The Kavachi Sharcano

Guest Post by Willis Eschenbach

The Solomon Islands, where I lived for eight years, is just north of Australia and just south of the Equator. It is part of the “Ring Of Fire”, the area of strong earthquake and volcanic activity that encircles the Pacific. You can see below that the islands are on a plateau, with a clearly visible earthquake fault just south of (below) the island group. This fault is actually the line where the Indo-Pacific plate (lower left) dives under the Pacific plate (upper right), and has been diving there since forever. As a result it is the location of an unending string of earthquakes, tsunami, and vulcanism. You can also see another fault that starts just above the lower left corner and comes up to the right.

Google Earth kavachi volcanoFigure 1. The Google Earth view of the Solomon Islands. The capital is Honiara, on Guadalcanal Island.

And along the main fault, in the location shown by the red circle, is an underwater volcano named Kavachi. There is excellent information about the volcano at the Smithsonian Global Volcano Program, including a photo gallery, an eruptive history, and the following geological description:

Kavachi, one of the most active submarine volcanoes in the SW Pacific, occupies an isolated position in the Solomon Islands far from major aircraft and shipping lanes. Sometimes referred to as Rejo te Kvachi (“Kavachi’s Oven”), it is located south of Vangunu Island only about 30 km N of the site of subduction of the Indo-Australian plate beneath the Pacific plate. The shallow submarine basaltic-to-andesitic volcano has produced ephemeral islands up to 1 km long many times since its first recorded eruption during 1939. Residents of the nearby islands of Vanguna and Nggatokae (Gatokae) reported “fire on the water” prior to 1939, a possible reference to earlier submarine eruptions. The roughly conical edifice rises from water depths of 1.1-1.2 km on the north and greater depths to the south. Frequent shallow submarine and occasional subaerial eruptions produce phreatomagmatic explosions that eject steam, ash, and incandescent bombs above the sea surface. On a number of occasions lava flows were observed on the surface of ephemeral islands.

So it has been sitting under there, smoking and muttering and bubbling and putting out ash and steam and gas for about a century and likely much more. And it has continued right up to near the present, viz:

Most Recent Weekly Report: 29 January-4 February 2014

According to NASA’s Earth Observatory, a satellite image acquired on 29 January showed a plume of discolored water E of Kavachi, likely from lava fragments and dissolved gases. A bright area above the submerged peak suggested churning water. There was no sign that the volcano had breached the sea surface.

Why is Kavachi of interest in the climate discussion? Well, the National Geographic was interested in what was going on inside the underwater volcanic crater, so they organized an expedition with the usual underwater camerafolk and scientists and the like. As they had expected, the water inside the crater turned out to be a) hot, and b) acidic. Not phony “acidification” like the alarmists are all up in arms about, which is really partial neutralization of the normally alkaline sea water. And as they might not have expected, the water in the crater was acidic enough that it was burning the skin of the divers, so they couldn’t actually enter the crater. The expedition leader said:

“Divers who have gotten close to the outer edge of the volcano have had to back away because of how hot it is or because they were getting mild skin burns from the acid water.”

This makes sense, because the volcano puts out large amounts of sulfur and CO2, and when lots of either sulfur or CO2 hits water you tend to get lots of sulfuric acid and carbonic acid. The NatGeo article says:

Despite the fact that Kavachi was not actively erupting, the video shows carbon dioxide and methane gas bubbles rising from the seafloor vents, and the water appearing in different colors due to reduced iron and sulfur.

So we have hot acidic water loaded with carbon dioxide, iron, methane, and sulfur … sounds like a recipe for a barren landscape, although perhaps a fascinating one. I can see why NatGeo was interested.

And even though the divers couldn’t go inside to get a look, they still wanted to find out just how few creatures were living in that extreme environment.

Well, this being 2015, the scientists pulled out their nifty robot camera and dropped it into the hot, acidic ash plume filled waters of the volcanic crater … and when the camera popped back to the surface after its allotted hour, to their immense surprise they found an entire ecosystem going full bore inside the crater, with fish, both silky and hammerhead sharks, and other usual undersea suspects.

As the expedition leader says, this brings up an interesting question:

“These large animals are living in what you have to assume is much hotter and much more acidic water, and they’re just hanging out,” Phillips says. “It makes you question what type of extreme environment these animals are adapted to. What sort of changes have they undergone? Are there only certain animals that can withstand it? It is so black and white when you see a human being not able to get anywhere near where these sharks are able to go.”

My conclusion? I gotta say, when I see life going on at a rate of knots in hot ocean water that is not just slightly less alkaline but instead is actually acidic, it merely reinforces my belief that the slight neutralization that will likely come with increasing CO2 will have little measurable effect on the ocean. Life is amazingly adaptive, and the amount of pH change predicted from CO2 is quite small. Given this discovery that fish and sharks can hunt and feed in hot, CO2 laden, acidic seawater, water humans can’t even enter, it’s just more evidence that the ocean life likely won’t have much trouble dealing with such a small change in its current level of alkalinity.

Regards to all,

w.

You Might Have Read This Before: If you disagree with anyone, could you please quote the exact words that you disagree with? That way we can all understand just exactly what you object to.

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202 thoughts on “The Kavachi Sharcano

  1. Hot is hot and some of these wonderful creatures adapt to the conditions. Oh of course the other AGW will come up with some cherry picked data in an attempt to distort these claims. Thanks Willis.

  2. OA is a scam, a fallback catatrophe claim when the warming catastrophe is falsified.. By now any serious analysis will show that even high pCO2 will not cause the oceans to become hostile to diverse aquatic life. The buffering power of vast basalts and submarine Calcium carbonate (aka Tums) will prevent of the proposed lowerings of pH below the already wild ocean swings of “normal” pH.

    As for the vulcan contributions of CO2 and sulphur to the oceans around those islands, the added minerals those inject are just fertilizer to a highly adaptable ecosystem.

    On note related to geothermaol CO2 hotspots, has there been any new updates from the OCO-2 mission data? I’m guessing the NASA pols have the OCO-2 team on a data news blackout. If I’m right it’s because they are seeing natural CO2 sources and sinks in their data swamping man’s puny CO2 sources, and that would be politically “un-useful” before COP21.

    • I should say, “now that the warming catastrophe has been falsfied by the data. As it’s only in the fervid wetdreams of the model believers does CO2-temperature catastrophism still exist.”

    • What is interesting to me is the impact of Fe on the volcanic areas fish life.
      In my mind one of the biggest drivers on pH change is Fe deficit driven by industrial fishing without fertilizer replacement.
      The green movement are very scared of this Fe deficit as it would demand a non Marxist solution.

      • True.

        They’re terrified that the “solution” to the “problem” could be as simple as iron dust in the oceans.

    • Ditto “vulcanism”. I never thought curing rubber was found there.. ;)

      We’re picky today huh..? Interesting post though Willis, thanks.

  3. That’s good, Willis. As the ‘reality difference’ between models of global temp and observed temp widens, and people get to see that releasing CO2 hasn’t made the world a warmer place, I think that the crazy warmist media will start to focus on ‘CO2 changes other stuff’. This will be stuff that we cannot actually feel, like less-alkaline oceans. You could even say it’s started already. I don’t know if it’s my imagination, but I think I’m seeing more articles on the subject, and a slight veering away from ‘CO2 boils the world’ stuff. I am so glad to see Willis not use ‘ocean acidification’, and we really must start contacting editors when their journals use it.

    • Yes I have searched for the best way to talk about the Acidification wording and Willis has hit it, “Ocean Neutralization”.
      At current rates of ocean neutralization we should get to neutral in X years.
      Straight lining it would suggest millions of years. Someone tell us when it could get to be acid at current rates so we know when to start worrying.

  4. The Ocean “Acidification” brigade are very fond at looking at life near “CO2 vents or seeps”, but they are remarkably blind to what else is coming out at those places, such as sulfur, which of course produces sulfuric acid. I guess those people would be more scared of soda water than of sulphuric acid.

  5. Can I have some other opinions in a little off-topic matter? It regards water vapour. In this article:
    http://www.acs.org/content/acs/en/climatescience/climatesciencenarratives/its-water-vapor-not-the-co2.html
    It states:
    “it is warmer on a cloudy winter day than on a clear one”
    It may be that I have literally just got out of bed and haven’t had any coffee yet, but I’m struggling with it. The statement is true on Winter days, as it says, but definitely not on Summer days, so surely the point is moot, isn’t it? I am away from my PC all weekend, but would appreciate anyone looking at the article and commenting. Thanks.

    • In general, clouds warm us in the winter and cool us in the summer, which I find remarkably nice of them. However, that doesn’t make them “moot”.

      w.

      • Living in a desert makes you notice that if clouds move in on a hot day (as in afternoon thunderstorms) they will tend to slow the cooling into nightfall. Cloudless skies will get much cooler overnight. In winter high cloud cover will tend to slow the rate of warming through the day and again cloudless skies go much cooler at night. freezing fog is just miserable and cold cold cold so if that is the night time cloud cover bundle up!

    • Yes, more vapour in air means warmer winter in Arctic, but colder summer days everywhere. They say this is an active research area, which cannot be true, since the climate science is settled.

    • I would say that a clear winter day can often be warmer than a cloudy one during the day, but will almost always be a lot colder at night. The article is standard “alarmist” posturing, trying to downplay water vapour in order to scare us all about CO2. They claim that CO2 is the driver, and water vapour just responds, but that would clearly be ridiculous if there were only a few CO2 molecules in the atmosphere. Their argument about CO2 being the driver does not invoke the concentration of CO2, so must be regarded with suspicion.

      • The article seems very reasonable to me. They conclude:
        “Thus the possible positive and negative feedbacks associated with increased water vapor and cloud formation can cancel one another out and complicate matters. The actual balance between them is an active area of climate science research.”

        There has been an increase in water vapor on the planet. One can see the effect from this in the form of increased global warming coming from the higher latitudes in the Northern Hemisphere(where the planet loses more heat than it gains from solar radiation and clouds blanketing the sky keep some of that heat in) as well as warmer night time temperatures on the planet being responsible for most of the warming vs not much warming during the day……… many more record high lows have been set in recent decades, than any other type of temperature record.

        We know this has happened with certainty but assuming that it will continue to progress in the same manner by using equations in global models that represent the processes involving H20 that we think caused it, then extrapolating out is exactly why most global climate model projections have been too warm, many much too warm the past 2 decades.

        Wouldn’t it be great if all we needed to do is plug in the value of CO2 into the models and, since we can represent all the physical processes with all the right mathematical equations, including those that involve water vapor……….we could project temperatures for the next century.

