Geology

Gol-e-Zard Cave lies in the shadow of Mount Damavand, which at more than 5,000 metres dominates the landscape of northern Iran. In this cave, stalagmites and stalactites are growing slowly over millennia and preserve in them clues about past climate events. Changes in stalagmite chemistry from this cave have now linked the collapse of the Akkadian Empire to climate changes more than 4,000 years ago.

There are many sensationalist stories today about this research. But they were looking at the past history of this volcano. Not the present. It is not ready to collapse right now and is closely monitored. Likely to be centuries to millennia before a collapse if one is possible at all - it may have ended that phase too. A normal eruption would be devastating for local people and it is closely monitored. It probably did not make the Neanderthals extinct but the 2–4C global temperature reduction for a couple of years might have helped modern humans to get an edge over the Neanderthals at a critical time in the past.

Example stories to debunk:

Where does magma gather in the earth's crust? And for how long?
 
With worldwide poverty in decline, plentiful food thanks to science, and life expectancies increasing each year, we can turn to more remote worries - and learn some new things in the process. Like about volcanic eruptions and magma.

The Federal Court of Appeal decision that halted construction on the Trans Mountain Pipeline expansion has thrown Canada into a tizzy.

While British Columbia First Nations and environmentalists are celebrating a rare court victory on this project, industry representatives, trade unions and many other First Nations who supported the expansion feel the decision is a nightmarish intervention in plans that were many years in the making.

The South Atlantic Anomaly has people concerned, but if Earth's magnetic field of the past is any indication, and it is, the anomaly is not a precursor of a switching of the poles.

What is the South Atlantic Anomaly?
There is additional evidence a mantle plume, basically a geothermal heat source such as a volcano, is below Antarctica's Marie Byrd Land and it explains a substantial amount of the melting that creates lakes and rivers under the ice sheet. 

Mantle plumes are thought to be narrow streams of hot rock rising through Earth's mantle and spreading out like a mushroom cap under the crust. The buoyancy of the material, some of it molten, causes the crust to bulge upward. The theory of mantle plumes was proposed in the 1970s to explain geothermal activity that occurs far from the boundary of a tectonic plate, such as Hawaii and Yellowstone. 

This is a good example of a story that has morphed and changed as it gets passed from one paper to another. They all cite the same source, from the BBC but the reporters haven’t read the source. I think they just read each other. The science is actually rather interesting. But just about everything they say is the opposite of what the original story says. And actually the original paper suggests trying this at Long Valley in California rather than Yellowstone.

This is the original story on the BBC:

Satellite data have detected widespread water within ancient explosive volcanic deposits on the Moon. That means its interior may contain more indigenous water than previously believed. The ancient deposits are believed to consist of glass beads formed by the explosive eruption of magma coming from the deep lunar interior.

Here are some surprising facts about humans’ effect on planet Earth. We have made enough concrete to create an exact replica of Earth 2mm thick. We have produced enough plastic to wrap Earth in clingfilm. We are creating “technofossils”, a new term for congealed human-made materials – plastics and concretes – that will be around for tens of millions of years.

But it is the scale that humans have altered Earth’s life support system that is the most concerning.

The Alps are steadily "growing" by about one to two millimeters per year. Likewise, the formerly glaciated subcontinents of North America and Scandinavia are also undergoing constant upward movement.

This is due to the fact that at the end of the Last Glacial Maximum (LGM) about 18,000 years ago the glaciers melted and with this the former heavy pressure on the Earth's surface diminished. The ice reacted rapidly to climate change at that time whereas the Earth's crust is still responding today to this relatively sudden melting of ice. During the LGM the Alps were also coated with an ice cap that temporarily reached far into the alpine foreland.

The extent of glaciation was much smaller here than on the subcontinents of North America and Scandinavia.