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No. 89: Sep-Oct 1993

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RHYTHMIC SUBMARINE VOLCANOS AND EL NINOS

An El Nino commences when a giant high pressure system centered near Easter Island weakens slightly and causes a shift in the circulation of Pacific Ocean currents. Weather patterns from North America to Australia lurch ponderously in sympathy. El Ninos occur every 4-7 years, suggesting some periodic phenomenon is waving a geophysical baton.

The real cause of El Ninos is still obscure. However, the recent discovery of over 1,000 previously unmapped submarine volcanos rising from the seafloor in the eastern Pacific may lead to El Nino's source. The synchronous eruption of, say, 100 of these volcanos might warm the ocean around Easter Island a tad -- just enough to warm the atmosphere above a bit -- resulting in a shift of the high pressure area.

The area of intense volcanic activity covers 55,000 square miles of sea floor where the Pacific and Nazca plates are separating. In addition to the active volcanos, many plumes of 800F water gush from the sea floor in this area. The volcano-El Nino link is, therefore, not so far-fetched.

(Nash, Nathaniel C.; "Volcano Group in Pacific May Cause El Nino," Pittsburgh Post Gazette, February 14, 1993. Cr. E. Fegert)

Comment. If submarine volcanos do cause the El Ninos, and the El Ninos are periodic, the submarine volcanism would have to be periodic, too. This implies an unrecognized rhythm in the earth's internal fires.

From Science Frontiers #89, SEP-OCT 1993. 1993-2000 William R. Corliss

Science Frontiers Sourcebook Project Reviewed in:

Quotes

  • "A sourcebook of unexplained phenomena is therefore a valuable addition to a collection of scientific literature. William R. Corliss has provided this in the past with his source books of scientific anomalies in several subjects, and now he has provided it for astronomy. He has done an excellent job of collecting and editing a large amount of material, taken in part from scientific journals and in part from scientific reporting in the popular or semi-scientific press." -- "The Mysterious Universe: A Handbook of Astronomical Anomalies", reviwed by Thomas Gold, Cornell University, in Icarus, vol.41, 1980

  • "An interesting, systematic presentation of unusual weather [..] This book is recommended for a general audience" --"Corliss, William R., Tornados, Dark Days, Anomalous Precipitation, and Related Weather Phenomena, Sourcebook Project, 1983.", revieweed in Choice, September 1983
  • "..the science is necessarily somewhat speculative, but Corliss's symthesis is based on reputable sources." -- "Corliss, William R. (Compiler). Lightning, Auroras, Nocturnal Lights, and Related Luminous Phenomena" reviwed by Joseph M. Moran, Univ. of Wisconsin in Science Books and Films, Sep/Oct 1983

  • "Before opening the book, I set certain standards that a volume which treads into dangerous grounds grounds like this must meet. The author scrupulously met, or even exceeded those standards. Each phenomenon is exhaustively documented, with references to scientific journals [..] and extensive quotations" -- "Book Review: The moon and planets: a catalog of astronomical anomalies", The Sourcebook Project, 1985., Corliss, W. R., Journal of the Royal Astronomical Society of Canada, Vol. 81, no. 1 (1987), p. 24., 02/1987