        20 years ago, this seemed possible. However, the disparity in temperature between models and observations since then…….all in the too warm direction make it clear that this is not the case.
        Many scientists continue to defend those model equations because they represent the ‘known” and “best” physics we have to represent the atmosphere. They look for reasons to explain the “temporary” jog in the cooler direction being caused by the system being unexpectedly effected by natural forces, including things like heat recycling in the oceans.

        My position is that these scientists have gone long past the point where they should have started making adjustments to the equations that represent their theory vs looking for reasons/excuses to justify why the theory is solid “science is settled” and looking every where else for the the disparity.

        Back to clouds. Since the planet has failed to warm the same way it did in the 1980’s/90’s over the last 15+ years, I suspect that clouds may have been a factor. Has the decrease in cloud height over that period been a factor, causing an unexpected negative feedback? Lower(warmer) clouds radiate heat out more effectively than high clouds. There has been a big increase in evapotranspiration from the vegetative health index of the planet soaring higher(CO2 fertilization) which has contributed to an increase in low level moisture. No way is this properly represented in the models as well as many other processes.

        If this discussion was 20 years ago or even 10 years ago, I could see the argument for not changing the models or the theory. However, it’s delusional in 2015, when the models are obviously too warm and the global temperature has no chance of catching up to the models to be making statements about increased confidence in models or the theoretical science that they represent, when what should have been done a long time ago is making more adjustments that cause a decreasing slope of temperature projections and being frickin honest about it……………..stating that “We don’t think the warming will be as bad as we thought it might be 20 years ago”.

        Doing the exact opposite, defending something that’s broken is the entire problem that skeptics have with this issue………..even those of us that agree with most of the basic physics but see the glaring disparity between the theory and reality.

      • When Chaos Theory came out in the 1970s I remember discussing limits on weather prediction with Stan Barnes at NOAA and Doug Lilly at NCAR in Boulder, Colorado. With the butterfly effect in mind, they were saying we would have to take into account the energy transfer on a scale to account for every little dust devil in order to have our then computer models be accurate beyond a week or two.

        I don’t know when weather modelers forgot this, but it behooves them to learn or remember it.

      • noaaprogrammer,

        “With the butterfly effect in mind, they were saying we would have to take into account the energy transfer on a scale to account for every little dust devil in order to have our then computer models be accurate beyond a week or two. ”

        Do you have any idea what the term dissipation means and how it applies in the real world?!?!

        You are telling us about mythology for scientists.

    • Agree with comments, but more importantly – here we have a clear insight (actual data, albeit circumstantial self-reporting with n of 1) into the place of WUWT in the daily life of a WUWT regular.

      While being “away from my PC all weekend” Ghost says “I have literally just got out of bed and haven’t had any coffee yet”. So we have spotted the NEED to check in at WUWT first thing in the day, literally “before coffee” (BC), and post a comment with a link for fellow WUWTers to investigate and comment upon over the weekend so that Ghost, upon his return to PC land, can benefit from all of our (well your) hard works, knowledges, and insights.

      Have a great weekend, Ghost. (I did same game last weekend with the exception of revealing my NEED.)

      p.s. I look in before bedtime, too, but refrain from keyboarding due to well-known effects of distilled spirits.

    • It also depends on where the clouds gather in terms of whether or not their effects cancel out and become a moot point. Clouds that gather around higher latitudes versus clouds that gather around equatorial latitudes may indeed be moot in one location, and centrally important in another location.

    • During the summer, people who hunt snakes by driving low traffic rural roads after dark have found that it stays warmer longer and that the snakes stay out much longer. I believe this is because the clouds reflect the outbound radiation back to the ground.

      • Except for small birds, …… there is more “snake food” roaming around after dark than during the light of day …… and with the snake’s IR “sensor” …………. a “KERSTRIKE” is more productive.

    • Let me correct your English grammar error.

      “”””””…..“it is warmer on a cloudy winter day than on a clear one”……”””””‘

      Should read: ‘ It is cloudier on a warmer winter day, than on a cooler one. ‘

      There now it is grammatically correct.

      g

      The increased warmth causes both the increased warmth and the increased clouds (later in the day)

      • I disagree with your intended interpretation, at least in New England. Things are a bit more complicated in the lee of the Great Lakes.

        A cold winter day in New Hampshire generally means we have a NW wind bringing in cold, dry Canadian air. The wind keeps things mixed, and it’s colder than average during the day, warmer than it will be in another day or two when the high pressure system is overhead.

        Then convection during the day can keep daytime temps pretty low, but the wind chill is much warmer and the Sun helps make things comfortable. During the long night what little heat makes it through the blanket of snow radiates like crazy and the air is so dry that when we reach the frost point the temperature fall barely slows down.

        Cloudy weather generally has east or southeast winds, and the air mass is warmer over all. There’s much less cooling at night thanks to the clouds and we often don’t make down to the frost point.

        On nights with good radiational cooling but with midlevel clouds moving in, reflected IR from the clouds stops the temperature fall. When the clouds move on, the fall resumes, sometimes catching up to nearly what we’d have with a clear night.

        I’m going to have to spend some time this winter collecting satellite photos and matching them with my temperature traces. I wonder if I can dig up old METAR data, that would at least have information about cloud cover and height.

      • george e. smith July 11, 2015 at 1:50 pm

        Let me correct your English grammar error.

        “”””””…..“it is warmer on a cloudy winter day than on a clear one”……”””””‘

        Should read: ‘ It is cloudier on a warmer winter day, than on a cooler one. ‘

        There now it is grammatically correct.

        g

        The increased warmth causes both the increased warmth and the increased clouds (later in the day)

        A much better example of the effect of clouds is what happens on a clear winter night when a cloud comes over. You can immediately feel the increase in downwelling longwave radiation.

        This is because on a cold clear winter there is little of the main greenhouse gas, water vapor, in the atmosphere. As a result, we’re pretty much exposed to just the microwave background radiation of space at something like ~3 Kelvin. That is to say, there is little downwelling longwave radiation on a cold clear winter night.

        But when the cloud comes over, it is somewhere around I don’t know, say between -30°C to 0°C or so. This provides downwelling radiation of something like 200 to 300 W/m2. The contrast between virtually no downwelling radiation when the sky is clear, and two or three hundred W/m2 downwelling radiation from the clouds, is quite palpable.

        It is also, of course, subject to measurement by IR detectors of various kinds, so this is not some theory. The downwelling radiation is real, it is palpable, and it is routinely measured by scientists all over the planet.

        w.

      • Willis Eschenbach (replying to george e. smith)

        A much better example of the effect of clouds is what happens on a clear winter night when a cloud comes over. You can immediately feel the increase in downwelling longwave radiation.

        This is because on a cold clear winter there is little of the main greenhouse gas, water vapor, in the atmosphere. As a result, we’re pretty much exposed to just the microwave background radiation of space at something like ~3 Kelvin. That is to say, there is little downwelling longwave radiation on a cold clear winter night.

        But when the cloud comes over, it is somewhere around I don’t know, say between -30°C to 0°C or so. This provides downwelling radiation of something like 200 to 300 W/m2. The contrast between virtually no downwelling radiation when the sky is clear, and two or three hundred W/m2 downwelling radiation from the clouds, is quite palpable.

        True, very true statement. But …

        (And you knew there was a “but” coming, didn’t you? )

        What is the actual fiormula for the relevent radiant heat loss?

        Real world values – not the “heard it described 10,000 times” general wave-your-hand case as we read above.

        Assume two cases in the Arctic Ocean: Sea level, 1020 mm pressure, T_water = 2.0 degrees C, T_Air = -25.0 deg C at 2 meter, T_Dew = -32 deg C, 1 meter/sec wind speed, clear skies, but T_Sky_10,000 meters = -50 deg C. How much heat is lost at this relative humidity up towards “pure space” at -273 deg C?
        Or is the T_Sky the relevent temperature of the heat sink?

        Second case: Arctic Ocean again, T_Icepack_Surface = -20 deg C, T_Air = 5 deg C, T_Dew = 2 deg C, Pressure = 980, T_Sky_10,000 meters = -50 deg C again. Cloudy.
        How much heat is lost from the ice surface?

        The internet doesn’t present any consistent answer, nor do my heat transfer textbooks, nor do the available (commercial) radiant heat transfer calculators (since they are designed for inside-furnace-gaseous-burning-very-high-temperature environments, not cold-water-radiation-to-clear-skies environment.

        Oddly, I cannot even find agreement between various on-line papers about the heat sink definitions: T_air, T_air-corrected for relative humidity), T_sky (at what altitude?), or T_space. Hundreds of papers use generic averages of generic “ground-into-space-at-0-K” … But that general description is not useful when you are trying to determine the radiant heat loss changes caused by humidity and clouds.

      • So Willis, if what you say about down welling IR is true, then cloudless nights in 2015 must be warmer than cloudless nights in 1805 due to the 400 ppm of CO2 versus the 280 ppm of CO2…….right? (since CO2 and H2O are both GHGs)

      • Joel D. Jackson July 12, 2015 at 10:19 am

        So Willis, if what you say about down welling IR is true, then cloudless nights in 2015 must be warmer than cloudless nights in 1805 due to the 400 ppm of CO2 versus the 280 ppm of CO2…….right? (since CO2 and H2O are both GHGs)

        That would only be true IF all things were equal AND IF the climate system were not self-regulating.

        The temperature of the earth is not set by the amount of forcing. If it were we’d have gone off the rails long ago. Instead, it is regulated by a host of phenomena that only emerge when the temperature passes a certain threshold, and which act to greatly reduce the temperature of the surface.

        w.

    • All bodies above Absolute Zero (0 Kelvin, or 0 K) emit electromagnetic radiation (light) according to their temperature, primarily in the infrared until the temperature gets to around 2000 K or so, which is why incandescent light bulbs work. The exact nature of the emission varies with the object’s surface, but is generally in accordance with the Planck curve (you can search on that and get a lot of references).

      At night, with a clear sky, you’re essentially looking up directly into the 4K (i.e. liquid helium) background temperature of the universe, and most of the heat radiated by you and the ground upwards just keeps going. If there are clouds the water (droplets, not vapor) absorbs the IR radiation and re-radiates much of it back downwards, serving – more or less – as insulation.

      The actual mechanism of the “greenhouse effect” gets a little complicated, but it boils down to how much of the heat near the Earth’s surface is radiated into space, and how much is absorbed by various gasses and vapors in the atmosphere, and at what altitudes.

      • I suspect that 4K background temperature is neither constant nor uniform when measured through the thermosphere.

