"This Is Crazy" - Antarctic Supervolcano Is Melting The Ice-Caps From Within

Tyler Durden's picture

As we’ve pointed out, the supervolcano phenomenon is hardly unique to Yellowstone National Park, where a long dormant volcano with the potential to cause a devastating eruption has been rumbling since mid-summer, making some scientists uneasy.

Surprisingly active supervolcanos have been documented in Italy, North Korea and, now, Antarctica after scientists at NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory (JPL) have found new evidence to support a theory that the breakup of Antarctic ice may be caused in part by a massive geothermal heat source, with output close to the scale of Yellowstone National Park.

Of course, if accurate, this theory would help rebut the notion that man-made climate change is in part responsible for the melting ice, Russia Today reports.

A geothermal heat source called a mantle plume, a hot stream of subterranean molten rock that rises through the Earth's crust, may explain the breathing effect visible on Antarctica's Marie Byrd Land and elsewhere along the massive ice sheet.

While the mantle plume is not a new discovery, the recent research indicates it may explain why the ice sheet collapsed in a previous era of rapid climate change 11,000 years ago, and why the sheet is breaking up so quickly now.

"I thought it was crazy. I didn't see how we could have that amount of heat and still have ice on top of it," said Hélène Seroussi of NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory in Pasadena, California.

Seroussi and Erik Ivins of JPL used the Ice Sheet System Model (ISSM), a mathematical depiction of the physics of ice sheets developed by scientists at JPL and the University of California, Irvine. Seroussi then tweaked the ISSM to hunt for natural heat sources as well as meltwater deposits.

This warm water lubricates the ice sheet from below, allowing glaciers to slide off into the sea. Studying meltwater in western Antarctica may allow scientists to estimate how much ice will be lost in future.

During their initial work, Seroussi and Ivins created simulations using higher heat flows than 150 milliwatts per square meter, which did not align with their space-based readings, except for one area: The Ross Sea.



Their calculations showed that, in certain sections of the sea, a heat flow of at least 150-180 milliwatts was required to create sufficient meltwater flows that matched with observations. They now believe the mantle plume is responsible for these higher-than-average readings.

The Marie Byrd Land mantle plume formed 50 to 110 million years ago, predating the Western Antarctic ice sheet. The mantle plume theory was initially proposed 30 years ago, but it’s not the only theory. Another posits that the sheer weight of the ice sheets causes melting deep below the surface.

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PodUK's picture

Stop.  Obama, Gore, and Clinton say that this is "settled science"; it's caused by Americans and their SUVs.

buzzsaw99's picture

i make it a rule not to argue with agw retards.  you might as well argue theology with the pope.

shovelhead's picture

You might be surpised...

This one is liable to spout any crazy ass bullshit on a given day.

lakecity55's picture

I thought it was India and their two-stroke engines.


Gophamet's picture

Send Al Gore to investigate.

Able Ape's picture

Al Gore can look out his window and see Antarctica...

lakecity55's picture

Yes, drop him down a tunnel deep into the ice, then cut the rope.


Last of the Middle Class's picture

Al Gore will just change a few words of his dogma, make it man made, and "HEAD OUT ON THE ROAD AGAIN"!!!!!

NickPeeMe's picture

Looks like another bullshit story from America's leading science authority ZeroBrain.

Falconsixone's picture

Be nice Nick or your going to have to go stand in the corner of the volcano,

Swamp Yankee's picture

“Antarctic Supervolcano” next on Syfy right after the world premiere of “Sharknado VII: Revenge of the ‘Hoff!”

buzzsaw99's picture

if some of that meltwater goes deep it could be a problem.  imo yellowstone would be a much greater threat if it had a mile of ice sitting on top of it.

goldenbuddha454's picture

Surely MSM will bury this article.  Only humans can cause global warming.  Never changes in sun activity, earth changing its angle on the axis or naturally occurring volcanos.  Silly peasants, global warming and sea rise is only to be understood by elites lobbying for more money in Washington.

BadSpybot's picture

I'm sure any and all of these problems can be easily fixed with a fat carbon tax.  

Falconsixone's picture

Did i do that?   ...... Steve Urkel

Etteguj Guj's picture

Clearly Godzilla.

Ron_Mexico's picture

didn't we also put "The Blob" down there back in the 50's?

Honest Sam's picture

Just aksin' but how old are you?

Rick Cerone's picture

It has to be a supervolvano.

Can't be anything else.

Like nuke testing under the ice.

peterpam's picture

What if...

What if...

Our ice wall is melting

What if

we are being released from our cage?

Honest Sam's picture

O.K, false alarm, All clear.  The cows can resume their farting. 

geologyguy's picture

They can’t even send ice-studying expeditions down to Antarctica without getting stuck in the sea ice.

All these people do is guess (request a grant) guess again, but in a more complex manner (request another grant) and so on.

Debtpool's picture

That was "up" to the Arctic.

The Count's picture

Man made! More taxes on gasoline!

ThrowAwayYourTV's picture

Either way mankind (now womankind Gaykind and Liberalkind) are toast anyway. Put a fork in us and have a big mouth full of stupid steak.

shovelhead's picture

The IQ of my steak is inconsequential.

Ummmm. Fat juicy steak with garlic butter is Zeus' way of saying he loves me.

Debtpool's picture

Only if you're stupid enough to buy overpriced property on the coast.  Those of us in fly-over-country will be just fine, and we'll end up being the waterfront property owners.

crosey's picture

With this, Yellowstone, and a reversal of the magnetic poles we can get this party started.

Debtpool's picture

Just don't let any more Wildlings in!!!

. . . _ _ _ . . .'s picture

To all you 'AGW' fucksticks:


The above is a map of Antarctica from the 30s. Notice how much more ice there is now?

Less ice in the thirties?? And when did the industrial revolution start???

Besides, ice shelves break when the ice is too thick, not when it is melting from the surface.

JibjeResearch's picture

I hope anartica is ruled by Futurists...

William Dorritt's picture

The American Middle Class made the Volcano melt the ice,

lets tax and regulate them into the lower classes......already done.

Mission Accomplished

seataka's picture

2008 page on lermanet.com on volcanic melt noted in MODIS imagery