Daily Caller News Foundation
Study: West Antarctic Glacier Melt Due To Volcanoes, Not Global Warming
11:46 AM 06/11/2014
A new study by researchers at the University of Texas, Austin found that the West Antarctic Ice Sheet is collapsing due to geothermal heat, not man-made global warming.
Researchers from the UTA’s Institute for Geophysics found that the Thwaites Glacier in western Antarctica is being eroded by the ocean as well as geothermal heat from magma and subaerial volcanoes. Thwaites is considered a key glacier for understanding future sea level rise.
UTA researchers used radar techniques to map water flows under ice sheets and estimate the rate of ice melt in the glacier. As it turns out, geothermal heat from magma and volcanoes under the glacier is much hotter and covers a much wider area than was previously thought.
“Geothermal flux is one of the most dynamically critical ice sheet boundary conditions but is extremely difficult to constrain at the scale required to understand and predict the behavior of rapidly changing glaciers,” UTA researchers wrote in their study, which was published in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences.
The geothermal heat under the glaciers is likely a key factor in why the ice sheet is currently collapsing. Before this study, it was assumed that heat flow under the glacier was evenly distributed throughout, but UTA’s study shows this is not the case. Heat levels under the glacier are uneven, with some areas being much hotter than others.
“The combination of variable subglacial geothermal heat flow and the interacting subglacial water system could threaten the stability of Thwaites Glacier in ways that we never before imagined,” lead researcher David Schroeder said in a press release.
“It’s the most complex thermal environment you might imagine,” echoed co-author Don Blankenship “And then you plop the most critical dynamically unstable ice sheet on planet Earth in the middle of this thing, and then you try to model it. It’s virtually impossible.”
Scientists and environmentalists have been pointing to Antarctica’s collapsing western ice sheet as further evidence the planet is warming. NASA glaciologist Eric Rignot recently found that the western ice sheet collapse is “unstoppable” and could dramatically raise sea levels.
Great point, poleonut. Florida may disappear under water but we shouldn't fret a bit because it was due to volcanoes.
But, then, what do we do when the air we are breathing is so polluted it no longer sustains our life or that of any other creatures, long after, of course, all the canaries are gone.
Sentiment: Strong Buy
Your article is incomplete, because it comes from a partisan source. You should try the Christian Science Monitor,which is at least a real news source... it has some additional information, including the below, and, by the way, it's not the primary cause of the melt, just another factor, and there is no indication that global warming doesn't cause more volcanic and seismic activity:
"West Antarctica is also hemorrhaging ice due to climate change, and recent studies have suggested there is no way to reverse the retreat of West Antarctic glaciers. However, the timing of this retreat is still in question, Schroeder said — it could take hundreds of years, or thousands. It's important to understand which, given that meltwater from the West Antarctic Ice Sheet contributes directly to sea level rise.
Scientists use computer models to try to predict the future of the ice sheet, but their lack of understanding of subglacial geothermal energy has been a glaring gap in these models. Measuring geothermal activity under the ice sheet is so difficult that researchers usually just enter one, uniform estimate for the contributions of geothermal heat to melting, Schroeder said."
There is very little indication, in any academic research that Global Climate Change is a catastrophe. Your denial just shows how stupid you are.
Climate change/global warming is an effect problem, not a cause problem.
As long you debate causation, you'll be missing the effects that are approaching.
And, denying the effects, will, entertainingly so, not deter the effects.
Wow! I guess that means that all the other receding glaciers from Alaska to the Himalayas must be melting for the same reason making global warming due to greenhouse gas build-up in the atmosphere a left-wing, liberal pinko conspiracy with no scientific basis. Is that what you are implying?