When the ice melts, the Earth spews fire

 
December 24, 2012GEOLOGY - It has long been known that volcanic activity can cause short-term variations in climate. Now, researchers at the GEOMAR Helmholtz Centre for Ocean Research Kiel (Germany), together with colleagues from Harvard University (Cambridge, Massachusetts, USA) have found evidence that the reverse process also occurs: Climate affects volcanic activity. Their study is now online in the international journal Geology. In 1991, it was a disaster for the villages nearby the erupting Philippine volcano Pinatubo. But the effects were felt even as far away as Europe. The volcano threw up many tons of ash and other particles into the atmosphere causing less sunlight than usual to reach the Earth’s surface. For the first few years after the eruption, global temperatures dropped by half a degree. In general, volcanic eruptions can have a strong short-term impact on climate. Conversely, the idea that climate may also affect volcanic eruptions on a global scale and over long periods of time is completely new. Researchers at GEOMAR Helmholtz Centre for Ocean Research Kiel (Germany) and Harvard University in Massachusetts (USA) have now found strong evidence for this relationship from major volcanic eruptions around the Pacific Ocean over the past 1 million years. They have presented their results in the latest issue of the international journal Geology. The basic evidence for the discovery came from the work of the Collaborative Research Centre “Fluids and Volatiles in Subduction Zones (SFB 574). For more than ten years the project has been extensively exploring volcanoes of Central America. “Among others pieces of evidence, we have observations of ash layers in the seabed and have reconstructed the history of volcanic eruptions for the past 460,000 years,” says GEOMAR volcanologist Dr. Steffen Kutterolf, who has been with SFB 574 since its founding. Particular patterns started to appear. “There were periods when we found significantly more large eruptions than in others” says Kutterolf, the lead author of the Geology article. After comparing these patterns with the climate history, there was an amazing match. The periods of high volcanic activity followed fast, global temperature increases and associated rapid ice melting. To expand the scope of the discoveries, Dr. Kutterolf and his colleagues studied other cores from the entire Pacific region. These cores had been collected as part of the International Integrated Ocean Drilling Program (IODP) and its predecessor programs. They record more than a million years of the Earth’s history. “In fact, we found the same pattern from these cores as in Central America” says geophysicist Dr. Marion Jegen from GEOMAR, who also participated in the recent study. Together with colleagues at Harvard University, the geologists and geophysicists searched for a possible explanation. They found it with the help of geological computer models. “In times of global warming, the glaciers are melting on the continents relatively quickly. At the same time the sea level rises. The weight on the continents decreases, while the weight on the oceanic tectonic plates increases. Thus, the stress changes within in the earth to open more routes for ascending magma” says Dr. Jegen. The rate of global cooling at the end of the warm phases is much slower, so there are less dramatic stress changes during these times. “If you follow the natural climate cycles, we are currently at the end of a really warm phase. Therefore, things are volcanically quieter now. The impact from man-made warming is still unclear based on our current understanding” says Dr. Kutterolf. The next step is to investigate shorter-term historical variations to better understand implications for the present day. –Space Daily
Book quotation: “As oceans heat, glaciers melt and increases volumetric ocean mass. The expansion of the oceans, seen in rising sea levels, exacerbates oceanic pressure against the sea floor. This effect increases tidal bulge, as the moon rotates around the Earth.” -The Extinction Protocol, page 181
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11 Responses to When the ice melts, the Earth spews fire

  1. LA says:

    The article said “we are at the end of a warming period so volcanically things are quieter now.”
    Do you agree we are at the end of a warming cycle? Seems like things are still warming — at the poles particularly… and that we are getting more volcanoes and earthquakes, not less… What are your thoughts?

    • C

      We are definitely still warming and this trend will continue until catastrophism realigns the planet’s thermal cycle and throws the planet into a new state of order/disorder. As the temperature spectrum of the planet continues to rise, the planet’s various systems regulated, to a large degree, by gradient differentials will be thrown into greater chaos (climate, volcanism, seismicity, ocean current circulation, magnetic field deterioration). This has been the distinctive pattern with previous extinctive periods and so far, we are seeing some of the same characteristics of what happens on terrestrial planets when everything goes amok.

      Alvin

  2. Ernestisms says:

    Piggybacking your article, please see the following link regarding Antarctica.
    http://in.reuters.com/article/2012/12/23/climate-antarctica-idINDEE8BM05D20121223

  3. Gav says:

    Sorry but its hard to believe a word that comes out of these institutions. it appears at every turn they are trying to convince man of global warming when the facts do not support this. The obvious is that volcanic eruptions especially at the level we are seeing across the globe now will have a dramatic affect on the earths atmosphere, and we should see a drop in UV radiation and sun light both of which will cause a drop in atmospheric temperature, and not the other way around.
    Their agenda one can only assume is to convince people that along with the BS global warming THEORY, it is their intention to scare monger people into believing that more money is needed to combat the looming catastrophe, hence more (carbon) taxes etc, increased fuel charges to counter this phenomenon is required urgently.
    What we need is some actual truths but, the unfortunate thing is we will not see it from most of these institutions as they are working for the scum we call the UN, where most of the washed up politicians of this world end up.

