By Alvin Wong and Wyss Yim
Volcanoes Study Group, Hong Kong
Hot blobs beneath the sea surface formed by the release of geothermal heat through submarine volcanic eruptions and/or sub-aerially erupted hot volcanic materials including lava flows into the sea are an underestimated natural cause of ocean heat waves 1. Recent examples include the 2013-2016 North Pacific Blob 2,3and the 2018-2019 Southwest Indian Ocean Blob 4. The present study on the development of a blob in the South Pacific Ocean referred to as the 2019-2020 South Pacific Blob 5 has provided evidence to account for the observed recent warming in Antarctica including a new hottest temperature record on February 6, 2020 6 and heat wave conditions dramatically changing Antarctica in just 9 days 7.