  6. Willis, I would appreciate your take on the articles published about coral on the Great Barrier Reef dying off if water temp increases 2C. I read a comment in one of these articles (Guardian Australia I think) from a retired diving guide who said that temps in the Solomons, Bougainville, East PNG, etc are always 3 – 5C warmer than GBR waters, and the same species of coral thrive in the warmer locations.

    • Good question, Mick. Coral thrives in a variety of temperatures, but it’s not the same coral symbionts. Instead, different kinds of coral symbionts (the actual creatures that create the reef) are adapted to different temperatures. When the temperature exceeds whatever the current symbionts can stand, they die out leaving just the white coral skeleton. This is called “bleaching”.

      However, it’s not a bad terrible thing as portrayed in the media. Instead it is the natural way that the coral reef survives through temperature changes. As soon as it bleaches, the reef skeleton becomes prime grade A-1 real estate for colonization by a coral reef symbiont that CAN survive in the new temperature range.

      So the answer to your question is yes, the current GBR reef inhabitants would die off … but they would soon be replaced by their cousins who are perfectly happy in warmer water. Which is why there are corals in say the Solomons, despite it being warmer than the GBR.

      w.

      • Thanks Willis. Next time I see the claim that the GBR has lost ~50% of its coral cover over the past 30 years or so, I’ll respond with “hang about – as Arnie said “I’ll be baaaaack”

      • When the temperature exceeds whatever the current symbionts can stand, they die out leaving just the white coral skeleton. This is called “bleaching”.

        According to NOAA coral bleaching can be caused also by coral sweeper tentacles (detect and damage adjacent coral colonies), mesenterial filaments (enabling external digestion of neighboring colonies), and terpenoid compounds (coral chemical warfare).
        http://coralreef.noaa.gov/aboutcorals/coral101/turfwars/

    • It is a fact (GBRMPA) that the average water temperature difference between the north and south extremities of the healthy GBR is 8-9 degrees Celcius. One would expect that the the isotherms are continually migrating. The GBR is resilient enough to survive any temperature increases hypothesised by CAGW alarmists.

      • Surely you are joking, Mr Evans! The habitat loss is a huge problem[1][2][3] and happening in an ever increasing, unprecedented speed[4][5][6] at all major reefs[7][8][9][10].

        I’m sure I could find sources for those claims in a few minutes, but this is still just sarcasm. There is an upper limit for intake of panicky messages from various advocacy groups. I’ve reached that.

      • It reaches all the way to NSW. If warming really killed coral then of course the Philippines would die off first and Australia would have a monopoly on reefs. Until they start growing in Antarctica.

    • the Great Barrier Reef dying off if water temp increases 2C….
      ….but over a hundred in hot sun and bone dry does not hurt it one bit

      • Latitude.
        Thanks for the info and pictures, I’ve never thought of exposed coral heads and temperature, this is shocking. does this mean the sea level is rising and the coral is growing to compensate or the sea level is dropping and exposing the poor dehydrated coral. We need a grant to run a model THAT will show just how harmful this travesty is!

  7. There are more things in Heaven and Earth, Horatio, than are dreamt of in green philosophy.
    Every time I see Japanese Knot Weed forcing its way through concrete I feel like stopping to applaud.

  8. The main acidity in this case is from SO2, not CO2, as that forms a stronger acid (H2SO3, sulfurous acid) than CO2 (H2CO3). Even may be oxidized to sulfuric acid (H2SO4) which is a very strong acid. With CO2 the pH can only go down to around 4 at a saturated solution (all ocean buffer used up), with SO2 it may go down to pH 1.1, depending of the concentration, even if it is called a “weak” acid. I didn’t find any information about pH measurements in the plume, but to attack the human skin, it should be pretty low…

    Anyway, interesting to see that fish has far more resistance to acidity than human skin, even when there is far more close contact between water and their bloodstream via the gills. Or do they close their gills when diving in the plume (as there is probably less/no oxygen too)…

    • Right.

      A 1 molar solution of CO2 in water gives a pH of 3.2
      A 1 molar solution of SO2 in water gives a pH of 0.9, that without dealing with SO2 oxidation, as you said.

      Willis won the internet, again.

    • In that Science article I liked “…..as our climate warms.”
      I wish they had been in eastern North America last winter.

      Ian M

  9. From the descriptions in the article, it sounds like Kavachi actually erupts at times. I should think that a serious eruption is going to wipe out all life in and near the crater no matter how well it is adapted to heat and acidity. And that suggests that either there are nearby environments that can restock the crater with volcano adapted organisms, or that the current population are just normal organisms — genetically identical to those in nearby less stressful environments — who have blundered into the crater and find it a suitable place to set up housekeeping.

    Interesting.

    • Mick,

      You’re welcome. As noted elsewhere, CACA advocates ignore the tremendous adaptability of organisms.

      Ian,

      An obeisance needed for the funding, no doubt. Should have been easy for the authors to get funding for such a study.

      Locations of the six authors:

      1Department of Integrative Biology, University of Texas at Austin, 205 W. 24th Street C0990, Austin, TX 78712, USA.
      2Department of Integrative Biology, Oregon State University, 3106 Cordley Hall, Corvallis, OR 97331, USA.
      3Australian Institute of Marine Science, PMB 3, Townsville MC, Queensland 4810, Australia.

      Those at UTA would have experienced a bit of the Arctic blast last winter. The PNW was mild in Jan & Feb, but unusually cold in Nov and Dec.

  10. The sharks are cold blooded creatures so perhaps that makes a difference.

    Solomon Island geology is complex. Your map actually shows what looks like teo subduction zones, one to the NE, one to the SW. Solomon Island earthquakes are severe but they all are near subduction zones. The only info I have found is dated 1975 so may be too old for up to date sea floor geological information.

    • John, not all sharks are cold-blooded (Short and Longfin Mako, Great White, and Thresher are classic examples) although the ones listed in the article are. Maybe there is an electrical connection drawing the hammerheads to the crater or an audible component drawing in the Silkys? Who knows.

      As for the geology, it reminds me a bit of the geology around Tokyo or the Pacific Northwest (USA) with a triple conjunction of subducting plates – and that makes for an interesting and hazardous area to live and study.

  11. I wonder if the passing sharks view it as a cleansing steam bath much the same way humans do.

  12. golly, can someone send this to the howling so called marine biologist? or whatever she thinks she is.. featured on another article?

  13. I saw this video too, and wondered exactly how hot the water was at the camera’s location (and what the pH was at that location too) As far as I can tell, there was no thermometer or pH tester included with the camera.

    • Sounds like a good idea Geoff. Parasites are used to blood temperature between certain values and cold blooded animals will heat up beyond normal values so the parasites hop off.

  14. Here we have Gaia just kvitching and kvetching at Kavachi. What is a mother to do with all this C02 and global warming and global warming and C02. It is enough to just have to sit down and drink a double shot of Manischewitz.

  15. We need more data to judge and conclude anything. What’s the pH and temperature in the specific location where they see marine life. How long does the fish and others stay there. It may be just that they find this interesting and go there to get a “good feeling” for a short while, the same way we humans can walk on fire for a while but cannot live there!

  16. Very interesting! I’ve heard that sharks will swim into fresh water to get rid of parasites. I wonder if something similar is going on here. Or, perhaps there is something in the area to eat, which is also adapted to the environment?

  17. To an actual scientist, new observation and experiment leads to new and better questions, while to religious believers in the God CAGW, the science is “settled” which is equivalent to dogma, which cannot be questioned.

    These observations are interesting to science and point to areas for future exploration and experiment, while to the CAGW cult, they are inconvenient truths to be suppressed. Somebody better tell the marine biologists we see in the video that they risk career death if they continue this line of inquiry.

    • In 1972, Sir John Maddox, editor of the British journal Nature, noted that though it had once been usual to see maniacs wearing sandwich boards that proclaimed the imminent end of the Earth, they had been replaced by a growing number of frenzied activists and politicized scientists making precisely the same claim. They rightfully figured out that crisis is where the money’s at…no crisis, no money. As with everything in life, follow the money. Not to mention that being on the “right” side gets you fawning press and invitations to the really cool parties.

      CAGW is nothing more than the usual Progressive cause du jour. They want you to live as they see fit, because whether its fracking, global warming/cooling/climate change or any of a number of other perceived crises, Progressives argue that the threat of catastrophe can be averted only through drastic actions in which the ordinary political mechanisms of democracy are suspended and power is turned over to a body of experts.

  18. Sulfur is non-ionic and does not form sulfuric acid directly with water. It has to become oxidized to sulfur dioxide and trioxide, which are also emitted by volcanoes.

  19. Not just sharks…there’s a female red parrotfish, (Scarus Xanthopleura) in one shot too.

  20. I’m chuckling at the researchers cheering when they see the unexpected aquatic creatures via the underwater camera. “Woo-hoo! Nature is cool!” :-)

      • Grauniad – even under its present management – does get some decent shots.
        I believe they’ve even got their typography and spelling under tolerable control – unlike the Seventies when the Garudina was – (more-or-less) justly – caricatured as unable to their masthead spelled the same way two days running! Grandiau!

        Auto – a Daily Telegraph reader . . . .

  21. Willis, was Honiara established after WWII? I thought that when the Japanese invaded, and the subsequent American invasion, there was nothing on the island except some scattered coconut farms.

    Current population over 50,000 (!).

    • I bet every creature in the ocean survived that earthquake.
      Dollars to donuts.
      (Although this is not the long odds it once was…what with a single glazed cruller going for close to a buck anyway.)

      • Wagering “dollars to donuts” goes back to when a donut and coffee were 10¢. Circa 1920 and earlier.

    • Magnitude, I presume you mean one of the Richter magnitudes, is pretty meaningless. What was the MMI like or perhaps the local accelerations? One of those would give a far better indication of the strength of the earthquake as it affected the region.

      The reason I ask is that having been through a relatively small (6.3 or 6.8 depending on the Richter scale used) earthquake but high (9.0) MMI I think I understand the difference. Small earthquakes can be terrifying if near and shallow enough whereas large deep distant ones are insignificant to people and property.

      • Right. The Richter scale is a lot like the Celsius scale – valuable to scientists but not so relevant for humans without some interpretation. There are a couple of human-based scales for seismic activity, but since they vary by location they are little used. I used to stay at Palos Verde near Los Angeles, and we had little earthquakes every day, but our neighbors twenty miles away never felt a thing, and the papers never reported them, but get a 4 pointer in Santa Monica and it was news.

