NASA: volcanic magma plume under Antarctica may explain ice sheet instability

From NASA’s Jet propulsion Laboratory and the “inconvenient science” department comes this study that dashes hopes of pinning melting in Antarctica entirely on human activity.

Hot News from the Antarctic Underground

Study Bolsters Theory of Heat Source Under West Antarctica

A new NASA study adds evidence that a geothermal heat source called a mantle plume lies deep below Antarctica’s Marie Byrd Land, explaining some of the melting that creates lakes and rivers under the ice sheet. Although the heat source isn’t a new or increasing threat to the West Antarctic ice sheet, it may help explain why the ice sheet collapsed rapidly in an earlier era of rapid climate change, and why it is so unstable today.

Illustration of flowing water under the Antarctic ice sheet. Blue dots indicate lakes, lines show rivers. Marie Byrd Land is part of the bulging “elbow” leading to the Antarctic Peninsula, left center. Credit: NSF/Zina Deretsky

The stability of an ice sheet is closely related to how much water lubricates it from below, allowing glaciers to slide more easily. Understanding the sources and future of the meltwater under West Antarctica is important for estimating the rate at which ice may be lost to the ocean in the future.

Antarctica’s bedrock is laced with rivers and lakes, the largest of which is the size of Lake Erie. Many lakes fill and drain rapidly, forcing the ice surface thousands of feet above them to rise and fall by as much as 20 feet (6 meters). The motion allows scientists to estimate where and how much water must exist at the base.

Some 30 years ago, a scientist at the University of Colorado Denver suggested that heat from a mantle plume under Marie Byrd Land might explain regional volcanic activity and a topographic dome feature. Very recent seismic imaging has supported this concept. When Hélène Seroussi of NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory in Pasadena, California, first heard the idea, however, “I thought it was crazy,” she said. “I didn’t see how we could have that amount of heat and still have ice on top of it.”

With few direct measurements existing from under the ice, Seroussi and Erik Ivins of JPL concluded the best way to study the mantle plume idea was by numerical modeling. They used the Ice Sheet System Model (ISSM), a numerical depiction of the physics of ice sheets developed by scientists at JPL and the University of California, Irvine. Seroussi enhanced the ISSM to capture natural sources of heating and heat transport from freezing, melting and liquid water; friction; and other processes.

To assure the model was realistic, the scientists drew on observations of changes in the altitude of the ice sheet surface made by NASA’s IceSat satellite and airborne Operation IceBridge campaign. “These place a powerful constraint on allowable melt rates — the very thing we wanted to predict,” Ivins said. Since the location and size of the possible mantle plume were unknown, they tested a full range of what was physically possible for multiple parameters, producing dozens of different simulations.

They found that the flux of energy from the mantle plume must be no more than 150 milliwatts per square meter. For comparison, in U.S. regions with no volcanic activity, the heat flux from Earth’s mantle is 40 to 60 milliwatts. Under Yellowstone National Park — a well-known geothermal hot spot — the heat from below is about 200 milliwatts per square meter averaged over the entire park, though individual geothermal features such as geysers are much hotter.

Seroussi and Ivins’ simulations using a heat flow higher than 150 milliwatts per square meter showed too much melting to be compatible with the space-based data, except in one location: an area inland of the Ross Sea known for intense flows of water. This region required a heat flow of at least 150-180 milliwatts per square meter to agree with the observations. However, seismic imaging has shown that mantle heat in this region may reach the ice sheet through a rift, that is, a fracture in Earth’s crust such as appears in Africa’s Great Rift Valley.

Mantle plumes are thought to be narrow streams of hot rock rising through Earth’s mantle and spreading out like a mushroom cap under the crust. The buoyancy of the material, some of it molten, causes the crust to bulge upward. The theory of mantle plumes was proposed in the 1970s to explain geothermal activity that occurs far from the boundary of a tectonic plate, such as Hawaii and Yellowstone.

The Marie Byrd Land mantle plume formed 50 to 110 million years ago, long before the West Antarctic ice sheet came into existence. At the end of the last ice age around 11,000 years ago, the ice sheet went through a period of rapid, sustained ice loss when changes in global weather patterns and rising sea levels pushed warm water closer to the ice sheet — just as is happening today. Seroussi and Ivins suggest the mantle plume could facilitate this kind of rapid loss.

