Scientists Locate Apparent Hydrothermal Vents off Antarctica

The title is from Columbia, and I should point out that this discovery on the Pacific Antarctic Ridge is 2800 miles from tip of the Antarctic peninsula, where volcanic activity is already well known. Examples are found at Deception Island and within the Bransfield strait. These two images I’ve prepared below (click to enlarge them) will give you a “lay of the land” so to speak.

I think it would be illuminating to send ROV’s under some of the newly opened sea surface that was exposed when sea ice near the peninsula broke off to see if vents exist there also.

========================================================

A vent spews chemical fluids from the East Pacific Rise, about  5,600 miles from newly suspected vents on the Pacific Antarctic Ridge

A vent spews chemical fluids from the East Pacific Rise, about 5,600 miles from newly suspected vents on the Pacific Antarctic Ridge. Credit: Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution.

Discovery, a First, Could Spur Exploration of Distant Mid-Ocean Ridge

From a Columbia University press release:

Scientists at Columbia’s Lamont-Doherty Earth Observatory have found evidence of hydrothermal vents on the seafloor near Antarctica, formerly a blank spot on the map for researchers wanting to learn more about seafloor formation and the bizarre life forms drawn to these extreme environments.

Hydrothermal vents spew volcanically heated seawater from the planet’s underwater mountain ranges—the vast mid-ocean ridge system, where lava erupts and new crust forms. Chemicals dissolved in those vents influence ocean chemistry and sustain a complex web of organisms, much as sunlight does on land. In recent decades more than 220 vents have been discovered worldwide, but so far no one has looked for them in the rough and frigid waters off Antarctica.

From her lab in Palisades, N.Y., geochemist Gisela Winckler recently took up the search. By analyzing thousands of oceanographic measurements, she and her Lamont colleagues pinpointed six spots on the remote Pacific Antarctic Ridge, about 2,000 miles from New Zealand, the closest inhabited country, and 1,000 miles from the west coast of Antarctica, where they think vents are likely to be found. The sites are described in a paper published THIS WEEK in the journal Geophysical Research Letters.

The Pacific Antarctic Ridge may be the least-studied of the  underwater volcanic mountains that crisscross the globe. Blue square  indicates suspected vents

The Pacific Antarctic Ridge may be the least-studied of the underwater volcanic mountains that crisscross the globe. Blue square indicates suspected vents. Credit: Modified image from Chris German and Karen Von Damm.

“Most of the deep ocean is like a desert, but these vents are oases of life and weirdness,” said Winckler. “The Pacific Antarctic ridge is one of the ridges we know least about. It would be fantastic if researchers were to dive to the seafloor to study the vents we believe are there.”

Two important facts helped the scientists isolate the hidden vents. First, the ocean is stratified with layers of lighter water sitting on top of layers of denser water.  Second, when a seafloor vent erupts, it spews gases rich in rare helium-3, an isotope found in earth’s mantle and in the magma bubbling below the vent. As helium-3 disperses through the ocean, it mixes into a density layer and stays there, forming a plume that can stretch over thousands of kilometers.

The Lamont scientists were analyzing ocean-helium measurements to study how the deep ocean exchanges dissolved gases with the atmosphere when they came across a helium plume that looked out of place. It was in a southern portion of the Pacific Ocean, below a large and well-known helium plume coming off the East Pacific Rise, one of the best-studied vent regions on earth. But this mystery plume appeared too deep to have the same source.

Suspecting that it was coming from the Pacific Antarctic Ridge instead, the researchers compiled a detailed map of ocean-density layers in that region, using some 25,000 salinity, temperature and depth measurements. After locating the helium plume along a single density layer, they compared the layer to topographic maps of the Pacific Antarctic Ridge to figure out where the plume would intersect.

The sites they identified cover 340 miles of ridge line–the approximate distance between Manhattan and Richmond, Va.–or about 7 percent of the total 4,300 mile-ridge.  This chain of volcanic mountains lies about three miles below the ocean surface, and its mile-high peaks are cut by steep canyons and fracture zones created as the sea floor spreads apart.  It is a cold and lonely stretch of ocean, far from land or commercial shipping lanes.

Pressure, temperature and salinity measurements from the Southern  Ocean helped the researcher calculate density gradients.

Pressure, temperature and salinity measurements from the Southern Ocean helped the researcher calculate density gradients. Credit: Anthony Dachille

“They haven’t found vents, but they’ve narrowed the places to look by quite a bit,” said Edward Baker, a vent expert at the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration.

Of course, finding vents in polar waters is not easy, even with a rough idea where to look. In 2007, Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution geophysicist Rob Reves-Sohn led a team of scientists to the Gakkel Ridge between Greenland and Siberia to look for vents detected six years earlier. Although they discovered regions where warm fluids appeared to be seeping from the seafloor, they failed to find the high-temperature, black smoker vents they had come for.  In a pending paper, Sohn now says he has narrowed down the search to a 400-kilometer-square area where he expects to find seven new vents, including at least one black smoker.

The search for vents off Antarctica may be equally unpredictable, but the map produced by the Lamont scientists should greatly improve the odds of success, said Robert Newton, a Lamont oceanographer and study co-author. “You don’t have to land right on top of a vent to know it’s there,” he said. “You get a rich mineral soup coming out of these smokers—methane, iron, manganese, sulphur and many other minerals. Once you get within a few tens of kilometers, you can detect these other tracers.”

Since the discovery of the first hydrothermal vents in the late 1970s, scientists have searched for far-flung sites, in the hunt for new species and adaptive patterns that can shed light on how species evolved in different spots. Cindy Van Dover, a deep sea biologist and director of the Duke University Marine Laboratory, says she expects that new species will be found on the Pacific Antarctic Ridge, and that this region may hold important clues about how creatures vary between the Indian and Pacific Oceans, on either end.

“These vents are living laboratories,” said Van Dover, who was not involved in the study. “When we went to the Indian Ocean, we discovered the scaly-foot gastropod, a deep-sea snail whose foot is covered in armor made of iron sulfides. The military may be interested in studying the snail to develop a better armor. The adaptations found in these animals may have many other applications.”

Other study authors include Peter Schlosser, head of Lamont’s Environmental Tracer Group and Lamont marine geologist Timothy Crone.

Advertisements

86 thoughts on “Scientists Locate Apparent Hydrothermal Vents off Antarctica

  1. Even more evidence of volcanic activity in Antarctica.
    Active volcanism beneath the West Antarctic ice sheet and implications for ice-sheet stability
    (Nature, Volume 361, Number 6412, p. 526-529, February 1993)
    – Donald D. Blankenship et al.
    Aeromagnetic evidence for a volcanic caldera(?) Complex beneath the divide of the West Antarctic Ice Sheet
    (Geophysical Research Letters, Volume 25, Issue 23, pp. 4385-4388, December 1998)
    – John C. Behrendt et al.
    Ice-dynamical constraints on the existence and impact of subglacial volcanism on West Antarctic ice sheet stability
    (Geophysical Research Letters, Volume 33, Issue 23, December 2006)
    – Stefan W. Vogel et al.

  2. Hot water melts ice, right? RIGHT!?!?!
    “Since the discovery of the first hydrothermal vents in the late 1970s”
    The thing that gets me is, they were ONLY discovered in the 1970s… What else hasn’t been discovered about Planet “A” ?