  22. So once again, it turns out that when nervous Nellie Warmistas sit in their little labs and offices and make scary predictions, and sky-is-falling pronouncements of impending doom and disaster, and in general just do their best Panicky Guy act, they get everything just about 100% wrong.
    And anyone going out and looking at what is happening in the actual world finds out with little effort exactly what the truth is…life adapts.
    Life is not fragile at all.
    Warmistas are always going on about how minor and barely measurable alterations are going to wreak havoc and have catastrophic consequences for life on earth.
    The truth is far different.
    Life is adaptable, and it is tenacious, and it survives and thrives…everywhere people look.
    Whether it is the coral reefs around the nuclear test sites in the Pacific, or this…a active underwater volcano…everywhere that actual investigations are performed, rather than “models” and nervous Nellie speculation and fear-mongering, it turns out the bedwetters and Chicken Littles have it all wrong.
    Life is not in trouble when it gets warmer. Or if CO2 increases.
    The exact opposite is true.
    Life is not fragile, about to disappear at any perturbation of an ecosystem…it is robust and endlessly adaptable.

    Thank you Willis.
    And Latitude…great photo of the coral thriving whilst high and dry in the littoral zone.

  23. ” Life is amazingly adaptive”, and what might be found in the oceans of Europa? Just a thought.

  24. Now this is how science is suppose to work.

    Hypothesis: Due to the increased heat, C02, and acidifications of the ocean within the underwater volcano we do not expect to find any sea life.

    Real world observation: Much to the scientist surprise they actually find large sea creatures cruising around within the volcano.

    Conclusion: Sea life is far more adept at living in a variety of underwater conditions than previously thought. We should do more research to understand how these animals are able to live in such conditions so we have a better understanding of our world.
    ___________________________________________________

    This is how pseudo science works with regards to AGW.

    Hypothesis: C02 is the primary driver of global temperature.

    Real world observation: Despite an increase in C02 levels there has been no appreciable warming for almost 20 years. Dire predictions from scientists have not come true. Climate models have all been wrong.

    Conclusion: Continue to make dire predictions using emotion if at all possible. Continue to making adjustments to the adjusted data you already used to make failed predictions and climate models. (clearly our data was wrong and not our hypothesis) Tell the world 97% of scientist agree that climate science is settled while continuing to ask governments for more funding to do more research on climate change. Continue to try and discredit any science and scientist who do not support your hypothesis.

    • You, on the other hand, may want to check your link, which goes nowhere.

      In addition, I don’t go on snipe hunts for anyone. If there is something in the work you cite and the papers it references that contradicts what I said about the Indo-Pacific plate, please let me know exactly where to find it. I’m not about to go searching for something that I wouldn’t even recognize if I saw it.

      w.

      • Mr. Eschenbach,

        You, of course, are correct. The link is dead. 2 months is forever on the net and I should have checked it. Try this one I checked:

        http://www.davidpratt.info/tecto.htm

        Now, as to what you should look for, I will repeat, you should read the whole damn thing and check the papers he references because when someone goes against the Consensus he damn well better have some real evidence.

        As far as what YOU want to shortcut to, I would suggest you reread the quote you demand of everyone. In it you mention subduction. One of the chapters in the paper is on ocean bed spreading and subduction.

        You are a testy genius aren’t you!!

        HAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA

      • KuhnKat July 11, 2015 at 8:02 pm Edit

        Mr. Eschenbach,

        You, of course, are correct. The link is dead. 2 months is forever on the net and I should have checked it. Try this one I checked:

        http://www.davidpratt.info/tecto.htm

        Thanks.

        Now, as to what you should look for, I will repeat, you should read the whole damn thing and check the papers he references because when someone goes against the Consensus he damn well better have some real evidence.

        No thanks. If you cannot point to exactly what you are talking about that shows that I’m wrong, it is not my responsibility to find it. Do you leave page numbers off of your references just to make people guess?

        KuhnKat, I have NO IDEA what you want me to look for or what your point is, and I have no interest in reading miles of papers just because you think it is a good idea.

        Now, I’d said that the Indo-Pacific plate dives under Pacific plate near the Solomon Islands just south of the Kavachi volcano. If you want a reference, that’s also what it says in the quote from the Smithsonian above.

        You, on the other hand, claimed I was wrong … but instead of backing up your claim with a clear citation, you demand that I undertake a study of a number of papers of your choice.

        Not gonna happen. You can properly cite your claim that I’m wrong, or you can go talk to someone else, but I don’t go on a snipe hunt for any man.

        w.

    • On Planet Willis, actual scientific facts, that is observations, don’t matter. Only the great and good genius’ opinions matter. No difference between Michael Mann and Willis Eschenbach, then. Except that Mann actually has an advanced degree in a scientific subject.

      • Gloria, I’ve politely requested that if you disagree with something I’ve said, that you quote exactly what it is I said that you think is wrong.

        Let me invite you again to do so, because currently all you are doing is waving your hands and throwing mud … and my observation is that when someone throws mud, it’s because they’re out of real ammunition.

        I await your quotation of whatever it is that you think is wrong, because I have no clue from your comment what you don’t like … except me.

        w.

      • As I thought was plain, it’s your assertion without basis other than your sailing around that there couldn’t be a million undersea volcanoes. You have not sailed along the length of ridges and subduction zones where most volcanoes are located, so your “sample” from the surface is meaningless, indeed worse than worthless.

        Those actual scientists who study those parts of the ocean have, by contrast, counted the number of volcanoes in their areas of research. Your uninformed opinion doesn’t matter.

      • Gloria Swansong July 11, 2015 at 8:33 pm

        On Planet Willis, actual scientific facts, that is observations, don’t matter. Only the great and good genius’ opinions matter. No difference between Michael Mann and Willis Eschenbach, then. Except that Mann actually has an advanced degree in a scientific subject.

        Gloria, I gotta admire your persistence. If it were only allied with the scientific method, you’d be a force of nature.

        Unfortunately, it appears you can’t or won’t read what I’ve written. You say “As I thought was plain, it’s your assertion without basis other than your sailing around …”

        “Without basis”? Where have you been? In fact. I’ve given you a number of other lines of evidence that indicate that there are not a million volcanoes erupting underseas.

        The first is the fact that to have a million underseas volcanoes, you’d need to find one every ten miles. Scientists have spent hundreds of thousands of hours under water without finding such volcanoes.

        How do we know that? Because scientists love to name things and record them. That is their game and their claim to fame … and despite the hundreds of thousands of hours spent underwater, the number of actually known underseas volcanoes is 134. That alone should tell you that there are not a million of them.

        And you yourself provided another line of evidence. This was your fatuous claim that because there are four active volcanoes in the admitted tiny area of the Solomon Islands, you said (without doing the actual math) that shows that such a high density of volcanoes is not unusual.

        Curiously, we heard nothing further of your claim once I pointed out that at one volcano every ten miles, there’d have to be no less than A HUNDRED AND TWELVE active volcanoes in the Solomon Islands. That always un-nerves me in a discussion, when I clearly demonstrate that your claim is wrong … and instead of admitting you were wrong, instead you immediately stop talking about that claim.

        Me, I admit when I’m wrong, because I know there’s no other way to go forwards. You, on the other hand … but I digress.

        So those are the scientific facts that I have provided. Now let’s look at the scientific facts that you have provided …

        … unfortunately, all you’ve provided in the way of facts is an UNREFERENCED, UNSIGNED ESTIMATE of one unidentified small area of the ocean. That’s it. We don’t know what area of the ocean they are referring to. We don’t know who wrote the claim, it might have been a teaching assistant. We don’t know who identified the volcanoes, or when. It is not an actual count of volcanoes, even the paper identifies it as an “estimate”. But we don’t know how it was estimated, nor by whom, nor do we know what physical observations the estimate is based on.

        But wait, it gets worse. Based on that vague, unreferenced estimate, whoever wrote that paper foolishly extrapolated from 0.3% of the ocean area to the whole ocean … which is as dumb as trying to estimate the number of palm trees in America by scaling up a vague estimate of palm numbers in the Hawaiian Islands. Such wild extrapolation from such a weak footing is as unscientific a practice as I can imagine. Which is another scientific reason to disbelieve such a fatuous claim, and like all the other reasons I listed above, it has nothing to do with my own experience.

        Let me be perfectly clear here, Gloria. What you are defending is an unjustifiably huge extrapolation of well over a hundred to one based on an unreferenced and totally unidentified “estimate”. It contains no facts, just an “estimate”. There is no provenance. There is no attempt to justify the huge extrapolation.

        Does such dreck truly pass for science on your planet? Really?

        Because around here, we just point and laugh at that kind of thing.

        Anyhow, my suggestion would be that you either shift your point of view to that of an inquisitive scientist and stick around and keep reading and actually learn something, which is what I do here a lot, there’s always plenty for me to learn … or alternately, that you take your road show on the road, because you’re not going to get much traction around here the way you are approaching things.

        In hope,

        w.

  25. Seriously, how did “acidification” even become a thing? The atmosphere has 1/10000 more CO2 and the ocean is what, 1 million times heavier with massive chemical buffering.

    • I want to know how it is that “more neutral” or “less alkaline” is morphed into “acidification” by warmistas, and hardly anyone ever calls them on it?
      These are supposedly scientists, talking about chemistry in unscientific ways and in language an actual chemist would never use to describe what is being measured.
      One article that was referenced on a posting yesterday had a discussion in which the word “acid” was used to describe sea water which had been “acidified”.
      Sloppy language and inaccurate description lead to bad conclusions and inaccurate discussions…and people wind up being badly misled.
      Horrendous corruption of science going on, everyday all over the place…on account of the CAGW meme and associated lines of “research”.

      • Anytime someone monkeys with the language, they’re preparing to pull a fast one on you. Academics learn this in Pedantry 101.

  26. Whenever I hear about our fragile ecosystems I think about the house wren …

    The house wren (Troglodytes aedon) is a very small songbird of the wren family, Troglodytidae. It occurs from Canada to southernmost South America, and is thus the most widely distributed bird in the Americas. It occurs in most suburban areas in its range and it is the single most common wren. Its taxonomy is highly complex and some subspecies groups are often considered separate species.

    Wikipedia

    Life evolves to fill the available niches. And today Willis has shown us a most interesting and unusual niche.

  27. “If an estimate of 4,000 volcanoes per million square kilometers on the floor of the Pacific Ocean is extrapolated for all the oceans than there are more than a million submarine (underwater) volcanoes.”

    ttp://volcano.oregonstate.edu/book/export/html/138

    • Thanks, Aphan, but I gotta doubt that number. For starters, 4 volcanoes per thousand square km means that there would be no less than one volcano in every single ten mile by ten mile section of the ocean floor. Do you believe that? Because I don’t. I’ve spent too much time both underwater and on the top to believe it. I’ve sailed over underwater volcanism in the area between Fiji and Tonga, and the discolored water is quite visible. So if the volcanoes are out there, they are not in shallow water … which would mean that the concentration would be even denser.

