Claim: Global Warming Will Trigger Volcanic Eruptions

The Mount Meager volcanic complex as seen from the east near Pemberton, BC. Summits left to right are Capricorn Mountain, Mount Meager, and Plinth Peak.
The Mount Meager volcanic complex as seen from the east near Pemberton, BC. Summits left to right are Capricorn Mountain, Mount Meager, and Plinth Peak. By Seattle Skier (Own photo, taken with Canon PowerShot S40) [GFDL, CC-BY-SA-3.0 or CC BY-SA 2.5-2.0-1.0], via Wikimedia Commons

Guest essay by Eric Worrall

Volcanic eruptions are now the fault of that wicked little molecule.

Climate change could trigger volcanic eruptions across the world, warn scientists

Melting of ice on volcanoes can increase risk of landslides and destabilise magma ‘plumbing system’ inside, say researchers

Josh Gabbatiss

Science Correspondent

Wednesday 11 April 2018 17:28 BST

Besides having a disastrous impact on sea levels and weather, a warming climate could also trigger catastrophic volcanic eruptions across the planet

Volcanic eruptions alter the climate by spewing smoke and ash into the atmosphere, but scientists now also think the opposite might be true – changes in climate could actually cause volcanic eruptions.

According to Gioachino Roberti, a PhD student at the University of Clermont Auvergne, glaciers can suppress volcanic eruptions by providing mountains with structural stability.

As the climate becomes warmer, ice melting from these mountains removes support from their slopes, potentially leading to landslides and collapse.

“Imagine the ice like some sort of protective layer – when the ice melts away, the mountain is free to collapse,” said Mr Roberti.

“If your mountain is a volcano you have another problem.

“Volcanoes are a pressurised system and if you remove pressure by ice melting and landslide, you have a problem.”

Read more:

Gioachino Roberti provides the example of Mount Meager in British Columbia;

… Mount Meager is an ice-clad volcanic complex in British Columbia, Canada, known for its large landslides and an eruption about 2430 years ago. In 2010 a major collapse associated with glacier retreat occurred on the south flank of Mount Meager, and in 2016 fumaroles formed ice caves in one of its glaciers. This glacier is bordered by a large unstable slope moving about 4 cm/month. If this slope failed, a long run-out debris avalanche would reach the floor of Lillooet River valley, with possible destructive effects on downvalley infrastructure. … We conclude that the change in effective stress following the landslide has the potential to destabilize the magmatic chamber and trigger an eruption. …

Read more:

There is no doubt some glaciers help hold in volcanic eruptions. But plenty of volcanoes tunnel out of their glaciers without any extra help – Arctic volcanoes like Eyjafjallajökull have regularly blown their tops since the end of the last ice age. Hot magma has a tendency to melt ice.

Pinning the weakening of Mount Meager’s ice cap on CO2 is further complicated by the fact that British Columbia had a wildly variable climate well before the industrial age.

A 477-year dendrohydrological assessment of drought severity

Severe summer streamflow droughts are impacting many watersheds on Vancouver Island, British Columbia. Small coastal basins that are the primary water source for most communities and essential to Pacific salmon populations have been particularly affected. In the face of more extreme climate change-induced droughts, water managers often underestimate worst-case scenario low flows because the most extreme naturally occurring events are rarely captured within short instrumental records. To provide a long-term perspective on recent droughts on Vancouver Island, we developed a 477-year long dendrohydrological reconstruction of summer streamflow for Tsable River based on a network of annual tree-ring width data from climate-sensitive conifer trees. Explaining 63% of the instrumental streamflow variability, to our knowledge the record is the longest of its kind in British Columbia. We demonstrate that targeting the summer streamflow component derived from snowmelt is powerful for determining drought-season discharge in hybrid runoff regimes, and we suggest this approach may be applied to small watersheds in temperate environments that are not usually conducive to dendrohydrology. Our findings suggest that since 1520, 21 droughts occurred that were more extreme than recent “severe” events like those in 2003 and 2009. Recent droughts are therefore not anomalous relative to the ~400 year pre-instrumental record, and should be anticipated within water management strategies. In coming decades, worst-case scenario natural droughts compounded by land use change and climate change could result in droughts more severe than any since 1520. The influence of the Pacific Decadal Oscillation on instrumental and modeled Tsable River summer streamflow is likely linked to the enhanced role of snowmelt in determining summer discharge during cool phases.

