It is not generally known or accredited, either, that the water content of the oceans of the earth is being gradually added to, by the melting of the polar ice-caps. This presents a problem too little recognized by lay students or the public, who do not grasp the significance of it because in any generation the process is so gradual. The public thinks an iceberg “interesting,” or it may be merely a menace to shipping. But each iceberg appearing in the oceans of the north or south temperate zones is an infinitesimal chunk of a gradually vanishing polar ice-cap that will not only disappear in a required number of ages, but in the case of the individual iceberg is contributing its infinitesimal quota to the water content of the ocean in which it melts.
I said yesterday that the time would come when the polar ice-caps would be permanently vanished from the earth, both north and south, because these polar ice-caps were each created by tremendous precipitations of water from the heavenly water canopy. In time each melted under the greenhouse roof—until no greenhouse roof longer existed. The flood of Noah laid down the last, and present, polar ice-caps. These are now disintegrating. There can be no new ones formed because all the water that formerly existed in the heavens has come down. Likewise it is entirely possible that we will have an earth in the course of ages on which there will be no water because the surface has absorbed it.
No new snow in any volume now falls in the arctic or Antarctic. True, there are stupendous blizzards of surface snow, or little precipitations formed by passing air currents changing to snow and putting down a slight covering as in the temperate zones. But no great precipitations can occur again in such quantities as to lay down the mighty glaciers from which the bergs break off.
Now these bergs, breaking off and floating down into our north and south temperate-zone oceans, are not only adding their water content, but we must also remember that they are heavily loaded with the telluric material that was contained in their waters before the ring precipitation near the poles. This material encased in ice, drops gradually to the ocean’s bed as the berg disintegrates in warming waters approaching the equator. This puts an increasing weight upon the ocean’s surface. This weight makes pressure. This pressure makes heat. This heat fuses the strata already under the oceans’ beds and causes expansion. This expansion cannot be confined. Something has to “give.” Something does give—continually. The beds of the oceans are constantly altering. Ocean volcanoes and earthquakes are almost of monthly occurrence. Within the last sixteen months such a disturbance came in the North Atlantic off Newfoundland, and when it had subsided, the bed of the Atlantic could not be found. I understand on reliable authority that this movement within the last two weeks—this being the 12th day of July, 1932—has approached such an elastic or mobile condition that one of our trans-Atlantic cable companies has lost two of its most valuable cables; the ocean bed is crumpling and grinding them to pieces.
Sometimes this subterranean expansion cannot get a vertical relief. In the case of the ocean’s bed, the weight of the water above is too enormous. So it finds relief laterally—that is, on a plane to right and left. This fiery matter, caused by pressure and heat, forces itself by a sort of molten hydraulics into the strata that make up the seacoast formation. Mountains arise in consequence, going up a little higher year after year and age after age, with the elevation so gradual that only experienced geologists and typographers are aware of it.
More often earthquakes accompany this lateral infusion.
If we had a first-class earthquake in this vicinity tomorrow, our churches would fling their doors open and people would rush in to appeal to aln anthropomorphic God to save them from catastrophe, believing that the quake was being sent them to punish them for “sins.” So it has ever been among adolescent humanity since there was a nation. As a matter of fact, God—whether anthropomorphic or not—would not have a thing to do with it. Those terrified human beings should merely have explained to them what goes on as a result of natural law in the formation of strata and crusts. Matter is being gradually added to the ocean’s bed as a result of a disintegrating polar ice-cap. This must make for heat that sooner or later demands relief in some sort of expansion. Earthquakes from submarine volcanoes are therefore bound to occur every little while until the polar ice-cap is gone.
Of course it does no good to tell this to people outside this institution—in the city, state, or nation. Since they can do nothing about it, it is useless to alarm them. We know that strange things are happening even at the present moment under certain portions of the earth’s crust, and that sooner or later there will be a series of tremendous quakes. It could not be other-wise. The polar ice-cap is sending down constant additions of material that is laying a weight on extremely volatile surfaces of the ocean’s bed, not to mention the water-volume added. Incidentally, as we shall see more fully in a later lecture, this accounts for volcanic areas as Greenland and Iceland. These lands are closest to the ice-caps and therefore get the greatest precipitation of compressing materials.
How often we hear people declare: “We seem to be having more volcanic or earthquake disturbances than when we were children.” They are answered: “Yes, but remember that when we were children there were not the agencies for reporting them that there are now.” But that is an answer based on densest ignorance. Back through almost the whole Christian era, meaning the past two thousand years, a most accurate tabulation of volcanoes and earthquakes has been kept. There are more volcanoes and earthquakes today than yesterday because of the increasing deposits from the polar ice-caps, generation by generation.