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The climate-driven rise and fall of sea level during the past million years matches up with valleys and ridges on the seafloor, suggesting ice ages influence underwater volcanic eruptions, two new studies reveal. And because volcanic chains suture some 37,000 miles (59,500 kilometers) of ocean floor, the eruptions could pump out enough carbon dioxide gas to shift planetary temperatures, the study authors suggest.
"Surprisingly, the deep seafloor matters in the long-term climate cycle," said Maya Tolstoy, lead author of one of the studies and a marine geophysicist at the Lamont-Doherty Earth Observatory in Palisades, New York.
Both studies suggest that there could be a complex feedback loop among ice ages, sea level changes and these bursts of volcanic activity. For instance, if volcanoes pick up their pace during an ice age, then carbon dioxide gas could warm the Earth and shrink the ice sheets. (Underwater volcanoes pump carbon dioxide into the ocean, just as their terrestrial cousins add climate-altering gases to the atmosphere.) However, no one knows how much gas would escape into the atmosphere from the oceans. [Fire and Ice: Images of Volcano-Ice Encounters]
Ice ages are driven by regular variations in Earth's orbit. These changes in tilt, eccentricity and orbit create climate cycles that last 23,000 years; 41,000 years; and 100,000 years, respectively (at least for the previous million years). Sea level may rise and fall by some 330 feet (about 100 meters) during these climate swings.
"In a broad sense, this reinforces the idea that the climate system and the solid Earth are connected and, in fact, may be thought of as a single system," Katz said. "Not only do ice ages affect volcanism, but volcanism has a feedback effect on climate itself. We haven't proved that yet, but it's a tantalizing possibility."
"Both of these data sets have found a signal which is consistent with climate forcing of variations at midocean ridges," said Paul Asimow, a geology professor at the California Institute of Technology in Pasadena who was not involved in either study. "Now, apart from showing the effect is there, the other part that needs to be teased out is its consequences."
It seems our Earth's core has another core that measures about half the diameter of the original core.
The inner core is malleable and can flow like honey, she said, because it is just barely solidified, having properties of a solid just below the melting point at high pressure.
originally posted by: Yeahkeepwatchingme
a reply to: PsychoEmperor
Well it means one thing. The gods of science who parade around like they're all-knowing don't even know everything about our own planet. I certainly trust them when they hurl doctrines written in stone from their ivory towers...
as its never been directly sampled or observed
originally posted by: wyrmboy12
"Scientists " know nothing about the insides of the earth....They have no idea whats its made out of as its never been directly sampled or observed....This is not a" finding " More junk conjecture in my opinion....Whats the furthest humans have dug into the earth ? 7 km ? total diameter of the earth 12,756 km. For all they know its just a small sun like the inner earth theories propose....Until they can actually reach the core, all they are releasing is junk " data "