The recent volcanic eruptions in Indonesia may have a simple rational scientific explanation; land ice melt.
The oceans have risen 4 inches in the last 50 years (wikipedia.org/Current sea level rise). Two inches of this rise is due to thermal expansion (the oceans have warmed over the same period). The other two inches of rise comes from land based ice melt; this is new water that has been added to the oceans.
A cubic foot of ocean water weighs 64.1 pounds. A 2 inch rise over one square mile (27,878,400 sq. ft. in a square mile) works out to 4,646,400 cubic feet of additional water which, when multiplied by 64.1 equals 297,834,240 pounds and then divided by 2,000 (lbs per ton), is 148,917.12 tons. Or very nearly 150,000 tons of increased water weight per square mile of ocean.
The Pacific Ocean covers 69,375,000 square miles (35% of the earth’s surface). The increase in weight of the Pacific Ocean over the last 50 years due to freshly introduced water from land ice melt is 10 Trillion 331 Billion 125 Million 200 Thousand TONS (69,375,000 X 148,917.12 = 1.03311252 × 10^13).
The Queen Mary II (one of the largest ships afloat) weighs 150,000 tons. Imagine almost 70 MILLION Queen Mary IIs evenly distributed over the entire Pacific Ocean (one for every square mile).
The Pacific Tectonic Plate lies beneath the Pacific Ocean and at 39,758,000 square miles is the largest of all tectonic plates. Now mentally “sink” the 40 Million of your Queen Mary IIs floating directly above the Pacific Tectonic Plate onto the seafloor.
The earth is not “solid” . . . the tectonic plates float on top of a molten interior. If you push downward evenly across the entire surface of a tectonic plate stress is introduced along the margins. The westward margin of the Pacific Plate is a subduction zone; the Pacific Plate is “diving” beneath the Eurasian Plate . . . as it plunges downward (under increased pressure from 40 Million QM IIs) it only stands to reason that lava from below is going to be vented upward, hence the recent Indonesian volcanic eruptions. (“Like popping a pimple,” commented a friend.)
The Earth is a closed system. Beside the occasional meteorite and continual sunlight nothing new is being added. This geologically rapid shifting of large amounts of water weight from the land masses to the oceans is creating an accumulating “out-of-balance” effect on the oceanic tectonic plates. The Earth’s tectonic plates will compensate for this “out-of-balance” condition by “adjusting” their boundaries. We are experiencing these adjustments as earthquakes, volcanic eruptions, and associated tidal waves
And as a footnote, this huge increase in ocean water weight may be the contributing factor in the unusual intensity of this year’s earthquakes in Chili and Haiti and probably has had an influence in the ongoing Icelandic eruptions.
(The author is a practical scientist and inventor whose website is heatstick.com.)