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Vostok is infamous for its controversial ice cores that some say are evidence that the world is warming. Vostok set a record for the coldest April in history by over 20 degrees Fahrenheit.  (Source: NOAA)

Worsening eruptions in Iceland could cut warming advocates a break in the midst of cooling temperatures by casting doubt on the source of global cooling.  (Source: Carolyn Kaster/Associated Press)
The southernmost continent is cooling

The Vostok Station rests at the so-called "Pole of Cold" in the heart of Antarctica.  International climatology researchers have used the station as a drilling point.  The ice cores they've extracted have become the subject of substantial controversy.  Some scientists say that they provide evidence of global warming, while the Scientific Committee on Antarctic Research has expressed concern that they were contaminated.

Vostok was able to provide researchers with one metric this month that there is little room to debate -- Vostok has suffered through the coldest April temperature in its recorded history.

Temperatures in Vostok on Thursday hit -106 degrees Fahrenheit and have not been updated, as the station is currently not responding.  Typical temperatures for April are a balmier -85 degrees Fahrenheit.

Amid the cold wave at the birthplace of warming claims, a major geological event is promising to add a wrinkle to the climate debate, handing AGW advocates another opportunity to develop new theories to explain away cooling.  The volcanic eruption from the Eyjafjallajökull volcano in Iceland may worsen, according to Risk Management Solutions in Newark Calif.

RMS says that Eyjafjallajökull eruptions may worsen and additionally another Icelandic volcano named Katla is now "probable" to erupt.  Further eruptions would not only disrupt air travel, but the climate.  RMS predicts that the Volcanic Explosivity Index (VEI) may reach more than 4; more than the infamous Mount Saint Helens eruption.

The two largest eruptions of the twentieth century measured 6 VEI -- the 1991 Mount Pinatubo eruption in the Philippines and the 1912 Novarupta eruption in Alaska. 

VEI is a logarithmic scale, thus even if the eruption reaches 4 VEI, as predicted, that's still a mere one-hundredth of the ash that was ejected by Pinatubo or Novarupta.  Current theory says that such an eruption would not have a major impact on the global climate.

AGW theorists, however, have a propensity for coming up with novel explanations to try to preserve warming theory in the face of cooling trends.  Attempts have been made to explain away Antarctica's cooling.  One approach is to say it is actually warming, using questionably estimated data (extrapolated based on current satellite data and past weather station measurements).  A second attempt is to admit that the southern-most continent is cooling, but that the cooling is due to the ozone layer depletion.

The increased volcanic activity in Iceland should be ideal for AGW advocates as it gives them yet another opportunity to "make the model fit the data".  Expect possible claims in the near future that volcanic ash's cooling contribution has been understated in past models.





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