Source: https://www.jpl.nasa.gov/news/news.php?release=2017-291

h/t to Chris Mooney via Twitter


Here is the study: http://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/10.1002/2017JB014423/abstract

Influence of a West Antarctic mantle plume on ice sheet basal conditions

Helene Seroussi, Erik R. Ivins, Douglas A. Wiens, Johannes Bondzio
First published: 4 September 2017
DOI: 10.1002/2017JB014423

Abstract

The possibility that a deep mantle plume manifests Pliocene and Quaternary volcanism and potential elevated heat flux in West Antarctica has been studied for more than 30 years. Recent seismic images support the plume hypothesis as the cause of Marie Byrd Land (MBL) volcanism and geophysical structure. Mantle plumes may more than double the geothermal heat flux above nominal continental values. A dearth of in situ ice sheet basal data exists that samples the heat flux. Consequently, we examine a realistic distribution of heat flux associated with a possible late Cenozoic mantle plume in West Antarctica and explore its impact on thermal and melt conditions at the ice sheet base. We use a simple analytical mantle plume parameterization to produce geothermal heat flux at the base of the ice sheet. The three-dimensional ice flow model includes an enthalpy framework and full-Stokes stress balance. As both the putative plume location and extent are uncertain, we perform broadly scoped experiments to characterize the impact of the plume on geothermal heat flux and ice sheet basal conditions. The experiments show that mantle plumes have an important local impact on the ice sheet, with basal melting rates reaching several centimeters per year directly above the hotspot. In order to be consistent with observations of basal hydrology in MBL, the upper bound on the plume-derived geothermal heat flux is 150 mW/m2. In contrast, the active lake system of the lower part of Whillans Ice Stream suggests a widespread anomalous mantle heat flux, linked to a rift source.

 

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98 thoughts on “NASA: volcanic magma plume under Antarctica may explain ice sheet instability

  1. “and why it is so unstable today.”…

    Is there a word for “scientific strawman”?

    They don’t even know enough to know if it’s unstable naturally or unnaturally…unstable just might be normal

      • “It’s naturally unstable, but unnaturally pushed.”

        What does that mean? Is there such a thing as unnatural when it comes to nature?

      • Nick Stokes on November 7, 2017 at 12:40 pm
        Well, you could say anything that happens must be natural, and then what use is the word? Digging up and burning fossil fuels is the push.

        So CO2 in the atmosphere is making the Antarctic ice sheet rise? I can’t wait to see the hoops you will jump through to justify that claim.

      • Nick Stokes: “It’s naturally unstable, but unnaturally pushed. … Digging up and burning fossil fuels is the push”

        You’re declaring human behavior as unnatural?

      • “Digging up and burning fossil fuels is the push.”

        Yet more unsubstantiated BS AGW mantra from Nick.

        There is NO CO2 warming signature in the whole of the satellite record,

        NO CO2 warming signature in sea level;

        NO CO2 warming signature anywhere except non-validated agenda driven models.

      • “It’s naturally unstable, but unnaturally pushed.”…no one knows if it naturally unnaturally pushed…or unnaturally unnaturally pushed

        It could have been unnaturally pushed since the beginning of time…that would make it naturally unnaturally pushed….LOL

        They just discovered this…..how would they know?

      • Nick,

        “Digging up and burning fossil fuels is the push.”

        – A laugh a day keeps the doctor away.
        Thanks for that laugh Nick. I had a really good belly laugh with your comment.

      • Gistemp = MEANINGLESS

        UAH is given above, direct from UAH site.

        RSS -60 to -70 gives same trend

        Then there are

      • “Digging up and burning fossil fuels is the push.”

        If you please, Nick. The evidence to support this claim?

      • “AndyG55 November 7, 2017 at 1:32 pm

        Nick, yet again with a load of unsubstantiated BS. !!”

        Ya go with whut ya got.

      • Toneb November 7, 2017 at 2:40 pm

        1) GISS is a pack of lies.

        2) That pack of lies is for the Arctic, not the Antarctic. They are poles apart, as it were.

      • Come on Gabro, a bit cruel of you mentioning that poor toneless has posted Arctic graphs in an Antarctic topic.

