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March 30, 2008

Global warming causes Antarctic volcanic activity

Fear the long reach of global warming -- it has reached back 25 million years and triggered these monstrous events unfolding today. Rove needs to keep better track of the keys for the time machine. You know how devious and dangerous these adolescent miscreants like AGW can be when handed the keys to a kickass time machine and allowed to take it out for a spin.

The West Antarctic rift is a region of volcanic activity and crustal stretching that is roughly the size of the western United States (from Salt Lake City to the Pacific Ocean). About 98 percent of it is buried beneath glacial ice, up to 2.5 miles thick, and bedrock beneath the ice is 2000--3000 feet below sea level over large areas. All of this makes it a difficult region to study.

It is interesting nevertheless, because volcanic eruptions beneath the ice could destabilize the ice sheet, leading to as much as 25 feet of sea-level rise. How likely is it that this could happen is a question scientists have debated for over a decade...

...this study also shows that the land in West Antarctica has been rising beneath the ice sheet in some areas and subsiding beneath it in others, over roughly the past 25 million years.

Some areas have subsided to as much as 8500 feet below sea level.

This tectonic restlessness...and its affect on the history of the West Antarctic ice sheet has not yet been evaluated...


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posted by Purp at 07:49 AM

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