Read more: Research Gate

Given the extreme natural climate variability of many Arctic regions like British Columbia, and the historical instability of many glacier capped volcanoes, I suggest it is premature to conclude humans are contributing significantly to the risk of volcanic eruptions.

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April 15, 2018 5:21 pm

More Liberal BS…..😳

Tom in Florida
April 15, 2018 5:23 pm

So, the Planet gets too warm causing volcanoes to blow thus cooling the Planet. Self regulating for sure.

Reply to  Tom in Florida
April 15, 2018 7:59 pm

If they can get enough total phonies to continuallly point to the emporer’s non-existent new-clothes pretty soon everyone (who’s dumb enough) is genuflecting to the well-dressed Emporer, instead of laughing at the utter stupidity of the clowns making the claims that they see them.
Hey Zazove are these your CAGW misfits and loonies putting up laughable drivel again? … Sciencey!

Reply to  WXcycles
April 16, 2018 2:35 am

At least to Wiktionary, ‘drivelous’ is actually a word. Make good use of it:
drivelous – Wiktionary
drivelous (comparative more drivelous, superlative most drivelous) Composed of drivel; nonsensical; meaningless; rubbish. Further reading .

Reply to  Tom in Florida
April 15, 2018 9:27 pm

The underlying volcanic heating will have far more effect on the ice above it than fractions of a °C in the breeze. The recent volcanism and ice flow activities are evidence of that.

joe - the non climate scientist
April 15, 2018 5:26 pm

Absolutely correct – the rising sea level puts extra pressure on the earths mantle forcing the volcanic eruptions
(volcanic eruptions of the warmists brains)

Reply to  joe - the non climate scientist
April 16, 2018 3:56 am

beware, some illiterate will believe you. Some people are dumb enough to require a /sarc

April 15, 2018 5:27 pm

Rehashing these previously debunked scientific fairytales is so boring. Can they not move on.

Reply to  ntesdorf
April 15, 2018 6:09 pm

They can’t move on, that’s all they have.

April 15, 2018 5:35 pm

British Columbia is not “arctic”. Otherwise, most of the west coast of North America is prone to droughts.

April 15, 2018 5:37 pm

ah hah….so the climate is self regulating

April 15, 2018 5:50 pm

I think that the reason for making this claim has to do with the opposite of this claim. That deep cyclical cold trends are more likely associated with larger eruptions. That they well know this, and so they want to grab the headline, and associate the global warming claim with it in order to bolster their AGW position. They have likely looked over the shoulder of those of us who have written similar words over the last several years stating that larger eruptions are linked to GSMs. In simpler terms steal the idea, and claim the credit, an age old tactic.

April 15, 2018 6:02 pm

According to Gioachino Roberti, a PhD student…


Louis Hooffstetter
Reply to  David Middleton
April 15, 2018 6:06 pm

“a warming climate could trigger… volcanic eruptions…”
like a gnat fart could kill a blue whale.

Reply to  Louis Hooffstetter
April 15, 2018 6:11 pm

Well… It could… if the gnat was large enough to clog the blue whale’s blow hole… Do I need to use a /sarc tag?

