Tag Archives: volcano

How volcanoes like Tambora and Laki can affect our ecology

(News & Editorial)

The threat of volcanic activity and occasional eruptions seem to be in the news a lot recently, making one wonder, ‘If volcanoes erupt every year, as they always have and always will, what’s the big deal?’
Answer: 1) All volcanoes have not been created equally, 2) never have so many humans been so dependent on such relatively small warehouse storage and, 3)  just in time deliveries; 4) never has so much of our world’s population lived concentrated in a dependant city environment, while at the same time, 5) without knowledge of the past, feeling safe and secure in their numbers and looking to their governments to cover any ‘eventuality’.
Let’s step back for a moment to get a feel for the truly prodigious natural forces, capabilities  and  health estimates of a volcano affecting modern civilization.

Volcanic eruptions undo all climate change measures
Tuesday 5th July 2011, 6:03AM BST.
“Letter: The volcanic eruption in Iceland, since its first spewing of volcanic ash has, in just four days, negated every single effort we humans have made in the past five years to control carbon dioxide emissions on our planet.
Of course you know about this gas we are trying to suppress – it’s that vital chemical compound that every plant requires to live and grow, and to synthesize into oxygen for all animal life.
The volcanic ash has erased every effort you have made to reduce the evil beast, carbon.
And there are about 200 active volcanoes on the planet spewing out this gas every day.
I don’t really want to rain on your parade too much, but I should mention that when Mount Pinatubo erupted in the Philippines in 1991, it spewed out more greenhouse gases into the atmosphere than the entire human race had emitted in its entire time on earth.
Should I mention the effect of solar and cosmic activity and the well-recognized 800-year global heating and cooling cycle, which keep happening, despite our completely insignificant efforts to affect climate change?
I do wish I had a silver lining to this volcanic ash cloud but the fact of the matter is that the bushfire season across the western USA and Australia this year alone [2011] will negate your efforts to reduce carbon in our world for the next two to three years.”

What have been the truely ‘super eruptions? I don’t mean the smoke and ash from Iceland’s Eyjafjallajökull volcano that affected European air service, nor the 1883 explosion of Krakatoa, nor the global cooling event brought by ‘popular’ Mt. Tambora, nor even the Minoan eruption and deluge brought by Mt. Santorini.
The seven ‘big ‘uns’ include:
1)  Mt Toba, Indonesia, erupted 74,000 years ago (with a volcanic crater measuring  a whopping 62 miles by 21 miles). Obviously not the cartoon image of a cinder cone mountain with a little hole in the top.
2)  beautiful Yellowstone (super volcano) National Park, whos caldera (volcanic crater) measures  34 miles by 44 miles
3)  Long Valley, and
4)  Valles Calderas in the United States
5)  Taupo Volcano, North Island, New Zealand;
6)  Aira Caldera, Kagoshima Prefecture, Kyūshū, Japan;
7)  and the Siberian Traps in Russia.
The Siberian Traps are the point of discussion in the next article. This massive eruptive event spanned the Permian-Triassic boundary, about 250 million years ago, and is cited as a possible cause of the Permian-Triassic extinction event. This extinction event, also called the “Great Dying”, affected all life on Earth, and is estimated to have killed 90% of species living at the time. Life on land took 30 million years to recover from the environmental disruptions which may have been caused by the eruption of the Siberian Traps. Super volcanoes erupt very rarely, so are not the main theme of this article compilation.

The cause of Earth’s largest environmental catastrophe
14-Sep-2011, Helmholtz Association of German Research Centres, F. Ossing
<ossing@gfz-potsdam.de> and  <http://www.eurekalert.org/pub_releases/2011-09/haog-tco091311.php>
“Siberian traps and their relation to the mass extinction 250 million years ago
The eruption of giant masses of magma in Siberia 250 million years ago led to the Permo-Triassic mass extinction when more than 90 % of all species became extinct. An international team including geodynamic modelers from the GFZ German Research Centre for Geosciences together with geochemists from the J. Fourier University of Grenoble, the Max Plank Institute in Mainz, and Vernadsky-, Schmidt- and Sobolev-Institutes of the Russian Academy of Sciences report on a new idea with respect to the origin of the Siberian eruptions and their relation to the mass extinction in the recent issue of Nature (15.09.2011, vol. 477, p. 312-316).
Large Igneous Provinces (LIPs) are huge accumulations of volcanic rock at the Earth’s surface. Within short geological time spans of often less than one million years their eruptions cover areas of several hundred thousand square kilometres with up to 4 kilometers thick lava flows. [Above right: Location of the Siberian Traps volcanoes and their lava flow.]

The Siberian Traps are considered the largest continental LIP.
A widely accepted idea is that LIPs originate through melting within thermal mantle plumes, a term applied to giant mushroom-shaped volumes of plastic mantle material that rise from the base of the mantle to the lithosphere, the Earth’s rigid outer shell. The high buoyancy of purely thermal mantle plumes, however, should cause kilometer-scale uplift of the lithosphere above the plume head, but such uplift is not always present. Moreover, estimates of magmatic degassing from many LIPs are considered insufficient to trigger climatic crises. The team of scientists presents a numerical model and new geochemical data with which unresolved questions can now be answered.
They suggest that the Siberian mantle plume contained a large fraction of about 15 percent of recycled oceanic crust; i.e. the crust that had long before been subducted into the deep mantle and then, through the hot mantle plume, brought back to the Earth’s lithosphere. This recycled oceanic crust was present in the plume as eclogite, a very dense rock which made the hot mantle plume less buoyant. For this reason the impingement of the plume caused negligible uplift of the lithosphere. The recycled crustal material melts at much lower temperatures than the normal mantle material peridotite, and therefore the plume generated exceptionally large amounts of magmas and was able to destroy the thick Siberian lithosphere thermally, chemically and mechanically during a very short period of only a few hundred thousand years. During this process, the recycled crust, being exceptionally rich in volatiles such as CO2 and halogens, degassed and liberated gases that passed through the Earth crust into the atmosphere to trigger the mass extinction. The model predicts that the mass extinction should have occurred before the main magmatic eruptions. Though based on sparse available data, this prediction seems to be valid for many LIPs.”
[Stephan V. Sobolev, Alexander V. Sobolev, Dmitry V. Kuzmin et al., Linking mantle plumes, large igneous provinces and environmental catastrophes, Nature, vol. 477, p. 312-316, 2011]”

Our personal concern is with the near term potential eruption of either a single large volcano, or a hand full of middle size volcanoes. Any combination of which can act in concert to lower Earth’s average surface temperature a few degrees affecting our: ‘comfort (energy costs/energy availability), crops (food supply), economy (global trade> national economy > corporation/company > your family income) and social peace (international – war, neighborhood – crime ).
The terms: “average surface temperature, comfort, crops, economy, and social peace are part of our ecology, a feed back loop and each with its own small loops.
When the planet’s surface temperature is lowered,  every thing else become unstable and moves away from its long term norm. Readjustments take time and bring about hurt and hardship, it’s Natures Way. Think of it like bopping one side of a spider web and seeing the whole web shake. Everything is connected across the spider web, same as in our ecology, in our activities, in our happiness and in our well being.
What could a fairly large volcanic eruption in the northwern hemisphere do? Lets look at the next article, Future Iceland Eruptions Could Be Deadly for Europe.