        I was just going to let it ride, and leave the poor putz in utter confusion as always.. :-)

      • “Latitude November 7, 2017 at 2:02 pm
        climate change causes sea floor volcanoes……..”

        Not just sea floor volcanoes, but an150 million year old mantle plume…

        One wonders where other evidence for a “mantle plume” is.

        One also wonders why NASA/NOAA strives to:
        • First minimize Antarctic’s portion of the ring of fire,
        • Second NASA’s promoting one ring of fire volcanic section to a mantle plume.

        Along with NASA’s fudged numerical models game trying to explain assumed Antarctic ice sheet/water movements.

        Ordinary volcanic eruptions would cause Antarctic ice sheet impacts. Without need for CO2 irrationalities or NASA’s claims for immediate Antarctic ice sheet instability.

        Just more fear mongering based on some biased researcher “what if” fantasies.

      • The Antarctic ice sheet is remarkably stable, not unstable. It has existed for 34 million years, with minor waxing and waning. It has been waxing for at least 3000 years, since the end of the Minoan Warm Period.

      • Nick: It’s possible the western Antarctica ice shelves are slowly losing mass, the mass loss reduces the static load on the mantle plume and associated magma chambers, and the reduced load leads to lower magma density and viscosity. The lower density and viscosity magma enters a positive feedback loop and this accelerates the flow towards the surface.

        I’ve supervised engineering teams running geomechanics models which included the static loads from ice fields. Those of us who worked on this problem know the ice can change near surface rock properties (for example we see large reductions in porosity and higher rock strength). The changes depend on the initial rock types and burial history, therefore it’s hard to tell what happens under Western Antarctica. One can speculate the reduced load can lead to much higher heat flow which melts the ice and allows ice field segments to flow downhill. This in turn reduces the static load unless snow fall can replace the melt flowing towards the ocean.

        I’m sitting here wondering if it may not be feasible to draw the melt water towards the surface drilling wells into small lakes located in water flow channels? The water should have artesian flow, but I’m not sure we can keep it flowing through ice that’s going to be way below zero centigrade. If this problem can be worked around (huge if), I can see a giant geoengineering project to drill hundreds of wells to drain the water, bring it to the surface and allow it to refresh. My guess this will require several billion dollars. But in 50 years ice field stabilization may be a lot cheaper than putting sea walls around Miami.

      • AndyG55 November 7, 2017 at 3:09 pm says:
        Gistemp = MEANINGLESS

        Exactly. Through continuous adjustments of the past Gistemp cannot be taken seriously.

      • Curious, are you making the assertion that the actions of humans are unnatural? When termites or elephants modify their habitats we consider that natural, when humans modify their habitats it is unnatural. What is different about humans compared to termites or elephants?

      • Please explain:

        In a core of sediments taken from the sea floor that was once covered by the Larsen A Ice Shelf, researchers led by Dr. Eugene W. Domack, a professor of geology at Hamilton College in Clinton, N.Y., found the tiny fossils of marine algae. The finding indicates that this part of the ice shelf had been open water at least once before. The shelf probably melted about 6,000 years ago in a previous warm spell, Dr. Domack said, and remained open water until refreezing during the Little Ice Age about 700 years ago, then remained frozen until it fell apart in 1995.(NYT Science Report 2 April 2002, Kenneth Chang)

        Tropical reefs tend to show temperature increases of less than 1 °C; the tropical ocean surface at the Great Barrier Reef about 5350 years ago was 1 °C warmer (Gagan, Michael K.; Ayliffe, LK; Hopley, D; Cali, JA; Mortimer, GE; Chappell, J; McCulloch, MT; Head, MJ (1998). “Temperature and Surface-Ocean Water Balance of the Mid-Holocene Tropical Western Pacific”. Science. 279 (5353): 1014–8. Bibcode:1998Sci…279.1014G. doi:10.1126/science.279.5353.1014. PMID 9461430).

        These are but two of many, many more…

    • This is not a surprise to anyone who pays attention to geological processes. This “magma plume” has been known about for several years, and was included in a report in 2011 or 2012 about volcanic activity under the ice sheet.

      Why is this suddenly such a surprise to these people? Where do they think Mt. Erebus gets its volcanic activity?

