Ancient Antarctic Volcano May Be Linked to Warming

Scientists make 'unique' discovery beneath continent's massive ice sheets
By Wesley Oliver,  Newser Staff
Posted Jan 21, 2008 4:03 AM CST
Ancient Antarctic Volcano May Be Linked to Warming
Scientists have found what they say is the first evidence of a volcanic eruption under the Antarctic ice sheet. They believe the volcano erupted about 2,000 years ago, and would have burst through its ice covering, producing a burst of steam and rocky debris. They say it could aid understanding of an...   (Associated Press)

(Newser) – The discovery of what scientists are hailing as the first evidence of a volcanic eruption under Antarctica’s massive ice sheet may be linked to climate change, the BBC reports. British researchers, who discovered evidence of a volcano by analyzing radar data from an air survey, believe the eruption likely happened some 2,000 years ago and ripped through its ice ceiling, spouting steam and rocky debris into the air.

“We believe this was the biggest eruption in Antarctica during the last 10,000 years,” said the lead researcher. Scientists suspect the volcano may still be active, generating enough heat to melt ice and contribute to higher sea levels. But one researcher cautioned that the volcano doesn’t explain widespread glacier melt. He conceded, however, that the discovery "complicates things." (Read more western Antarctic ice sheet stories.)

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