Puffington Host : CO2 Produces Volcanoes

We had it backwards.


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62 Responses to Puffington Host : CO2 Produces Volcanoes

  1. PhilJourdan says:

    His initial mistake was in asking a “Professor of Environmental Studies”. They have as much in common with real science as the pope does.

  2. ChrisD says:

    Here’s how a real blogger would have handled this.

    First, he would have linked to the original post from the Institute of Physics rather than to an HP blog post that is about the IOP post:


    Then he would rebut statements such as these from the IOP post:

    [G]eologists are warning that volcanic hazards such as [Eyjafjallajökull] could become more commonplace due to climate change. They believe there is evidence that melting ice is placing an increasing strain on volcanic regions across the globe, which could trigger a range of different geological hazards. These findings appear in a special issue of Philosophical Transactions of the Royal Society A.


    The researchers point out that volcanic activity was 10 times more frequent following the last deglaciation period in Iceland 10–12 thousand years ago. Iceland’s icecaps have been thinning continuously since 1890 so the researchers argue that we could be heading towards another period of fierce volcanic eruptions. They note, however, that there is no direct evidence to link the recent activity of the Eyjafjallajökull volcano with ice-melt.

    But it’s so much easier to just ridicule an HP blog post without actually saying why the scientists are wrong. No thought or research required.

    • Chris, stop wasting your time here. Go post on a “real” blog.

      I am an expert in explosive volcanic eruptions, and heave blogged numerous articles on this topic. You are just not keeping up, as usual.

      • ChrisD says:

        As an expert in volcanic eruptions, surely you can post a devastating expert rebuttal to the IOP rather than just ridiculing an HP blog post.

        Searches for “volcano” and “volcanoes” uncover no relevant posts on this blog. If you’ve previously posted rebuttals on this point elsewhere, include links in your post. That’s how blogs work.

    • PhilJourdan says:

      “They believe ”

      So does the pope. Bad science is religion.

    • Yarmy says:

      Can anyone find the actual paper itself? I can’t. I’m interested to see how well the correlation between ice volume and volcanic activity in Iceland stacks up over a longer period.
      A volcano erupting is not really an example of global weirding though, as the HP seems to imply.

      • ChrisD says:

        I don’t think the IOP post is about a single paper, but here’s a relevant one from the scientist they talked to:

        Sigmundsson et al (2010)

        “Climate effects on volcanism: influence on magmatic systems of loading and unloading from ice mass variations, with examples from Iceland”


    • suyts says:

      Oh my, no wonder………This is reminiscent of a conversation I had with an alarmist, convinced that warming caused earthquakes.
      Yeh, I’ve read that. “They believe there is evidence that melting ice is placing an increasing strain on volcanic regions across the globe,….” Like the ice is preventing volcanoes from erupting.

      On your topic, I guess we’re going to have to conclude that Steven runs a different format here. Personally, I enjoy the latitude the format lends. Of course, that’s purely subjective. Chris, I dunno, but it would seem to me if you quit worrying about how Steven runs his blog, and simply contribute to the conversation, you’d get more satisfaction out of your presence here, but that’s just MHO.

      • ChrisD says:

        I’m not “worrying” about it, just pointing out that this post, like so many others, contains no actual information. (And, so far, neither have any of the comments.)

        Simply saying “This is BS” is not an argument.

      • ChrisD says:

        Like the ice is preventing volcanoes from erupting.

        No, that is not it at all. I get the impression that you haven’t read the IOP post either.

      • suyts says:

        From the article……..”Sigmundsson and his team suspect that a sudden removal of pressure, due to melting glaciers, could lead to additional upwelling in the Earth’s mantle.”

        I said, ” Like the ice is preventing volcanoes from erupting.”

        You said, “No, that is not it at all. I get the impression that you haven’t read the IOP post either.”

        Now I’m wondering if you read the article.

      • ChrisD says:

        I read the article. Your sentence sounded like you thought they were claiming that ice was plugging up the volcanoes or something like that.

    • Yarmy says:

      Cool, thanks for the link.

    • Mike Patrick says:


      I am so enthralled with your rock-solid observations on climate science and your witty intelligence, I wish I could read many more of them; however, they are scattered around Steve’s blog everywhere. Why don’t you create your own blog where all your insightful views will be localized, so we, the humble reading public, will not have work so hard to find them? I am sure that many of Steve’s followers will be happy to come to your blog and comment on your brilliant posting. Just think of all the trouble it would save those of us who must trudge through Steve’s posting just to find the flashes of your penetrating intellect.

