A science presenter, writer, speaker & former TV host; author of The Skeptic's Handbook (over 200,000 copies distributed & available in 15 languages).


The Skeptics Handbook

Think it has been debunked? See here.

The Skeptics Handbook II

Climate Money Paper




The nerds have the numbers on precious metals investments on the ASX



Antarctica – 91 volcanoes coincidentally found under glaciers warming “due to climate change”

It’s possibly the densest concentration of volcanoes in the world, some as high as 4km and we didn’t even know these existed til recently.  Despite that overwhelming ignorance, we’re 97.00% certain that all the warming in Antarctica is due to your car and airconditioner. Robin McKie, The Guardian writer, talks about the recent discovery of so many volcanoes under the ice. Not surprisingly, we have no data on how active these volcanoes are. However because we *know* climate change is definitely wrecking Antarctica, it follows that your car, air conditioner and pet dog could melt more ice, take the pressure off the tectonic plate and set one off. Then things will really get out of hand.

Anyhow, it’s just a coincidence that all the warming in Antarctica is where the volcanoes are.

Warming in Antarctica   |    New volcano discoveries

Spread the hagtag #allvolcanosmatter.

From The Guardian: Scientists discover 91 volcanoes below Antarctic ice sheet

Scientists have uncovered the largest volcanic region on Earth – two kilometres below the surface of the vast ice sheet that covers west Antarctica.

The project, by Edinburgh University researchers, has revealed almost 100 volcanoes – with the highest as tall as the [...]

Molten lava ball called Earth springs leak — incandescent rock “waterfall” on Hawaii

It is easy to forget we stand on a molten lava ball. Worth a minute of your time. Wow.

It’s being called the Lava fire hose — 70 feet of flowing liquid rock. Pure Geo-voyerism. How close is that boat… camera trick?

I gather Hawaii’s Kilauea Volcano has been erupting pretty much all the time since 1983 so this is not “evacuation time”. But I’m guessing this waterfall variety is pretty unusual. If it keeps up, it’s one helluva tourist attraction.

All the forces of nature are pretty much just showing off here — wrap your mind around this steam:

“The steam plume created by the lava reaching the water is also a concern.

“It’s super-heated steam laced with hydrochloric acid from the interaction with the seawater and has shards of volcanic glass,” Ms Babb said.

“It’s something to be avoided.”

The story: Massive lava stream exploding into ocean in Hawaii (ABC)


Mapping hot deep columns of molten rock in the top 3000km thick layer

One for the geologists. It took twenty years, so this was the slowest “CT” scan ever done. They used seismic waves from Earthquakes and “numerical simulations” (and we know what they are). But possibly these models are not worthless. Apparently these blobs of hot rock under the Pacific and Africa are 5,000 km across, and may have been there for 250 million years. In any case, the full press release is below. There’s no mention of heat that might be coming up from this big ball of magma and how that might influence ocean currents, or whether it even changes on a timescale that matters (Hey we have one “CT” scan. We can’t get a trend from that. I just wonder…  — Jo


CT scan of Earth links deep mantle plumes with volcanic hotspots

[Science Daily] Scans prove that plumes of hot rock anchored at core-mantle boundary rise to form island chains

University of California, Berkeley, seismologists have produced for the first time a sharp, three-dimensional scan of Earth’s interior that conclusively connects plumes of hot rock rising through the mantle with surface hotspots that generate volcanic island chains like Hawaii, Samoa and Iceland.


Chile’s Calbuco volcano erupts

The Calbuco volcano in Chile has suddenly erupted. People have been evacuated from a 20km radius. Local flights are canceled. The ash cloud is moving east. It’s not clear yet how much effect it will have on the climate. But it is big and worth watching. So far, there are no reported casulties. This volcano has been quiet for 42 years, and caught everyone by surprise. h/t David W

Calbuco volcano, Chile @SegHumana

West Antarctica: more evidence it was the volcanoes that melted the ice

As I’ve repeatedly posted this year, there is a strange coincidence between geothermal activity and warming in Antarctica. We are still discovering volcanoes underwater, so we can’t pretend we have accurate data on their contribution in joules or the trends in that. On Antarctica almost all the headlines of doom and collapse come from West Antarctic peninsula or the ice sheet nearby which also happen to be over the West Antarctic Rift System. Most other places in and around Antarctica are cooling or staying the same, and sea ice is hitting record levels. “Must be CO2 then.” ; -)

Damiani et al looked at the crustal thickness beneath Thwaites Glacier, and finds it is quite thin, like that beneath the Pine Island Glacier. The researchers conclude that it is likely there is a major volcanic dome in Marie Byrd Land.[1]

Spot any media mention of the possibility that hot lava might be to blame instead of your SUV.[2]  Good little propaganda writers produce plenty of gloom and doom headlines of the imminent collapse of ice-sheets. Where are the journalists? For that matter — which climate scientist tries to make sure journalists present an accurate report?

h/t The HockeySchtick



Antarctica – where more ice and less ice is proof of climate change

The sea ice around Antarctica is at a record high since satellites started recording, and snowfall is thumping down on the northern Antarctic Peninsula*, but alas — some glaciers on the same peninsula are continuing to melt, just like they have done for 300 years. Hence, a team of researchers-with-models conclude that this means these glaciers are especially, very, super-sensitive to air temperature changes and will “likely” melt fast, raise sea-levels, and disappear in 200 years time.[1]