Future Iceland Eruptions Could Be Deadly for Europe
September 19, 2011, ScienceNow, By Sid Perkins
“What if one of the largest volcanic eruptions in recent history happened today? A new study suggests that a blast akin to one that devastated Iceland in the 1780s would waft noxious gases southwestward and kill tens of thousands of people in Europe. And in a modern world that is intimately connected by air traffic and international trade, economic activity across much of Europe, including the production and import of food, could plummet.
From June of 1783 until February of 1784, the Laki volcano in south-central Iceland erupted. Although the event didn’t produce large amounts of volcanic ash, it did spew an estimated 122 million metric tons of sulfur dioxide gas into the sky — a volume slightly higher than human industrial activity today produces in the course of a year, says Anja Schmidt, an atmospheric scientist at the University of Leeds in the United Kingdom.

Historical records suggest that in the 2 years after the Laki eruption, approximately 10,000 Icelanders died — about one-fifth of the population — along with nearly three-quarters of the island’s livestock. Parish records in England reveal that in the summer of 1783, when the event began, death rates were between 10 percent and 20 percent above normal. The Netherlands, Sweden, and Italy reported episodes of decreased visibility, respiratory difficulties, and increased mortality associated with the eruption. According to one study, an estimated 23,000 people died from exposure to the volcanic aerosols in Britain alone. But elsewhere in Europe, it’s difficult to separate deaths triggered by the air pollution from those caused by starvation or disease, which were prominent causes of death at the time.
To assess how such an eruption might affect the densely populated Europe of today, Schmidt and her colleagues plugged a few numbers into a computer simulation. They used weather models to estimate where sulfur dioxide emissions from an 8-month-long eruption that commenced in June would end up. They also estimated the resulting increases in the concentrations of airborne particles smaller than 2.5 micrometers across, the size of aerosols that are most easily drawn into human lungs and that cause cardiopulmonary distress. Then, they used modern medical data to estimate how many people those aerosols would kill.
In the first 3 months after the hypothetical eruption began, the average aerosol concentration over Europe would increase by 120 percent, the team reports online today in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences. The number of days during the eruption in which aerosol concentrations exceed air-quality standards would rise to 74, when a normal period that length typically includes only 38. Not surprisingly, the air would become thickest with dangerous particles in areas downwind of the eruption, such as Iceland and northwestern Europe, where aerosol concentrations would more than triple. But aerosol concentrations in southern Europe would also increase dramatically, rising by 60 percent.

[The redder, the deader. An 8-month-long eruption of an Icelandic volcano could send emissions of noxious sulfur dioxide over Europe, significantly boosting cardiopulmonary death rates during the following year in southwestern England, France, the Netherlands, and Germany.
Credit: A. Schmidt, PNAS Early Edition (2011)]

In the year after the hypothetical eruption commences, the increased air pollution swept from Iceland to Europe would cause massive amounts of heart and lung disease, killing an estimated 142,000 people. Fewer than half that number of Europeans die from seasonal flu each year.
At least four Laki-sized eruptions have occurred in Iceland in the past 1,150 years, Schmidt and her colleagues say. So the new figures are cause for concern.
The team “has done a good job of showing where volcanic aerosols would end up, and the human health response to such aerosols is well understood,” says Brian Toon, an atmospheric scientist at the University of Colorado, Boulder. “This is all very solid science.”
Icelandic volcanoes shut down European air traffic for more than a week in April 2010 and for several days in May of this year. But those eruptions are tiny compared with a Laki-sized eruption, which could ground airplanes for 6 months or more, says Alan Robock, an atmospheric scientist at Rutgers University in New Brunswick, New Jersey. Such an event would have a huge impact on crop yields and, by affecting shipping and air traffic, would also affect Europeans’ ability to import food, he notes. It could even have a dramatic effect on daily life, he says. “If there are sulfur dioxide clouds over Europe, people with respiratory problems can’t do much about it except stay indoors.”

History’s deadliest volcano comes back to life in Indonesia, sparking panic among villagers
September 19, 2011, Associated Press,  Contributers: Robin McDowell and Niniek Karmini in Jakarta, and Sarah DiLorenzo in Paris.
“Bold farmers routinely ignore orders to evacuate the slopes of live volcanos in Indonesia, but those on Tambora took no chances when history’s deadliest mountain rumbled ominously this month, Sept., 2011. Villagers like Hasanuddin Sanusi have heard since they were young how the mountain they call home once blew apart in the largest eruption ever recorded — an 1815 event widely forgotten outside their region — killing 90,000 people and blackening skies on the other side of the globe. So, the 45-year-old farmer didn’t wait to hear what experts had to say when Mount Tambora started being rocked by a steady stream of quakes. He grabbed his wife and four young children, packed his belongings and raced down its quivering slopes. “It was like a horror story, growing up,” said Hasanuddin, who joined hundreds of others in refusing to return to their mountainside villages for several days despite assurances they were safe.
“A dragon sleeping inside the crater, that’s what we thought. If we made him angry — were disrespectful to nature, say — he’d wake up spitting flames, destroying all of mankind.”

The April 1815 eruption of Tambora left a crater 7 miles) wide and half a mile deep, spewing an estimated 400 million tons of sulfuric gases into the atmosphere and leading to “the year without summer” in the U.S. and Europe.
It was 10 times more powerful than Indonesia’s much better-known Krakatoa blast of 1883 — history’s second deadliest. But it doesn’t share the same international renown, because the only way news spread across the oceans at the time was by slowboat, said Tambora researcher Indyo Pratomo. In contrast, Krakatoa’s eruption occurred just as the telegraph became popular, turning it into the first truly global news event.

…Little was known about Tambora’s global impact until the 1980s, when Greenland ice core samples — which can be read much like tree rings — revealed an astonishing concentration of sulfur at the layer dating back to 1816, said geologist Jelle de Boer, co-author of “Volcanoes in Human History: The Far-Reaching Effects of Major Eruption.”
Gases had combined with water vapor to form fine droplets of acid that remained for years in the atmosphere, circling the earth and reflecting some of the solar radiation back into space.
Temperatures worldwide plummetted, causing crops to fail and leading to massive starvation.
Farmers on the northeastern coast of the U.S. reported snow well into July.
In France, grape harvests were decimated. Daniel Lawton of the wine brokerage Tastet-Lawton said a note in his company’s files remarks that 1816 was a “detestable year” and yielded only a quarter of the crop planted.
Soon after the ice core findings, scientists started studying Tambora in earnest…”

If an Icelandic volcano erupts, would tragic history repeat?
21 Sep 2011, ars technica, By Scott K. Johnson
Beginning in 1783, Iceland endured an eight-month-long volcanic eruption that left a seemingly endless haze covering the landscape. The dry fog of microscopic aerosol particles, mostly sulfur oxides, caused the deaths of fully 20 percent of Iceland’s population, along with 75 percent of their livestock.
The effects of the eruption at Laki were not limited to Iceland. In the Netherlands, trees dropped their leaves in June, as if signaling a very early autumn. The number of deaths recorded in England that year was 10-20 percent above average. Reports of deaths and health problems came from as far away as Italy.
The mouthful that was Eyjafjallajökull reminded us in 2010 that volcanoes can easily bring air travel to a grinding halt, but what would happen if an eruption on the scale of Laki occurred today?

