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Earth

Tremors Mean Antarctic Volcanism May Be Heating Up 132

Posted by timothy
from the slip-slidin'-away dept.
The L.A. Times reports on the discovery of seismic events (nearly 1400 tremors were recorded by researchers in 2010-2011) which seem to indicate the presence of volcanic activity 15 to 20 miles beneath the surface of western Antarctica. According to the article, "The area of activity lies close to the youngest in a chain of volcanoes that formed over several million years, and the characteristics and depth of the seismic events are consistent with those found in volcanic areas of Alaska’a Aleutian Islands, the Pacific Northwest, Hawaii and Mt. Pinatubo in the Philippines, the study concludes." Volcanism isn't a new discovery (Mt. Waesche, a volcanic mountain, is the believed origin of some ash mentioned in the article), but the newly detected seismic activity may be a harbinger for local melting from below of the Antarctic ice sheet, and possibly have long-term effects on the flow patterns of the overlying ice.
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Tremors Mean Antarctic Volcanism May Be Heating Up

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  • by mevets (322601) on Sunday November 17, 2013 @06:24PM (#45450605)

    We are getting rid of that ice as fast as we can.

    • by peragrin (659227)

      Damn straight, how else can we clean the streets of New York, London, Paris, Tokyo plus many more all at the same time?

    • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

      by Anonymous Coward

      Something that gets left out when the media reports about the Antarctic caps melting are the fact that Volcano's are contributing to the melting however scientists have yet to determine how much melting is going on. There was a show on the History Channel some years ago (I believe 15-20 years ago) that showed the volcanic activity helping to melt the caps. So before you just jump to conclusions you should try and hold out, or take it into consideration, instead of knee jerk reactions when scientists and the

      • Re:It will be ok. (Score:4, Insightful)

        by HJED (1304957) on Sunday November 17, 2013 @08:16PM (#45451135)
        Yes, and if we wait long enough with our heads in the sand it'll be too late to do anything anyway...think of the money we could save!
        Seriously, we know CO2 emissions are causing significant climate change, there may be other factors but waiting around until we have perfect knowledge of the entire universe is ignorant at best and criminally negligent at worst.Also I assume that you don't think volcanoes in Antarctica aren't causing melting in the Artic as well, that's a pretty big clue that they're not the main cause.
        • by sumdumass (711423)

          When the fixes do not cost more, I will agree we could save money. But until then, that is all happy talk about savings I will never enjoy. Most of us will not be around when the dire catastrophes happen and time will have allowed those who are to make significant changes to mitigate the damages.

          To be somewhat blunt, I really don't care if part of NYC is under water as it is all over priced land owned by rich fat cats who can more than afford putting up a retaining wall or losing a piece of property. As for

          • Re:It will be ok. (Score:5, Insightful)

            by dbIII (701233) on Sunday November 17, 2013 @09:38PM (#45451495)
            Can we please just discuss volcanoes instead of having a pissing contest over who is the biggest sociopath?
          • by HJED (1304957)
            I think you might need to see a psychiatrist... I for one will be alive when the major changes take effect (within the next ten years) and hear it Aus we are already seeing the effect, thousands of homes lost to fires and it isn't even summer yet. I swear the weather has broken a new record every week this year.
            So what about the third world countries that will be almost completely under water, the ones were people are too poor to leave. I am sure they're rich fat cats living in an unsuitable area to you,
            • I think you might need to see a psychiatrist... I for one will be alive when the major changes take effect (within the next ten years

              If you think the worst from climate change is going to be in the next 10 years, I think you are the one who should consider help. Not that I'm saying we should do nothing. But even if we stopped adding CO2 to the atmosphere tomorrow, it would take more than ten years for the full effect of what has been done to be realized.

              • by cusco (717999)

                And if we stopped adding CO2 to the atmosphere tomorrow it will be a century before we see the last effect, as it will take that long for Earth to process it.

              • by HJED (1304957)

                I think you might need to see a psychiatrist... I for one will be alive when the major changes take effect (within the next ten years

                If you think the worst from climate change is going to be in the next 10 years, I think you are the one who should consider help. Not that I'm saying we should do nothing. But even if we stopped adding CO2 to the atmosphere tomorrow, it would take more than ten years for the full effect of what has been done to be realized.