  3. From the article: “Second, when a seafloor vent erupts, it spews gases rich in rare helium-3, an isotope found in earth’s mantle and in the magma bubbling below the vent.”
    Uh, should we now be concerned about this rapid “heliumization” of the oceans? I mean, it doesn’t seem threatening, but there’s so much we don’t know… Maybe I should ask a celebrity?

  4. Of course! and there are also thermal pools. No news.The antartic peninsula it is the prolongation of the andes mountains chain, the most active and most abundant volcano chain. Last earthquake was there, remember last sunday´s 8.8 richter scale?
    Looks like when in a solar minimum the magnetic embrace from the sun looses and the earth tectonic plates begin to move more freely (“with freedom from exterior control”).

  5. I wonder if they could divert some of the billions they spend on the hoax to search for the truth. It would be good science.

  6. Van Grungy: “Hot water melts ice, right? RIGHT!?!?!”
    These vents are three miles down and surrounded by a LOT of cold water. I doubt that the heat they supply warms the ocean significantly, just as the heat emitted by active but quiescent volcanoes does not significantly warm the atmosphere. Of course when they erupt it would be a very different story. But these vents are usually surrounded by life evolved specifically to survive there, which means they have been stable and quiescent for a very long time.
    Yes hot water melts ice. But there isn’t much ice three miles down (Ice floats, right? RIGHT!?!?!). And by the time you get to the surface you would hardly be able to detect the amount of heating, let alone melt ice with it.

  7. I think I remember reading about one of the moons of Jupiter or was it Saturn…?
    The particular moon’s surface had cracks and fissures and lava flows. Astronomers speculated that the cracks and fissures and lava flows were from multiple giant “earth” quakes that resulted from extreme tidal forces from the other moons and the giant planet. The friction from the tidal forces melted the rock to create lava that flowed from the cracks that the “earth” quakes made.
    It makes me wonder if the earth can experience an increase in tidal forces from particular configurations of planets and whether it can affect the weather, i.e., more lava flows or volcanic eruptions, more thermal sea vents, more earth quakes.

  8. “Apparent” vents at “Deception” Island ? “”” and 1,000 miles from the west coast of Antarctica, where they think vents are likely to be found. “””
    So they think they may have found some likely sites for hydrothermal vents; which is why they don’t have any pictures of any hydothermal vents within 1000 miles of Antarctica.
    Film at 11.

  9. And now for something completely <a href="different“>LinkText Here… at the other end of the earth, anyway.
    (Sorry I couldn’t get the link right)
    This article says that the level of methane in the Arctic Ocean was “more than expected”… I guess that means because we are ignorant of the true level of emissions, we should be alarmed when we discover them. Or maybe it means this level is normal, and the climate isn’t as sensitive “as expected”.

  10. It looks as if the Pacific Oceanic ridge is located 2800 miles west of the tip of West Antarctica at about 55 Degrees S. It may help others if this was included in the first sentence.

  11. “Most of the deep ocean is like a desert, but these vents are oases of life and weirdness,” said Winckler.
    One thing to point out to people who may still be on the fence: there is NO place on earth too hot for plant life (don’t even think, “desert”, add water and plants have no problem regardless of the heat). OTOH, there are plenty of places too cold to support plant life. Warm is good, cold is bad.

  12. Anthony
    In an attempt to be informed, I regularly access your website. the previous thread seemed to become suddenly infected with acrimony and way OT
    Thank you for promptly closing it. Perhaps you could more prominently remind participants of the need to be civil.

  13. Here we have thousands of underwater volcanoes spewing toxins and heavy metals into the water column…. and the EPA goes spare over vessels pumping their bilges in the open ocean….. Misanthopic scumbags.

  14. I posted on this a year ago. With the ring of fire and the PDO, it is easy for warmer water to enter the arctic. Not so with the Antarctic. It isn’t over water.
    Gavin and Romm among others blog about northern melting but are unwilling and unable to consider currents of warmer water.

  15. does anyone have NYT 5 march to check if the correction was made in the printed version?
    4 March: NYT: Cornelia Dean: Study Says Undersea Release of Methane Is Under Way
    Andrew C. Revkin contributed reporting.
    She estimated that annual methane emissions from the East Siberian Arctic Shelf total about seven teragrams. (A teragram is 1.1 million tons.) By some estimates, global methane emissions total about 500 teragrams a year….
    Correction: March 4, 2010
    An earlier version of this article incorrectly referred to a teragram being 1.1 billion tons. It is 1.1 million tons. The version also incorrectly said that the East Siberian Arctic Shelf is east of the Bering Strait. It is west of the Bering Strait.
    A version of this article appeared in print on March 5, 2010, on page A13 of the New York edition.
    http://www.nytimes.com/2010/03/05/science/earth/05methane.html
    reason i ask is, doesn’t this 1.1 billion refer to the same thing that was corrected above?
    5 March: UK Times: Methane frozen beneath Arctic seabed destabilising, scientists warn
    by Frank Pope, Ocean Correspondent
    They found that almost seven teragrams of methane, each equivalent to 1.1 billion tonnes of carbon, were being released every year from the East Siberian Arctic Shelf. A similar figure had previously been estimated to be the total for all world oceans.
    “This is a little alarming,” said Dr Shakhova. “We do not know how massive or sudden this outburst was
    http://www.timesonline.co.uk/tol/news/environment/article7050312.ece
    Public release date: 4-Mar-2010
    National Science Foundation
    Contact: Dana Cruikshank
    “The amount of methane currently coming out of the East Siberian Arctic Shelf is comparable to the amount coming out of the entire world’s oceans,” said Shakhova..
    Shakhova’s research results show that the East Siberian Arctic Shelf is already a significant methane source, releasing 7 teragrams of methane yearly, which is as much as is emitted from the rest of the ocean. A teragram is equal to about 1.1 million tons…
    Methane releases from Arctic shelf may be much larger and faster than anticipated
    http://www.eurekalert.org/pub_releases/2010-03/nsf-mrf030410.php
    (LOL) 4 March: Time: Going Green
    More Warming Worries: Methane from the Arctic
    By Michael D. Lemonick
    Lemonick is the senior science writer at Climate Central
    A string of ‘gates over the past few months — Climategate, Himalayagate, among others — have landed some hard punches on the politics of climate change science. They haven’t laid a glove on the science itself, however. ..
    …methane, a greenhouse gas that is 30 times more effective in trapping heat in the atmosphere than carbon dioxide, is bubbling up from the continental shelf and leaking into the atmosphere. The estimated total: 8 teragrams — that’s 8 trillion grams — per year..
    Eight teragrams of anything, let alone a heat-trapping greenhouse gas, sounds dangerous, but as Martin Heimann of the Max Planck Institute for Biogeochemistry in Jena, Germany, points out, the newly discovered methane leak represents a small piece of the overall global total of methane emissions — about 500 teragrams annually — from wetlands, termites and agriculture (including belching cows, rotting manure and rice paddies).
    The number itself isn’t what worries people, though: it’s whether this newly identified methane source is part of an ominous trend…
    The real value of this new report, he believes, is that it finally gives scientists a solid baseline against which they can measure changes in methane over the coming years to see if it really is increasing. It’s also a perfect example of how climate science actually works, as opposed to the cartoon version bandied about by activists and politicians: you take data, acknowledge any uncertainties about exactly what it means, then go out and take more data to narrow those uncertainties. That’s exactly why human-triggered global warming was widely acknowledged to be mostly theoretical a few decades ago — and why it’s considered a scientific fact today.
    http://www.time.com/time/health/article/0,8599,1969767,00.html?xid=rss-topstories