Reply to  Louis Hooffstetter
April 15, 2018 7:20 pm

Well, actually
Port Aransas South Jetty v. 19, no. 3, ed. 1, Thursday, January 19, 1989, pg. 5 of 10
by Tony Amos Mystery of dolphin and eel
When Joe Blankenship called me about the dead dolphin that has just washed up on the Port Aransas Marina beach, I thought it would be a “routine” stranding to investigate….It was a juvenile female about five feet long and had obviously been dead only a short time. ….But when we examined the blowhole we were in for a surprise.
“That looked like an eel to me” Joe said, looking at the silvery thing that was firmly embedded in the animal’s breathing apparatus…and he was right.!
Carefully removing the obstruction form (sic) the blowhole, I began to pull inch after inch of eel out of the dolphin until there it was; a snake or worm eel over half the length of the dolphin itself. The fish had been entwined around itself and completely filled the blowhole.
Later autopsy found many more, apparently had been eating eels.

Reply to  Louis Hooffstetter
April 16, 2018 12:29 pm

Tony Amos recently passed away. He recorded an absolutely amazing amount of data on a short stretch of beach on the Texas Gulf Coast. Many decades of daily observations of wildlife, flotsam, jetsam weather and sargassum. He founded the ARC animal rehabilitation center, now renamed the Amos Rehabilitation Center.
I knew Tony for the last ten years and greatly admired his hard work and dedication. Sadly he passed away from cancer after making the journey to see the recent eclipse, just as hurricane Harvey destroyed the ARC. Tony “did” science. Funny I know a bit about his past but I know nothing about his politics and the ARC has been rebuilt.

Reply to  David Middleton
April 16, 2018 5:01 am

Thank you, I thought I was the only one who picked up on that! Because we all know how PhD STUDENTS are such experts in their fields. All it means is he’s looking for the Canadian govt to throw million$ his way like we do with Mann.

April 15, 2018 6:11 pm

Should we lower our paris target from 2C to 1.5C? Would that help? Lord knows we are getting our share of volcanic activity here in se asia.

April 15, 2018 6:21 pm

They …. the warmists for lack of better description …. are going for quantity instead of quality with their announcements about AGW damage. They really believe most people are bumpkins. That is their downfall.

Reply to  markl
April 16, 2018 4:53 am

Bumpkins, huh?
Have they looked in the mirror lately? Naw, I didn’t think so.

Ken Mitchell
April 15, 2018 6:45 pm

So, the claim is that the climate _IS_ self-regulatong? A big volcanic eruption would blast soot into the stratosphere, causing COOLING temperatures.

J Mac
April 15, 2018 6:58 pm

I’m certain the mountain volcano and subsurface caldera is a greater threat to melting its mountain glaciers than any trivial additions to atmospheric trace gases could ever be.

April 15, 2018 7:01 pm

Sp… the fact that Ethiopia’s rift zone in the Danakil Depression, which has been eroding from underneath for a VERY VERY long time, and which has now breached the surface through its currently only blowhole Erta Ale has nothing to do with plate tectonics?
And that giant volcano in Iran, sitting on a plate boundary, which hasn’t erupted in eons will only blow off steam if it gets too warm in Iran?
And the Alban Hills complex in Italy, which last erupted 30,000 years ago and is now showing vague signs of activity – well, that’s all the fault of pizza ovens and too much hot Italian romance?
And Santorini starting to vent under the surface of the Aegean again, after destroying Minoan civilization 3500 BC – well, that isn’t a volcano recycling itself, it’s the fault of too many mouth breathers visiting Greece these days?
And these are only a few of the many, many volcanoes that are either currently active or reawakening after many centuries of dormancy because that’s their cycle pattern.
Okay, whatever. Really, these people aren’t good at much of anything, not even when grasping at straws.

Alan Tomalty
Reply to  Sara
April 15, 2018 10:11 pm

And to requote an above criticism: If anyone thinks that a little glacier is going to stop the pressure of a volcanic eruption they had better go back to grade 6 science class. Oh no I forgot They are teaching AGW in grade 6 and have been for over 20 years. There is no hope for the human race.