                I said nothing about the full effect, we may not see that for a century or more. I said major changes, as in changes that will realistically effect peoples lives in a major way. Models indicate that these will increasingly occur during the next ten years (and longer).

          • Re:It will be ok. (Score:5, Insightful)

            by The Grim Reefer (1162755) on Monday November 18, 2013 @12:17AM (#45451991)

            To be somewhat blunt, I really don't care if part of NYC is under water as it is all over priced land owned by rich fat cats who can more than afford putting up a retaining wall or losing a piece of property.

            Have you ever been to NYC? Yes, there are some insanely rich people living there. There are also a hell of a lot more poor. Contrary to what you seem to think, the streets are not paved with gold. In fact, they are closer to the surface of the moon.

        • by dtjohnson (102237)
          "Also I assume that you don't think volcanoes in Antarctica aren't causing melting in the Artic as well, that's a pretty big clue that they're not the main cause.

          Typical global warming 'reasoning.'
          • by HJED (1304957)

            "Also I assume that you don't think volcanoes in Antarctica aren't causing melting in the Artic as well, that's a pretty big clue that they're not the main cause. Typical global warming 'reasoning.'

            Typical baseless and unsupported denial.

      • by mevets (322601)

        When it is fully understood, it will be on the History channel. That is the nature of difficult problems. As it stands, the IR absorption by CO2 seems pretty well understood. The amount we have released is very well understood. Shy of one of the other variables changing dramatically, the course is pretty well set.
        Other variables will change. There may be more volcanoes, throwing more co2 into the atmosphere. But there is nothing we can do to stop that, so all we have done then is to worsen the p

        • As it stands, the IR absorption by CO2 seems pretty well understood. The amount we have released is very well understood. Shy of one of the other variables changing dramatically, the course is pretty well set.

          To Judgment Day, for we're on the Highway to Hell!

          The sun might start providing less energy, or the soot from more volcanoes reflect more of that energy away from the earth. In that case, we may have thwarted a disaster with our CO2 pollution.

          Aaaannnnndddd you've got yourself an exit strategy in case a

        • by dtjohnson (102237)
          "As it stands, the IR absorption by CO2 seems pretty well understood."

          If, by this, you are referring to the blocking of IR heat radiation into space by CO2 molecules, then no, it (the atmospheric heat transfer process) is not well understood, or even understood. CO2 absorbs only a very narrow and specific wavelength. THAT is understood. Moreover, a CO2 molecule that has absorbed a photon, immediately either re-radiates the heat or loses it via a collision with one of its neighboring molecules which, in
      • Man made carbon? I don't think there is much man made carbon. It would be bladdy expensive to make carbon and much easier to just dig up some coal.
  • by Max Threshold (540114) on Sunday November 17, 2013 @06:27PM (#45450621)
    Pretty soon, dinosaurs will be pouring out of the hollow earth.
  • Meh (Score:2, Funny)

    by Anonymous Coward

    Probably just the StarGate.

  • by Anonymous Coward

    and just how do we get to "western Antactica"???

    • I got there on the Clipper Adventurer. Nice little boat. Looked like a toy next to luxury cruise ships when we went back to Ushuaia.

      Google map it. That would have taken less time than your post.
    • by Deadstick (535032)

      You can go west from every point in Antarctica but one.

    • by HJED (1304957)
      Through the Stargate obviously
  • Where's the link? (Score:5, Informative)

    by MatthiasF (1853064) on Sunday November 17, 2013 @06:38PM (#45450671)
    Summary mentions an article from the LA Times.

    Here's the link:

    http://www.latimes.com/science/sciencenow/la-sci-sn-volcano-ice-antarctica-20131115,0,6645564.story [latimes.com]
    • by sjwt (161428)

      About time we all just gave up on posting links, clearly no one reads them, and the Editors don't care.