[Image right: April 20th, 2010 Smoke and ash from the Eyjafjallajökull volcano make their way across the landscape in Iceland.]

To estimate the direct impact on human health, a group of researchers first used an atmospheric aerosol model to simulate the eruption of Laki under a range of present-day atmospheric conditions. By doing so, they were able to calculate the resulting concentrations of aerosols over Iceland and continental Europe. They found that average concentrations across Europe would rise to more than double the background average over the first three months of the eruption. The highest concentrations, occurring in northern Europe, would reach more than triple background levels.
Over the course of the eruption, the models estimated that atmospheric aerosol levels would exceed the World Health Organization’s air quality standard for over a month in Europe, and almost 6 months in Iceland.
From there, the researchers used medical studies of the impact of particulate matter to estimate the number of direct fatalities. They found that, in the year of the eruption, volcanic aerosols would cause 50,000 to 230,000 deaths. While that’s certainly a terrible loss of life, it’s actually a significantly smaller percentage of the population than died during the 1783 eruption.

There have been four “Laki-like” eruptions in Iceland over the past 1,150 years—some bigger, some smaller—which means this is not just an academic exercise. It’s a scenario that we could very well encounter in the near future.”

We don’t want to credit a ‘popular volcano’ future eruptions with its past. Tambora’s next eruption could be very small, Laki could erupt and in a few days become quiet. There are plenty of volcanoes in just Iceland who’s past are known and who’s reawakening may surprise us, for example Hekla and Katla. 

.Remember, it’s not just that one very large eruption that can bring global harvests down, but several large volcanoes, or an unusual number of medium size eruptions, or as with Laki, one smaller, long running eruption can do the same.
Comparing climate altering eruptions to – ‘making change for a dollar’. You can pull a dollar bill out of your wallet, or from change in your pocket, select two half dollars, or a half dollar and two quarters, etc. It’s the cumulative amount of  volcanic aerosols and dust being pumped into the upper and lower atmosphere that bring about the temperature change,  shortened growing season, economic, social and negative health effects.

For more specific information, see my posts in in the Categories:
Survival Manual/1. Disaster/Volcanic winter  and
Survival Manual/2. Social Issues/Checklist, 100 things that disappear first
Survival Manual/3. Food and Water/Developing a survival food list
Survival Manual/7. Warehouse/Last minute shopping list

Leave a comment

Filed under News & Editorial

Iceland’s Katla volcano showing signs of possible eruption

30 August 2016: If Iceland’s mighty Katla volcano soon erupts, as seismic activity indicates it may, how sharp an effect could it have on global temperatures, food production and ultimately on peace in these already unstable economic and political times?

Quake-hit Iceland volcano Katla shows strengthening signs of eruption
Fri., 02 Sep. 2011,  by ClickGreen staff.
Source: http://www.clickgreen.org.uk/news/international-news/122493-quake-hit-iceland-volcano-katla-shows-strengthening-signs-of-eruption.html

Iceland’s massive Katla volcano is showing increasing signs of a possible eruption following an intense week of earthquakes and tremors.
The feared volcano was struck by a magnitude 3.2 earthquake last night as experts believe magma is slowly filling inside the mountain, giving rise to fears the volcano could soon erupt. The latest quake follows a week of increasing activity with official reports of harmonic tremors and earthquake swarms.
Observers have been closely watching Katla since July when the volcano showed the first signs of increased activity.

Last weekend, the Icelandic Met Office confirmed two swarms of earthquakes in Katla and on Wednesday night, a harmonic tremor – a potential indicator to an eruption – was detected. Last night’s stronger earthquake was picked up in the volcano’s caldera – its magma chamber. Katla, which has not experienced a significant eruption for 93 years, is the second largest volcano on Iceland and its eruption will be felt across Europe.

Last year, the country’s president Ólafur Grímsson warned “the time for Katla to erupt is coming close, Iceland has prepared and it is high time for European governments and airline authorities all over Europe and the world to start planning for the eventual Katla eruption”.
It is believed Katla, named after a vindictive troll of Viking folklore, has the potential to be much stronger and disruptive than the last two Icelandic volcanic eruptions that caused chaos across Europe’s air space, grounding flights and closing airports.

Katla is much larger than its neighbouring Eyjafjallajokull – which erupted last year – with a magma chamber about 10 times the size. Volcanologists warn that if Katla does erupt, the combination of the magma and the large ice sheet covering the volcano could lead to explosive activity and an ash plume for weeks, if not months.

Will Iceland’s Katla Volcano Blow Next?
May 8, 2010, modernsurvivalblog.com

Each time following an eruption of Iceland’s Eyjafjallajokull volcano, it’s mighty neighbor, Katla, has erupted shortly afterward. Eyjafjallajokull and Katla are separated by 27 km (17 mi) and are thought to have interconnecting magma channels. Eyjafjallajokull erupted on April 14, 2010.

Katla (named after an Icelandic witch) is known to have erupted 16 times since 930, the last time during 1918. Since then, Katla has been quiet for the longest duration on record. It is overdue, and now that it’s little sister Eyjafjallajokull has erupted, it’s just a matter of time.

Katla itself is 30 km (19 mi) in diameter reaching a height of 1,500 meters (4,900 feet), while the 10 km (6 mi) crater of the volcano lies up to 500 meters (1,600 feet) beneath the Myrdalsjokull glacier on the southern edge of Iceland. Iceland sits directly on top of a split in the earth’s crust of two tectonic plates on the Mid-Atlantic ridge and is a hot spot for volcanic activity with 35 volcanoes around the island.

An eruption of Katla would likely be 10 times stronger than the recent eruption of Eyjafjallajokull and could be disastrous to Iceland with raging floods from the melting Myrdalsjokull glacier, immense depths of volcanic ash, and climate change to regions of the world.

If the eruption is long enough and high enough, ash could be blasted 20 km (12 mi) into the stratosphere and circle the globe blotting out part of the sun from penetrating to earth, and reduce temperatures worldwide. The big question of course is how big would the eruption be and to what extent the global climate change.

We know that when Katla erupted in 1700, the Mississippi River froze just north of New Orleans for example. When Mount Pinatubo erupted in 1991 for 2 days, it dropped temperatures 4 degrees worldwide for a year. Katla on average erupts for 50 days, although the cumulative severity over that time period depends on the force of the eruptions lifting ash high into the atmosphere. We won’t know until it happens.
Although the magnitude of disaster would not be that of a super volcano such as Wyoming’s Yellowstone, the potential is there for a global catastrophe from a worldwide extended deep freeze. Huge crop failures would translate to starvation for some and very high food prices for others. A ripple effect would occur through the already teetering economies of the world.