      • It should be noted that a lot of the Arctic , and especially Greenland, also lies above active volcanic scaks.

        This is why GRACE is so pointless in either region.

        The gravity fluctuations due to the magma sacks is going to be magnitudes greater than any surface ice gain or loss.

    • “The Marie Byrd Land mantle plume formed 50 to 110 million years ago, long before the West Antarctic ice sheet came into existence.”

      I’m going to guess it’s not responsible for the recent melting.

  2. What is the temperature of magma that sits under the ice? Is it news to climatologists that underground magma has more impact on surface ice than a 1.5 degree rise in atmospheric temperature above the ice?

    • “than a 1.5 degree rise in atmospheric temperature above the ice?”

      More BS. There has not been a 1.5 degree rise . That hasn’t been ANY !!

      • I was hoping Thomas would also refer to rising sea-levels in Antarctica.
        Then I could have said . . . More BS!
        The Bureau down-under stopped publishing that data variously from 2008 to 2010 because the Government of the day didn’t like it contradicting the message of the day.
        Apparently the sea-levels should’ve been rising but they weren’t ha-ha-ha indeed all were falling.
        So now there’s no data available for:
        Casey 2009 – 2017
        Commonwealth Bay 2010 – 2017
        Davis 2011 – 2017
        Mawson 2010 – 2017
        Macquarie Island – 2009 – 2017
        The lying fraud – the Hon Peter Garrett instructed the Australian Antarctic Division to stop providing that data to the Bureau of Metrology.
        The lying fraud – the Hon Peter Garrett unbelievably accused the UN IPCC of underestimating sea-level rise
        http://www.abc.net.au/worldtoday/content/2007/s1956765.htm while knowing it was falling in a long term trends in Antarctica and in shorter term trends around some Pacific Islands.

      • AndyG55 : “There has not been a 1.5 degree rise”

        Agreed, I should’ve said “purported 1.5 degree rise …”.

    • “Is it news….” Yes. Yes, it is. The “surprise” factor is silly. It isn’t new. It’s been known for a while now. But this announcement IS the reason these climate peeps irritate me.

      • It’s the total affectations that always get me – the total unabashed pretense to call this something that was just discovered.
        Although – to be fair, it MIGHT have been the first time anyone who reads nothing but the suppression-news sources have heard of it.

    • What counts is (watts) per (square meter). If a point source such as a magma plume increases heat flow above average by 0.1 to 0.2 watts per square meter, the figure is quite significant. Antarctic ice melt is mostly driven by subsurface water flows (water 200 meters below the surface is said to be a bit warmer).

      The surface water in the Antarctic circumpolar current is a bit colder than average, therefore looking at surface water temperatures doesn’t help much. As shown by others in their comments, air temperatures are steady over the last 20 years (this year they are running warmer than average, but they are still below zero C.). I’ve seen some reanalysis which shows air temperature has been dropping a bit.

      The overall mass balance seems to be driven by large energy flows, ice melt and snow fall. I wouldn’t focus on worldwide surface temperature averages when discussing Antarctica. And when discussing Antarctica it’s important to remember it’s a continent, and continental averages aren’t that important (other than total ice mass). The focus should be on western Antarctica, and this means the geothermal heat flow in that region needs to be understood much better.

      • “Cis-” is the opposite of “trans-“. In Newspeak, “cisgender” means that your “gender” corresponds to your biology. “Gender” of course, unlike “sex”, is not a biological term but grammatical. So the term should be “cissexual”.

      • Besides concrete. And gladiator movies. And the Roman alphabet, which they like totally ripped off anyway.

      • There is a classic bit on “what have the Romans ever done for us” in Monty Python’s “Life of Brian”.

      • The current SJW way of referring to anyone who identifies with their biological gender, i.e. not transexual.

      • Tom,

        Sorry, but there is no such thing as biological gender. There is biological sex. Gender is a grammatical term hijacked by proponents of sexual orientations beyond two, four or six.

      • Trans- root, means across, or on the other side, as in Transyvania – across, or on the other side of the woods. Transgender means cross-gender, or “on the other side.” Cisgender male is a male. a transgender male is a male who identifies as a female (I think, it’s so confusing).