      Steve, I hope you will be man enough to post Chris’s new blog site, so all of us, who only read your blog to bathe in his brilliance, will know how to find his razor-edged posting on his own super special site. We all realize that this will negatively impact your site, Steve, but so be it. Times change. It is time for Chris to move up to bigger and better things. The world will be a better place.

    • Bruce says:

      If you read the volcano blogs as do I you’ll find they come across as politely sceptical of this theory. As you know there’s been a lot of traffic on Eyjafjallajökull and this has come up quite a few times in discussions. That doesn’t mean the theory is wrong, but the impression I get is that seasonal ice weight may affect short term timing of eruptions but not their actual frequency.

      Anyway I don’t see a problem, since the main effect of volcanic eruptions is to cool the climate – voila, if the theory is right you have a natural thermostat.

  3. Mike Davis says:

    It seems that Chris is right for once. IOP and HUFFPO are in competition with the Onion to see who can provide the most meaning full fantasies. Of course it is easy for a thinking person to see IOP got it backwards. The point is that a so called science writer at HUFFnPUFF has no clue about what they are promoting.
    That reminds me of what Chris usually posts.
    My understanding of BLOG protocol is a THREAD is started by the site moderator / owner / controller / administrator so others can POST their opinions. Therefore contributors to the original thread are the ones posting.

    • ChrisD says:

      My understanding of BLOG protocol is a THREAD is started by the site moderator / owner / controller / administrator so others can POST their opinions.

      Rarely. Normal use is to post your opinion/information and back it up within the post. Then commenters agree or disagree and add their own opinions and information. I can’t remember offhand any other blogs where so many posts contain almost no information.

      • Mike Davis says:

        As this appears to be a site meant for thinking people to expand on complex situations which are easily described by few words and it is over your head by your own admission I can understand why you see no information. The condition is called Mental Myopia!

      • ChrisD says:

        As this appears to be a site meant for thinking people to expand on complex situations

        It seems not, since you’re either unable or unwilling to explain what the scientists got wrong.

        “They got it backwards” is not only a non-explanation, it’s a logical fallacy, since it assumes that mutual causation cannot exist.

    • ChrisD says:

      And, like Steve, you haven’t bothered to even try to rebut any of what the IOP post said. Just saying that something is a fantasy isn’t much of an argument.

      Why is the IOP wrong?

      • Mike Davis says:

        If you can not see the problems with what was on the IOP site and repeated by the HUFFnPUFF site there is nothing I can say on your level of comprehension.
        A four word statement is all that is required and I already made that statement. THEY GOT IT BACKWARDS. I think Steven also said the same thing.
        Think about Chickens and Eggs! Which came first?

      • ChrisD says:

        Another non-response response.

        I don’t think you’ve read either the IOP post or any of the relevant papers. You’re just parroting what Steve said, which was nothing.

      • Chris,

        Did you read my articles on this topic? Or are you just talking out of your nether regions again?

      • Mike Davis says:

        Geothermal activity melts ice which reduces to weight on the volcano and the water melted from the ice produces more extreme explosions. Ice land is not covered by glaciers because of extreme geothermal activity.
        While it is possible that geothermal and weather patterns can be controlled by the same drivers such as Sun and Moons gravitational forces the weather patterns need to be in a condition that outside factors enhance existing patterns and the same is true for geothermal activity. The pressure builds up to a point where a slight change sets off a reaction (TIPPING POINT) a slight nudge from tidal forces does the trick but the tidal forces are not the originating cause although that is what appears to be the cause.
        Just the geothermal activity melting the overlaying ice can produce the tipping point waiting for a tidal surge.
        Like earthquakes there is a constant strain in the fault zones until the straw is introduced that breaks the Camels back.
        We are talking geologic time and geologic events at this point and thirty years of human induced CO2 being a cause is about equal to the Aztecs think human sacrifices are needed to appease the gods of weather.

    • Tony Duncan says:


      this is off topic, but there are so many posts on this blog I couldn’t find the right one! I did a VERY quick google search for YD, and I don’t think it is quite as simple as you or the good Dr. portrayed it.
      Not definitive, and it is of course from an amateur science magazine called Nature, but I thought you could write to them and point out what idiots they are.

  4. maguro says:

    Global warming: Is there anything it can’t do?

  5. MattN says:

    I swear to God if there was a cup of Koolaid in front of these people, they’d slug it down and ask for seconds…

  6. Paul H says:

    I don’t claim to understand geology but the following comment on Physics World seems to be a sensible one :-

    “One kilopascal is supposed to cause detectable amount of additional eruptions? These folks must surely be joking.

