Global Warming and Volcanoes

 

 

Temperature trends in West Antarctica have greatly exceeded the global average (Wikipedia).
Scientists have uncovered the largest volcanic region on Earth – two kilometres below the surface of the vast ice sheet that covers West Antarctica. (Guardian)

I recently came across the top map while researching “Polar Amplification” (of Global Warming). That’s odd, I thought, aren’t there a few volcanoes there? I then came upon an article in The Guardian from two years ago announcing the discovery of 91 volcanoes in the very same region as depicted in the bottom map.

Surely the volcanoes explain the anomalously high temperatures?

But no, that is far too simplistic. One of the researchers responsible for the discovery was quoted as follows:

The discovery is particularly important because the activity of these volcanoes could have crucial implications for the rest of the planet. If one erupts, it could further destabilise some of the region’s ice sheets, which have already been affected by global warming. Meltwater outflows into the Antarctic ocean could trigger sea level rises. “We just don’t know about how active these volcanoes have been in the past,” Bingham said.

Theory suggests that this is occurring because, without ice sheets on top of them, there is a release of pressure on the regions’ volcanoes and they become more active.

And this could happen in west Antarctica, where significant warming in the region caused by climate change has begun to affect its ice sheets. If they are reduced significantly, this could release pressure on the volcanoes that lie below and lead to eruptions that could further destabilise the ice sheets and enhance sea level rises that are already affecting our oceans.

Don’t worry, mate. Your discovery won’t affect your funding.

4 Replies to “Global Warming and Volcanoes”

  1. There were several interesting posts on Jonova’s site over the years on this topic.
    This one I particular caught my interest:
    http://joannenova.com.au/2015/12/giant-blob-of-superheated-rock-under-west-antarctica/
    A short quote:
    “ “A line of volcanoes hints there might be a hidden mantle plume, like a blowtorch, beneath the plate,” said Doug Wiens, PhD, professor of earth and planetary sciences and a co-author on the paper. “The volcanoes would pop up in a row as the plate moved over it.”

    “But it’s a bit unclear if this is happening here,” he said. We think we know which direction the plate is moving, but the volcanic chain is going in a different direction and two additional nearby volcanic chains are oriented in yet other directions.”

    Interesting stuff.

  2. “ The discovery is particularly important because the activity of these volcanoes could have crucial implications for the rest of the planet. If one erupts, it could further destabilise some of the region’s ice sheets, which have already been affected by global warming. ”
    These assertions seem particularly poorly argued. Is he implying attenuating CO2 will stop this vulcanism? I think it is likely that localised heating of grounded ice is eroding the sheet from below. If magma can push through continents, I expect it won’t have much trouble with ice.

    1. Volcanoes under the ice provide a simple alternative to the complex “polar amplification” of the climate models. He has to keep faith with the Alarmist cause otherwise he might be seen as a “denier” lose his funding.

  3. That’s what i love about “the settled science”, it’s full of conditional verbs such as “could ” and comments such as “…we just don’t know.” Talk about settled. No wonder that bloke Obama was so confused he blew $USD12m on that beach front house. And poor British subject Gillard with her house in waterfront Glenelg.

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