      I say that’s out by orders of magnitude. I also note that your citation doesn’t provide a single bit of support for that estimate. It just tosses out the number and we’re supposed to believe it … well, I don’t.

      For another look at how many undersea volcanoes there are, the Smithsonian Global Volcanism Program lists a total of 134. That’s how many we actually know for a fact are down there. Now, are there volcanoes we don’t know about down deep?

      Absolutely.

      Are some of them down so deep that they would not leave any sign on the surface?

      You betcha.

      But to extrapolate from knowing about 134 undersea volcanoes to a claimed “more than a million” undersea volcanoes is a huge and unwarranted jump.

      All the best,

      w.

      • Willis,

        http://volcano.oregonstate.edu/submarine There is a citation for you and quotes exactly what Aphan says, no particular methodology quoted at the site though. I find it hard to buy but do feel that under sea volcanism is under estimated as a potential source of heat on our 70% water covered world. Only really two actual sources of heat here, sun and geothermal.

      • I wonder if they are counting each place where magma periodically intrudes along the spreading center ridges? If each separate upwelling is called a “volcano”, and are counted…it could add up to a lot.
        Do not know, just sayin’.
        I agree that sort of extrapolation is likely far from being the case, but there are a lot of seamounts that are presumably of volcanic origin.

      • Menicholas,

        You are correct.

        Submarine volcanoes aren’t randomly distributed over the sea floor, but are concentrated along subduction zones and spreading centers. These narrow ridges and valleys cover tens of thousands of linear miles.

        For ease of calculation assume 25,000 miles of mid-oceanic ridge and a similar length of subduction zone, as in the Pacific Ring of Fire, for a total of 50,000 miles of volcanic activity area. If there indeed be a million submarine volcanoes, then this would work to one lava or ash vent per 20 miles on average. In fact, there are liable to be more miles of volcanism than this, but I don’t know the actual figure.

        This calculation wouldn’t include the hot spots that exist away from these rings and ridges, some of which are enormous.

        On land, a volcanic arc range like the Cascades has active major cones about every 54 miles (13 in ~700 miles). But in the volcanic stretches of the Andes, active volcanoes are much closer together on average and more numerous. They are closer to the subduction zone than the Cascades.

      • This is kind of funny.

        I did the calculation for the central and southern (Patagonian) Chilean-Argentine Andean volcanic arc, which starts about six degrees of latitude (c. 33 to 55 S) south of the northern Chilean-Bolivian-Argentine arc.

        On an air line, this volcanic stretch runs 1500 statute miles, but a little more on the ground because, umm, it’s an arc. I also had to decide what counts as an active volcano, so went with an eruption in the Holocene. This produces over 70 volcanoes, but many of the “volcanoes” are actually groups, comparable to the Three Sisters in Oregon, but with even more vents. But even counting those multiples as singletons, the volcanoes in this arc occur on average about every 20 miles (but in reality less).

      • sturgishooper July 11, 2015 at 5:22 pm Edit

        Menicholas,

        You are correct.

        Submarine volcanoes aren’t randomly distributed over the sea floor, but are concentrated along subduction zones and spreading centers. These narrow ridges and valleys cover tens of thousands of linear miles.

        For ease of calculation assume 25,000 miles of mid-oceanic ridge and a similar length of subduction zone, as in the Pacific Ring of Fire, for a total of 50,000 miles of volcanic activity area. If there indeed be a million submarine volcanoes, then this would work to one lava or ash vent per 20 miles on average. In fact, there are liable to be more miles of volcanism than this, but I don’t know the actual figure.

        I’m sorry, sturgis, but Menicholas is NOT correct, nor are you. One million volcanoes per 50,000 miles is a thousand volcanoes every fifty miles, or twenty volcanoes per mile, or a volcano every two hundred and fifty feet or so … don’t think so.

        w.

      • Willis,

        I showed you that that is indeed the average distribution of volcanoes in the southern Andes. At seafloor spreading sites on mid-ocean ridges, it would be even more volcanic.

        And, as I noted, my guess at 50,000 miles is sure to be low. Could well be 100,000 miles. Just the Ring of Fire must be around 25,000, or the total I allocated for subduction zones, leaving the Indian, Atlantic, Arctic and Southern Oceans with nothing. And the mid-ocean ridges circle the globe more than the once I assumed.

        There are probably more than a million undersea volcanoes, with similar problems as to what counts as active, of course. My colleagues at Oregon State have the data to back up their claims.

        Oceanic crust, as you may know, is a lot thinner than continental, as well. Which indeed should be obvious. Plus younger and different in composition.

      • sturgishooper July 11, 2015 at 6:21 pm Edit

        Willis,

        I showed you that that is indeed the average distribution of volcanoes in the southern Andes. At seafloor spreading sites on mid-ocean ridges, it would be even more volcanic.

        And, as I noted, my guess at 50,000 miles is sure to be low. Could well be 100,000 miles. Just the Ring of Fire must be around 25,000, or the total I allocated for subduction zones, leaving the Indian, Atlantic, Arctic and Southern Oceans with nothing. And the mid-ocean ridges circle the globe more than the once I assumed.

        Thanks, sturgis, but I fear that all you did was to make a foolish arithmetic mistake, the kind I’ve made more times than I care to remember. You said that your numbers showed there were a million volcanoes in 50,000 miles of volcanism, which you claimed was one volcano every 20 miles.

        In fact, your numbers work out to a fantastic 20 eruptions per mile along the subsea spreading zones, so we know it’s a wild overestimation.

        Finally, bear in mind that even if the mid-ocean ridges are 100,000 miles long, and even if the interval is the one you claim for the andes of one every twenty miles, both of which are possible, that’s still only 5,000 volcanoes … which is kind of different from your claimed one million …

        Regards,

        w.

      • Willis,

        We know for a fact that there are 4000 volcanoes in a very small segment of the plate boundaries off the coast of the Pacific Northwest.

        Regardless of my arithmetic, my colleagues at OSU are sure to be right and you to be wrong.

        Besides which, as noted, there are untold volcanoes off the ridges and subduction zones.

        In science what matters are the observations, not wishful thinking.

      • To Whom It May Concern:

        May I remind all here of the discussion of Dr. Tolstoy’s paper on the cyclic nature of undersea volcanoes?

        http://www.dailymail.co.uk/sciencetech/article-2942510/Are-underwater-volcanoes-causing-global-warming-Oceanic-eruptions-greater-effect-climate-thought.html

        Sorry to cite the Daily Mail when WUWT itself discussed the paper at length.

        But IMO the case is, at least under Scottish law, well proven.

        There are many more underwater volcanoes than under air, and they produce huge amounts of carbon dioxide in a cyclic fashion.

      • Re arithmetic:

        An order of magnitude error.

        If the observations of the OSU oceanographers and geologists are correct, as they are, then along the active volcanic zones, eruptions occur at less than four mile intervals, not 20 (4000 in less than 1000 miles).

        No reason to imagine that isn’t the norm globally. As noted, oceanic crust must be a lot more vulnerable to magmatic intrusions than heavy, thick continental crust.

        Good of you to acknowledge that anyone can make order of magnitude, decimal place errors, though.

        Now if you can just acknowledge being wrong about the distribution of volcanoes, based upon observation by scientists rather than your wishes.

      • Gloria Swansong July 11, 2015 at 7:36 pm

        Willis,

        They’re geologists, and you’re not. You’re an undergrad psych major.

        http://volcano.oregonstate.edu/submarine

        I’m going with the scientists on this one. Sorry.

        Thanks, Gloria. I can see you haven’t been around this game long enough to fully digest Feynmann’s comment that “Science is the belief in the fallibility of experts”.

        My suggestion is that you take it out of the realm of belief by running some numbers yourself on the million volcano claim. I did, and it came out to one underseas volcano erupting every ten miles miles apart everywhere on the ocean floor … now you are free to believe that, but I’ve actually spent a good portion of my life out on and under the ocean, and I find it highly doubtful, for a variety of reasons including but far from limited to the amount of time I’ve spent at sea without seeing evidence a volcano every ten miles.

        One of the advantages of NOT being a specialist is that I actually have, you know, experience. For example, I have actually seen evidence of an undersea volcano at sea. It was when I was navigator on a boat going from Fiji to Tonga. In an area where the charts showed deep water, there was an area of discolored warmer water from the column of volcanic ash and ejecta, with rafts of pumice in and around the discolored water. I was driving the boat when we came across it, and I can tell you, it made me quite nervous, because in such a situation there’s no telling how shallow the water is.

        That’s not the only undersea volcano I’ve taken a boat over. Twice in the Solomon Islands I was navigating between islands when I came across the same thing, discolored sulfurous water and pumice rafts announcing the presence of an undersea eruption.

        But that’s three times in a lifetime of going to sea and living around the ocean and commercial and sport fishing on the ocean and commercial and sport diving on the ocean and thousands of hours spent navigating boats around the Solomons and Fiji … both of which are part of the Ring of Fire … but no, Gloria, even in the highly volcanic areas there’s no undersea volcano every ten miles.

        The idea of a million underwater volcanoes also doesn’t match up with the number of seamounts. These are extinct volcanoes whose tops have been chopped off by the action of the waves, but whose bases still remain. Due to improved measurements, the estimate of the number of these was recently quadrupled … from about 5,000 to about 20,000.

        So … IF there are a million active underwater volcanoes out their, as your oh-so-brilliant scientists claim … then why, after millions of years, are there only 20,000 seamounts?

        Here’s the deal, Gloria. It is true that my total formal scientific education is one college class in physics and one in chemistry. But in science, all that matters is who is right, not who is formally educated. Either I’m right and there aren’t a million underseas volcanoes erupting even as we speak, or the scientists are right and there are a million underseas volcanoes. In neither case does my level of education matter in the slightest. Either I’m right or I’m wrong, period.

        Let me encourage you to do your own investigations in this and other matters, and not be misled by diplomas. THINK ABOUT IT YOURSELF! Ask the inquisitive questions. How can there only be 20,000 extinct volcano seamounts out there if there are a million volcanoes? What would the spacing be for a million volcanoes? Since the spacing would be one every ten miles, why don’t we have literally hundreds of them offshore from the US? If there are a million of them, why have we only actually identified 134 of them? You know, those kinds of questions.