  16. r (16:34:15) :
    The particular moon’s surface had cracks and fissures and lava flows. Astronomers speculated that the cracks and fissures and lava flows were from multiple giant “earth” quakes that resulted from extreme tidal forces from the other moons and the giant planet. The friction from the tidal forces melted the rock to create lava that flowed from the cracks that the “earth” quakes made.
    It makes me wonder if the earth can experience an increase in tidal forces from particular configurations of planets and whether it can affect the weather, i.e., more lava flows or volcanic eruptions, more thermal sea vents, more earth quakes.
    Science believes that our core and planet were made from gravity and the moon slows the planet.
    Incorrect!
    Then why is there pressure build-up under the planets surfaces?
    Why is the mass in magma or our planet’s mantle not pulled to the core by gravity?
    ROTATION
    Rotation when spinning moves density to the outer surface. What is left?
    Massive amounts of gases. Supercompressed.
    When compressed gases start to slow, they expand.
    This is why we still have massive amounts of pressure build-up after billions of years.
    Energy from rotation compresses mass. This in turn is slowly released as rotation slows.

  17. Who wudda thunk it? This marble is a lot more complicated than Al Gore told us. I am in shock….

  18. International expedition discovers gigantic volcanic eruption in the Arctic Ocean
    http://www.idw-online.de/pages/de/news266954
    Thousand of new volcanoes revealed beneath the waves
    http://www.newscientist.com/article/dn12218-thousand-of-new-volcanoes-revealed-beneath-the-waves.html
    Active submarine volcanoes found near Fiji
    http://pda.physorg.com/_news133090473.html
    Found: The hottest water on Earth
    http://www.newscientist.com/article/dn14456
    Deep sea volcano erupts off coast
    http://news.ninemsn.com.au/glance/788007/deep-sea-volcano-erupts-off-coast Great pics
    Does this help?

  19. Carbon-based life form (16:41:15),
    I can just see it coming: now that CO2 can’t be credibly blamed for global warming, the focus is shifting to the new trumped-up scare, methane. Unfortunately, methane has only a small fraction of the warming potential of CO2 due to its tiny concentration [only 1.7 ppmv, vs 388 ppmv for CO2]. And methane levels appear to have peaked, and are now declining.
    Methane has always naturally outgassed. And 40 – 60 million bison no longer go thundering across the prairie, farting methane all the way. And termites alone emit huge amounts of methane.
    In addition, there is no “consensus” about methane: click
    Even the warming potential of methane is disputed in the peer reviewed litrichur: click
    The problem for the climate alarmism industry is that they used CO2 to try and scare the public into paying enormous new taxes and much higher prices in an effort to establish a huge new layer of government bureaucracy. But it is becoming clear that CO2 warms so little that its effect can’t even be measured, so the alarmists need something else to scare folks with: click
    Too bad they don’t investigate the hundreds of thousands of recently discovered undersea volcanoes to determine their emissions: click
    But they can’t tax volcanoes. So methane it is. Because money and control are the real goals; science is just the cover.

  20. ooops forgot this one and it’s a goodie.
    Boiling Hot Water Found in Frigid Arctic Sea
    ..””Many miles inside the Arctic Circle, scientists have found elusive vents of scalding liquid rising out of the seafloor at temperatures that are more than twice the boiling point of water.
    The cluster of five hydrothermal vents, also called black smokers, were discovered farther north than any others previously identified. The vents, one of which towers four stories high, are located on the Mid-Atlantic Ridge between Greenland and Norway, more than 120 miles farther north than other known vents. “”
    http://www.livescience.com/environment/080724-black-smokers.html

  21. Geeesh, core of the planet is starting to feel hot to me again, just when I thought some of those chambers were going to start closing and contracting when it stops being so ah fluid?

  22. Methane?
    How would the case for methane as a significant ghg be made? Its absorption spectrum coincides with water vapour which would totaly dominate it?

  23. Smokey I myself have noticed a strong shift towards the “rising” sea levels in the last few weeks on the pro blogs.
    You would think with all of these oceans warming up so quickly that the rate of evapouration would actually be lowering the sea levels….
    :)~

  24. I dunno about the Pacific-Antarctic ridge, but Bransfield Strait is right next to King George Island in the S. Shetlands, the home of 6 of the 46-some “Antarctic” stations considered by Steig 2009, that show much more warming than the rest of the continent.

  25. r.
    It makes me wonder if the earth can experience an increase in tidal forces from particular configurations of planets and whether it can affect the weather, i.e., more lava flows or volcanic eruptions, more thermal sea vents, more earth quakes>>
    One would think not. The gravitational force between two bodies is F=Gm1m2/r^2 where G is a constant, m1 and m2 are the masses, and r is the distance between them. The moon raises a tide on earth because the diameter of the earth is significant in comparison to the radius of the moon’s orbit, so water on the near side experiences more pull than water on the far side. But when we look at other planets like jupiter and saturn, the distance from them to the earth is so large in comparison to the diameter of the earth, that any difference in gravitational force from one side to the other would be tiny.
    It would be “rotten” gravity!

  26. I really enjoy these stories about real scientists, doing real science. Fascinating.

  27. Carbon-based life form (16:41:15) :
    And now for something completely LinkText Here… at the other end of the earth, anyway.
    (Sorry I couldn’t get the link right)

    You needed to include a terminating </a> after LinkText Here. Here’s how I explain it in full:
    I’ve discovered, after a dozen failures, how to post clickable links using html tags – i.e., tags inside angle brackets. There are two things to learn: the html “skeleton,” and the two spots within the skeleton where the URL and its visible representation should be pasted. Here’s the skeleton with parentheses used in place of angle brackets:
    (a href=””)(/a)
    What you want to do is paste the actual URL in between the quotation marks. Then, between the two angle brackets >< you can either place the URL again (in which case that is what will be visible to the reader), or a human-language description of the URL.
    If you find it hard to remember the skeleton, type it into a few Word files and copy and paste it into the comment box in the blog where you want to use it. Then copy and paste the URL (between the quotation marks). Then type in the description of the URL (between the angle brackets).

  28. I’m waiting for Al Gore to call for cap & trade on Helium3! If it’s rare, he’ll figure that he could make even MORE money than with CO2!

  29. ”””’a seafloor vent erupts, it spews gases rich in rare helium-3, an isotope found in earth’s mantle and in the magma bubbling below the vent.”””’
    Being an old nuclear fission power industry guy, my eyes light up when I see any terrestrial reference to sources of Helium-3 [He3].
    But alas, at this stage of our technical development, it does not yet appear feasible to use this terrestrial source of He3 for the quantities needed for significant commercial fusion power use. Looks like would need go to non-terrestrial sources.
    I am referring to the potential for development of commercial nuclear fusion power plants fueled with He3. It is a long term vision given that sustained [enough for power use] fusion reactions have not proven viable YET, but our technology is expected to continually expect . . . . unless, as we fear, CAGW driven agendas shutdown our economies which are really the source of government research funds.
    John

  30. Errata Notice
    Regarding my comment “John Whitman (21:33:21)” above, I apologize for the last sentence. Got too impatient with my iterations of spell-check, proofread, edit, spell-check, etc. There was one too many “expect” based words in that sentence.
    The last sentence in my previous comment should read;
    “It is a long term vision given that sustained [enough for power use] fusion reactions have not proven viable YET, but our technology is expected to continually inprove. . . . unless, as we fear, CAGW driven agendas shutdown our economies which are really the source of government research funds.”
    John

