Underwater Hydrothermal Vents Near Antarctica

Main Endeavour hydrothermal plume from Juan de Fuca Ridge (Source: NOAA)

From Science Daily comes news about evidence of hydrothermal vents near Antarctica.

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


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

This isn’t the first we’ve heard of such underwater heat sources. In June 2008 Canada.com reported on underwater Arctic volcanos belching heat and CO2.

There’s no chance these volcanically heated vents could affect the melting of ice or the warming of the seas, right? It’s far more likely that your evil SUV and that coal power plant thousands of miles away is heating things up.

Why would we rely on real science like this when we have custom-made “science” and hot “fudge” computer ¬†models, along with environmental extremist essays masquerading as UN IPCC scientific data to provide us with convenient theories to use against business and industry? ¬†Believing in flights of fancy is so much easier than the heavy lifting of dealing with hard facts.

HT: Climate Depot.

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