Category: astronomyastronomy

Do Submarine Volcanoes


Do Submarine Volcanoes
Cause Climate Change?
Presented by: Eur Ing Brian RL Catt CEng, CPhys, MBA
Brian RL Catt CEng, CPhys, MBA
Creative Society Feb 2022


Brian RL Catt CEng, CPhys, MBA
Creative Society Feb 2022


General Approach – Find the Cycles
• My primary approach is to seek out the causes of cyclic change
• These will be controlled by orbital forcing, which is primarily gravitational
by the Sun Earth Moon system, and variable solar radiance
• I will suggest why the orbital forcing must be gravitational for volcanoes
• Exceptional events do not repeat and are... exceptional
• I am a physicist and professional engineer so only believes what the
observations support, I won’t tell you what causes which, or expect
consensual belief in my particular approach. It only takes one to prove
everyone else wrong. There are no bad questions.
• I will create a definite theory to test, and state conclusions
• You can decide what to believe, with, perhaps, more research.
Moving along........
Brian RL Catt CEng, CPhys, MBA
Creative Society Feb 2022


We will cover:
How submarine volcanoes can cause climate change – as compared to surface volcanoes
Estimating the number, output and variability of submarine volcanoes, hence...
A way to quantify the heat emissions of submarine volcano
Determining naturally changing volcanic cycles
– Frequency Analysis of time series data to determine cycles and identify their causes:
• Ice age cycle periods 10’s Ka
• Short term periods <1Ka such as El Nino, & longer term holocene cycles (MWP, RWP, etc)
Younger Dryas evidence for submarine warming as the cause of interglacial sea level rise
Possible cause of the much more frequent El Nino events by cyclic volcanic warming
Next steps in science. Comment welcome. WIP paper is at http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.3259379
Brian RL Catt CEng, CPhys, MBA
Creative Society Feb 2022


Theory Statement - Definite
“Submarine volcanism is significant, cyclically variable, and changes global and
regional climate by direct ocean heating, at a level capable of initiating and driving
the sudden interglacial warmings of ice age cycles.”
Pre pub paper is at: http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.3259379
• Surface volcanoes have limited effect, the oceanic response quickly corrects the
mainly cooling effects by evaporation & cloud albedo - 150W/m2
– nb: Surface life maybe destroyed by fire & starvation, but the oceans soon stabilise the
climate & nature recycles the carbon into new flora & fauna. Natural Re wilding
• The majority of volcanoes, under the oceans, have quite different effects.
• Oceans integrate & store the significant heat emitted continuously over
extended periods across the whole active population and ocean volume
• Volcanoes change the sea surface temperature hence global climate....
How much heat, and how much does it vary?
Brian RL Catt CEng, CPhys, MBA
Creative Society Feb 2022


It’s been suggested before.......and ignored
Also: Published papers of geophysicists Michael House http://dx.doi.org/10.1144/GSL.SP.1995.085.01.01 and:
John Wahr on solid tides in particular. See AGU handbook for Wahr”s data and calculation of solid tide amplitude: Ref
Wahr, J. (1995), Earth Tides, Global Earth Physics, A Handbook of Physical Constants, AGU Reference Shelf, 1, pp. 40–46
Brian RL Catt CEng, CPhys, MBA
Creative Society Feb 2022


Oceans are Big – 70% of the Surface
What Lies
Brian RL Catt CEng, CPhys, MBA
Creative Society Feb 2022


• Signalled globally
• LF Seismic signal
• Erupted Sept 2018
• 5km3 in 6 months
• 15 Billion Tonnes
• 20 ExaJoules of
heat added to
ocean above
20x1018 EJ
• Possible impact on
2019 Hurricane
Season in E. Africa
Brian RL Catt CEng, CPhys, MBA
Feuillet et al 2021 https://doi.org/10.1038/s41561-021-00809-x
Creative Society Feb 2022