  31. ””’CRS, Dr.P.H. (21:20:24) : I’m waiting for Al Gore to call for cap & trade on Helium3! If it’s rare, he’ll figure that he could make even MORE money than with CO2!”””’
    CRS,
    Hey, we both had the He3 thoughts within minutes of each other!
    Do we have the same type of cars too?
    Do you have nuclear research/power background?
    John

  32. Deception Island….still smoking…still seismically active…significant fumaroles…risk of eruption-medium..part of the Bransfield Strait. Historical references (mainly Norwegian Whalers) report seeing the entire Island on fire, obviously multiple eruptions taking place…..even today, during the austral winter within the caldera there are parts of the island where bedrock is exposed, no snow can be seen as the fumaroles are heating the surrounding areas, Kroner lake, beside Whalers Bay is an example.
    Link to interesting webpage…
    http://www.deceptionisland.aq/

  33. Recently I made a sweep of GMF circling Antarctica at 60 degree South. If the GMF changes are caused by movements in the Earth’s mantle, than something odd is going on in the area of South Orkney Islands (60S,40W, see map)
    http://kyleabaker.com/wp-content/uploads/2008/06/wallpaper-world-map-2006-large.gif
    where the GMF has lost half of its value during the last 400 years. In contrast on the opposite side (60S,130E) facing Australia the GMF stayed absolutely constant since 1600.
    http://www.vukcevic.talktalk.net/LFC12.htm
    Also global GMF sweep on http://www.vukcevic.talktalk.net/GandF.htm
    Data from The Institute of Geophysics, Zurich.

  34. Always nice to see news of hydrothermal venting areas, especially reports of methane being outgassed. Of course, within feet of the vent this methane will likely deposit as clathrates, as the temperature drops from 400 deg C to 2 deg C over thsi distance from the plume, so the actual detection of gaseous methane ought to indicate the production of huge quantities.
    And posters will know that at those pressure depths, and at those temperatures, water is well supercritical ( hence my tag) and becomes the universal solvent.
    So here is a chemical speculation; that in those vent systems percolating H2O and CO2 might combine to form methane, and that the catalyst may well be some combination of sulphur, iron, manganese and other metals.
    And if so, could this be how nature produces those huge natural gas and oilfields? By recycling CO2? Could we do the same by lowering CO2 to those depths and then hoisting it back up as natural gas?

  35. Lie of the land, please Anthony. Your English………….
    or were you suggesting that oolitic limestone is volcanic?

  36. “I should point out that this discovery on the Pacific Antarctic Ridge is 2800 miles from tip of the Antarctic peninsula”
    Oh, don’t get too wrapped up about that, pass it over to Eric Steig, I’m sure he & Mickey Mann can smear the heating around far enough!
    😉

  37. Off topic but relevant to oceans and of intrest to new twisting of data to conform to CAGW is this short article from Scipps Institute of Oceanography.
    I recieve the “email letter from S.I.O. (Scripps Institute of Oceanography) and over time I have noticed how research results are now instantly assumed to be a result of global warming. The recent article, “Argo: World’s Hydrological Cycle is accelerating” was a typical example, and the appeal to justify funding was obvious. I have loved SIO since I was a child growing up in San Diego in the 60s and 70s. It is a shame how much CAGW has politicized research. Here is a short summary of the article with some questions, comments…
    “Dean Roemmich, an oceanographer at Scripps Institution of Oceanography at UC San Diego and an Argo steering committee member, co-authored a 2009 paper reporting an initial finding of changes in ocean surface salinity. Now colleagues at other major research centers are adding quantitative detail.”
    Ouestion; I know this article is a summary, but how could there be an intial conclusion of changes without quanative detail?
    “As water warms, it evaporates faster and escapes into the atmosphere. The atmosphere cannot hold water for long and releases it as rain and snow. Salinity maps generated by Argo show the ocean regions in which the water is evaporating most rapidly and the others where it is being redeposited on the surface as salt-free rainwater.”
    OK, so ARGO was used for this study from 2004 – 2008, and as ARGO is new, there were not rapid changes measured by ARGO, especially considereing ARGO has recorded no warming over this same period. The measurements for this study are on the surface where the hydrologic cycle happens. As the time measured is so short, and considering we have no decent history of prior changes, what was the study compared to?
    “This is the most compelling information there is that the global process of evaporation and precipitation has sped up,” said Roemmich. “There’s little ambiguity in the data. Prior to Argo these changes were suspected, but there just wasn’t enough salinity data to map the global pattern.”
    So again, if “there just wasn’t enough salinity data to map the global pattern” prior to ARGO, how to we know it has speed up, and if it has, how do we know it is not a natural change? The direct answer is found in the following paragraph…
    “An upcoming paper by Durack and Susan Wijffels finds that model estimates of ocean salinity patterns reported in the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change’s 2007 report underestimate the strength of the patterns when compared to the salinity profiles made by the Argo network and preceding efforts. Their previous paper describing the quantitative analysis of the global ocean salinity changes has been submitted to the Journal of Climate, and a second analysis of Argo salinity has been published in Japan’s Journal of Oceanography by Shigecki Hosoda and colleagues of the Japan Agency for Marine-Earth Science and Technology.”
    So the speed up is relative to the models prediction as well as past undetailed observations? Wow, just wow. Next comes the appeal to justify the funding…
    “Clearly, if we’re able to get a better estimate of changes to the 80 percent of global freshwater fluxes over the 20th century, we can much better validate global climate models and start to narrow the wide uncertainty ranges associated with hydrological cycle changes both in the past and the future,” Durack said”.
    Why the trying to “validate” global climate models”? Should the goal be equally to invalidate the “models” if this is what the data shows? If the uncertainty factors were so large, how do we really know what happened before ARGO, and if the pattern has sped up, how do we know this is not a natural cycle, since there was no ocean warming over the period studied? Such an appeal to more funding was unintentionaly betrayed in the opening paragraph of this article “…The Argo network of ocean-observing sensors is expected to pay its biggest dividends to climate researchers…”. The Argo system is a wonderful benefit to science, but I would feel better if CAGW was not used to justify the research, as it corrupts science. IMV It would be better if science progressed slower, but more honestly.