      • I think the use of gender rather than sex is actually correct, in that it highlights te fact that this is all about words meanings and not about biological realities.

      • Tom Halla November 7, 2017 at 6:18 pm

        I was going to post the Monty Python bit, but decided I’d rather look at Sophia Loren.

  3. Just a point of fact re “Just as it is today” regarding sea ;evel rise 11,000 years ago. No it wasn’t like today. Todays is a few mms in 100years, and the likely long term change is sea level fall as the next ice age kicks in as the last interglacial heat surge is dissipated until the next interglacial arrives to end the next 80,000 year ice age.. 12,000 years ago the oceans were at the end of rising 300 feet in a few thousand years. I think that’s a LOTdifferent, not “just like”.

  4. University of Texas found beneath the Thwaites Glacier and Pine Island there has been volcanism that was causing many the problems with that part of West Antarctic Ice Sheet. The whole taking a trend to extreme and blaming it on climate change and forecasting the “imminent collapse” was instead because there is a volcano underneath warming and melting the glacier.

    “According to his findings, the minimum average geothermal heat flow beneath Thwaites Glacier is about 100 milliwatts per square meter, with hotspots over 200 milliwatts per square meter. For comparison, the average heat flow of the Earth’s continents is less than 65 milliwatts per square meter.”

    https://news.utexas.edu/2014/06/10/antarctic-glacier-melting

  5. Well there you go! I thought Global Warming was a load of hot air and all the time it was a load of hot water! bummer.

  6. On the plus side, if the ice starts to flow out into the ocean at dramatic speed then we will still have some advance warning of sea level rise. Even a rapid ice discharge takes place at a comparative snails pace.

  7. “the upper bound on the plume-derived geothermal heat flux is 150 mW/m2

    flux is defined as the rate of flow of a property per unit area, which has the dimensions [quantity]·[time]−1·[area]−1

    Where’s the time unit in their flux?

    • There are two major rift zones descending from Africa toward Antarctica. They’ve been there quite a while. Do you think the people who figured out the magma part of this puzzle know about them?

      • I’m giving them credit for knowing about them, but not realizing that there could be magma plumes associated with them.

  8. Well this is progress. In the 1920s the universe was no longer static. Now we can talk about that continent at the southern pole in the same regard. Also, hire someone from Iceland to do the science of magmatism under the ice. They know better.

  9. This seems a reasonable study of a small area in Antarctica where there may be a geothermal impact.
    Is there a problem with that?
    The paper simply bounds the maximum amount of geoheating allowed by the actual observations in that small area.
    It seems wrong to get upset by such a local study, especially as it obviously has no relevance to the overall ice sheet.

    • The overall ice sheet is growing, because the gigantic East Antarctic Ice Sheet is growing. The West Antarctic Ice Sheet hardly matters, whether waxing or waning.

      • During the last interglacial warming (Eemian) sea level rose about 7 to 9 meters. Some conclude that about half of that sea rise came from melting ice on West Antarctica. The Eemian was a few degrees warmer than today for a few thousand years.

      • The Eemian was a lot warmer than the Holocene and lasted more than 5000 years longer than the Holocene has so far. The Southern Dome of the Greenland Ice Sheet melted about 25% more then than it has so far in the Holocene.

        Much of the higher sea level was thanks to thermal expansion.

        I’d be happy to look at whatever evidence might exist for a WAIS contribution to Eemian sea level of that much, but I seriously doubt it.

        The West Antarctic Ice Sheet isn’t a pimple on the posterior of sea level rise. Much of it is floating shelf, so can have no effect on MSL. Indeed, it is in effect a marine-based ice sheet, bounded by ice shelves.

      • A few comments. The Eemian was warmer than the present interglacial, yes definitely. But it only lasted 10-13 000 years, i e about as long as the present interglacial lasted.
        And the WAIS is not quite as puny as you claim. A complete collapse of the parts with a base below sea-level would raise sea-level by about 3 meters, i e slightly less than half of Greenland’s icecap.
        The Eemian sea-level was probably 3-5 meters higher than now (the “7 meters” or “7 to 9 meters” often quoted is a factoid, i e something repeated so often that it is considered a fact, though there is zero evidence for it). Greenland probably provided 1-2 meters, thermosteric rise about as much. There might be room for a little water from the WAIS, but not much.
        By the way, there is also zero evidence for a WAIS collapse during the Eemian, despite frequent claims to the contrary.