Glaciers in northern Antarctic Peninsula melting faster than ever despite increased snowfall

Increased snowfall will not prevent the continued melting of glaciers in the northern Antarctic Peninsula, according to new research. Scientists have discovered that small glaciers that end on land around the Antarctic Peninsula are highly vulnerable to slight changes in air temperature and may be at risk of disappearing within 200 years. – Science Daily

“Faster than ever!”  Blame Climate Change TM:

[Prof Glasser]: “This unprecedented glacier recession, in response to climate change, will result in significant contributions to sea level rise from this and similar Antarctic Peninsula mountain glaciers and ice caps.” –

Hmm. I note that other warming parts of Antarctica are near a string of volcanoes and (surprize) [...]

Did Australian monster volcanoes cause the mass extinction 510m years ago?

Marvel this: It would seem that massive volcanic eruptions in Australia wiped out 50% of all species 510 million years ago.

Try to imagine a volcano so big, the lava flow covers 2 million square kilometers. For US folk, that would be like a volcano that covered California, Nevada, Arizona, Utah, Oregon, Idaho and Washington State combined.

(And some people think we are facing a “crisis” today?)

It was, to put it mildly, quite bad news for trilobites which had only been around for a trifling 10 million years at that stage. Otherwise life at that time was sponges, fungi, algae, and on land, attractive sounding things like microbial mats. (I suspect a Cambrian-era-Greenpeace would have struggled to find cuddly photogenic targets. Oops, no cameras either.)


510m years ago that Kalkarindji volcano erupted.  The dashed line indicates the borders of the Kalkarindji “large igneous province.” Image: Fred Jourdan/ Curtin University Department of Applied Geology

I love the grand big-picture in all its imponderable vastness and power. I’m not so enthused on their climate analysis. I half wonder – half marvel at whether we can really figure out what happened that long ago.

The poor researchers are burdened with [...]

The mystery of cooling deep ocean, volcanoes, and missing heat

That deep heat almost seems to coincide with Atlantic and Southern Ocean volcanoes?

All roads lead to the ocean. This time, though, we’re talking about the mysterious deep abyss, below 2,000m and even below 3,600m. Wunsch et al, claim the data shows the deep ocean cooled by one hundredth of a degree in the last 19 years. But they admit that really… this could just be noise. (Well, shock me.) But they have some new and glorious heat maps, and I use those to do some wild speculation about volcanoes.

When all is said and done, there are three inescapable oceanic truths:

Around 90% of all the energy in the Earth’s climate system is in the oceans. Thou shalt not create nor destroy energy. If there was an energy imbalance running day after day, gazillions of Joules of energy must be somewhere. They cannot “pause”, take holidays, nor appear in future without being present in the now.

Despite the 95% certainty among 97% of certified “climate scientists”, no one can find that energy. Thus the social-science-fact meets the physical-science-fact. Which “fact” should we spend billions on? The stone-age approach is to go with the “doctors” not the data, and [...]

Surprise, West Antarctic volcano melts ice

Who would have thought? Antarctic volcanoes are hot after all.  Having a volcano under an icesheet makes a difference, and some of the sea level rise blamed on CO2 is more likely to be because 1,000 °C lava is not far from sub-zero ice. Right now, according to scientist Dustin Schroeder and co,  it is as if the Thwaites Glacier in West Antarctic is sitting on a “stovetop burner”.[1]

Only last week I wondered if West Antarctic volcanoes had something to do with the Antarctic warming and pointed out this strange coincidence below where almost all the warming seems to occur over the volcanic area which is part of the hot “Pacific rim of fire”. I also wondered why some parts of the media don’t seem to mention the volcanoes. Wait and see if this story gets picked up. So far, Fox, and Business Insider have it.

“Using radar data from satellites in orbit, the researchers were able to figure out where these subglacial streams were too full to be explained by flow from upstream. The swollen streams revealed spots of unusually high melt, Schroeder said. Next, the researchers checked out the subglacial geology in the region and found that fast-melting [...]

That West Antarctic melting couldn’t be caused by volcanoes could it?

We’re all doomed:

West Antarctic ice sheet collapse ‘unstoppable’ [ABC]

Irreversible Changes Now Affect Antarctica and the World [Live-science]

‘Nothing can stop retreat’ of West Antarctic glaciers [BBC, By Jonathan Amos]

West Antarctic ice collapse ‘could drown Middle East and Asia crops’ [The Guardian, Suzanne Goldenberg]

Antarctica’s ice collapse threatens metres of sea level rise within decades  [The Ecologist]

Global warming: it’s a point of no return in West Antarctica. [The Guardian Eric Rignot]

“Last week saw a ‘holy shit’ moment in climate change science. A landmark report revealed that the collapse of a large part of Antarctica is now unstoppable”

What else is going on in West Antarctica? Oh. Look where those volcanoes are…

Guess which science correspondent mentioned the word “volcano”? None of the above. Did any of those responsible publicly funded climate scientists mentioned it in their press releases? (A gold star to anyone who can find one). Lucky Antarctic volcanoes are not hot.

Thanks especially to Janama, Jaypac, John, Sophocles and Tom. That is what comments are for!

Locations of volcanoes in Antarctica known to have been active since [...]