Since the potential exists for a major Katla eruption, we should prepare ourselves as best we can, knowing that modern society would be disrupted from a disaster of this magnitude (just look at what happened to worldwide air travel and the economic impact from the small eruption of Eyjafjallajokull).

Other observations regarding Icelandic volcanic eruptions:
A.  http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/35988484/ns/technology_and_science-science/t/iceland-volcano-could-have-world-consequences/
Past Katla eruptions have caused floods the size of the Amazon and sent boulders as big as houses tumbling down valleys and roads. The last major eruption took place in 1918. Floods followed in as little as an hour.
Iceland’s Laki volcano erupted in 1783, freeing gases that turned into smog. The smog floated across the Jet Stream, changing weather patterns. Many died from gas poisoning in the British Isles. Crop production fell in western Europe. Famine spread. Some even linked the eruption, which helped fuel famine, to the French Revolution. Painters in the 18th century illustrated fiery sunsets in their works.
The winter of 1784 was also one of the longest and coldest on record in North America. New England reported a record stretch of below-zero temperatures and New Jersey reported record snow accumulation. The Mississippi River also reportedly froze in New Orleans.

B.  http://blogs.discovermagazine.com/80beats/2010/04/16/icelandic-volcanoes-disrupting-weather-history-since-1783/
The Laki volcanic fissure erupted over a eight month period between June 1783 and February 1784. Within Iceland, the lava and poisonous clouds of gas ushered in a time known as the “Mist Hardships”: farmland was ruined, livestock died in vast numbers, and the resultant famine killed almost a quarter of the population.
The eruption’s impact wasn’t confined to Iceland alone. Dust and sulfur particles thrown up by the explosion were carried as a haze across Northern Europe, clouding the skies in Norway, the Netherlands, the British Isles, France, Germany, Italy, and Spain. In conjunction with another volcanic eruption and an unusually strong El Nino weather pattern, the Laki eruption is thought to have contributed to extreme weather across Europe for the next several years.

Describing the summer of 1783 in his classic Natural History of Selborne, British naturalist Gilbert White wrote it was “an amazing and portentous one … the peculiar haze, or smokey fog, that prevailed for many weeks in this island, and in every part of Europe, and even beyond its limits, was a most extraordinary appearance, unlike anything known within the memory of man” [The Guardian]. Gilbert wrote that the haze blanked out the sun at midday, that it was “particularly lurid and blood-colored at rising and setting,” and that the heat was so intense that “butcher’s meat could hardly be eaten on the same day after it was killed.” This bizarre summer was followed by an usually harsh winter, historians say. Environmental historians have also pointed to the disruption caused to the economies of northern Europe, where food poverty was a major factor in the build-up to the French revolution of 1789 [The Guardian].

C.  http://www.guardian.co.uk/world/2010/apr/15/iceland-volcano-weather-french-revolution
The Laki volcanic fissure in southern Iceland erupted over an eight-month period from 8 June 1783 to February 1784, spewing lava and poisonous gases that devastated the island’s agriculture, killing much of the livestock. It is estimated that perhapsa quarter of Iceland’s population died through the ensuing famine.

Then, as now, there were more wide-ranging impacts. In Norway, the Netherlands, the British Isles, France, Germany, Italy, Spain, in North America and even Egypt, the Laki eruption had its consequences, as the haze of dust and sulphur particles thrown up by the volcano was carried over much of the northern hemisphere.

Ships moored up in many ports, effectively fogbound. Crops were affected as the fall-out from the continuing eruption coincided with an abnormally hot summer. A clergyman, the Rev Sir John Cullum, wrote to the Royal Society that barley crops “became brown and withered … as did the leaves of the oats; the rye had the appearance of being mildewed”.

The British naturalist Gilbert White described that summer in his classic Natural History of Selborne as “an amazing and portentous one … the peculiar haze, or smokey fog, that prevailed for many weeks in this island, and in every part of Europe, and even beyond its limits, was a most extraordinary appearance, unlike anything known within the memory of man.

“The sun, at noon, looked as blank as a clouded moon, and shed a rust-coloured ferruginous light on the ground, and floors of rooms; but was particularly lurid and blood-coloured at rising and setting. At the same time the heat was so intense that butchers’ meat could hardly be eaten on the day after it was killed; and the flies swarmed so in the lanes and hedges that they rendered the horses half frantic … the country people began to look with a superstitious awe, at the red, louring aspect of the sun.”

Across the Atlantic, Benjamin Franklin wrote of “a constant fog over all Europe, and a great part of North America”.

The disruption to weather patterns meant the ensuing winter was unusually harsh, with consequent spring flooding claiming more lives. In America the Mississippi reportedly froze at New Orleans.

The eruption is now thought to have disrupted the Asian monsoon cycle, prompting famine in Egypt. Environmental historians have also pointed to the disruption caused to the economies of northern Europe, where food poverty was a major factor in the build-up to the French revolution of 1789.

Leave a comment

Filed under News & Editorial

Update: Volcanic activity and discoveries

(News & Editorial/Update: Volcanic activity and discoveries)

volcanic eruption

A.  Volcanoes
Wunderground, Excerpt pasted from: http://www.wunderground.com/climate/volcanoes.asp

“The sun was dark and its darkness lasted for eighteen months; each day it shone for about four hours; and still this light was only a feeble shadow; the fruits did not ripen and the wine tasted like sour grapes.” As this ‘Michael the Syrian’ quote regarding the weather of 536 A.D. demonstrates, a climate catastrophe that blots out the sun can really spoil your day.

‘Procopius of Caesarea’ remarked: “During this year [536 A.D.] a most dread portent took place. For the sun gave forth its light without brightness. and it seemed exceedingly like the sun in eclipse, for the beams it shed were not clear.”

Many documents from 535 – 536 A.D.–the time of King Arthur in Britain–speak of the terrible “dry fog” or cloud of dust that obscured the sun, causing widespread crop failures in Europe, and summer frosts, drought, and famine in China. Tree ring studies in Europe confirm several years of very poor growth around that time, and ice cores from Greenland and Antarctica show highly elevated levels of atmospheric sulfuric acid dust existed.

Though some scientists believe the climate calamity of 535-536 A.D. was due to a comet or asteroid hitting the Earth, it is widely thought that the event was probably caused by the most massive volcanic eruption of the past 1500 years. This eruption threw so much sulfur dioxide (SO2) gas into the stratosphere that a “Volcanic Winter” resulted. Sulfur dioxide reacts with water to form sulfuric acid droplets (aerosol particles), which are highly reflective and reduce the amount of incoming sunlight. The potential eruption that led to the 535 – 536 A.D. climate calamity would have likely been a magnitude 7 event on the Volcanic Explosivity Index (VEI)–a “super colossal” eruption that one can expect to occur only once every 1000 years. The Volcanic Explosivity Index is a logarithmic scale like the Richter scale used to rate earthquakes, so a magnitude 7 eruption would eject ten times more material than the two largest eruptions of the past century–the magnitude 6 eruptions of Mt. Pinatubo in the Philippines (1991) and Novarupta in Alaska (1912).

