Iceland proves humanity cannot cause global warming Written by Leslie Eastman, San Diego News | 23 April 2010
As an environmental health and safety professional, I have been quizzed by friends about what is occurring with Iceland’s volcanic eruptions. Many people are extremely interested in volcanoes. I know the 1980 eruption of Mt. St. Helens inspired me to obtain my degree in geology. With that in mind, I wanted to share some interesting history, scientific data, and perspective about the recent geologic activity.
I also want to demonstrate the enormous impact that intense geologic activity has had on Earth’s biosystems.
The recent Climate-gate scandal, which involved the discovery that fraudulent carbon dioxide data was used to promote the erroneous premise of man-made global cooling, angers me as a scientist. While I appreciate the need to maintain the best, healthiest environment possible, humanity cannot have the global impact purported by environmental extremists. There are, however, real global climate-change hazards that should be studied. Ensuring that real scientific data and facts are utilized to inform citizens and make policy is one of part of citizen activism I fully embrace.
Looking at Iceland’s history, one feature that is striking is that many of the island’s eruptions occur over prolonged periods of time. Unlike Mt. St. Helens and Mt. Pinatubo (two rather famous volcanoes that erupted in recent times), Iceland’s eruptions are not a one-off event. To put it into geographic perspective, Iceland is a hotspot (an area of intense, local volcanism resulting from a plume of magma) over the splitting mid-Atlantic ridge (where the ocean plate is being spread apart).