      • tty,

        Thanks for comments on the WAIS during the Eemian.

        I guess its duration depends upon when you date its start and end. The most common figure is 16,000 years.

        These guys say ~15,000 years, ie ~130 to 115 Ka. But in the same abstract they also seem to say its onset was only 126 Ka, but that might refer to peak warmth.

        https://www.nature.com/articles/nature11789

  10. The climate change to worry about is global cooling, which has been going on for 50 million years.

    It got worse 34 million years ago, then even worse 2.6 Ma, and the trend has been steeply down since then. Within our current relatively mild interglacial interlude, the trend has also been down for 3000 to 5000 years. Since the depths of the LIA during the Maunder Minimum, we have however thank God been warming slightly for ~300 years. Let’s hope that countertrend keeps up as long as possible.

  11. Question: since the Afar rift zone is slowly being eroded away underneath by the heat of the mantle, and the speed of erosion seems to be increasing (last time I checked), just how much surprise will there be when the subterranean erosion is complete and the rift really does open up? And how much of the volcanically-produced pollution (mostly gases) will they blame on humans?

    I know that seems like a rather silly question, but it may happen in our lifetimes, and with the rather sublime sort of denial currently trending, I think it needs to be considered.

    If you think it isn’t important, the 5.8 quake that caused so much damage in Virginia was a large chunk of the crust that had been eroded from underneath by the heat of the mantle, and when it broke away it fell into the mantle. There will be more of those to come, too.

    • Sara,

      With respect, I’m a geologist that happens to live in Virginia and actually experienced the earthquake (second one I experienced in VA, actually). Please google “Central Virginia Seismic Zone.” Nothing broke away from the crust and fell into the mantle.

    • Seriously, the last thing I read about the cause of that quake was the chunk breaking away and falling into the mantle. I’ll see if I can find that, but it was a while back. Not arguing, just reporting what i read.

    • I found the article, from Smithsonian Magazine in 2016. I was going on memory when I said ‘chunk of crust’, which is incorrect. My bad! The article said ‘mantle eroded and broke away’. Sorry about that!!!

      Here’s the link. If you can get the ads to get out of your way, the reference to ‘mantle broke away’ is in the second paragraph. https://www.smithsonianmag.com/smart-news/what-caused-dc-earthquake-2011-180959019/

      Not a geologist, but want to be informed, as there have been recent quakes related to the New Madrid fault and the Wabash Valley fault that have been felt as far north as I am. Some of the faults that are quivering now were previously undetected.

  12. It pains me to see sceptics seemingly leading the way in climate science and being vilified at the time for their contributions. Volcanically active West Ant. under the ice and surrounding sea floor was an obvious thing to consider at a time when CO2 was ridiculously being promoted as the cause.

    Sceptics pointed to ENSO and Pacific and Atlantic oscillations in temperature as prime drivers of climate and global temperatures – these and other natural variations proved to handily overwhelm any effects that CO2 allegedly had. The temperature wroughters opined these cancelled out, dontcha know but the pause screamed out their effect until the wroughters cancelled out the pause.

    Climate sensitivity, which the wroughters chime in to inform is not a parameter, rather it emerges from the models and they miss its importance as an index of the quality of a model to perform. The painful walking back against great resistance to a figure at best of around oneish is because to accept oneish is to accept a piddlingly weak effect of CO2. By not accepting this, models run hot by about 300%. They aren’t ready to make this advancement in the science yet.

  13. Climate alarmists have been downplaying the volcanic heating under Antarctica for a long time. There have been other studies in the past. As others have noted this is no surprise.

    The big problem for alarmists is if they lose Antarctica as being threatened by man made emissions, they lose any real significant sea level rise. I’d bet that is why they just had to slip in the claim that sea level rise was still a threat to the ice (which in reality is not at all significant).

    Skeptics need to jump on this in any red/blue team discussions. There is now zero evidence humans are causing any changes in Antarctica.