B.  Alaska Volcano Observatory is Having Busiest Volcano Year to Date
17 June 2014, KDLG.org, (Public radio for Alaska’s bristol Bay), By Luke Brummer
Pasted from: http://kdlg.org/post/alaska-volcano-observatory-having-busiest-volcano-year-date

Scientists at the Alaska Volcano Observatory are paying extra close attention lately due to high seismic activity at five volcanoes running all along the Aleutian Chain. Many of the volcanoes have recently sprung back to life, and others have just continued their normal eruptions. John Power is the Scientist-in-charge at AVO. He says a few recent explosions and heightened unrest have led to the busiest time since the inception of the state’s observatory.

It is the busiest time that we have had in terms of Alaska Volcanoes. As long has AVO has been around in 27 years. We do have five that are at alert levels or color codes.

Vol Aleutian chain

A screen capture of active Alaska Volcanoes as of June 17, 2014.

Power says the most active volcano recently has been Pavlof, which has erupted continuously since the May 31st. He says it has had some explosive activity and lava flows along the Northwest side. It currently has a “watch” Alert Level and an “orange” Aviation Color Code. The Shishaldin Vocano is the other volcano with a “watch” Alert Level, and “orange” Aviation Color Code. Power says the volcano has experienced continuing low level eruptive activity, and its conditions form its recognizable outward appearance.

Shishaldin is one of the ones that you would say looks like a volcano. There’s a big summit crater, and we’re having magma, low level magma, extrusions have been observed down inside the summit crater. It’s been a very effusive eruption, we would call it. It hasn’t put out big ash cloud or had explosions. It’s just been lava oozing out in the inside of this crater if you will.

Power says the Cleveland Volcano has clearly been the most active volcano over the last ten years. On June 5th, AVO picked up two explosions from seismic monitoring stations and infrasonic data. Power says the observatory primarily monitors the volcano via satellite data because of its remote location, but from what they can tell conditions have stayed the same. The Semisopochnoi Volcano is the most remote of the 5 active volcanos. It’s more than 1,000 miles west of the Pavlof Volcano near the island of Amchitka. Powers says the volcano has not had any eruptions or warm ground, but AVO raised its Aviation Color Code to “yellow” due to a sequence of elevated earthquake activity. The Veniaminof Volcano is also showing volcanic activity. It’s located in the Alaska Peninsula National Wildlife Refuge. Power says it had a sizeable eruption last summer and seismic activity has continued throughout the year causing AVO to continue monitoring conditions at the volcano.

Every time we look at it and we think it’s time to cancel these advisories it does a little bit more, and we’re continuing to watch it just as closely as we can.
You can follow the activity at all of Alaska’s active volcanos on the website of the Alaska Volcano Observatory.

C. Risk of supervolcano eruption big enough to ‘affect the world’ far greater than thought, scientists say
27 June 2014, The Independent, by __
Pasted from: http://www.independent.co.uk/news/science/risk-of-supervolcano-eruption-big-enough-to-affect-the-world-far-greater-than-thought-say-scientists-9040073.html

The eruption of a “supervolcano” hundreds of times more powerful than conventional volcanoes – with the potential to wipe out civilisation as we know it – is more likely than previously thought, a study has found.

An analysis of the molten rock within the dormant supervolcano beneath Yellowstone National Park in the United States has revealed that an eruption is possible without any external trigger, scientists said.

Scientists previously believed many supervolcanic eruptions needed earthquakes to break open the Earth’s crust so magma could escape. But new research suggests that this can happen as a result of the build-up of pressure.

Supervolcanoes represent the second most globally cataclysmic event – next to an asteroid strike – and they have been responsible in the past for mass extinctions, long-term changes to the climate and shorter-term “volcanic winters” caused  by volcanic ash cutting out the sunlight.

The last known supervolcanic eruption was believed to have occurred about 70,000 years ago at the site today of Lake Toba in Sumatra, Indonesia. It caused a volcanic winter that blocked out the sun for between six to eight years, and resulted in a period of global cooling lasting a thousand years.

A supervolcano under Yellowstone Park in Wyoming last erupted about 600,000 years ago, sending more than 1,000 cubic kilometres of ash and lava into the atmosphere – about 100 times more than the Mount Pinatubo eruption in the Philippines in 1982, which caused a noticeable period of global cooling.

Following Pinatubo’s eruption, the global average temperature fell by about 0.4C for several months. Scientists predict that a supervolcanic eruption would cause average global temperatures to fall by about 10C for a decade – changing life on earth.

Scientists have analysed magma from the Yellowstone caldera, a 55-mile-wide underground cavern containing between 200 and 600 cubic kilometres of molten rock, to see how it responds to changes in pressure and temperature.

Using a powerful X-ray source at the European Synchrotron Radiation Facility in Grenoble, France, the researchers found that the density of the magma decreased significantly at the high temperatures and pressures experienced underground.

Density variations between magma and the rock surrounding it means that the lava within the supervolcano’s caldera can produce big enough forces to break through the earth’s crust, allowing the molten rock and ash to erupt from the surface, the scientists said.

“The difference in density between the molten magma in the caldera and the surrounding rock is big enough to drive the magma from the chamber to the surface,” said Jean-Philippe Perrillat of the National Centre for Scientific Research in Grenoble.

“The effect is like the extra buoyancy of a football when it is filled with air underwater, which forces it to the surface because of the denser water around it,” Dr Perrillat said.

“If the volume of magma is big enough, it should come to the surface and explode like a champagne bottle being uncorked.”

The study, published in the journal Nature Geoscience, was possible because the X-ray machine at Grenoble was able to take accurate density measurements at temperatures of up to 1,700C and pressures 36,000 times greater than normal atmospheric pressure.

“The results reveal that if the magma chamber is big enough, the overpressure caused by differences in density alone are sufficient to penetrate the crust above and initiate an eruption,” said Professor Carmen Sanchez-Valle of the Swiss Federal Institute of Technology (ETH) in Zurich, who led the study.

Preventing a supervolcanic eruption is not possible, but scientists are currently trying to devise methods of monitoring the pressure of underground magma in order to predict whether one is imminent.

Dr Perrillat said there are no known supervolcanoes that are in danger of erupting in the foreseeable future, and it would take at least a decade or so for the magma pressure within a caldera to build up to a point where an eruption is likely.