Some Facts About the Ocean Floor
The Earths tectonic plates mainly diverge in the oceans, up to 24cm pa
Sea floor c.7km crust plus 0 > 120Km growing Lithosphere as plates age
Continental crusts are c.35km thick, depends who you ask
Thin, heavy, Oceanic plates are mostly subsumed by thicker lighter continents
Oceanic basaltic crust is no more than 200 million years old anywhere
• The ocean is 70% of the Earth’s surface
• The continents have 1,500 active volcanoes
• The oceans should have at least 5,000
– Perhaps more, given the shorter pathway through which magma must force its way
Brian RL Catt CEng, CPhys, MBA
Creative Society Feb 2022


Why the World is Smooth and Round-ish
• It isn’t rigid, its an spinning oblate spheroid contained by gravity and CF
• Most of the upper and lower mantle are deformable/visco-elastic hot rock
– Under high pressure at many thousand degrees temperature, but mobile
• Only the wafer-thin crust and Lithosphere is solid-ish - & the metal inner core.
NB: Crust is too thin to draw here, or represent on a screen/sheet of paper as a line (Visual)
• The crust, atmosphere and oceans are held onto the mobile sphere by gravity,
which gives them their pressure
• Magma pressure is 10-30,000 Bar where it comes from, push, push....
– So depth of oceans at exit has little effect (Deep ocean pressures are “only” 1,000 Bar)
• The planetary body is in constant motion caused by gravitational orbital forcings
Earth is a flexible body wrapped in a wafer thin crust under a
varying gravitational field that continually distorts the crust, while
magma under huge pressure is constantly looking for ways out
Brian RL Catt CEng, CPhys, MBA
Creative Society Feb 2022


It’s Mostly Rock
By Scale of weight:
•Rock is 4,000 x Water
•Rock is 1 Million x Air
•Rock is 5.9x1024 Kg
•Water is 1.4x1021 Kg
is 5.1x1018 Kg
The shape is constantly
modulated by the gravitational
orbital forcing of the Sun and
Moon, currently there is a 0.5
metre per day solid tide as well as
the liquid tides
Brian RL Catt CEng, CPhys, MBA
That’s no Moon . https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5WFCjnPNixM
Creative Society Feb 2022


Summary: What this means for Submarine Volcanoes
The ocean floor that oceanic volcanoes must penetrate is thin, vs. continental
The driving pressure is huge and unaffected by the ocean above
Distance to the surface is 10% of the path through continental volcanoes
Crustal faults are continually stressed by gravitational tidal movement
That movement changes as orbital forcing changes
Forcing periods ranges from diurnal to the 100Ka Milankovitch eccentricity
• These factors help deliver an average output of 6.4 times surface volcanoes (*)
• Largest is Hawaiian hot spot at 100 Million m3 pa volume accumulation
• Average Output of a submarine volcano is about 28 million m3 pa (*)
But does it really vary?
* Scott White et al, 2006 doi:10.1029/2005GC001002: Long-term
volumetric eruption rates and magma budgets
Brian RL Catt CEng, CPhys, MBA
Creative Society Feb 2022


Yes it Does (Vary) – Kutterolf et al
• Applied frequency analysis to
eruption data from Ring of Fire
• A is time series of event frequency
• B is period/frequency analysis of
same eruptions using d18O proxy
nb: Author has so far declined to quantify
the likely increase in emissions at
Milankovitch maxima, but they are
clearly substantial in the hundreds of
percent. Most sustained during the
100Ka eccentricity maximum, most
intense at the 41Ka obliquity maximum.
Kutterolf et al 2012, A detection of Milankovitch frequencies in global
volcanic activity doi:10.1130/g33419.1
Volcanic maximums occur at Milankovitch
orbital forcing maximums
Brian RL Catt CEng, CPhys, MBA
Creative Society Feb 2022


What Drives Ice Ages – Orbital Forcing
• Visualisation of the combined effect of three Milankovitch
cycles on global climate
But forcing what?
Brian RL Catt CEng, CPhys, MBA
Creative Society Feb 2022


