The stupid, it burns like a magnesium flare.
Now, you can add yet another problem to the climate change hit list: volcanoes. That’s the word from a new study conducted in Iceland and accepted for publication in Geophysical Research Letters. The finding is bad news not just for one comparatively remote part of the world, but for everywhere.
Iceland has always been a natural lab for studying climate change. It may be spared some of the punishment hot, dry places like the American southwest get, but when it comes to glacier melt, few places are hit harder. About 10% of the island nation’s surface area is covered by about 300 different glaciers—and they’re losing an estimated 11 billion tons of ice per year. Not only is that damaging Icelandic habitats and contributing to the global rise in sea levels, it is also—oddly—causing the entire island to rise. And that’s where the trouble begins.
Here’s the money quote:
“As the glaciers melt, the pressure on the underlying rocks decreases,” Compton said in an e-mail to TIME. “Rocks at very high temperatures may stay in their solid phase if the pressure is high enough. As you reduce the pressure, you effectively lower the melting temperature.” The result is a softer, more molten subsurface, which increases the amount of eruptive material lying around and makes it easier for more deeply buried magma chambers to escape their confinement and blow the whole mess through the surface.
“High heat content at lower pressure creates an environment prone to melting these rising mantle rocks, which provides magma to the volcanic systems,” says Arizona geoscientist Richard Bennett, another co-author.
Perhaps anticipating the climate change deniers’ uncanny ability to put two and two together and come up with five, the researchers took pains to point out that no, it’s not the very fact that Icelandic ice sits above hot magma deposits that’s causing the glacial melting. The magma’s always been there; it’s the rising global temperature that’s new. At best, only 5% of the accelerated melting is geological in origin.
So, Iceland has had melting glaciers, OK we’ll accept that, but Iceland is not the world, and a good number of volcanoes that have erupted in the last century are in the tropical parts of the world where there are no glaciers on the volcanoes or magma fields, yet somehow, this writer, Jeffrey Kluger, extrapolates Iceland’s glacier melt to volcano link up to to the entire world.
To the uniniformed (such as Time Magazine writers), graphs like this one might seem to be “proof” of such Icelandic-to-global extrapolation:
Gosh, it sure looks like another slam dunk for carbon dioxide driven climate hell in a handbasket, doesn’t it? The VEI starts increasing right about the time of the industrial revolution.
For those unfamiliar: The volcanic explosivity index (VEI) was devised by Chris Newhall of the US Geological Survey and Stephen Self at the University of Hawaii in 1982 to provide a relative measure of the explosiveness of volcanic eruptions. (Wikipedia)
But, there’s a hitch, according to NOAA data, volcanic activity worldwide actually went DOWN in the 2000’s while the climate changing carbon dioxide went UP in global concentration:
Something that DID increase during the study period was the Atlantic Multi-decadal Oscillation (AMO). Guess where Iceland is? In the North Atlantic, which has been in the warm phase since about 1980.
The Atlantic Multi-decadal Oscillation (AMO) is a mode of natural variability occurring in the North Atlantic Ocean and which has its principle expression in the sea surface temperature (SST) field. The AMO is identified as a coherent pattern of variability in basin-wide North Atlantic SSTs with a period of 60-80 years.
Gee, do you think maybe, possibly, that Iceland might have more glacier melt when the AMO is warmer? The authors don’t seem to be cognizant of it, preferring instead to cite the universal bogeyman “climate change”.
Here is the publication that is cited in the Time article:
Climate driven vertical acceleration of Icelandic crust measured by CGPS geodesy
Earth’s present-day response to enhanced glacial melting resulting from climate change can be measured using Global Positioning System (GPS) technology. We present data from 62 continuously operating GPS instruments in Iceland. Statistically significant upward velocity and accelerations are recorded at 27 GPS stations, predominantly located in the Central Highlands region of Iceland, where present-day thinning of the Iceland ice caps results in velocities of more than 30 mm/yr and uplift accelerations of 1-2 mm/yr2. We use our acceleration estimates to back-calculate to a time of zero velocity, which coincides with the initiation of ice loss in Iceland from ice mass balance calculations and Arctic warming trends. We show, through a simple inversion, a direct relationship between ice mass balance measurements and vertical position and show that accelerated unloading is required to reproduce uplift observations for a simple elastic layer over viscoelastic half-space model.
Again, no mention of the world here, only Iceland. Compare that to the baseless claim made by the TIME writer Jeffrey Kluger:
The finding is bad news not just for one comparatively remote part of the world, but for everywhere.
Newsflash Mr. Kluger: Iceland is not “everywhere”, and the authors make no claim about the issue affecting the rest of the Earth.
WUWT reader Mike Bromley writes something on his Facebook page that I really can’t improve upon:
Plate tectonics….caused by climate change. No mention of the fact that Iceland has one of the highest geothermal heat fluxes on the planet, that its geomorphology is controlled by vulcanism, that many of the scientific terms for glacial melt features are in Icelandic Language, and oh boy, 11 billion tons of ice is really not that much, in fact, one eruption of Hekla or Eyjafjallajokull would release about that much ice.
These people have zero shame, and even less uniformitarian common sense. They elevate conjecture to the level of fact, for an uncritical media to spew around in alarming terms. This one takes the cake. Vote Green, everyone. Soon you’ll find out what living under nature is all about.
We’ll have more on this later, readers are encouraged to add comments regarding this inanity.