    Crusial bodies of magma rest roughly at a 11 kilometer depth which corresponds to pressure of 290 MPa, or 290,000 kPa. See


    How is one kPa supposed to make any difference? It’s like a 5-inch layer of soil. It’s just sad that this kind of crackpottery has made it to Physics World, one of the few magazines that I considered to be focusing on meaningful content rather than fashionable insanities of uneducated yet passionate or corrupt activists.”

    No surprise then that HuffPuff blew a bit of theoretical research out of all proportion.

  7. Paul H says:

    The article mentions an increase in volcanic activity at the end of the last ice age. I would suggest there is a huge difference between the melting of an ice age glacier thousands of feet thick and the tiny things in Iceland at the moment.

  8. Paul H says:


    You need to understand the difference between scientists doing a bit of theoretical research which will no doubt be debated about by fellow scientists for many years and HuffPuff blowing this work out of all proportion to promote their Global Warming agenda.

  9. Philip Finck says:

    A few thoughts on the article.

    Well, I certainly do not have the physics background to review the modeling in this paper. However, another way is to look at some of the `statements of proof’ that support the conclusions. Secondly, it is important to compare the actual detailed conclusions to the abstract. Lets see if this paper is good work, which it may very well be, but simply has climate change stuck onto it in an effort to attract funding for more study.

    First quote.

    “In the case of spherical and oblate-shaped chambers (sill-like) with highly compressible magma, under a retreating surface load that is wide compared with the depth to an underlying magma chamber, the magmatic systems will be driven towards failure at a rate comparable to the pressure release due to surface unloading. This may correspond to a few kilopascals per year, about three orders of magnitude less than the tensile stress of rocks. In general, the effect of present-day ice thinning on the failure of shallow magma chambers should therefore be expected as a small modulation on their natural activity”.

    So, the system may be driven toward failure under a retreating surface load. Sounds bad…….. but 1000 times less than rock tensile stress and expect only a small modulation on natural activity. YAWN

    Second quote.

    “The pressure release caused by ice retreat is therefore highly significant and new magma is generated due to the warmer climate”.

    Hmmmm…… the math says that it may generate new magma due to pressure release ……… but nowhere is it shown that it is highly significant. The highlighted area of the first quote in fact suggests that it IS NOT highly significant. Let us look at the next quote that also speaks to this question.

    Third quote.

    “We estimate that the induced minimum rate of melt generation under the Vatnajökull ice cap is 0.014km−3 yr−1. The effect is an order of magnitude smaller than the inferred pressure decrease of up to 19 kPa yr−1 during the last deglaciation of Iceland (Jull & McKenzie 1996”).

    O.K. So now the pressure decrease is 10 times smaller than that during the last deglaciation. So 1/10th is highly significant?

    Fourth quote.

    “The mode and time scale of transport of the additional magma from approximately 50–100 km depth in the melting regime towards the surface is highly uncertain, and may take longer than decades or centuries”.

    So, the small modulation of natural variability, 1000 times less than tensile strength of rock, that’s 1/10th that formed by last deglaciation, is highly uncertain.
    Wow, and it may take longer than decades or centuries. So how long is longer than decades ….?

    Fifth quote.

    An average melt extraction velocity of more than 50myr−1 (Maclennan et al. 2002) would suggest a transport time of less than 1000 years from a depth of 50 km. Although some of the magma may end up as intrusions in the crust, more frequent or voluminous eruptive activity is expected. Such an anomaly in eruptive activity may be difficult to detect because of the widely episodic nature of volcanism.

    So now all this is a small modulation on volcanic activity (see quote 1), also difficult to detect because of the widely episodic nature of volcanism.

    And this is how the authors suggest that we are going to die due to climate change and increases in volcanism??? Thought volcanoes cooled the planet.

    Oh yes, and the melt water pulse representing 1/3 of the water from the caldera lake…that indicated that, or proved that, the pressure release caused the eruption. Or that hot magma reaching shallower depths increased melting and allowed the water to escape from the caldera lake. Doesn’t the snow and ice always melt off the sides of volcanoes before they erupt?

    Just as likely, the intruding magma started to open fissures that allowed the water to travel to depths where it turned into steam and initiated an eruption.

    (This looked better before the bolded parts of the quotes disappeared when I copied it over from Word.)

