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Figure 1:  West Antarctica’s currently erupting and ice melting 12,448-foot-high Mount Erebus Volcano. In the distant view is the Mount Terror Volcano another of Antarctica’s 150 semi-active, active, or erupting volcanoes.


New research by the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) shows that a geothermal heat source situated far below Antarctica’s Marie Byrd Land is the likely cause for some of the melting beneath the West Antarctic Ice Sheet (see here, here, and here).

While this would explain some of the instability seen today and past collapses, there are also other factors at play I’ll describe shortly. The NASA research shows that bottom melting, which lubricates the underside of glaciers and creates underground lakes and rivers, has a far greater influence on ice loss than atmospheric global warming.

The study is an admission by one of the most prominent science institutions that geological forces are a greatly underappreciated and powerful driver of Earth’s climate and climate-related events.

In this case, melting of glacial ice across portions of an entire continent. This validates the building blocks of the Plate Climatology Theory, which was formally introduced in October 2014.

The results of the NASA Study will also have many moral and political implications as it shows scientific theories should never be considered “settled,” governments should never act to inhibit or prevent the practice of non-mainstream scientific research, freelance writers shouldn’t be demeaned or punished for presenting alternative theories.

NASA’s Antarctic research indicates that a powerful mantle plume, thought to have formed 50-110 million years ago long before the West Antarctic Ice Sheet (WAIS) formed, is positioned just beneath the shallow bedrock layers of West Antarctic’s Marie Byrd Land. Mantle plumes are “narrow streams of hot rock that spread like a ‘mushroom’ cap beneath the Earth’s surface.”

Mantle plumes are indeed capable of generating and fueling many shallow bedrock features such as land volcanoes, ocean floor volcanoes, hydrothermal vents (ocean floor hot geysers), and heat-emitting faults, and lava flowing tubes.

NASA’s discovery of the presence of a mantle plume beneath Antarctica would, in fact, provide a reasonable explanation for the now-proven abnormal heat flow beneath the WAIS. However, there is still a minor flaw in their research.


Other Factors

A major factor likely contributing to ice melt is the divergent rift system, specifically the 5,000-mile-long West Antarctic Rift (WAR), and not a single mantle plume, as the true source of elevated bedrock heat flow in the West Antarctic region. Yes, both mantle plumes and rift systems are massive bedrock heat sources, but they are different geological animals that co-exist deep beneath the surface.

Mantle plumes are fixed, non-moving hot lava sources that act to progressively form individual volcanic islands above them as upper rock layers move very slowly over the plume. The Hawaiian Islands are an excellent example of this process (see here) occurring in real time.

But that’s not what is happening in West Antarctica.

To the contrary, there is abundant geological evidence that clearly shows the WAR system is the root cause of West Antarctic ice melt. Deep-earth images from remote sensing techniques (seismic, gravity, density) clearly show the numerous, deep-earth faults. These active faults create open pathways into deep-earth hot lava pockets.

Once tapped, the molten lava (magma) pulses upward to the bedrock’s surface. Successive lava pulses along the entire 5,000-mile extent of the WAR are acting to tear the entire continent apart. This ripping process has formed two distinct continental segments, East and West Antarctica. Indeed, it is now known that “West Antarctica is moving away from East Antarctica in a north/northeasterly direction (toward the South Georgia Islands) at a rate of about two millimeters per year (0.079 in/year).”

Additionally, this process has generated and fueled “hundreds of associated heat-flowing volcanic features and is responsible for all the recently active volcanoes inside the continent and for most of the major mountain systems outside the Antarctic Peninsula.” (Figure 2).

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Figure 2: Map illustrating many of Antarctica’s 150 semi-active, active, or erupting volcanoes located along the branching West Antarctic Rift / Fault System. This active fault zone is pushing/diverging the Antarctic Continent apart and allowing deep hot magma to flow up the faults feeding the volcanoes. Progressive upward pulses of the lava act to push the continent apart along the expanding faults.


In summary, the recent NASA Antarctic research study has clearly shown that geologically induced heat flow and not global warming is the root cause of West Antarctic glacial and sea ice melting. This is a stunning admission by the pro-global warming scientists at NASA. The scientific, political, and moral implications of their study will absolutely stun the world.

Hopefully, the results of this study show other people a plausible alternative to many of Earth’s anomalous climate and climate-related events as described in Plate Climatology Theory.