        Here’s what is often my first question … what is the citation or the source of the scientist’s claim? In this case, I fear that there is no further reference given for their claim. As near as we can tell from the page you cite, they just pulled the numbers out of the air. And when I see that, I gotta question their numbers.

        Many, many questions in climate science do not require specialized education. Many questions are amenable to some online research and running some numbers yourself. And many claims, such as the claim that there are a million volcanoes erupting under the ocean all the time, are falsifiable using back-of-the-envelope calculations.

        Finally, regarding your claim about my qualifications, it’s actually much worse than you think. See my post called It’s Not About Me for the bad news …

        My best you,

        w.

      • sturgishooper July 11, 2015 at 8:06 pm

        Willis,

        We know for a fact that there are 4000 volcanoes in a very small segment of the plate boundaries off the coast of the Pacific Northwest.

        No, we don’t know that “for a fact”, we don’t know it at all. I have pointed out several times that we have no citation for this. All the Oregon State document says is:

        If an estimate of 4,000 volcanoes per million square kilometers on the floor of the Pacific Ocean is extrapolated for all the oceans than there are more than a million submarine (underwater) volcanoes.

        First, a long ways from what I’d call knowing something “for a fact”. Even the only reference we have doesn’t call it a “fact”, it calls it an “estimate”. To date, neither you nor anyone else has provided any provenance for your claimed “fact”.

        Second, the oceans cover some 3.6E+8 square kilometers. As a result, the ESTIMATE is for only three-tenths of one percent of the ocean … anyone who thinks we can reliably extrapolate the whole from knowing 0.003 of the whole is wildly optimistic.

        As a result, the one million number is not reliable in any sense.

        w.

      • On PHD’s: I once was in charge of setting up a new department to administer a congressionally funded environmental department. While interviewing candidates to run the new department, one lady who had sent in a resume indicating a PHD in “environmental science” finally admitted she had no real science or math background or courses. Her environmental credentials included tree planting, horse back riding and such. For these she had been awarded a PHD in environmental sciences! Believe me when I say that anyone can obtain a degree in any subject if they have the time and money.

      • For the money wasted on “climate science” models, the US could have mapped the ocean beds by now.

      • Hi Willis,
        I’m a little late to this conversation, but hopefully you guys still see my comments. I wonder if part of the discrepancy between some of the estimates and what Willis has observed is due to varying opinions about what constitutes a “volcano”. If you only count the really big guys that regularly erupt, you’ll get a very different number than if you count every single little place where lava has extruded over the last 50,000 years or so. For example, the Pacific Northwest Seismic Network is responsible for monitoring seismic activity around Washington State’s volcanoes. To this end, their website lists the volcanoes in the state: all 5 of them (Mt Baker, Glacier Peak, Mt Rainier, Mt St Helens, and Mt Adams). So there’s 5 volcanoes in all the state, which you can verify by flying over in a plane and counting them. On the other hand, near Mt St Helens and Mt Adams is a region known as Indian Heaven. Indian Heaven occupies an area of approximate 600 sq km, and, according to wikipedia at least, is home to 60 “eruptive centers”, but each of which only erupted once about 10,000 years ago. I’ve never counted 60, but I do know that you can look really closely at the area on Google Earth and find quite a few little mini cinder cones in that region. So do they count as volcanoes? They’re distinct eruption centers, and have been active VERY recently (from a geological standpoint). I’m guessing that when people estimate there’s a million underwater volcanoes, they include that sort of volcano. And I’m guessing Willis doesn’t find it appropriate to lump each of those little guys in the same category as Mt St Helens.

      • Jimmy July 14, 2015 at 11:58 am

        Hi Willis,
        I’m a little late to this conversation, but hopefully you guys still see my comments. I wonder if part of the discrepancy between some of the estimates and what Willis has observed is due to varying opinions about what constitutes a “volcano”. …

        Jimmy, the problem is that the garbage that Gloria is trying to sell has nothing to do with science. There are no definitions of anything, including volcanoes. There are no references, no citations, and no support offered for the claim. In fact, their claim is an unjustifiable 100-to-1 extrapolation from an ESTIMATE of some unknown area of the ocean floor to the whole planet. As I mentioned, this is as stupid as estimating how many palm trees are in the USA from scaling up the Hawaiian Islands palm tree numbers. It has no provenance, we don’t know who made the claim, or how they made the estimate, or anything at all about the claim … and poor deluded Gloria keeps saying that the extrapolation of an unknown estimate of an unknown by unknown people is science. Makes me wonder about what her planet looks like, because it’s certainly not this planet …

        So yes, the difference might be due to the total lack of any definition of a volcano, or the lack of definitions of anything … but that’s on Gloria’s side, not mine.

        w.

      • Jimmy:

        I suspect you may be right that the dispute over numbers of undersea volcano numbers derives from lack of an agreed definition.

        I very strongly suspect Willis is right if “volcano” means ‘active volcano’.

        But the “geologists” cited and linked by Gloria Swansong may also be right if “volcano” means ‘active, dormant or extinct volcano’.

        What I think can be agreed is that nobody knows the true number of active and dormant volcanoes under the oceans, the total magnitude of their emissions, how those emissions vary, where those emissions occur, and where those emissions are transported. Importantly, those emissions, their magnitudes, their geographical distributions, and their variations are what we need to know.

        Richard

  28. You are all interpreting these findings wrong. The critters are not there of their free will. Because climate change they are being forced to attempt to adapt, as part of their mandatory climate change agenda. They too, like us, will be made to care about climate change…

  29. Love the quote at the end of that video:

    “That’s the best project: to go out with one question and to come back with many.”

    How refreshing after all the settled science.

  30. Come on Willis! Get with the program!

    You have to describe the conditions in the crater as being something like “10,000 times more acidic” or “an increase in acidity of 1,000,000%”, which is true in climatespeak for a pH of 4 versus a standard oceanic pH of 8.

  31. Willis, an excellent article as usual, thank you. Contrary to Prof. Lewandowsky’s “research”, clearly alarmists are creationists, not believing in evolution. Fearmongering pays.

  32. As T. E. Lawrence said to his friend who wondered what the trick was for putting out matches with his fingers, when it burned so; “The trick is to not mind the pain.”

    Maybe the sharks just “don’t mind the pain” like the divers did. Shark skin ain’t like human skin, you know.

  33. Reblogged this on Louis Hissink's Crazy World and commented:
    The take-home message here is that life adapts to changing environmental circumstances. Except some sectors of humanity who seem quite unable to change when the environment does. These people are effectively dead from the neck up but sadly, and perhaps tragically, these neck-readers are in charge of our governments and policies.

  34. This is video of Kavachi volcano erupting.

    This is showing the pumice ash plume, floating in the water, video taken from a yacht to show the scale.

  35. Gloria Swansong July 11, 2015 at 8:54 pm

    Let us consider the Solomon Island volcanoes.

    There are eight, of which four are active, including underair Savo Island of WWII fame:

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_volcanoes_in_the_Solomon_Islands

    This number in such a small area alone should convince Willis of the reality of a million underwater volcanoes. Were he ruled by reason rather than ego and emotion.

    Thanks, Gloria. Indeed, let’s consider the Solomons. The area of the Solomon Islands (land + ocean) is 1,618,373 square km. There are four active volcanoes, or about one for every 400,000 square km.

    Or perhaps you mean that we should only count the land area. Seems crazy to only count land area when we’re talking about volcanic islands, but in any case the land area of the Solos is about 28,000 square km, so it’s about one volcano for every 7,000 square km.

    By contrast, the claim from the Oregon State folks is that there is one volcano for every 250 square km … and by that standard, just using the land area alone the Solomons should have 112 volcanoes. Which in turn means that you didn’t do your homework.

    Truly, Gloria, you need to start actually running the numbers before you rashly throw your electronic pen into high gear … those kinds of foolish claims don’t burnish your bona-fides.

    w.

    • Volcanoes are not evenly distributed across ocean basins,they are concentrated along spreading ridge and subduction zones [ e.g. “the ring of fire”]

      The few that are not, such as the Hawaiian Islands/volcanoes are associated with mantle plumes/hot spots.

      There may be a patch off Oregon that has a volcano for every 250sq km but it would not be a large area.

  36. Without getting into the chemical math to heavily…even if ALL the CO₂ emitted by man were mixed into the ocean and formed H₂CO₃, it wiould lower the pH by a 0.03 of a pH degree, assuming the originating solution was neutral 7.0 to 6.97. That is if ALL of it was mixed in. But the sea isn’t neutral. Once it buffered ALL the CO₂, the pH change (lawdy lawdy, like everything else coughed up over climate science) would be inside that of natural variation (+/- 0.15 or more). Damn. Doesn’t sound nearly as alarming as some of the ‘acidification’ bellowing.

    • Mike Bromley the Kurd:

      You say

      if ALL the CO₂ emitted by man were mixed into the ocean and formed H₂CO₃, it wiould lower the pH by a 0.03 of a pH degree

      Perhaps, but that is not the point.

      A rise in atmospheric CO₂ concentration alters the equilbrium condition between CO₂ in the atmosphere and CO₂ in the ocean surface layer. If all the rise in atmospheric CO2 concentration since the industrial revolution has been caused by “CO₂ emitted by man” then this would have changed the equilibrium pH of the ocean surface layer by 0.1.

      A change to the pH of the ocean surface layer of 0.1 would not be measurable because its natural variation is much larger.

      Of more interest in the context of this thread is the change to pH of the ocean surface layer from volcanic sulphur. Altering the pH of the ocean surface layer alters the equilbrium condition between CO₂ in the atmosphere and CO₂ in the ocean surface layer. A change to the pH of the ocean surface layer of only 0.1 would have caused ALL the rise in atmospheric CO2 concentration since the industrial revolution.

      Richard

      • Richard:

        A change to the pH of the ocean surface layer of only 0.1 would have caused ALL the rise in atmospheric CO2 concentration since the industrial revolution.

        Except that such a change in pH caused by SO2 would lower the total C (DIC: CO2 + bicarbonates + carbonates) in the ocean surface, while at all repeated samplings of the same areas DIC increased over time. That shows that the (hardly measurable) pH decrease is caused by CO2 entering from the atmosphere into the oceans, not reverse… See:
        http://www.tos.org/oceanography/archive/27-1_bates.pdf

    • Ferdinand:

      You assert

      That shows that the (hardly measurable) pH decrease is caused by CO2 entering from the atmosphere into the oceans, not reverse…

      Of course CO2 is “entering from the atmosphere into the oceans, not reverse”. An amount of CO2 equivalent to about half the anthropogenic CO2 is increasing the atmospheric CO2 concentration.