How Much Warming is That? (Numbers at last!)
• 28x106m3/pa per volcano x 5,000 volcanoes = 140Km3 pa = 400 Billion tonnes pa
• MUCH greater than ANY consensus figure, dwarfs the divergent ridge in-fill
• Unit heat content:
– Molten state: 1000 deg x 1,000kg x 1,000 Joules/kg deg = 1x109 Joules/tonne
– Plus Heat of crystallisation = 400MJoules per tonne
– Total Unit heat content is 1.4 Gigajoules per tonne
• Hence Total Heat pa =5.5 x 1020 Joules per annum
– Can raise 1m of the ocean by 0.36 deg ( = 5.5 x 1020 /(1x362x1012x1x103)x4.2x103)
– 0.034W/m2
• Heat is added to the oceans, so retained for a considerable time, not lost, the
intense heat will also cause increased overturning of the oceans
That’s how much, from volcanoes alone, and it varies
by hundreds of percent at Milankovitch maxima
Brian RL Catt CEng, CPhys, MBA
Creative Society Feb 2022


Last 4 Interglacials - Note Younger Dryas Event
nb: Note short term cyclic change evident throughout
Brian RL Catt CEng, CPhys, MBA
Superimposing of the referenced data sets by James J Covington
Creative Society Feb 2022


Interglacial Sea Level Rise - 18mm pa
No pause, no Dryas effect, where does the heat
come from? Below? Still a mystery......
Brian RL Catt CEng, CPhys, MBA
Creative Society Feb 2022


Can El Nino be Driven by Cyclic Volcanicity?
I additionally propose this is the case, that is my definite theory
Galapagos region is a major volcanic hot spot, three plates meet here
El Nino events are characterised by warmer currents rising from the deep
What is warming them?
Viterito(i) has shown correlation between global seismic activity and El Ninos
Could orbital forcing cause El Ninos?
How much incremental heat is needed - TBD
Could Lunar eccentricity be the cause
Lunar forcings are the primary driver of change in liquid & solid Earth tides
Periods include 18.6y, 8.85y, plus other lesser forcings? 1998 – 2016 is 18 yrs
Now need to study El Nino cycle frequencies against all gravitational forcing
Watch this space .........there is no settled science.
(i) Viterito, J Earth Sci Clim Change 2016, 7:4 DOI: 10.4172/2157-7617.1000345
Brian RL Catt CEng, CPhys, MBA
Creative Society Feb 2022


Theories Tested
Observed Reality
Geothermal effect is small, constant &
insignificant, 47TW conduction dominates
New observations show activity is significantly
variable on ALL 3 Milankovitch cycles,
siggested cause is solid tides. Volcanic ocean
warming of >17TW is average
Dryas cooling events + steady sea level rise
suggests interglacial cause is geothermal
Probably. Other explanations? Cannot be TSI
Submarine volcanism can start/drive an
Estimated volcanic effect from sea mounts is
too small to deliver the heat required, acting
alone. So far.
Heat from other sources than sea mounts
was ignored as insignificant.
Ignoring the emissions from the divergent
ridges and vents may be a mistake
Regional cyclic volcanism may cause short
term climate events
El Ninos are cyclic events, characterised by
seismic change, need instrumentation.
Exceptional events include Mayotte, El Hiero.
Little is known with precision, many variable causes exist, at a scale denied by
“experts”. Claims must be tested by the observation of nature. not denial
Brian RL Catt CEng, CPhys, MBA
Creative Society Feb 2022


What Controls the Planetary Climate?
• The atmosphere is primarily an effect of dominant solar radiation,
gravitational pressure and the much smaller heat input of internal heat, all
kept in constant balance by the massive negative feedback to any change
from the oceans, by changing evaporative cooling and the resulting cloud
albedo. The atmosphere is not a control of climate, atmosphere is a
medium in which these changes happen. A low heat capacity layer that
determines the lapse rate to space.
• The total global effect of the heat from submarine volcanic activity on the
global surface climate is neither insignificant nor constant. The actual
amount will become clearer as estimates of the total amount and
variability of geothermal heat entering the deep oceans is better
understood, combined with other significant natural cyclic oscillations of
Earth’s multivariate systems that are not considered in climate models..
“There are more things in heaven and Earth, climate
scientists, than are dreamt of in your philosophy”
Brian RL Catt CEng, CPhys, MBA
Creative Society Feb 2022


