Odd how we can be staring right at something and not see it.
Every fifth grader knows that South America and Africa fit together like puzzle pieces when seen on a map. Then Alfred Wegener “proposed in 1912 that the continents had in fact drifted apart.” The consensus sneered at continental drift for fifty years. The theory was “denied by the greatest names of geology–until 1961, when it began to seem as if the sea floors were spreading.” The result: it took the so-called consensus fifty years to acknowledge what any schoolchild can plainly see.
There are more: “Examples of consensus science and eventual errors are endless. Jenner and smallpox, Pasteur and germ theory. Saccharine, margarine, repressed memory, fiber and colon cancer, hormone replacement therapy…the list of dramatic, damaging errors of the consensus goes on and on. New ones are reported almost every day in the newspaper.”
Finally, note when and where the claim of consensus is invoked. “Nobody says the consensus of scientists agrees that E=MC2. Nobody says the consensus is that the sun is 93 million miles away. It would never occur to anyone to speak that way. Consensus is invoked only in situations where the science is not solid enough.“
In today’s supposedly enlightened world of science we are making the same mistakes again, staring at something and not seeing how it fits together.
For many years it has been quite obvious that geological forces influence the planet’s climate in many specific and measurable ways: they melt the base of polar glaciers, abruptly change the course of deep ocean currents, influence the distribution of plankton blooms, infuse our atmosphere with volcanic sulfur rich ash, modify huge sub-ocean biologic communities, and generate all El Niño / La Niñas’ cycles. Given all of this very convincing information, many of today’s supposedly expert scientists still vehemently insist that our climate is completely / exclusively driven by atmospheric forces.
Well that atmospheric bias is about to change!
Three new game-changing pieces of geological information have been revealed: the discovery of an extensive field of active seafloor volcanoes and faults in the far western Pacific, iron enrichment of a huge ocean region off the coast of Antarctica, and the timing of western Pacific Ocean earthquakes vs. El Niños will force modern day climate experts to finally see the obvious …a significant portion of the Earth’s climate is driven by massive fluid flow of super-heated and chemically charged seawater up and out from major fault zones and associated volcanic features.
The new geological information is game changing for several reasons; it is actual measured data and NOT computer modeled estimates of what the data could be or should be. The data covers significant areas of the ocean measured in hundreds of miles laterally and thousands of feet vertically, and lastly the data is clearly related to geological forces and NOT a side effect of the atmosphere. Details concerning this new geological information are here presented in three sections: Far Western Pacific Seafloor, Antarctica’s Kerguelen Platform Ocean Region, and Solomon Island Earthquakes vs. El Niño Occurrences.
Far Western Pacific Seafloor: Just released research confirms that a 560-mile-long segment of the far western Pacific Ocean seafloor is emitting large amounts of chemically charged and super-heated seawater from deep faults and associated volcanic features (lava beds, volcanoes and hydrothermal vents) into the overlying ocean (Figure 1). https://www.ecomagazine.com/news/science/new-deep-sea-vents-and-volcanic-activity-discovered-in-the-mariana-back-arc
Researchers characterized the discovery of this large active geological seafloor segment as follows:
This region, best known for including the ocean’s deepest depths, is also populated with active underwater volcanoes and unique deep-sea ecosystems that provide a rich environment for uniquely adapted species. The scientists also observed cloudy warm water leaking through the still-cooling pillow lavas. “When AUV Sentry came back on board and we looked at the photo survey our jaws just dropped,” Co-Chief Scientist Bill Chadwick explained. “There was this brand new lava flow on the sea floor, which looks like it could have come out yesterday, and that was totally a surprise. It’s in a fascinating part of the Back-arc with whopping hydrothermal signals.” (Credit: The team on R/V Falkor led by NOAA Pacific Marine Environmental Laboratory Cooperative Institute scientists Dr. Joe Resing from University of Washington and Dr. Bill Chadwick from Oregon State University).
Clearly this seafloor segment has geological power behind it, certainly enough power to alter the temperature and chemistry of a large ocean region. To what degree it can alter the ocean, and the exact geographical extent of this alteration cannot be quantified just yet. More data is needed. However, make no mistake, this is a significant discovery of a geological powerhouse.
Verifying that one such active geological area exists in the far western Pacific strengthens the idea that others are yet to be discovered, and these may possess even more punch. One such candidate is the Solomon Island / Papua New Guinea seafloor area which is proving to be the origin point for all El Niños per several previous Climate Change Dispatch articles (see here), and known to be one of the most active geological areas on earth.
