JoNova

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


Handbooks

The Skeptics Handbook

Think it has been debunked? See here.

The Skeptics Handbook II

Climate Money Paper


Advertising

micropace


GoldNerds

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



Archives

Books

Do 40,000 volcanoes matter?

The world is watching one volcano in Bali, but it’s sobering to think there may be hundreds of others going off, and almost certainly ones we don’t even know about. The article  Is the Bali volcano making us warmer or cooler? by William F Jasper, reminded me of Ian Plimers words about there being squillions of undersea volcanoes so I found the 2007 paper, by Hillier, that tried to count them. Trying being the appropriate word. Volcanoes are biggish things, but when they are under one or two kilometers of water they are hard to hear, hard to see, and, by crikey, we know more about the moon than the bottom of the Marinara, and it’s only 11km “away”.

People are constantly discovering new volcanoes, like a 3,000m one off Indonesia that no one realized was there til 2010. It turns out the second largest volcano in the solar system is apparently not on Io, but 1,000 miles east of Japan. It’s the size of the British Isles, but who knew? A few months ago a team found 91 new volcanoes under Antarctica. (This is getting serious, someone should talk to the Minister for Lava!)

Not only can we [...]

Your car causes volcanoes (and volcanoes release CO2)

Oh. My. Lord. Keep the car in the garage.

Climate Change Could Increase Volcano Eruptions

Dr Graeme Swindles, from the School of Geography at Leeds, said: “Climate change caused by humans is creating rapid ice melt in volcanically active regions. In Iceland, this has put us on a path to more frequent volcanic eruptions.”

The study examined Icelandic volcanic ash preserved in peat deposits and lake sediments and identified a period of significantly reduced volcanic activity between 5,500 and 4,500 years ago. This period came after a major decrease in global temperature, which caused glacier growth in Iceland.

The findings, published today in the journal Geology, found there was a time lag of roughly 600 years between the climate event and a noticeable decrease in the number of volcanic eruptions. The study suggests that perhaps a similar time lag can be expected following the more recent shift to warmer temperatures.

Read more at University of Leeds

It’s amazing what you can achieve when you take a simple correlation and run with it.

Meanwhile in New Zealand, Mt Ruapehu is emitting high levels of CO2

Look out, we may set off a deadly volcano spiral [...]

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.” –Wales.co

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 [...]