      If Slashdot was to sink any lower, they could help by directly measuring the volcanism 24k down below

      28 comments in, and this is the only one that seems to have noticed, you should be awared the lowest abandoned ID number.

      • Nooo!

        Don't do that. I tell all the hot ladies I meet on Slashdot that my id is my bank account balance.

        If you lower my id, I'll get laid n-1 times than I have using that line.
  • Obviously this volcano activity is caused by global warming and is the fault of old white men in the first world nations. The penguins demand reparations now!

    • by pubwvj (1045960)

      Ooo... I flipped out some politically correct neo-ecovist liberal who can't take a reality punch line so they call anything they don't like a Troll. Keep on denying - it won't do you any good in the real world.

  • by Type44Q (1233630) on Sunday November 17, 2013 @09:14PM (#45451383)

    beneath the surface of western Antarctica

    They're lying: every part of Antarctica lies to the north.

    :p

    • Re:They're lying... (Score:5, Informative)

      by necro81 (917438) on Monday November 18, 2013 @09:28AM (#45453541) Journal
      Pedantically you may be correct. Cartographically, however, Antarctica is, in fact, divided into East and West. The feature that divides them is the Transantarctic mountains. See this map [wikimedia.org]. West Antarctica [wikipedia.org] contains the Antarctic Peninsula (which stick out towards South America) and most of the floating ice sheets. East Antarctica [wikipedia.org] contains the broad, high plateau containing most of the land ice.

      More generally, the dividing line could be said to be the prime meridian. Places whose coordinates are given using west longitude are generally part of West Antarctica. Most maps of Antarctica are oriented with the prime meridian pointing up towards England. Things on the left side of the map are West Antarctica, the right side is East. Again, this is just a general convention - a way to get yourself oriented. (Even though McMurdo Station (77.8 S 166.6 E) would be in East Antarctica by this definition, it is traditionally part of West Antarctica because it lies on that side of the Transantarctic mountains.)

      This is a cartographer's convention - giving names to places - and it has a particular European bias. But everyone that works in Antarctica uses the same naming convention, so there you go.
      • by Type44Q (1233630) on Monday November 18, 2013 @09:33AM (#45453579)

        Pedantically you may be correct.

        In my defense, I was trying to be funny (I hardly expected to be modded insightful though I suppose I do have my moments here and there). :)

        • by Rinikusu (28164)

          I remember a test I had in Geography from Middle School:
          "If you are standing on the North Pole and turn left, what direction are you facing? If you turn left again, what direction are you facing now?" I, of course, assumed this was a "trick" question, so I answered "South". I was marked incorrect. I argued my case, the teacher/coach couldn't follow the argument, and I made less of an A than I usually got, because the Coach said "well, no one else had problems with the question. You're so smart you ain

  • “It’s not something that’s going to cause major issues. You’d have to have a huge, huge eruption.”

    Which leads me to say:

    There was supposed to be an earth-shattering KABOOM!

    • by isorox (205688)

      “It’s not something that’s going to cause major issues. You’d have to have a huge, huge eruption.”

      Which leads me to say:

      There was supposed to be an earth-shattering KABOOM!

      It leads me to say

      "That's what your mom said"

  • I blame all this on fracking.
  • Antarctic mountains (Score:4, Interesting)

    by dargaud (518470) <slashdot2@gdargaud . n et> on Monday November 18, 2013 @03:59AM (#45452603) Homepage
    On normal maps of Antarctica it's hard to see where the (rock) mountains are. I made a script for that 15 years ago [gdargaud.net], and it's still there.
    • by Anonymous Coward

      Your SSL cert expired two years ago, BTW.

  • According to the Rolling Stone, they're playing near the heliport of the continent's Carlini Argentine Base on December 8 2013. I gotta think their music is loud enough to split ice-sheets and shake the earth where it generally should remain unshaken for the sake of avoiding the trigger of a natural disaster.
  • Reminds me of the BOC live intro to Godzilla.
  • by ZipK (1051658) on Monday November 18, 2013 @02:53PM (#45456483)

    Volcanism May Be Heating Up

    If the Vulcans are heating up, it must be their every-seven-years pon farr [wikipedia.org].

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