Reply to  Alan Tomalty
April 16, 2018 7:40 am

A landslide was the final trigger for the Mt. St. Helen’s eruption. Of course the landslide was triggered by magma causing one side of the volcano to bulge, so the magma was only a few hundred feet down.
Additionally, that landslide removed several hundred feet of rock, not merely a couple of feet of ice.

Reply to  Sara
April 16, 2018 4:43 am

Anyone interested in the current number of active volcanoes and those showing signs of new activity, including the Antarctic, please go to volcano discovery dot com.
Their map of active volcanoes and those becoming active is an eye opener. They have a video of the Erta Ale caldera, which used to be about 150 feet deep and is now full, overflowing. It hasn’t reached the fountain stage like Kilauea, but it could. Erta Ale and the Danakil Depression sit on a triple plate boundary, which is showing more and more active signs.
These loons are going to blame plate tectonic movement on Gorebull Warming, if they haven’t already. I’m looking forward to that report with glee.

Joel O’Bryan
April 15, 2018 7:08 pm

It’s upwelling magma from much deeper in the crust that fills and pressurizes the surface proximal chambers that are usually a few kilometers below the volcano. That upwelling and filling is governed by the steady flow of heat from much deeper over many thousands of years.
Furthermore, The melting of a snow cap is only applicable to volcanos at high latitudes,
Alaska, Kamchatka, Iceland, West Antarctic Peninsula. And for example, Icelands big volcanos need no invoking of climate change to cause a massive breakthough eruption. See for example: iceland’s big 18th century eruption that had severe consequences in Ireland and Scotland. No need for the TheMagicMolecule™️.

J Mac
Reply to  Joel O’Bryan
April 15, 2018 8:37 pm

Def. Sarchasm: The huge gaping span between one persons lack of understanding for another persons humorous sarcasm’

April 15, 2018 7:14 pm

But we were told that “real scientists” never use “catastrophic” or “inflammatory and exaggerated language” about CAGW. /sarchasm

J Mac
Reply to  RACookPE1978
April 15, 2018 8:39 pm

Def. Sarchasm: The huge gaping span between one persons lack of understanding for another persons humorous sarcasm.

Reply to  RACookPE1978
April 15, 2018 10:05 pm

I wait with bated breath for the “self-called” scientists whose work will be funded by such propaganda to write scathing words of rebuke to his exaggerations……

Reply to  RACookPE1978
April 16, 2018 1:10 pm

I think “sarchasm” is meant as a completely different (made-up) word than “sarcasm”. The definition is faulty, as the preposition “between” should always have at least two objects, but only one is provided. But the definition definitely distinguishes between the two words.

April 15, 2018 7:16 pm

This lunacy is getting very old… Let me ask the warmists one question – Name one thing that global warming doesn’t cause?

Clyde Spencer
Reply to  ScienceABC123
April 15, 2018 8:31 pm

I’m still waiting for someone to claim that CO2 is responsible for the “heart break of psoriasis.”

J Mac
Reply to  Clyde Spencer
April 15, 2018 8:48 pm

I was going to ….. but I couldn’t spell soreassissis, er.. psoreyeassis…. uhmmm – What Clyde said.

Alan Tomalty
Reply to  ScienceABC123
April 15, 2018 10:13 pm


Reply to  Alan Tomalty
April 16, 2018 7:46 am


Reply to  ScienceABC123
April 16, 2018 4:45 am

Sunspots and solar storms

Reply to  Sara
April 16, 2018 4:49 am

Ooops! I left out George Carlin and burnt toast.

Reply to  ScienceABC123
April 16, 2018 7:41 am

No, a couple years back they made the claim that global warming caused cooling.

April 15, 2018 7:32 pm

Let me guess, this was not a claim made by an actual professionally employed volcanologist?
I heard zebras will lose their stripes due to too much heat absorption by the black bits.

