
They were also witnessing "global warming" at
Volcanic islands such as Kavachi are formed as underwater
volcanoes pump vast amounts of red-hot basalt into the seas. The
basalt can reach temperatures of up to 2,150 degrees Fahrenheit; ten
times the boiling point.
Kavachi confirms observations that submarine volcano chains
contibute significantly to heat entering the oceans, said Gary Massoth
of the Institute of Geological and Nuclear Sciences in Darwin.
Rising more than 3,000 feet above the ocean floor, Kavachi is just one of thousands of volcanic islands that contribute to ocean warming. Kavachi has formed at least 8 times in the past 60 years, only to recede beneath the water. At times, Kavachi has reached more than 500 feet in length.
underwater volcanoes—also called "seamounts"—erupt so
far beneath the sea that their steam and gasses never reach the
surface. Still, they contribute an incredible amount of heat to the
Submarine volcanoes can be even larger than above-water
volcanoes. Hawaii's undersea Loihi volcano,
Even then, Loihi's top remains about a half mile below the
surface of the ocean. Researchers estimate that Loihi will reach the
surface of the ocean and officially become an island in about 100,000
As with other underwater volcanoes, Loihi contributes to
ocean warming. During a 1996 eruption of Loihi, researchers recorded
the temperature of the surrounding water at almost 400°F.
Worldwide, as many as 30,000 islands have been formed by
underwater volcanoes, say researchers. The major islands in Hawaii,
for example, were built around the active volcanoes at their centers.
Hawaii's Big Island was formed by five large volcanoes, including
Mauna Loa, the largest active volcano on Earth.
Other islands birthed by undersea volcanic eruptions
include the islands of Japan, the West Indies islands in the
Caribbean, the Azores in the Atlantic, and hundreds of islands in the
Today, most of the world's underwater volcanoes
remain unmonitored, leaving us with no inkling of how much they
contribute to "global warming."
I think we owe it to ourselves to find out.
more photos of Kavachi erupting:
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