Reply to: “Ice cap thaw may awaken Icelandic volcanoes”

Reply to: “Ice cap thaw may awaken Icelandic volcanoes” Steven Goddard tugs on his alleged “volcano researcher and igneous petrologist” hat to declare that melting Icelandic ice caps will actually make the volcanoes less dangerous. Of course it’s always easier to nit-pick over a magazine article than it is to do the same to the scientific paper it is based on.

Steven discusses the melting point of basaltic minerals (failing to recognize that Icelandic magma also contains the more explosive rhyolitic minerals) and estimates that losing 500m of ice would only lower the magma melting point by about 0.5°C. Then he wanders off into an irrelevant discussion of ash and steam. With less ice/water around there would less volcanic plume and more bubbling, so Global Warming would be good! Like most denialist arguments, this is both inconsequential and irrelevant.

As it turns out, in Iceland the magma is rising at roughly 5 cm/yr and the glacial mass loss equates to removing  5 cm/yr of rock. Thus the effective rate of magma ascent has doubled due to de-glaciation. Doesn’t seem inconsequential to me…

Nice try, Steven. But I’m glad to see you didn’t miss the chance to make a snide allusion to Al Gore’s recent misstatement about the temperature of the earth’s core. Snap!