      Therefore, an amount of CO2 equivalent to about half the anthropogenic CO2 is moving from the atmosphere to the biosphere and ocean surface layer.

      This says NOTHING about the cause of the increase to the atmospheric CO2 concentration; e.g. it could be a result of altered pH of the ocean surface layer.

      Richard

      • Richard,

        What you say makes as much sense as assuming that people who eat several hamburgers a day that their weight gain is not from all the fat in the hamburgers and the sugar in the Cokes they drink, but from doing no exercise, without any real measurement of how much calories they burn a day…

        Translated to this case:
        If you have a (saturated) solution of soda (carbonate) and you add vinegar, CO2 will bubble up and the total carbon amount in the solution will drop while the pH drops. If you have the same solution and add CO2, the total carbon amount in the solution will increase (as bicarbonate is formed) and the pH drops. The latter case is what is measured in all oceans where repeated measurements over time were done: the pH drops because extra CO2 enters the oceans, not reverse.

      • Ferdinand:

        Please try to think before posting.

        I wrote

        Of more interest in the context of this thread is the change to pH of the ocean surface layer from volcanic sulphur. Altering the pH of the ocean surface layer alters the equilbrium condition between CO₂ in the atmosphere and CO₂ in the ocean surface layer. A change to the pH of the ocean surface layer of only 0.1 would have caused ALL the rise in atmospheric CO₂ concentration since the industrial revolution.

        That is true. And it would be true whether or not there were an anthropogenic emission of CO₂.

        But you jumped in to claim

        Except that such a change in pH caused by SO2 would lower the total C (DIC: CO2 + bicarbonates + carbonates) in the ocean surface, while at all repeated samplings of the same areas DIC increased over time. That shows that the (hardly measurable) pH decrease is caused by CO2 entering from the atmosphere into the oceans, not reverse…

        I pointed out that your assertion is irrelevant so you have now thrown in another untrue assertion; i.e.

        What you say makes as much sense as assuming that people who eat several hamburgers a day that their weight gain is not from all the fat in the hamburgers and the sugar in the Cokes they drink, but from doing no exercise, without any real measurement of how much calories they burn a day…

        That is complete twaddle!
        Your analogy is not relevant to discussion of the effect of altered ocean surface layer pH on atmospheric CO₂ concentration.

        During each year the oceans take in and emit much more CO₂ than the anthropogenic emission of CO₂ each year. A change to the pH of the ocean surface layer would alter the equilibrium condition between CO₂ in the atmosphere and CO₂ in the ocean surface layer. The result would be an alteration to the atmospheric CO₂ concentration whether or not the anthropogenic emission existed. And the only inhibiting factor would be the rate of CO2 exchange between the ocean surface layer and deeper ocean, and the limit to that rate is not known.

        Ferdinand, your fervent belief that the anthropogenic emission has caused the rise in atmospheric CO₂ concentration may be right. But your refusal to consider other possible causes does not make it right.

        Richard

      • Richard,

        During each year the oceans take in and emit much more CO₂ than the anthropogenic emission of CO₂ each year.

        That is completely irrelevant to the question if the increase of CO2 in the atmosphere is caused by a lower pH or the lower pH is caused by the increase of CO2 in the atmosphere: the (huge) seasonal CO2 changes are caused by seasonal changes in temperature and largely level out over a year.

        You simply can’t have both ways: either the lowering pH was caused by an internal factor like a few thousands undersea volcanoes all spewing extra SO2 completely synchronous with human emissions (for which is not the slightest indication), thus reducing DIC in the ocean surface layer, or it is caused by the increase of CO2 in the atmosphere and then DIC increases too.
        If both occurred in the same period, it is simply looking at DIC to see which of the two was dominant. If DIC increased, there was no CO2 increase in the atmosphere caused by a lower pH of the oceans.

      • Ferdinand Engelbeen:

        You seem to have abandoned all logic. Not content with having provided an irrelevant fact as an argument followed by providing an irrelevant and untrue analogy, you now provide a false dichotomy by saying

        You simply can’t have both ways: either the lowering pH was caused by an internal factor like a few thousands undersea volcanoes all spewing extra SO2 completely synchronous with human emissions (for which is not the slightest indication), thus reducing DIC in the ocean surface layer, or it is caused by the increase of CO2 in the atmosphere and then DIC increases too.
        If both occurred in the same period, it is simply looking at DIC to see which of the two was dominant. If DIC increased, there was no CO2 increase in the atmosphere caused by a lower pH of the oceans.

        I CAN “have it both ways” because the effect of altered pH of the ocean surface layer on the equilibrium would occur whether or not the anthropogenicCO₂ emission existed.

        This is true because, as I said,
        (a) “the oceans take in and emit much more CO₂ than the anthropogenic emission of CO₂ each year”
        and
        (b) “an amount of CO2 equivalent to about half the anthropogenic CO2 is moving from the atmosphere to the biosphere and ocean surface layer” on its way TO the deep ocean. (The anthropogenic emission is increasing – so half the anthropogenic emission is increasing – with time.)

        And you are plain wrong when you assert, “If DIC increased, there was no CO2 increase in the atmosphere caused by a lower pH of the oceans.”

        A change to the surface layer pH alters the equilibrium between CO₂ dissolved in the ocean and present in the atmosphere. This would alter the CO₂ in the air AND alter the flow rate of CO₂ through the surface layer (from atmosphere to deep ocean). Therefore, the dissolved inorganic carbon (DIC) in the surface layer would increase as the atmospheric CO₂ concentration increased (because the anthropogenic flow is into the air – so through the surface layer – is increasing). If there were no anthropogenic emission to the air then the CO₂ flow through the surface layer would be FROM deep ocean to the atmosphere in response to reduced surface layer pH. (Almost all the carbon flowing through the carbon cycle is in the deep ocean).

        Richard

      • Richard,

        If the pH is altered by some excess SO2 – for which is not the slightest indication – that surely will alter the CO2 equilibrium between ocean surface and atmosphere, but as the observations show that DIC increases, the net CO2 flux is from the atmosphere into the ocean surface, not reverse.
        All what the imaginary extra SO2 does is that less (human) CO2 enters into the oceans and more is left in the atmosphere. Still the CO2 increase in the atmosphere is 100% human and 0% from the increased ocean acidity…

        What you try to prove is that a less negative is in fact a positive, which is rather strange arithmetic…

      • Ferdinand:

        You very wrongly assert to me

        What you try to prove is …

        NO! I am NOT trying to prove anything but you are.

        I replied to Mike Bromley the Kurd by saying to him

        You say

        if ALL the CO₂ emitted by man were mixed into the ocean and formed H₂CO₃, it wiould lower the pH by a 0.03 of a pH degree

        Perhaps, but that is not the point.

        A rise in atmospheric CO₂ concentration alters the equilbrium condition between CO₂ in the atmosphere and CO₂ in the ocean surface layer. If all the rise in atmospheric CO2 concentration since the industrial revolution has been caused by “CO₂ emitted by man” then this would have changed the equilibrium pH of the ocean surface layer by 0.1.

        A change to the pH of the ocean surface layer of 0.1 would not be measurable because its natural variation is much larger.

        And I pointed out

        Of more interest in the context of this thread is the change to pH of the ocean surface layer from volcanic sulphur. Altering the pH of the ocean surface layer alters the equilbrium condition between CO₂ in the atmosphere and CO₂ in the ocean surface layer. A change to the pH of the ocean surface layer of only 0.1 would have caused ALL the rise in atmospheric CO2 concentration since the industrial revolution.

        All of those statements are true and require no “proof” unless you can show there is some effect that would prevent altered pH of the ocean surface layer changing the equilibrium condition between CO₂ in the atmosphere and CO₂ in the ocean surface layer.

        You are trying to prove those statements are not true but you have yet to show there is some effect that would prevent altered pH of the ocean surface layer changing the equilibrium condition.

        Richard

      • Richard,

        As usual, you are diverting the attention from the essence. You said:

        This says NOTHING about the cause of the increase to the atmospheric CO2 concentration; e.g. it could be a result of altered pH of the ocean surface layer.

        Which is simply impossible if DIC increased, as is measured everywhere in all open ocean surfaces where repeated measurements over time were made. That is decisive about the main cause of the decrease in pH (which with modern pH meters is measurable or can be calculated from other variables): the increase of CO2 in the atmosphere.

        All other arguments you used are true (IF they happened), but irrelevant.

      • Ferdinand:

        Don’t be silly. I reminded you what this discussion is about and I quoted in full what I had said which you jumped-in to dispute. You say that is “diverting the attention from the essence”!

        Everything I have written is true and you have failed to refute any of it. You now attempt to repeat your erroneous assertion concerning DIC increase that I have already refuted with explanation of how and why it is wrong.

        I have had enough of your time-wasting! Your posts in this sub-thread are merely desperate attempts to shout “Lah, lah, lah” instead of considering one of the several possible natural causes of the recent rise in atmospheric CO2 concentration. I simply cannot be bothered to explain the matter to you again when you ignore the explanation.

        Richard

      • Richard,

        I know, you are inconvincible, whatever arguments are against what you say. I still do respond, because others may be looking at the evidence…

        You now attempt to repeat your erroneous assertion concerning DIC increase that I have already refuted with explanation of how and why it is wrong.

        If you don’t understand that the DIC increase shows that there is zero contribution from the lower pH in the oceans to the CO2 increase in the atmosphere (because DIC proves that it is reverse), then I can’t help you further. Maybe you know some smart chemistry guy, who can explain it to you in every necessary detail, I have done my best, to no avail…

      • Ferdinand:

        At last you got something right: you say

        I have done my best, to no avail…

        Yes. And I will continue to be convinced that altering an equilibrium state alters the effect of that equilibrium state.

        Maybe someone other than me can explain it for you despite your desire that nothing – ABSOLUTELY NOTHING – may be mentioned if it does not support your belief that only – yes, ONLY – the anthropogenic emissions can be thought to be contributing to the recent rise in atmospheric CO2.

        Richard

      • Richard,

        You know, I am as critical towards claims used by skeptics as from CAGW people. I will only react if what is said by anyone on any side of the discussion after carefully looking at all evidence.

        In this case, all evidence points to humans as source of the increase. Every single observation points to humans. Not one observation contradicts humans as source.
        Like DIC in the ocean surface. That contradicts the oceans as source (besides the higher 13C/12C ratio, another contradiction). Thus whatever your belief, I am guided by the observations which show that the oceans can’t be the source of the extra CO2 in the atmosphere.

