Sounds of Climate Change
Not by Fire but by Ice
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|9 November 07|
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The Sounds of Climate Change
Underwater volcanoes heating the seas?
8 Jan 08 - "Researchers from the Oregon State University (OSU) Hatfield Marine Science Center have journeyed to the Antarctic region over the past 3 years to deploy hydrophones into the deep waters surrounding the western Antarctic Peninsula. The hydrophones are highly sensitive microphones encased in titanium and lowered on three-quarters of a mile of cable to listen to the rumble of undersea earthquakes.
"When an earthquake occurs, it makes a distinct sound, and we can locate that," says Robert Dziak, 44, OSU associate professor of marine geophysics and expedition leader. "Earthquakes and magma spewing on the seafloor go hand in hand, and what we are seeing is, there are new heat sources right off the coast of Deception Island that no one was aware of before. (italics added)
"It's the only place on the planet where active seafloor and subaerial (above sea level) volcanoes are near large icebergs and ice sheets."
Dziak hopes to learn more about how the sea floor volcanoes and earthquakes contribute to the breakup of ice in the region. The most significant find from the research so far has been the discovery of thermal vents on the seafloor. (italics added)
"Since three-quarters of the Earth is covered by ocean, the vast majority of volcanic activity on Earth is occurring without our knowledge undersea." So it's unknown how much heat and chemicals the underwater volcanoes spew into the ocean and atmosphere (italics added), affecting global ocean temperatures and climate, said Dziak.
According to Haru Matsumoto, research associate at OSU, scientists know that the air temperature around the Western Antarctic Peninsula has warmed by 4 degrees Fahrenheit during the past 40 years and that noise levels in the waters nearby have increased about 10 decibels in the past 30 years.
Matsumoto says the louder noise levels of the past four decades may be the result of global warming.
How in the world did Matsumoto reach that conclusion?
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