posted on Dec, 8 2013 @ 06:33 AM
Its heat may increase the rate of ice loss from one of the continent’s major ice streams
It wasn’t what they were looking for but that only made the discovery all the more exciting.
Or maybe is already increasing the rate of loss. What price AGW if that is the case? Since West Antarctica is one of the areas that Climate Alarmism
is concerned about, maybe it actually has very little to do with climate after all?
Uncertain at first, the more Lough and her colleagues looked, the more convinced they became that a new volcano was forming a kilometer beneath
The discovery of the new as yet unnamed volcano is announced in the online issue of Nature Geoscience.
Following the trail of clues
The teams that install seismographs in Antarctica are given first crack at the data. Lough had done her bit as part of the WUSTL team, traveling to
East Antarctica three times to install or remove stations in East Antarctica.
In 2010 many of the instruments were moved to West Antarctica and Wiens asked Lough to look at the seismic data coming in, the first large-scale
dataset from this part of the continent.
“I started seeing events that kept occurring at the same location, which was odd, “Lough said. “Then I realized they were close to some
mountains–but not right on top of them.”
“My first thought was, ‘Okay, maybe its just coincidence.’ But then I looked more closely and realized that the mountains were actually
volcanoes and there was an age progression to the range. The volcanoes closest to the seismic events were the youngest ones.”
The point here is of course that just because it is 'new' to us, it is not 'new' to Mama Nature and has possibly been around a year or two longer
before we discovered it. Long enough perhaps to be the contributor to melting ice in the West Antarctic perhaps?
I am not saying this is the case, just suggesting that perhaps what is claimed by AGW might not actually be the case.
“Their best guess is that it came from Mount Waesche, an existing volcano near Mt Sidley. But that is also interesting because scientists had no
idea when Mount Waesche was last active, and the ash layer is sets the age of the eruption at 8,000 years ago. ”
What’s up down there?
The case for volcanic origin has been made. But what exactly is causing the seismic activity?
“Most mountains in Antarctica are not volcanic,” Wiens says, “but most in this area are. Is it because East and West Antarctica are slowly
rifting apart? We don’t know exactly. But we think there is probably a hot spot in the mantle here producing magma far beneath the
I love the phrase most mountains are not volcanic but most in this area are. West Antarctica basically is volcanically active and East Antarctica is
not but it is not a strict East/West division. The map below shows the volcanoes that show on Google Earth from the Smithsonian, howevere Mt Sidley is
not one of them. I have marked Mt Sidley (the area in the article) and it is about in the middle of the image.
Click the image to enlarge
The yellow line running across the bottom left corner is the Anti-meridian/Meridian, the true East/West boundary.
Is it, I have to wonder, just pure coincidence that the greater amount of melt is from the West and the greater number, in fact all virtually, the
volcanoes are in the West? The article explains how volcanic activity can affect the Western ice.
On the other hand a subglacial eruption and the accompanying heat flow will melt a lot of ice. “The volcano will create millions of gallons of
water beneath the ice—many lakes full,” says Wiens. This water will rush beneath the ice towards the sea and feed into the hydrological catchment
of the MacAyeal Ice Stream, one of several major ice streams draining ice from Marie Byrd Land into the Ross Ice Shelf.
By lubricating the bedrock, it will speed the flow of the overlying ice, perhaps increasing the rate of ice-mass loss in West Antarctica.
“We weren’t expecting to find anything like this,” Wiens says
Note here other subglacial eruptions
that are considered to have an effect upon the melt.
More on the subject
The discovery could also explain why a fast-moving nearby glacier has experienced sudden jolts in its journey towards the sea.
and perhaps a better map of the
volcanoes. Note that whist they say not all are active ("Only a few are active") the subject of this post is a recent discovery, thus the statement
has to be tempered in the light of more recent events.
A significant statement posted by Erik Klemetti in The mysteries of Antarctic
We really don't know much about the current and ancient volcanism on Antarctica, but researchers from British Antarctic Survey claim they have
found evidence of subglacial eruptions in western Antarctica, mostly in the form of ash and volcanic debris intercalated with the ice. It would not be
surprising if there was active volcanism underneath the ice sheets of the continent.
What this is saying is that actually we do not know how much volcanism may be contributing to ice melt as we do not know how much sub-glacial
volcanism there is, yet the Climate Alarmist camp would have it that the melt is all caused by CO2 emissions by mankind. The is not logical without
being in full possession of the facts, which we are not.
Let me make something clear here before being sniped at. I do not deny climate change. The climate is changing, the climate has always
changed and the climate will continue to change long after mankind annihilated itself. The term denier is a ridiculous epithet for the majority of
people who do not consider that the major proportion of climate change can be ascribed to the most minor factor in the climate. So called deniers do
not even deny that mankind does have an effect up the climate. The only question is the degree. So, hopefully you understand my position. If you still
feel the need to behave in a childish manner and sling insults please do continue. Your rantings will make no difference to my position.