April 27, 2018

Mid Ocean Seismic Activity May be Cause of Global Warming

Timothy Birdnow

The Climate warming of the late 20th century may have had little to do with carbon dioxide and plenty to do with mid ocean seismic activity, which moved warmer water into the Arctic ocean. According to recent research:

"Two previous studies, The Correlation of Seismic Activity and Recent Global
Warming (CSARGW) and The Correlation of Seismic Activity and Recent Global
Warming: 2016 Update (CSARGW16), documented a high correlation between
mid-ocean seismic activity and global temperatures"

End excerpt. This is interesting becauseresearch from 2015 suggests there is a high correlation between ice age conditions and undersea volcanism, with increasing volcanic activity occuring when the Earth has a higher ice to water balance.

Why? Well, more ice and less free water changes the pressure on the Earthus crust, particularly the undersea areas. The change in isostatic pressure results in a situation rather like squeezing a tube of toothpaste; there is high pressure on the land and lower pressure in the sea and so magma is able to squeeze up and out of the fissures where the tectonic plates meet. It's like a cut on your finger; you stop it with pressure, but if you squeeze the surrounding area it will reopen.

Now the Earth just went through a cold period called the Little Ice Age and the end result was an increase in planetary ice and subsequent lowering of sea levels. This would, logically, lead to greater volcanism in these undersea vents (and places like Greenland and West Antarctica have active volcanoes under their ice sheets) and the result is a drop in ice levels since we have moved out of the LIA. Couple this with increased volcanism in the mid oceans leading to greater seismic activity, and water currents are being diverted, and much of that is currently warmer water moving into the Arctic ocean, reducing ice levels. Please note that sea ice is way up in the Antarctic (as is land ice on the continent except along the West Antarctic ice shelf and the Antarctic Peninsula.)

So how does this work in the Arctic? Here's a good explanation of how the Arctic Oscillation effects climate. This is a basic educational primer so it does not require a lot of knowlege of climate or geography.

At any rate, this business about seismic activity changing ocean currents is interesting, and suggests we may be experiencing a slight warming as a result of the Littel Ice AGe and, couple that with the declining solar activity, we may see more of it.

Posted by: Timothy Birdnow at 08:39 AM | No Comments | Add Comment
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