Reply to  WXcycles
April 15, 2018 9:37 pm

We took granddaughters aged 8 and 7 to the zoo. Touring by an obviously male zebra, one exclaimed that he was losing a black stripe near his back leg. The other one giggled knowingly. They were observational but they gave a naive interpretation, to tease us.
So it is with the fiction of global warming promoting volcanic eruptions. There is a wealth of observation among geologists, but the brighter ones are reluctant to make such a promotion because the topic is quite complex. Although, naive interpretations are easy and appear to be offered now and then to tease us. But, that is NOT geological science. Geoff.

Mike Smith
April 15, 2018 8:47 pm

The main point is… climate change causes Bad Things (and only Bad Things) to happen.
Oh man, please make this ridiculous onslaught of “could’s” stop. If only climate change could do that!

April 15, 2018 8:49 pm

Oh no, anything but the zebras, it’s worse that we thought!

dodgy geezer
April 15, 2018 9:42 pm

…Global Warming Will Trigger Volcanic Eruptions…
…and dragons. Don’t forget the dragons…. another thing to add…

Reply to  dodgy geezer
April 16, 2018 4:59 am

Last dragon I talked to (last month) said “We can handle anything. We can even handle Algorebull warming. We can handle bad PR about how we hoard gold and jewels, steal from dwarves and eat humans. What we can’t handle is freaking cold weather. Have you ever tried to find a sweater and thermal undies in a size 2000XXX with wing openings?”

Roy Denio
April 15, 2018 10:18 pm

@dodgy geezer,
“…Global Warming Will Trigger Volcanic Eruptions…”
Actually cooling causes more volcanic activity as history shows. I.E. going into the LIA

John Dowser
April 15, 2018 10:41 pm

Changes can trigger volcanic eruptions”
There, fixed the title into something more sensible. Many of the large processes responsibly for short & longer term climate fluctuation for sure could influence the triggering of volcanoes or earth quakes.

Don Easterbrook
April 15, 2018 11:10 pm

The alpine glaciers on volcanoes are rarely more than a few hundred feet thick. That’s equivalent to the weight of 1/3 the thickness of rock. The effect of that small a mass quickly dissipates with depth and has virtually no effect at the depths where magma originates.

Reply to  Don Easterbrook
April 16, 2018 12:05 am

Anyone who’s been down a deep mine shaft is not so dopey as claims in this click-bait, there’s a little thing called a geotherm, and it’s very elevated in the crust in active volcanic zones. Deep mines need giant ventilation ducts for a reason, it’s lethal if they stop—due to heat exposure alone.

April 15, 2018 11:33 pm

Okay, it’s official: CO₂ is Brouwer’s fixed point for The Entire Universe.

April 16, 2018 12:44 am

It is really “may” trigger if the circumstances are right. This is coming from a student and is not worth reporting.

Ed Zuiderwijk
April 16, 2018 12:58 am

CO2. It can do everything, so they say. God can do everything, so they say. Therefore CO2 must be God. Simple.

Tom in Florida
Reply to  Ed Zuiderwijk
April 16, 2018 4:30 am

Well they both do have the same amount of characters in the names, so close enough for climate science.

James Bull
April 16, 2018 3:07 am

Is there nothing that little molecule can’t do? I bet it brought that asteroid here!
James Bull

April 16, 2018 3:43 am

A quite sun by its reduction in TSI by a tiny amount does not cause LIA,s but something else in its quiescence triggers volcanic activity, this is happening all over the world, long dormant and now stirring. A few extra volcanoes going off and we get a cooling world, the odd big one or two and we can get a LIA.

Reply to  Wayne Job
April 16, 2018 12:18 pm

Ummm, have you considered the switching of Earth’s magnetic poles which is slowly getting underway?

April 16, 2018 4:00 am

Not CO2 but cosmic radiation :
On the relationship between cosmic rays, solar activity and powerful earthquakes.
… looking at earthquakes of magnitude >7.8 since 1900, these are the most powerful
earthquakes, crème de la crème of natural disasters. The cut-off point 7.8 for the magnitude
was selected to have sufficiently many earthquakes to draw conclusions yet not too many to be
Looks like any time new physical principles are about to be discovered they throw “EPA poison gas – CO2” at it, or masses of statistical noise, to fog it out.