D.  Newly-discovered active volcano could erupt underneath ice in Antarctica and add to effects of global warming
12 May 2014, The Extinct Protocol, by  Lucy Crossley of DailMail-MailOnline, UK
Pasted from: http://theextinctionprotocol.wordpress.com/2014/05/12/newly-discovered-active-volcano-could-erupt-underneath-ice-in-antarctica-and-add-to-effects-of-global-warming/

Vol antarctica

May 2014ANTARCTICA – Antarctic ice sheet is being threatened by an undersea volcano. Antarctica’s ice sheets may face a far more imminent threat than climate change: scientists have found a new volcano forming a mile under the ice, which is threatening a full eruption. The volcano appears to be a part of much larger system that is generating earthquakes and releasing heat into the ice above. Volcanic activity was discovered around 30 miles from Antarctica’s highest volcano, Mount Sidley, and although an eruption would be unlikely to breach the ice – the accompanying heat could have an effect on the landscape. Even a sub-glacial eruption would still be able to melt ice, creating huge amounts of water which could flow beneath the ice and towards the sea – hastening the flow of the overlying ice and potentially speed up the rate of ice sheet loss. “Numerous volcanoes exist in Marie Byrd Land, a highland region of West Antarctica,” said Amanda Lough, of Washington University in St Louis in the team’s paper on the subject, published in the Nature Geoscience journal.

“High heat flow through the crust in this region may influence the stability of the West Antarctic Ice Sheet.” The Antarctic ice sheet is one of the Earth’s two polar ice caps and covers an area of 5.4 million square miles – around 98 percent of the continent, making it the largest single mass of ice on earth. Although scientists have suggested that sea ice around the continent is increasing, land ice appears to be decreasing and the area is very sensitive to global warming.  Seismologists had set up two crossing lines of seismographs across Marie Byrd Land in 2010 – the first time such instruments able to withstand the cold temperatures year-round had been used. –Daily Mail

vol ring of fire

Leave a comment

Filed under News & Editorial

Volcano: Perspectives

(News & Editorial/Volcano: Perspectives)

 A. The Volcano That Changed the Course of History
After the tsunami and famine came cholera, opium, and failed Arctic expeditions
7 April 2014, TheConversation.com, By Gillen D’Arcy Wood
Pasted from: http://theconversation.com/largest-volcanic-eruption-in-human-history-changed-the-19th-century-as-much-as-napoleon-25098 


Aerial view of Tambora, which, 199 years ago today, was the site of one of the most devastating volcanic eruptions on Earth. Most have heard of the Battle of Waterloo, but who has heard of the volcano called Tambora? No school textbook I’ve seen mentions that only two months before Napoleon’s final defeat in 1815, the faraway Indonesian island of Sumbawa was the site of the most devastating volcanic eruption on Earth in thousands of years.

The death toll was around 100,000 people from the thick pyroclastic flows of lava; the tsunami that struck nearby coasts; and the thick ash that blanketed Southeast Asia’s farmlands, destroyed crops, and plunged it into darkness for a week. Both events—Napoleon’s defeat and the eruption—had monumental impacts on human history. But while a library of scholarship has been devoted to Napoleon’s undoing at Waterloo, the scattered writings on Tambora would scarcely fill your in-tray.

This extraordinary geological event took place 199 years ago today, and, on the cusp of its bicentenary, Tambora is finally getting its due. With the help of modern scientific instruments and old-fashioned archival detective work, the Tambora April 9, 1815 eruption can be conclusively placed among the greatest environmental disasters ever to befall mankind. The floods, droughts, starvation, and disease in the three years following the eruption stem from the volcano’s effects on weather systems, so Tambora stands today as a harrowing case study of what the human costs and global reach might be from runaway climate change.

Tambora’s greatest claim to infamy lies not in the direct impact it had on what was then the Dutch East Indies (which was terrible enough), but its indirect effects on the disease ecology of the Bay of Bengal. The enormous cloud of sulfate gases Tambora ejected into the atmosphere slowed the development of the Indian monsoon, the world’s largest weather system, for the following two years.

Drought brought on by the eruption devastated crop yields across the Indian subcontinent, but more disastrously gave rise to a new and deadly strain of cholera. Cholera had always been endemic to Bengal, but the bizarre weather of 1816–17 triggered by Tambora’s eruption—first drought, then late, unseasonal flooding—altered the microbial ecology of the Bay of Bengal. The cholera bacterium, which has an unusually adaptive genetic structure highly sensitive to changes in its aquatic environment, mutated into a new strain. This was met with no resistance among the local population, and it spread across Asia and eventually the globe. By century’s end, the death toll from Bengal cholera stood in the tens of millions.

Just as the biological disaster known as the Black Death defined the 14th century in Europe and the Near East, so cholera shaped the 19th century like no other calamity. Much of our medical science, and our modern public health institutions, originate in the Victorian-era battle against cholera. But only now, thanks to renewed scientific interest in the relation between cholera and climate change, can we make the connection between the worldwide cholera epidemic originating in 1817 and Tambora’s eruption thousands of miles away.

Tambora’s ripple effects were felt across the globe. In southwest China, the outlying mountainous province of Yunnan suffered terribly from the cold volcanic weather, losing crop after crop of rice to bitter winds and flooding rains. The situation was so extreme that desperate Yunnanese resorted to eating white clay, while parents sold their children in the town markets or killed them out of mercy.

In the aftermath of this three-year famine, Yunnan farmers turned to a more reliable cash crop—opium—to ensure their families’ survival against future disasters. Within a few decades, opium was being grown all across Yunnan, while opium-processing technology and expertise drifted south into the remote mountains of modern-day Burma and Laos. The “golden triangle” of international opium production was born.

If the Tambora disaster persists in cultural memory at all, it is as the “Year Without a Summer,” 1816, the most notorious and best chronicled extreme weather event of that century. Snowstorms swept the East Coast of the United States in June, ensuring the shortest growing season on record. Crowds of desperate and hungry rural folk from Maine and Vermont fled snowfalls of up to 18 inches to the western frontier, which had been spared the worst of Tambora’s weather.

Here grain harvests were fetching sky-high prices on the famine-struck Atlantic market, but after the boom came a shattering bust—the so-called Panic of 1819—which triggered the first sustained economic depression in U.S. history. East Coast speculators had invested hugely in western agriculture post-1816, only to lose their shirts when the similarly-affected European grain markets returned to normal in 1819 and commodity prices plummeted. “Never were such hard times,” wrote Thomas Jefferson of ordinary Americans who, across the country, found themselves “in a condition of unparalleled distress,” persisting well into the 1820s.

As it turns out, however, the indirect ripple effects of Tambora—what climate scientists call “teleconnections”—were even more historically significant. Cholera, opium, and the Panic of 1819 are three examples; another is Arctic exploration.

One of the paradoxical effects of a major tropical eruption is that while the planet in general is cooled by the blanket of volcanic dust that drifts from the equator to the poles, the Arctic itself is drastically warmed owing to changes in wind circulation and north Atlantic ocean currents. This anomaly was discovered only after the 1991 eruption of Mount Pinatubo in the tropical Philippines, the first observed with the benefit of modern climatological instruments.

In 1817 and 1818, the British Admiralty began to receive exciting reports from whaling captains of a remarkable loss of sea ice around Greenland. Huge icebergs from a broken icepack were spotted floating as far south as Ireland and New York. The prospect of a northwest passage for shipping to the East—a holy grail England had sought since Elizabethan times—beckoned once more. With a generation’s naval captains still hungry for glory but now languishing onshore after the defeat of Napoleon, the Admiralty launched an expensive and ultimately disastrous 50-year-long campaign to chart the elusive northwest passage.

