by Anthony Watts, September 20, 2018 in WUWT
The Katla volcano, hidden beneath the ice cap of Mýrdalsjökull glacier in Iceland, has historically erupted violently once every 40-80 years. In-as-much as it’s last such eruption took place one hundred years ago, in 1918, Katla’s next eruption is long overdue.
An eruption in Katla would dwarf the 2010 Eyjafjallajökull eruption, scientists have warned.
A new study by Icelandic and British geologists showed that Katla is emitting enormous quantities of CO2 – at least 20 kilotons of CO2 every day. Only two volcanoes worldwide are known to emit more CO2, Evgenia Ilyinskaya a volcanologist with the University of Leeds told the Icelandic National Broadcasting Service RÚV.
N ICE CAULDRON IN MÝRDALSJÖKULL Geothermal activity in the volcano’s caldera melts the glacier, creating cauldrons in the ice. Photo/Fréttablaðið
by Anthony Watts, August 23, 2018 in WUWT
Napoleon’s defeat at Waterloo caused in part by Indonesian volcanic eruption
Electrically charged volcanic ash short-circuited Earth’s atmosphere in 1815, causing global poor weather and Napoleon’s defeat, says new research.
Historians know that rainy and muddy conditions helped the Allied army defeat the French Emperor Napoleon Bonaparte at the Battle of Waterloo. The June 1815 event changed the course of European history.
Two months prior, a volcano named Mount Tambora erupted on the Indonesian island of Sumbawa, killing 100,000 people and plunging the Earth into a ‘year without a summer’ in 1816.
Now, Dr Matthew Genge from Imperial College London has discovered that electrified volcanic ash from eruptions can ‘short-circuit’ the electrical current of the ionosphere – the upper level of the atmosphere that is responsible for cloud formation.
The findings, published today in Geology, could confirm the suggested link between the eruption and Napoleon’s defeat.
by M. Van Wyk De Vries et al., August 16, 2018 in Geol.Soc.London
Abstract: The West Antarctic Ice Sheet overlies the West Antarctic Rift System about which, due to the comprehensive ice cover, we have only limited and sporadic knowledge of volcanic activity and its extent. Improving our understanding of subglacial volcanic activity across the province is important both for helping to constrain how volcanism and rifting may have influenced ice-sheet growth and decay over previous glacial cycles, and in light of concerns over whether enhanced geo- thermal heat fluxes and subglacial melting may contribute to instability of the West Antarctic Ice Sheet. Here, we use ice-sheet bed-elevation data to locate individual conical edifices protruding upwards into the ice across West Antarctica, and we propose that these edifices represent subglacial volcanoes. We used aeromagnetic, aerogravity, satellite imagery and databases of confirmed volca- noes to support this interpretation. The overall result presented here constitutes a first inventory of West Antarctica’s subglacial volcanism. We identified 138 volcanoes, 91 of which have not previously been identified, and which are widely distributed throughout the deep basins of West Antartica, but are especially concentrated and orientated along the >3000 km central axis of the West Antarctic Rift System.
by James E. Kamis, August 7, 2018 in ClimateChangeDisatch
In what amounts to dissension from National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) climate change policy, a series of just-released studies by working-level scientists prove that geological and not atmospheric forces are responsible for melting of Earth’s polar ice sheets.
by M. Bastach, June 28, 2018 in ClimateChangeDispatch
A group of scientists at the University of Rhode Island stumbled on something unexpected when analyzing data brought back from a 2014 expedition to western Antarctica.
Scientists found an abundance of the noble gas Helium-3, indicating there is a volcanic heat source beneath the Pine Island glacier — the fastest melting glacier in the South Pole. The findings were published in a study in the journal Nature Communications.
“When you find helium-3, it’s like a fingerprint for volcanism. We found that it is relatively abundant in the seawater at the Pine Island shelf,” chemical oceanographer Brice Loose, the study’s lead author, said in a statement.
See also here (National Science Foundation) and here
by Willis Eschenbach, June 25, 2018 in WUWT
As readers of my posts know, I’ve held for many years that there are a variety of emergent phenomena that regulate the earth’s temperature. See my posts The Thermostat Hypothesisand Emergent Climate Phenomena for an overview of my hypothesis.