April 16, 2018 5:04 am

I guess that little fact that the Earth’s magnetic poles are trying to swap positions doesn’t have anything to do with earthquakes or volcanic activity. Nah, couldn’t be. That would make sense.

Reply to  Sara
April 16, 2018 7:47 am

actually the link posted just above deals extensively with geomagnetism too.

April 16, 2018 6:49 am

The things you have to go through to get a PhD by sucking up and scare primping are rather extreme these days.

April 16, 2018 8:16 am

Narrator: “The years passed, mankind became stupider at a frightening rate. Some had high hopes the genetic engineering would correct this trend in evolution, but sadly the greatest minds and resources where focused on conquering hair loss and prolonging erections.”
This post, along with many of these warmist warnings, reminds me of my favorite quote from “Idiocracy”. Here we are. And it didn’t take no 500 years to get here!

April 16, 2018 8:42 am

Forget forming a theory based on observations.
Skip postulating inferences based on directly observations.
Use Confirmation Bias and jump right to conclusions, fill in the procedural details later and hope knowledgeable people keep quiet.
The alleged Independent news author has discovered a possible PHD student who does not deserve his doctorate! Yet, Josh Gabbatiss builds an entire doom and disaster story surrounding a student’s spreadsheet wish list.
From the PHD candidate’s abstract: “Can glacial retreat-related landslides trigger volcanic eruptions? Insights
from Mount Meager, British Columbia”

Based on numerical model simulations carried out to constrain the stress change, the failure would affect the stress field to depths of 6 km, with changes in effective stress up to 4 MPa.”

Note the fancy terms basically describing a spreadsheet; i.e. numerical model.
N.B., also note Gioachino’s use of the word “constrain”. Why “constrain”?
Well, when weight is placed upon bedrock covered by debris and decomposing carbon life (humus filled dirt), the pressure is spread out over a large area. That description appears to describe “constraining” the pressure, and possibly further constraining that pressure into concentrated pressure points.

“From geochemical, geophysical, and petrological data, we infer the presence of a magmatic chamber at 3-6 km depth. We conclude that the change in effective stress following the landslide has the potential to destabilize the magmatic chamber and trigger an eruption.”

1st, infer a magmatic chamber 3-6km (1.9 to 3.7 miles)deep.
2nd, jump to a complete conclusion.
It is curious how their “numerical mode” handles displaced weight, i.e. landslides displace weight.
Landslides do not remove weight; and how does a slight weight displacement, in comparison to 3-6km depths of Earth, destabilize magma chambers?
Such amazing numerical models these phd students write?

“Changes in glacier cover can thus influence the magmatic processes through a chain of events involving deep erosion, oversteepening, unloading, landsliding, and depressurization”

3rd, take one gross assumption titled as a conclusion and pontificate more conclusions.
All attributable to infinitesimal percentages of atmospheric carbon dioxide.
So much for science.

April 16, 2018 9:06 am

This scare-mongering masquerading as science is so ridiculous I’m going to blow my top.

April 16, 2018 10:10 am

Send forth the PhD students as cannon fodder.

April 16, 2018 11:18 pm

The last eruption of Mount Meager was like the 1980 Mount St. Helens eruption, about 500 Hiroshima’s worth. According to the internet. Not enough catastrophe value to bother with, no name recognition. They should focus their warnings on Mt. Rainier. Even with only a Mount St. Helens size eruption, that would be a catastrophe worthy of a disaster movie.

David Cage
April 17, 2018 2:36 am

The prelude to volcanic eruptions causes large scale local if not global warming not the reverse. Historians have recorded this for centuries but climate scientists do not recognise any evidence from anyone not labelled climate scientist.

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