  38. vukcevic (00:46:06) :
    Recently I made a sweep of GMF circling Antarctica at 60 degree South. If the GMF changes are caused by movements in the Earth’s mantle, than something odd is going on in the area of South Orkney Islands (60S,40W, see map)
    http://kyleabaker.com/wp-content/uploads/2008/06/wallpaper-world-map-2006-large.gif
    where the GMF has lost half of its value during the last 400 years. In contrast on the opposite side (60S,130E) facing Australia the GMF stayed absolutely constant since 1600.
    http://www.vukcevic.talktalk.net/LFC12.htm
    Also global GMF sweep on http://www.vukcevic.talktalk.net/GandF.htm
    Data from The Institute of Geophysics, Zurich.
    ~
    “..on the opposite side (60S,130E) facing Australia the GMF stayed absolutely constant since 1600..”
    Isn’t the Australian plate the fastest moving plate on the planet, and opposite the South Atlantic Anamoly, too?
    The below article was an eye popper for me. The realization that so many volacanoes and smokers are beneath the oceans. Helped me to wrap my head around the extent of it.
    Thousand of new volcanoes revealed beneath the waves
    The true extent to which the ocean bed is dotted with volcanoes has been revealed by researchers who have counted 201,055 underwater cones. This is over 10 times more than have been found before.
    The team estimates that in total there could be about 3 million submarine volcanoes, 39,000 of which rise more than 1000 metres over the sea bed.
    “The distribution of underwater volcanoes tells us something about what is happening in the centre of the Earth,” says John Hillier of the University of Cambridge in the UK. That is because they give information about the flows of hot rock in the mantle beneath. “But the problem is that we cannot see through the water to count them,” he says.
    Satellites can detect volcanoes that are more than 1500 m high because the mass of the submerged mountains causes gravity to pull the water in around them. This creates domes on the ocean’s surface that can be several metres high and can be detected from space…………………………………………………..
    http://www.newscientist.com/article/dn12218-thousand-of-new-volcanoes-revealed-beneath-the-waves.html
    Journal reference: Geophysical Research Letters (DOI: 10.1029/2007GL029874)

  39. …You get a rich mineral soup coming out of these smokers—methane…
    Methane a mineral? Surely a new geological classification! That’s the fun with Climate Science; you can make rules up as you go along!
    Elements, Organic compounds, or minerals, what’s the difference between a few well connected Peers!

  40. Henry chance (18:02:19) : You wrote, “I posted on this a year ago. With the ring of fire and the PDO, it is easy for warmer water to enter the arctic.”
    The PDO does not represent the SST at the entrance to the Bering Strait from the Bering Sea. The PDO also does not represent the SST of the North Pacific. The PDO represents the pattern of the SST anomalies in the North Pacific. Refer to:
    http://bobtisdale.blogspot.com/2009/04/misunderstandings-about-pdo-revised.html
    AND:
    http://bobtisdale.blogspot.com/2009/05/revisiting-misunderstandings-about-pdo.html

  41. Carla (04:44:42) :
    “Isn’t the Australian plate the fastest moving plate on the planet, and opposite the South Atlantic Anamoly, too?”
    Good point Carla.
    Sweep was done at 60S because I found that there is an area (60S, 130E) of constant field (not found in many locations on the Earth’s surface).
    http://www.vukcevic.talktalk.net/LFC12.htm
    If you look at this map of tectonic plates:
    http://www.countrywatch.com/imgs/global_thematic/Tectonic_Plates.gif
    60S, 130E is half way between the Indo-Australian plate and Antarctica. Another interesting point is that the above map also shows tiny Scotia plate, precisely in the area of the largest magnetic anomaly, as shown in the article:
    http://wattsupwiththat.files.wordpress.com/2010/03/bransfield_strait.jpg

  42. Methane as a “factor,” in climate change, oh sure. Sea surface temps as a “factor,” oh sure.
    ~
    vukcevic (00:46:06) :
    ~
    Have you read this one yet?
    As the World Churns
    “”By combining measurements of Earth’s magnetic field from stations on land and ships at sea with satellite data, scientists were able to isolate six regularly occurring waves of motion taking place deep within Earth’s liquid core, with varying timescales. Image credit: NASA/JPL
    ..Getting to the Core of the Matter
    Since Earth’s liquid core is the primary source of Earth’s magnetic field, scientists can use observations of the magnetic field at Earth’s surface and its variability over time to mathematically calculate and isolate the approximate motions taking place within the core.
    That’s what Dickey and deViron did. They combined measurements of Earth’s magnetic field taken by observatory stations on land and ships at sea dating back to 1840 with those of the Danish Oersted and German CHAMP geomagnetic satellite missions, both of which were supported by NASA investments. These measurements were then used as inputs for a complex model that employs statistical time series analyses to determine how fast liquid iron is flowing within Earth’s core.
    “Although we do not observe the core directly, it’s amazing how much we can learn about Earth’s interior using magnetic field observations,” said Dickey.
    In order to approximate the flow of liquid in the core, the scientists visualized its motion as a set of 20 rigid cylinders, each rotating about a common point that represents Earth’s axis. “Imagine that each cylinder is slowly rotating at a different speed, and you’ll get a sense of the complex churning that’s taking place within Earth’s core,” Dickey said.
    The scientists analyzed the data to identify common patterns of movement among the different cylinders. These patterns represent how momentum and energy are transferred from the liquid core-mantle interface inward through the liquid core toward the inner core with diminishing amplitudes.
    Their analyses isolated six slow-moving oscillations, or waves of motion, occurring within the liquid core. The oscillations originated at the boundary between Earth’s core and its mantle and traveled inward toward the inner core with decreasing strength. Four of these oscillations were robust, occurring at periods of 85, 50, 35 and 28 years. Since the scientist’s data set goes back to 1840, the recurrence period of the longest oscillation (85 years) is less well determined than the other oscillations. The last two oscillations identified were weaker and will require further study. .””
    http://www.jpl.nasa.gov/news/features.cfm?feature=2420

  43. @Bulldust (16:52:43) :
    “O/T but interesting – I see there are 50 ships stuck in ice in the Baltic:
    http://www.smh.com.au/environment/50-ships-stuck-in-ice-20100305-pmbi.html
    They say they haven’t seen this many ships stuck in ice since the mid-1980s.”
    Strangely, there hasn’t been much comment on this on the British Media. Six ferries, 1841 stranded passengers – you’d have thought it would have been headlines, just as it was when the “North East Passage was open for shipping” for the first time ever:-
    http://wattsupwiththat.com/2009/10/07/the-surprising-real-story-about-this-years-northeast-passage-transit/
    After all, as we all now understand that ice is caused by cold and that cold winters are caused by Anthropogenic Global Warming, then surely this is something the media and the politicians might use to frighten the kids?
    No?
    Only trying to help.

  44. Hummm…
    What if the tidal forces moved to new places on the globe as the earth wobbles on its axis over time?

  45. “These vents are three miles down and surrounded by a LOT of cold water. I doubt that the heat they supply warms the ocean significantly, just as the heat emitted by active but quiescent volcanoes does not significantly warm the atmosphere. Of course when they erupt it would be a very different story. But these vents are usually surrounded by life evolved specifically to survive there, which means they have been stable and quiescent for a very long time.

    But it points out another thermal input into the environment that the AGW models certainly don’t take into account. An unknown amount of heat can be added to the oceans at any given time, or suddenly go away if they get plugged. But, as we know, every energy input to the environment is constant except man, right?

    Yes hot water melts ice. But there isn’t much ice three miles down (Ice floats, right? RIGHT!?!?!). And by the time you get to the surface you would hardly be able to detect the amount of heating, let alone melt ice with it.e

    As indetectable as 1 degree in a hundred years? 🙂

  46. Interesting, I would have guessed some sort of multi-drop sonar processing – not dissolved gases, salinity, and temperature profiles – would have been the tool to find these oasis’. I hope their paper describes the process (search theory) used to select sampling sites.

  47. r (05:33:13)
    What if the tidal forces moved to new places on the globe as the earth wobbles on its axis over time?>>
    the variations in the moon’s orbit compared to the equator are far larger than the wobbles in the earth’s axis.