  14. I was hoping Thomas Homer would also refer to rising sea-levels in Antarctica.
    Like AndyG55 I to could have said . . . More BS!
    The Bureau down-under stopped publishing that data variously from 2008 to 2010 because the Government of the day didn’t like it contradicting the message of the day.
    Apparently the sea-levels should’ve been rising but they weren’t ha-ha-ha indeed all were falling.
    So now there’s no data available for:
    Casey 2009 – 2017
    Commonwealth Bay 2010 – 2017
    Davis 2011 – 2017
    Mawson 2010 – 2017
    Macquarie Island – 2009 – 2017
    The lying – The Hon Peter Garrett instructed the Australian Antarctic Division to stop providing that data to the Bureau of Metrology.
    The lying – The Hon Peter Garrett unbelievably accused the UN IPCC of underestimating sea-level rise
    http://www.abc.net.au/worldtoday/content/2007/s1956765.htm while knowing it was falling in a long term trends in Antarctica and in shorter term trends around some Pacific Islands.

  15. By t he end of the month, there will be half a dozen papers researched, written, peer-reviewed and published, that show this theory to be wrong. I’m not sure the Guardian will wait that long tho’

  16. Too little too late NASA I have been hearing this from deniers of science for over a year. Nice you decided to join reality but I will never support NASA for anything except a chair in court for crimes against humanity

  17. I have argued with warmists several times over the years about the source of the instability. I assumed it was geothermal energy, they insisted it was GHGs.

    I always start with “logic > data > science” and I am never wrong when logic is clear and science is politically driven.

  18. A few comments. The Eemian was warmer than the present interglacial, yes definitely. But it only lasted 10-13 000 years, i e about as long as the present interglacial lasted.
    And the WAIS is not quite as puny as you claim. A complete collapse of the parts with a base below sea-level would raise sea-level by about 3 meters, i e slightly less than half of Greenland’s icecap.
    The Eemian sea-level was probably 3-5 meters higher than now (the “7 meters” or “7 to 9 meters” often quoted is a factoid, i e something repeated so often that it is considered a fact, though there is zero evidence for it). Greenland probably provided 1-2 meters, thermosteric rise about as much. There might be room for a little water from the WAIS, but not much.
    By the way, there is also zero evidence for a WAIS collapse during the Eemian, despite frequent claims to the contrary.

  19. If their model can distinguish between “lots of volcanoes” (which we’ve known about for quite a while) and “a mantle plume without any actual volcanoes” it must be a miracle of data processing.

    I would have to say the WAIS is potentially unstable because one of those volcanoes might stage a really big eruption and some of the ice might get loosened and slide into the sea. The thing about volcanoes is that they erupt at irregular (and sometimes very long) intervals. Makes it hard to factor them into GCMs.

    The theory of mantle plumes was proposed in the 1970s to explain geothermal activity that occurs far from the boundary of a tectonic plate, such as Hawaii and Yellowstone

    Heard it with my own ears from Tuzo Wilson in May 1965. Small and otherwise inconsequential errors may by an indicator of poor research skills. Sign of the times, one supposes.

  20. My personal view is that the NASA JPL study’s findings of geothermal heating provide a far stronger explanation for ocean warming, sea level changes, and climate change than
    greenhouse gases do. The energy from the sun and from Earth’s interior surely outperform any possible effects resulting from the four molecules of carbon dioxide contained in every 10,000 molecules of air .

    Note that other recent research “suggests that, if adjusted to surface pressure, the mantle under the eastern Pacific Ocean where two tectonic plates diverge, for example, would be around 1410°C [2570°F]” (see link below).

    I suggest El Nino/La Nina and monsoon weather patterns also arise from or at least are affected by Earth’s interior heat. Heat from mantle plumes and lava flows on the ocean floor cause deep oceanwater hotspots, where under deep ocean pressures, the water temperature locally could reach far higher extremes than it would on land. This extremely hot water rises, mixes with cooler water, and eventually dissipates as pools of slightly warmer ocean water. This action would then end up as sea surface temperature anomalies of +/- 4 degrees C, which are observed as El Nino/La Nina weather patterns as the ocean currents move the warm plumes around the ocean. Air temperatures and pressures are in turn affected by the SSTs, causing the variations in temperature and precipitation

    Mantle temperature link:
    https://www.sciencenews.org/article/earths-mantle-may-be-hotter-thought

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