We’ve heard different news reports that the icecaps are melting, and polar bears, walruses, seals, and penguins are soon going to be homeless unless we, the evil human race, cease and desist our way of life (i.e, breathing). Yes, we are to blame, so say the eco-nuts, but are we? Excerpts from Mirror.co.uk and the International Herald Tribune:
Another factor might be contributing to the thinning of some of the Antarctica’s glaciers: volcanoes.
Scientists have discovered a huge active volcano under Antarctica.
The volcano in the West Antarctic ice sheet last erupted 2,000 years ago but may still be helping to melt the ice sheet and speed up sea level rises.
Radar used by the British Antarctic Survey has revealed a layer of ash produced by the volcano, which extends across an area bigger than Wales.
In an article published Sunday on the Web site of the journal Nature Geoscience, Hugh Corr and David Vaughan of the British Antarctic Survey report the identification of a layer of volcanic ash and glass shards frozen within an ice sheet in western Antarctica.
Hugh Corr, author of a report on the volcano, said its previous eruption was the biggest in Antarctica for 10,000 years.
He said: “It blew a substantial hole in the ice sheet and generated a plume of ash and gas that rose 10km into the air.”
“This is the first time we have seen a volcano beneath the ice sheet punch a hole through the ice sheet” in Antarctica, Vaughan said.
Volcanic heat could still be melting ice to water and contributing to thinning and speeding up of the Pine Island glacier, which passes nearby, but Vaughan said he doubted that it could be affecting other glaciers in western Antarctica, which have also thinned in recent years. Most glaciologists, including Vaughan, say that warmer ocean water is the primary cause of thinning.