  4. Texas Listening Post, Tony says:

    Alvin,

    This is amazing for more than one reason. In the 1960′s science was taught more or less as cut and dried, this is the way things are. Science had a lot of separate systems acting fairly autonomously. Now the interactions are found to be many and often right in front of us. I think of Mister Holmes saying “Watson you see but do not perceive”.

    A blest Christmass for you.

    Tony

    • Exactly, which is what I’ve been saying for some time now. The planet must be studied quantitatively and the present model used with traditional geology is no longer applicable. Quantum science is applied to the cosmos, but not to earth.

      Have a joyous holiday season,
      Alvin

  5. niebo says:

    “…Therefore, things are volcanically quieter now….” ?? Compared to what? If I count correctly (using all fingers and toes), we are six eruptions away from tying the all-time record for eruptions in one year, a record which was set (help me out here, Alvin) in 2010. According to the massive scale of geologic time, 2010 was also at the end of this same warming cycle, so . . . I confoozed.

    On the other hand, this process is REALLY interesting. The earth gets hot, ice melts, waters increase, the force of its weight increases and squishes the earth until molten rock bursts from wherever it can to relieve the excess pressure and spews ash (and rocks and debris) into the atmosphere. . .ash with a high-concentration of silicates and carbons which refelct light from the atmosphere and contrtibute to the process of cooling. So the system, in a way, is a massive radiator, just like that in a car. When the engine overheats and pressure builds beyond tolerable limits, the cap pops to vent the steam, a hose splits, or a head-gasket blows. All are the consequence of the same process, temperature maintenance run amok, and are but examples of differing “paths of least-resistance”. One big difference, of course, is that, while sometimes responsible for second- and third-degree burns to the skin of those who experience the problem, a busted radiator has never been observed and/or documented to level a mountain or to bury entire cities in ash.

    • The article blames climate change on anthropogenic activity, which I strongly disagree with. Things are not ‘volcanically quieter‘ now because we’ve had a very large number of volcanoes erupting this year. Both 2010 and 2012 suggest long-term change has occurred with the planet’s internal temperature cycle. However, remember it took them 3 years to reach a concensus on research I wrote about 3 years ago.

  6. Irene C says:

    Personally, I’d much rather agree and listen too Alvin and many of the commenters on here than listen to the “experts”. Sometimes I feel that they will say whatever they are told to say. They see the trees without seeing the forest. Just saying…

  7. jonnybard says:

    ( More Possible Dangers From Global Warming)
    Global warming is helping to melt earth’s ice-caps which is causing the sea levels to rise.
    This is moving mass weight which is creating different pressures on different areas of the
    tectonic plates. The different pressures would have an effect on the tectonic plates and move
    them. The pacific ocean is vast, if the sea level raised by a foot, could you imagine how much
    extra weight would be pushing down on the tectonic plates in that area with how heavy water is.
    Its probable the reason the ring of fire surrounds the pacific ocean because the movement of
    the tectonic plates is the cause of earthquakes and volcano’s and that extra weight has to move
    the tectonic plates.
    This is not the only possible danger from global warming.
    Scientists know the earths axis tilts which is the cause of the ice-age, but the cause of the tilt is
    unknown. The sun and moon effects earth by pulling earths oceans so there is a powerful gravitational pull on earth. The pole’s ice-caps would be like weights on a set of scales and if one of these weights were to disappear, the other would become heavier to the aliened gravitational pull of the sun and moon. North pole ice-cap is in the ocean, there is salt in the ocean which raises the temperature, this would help to melt the ice a lot quicker than the south pole ice-cap. The south pole ice-cap is on land and the salt in the ocean wouldn’t have any effect on the ice. This would mean the north pole ice would melt and disappear a lot sooner than the south pole ice, which would mean the south pole would become heavier to the aliened sun and moon gravitational pull. The south pole would be pulled towards the sun and moon while at the same time the north would tilt away. This would cause the next ice-age. The build up of ice at the north pole and the melting of the ice at the south pole with it being closer to the sun now, would be extremely fast, this is mass weight moving about in a short period of time. This would cause bigger earthquakes and volcano’s and would be more frequent. I have put a lot of thought into this theory and everything could react in the way I have said. I believe the earth’s oceans help to keep the earth balance.
    By0 Jonathan Michael Bardsley

    • Yes Jonathan the Earth is exactly that, a self regulating body or system, an equilibrium of sorts. All of the Earth’s geological activities are a bid by the Earth to stay stable. To assume we as a species have any control over such activities in my opinion is preposterous. The Earth was once a blazing orb of fire until the chill of space cooled its outer crust and the expansion of the universe slowed down and itself became stable. “The bigger picture” my friend is one of enormous magnitude and alas we shall never be able to affect the Universe’s amazing self-regulating, self-propelling system to any degree necessary to prolong the inevitable. We are passengers on a vessel doomed to violently self-destruct in a totally unfathomable process of change……get used to it

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