        Even if there was a shift in equilibrium due to a pH shift in the ocean surface (for which is not the slightest indication), that only changes the equilibrium, which for the current average ocean temperature, DIC, pH, salt content,… is in (area weighted) average 7 μatm less than in the atmosphere. See:
        http://www.pmel.noaa.gov/pubs/outstand/feel2331/exchange.shtml
        That means that despite the huge seasonal and continuous (from equator to poles) CO2 fluxes between oceans and atmosphere, the temperature increase or any internal pH shift, the net contribution from the oceans to the atmospheric increase is zero (at least over the past 55 years)…

        Your zeal to continuous look for “maybe’s” and “if’s” that point to “possible” alternatives (which all fail one or more observations) for the human cause is one of the worst arguments any skeptic can use in a debate with the other side. That humans are the cause of the recent increase in atmospheric CO2 (and ocean surface and vegetation carbon) is rock solid. Such an argument only diverts the attention from far better arguments: the lack of warming, the diversion of all models from reality and the much lower sensitivity of the climate to the CO2 increase.

  37. Oh, and hey, Gloria Swansong, I’m a Geologist. You want to know anything, just ask me, instead of swarming all of us with your authority-worshipping thread-bombing. I have it on good authority (the kind that you like) that Mr. Eschenbach is ten times the researcher of some tenured, hog-trough-funded person that you’d prefer to quote because YOU think he knows better.

    Please, 2015 is half over, and you’re trying very hard to convince people who aren’t easily convinced, nor willing to snatch up the mantra you are droning on about. The kinds of folks you seek, bless them, are congregating in Paris, and soon.

    • The fact is, Mike, that the actual researchers, unlike a number crunching megalomaniac amateur like Willis, have observed the number of volcanoes in their study areas. Other real scientists have similarly counted the undersea volcanoes in their regions. When you combine these observations and extrapolate to all such volcanically active areas of the seafloor, the conclusion is that there are about a million such volcanoes.

      That Willis doesn’t believe it, based upon his years cruising the surface of some saltwater, doesn’t count.

      • Gloria,

        You don’t need to be a “scientist” to make a simple calculation for a rough estimate of how many (underwater) volcanoes there are. One million is not based on any reasonable estimate it is orders of magnitude overblown.

        Iceland lies on a volcanic hot spot and represents one of the most dense volcanic areas on earth (together with Hawaii and other hot spots), as many of these areas are where tectonic plates are drifting against each other or drifting away from each other (as is the case of the mid-Atlantic rift for Iceland).

        Iceland has an area of 103,000 km2 and has 30 volcanic systems. That is 1 volcanic system per 3,300 km2.
        The earth is 150 million km2 and should have 1 million volcanoes, that is one per 150 km2.

        If even one of the most active hotspots on earth has an order of magnitude less volcanoes than the scientific (?) estimate, I am pretty sure that the estimate is far beyond reality…

  38. About 73 years ago starting in August 1942 through November 1942 the southern Solomon chain was a hot spot of a different kind. (The campaign on Guadalcanal didn’t end until Feb. 1943 but the outcome was determined and the major actions were fought during that 4 month period of intense combat.)Proportionally it was the toughest and most sustained fight the US Navy ever fought involving surface actions. Seven major actions and five of those being surface actions fought primarily at night. Each side lost 24 warships ranging in size from Destroyers to Battleships. US KIA on Guadalcanal was 1,592. Japanese loses were over 20,000 on the island. But the toll at sea for the USN was over 5,000 while the Japanese lost about 4,000.

    Much has been made of the tough fight the Marines and later the Army and their airmen had on and in the skies above Guadalcanal and the surrounding waters but in the end, for the US to begin the long fight towards the Japanese home islands the highest price was paid by the USN.

    In all the Island invasions carried out by the US and allies during the war in the Pacific only during the first one at Guadalcanal and the last one at Okinawa would the USN suffer more KIA than the US/allied land forces involved.

  39. “My conclusion? I gotta say, when I see life going on at a rate of knots in hot ocean water that is not just slightly less alkaline but instead is actually acidic, it merely reinforces my belief that the slight neutralization that will likely come with increasing CO2 will have little measurable effect on the ocean.”

    Once again the conclusion of the Climate “Science” alarmists is demonstrated to be epically wrong.

    1) Sea life formed during a time when CO2 and Ocean Acidification were much higher than today. CO2 used to be 7000 PPM.
    2) Coral reefs were formed when CO2 was much higher, and in fact coral needs CO2 to form, calcium carbonate is their backbone.
    3) The atmosphere has been degassing for millions of years, that atmospheric CO2 has been what was used to form the reefs in the ocean, 7000 PPM to now 400 PPM.

    Has anyone ever bothered to calculate out how much CO2 would be required to alter the pH of the oceans? The oceans are extremely vast, and pH is a logarithmic scale. While I haven’t taken the time to do the calculation, I’m pretty sure the oceans can absorb 100% of the atmospheric CO2 and there won’t be a measurable change in the Ocean’s pH, and that is assuming that the natural buffering and sequestration processed halt.

    Someone in a chemistry dept please do that calculation, and put it is context of year of fossil fuels consumption.

  40. Hey. Did we ever agree on how many volcanos can dance on the head of a pin, I mean, how many volcanos there are active on the ocean floor?

    BTW, this post was about the adaptation of sea life to an acidic environment. Why all the argument about the number of volcanos.

    • IMO it’s relevant for a lot of reasons, besides the baselessness of Willis’ blanket assertion d*nial of science.

      Man-made global warming advocates always attack skeptics who hypothesize that increased volcanic activity could be partly responsible for any actual rise in CO2 over the past 300 years or so. To make a reasonable estimate, you need to know how many volcanic vents there are on the planet and whether they are more or less active than in the recent past.

      There is a variety of ways of making such estimates.

  41. RACookPE1978 July 12, 2015 at 1:17 pm

    Willis Eschenbach (replying to george e. smith)

    A much better example of the effect of clouds is what happens on a clear winter night when a cloud comes over. You can immediately feel the increase in downwelling longwave radiation.

    True, very true statement. But …

    (And you knew there was a “but” coming, didn’t you? )

    I would be disappointed if there were not. As the poet said, “A man’s reach should exceed his grasp, else what’s a meta phor?

    What is the actual fiormula for the relevent radiant heat loss?

    Real world values – not the “heard it described 10,000 times” general wave-your-hand case as we read above.

    Assume two cases in the Arctic Ocean: …

    The internet doesn’t present any consistent answer, nor do my heat transfer textbooks, nor do the available (commercial) radiant heat transfer calculators (since they are designed for inside-furnace-gaseous-burning-very-high-temperature environments, not cold-water-radiation-to-clear-skies environment.

    Oddly, I cannot even find agreement between various on-line papers about the heat sink definitions: T_air, T_air-corrected for relative humidity), T_sky (at what altitude?), or T_space. Hundreds of papers use generic averages of generic “ground-into-space-at-0-K” … But that general description is not useful when you are trying to determine the radiant heat loss changes caused by humidity and clouds.

    Interesting questions.

    First, the radiative heat loss from the surface is a function of the temperature … which in turn is a function of a host of things. I was just outside looking at the local “earth’s surface”. There was bare earth. There were areas with flagstones, There were areas with plants. There were areas with a layer of insulating mulch on top. There were areas in the shade and areas in the sun. There were damp areas that had been watered, and were evaporating. There were areas that were bone-dry.

    And unfortunately, what you call “real-world relevant radiant heat loss” is a function of all of those things … and that was just a ten foot (3 m) square area of one garden.

    So as far as I know there is no “actual fiormula for the relevent radiant heat loss” of the kind you envision. Every formula implicitly contains a host of simplifications.

    Now, for a more general answer to your question, with those implicit simplifications, you might take a look at MODTRAN. Before you run the simulation, under “Save” down at the bottom set it to “Save text output for later retrieval”. Then hit “submit the calculation”.

    When the results come up, down at the bottom it says “View the whole output file (select Save Text before doing run)”. Click the link, and it will show you enough results to keep a numbers junkie happy for weeks. Absorbances by various chemical species (e.g. H2O, CO2, CH4). Temperatures at various elevations. Freakin’ slant ray calculations, and enough arcane data to make your eyes cross.

    The problem is, there is no simple formula of the type you envision. For each situation it has to be figured out, frequency by frequency, GHG by GHG, altitude layer by altitude layer, and then added all together.

    Probably not the answer you were looking for, my friend, but there it is …

    Regards,

    w.

    • Interesting, Gloria, thanks. The surprising part of the story is that the water goes as cold as 50°F (10°C), and the water is said to be polluted with oil and sediment … life is indeed amazing.

      w.

  42. Gloria Swansong July 11, 2015 at 8:44 pm

    Re arithmetic:

    An order of magnitude error.

    If the observations of the OSU oceanographers and geologists are correct, as they are, then along the active volcanic zones, eruptions occur at less than four mile intervals, not 20 (4000 in less than 1000 miles).

    No reason to imagine that isn’t the norm globally. As noted, oceanic crust must be a lot more vulnerable to magmatic intrusions than heavy, thick continental crust.

    Good of you to acknowledge that anyone can make order of magnitude, decimal place errors, though.

    Now if you can just acknowledge being wrong about the distribution of volcanoes, based upon observation by scientists rather than your wishes.

    The OSU paper said that in some unidentified place there were 4,000 volcanoes in a million square km. It said nothing about how many there were per mile along the active volcanic zones. In fact, they said nothing about miles, so I’m not sure where you got that.

    However, IF there’s an volcanic zone going straight across a million square km, that would give us 4,000 eruptions per 1000 km. This is not, however, four mile intervals. You’ve got the numbers upside-down. It’s not one every four miles … it’s one every quarter kilometer! That’s every 250 metres, every 800 feet.

    Now, is it possible that there is some square of the ocean floor that’s 1,000 km (600 miles) on a side and has 4,000 volcanoes? Sure, that seems possible. That’s a lot of volcanoes, but the ocean is a big place, and some parts are tectonically bubbling.

    But what they also said was that this means a million undersea volcanoes globally, which was the number I questioned. (Actually, it means 1.4 million undersea volcanoes, so I fear the scientists are fudging it a bit.) I don’t believe that number for a minute. Most of the ocean floor is NOT volcanically active. If a quarter of the ocean floor is active I’d be surprised … but that would mean that there would be even MORE volcanoes per square km, three times as many … not happening.

    w.

  43. One of the main claims about the danger of acidification of the oceans is the effect it has on shellfish, corals, etc.. These beasties definitely don’t like any move from alkaline toward neutral, because they have evolved to use alkalinity to manufacture shells.

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