Feb 27 2009

Another Volcano, This Time In The Antarctic, May Be Cause Of Ice Melt

Published by at 11:21 am under All General Discussions,Global Warming

Antartica's Mount Erebus


Update: An updated link from Reader Neo, which includes a cool graphic. Here’s an important item:

Heat from a volcano could still be melting ice and contributing to the thinning and speeding up of the Pine Island Glacier, which passes nearby, but Dr. Vaughan doubted that it could be affecting other glaciers in West Antarctica, which have also thinned in recent years. Most glaciologists, including Dr. Vaughan, say that warmer ocean water is the primary cause.

Given that this is one volcano in a chain of volcanoes which run into the ocean waters as part of an ocean ridge of plate tectonic activity (as seen on Iceland), then the warm waters could be explained as well.

Update: More on the string of volcanos warming the Antarctic. H/T Reader Neo – end update

Maybe if all the so called scientists for the IPCC actually got out and did some real research, instead of running crappy models with crappy data, they would realize they are the ones standing on thin ice when it comes to global warming.

As I noted last summer a previously unknown volcanic eruption discovered near the North Pole which could have been the cause of the Northern Ice Melting during around the turn of the century.  The eruption was one of the largest ever recorded (and yet missed at the time it happened) and preceded the Arctic Ice Melt which Global Warming alarmists use and an indication of their pet theories on CO2 driven heating of the Earth. The timing of the eruption and the ice melt seem to be too coincidental not to be related. And as the CO2 levels and global temperatures start diverging (the former rising, the latter falling) from the IPCC predictions (which have failed for nearly 20 years now to predict anything right) it seems more and more likely other forces are at work. When it comes to what the alarmists are claiming is man made global warming.

Well another volcano seems to be the culprit behind a few of the possible indications of global warming at the South Pole. The evidence of global warming there has been tied to how the glaciers have sped up their movements, depositing more ice into the oceans than previously.  Note this breathless, near panicked story from the AP:

Antarctica’s western ice sheet is pushing ever faster into the sea, but scientists know an even greater long-term threat lies here in the vast, little-explored whiteness of east Antarctica.

That report said west Antarctica has been warming, ice shelves floating on the sea fringing the west coast are weakening, and the glaciers they hold back are pouring ice faster into the sea.

East Antarctica’s ice appears more stable than the west’s — “I wouldn’t say it’s stable, but more stable,” said Neumann — but it has the theoretical potential to add some 200 feet (60 meters) to sea levels in centuries to come, scientists say. Even a small, more immediate shift here could raise oceans significantly.

Here’s another alarm-bell-ringing story from the AP which really brings out the Chicken Littles:

Glaciers in Antarctica are melting faster and across a much wider area than previously thought, a development that threatens to raise sea levels worldwide and force millions of people to flee low-lying areas, scientists said Wednesday.

By the end of the century, the accelerated melting could cause sea levels to climb by 3 to 5 feet – levels substantially higher than predicted by a major scientific group just two years ago.

In Washington, as part of an overall update on global warming, top researchers on Wednesday sounded a similar warning to the U.S. Senate about rising temperatures in the Antarctic.

The head of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, a group set up by the United Nations, told lawmakers on the Environment and Public Works Committee that Earth has about six more years at current rates of carbon dioxide pollution before it is locked into a future of severe global warming.

Hold The Presses! It turns out that much of what these alarmists are seeing is not due to global warming, but – wait for it – a previously undiscovered volcano:

A volcano beneath Antarctica’s icy surface has been detected for the first time.

Under the frozen continent’s western-most ice sheet, the volcano erupted about 2,300 years ago yet remains active, according to a study published Sunday in an online issue of the journal Nature Geosciences.

Although ice buried the unnamed volcano, molten rock is still churning below. David Vaughan, a glaciologist with the BAS and a co-author of the new study, said the discovery might explain the speeding up of historically slow-moving glaciers in the region.

“This eruption occurred close to Pine Island Glacier on the West Antarctic Ice Sheet,” Vaughan said. “The flow of this glacier towards the coast has speeded up in recent decades, and it may be possible that heat from the volcano has caused some of that acceleration.”

The effect is similar to a person gliding down a Slip ‘n Slide: Volcanically melted water beneath the colossal ice sheet lubricates its movement, assisting its gravity-powered journey toward the Antarctic Ocean.

Vaughan noted, however, that the hidden volcano doesn’t explain widespread thinning of Antarctic glaciers.

Nature is dynamic and still full of surprises. We have a lot to learn about the world, solar system, galaxy, universe. And those whose models can’t predict the next year’s temperature are the ones who need to learn the most. They certainly should not be making wild accusations like we only have 6 years before we are all DOOMED!

Yep, another crisis which will cost us trillions of dollars. Anyone detecting a pattern here?

6 responses so far

6 Responses to “Another Volcano, This Time In The Antarctic, May Be Cause Of Ice Melt”

  1. Neo says:

    In a story last month about a report on warming of the Antarctica, there was this …

    A couple of readers responded to news of a warming Antarctica by noting that West Antarctica, where the warming is most pronounced, is home to a number of volcanoes. (It’s basically the bottom segment of the Pacific Ocean’s “ring of fire.”)
    In addition to coming up with my own answer, I did ask the study’s authors. Eric Steig of the University of Washington replied:
    Wow. Strange question.
    Volcanoes under the ice can’t affect climate on the surface, 2 miles above!

    Oddly enough if you actuall followed the link on the (linked) page, you come to this …
    For Antarctica, “This is the first time we have seen a volcano beneath the ice sheet punch a hole through the ice sheet,” Dr. Vaughan said.

    I posted this on one of the “Climate Believers” sites frequented by Mr. Steig .. and it was summarily removed.

  2. Neo says:

    I forgot the link on the (linked) page from January 21, 2008.

  3. Neo says:

    I forgot the link on the (linked) page from January 21, 2008.

  4. Frogg says:

    Good grief. Does our country even do science any more? No doubt the global warming alarmists will simply blame the volcanic activity itself on global warming.

  5. tarpon says:

    None of this would even be important if we actually had a real press instead of PRAVDA pushing an agenda.

  6. crosspatch says:

    Accidentally posted this in a different thread.

    The volcanic activity could account for one interesting phenomenon that scientists have discovered. At somewhat regular intervals, it appears that the entire West Antarctic Ice Sheet (WAIS) seems to collapse and slide into the sea. Some now believe that geothermal heat can, during times of increased activity, melt the ice at the surface interface and create a layer of water that acts as a lubricant. As this water increases, the ice becomes more buoyant (well, the buoyancy of the ice stays the same, but it begins to remove weight on the surface interface that holds it in place) and eventually slides downhill into the ocean in a major, catastrophic event.

    Also, water circulating though a geothermal system can get quite acidic and salty and this would act to melt more ice … sort of like adding salt to ice on the sidewalk.

    I believe I read that this seems to happen at roughly 100K year intervals as determined from samples of sediment deposits.