  48. r (16:34:15) : Look at this:
    It seems that old astrologists were not so fool as comptemporary (and highly presumptuous “namers of stars” (flintstone’s unverse believers astro-nomers) as they favoured the geocentrism as more fitted when dealing with effects on our planet earth.
    http://wattsupwiththat.com/2010/02/27/tsunami-threat-for-hawaii/#comments
    These indian geologists succesfully predicted the december 2004 earthquake and tsunami:
    http://www.esc-web.org/papers/potsdam_2004/sce_venkatanathan.pdf
    http://igu.in/9-4/5venkat.pdf
    References:
    Dr. N.Venkatanathan
    Faculty of Physics,
    School of Electrical and Electronics Engineering,
    SASTRA University , Thanjavur, Tamil Nadu , India
    physics16972@yahoo.com, physics16972@rediffmail.com & physics16972@gmail.com
    venkatanathan@eee.sastra.edu
    +91 – 9444807900. & +91- 44 – 26567088

  49. davidmhoffer (20:13:54) : hmmmm…there is a LEVER you forgot: the lenght of the arc from the point where the planet/planets are projected on earth to the fault, plate/plates, etc.

  50. JonesII
    I read the paper from India on the surface it makes a certain amount of sense. The paper would have more credibility however if they had correlated ALL earthquake activity and shown a drop during those times when the planets were NOT aligned.
    That said, I am not convinced. You need a force greater on one side of the fault than on the other to trigger an event. That’s built up by the movement of the plates themselves which is constant. As the pressure on a fault line builds to the “breaking point”, the leverage planetary gravity could apply would be tiny in comparison to the moon, the shifting of the plates themselves, the motion of the earths crust against molten outer core, the rate of convection zones in the molten outer core, etc.

  51. Lost City Pumps Life-Essential Chemicals At Rates Unseen At Typical Deep Ocean Hydrothermal Vents
    ScienceDaily (Feb. 5, 2008) — “Hydrocarbons — molecules critical to life — are being generated by the simple interaction of seawater with the rocks under the Lost City hydrothermal vent field in the mid-Atlantic Ocean.”
    “Researchers have ruled out carbon from the biosphere as a component of the hydrocarbons in Lost City vent fluids.”
    (See the below link for the article:)
    http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2008/01/080131151856.htm
    These hydrothermal vents and the expulsion of hydrocarbons are just one piece of evidence among many of an overwhelming body of scientific evidence that oil is abiotic.
    Here is an abstract of a scientific paper that concisely spells out abiotic oil formation processes (link below):
    http://www.searchanddiscovery.com/documents/2006/06088houston_abs/abstracts/keith.htm
    (MagmaChem, L.L.C, Sonoita, AZ, is supported by an industry consortium of oil companies and mining companies.)
    Peridotites, Serpentinization, and Hydrocarbons
    Stanley B. Keith and Monte M. Swan
    MagmaChem, L.L.C, Sonoita, AZ
    “Serpentinization of peridotites by oceanic or metamorphic sourced brines under strongly reduced conditions and temperatures of 200-500 C produces hydrocarbon-rich, chloride and/or bicarbonate metal-bearing brines. Serpentinization is common on the ocean floor along fracture zones (Lost City), beneath conventional petroleum in rifts due to sedimentary burial (Gulf of Mexico) or thrust loading (Roan Trough), and at the top of flat subducting oceanic crust (Eocene beneath UT, CO, WY). Peridotites exhibit high-gravity, low-magnetic signatures. Serpentinized peridotites exhibit high-magnetic, low-gravity signatures. Volume expansion during serpentinization of up to 8X causes diapiric doming and induces expulsion of hydrocarbon-stable brines. There are 2 major types of peridotites: 1) magnesian dunitic peridotite with low V/Ni, high Au-Mg-Cu-Cr-Na/K, up to1400 ppm C (lithosphere source 51-130 km), 2) quartz alkalic aluminum-spinel peridotite with high V/Ni, high S-Mo-Ti-Al-Mn-Fe-U-K/Na up to 800 ppm C (athenosphere source 360-420 km). If hydrogen-stable (mainly thermogenic methane) peridotite-sourced brines rise into shelf carbonate sequence, they may form magnesian or quartz alkalic hydrothermal dolomite (HTD) and thermogenic gas. If the brines breech the hydrosphere they may produce “white smokers” (tuffa vent mounds/pinnacle reefs) along faults and enrich shales with exhalative metal and hydrocarbon. Petroleum condensate typically forms in reservoirs between the HTD zone and seep sites at the top of the lithosphere. Type I kerogen in black shale vents from Mg peridotite-sourced brines whereas Type II kerogen in black shale vents from quartz alkalic peridotite-sourced brines. Correspondingly hydrocarbon chemistry divides oil and gas into 2 major types: 1) magnesian sweet, low-sulfur paraffinic-naphtheric, 2) quartz alkalic sour, high-sulfur aromatic asphaltic. Geochemical markers that tie oil and gas to specific peridotite hydrothermal sources include nano-particle native metals and diamonds, and V-Ni porphyrins.”
    To note: Rare earth minerals (those that are rare in the shallow crust but more plentiful in the deep crust and upper mantel are found in oil deposits, but not in the surrounding shallow crust in which the oil deposit is lodged.
    Here is the conclusion from the abstract of a scientific paper (see link below):
    Inorganic Geochemistry of Oil: First Results of the Study Using the ICP-MS Method of the East-European and West-Siberian Oil Deposits
    Authors: Kirill S. Ivanov, Yuriy N. Fyodorov, Yuriy L. Ronkin, Yuriy V. Yerokhin, Olga E. Pogromskaya, and Irina N. Plotnikova
    Institute of Geology and Geochemistry of Russian Academy of Sciences, Ekaterinburg, Russia
    http://www.searchanddiscovery.net/abstracts/html/2007/athens_conf/abstracts/ivanov.htm
    “The elemental distribution in the crude oil from all studied deposits does not match such of any known crustal rock. The experimental data presented should be taken into consideration during origin of oils is being discussed.”
    Here is a written summary of a invited presentation given to the Houston Geolgical Society (principally and oil & gas concerned professional organization) at their meeting (opening paragraph):
    Cracks of the World: Global Strike-Slip Fault Systems and Giant Resource Accumulations (link below:)
    http://www.hgs.org/en/art/?34
    “Evidence is mounting that the Earth is encircled by subtle necklaces of interconnecting, generally latitude-parallel faults. Many major mineral and energy resource accumulations are located within or near the deeply penetrating fractures of these “cracks of the world.” Future exploration for large petroleum occurrences should emphasize the definition, regional distribution, and specific characteristics of the global crack system. Specific drill targets can be predicted by understanding the local structural setting and fluid flow pathways in lateral, as well as vertical conduits, detectable through patterns in the local geochemistry and geophysics.”
    The Houston Geological Society would not invite a presentation if there wasn’t serious consideration of the concepts presented (note the presenter is Stanley B. Keith, the author of the first “serpentinzination” link presented and head of MagmaChem, the oil industry supported research outfit).
    And, here is a paper reporting the location of giant oil fields around the world and the author points out most giant oil fields sit above tectonic plate boundaries, which in the ocean like that reported in the instant post are the mid-ocean spreading ridges with hydrothermal vents.
    Tectonic Setting of the World’s Giant Oil and Gas Fields(link below)
    http://www.hgs.org/en/articles/printview.asp?236
    “The world’s 877 giant oil and gas fields are those with 500 million bbl of ultimately recoverable oil or gas equivalent. Remarkably, almost all of these 877 giant fields, which by some estimates account for 67% of the world’s petroleum reserves, cluster in 27 regions, or about 30%, of the earth’s land surface (Figure 1). In this talk, I present maps showing the location of all 877 giants located on tectonic and sedimentary basin maps of these 27 key regions. I classify the tectonic setting of the giants in these regions using six simplified classes of the tectonic setting for basins in these regions: (1) continental passive margins fronting major ocean basins (304 giants); (2) continental rifts and overlying sag or ‘‘steer’s head’’ basins (271 giants); (3) collisional margins produced by terminal collision between two continents (173 giants); (4) collisional margins produced by continental collision related to terrane accretion, arc collision, and/or shallow subduction (71 giants); (5) strike-slip margins (50 giants); and (6) subduction margins not affected by major arc or continental collisions (8 giants).”
    As I stated at the top the scientific evidence for Abiotic Oil is overwhelming, this review is just a small sample of the available scientfic evidence.

