(Science 2.0) Vast ranges of volcanoes hidden under the oceans ooze lava at slow, steady rates along mid-ocean ridges.
A new study shows that they flare up on strikingly regular cycles, ranging from two weeks to 100,000 years, and, that they erupt almost exclusively during the first six months of each year because they are apparently tied to short- and long-term changes in earth's orbit and to sea levels. And so they may be helping trigger natural climate swings.
It is theorized that volcanic cycles on land are responsible for emitting large amounts of carbon dioxide that might influence climate but up to now there was no evidence from submarine volcanoes. The findings suggest that models of earth's natural climate dynamics, and by extension human-influenced climate change, may have to be adjusted.
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