The British could not have known then, of course, that Tambora had caused the Arctic to melt, and that the climatic impacts of a tropical eruption persist for no longer than three years. The Arctic refroze just in time for the arrival of Britain’s first polar expedition under Captain John Ross in 1818. Years of fruitless, icebound sallies into the polar seas culminated in the tragic Franklin expedition of the 1840s, when all hands were lost, and the heroic age of British Arctic exploration came to an end.

It is time to recognize Tambora as the Napoleon of eruptions. The implications—for historians—of a revised, volcanic 19th century are immense. As with the global cholera epidemic, and the growth of a Chinese opium empire, Victorian-era polar exploration might not have happened at all, or would have evolved in an entirely different direction, had it not been for Tambora’s climate-wrecking detonation in 1815.

For two long centuries, the connections between this major volcanic disaster and human history have been obscured by two factors: the limitations of scientific knowledge, and by our narrow, anthropocentric vision that seeks out only human causes for human events, neglecting the influence of environmental change. Now, in the 21st century, as we begin to appreciate more profoundly the interdependence of human and natural systems, the lesson of a 200-year-old climate emergency may finally be learned: A changing climate changes everything.

B. Earth’s First Mass Extinction Caused by Volcanic Eruptions in Australia, Study
4 June 2014, by UniversityHearldReporter, Stephen Adkins
Pasted from: http://www.universityherald.com/articles/9743/20140604/earth-extinction-volcanic-eruption-australia-curtin-kalkarindji.htm


(Photo: Reuters) Earth’s First Mass Extinction Caused by Volcanic Eruptions in Australia, Study.

An ancient volcanic eruption in Australia, some 510 million years ago, led to the world’s first mass extinction, according to a study at the Curtin University.
Researchers said that the eruptions at Kalkarindji volcanic province in the Northern Territory and Western Australia covered an area of 2 million square kilometres of land in lava.

Associate Professor Fred Jourdan from Curtin’s Department of Applied Geology said that Early-Middle Cambrian extinction from 510-511 million years ago destroyed 50 percent of the species. The extinction was considered to be caused by abrupt climatic changes and depletion of oxygen in the oceans.
But until now, researchers weren’t able to determine the exact mechanism that triggered these changes.

“Not only were we able to demonstrate that the Kalkarindji volcanic province was emplaced at the exact same time as the Cambrian extinction, but were also able to measure a depletion of sulphur dioxide from the province’s volcanic rocks – which indicates sulphur was released into the atmosphere during the eruptions,” Jourdan said in a statement.

The researchers said that when the small volcano Pinatubo erupted in 1991, the sulphur dioxide emissions reduced the average global temperatures by a few tenths of a degree for a few years following the eruption. The ash and lava spewed from Pinatubo covered an area of 21 square miles, Live Science reports.

If small eruptions like Pinatubo can activate such drastic climate changes, then the impact from the volcanic province – almost the size of the State of Western Australia – would have been more severe. It caused the demise of nearly all multi-cellular life and creatures on Earth.

For the study, the researchers compared the volcanic eruptions at Kalkarindji volcanic province to volcanic regions elsewhere. They found that all mass extinctions were a consequence of sudden fluctuation in climate, caused by emissions of sulphur dioxide, greenhouse gases methane and carbon dioxide from volcanic eruptions.
“We calculated a near perfect chronological correlation between large volcanic province eruptions, climate shifts and mass extinctions over the history of life during the last 550 million years, with only one chance over 20 billion that this correlation is just a coincidence,” Jourdan said.
The study is published in the journal Geology.

Leave a comment

Filed under News & Editorial

Why our weather anomalies? Ocean currents? Really?

(News & Editorial/Why our weather anomalies? Ocean currents? Really?)

 A.  Recent headlines, sometimes quietly peeping out from the news:

Historic Ice Storm Unfolds in South; Lengthy Power Outages Possible
12 February 2014, AccuWeatgher.com, by Brian Lada Meteorologist
“The event could be the worst ice storm for parts of the South in more than 10 years…In many cases, roads may be too dangerous for travel…”
See article at: http://www.accuweather.com/en/weather-news/ice-storm-begins-to-unfold-in/23186487

Ice Expert Predicts Lake Superior Will Completely Freeze Over This Winter
11 Feb 2014,  CNSNews.con, by Barbara Hollingsworth
“… an expert on Great Lakes ice says there’s a “very high likelihood” that the three-quadrillion-gallon lake will soon be totally covered with ice thanks to this winter’s record-breaking cold…”
See article at: http://cnsnews.com/news/article/barbara-hollingsworth/ice-expert-predicts-lake-superior-will-completely-freeze-over

Rare snowstorm for Japan
8 Feb 2014
A strong storm moving up the eastern coastline of Japan brought some heavy snowfall Saturday into early Sunday for areas that typically don’t see much in the way of snow.
See article at: http://local.msn.com/rare-snowstorm-for-japan-2

Western drought spells killer grocery bills
7 Feb 2014, MarketWatch.com, By Myra P. Saefong
SAN FRANCISCO — Much like the polar vortex spiked demand and prices for natural gas in the eastern U.S., another weather phenomenon — a severe drought — is threatening cattle and milk production and food crops in the West.
See article at: http://www.marketwatch.com/story/us-drought-hurts-cattle-crops-prices-heat-up-2014-02-07

Iran Snowstorm: Heaviest Snow In 50 Years Blanket Country’s North
4 February 2014, Agence France Presse, by
See article at: http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2014/02/04/iran-snowstorm-photos_n_4718467.html?utm_hp_ref=green&ir=Green

UK floods: January rain breaks records in parts of England
30 January 2014, Met Ofc., BBC.co.uk
Parts of England have had their wettest January since records began more than 100 years ago, figures show.
See article at: http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-25944823

California drought: 17 communities could run out of water within 60 to 120 days, state says
28 Jan 2014, MercuryNews.com, by Paul Rogers
See article at: http://www.mercurynews.com/science/ci_25013388/california-drought-17-communities-could-run-out-water

volcano1 egyptPolar vortex: Stressed about the cold? So is the power grid
8 Jan 2014, The Christian Science Monitor, by Nicholas Cunningham, Guest blogger
Several snow storms hit the northeast over the course of the first few days of 2014, only to be followed up by the coldest temperatures in two decades due to a surge of Arctic air descending into the U.S.
 See article at: http://www.csmonitor.com/Environment/Energy-Voices/2014/0108/Polar-vortex-Stressed-about-the-cold-So-is-the-power-grid

First snowstorm in 100 years hits Middle East
14 Dec 2013, EUTimes.net, by EU Times
 See article at: http://www.eutimes.net/2013/12/first-snowstorm-in-100-years-hits-middle-east/



B.  2013 Sets A New Record For Volcanic Eruptions: Heightens The Risk Of Worldwide Cooling
5 Dec 2013, The Daily Sheeple , by Chris Carrington
Pasted from: http://www.thedailysheeple.com/2013-sets-a-new-record-for-volcanic-eruptions-heightens-the-risk-of-worldwide-cooling_122013

weather voocano a

2013 has seen more volcanic eruptions than at any time since records began. As reported in Seven Volcanoes In Six Different Countries All Start Erupting With in Hours Of Each Other, volcanism is on the increase. (see: http://www.thedailysheeple.com/volcanoes-could-usher-in-new-cold-period-say-scientists_032013 )

In an average year, 50-60 volcanoes erupt. So far this year there have been 83, not including any eruptions when writing this article.