    • suyts says:

      First, Word is horrible for using as an editor for blog posts, but I believe Windows Live has a pretty good one, at least for my purposes, I just find it too cumbersome to flop back and forth.

      Secondly, you deprive everybody of all the fun when you deconstruct the study in that manner! Well done.

      I would add, the study article was done from a faulty premise…….

      Present-day reduction in ice load on subglacial volcanoes due to global warming is modifying pressure conditions in magmatic systems.

      Is there no other vehicle for a reduction of ice load? What about local warming? What of underlying volcanic activity? Change in air currents? Next, is it only the ice reduction due to global warming which modifying pressure conditions?

      Given that you’ve ruined all the fun, that’s all I’ve got to add.

      Thanks Phillip. 🙂

    • Jon P says:

      Where is Mr. “Substance” ? Hello Chris D your whining has been answered, where are you? Hello McFly knock knock knock!!!

      • ChrisD says:

        I’m pleased that the commenters have supplied some substance that the blog owner can’t be bothered with, since that was my point. We cannot know, however, whether the blog owner, who says he is an expert on volcanoes, agrees with the content of the amateurs’ comments, since he doesn’t provide his expertise. We are expected to search all over the Internet, like obedient puppies looking for the lost tennis ball.

        But the overall point remains. The post, like so many others, has no substance.

        It continues to be interesting that any comment that doesn’t toe the party line here is spam, off-topic, or, in this case, “whining”.

      • Jon P says:

        Chris D you are the perfect definition of a whiner. You come to Steve’s blog and complain on how he runs HIS blog and proceed to give instruction on how he should run HIS blog. You complained of a lack of substance and counter-point to the IOP report, when that is provided, you return to complaining about how Steve runs his blog.

        Why don’t you try something constructive and go start your own blog instead of “wasting” your time here. You are the worst kind of fool, one that views the mirror with the lights off.

      • PhilJourdan says:

        Jon P says:
        November 15, 2010 at 8:34 pm

        For Chris and Tony. Note Jon P’s use of the term “fool”. It is not perjorative as he backs it up with an intelligent analogy on your behavior. Now you may disagree with him, but you cannot say he is casting aspersions just because he calls an apple an apple.

      • ChrisD says:

        proceed to give instruction on how he should run HIS blog

        No, I didn’t. I simply pointed out the obvious–that the post contains no information–and noted how it could have been better and more useful. That’s hardly “instruction.”

      • Mike Davis says:

        ChrisD is just doing a job as is Tony. When you are paid to write a script based n a predefined plot line you follow the plot line. High pressure sales people can take lessons from these people. I wonder if they used to sell Vacation properties or land speculation packages.

      • ChrisD says:

        It is not perjorative as he backs it up with an intelligent analogy on your behavior.

        You should probably go look up “pejorative” in your dictionary:

        n.: a word or phrase that has negative connotations or that is intended to disparage or belittle : a pejorative word or phrase

        If you don’t think “fool” is a pejorative, well, then, you’re a fool.

  10. Geezer1 says:

    ChrisD. As you seem to know how a real blogger would operate I would suggest that you start your own blog. If you don’t like the way Mr Goddard operates- TOUGH. You need to get over yourself. We don’t need to know What the IOP says. When you see the words “they believe” or “they think” you know that there are no facts involved. It is a trivial grasping at another straw as all the others have deteriorated in the compost pit.

    • ChrisD says:

      We don’t need to know What the IOP says

      Really. The IOP post is the real basis for what Steve ridicules, but we don’t need to know what it says? Interesting.

      When you see the words “they believe” or “they think” you know that there are no facts involved.

      No, what you know is that there is a hypothesis based on facts and observations. It may be right or it may be wrong. Research will continue, and either it will be disproved, or it won’t be. This is called “science.” It works pretty well.

      • Mike Davis says:

        What I read of it reads like a High school science class discussing their homework while the teacher is out of the room.
        It could also be a discussion in a board room of a PR firm deciding how to relate volcano activity to Global Warming to promote more concern.
        ChrisD could be right and it is a group discussing what wording should be used to promote funding for research because AGW is the money leader in the research arena.
        Now if someone could link Male Pattern Baldness to global warming they might find a cure for those losing their hair.

      • mkelly says:

        Are you going to explain the physics of the GHE?

      • Bruce says:

        Chris, you’ve obviously not had much to do with professional societies. They self select the ones who are driven to power and social prestige since the rest of the scientists are too busy doing science to bother with society activities. If IOP, PNAS and RS want to spout off then they can but sorry I think from past experience there is always an agenda there. The scientists come in all varieties but the societies come in only one variety which is all too political. I resigned my equivalent of IOP a long time ago. Waste of time and money. They should stick to what they are good at, which is arranging conferences, and keep mum on everything else.