• Thank you for your attention! Questions?
• Please send questions regarding the facts and
the physics to [email protected]
Brian RL Catt CEng, CPhys, MBA
Creative Society Feb 2022


Brian RL Catt CEng, CPhys, MBA
Creative Society Feb 2022


Greenland Ice Cores
Brian RL Catt CEng, CPhys, MBA
Creative Society Feb 2022


Greenland NGRIP – Far North, More Extreme
Range of variability is 1.2/2.5 deg per century. Absolute range is typically c.
4deg pp. (@-0.2 d18O per deg)
Brian RL Catt CEng, CPhys, MBA
Creative Society Feb 2022


500 Million Years - Since Records REALLY Began
Brian RL Catt CEng, CPhys, MBA
Creative Society Feb 2022


500 Thousand Years of Ice Ages – Sawtooth Cycles
This Interglacial
= Now
Hippos in
Current interglacial is cooler than last 4 - and nearly ended
Brian RL Catt CEng, CPhys, MBA
Petit et al Nature 1999 Vostok data
Creative Society Feb 2022


On my Father’s Planet, there are many Cycles.........
Of these cycles:
Two are Causal, four are effects ......... and two are missing!
nb: of the cycles seen, none can deliver an interglacial event alone - or together?
I suggest that the missing cycles – gravity and solar winds - contribute significant effects
By Clive Best, for Ellis and Palmer 2016 https://doi.org/10.1016/j.gsf.2016.04.004
Brian RL Catt CEng, CPhys, MBA
Creative Society Feb 2022


Detecting Frequencies of Natural Cycles
• Frequency analysis of Vostok Ice core
• Many interfering frequencies combined
• Need to separate notes from chords
Deconvolved Chord
Brian RL Catt CEng, CPhys, MBA
Creative Society Feb 2022


Recent Time Series - 10,000yrs + last 150 yrs Actual
Continual Change – Repeated Cyclic Range & Rate – Now is Not Unusual
Brian RL Catt CEng, CPhys, MBA
Creative Society Feb 2022


Cycles in 2,000 Years of Temperature Records
Using ten proxy data series over 2,000 years BP
Ludecke and Weiss 2017
Brian RL Catt CEng, CPhys, MBA
Creative Society Feb 2022


Cycles Combine to Match Climate Record
Brian RL Catt CEng, CPhys, MBA
Ludecke and Weiss 2017
Creative Society Feb 2022


Close Match to Observations of Solar Cycles
L&W 1,000yr
L&W 460yr
L&W 190yr
nb: Be10 and C14
Cosmogenic Proxies
Mechanism is cloud formation by ionisation
Brian RL Catt CEng, CPhys, MBA Caused by very high energy cosmic radiation
Creative Society Feb 2022


Summary: Climate is Continuously Changing
• Naturally, cyclically, on Multiple Frequencies, from multiple causes
• Primarily short term solar cycles, and long term orbital forcing cycles
• Range and rate are consistent from cycle to cycle, including current warming
– and turning point?
How do we know? Observations :
– Proxies: Ice cores d18O, glacier position, tree rings, cosmogenic isotopes (Be10 and
– Direct: Weather stations, Satellites and probes, now focussed on oceans
– Solar observations - Sun spots, now solar wind variation (Parker probe)
• CMIP models presume most of last 2Ka change is due to anthropogenic causes
• The geolgical observations say it isn’t
• “If the observations don’t match the theory, its wrong”, Richard Feynman
All this is based on well known geological evidence
Brian RL Catt CEng, CPhys, MBA
Creative Society Feb 2022


Global Temperature Variations
and Interglacial Detail
Climate Change- Long Term
Pictographic for Effect - 5 Ice
Year Period from Milankovitch Eccentricity cycle
Plus variable effects from combining 41Ka and 23Ka Cycles
This Interglacial - All Civilisation - You Are Here - What’s Next? Going up? Going down?
Brian RL Catt CEng, CPhys, MBA
From Last Ice
Age 10 Degs
Warming in 7Ka,
Oceans Rise
Creative Society Feb 2022
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