  52. davidmhoffer (08:38:24) :You are right, that’s where our friend Vuk could come in our help with the GMF, which BTW it’s created again by an electric current…and it could be related, by our friend Anthony, to the 2005 Ap index drop…just after the sumatra earthquake and tsunami. Maybe some people would say “correlations”, but by forbbiding ourselves to shut our ears and to close our eyes, like in the known cartoon doesn’t help….unless you wanna “hide the decline”☺

  53. I have always suspected that sub-oceanic volcanic activity and hydrothermal vents must have a sizeable effect on sea temperature and, ultimately, atmospheric temperature. I would imagine that only small %age changes in the activity levels of such powerful, natural phenomena would be necessary to cause relatively large changes to SST and LTT. Have any attempts ever been made to evaluate the possible level of impact on the Earth’s “climate”?

  54. Ian H (16:21:26)
    Yes hot water melts ice. But there isn’t much ice three miles down (Ice floats, right? RIGHT!?!?!). And by the time you get to the surface you would hardly be able to detect the amount of heating, let alone melt ice with it.
    BBk (05:39:51) :
    As indetectable as 1 degree in a hundred years? 🙂
    You might find this paper interesting
    http://www.ocean-sci.net/5/203/2009/os-5-203-2009.pdf
    Geothermal heating, diapycnal mixing and the abyssal circulation
    If, as I do, you lack specific knowledge of the techno jargon in the field you may find it a bit of heavy sledding. Having personally invested some time in trying to penetrate that fog, I am struck by the authors willingness to admit to the large uncertainties in the accepted knowledge in their field and their suggestion that the contribution of geothermal heating to the oceanic heat balance may be vastly underestimated.
    from the abstract
    . For strong vertical mix- ing rates, geothermal heating enhances the AABW cell by
    about 15% (2.5 Sv) and heats up the last 2000 m by ∼0.15◦C,
    reaching a maximum of by 0.3◦C in the deep North Pacific.
    Prescribing a realistic spatial distribution of the heat flux acts to enhance this temperature rise at mid-depth and reduce it at great depth, producing a more modest increase in overturning than in the uniform case. In all cases, however, poleward heat
    transport increases by ∼10% in the Southern Ocean. The
    three approaches converge to the conclusion that geothermal heating is an important actor of abyssal dynamics, and should no longer be neglected in oceanographic studies.
    some selected quotes
    – A remarkable finding is that the increase in ocean heat transport was nearly constant across experiments, despite the broad range of thermal and circulation changes they encompass. The presence of a geothermal heat- flow, whether spatially variable or not, means that the ocean must evacuate an additional 0.03 PW, which it does in all cases by enhancing poleward heat transport in the Southern Hemisphere, by about 10% near 50◦ S.
    The case is hereby made that geothermal heating is an important actor of abyssal dynamics. We recommend its inclusion in every model dealing with the long-term ocean circulation, for it substantially alters bottom water mass characteristics and generates a non-negligible circulation in the present-day climate.
    I admit I’m still struggling to fully understand the implications of this work, but one thing that does seem quite clear is that, when the climate community declares that GW must be caused by anthropogenic CO2, because what else could it possibly be, this is another of a growing pantheon of possibilities that they don’t understand well enough to dismiss.
    I would also note that when I looked at the papers that form the basis for the generally accepted figure of 88mW/m2 for the geothermal contribution to the ocean heat balance that number seems to be derived from a calculation based on the generalized rate of crustal cooling and the contribution of active volcanism and vents is considered negligible. As commenters above have mentioned the accepted extent and number of active sites on the ocean floor has also been seriously underestimated and if those effects are added into the calculations in this work, the authors conclusions would only be magnified.
    I may be entirely wrong in the implications I’ve drawn from this, but I have raised it several times in the past and no one has jumped in to call me an idiot yet. If I am wrong the paper demonstrates that my lack of understanding would hardly be unique in this area.

  55. JonesII (10:03:29) :
    “Give me a lever and I will move the world”….Archimides
    Give me a lever long enough, and a place to stand, and I will move the world.
    Its that place to stand that is really really hard to find.

  56. How does the recent and continued wide spread high level of earthquake activity in the Pacific area compare with past data?

  57. edcon (10:20:50) :…and any equilibrated system, like a sevreal tons rock resting on a acute angle, can be move by the finger of a child…why not by the long finger of a planet?

  58. JonesII (10:03:29) wrote: “Give me a lever and I will move the world”….Archimides
    Excellent point.
    The Archimides Screw is one of the most important insights of ancient antiquity.
    It’s principles are presently employed by Man on a daily basis…and reflected in natural phenomenon…if you know what I mean.
    Good call JonesII.

  59. edcon (10:20:50) :……and that if only gravity is considered, but if ******* (forbidden word by the settled science community and now asking for publicity-see next post-) is added to the mix then you have take it to the 39th power (btw, gravity squared by the 39th.power it’s almost zero)

  60. JonesII (10:47:47) :
    edcon (10:20:50) :…and any equilibrated system, like a sevreal tons rock resting on a acute angle, can be move by the finger of a child…why not by the long finger of a planet?>>
    Only if the child can press on only the rock. If the force the child applies is spread equally by mass across the rock and the planet on which it rests (like gravity from a far away planet) they may move, but not in relation to each other, and hence the rock doesn’t tip. Would there be a slight differential? I grant that there might. But it would be like the single flap of a butterfly wing on the other side of the planet compared to the child’s finger.

  61. Paper title: Chapopote Asphalt Volcano May Have Been Generated by Supercritical Water
    Authors: M. Hovland, Statoil ASA, Stavanger, Norway; I. R. MacDonald, Texas A&M University, Corpus Christi, Texas, USA; et al.
    Journal: EOS, TRANSACTIONS AMERICAN GEOPHYSICAL UNION (2005)
    http://www.agu.org/pubs/crossref/2005/2005EO420002.shtml
    Abstract:
    “Asphalt volcanoes and lava-like flows of solidified asphalt on the seafloor (Figure 1) were first discovered and described by MacDonald et al. [2004]. The flows covered more than one square kilometer of a dissected salt dome at abyssal depths (˜3000 m) in the southern Gulf of Mexico. “Chapopote” (93°26’W, 21°54’N) was one of two asphalt volcanoes they discovered. MacDonald et al. determined that the apparently fresh asphalt must initially have flowed in a hot state, and subsequently chilled, contracted, and solidified, much in the same way as normal lava does on the surface of the Earth. The two asphalt-volcanoes discovered occur at the apex of salt domes that pierce through the seafloor. These “piercement salt domes,” known as the Campeche Knolls, are pertinent features of the deep Campeche Sedimentary Basin, which has a sediment thickness of about 10 km. According to conventional theory [Vendeville and Jackson, 1992], piercement salt domes represent “salt diapirs” that have risen up, due partly to density contrasts between salt and clay/sand from the “mother salt” located between 7 and 10 km below seafloor. A salt diapir is a vertical body of sub-surface salt, which is most often circular in cross section, is one to several kilometers in diameter, and can be 8–10 km high.”
    This asphault volcano was found at abyssal depths in the southern part of the Gulf of Mexico in 9,000 feet of water. Asphault consists of heavy hydrocarbons.
    ” — Marine mud volcanoes, such as the Campeche Knolls (shale/salt diapirs), in the Gulf of Mexico, located on the flank of a previous spreading system in 9,000 feet of water (deep fault that is no longer active).
    — Large mud volcanoes on the Mid Mediterranean Ridge, located on a deep fault system.
    — Mud volcanoes on and off Trinidad, located on a transform plate boundary (deep fault).”
    And these mud volcanoes produce in part light hydrocarbons:
    “The Campeche volcanoes also produce light hydrocarbons, which are detectable on the sea-surface with satellite technology (MacDonald et al., 2004).”