      • ChrisD says:

        Bruce, all I can do is repeat what I said: I’m not defending the IOP, the HP post, the research, or the hypothesis. My original point was about the fluffiness of this post. And the point of the comment to which you’re replying is that “We don’t need to know what the IOP says” seems, well, pretty silly, and lacking any trace of actual skepticism.

  11. PhilJourdan says:

    ChrisD says:
    November 15, 2010 at 8:56 pm

    Ah, the 3 finger rule! It is not a perjorative if it is true. it is a fact. You just demonstrated that truth and therefore that it is a fact. Only you can do that, no one can make you do it. And you finally did something right.

    • ChrisD says:

      Sorry, but if that’s what you think, you don’t know the meaning of “pejorative.” I already posted the definition. Where does it say anything about “It is not a perjorative [sic] if it is true”?

      • Jon P says:

        You are a fool. Take it however you like. Your nonesense can only be exhibited by someone trained in the art of foolery and you my sir have a Masters.

      • PhilJourdan says:

        Again, what would you call an idiot? The word is not in the language for no reason, and there are idiots. So what do you call them that does not take a whole paragraph to explain?

        When a word is used as a fact, it is not pejorative. However, when used to denigrate someone without any attributing evidence, it is pejorative. In your case, you have provided all the facts needed. Thanks for opening your mouth on that one.

      • Jon P says:

        You are also predictable. I wonder how many others that read Steve’s posts and see a comment from you say to themselves “I know what Chris is going to say” and after they finish reading your comment they nod their head and said “yep, I called it”. So you are a special kind of fool, a predictable one.

        K I’m done snip or not.

  12. Philip Finck says:

    AMATEUR???? That I resent ChrisD. Perhaps you believe that anyone who is a skeptic is an amateur and as such their opinions do not matter or may be dismissed.

    I’ll have you know that I am a geologist with a major in marine geophysics and a minor in calculus. I have over 27 years of experience as a government geoscientist.

    I specialize in glacial dispersal, ice flow history and how this relates to glacial dynamics. I also have specialization in glacial isostatic and eustatic sea level rise, coastal erosion, geohazards and mapping at scales of 1: 100 000 to 1:1 000. I also specialize in coastal reconstruction with respect to historic rates of sea level rise, geotechnical examination of coastal engineering stabilization reports, and asses various geology related reports for various levels of government. I also specialize in industrial minerals and materials, deposits, raw materials, beneficiation, product specifications and uses, marketing, etc…

    I’ve also used dendrochronology to study and date avalanches, methodologies that were then used to date historic flood events of the Red River in western Canada.

    I have been directly involved in the development of two mines. I could go on of course, 27 years is a long time, however I believe you, and the readers, get the point.

    Amateur indeed! 😦

    • ChrisD says:

      Philip, I wasn’t referring to any comment specifically, and no offense was meant. The vast majority of comments on this blog appear to be from amateurs, and that includes mine.

      No, I do not believe that anyone who is a skeptic must be an amateur–but I do believe that most of the people here are.

      I apologize for any offense. This was not my intent.

      • Bruce says:

        Chris, check out the bio’s on JC’s blog this week. I think you will find they groan with the weight of years of science and engineering. I don’t think we’re much different – the skeletons in my closet pretty much parallel Phillip’s.

    • suyts says:

      Lol, Phillip, it is a common misconception among alarmists. They were told virtually everybody with a science background believes all the stuff warmists put out as science, thus it is only neanderthals, such as myself, that could possibly disagree with the “consensus”. Its a form of denial.

      Considering how many legs of science is necessary for the current climatology orthodox to be true, its a huge wonder why alarmists can’t see reality. And, it isn’t one leg or the other, but all legs they must stand on to be true. Yet, when a statistician cries foul, they say, he’s just a statistician and not a climatologist. When a world renown physicist cries foul, the same. Chemist? Yep. Geologists? Yep. Meteorologists? Yep.

      In fact, in every discipline of science I find a significant body of disagreement with climatology. Yet, climatology is a child of the major disciplines of science. It would almost be laughable were it not for the harm already incurred by these rabid jihadists.

  13. Philip Finck says:

    PS It only took 5 minutes to read the article, another 10 minutes to type the discussion.
    It really only was an `amateur effort’. The article smacked of funding desperation.

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