One of the predictions derivable from my hypothesis is that the earth should be relatively insensitive to small changes in forcing. According to my hypothesis, if the total energy entering the system changes in such a manner that the global temperatures start to drop, inter alia the system responds through changes in the time and strength of the daily emergence of the tropical cumulus field and the associated thunderstorms. This allows more sunlight to enter the system and decreases the thunderstorm-caused surface heat losses, balancing out the energy lost elsewhere and maintaining the temperature.
by Willis Essenbach, May 29, 2018 in WUWT
Inspired by Richard Keen’s interesting WUWT post on using eclipses to determine the clarity of the atmosphere, I went to the website of the Hawaiian Mauna Loa Observatory. They have some very fascinating datasets. One of them is a measurement of direct solar radiation, minute by minute, since about 1980.
I thought that I could use that dataset to determine the clarity of the atmosphere by looking at the maximum downwelling solar energy on a month by month basis. I’ve described my method of extracting the maximum solar energy from the minute by minute data in the appendix for those interested.
by Eric Worrall, May 12, 2018 in WUWT
Puna Geothermal Venture has removed 60,000 gallons of flammable Pentane from a geothermal plant in the path of the Hawaii volcanic eruption. But concerns remain that if the geothermal wells break, they could flood the neighbourhood with toxic volcanic gasses.
Kilauea eastern rift zone fissure eruption May 2018. By United States Geological Survey [Public domain], via Wikimedia Commons
by J.E. Kamis, May 7, 2018 in ClimateChangeDispatch
The inclusion of the here-termed West Antarctic Volcano and Fault Belt into the Pacific Ring of Fire will raise scientific awareness concerning the idea, as per the Plate Climatology Theory, that geologically induced heat flow is the root cause of many anomalous changes in Antarctica’s ecosystems, oceans, climate, and ice masses.
by Geological Society of America, May 3, 2018 in ScienceDaily
Over the last 5000 years, Mount Taranaki volcano, located in the westernmost part of New Zealand’s North Island, produced at least 16 Plinian-scale explosive eruptions, the latest at AD 1655. These eruptions had magnitudes of 4 to 5, eruptive styles, and contrasting basaltic to andesitic chemical compositions comparable to the eruptions of Etna, 122 BC; Vesuvius, AD79; Tarawera, 1886; Pelée, 1902; Colima, 1910; Mount Saint Helens, 1980; Merapi, 2010; and Calbuco, 2015.
by S. Writers, April 16, 2018 in TerraDaily
A recent study published in an esteemed academic journal indicates that volcanic eruptions in the mid 500s resulted in an unusually gloomy and cold period. A joint research project of the Chronology Laboratory of the Finnish Museum of Natural History and Natural Resources Institute Finland (Luke) suggests that the years 536 and 541-544 CE were very difficult for many people.
Also here in Nature, University of Helsinki
by U. of California – Santa Barbara, March 29, 2018 in SciencedDaily
To borrow from a philosophical thought experiment: If a volcano erupts in a remote part of the world and no one hears it, does it still make a sound?
Indeed, it does. And not only does the sound occur, but it also can tell scientists about the timing and duration of the eruption itself (…)
by F. Guldstrand et al., 2018 in Front.Earth.Sci.
• We quantitatively analyse pre-eruptive intrusion-induced surface deformation from 33 scaled laboratory experiments resulting in eruptions.
• A robust proxy extracted from surface deformation geometry enables systematic predictions of the locations of a subsurface intrusion and imminent eruption.
• Forecasting an eruption location is possible without geodetic modeling but requires volcano monitoring at high spatiotemporal resolution.
by University of Cap Town, March 12, 2018 in ScienceDaily
Early modern humans living in South Africa around 74,000 years ago prospered through the cataclysmic eruption of the Toba supervolcano in Sumatra. The Toba eruption was one of the Earth’s most explosive volcanic events. The environmental effects of this event have been heavily debated, with some researchers having previously proposed that the eruption led to a worldwide volcanic winter that devastated contemporaneous human populations.
An eruption a hundred times smaller than Mount Toba — that of Mount Tambora, also in Indonesia, in 1815 — is thought to have been responsible for a year without summer in 1816. The impact on the human population was dire — crop failures in Eurasia and North America, famine and mass migrations. The effect of Mount Toba, a super-volcano that dwarfs even the massive Yellowstone eruptions of the deeper past, would have had a much larger, and longer-felt, impact on people around the globe (…)