  62. davidmhoffer (11:24:55) :That’s only from the perspective of a flintstones’ pebbles universe. A discontinued universe it is not longer sustainable, everything is surprinsingly connected.
    First Sight
    Mar 05, 2010
    Over a century ago, doctors invented a procedure to remove cataracts from people’s eyes. Among their first patients were people who had been blind from birth. The surgery enabled them to see for the first time as though they were newborn. But unlike newborns, they had acquired language and so were able to tell the doctors what they were experiencing…

    I just saw it at:
    http://www.thunderbolts.info/tpod/00current.htm

  63. “4 03 2010 Henry chance (18:02:19) : With the ring of fire and the PDO, it is easy for warmer water to enter the arctic.”
    Without addressing the mechanisms: Maybe if the PDO got weird. I doubt the Ring of Fire could increase ocean current from the Pacific enough to matter.
    I see from:
    http://maps.grida.no/go/graphic/ocean_currents_and_sea_ice_extent
    that there is an ocean current from the Pacific, no current to the Pacic. If a big slug of warm water entered the Arctic Ocean and pushed a big slug of cold water on into the Atlantic, that might kill the conveyor long enough to cover the Arctic and Sub Arctic areas with snow long enough to restart widespread glaciation, assuming less heat from the sun.
    Most of what I’ve found, trying to find some basic information, talks about fresh water in the Arctic Ocean shutting down the Atlantic Conveyor. Horse apples. It took Lake Agassiz breaking out to the sea to shut down the conveyor before, all the ice in the north pole area could not possibly melt fast enough to shut it down, not without seriously over heating the rest of the planet, and then the conveyor would be the least of our troubles.

  64. James F Evans,
    Thanks for that post on abiotic oil.
    Now, IF the process of hydrocarbon formation at the subsea tectonic boundaries is still at work, then isn’t this yet another part of the Carbon cycle that has not been properly understood?
    Could it be, that the process might actually be LIMITED by the availability of dissolved CO2, and so this might be where all that extra CO2 is going?
    – That Gaia is continually recycling airborne CO2, which via Henry’s law dissolves in the oceans, and percolates in those hydrothermal vents to produce more hydrocarbons ….. for life on the planet ( i.e. us) to use/reuse?
    – That there isn’t really a problem; it’s all natural, and humans are in fact ‘in the loop’ and not destructive aliens at all!
    Seems to me that it shouldn’t take climate science long to work out how much hydrocarbon is being created down there, and whether or not the process is limited by the availability of CO2.
    Any chance that a climate scientist will take this up, or is it altogether too philanthropic?

  65. Various sedimentary rocks are black due to carbon content.
    What happens to the carbon in those rocks when they get buried deep enough, or subduct?

  66. David Wendt:
    “I admit I’m still struggling to fully understand the implications of this work, but one thing that does seem quite clear is that, when the climate community declares that GW must be caused by anthropogenic CO2, because what else could it possibly be, this is another of a growing pantheon of possibilities that they don’t understand well enough to dismiss.”
    Yes, that’s exactly my issue too. It takes an incredible amount of hubris to declare that you know everything, and therefore there’s only one possible cause of warming… has to be that nasty CO2.

  67. John Whitman (22:08:10) :
    ””’CRS, Dr.P.H. (21:20:24) : I’m waiting for Al Gore to call for cap & trade on Helium3! If it’s rare, he’ll figure that he could make even MORE money than with CO2!”””’
    CRS,
    Hey, we both had the He3 thoughts within minutes of each other!
    Do we have the same type of cars too?
    Do you have nuclear research/power background?
    John
    —–
    Hey John!!
    I just dumped my 1995 Pontiac Grand Am (hell of a car) and drive my wife’s Honda Civic, having given her a new one. The key to a happy life you see…
    In public health, I have quite a bit of training in health effects of radiation (and, uh, I’m something of an authority on WMD and dirty bombs!)
    Closest I’ve ever come to the nuclear power cycle was to stand beneath the fuel core of the brand-new nuke in Clinton, IL about 1 week before they loaded fuel rods back in 1987. Guess I’ll be the last guy to stand in THAT place for a few thousand years!
    My buddy who arranged that mind-blowing tour is a fellow rock guitarist…
    GOD I love this blog! Thanks, Anthony! You throw one heck of a party!

  68. supercritical (12:57:27) :
    Could it be, that the process might actually be LIMITED by the availability of dissolved CO2, and so this might be where all that extra CO2 is going?

    As a chemist I can assure you that is the case. All that nonsense about CO2 it´s just extremely stupid to say the least, but so stupid that it has originated all these discussions on “climate”, because it really infuriates due to the fact of its extreme ignorance. Really those “climate scientists” and preachers could have chosen a better argument to back the ideologies they are, in many ways, imposing the human kind.
    Anyone can see, everywhere, the gigantic lime (calcium carbonate) deposits.
    Every teacher holding a piece of chalk on a blackboard is using reccyled by “gaia” CO2. I won´t go on as my liver will suffer!

  69. Hydrocarbons in the Deep Earth?
    http://www.thunderbolts.info/forum/phpBB3/viewtopic.php?p=32019&sid=adb52faac9707f167a97b6fe19e60527
    Poke around the above discussion thread if you are interested in Abiotic Oil.
    There are links to scientific papers, news articles, trade magazine articles, and discussion — so-called “peak” oil — it’s a myth. Check out discussion of ultra-deep drilling in ultra-deep water off the Gulf of Mexico and off the coast of Brazil and off the West African coast.

  70. ””””CRS, Dr.P.H. (19:38:40) : . . . . (and, uh, I’m something of an authority on WMD and dirty bombs!) Closest I’ve ever come to the nuclear power cycle was to stand beneath the fuel core of the brand-new nuke in Clinton, IL . . . GOD I love this blog! Thanks, Anthony! You throw one heck of a party!”””’
    GRS,
    Looks like we don’t have the same kind of cars. Wife & I share a major sized SUV and mid-size sedan. Both from the land of the rising sun.
    Wow, would love to hear stories about your area of expertise. Can imagine the reactions you might get when you bring that up at cocktail parties. : )
    I was at Clinton nuclear plant once for business discussions. It is later model GE designed BWR (Boiling light Water Reactor).
    The fusion and He3 possibilities are intriguing.
    John

Comments are closed.