Antarctica’s Kerguelen Platform Ocean Region: Researchers from Australia’s Antarctic Division have recently completed a significant study of a huge ocean region located off the coast of Antarctica (Figure 3). One of their primary goals was to determine the cause of usually large and healthy plankton blooms in this area (see quote below). Were these blooms caused by high iron content, slightly warmer ocean temperatures, or a combination of both? Earlier research studies in limited portions of the Kerguelen Plateau indicated that this ocean plateau were slightly warmer and iron enriched:
ACE CRC researcher and voyage blogger, Dr Christina Schallenberg, will lead a project to determine the levels of iron found in different parts of the Kerguelen Axis, a critical micro-nutrient known to be in short supply in the Southern Ocean. “We know from satellite ocean color images that the Kerguelen Plateau sector has a considerably higher level of marine phytoplankton than the Southern Ocean on average,” said Dr Schallenberg. “By measuring the distribution of iron in seawater, alongside other work to determine water temperature and stratification, we hope to gain a better understanding of the factors controlling the growth of phytoplankton.”
The just-released results of this geographically extensive study are stunning!
Researchers concluded that the large plankton blooms are related to unusually high iron content, the result of massive fluid flow from large seafloor faults and associated volcanic features such as volcanoes and hydrothermal vents up and out into the overlying ocean.
Additionally, while sailing in close proximity to Heard Island, which is part of the Kerguelen Plateau, researchers witnessed a volcanic eruption from the island’s 9,006-foot-high Big Ben volcano. This eruption is not surprising considering the entire Kerguelen Plateau is one giant 450-mile by 150-mile volcanically formed seafloor feature similar to the Hawaiian Islands volcanic plateau (see here).
It can now be stated with confidence that powerful geological forces are a major driver of the moderate ocean warming and strong plankton blooms in this absolutely huge offshore Antarctic region. This moderate warming of very cold water does not significantly diminish the ocean’s CO2 content, but does enrich it in iron. Recent changes in whale and various other ocean animal migration patterns in the Kerguelen Plateau are also likely related to these same geological forces, and not manmade global warming.
Solomon Island Earthquakes vs El Niño Occurrences: Recently updated historical earthquake data confirms that a positive correlation exists between the occurrence date of multiple very large magnitude earthquakes in the Solomon Island area of the far western Pacific Ocean, and the beginning of all modern (1957, 1963, 1972, 1982, 1997, 2015) El Niño / La Niña events. This correlation strengthens two major tenets of the Plate Climatology Theory that all El Niños and La Niñas are; generated by fluid flow from deep fault zones and associated volcanic features, and originate at the same geologically active limited geographical region of earth (Figure4).
A condensed version of how geological forces generate El Niños and La Niñas is as follows. For a more detailed explanation of this process the reader is directed to a previous Climate Change Dispatch article (see here).
Large magma chambers (lava pockets) underlay all of the major fault zones in the offshore New Guinea / Solomon Island region. A sudden shift in one of these magma chambers caused by earthquake movement infuses the chamber with much hotter and more mobile lava. This now super-heated and shifted magma chamber activates a large seawater circulating system in rock layers adjacent to the fault by; fracturing the rock layers, filling them with pressurized and super-heated seawater, and finally imitating upward movement of the seawater into the overlying ocean. Given time, typically 12 to 14 months, super-heated and chemically charged seawater from this circulating system warms a significant portion of the western Pacific Ocean, thereby generating an El Niño.
Summary: New game changing geological information proves beyond any shadow of doubt that very large areas of earth’s oceans have recently been warmed and chemically altered by powerful seafloor geological forces. The implications of this realization are absolutely staggering! It is no longer necessary to run computer models to simulate the possible effect of geological forces, they are plain to see. The days of force fitting all naturally occurring climate patterns and trends into an atmospherically biased framework are over. It is now obvious for all to see that the Plate Climatology Theory (see here) deserves serious consideration.
James Edward Kamis is a Geologist and AAPG member of 42 years with a B.S. and M.S. in geology who has always been fascinated by the connection between Geology and Climate. More than 10 years of research / observation have convinced him that the Earth’s Heat Flow Engine, which drives the outer crustal plates, is also an important driver of the Earth’s climate. The Plate Climatology Theory was recently presented at the annual 2016 American Metrological Society Conference in New Orleans, LA.