An extra 23-33 eruptions (so far) may not seem like much, but those extra eruptions represent a massive amount of gases and ash being blown into the atmosphere. Millions and millions of metric tons which can have a profound effect on life on Earth.

The ash, which contains a variety of particulate matter, reflects sunlight back away from the surface. In severe eruptions it actually prevents sunlight getting through at all, as with the Mount Pinatubo eruption in 1992. Sulfur dioxide, one of the main gases thrown up during eruptions, also decreases temperatures and millions of tons at a time can be discharged when a volcano erupts.

If this level of volcanism continues, which at this point looks likely, then we could be heading for a drop of a couple of degrees in temperature. Again this doesn’t sound like much, but a 2°C drop is enough to alter the agricultural zone charts in some areas. Climate scientists tell us that a rise of 2°C due to anthropogenic global warming (AGW) will be a disaster for mankind, yet they never mention what a drop of 2°C can do.

The effects of such a drop would be profound, and if you add in the predicted drop in temperatures from the very long and subdued solar cycle, it looks like life is going to become very chilly indeed.

Solheim and Humlum are predicting a minimum drop of 1°C due to the solar cycle and James Marusek goes further suggesting:

We will experience temperatures that we have not seen in over 200 years, during the time of the early pioneers.

David Archibald, a climatologist, also suggests that the dip in solar activity will lower temperatures to levels we have not experienced for centuries.

Add these predictions to the effects of the volcanoes, and you have a doomsday scenario of long, bitterly cold winters and shorter, cooler summers. Crops and livestock will be affected, and famine is a real possibility, both home and abroad.

Grain stores are not full enough to last for decades of cold. The reserves would cover a year maybe two but not a decade or longer.

The Little Ice Age saw millions dying of hunger and cold, and with so many more mouths to feed now, that figure could go much higher.

Every day the global warming alarmists throw something more into the mix, some new way that positive figure climate change is going to be the death of us all. Loss of environment, loss of habitat  for a species no one has ever heard of, melting ice, rising sea levels… it’s endless.

The real and immediate danger we all face is global cooling, and with the uptick in vulcanism and the down tick in activity on the Sun, the chances are we will experience it sooner rather than later.

Yet it’s never mentioned.
•  I have never heard a politician say that we should be storing firewood and long-life foods and grains that we may not be able to grow in ten years time.
•  I have never heard a politician say ‘we are cutting green energy taxes so you can afford to insulate your homes and fit solar and PV units’.
•  I have never heard them say ‘we need to improve natural gas storage facilities and improve our electrical infrastructure so we can cope with the surge in demand that’s going to occur in the near future’.
If you have never looked at the Georgia Guidestones (see the message below, in part E of this post.)

Maintain humanity under 500,000,000 in perpetual balance with nature.
You need to think about this. You need to consider not just the usual doomsday scenarios we talk about. It’s said that if the grid goes down for good, 99% of Americans will be dead within a year. Would that figure rise if the grid goes down and we are facing bone numbing cold and famine at the same time? I suggest it would.



C.  22 Signs That Global Weather Patterns Are Going Absolutely Crazy
4 June 2013, EndOfTheAmericandream.com, by Michael
Pasted from: http://endoftheamericandream.com/archives/22-signs-that-global-weather-patterns-are-going-absolutely-crazy

weather floodingGlobal weather patterns seem to get stranger and stranger with each passing year.  Almost every day now, the news is telling us about some bizarre weather event that hasn’t happened “in 100 years” going on in some area of the globe.  All over the planet, we are seeing torrential rainfalls, unprecedented flooding, extreme drought, nightmarish wildfires, record setting tornadoes and very unusual blizzards.  Record high temperatures and record low temperatures are set so frequently now that nobody really seems to even notice anymore.  So exactly what in the world is going on here?  Why does our weather seem to be going absolutely crazy?  Perhaps even more important – can we expect our weather patterns to become even more erratic?  Some meteorologists are suggesting that these unusual weather events are just an “anomaly” and that things will get back to normal soon.  But what if they don’t?

I noted that natural disasters seem to be increasing in both frequency and severity in my recent article entitled “Are We Entering The Worst Period For Natural Disasters In U.S. History?“  But it isn’t just the ground under our feet that seems to be becoming more unstable.  The weather patterns that we all take for granted and that society depends upon seem to be rapidly changing.

The following are 22 signs that global weather patterns are going absolutely crazy…

1. Right now, central Europe is experiencing the worst flooding that it has seen in at least 70 years.

2. On Memorial Day weekend, a vicious winter storm dumped up to 36 inches of snow on parts of upstate New York.

3. Back in mid-May, on one single day some parts of the UK had a couple of inches of snow, some parts of the UK had a month’s worth of rainfall on a single day, and some parts of the UK were hammered by winds of up to 65 miles per hour.

4. The month of April (2013) was so cold across the northern United States that one meteorologist said that it was “like something out of the Twilight Zone“…

April has been a freakishly cold month across much of the northern USA, bringing misery to millions of sun-starved and winter-weary residents from the Rockies to the Midwest. “The weather map … looks like something out of The Twilight Zone,” Minneapolis meteorologist Paul Douglas of WeatherNation TV wrote on his blog last week. Record cold and snow has been reported in dozens of cities, with the worst of the chill in the Rockies, upper Midwest and northern Plains. Several baseball games have been snowed out in both Denver and Minneapolis. Cities such as Rapid City, S.D.; Duluth, Minn.; and Boulder, Colo., have all endured their snowiest month ever recorded. (In all three locations, weather records go back more than 100 years.) In fact, more than 1,100 snowfall records and 3,400 cold records have been set across the nation so far in April, according to the National Climatic Data Center.

5. This year Saskatchewan had the coolest spring that it has experienced in 100 years.

6. Moscow just experienced the snowiest winter that it has seen in 100 years.

7. Snow is falling in Russia in places where it should not be falling this time of the year.  On Sunday, residents of Kemerovo were stunned to see that a thin layer of snow had fallen on their city overnight.

8. This spring, there was a record amount of ice on the Baltic Sea due to very cold weather…
“Since record keeping began in the sixties, we’ve never encountered anything like this before,” ice breaker Ulf Gulldne told the local newspaper Örnsköldsviks Allehanda.
On March 29th, 176,000 square kilometers of the Baltic Sea was covered in ice, a record for the time of year. On a map, it means about half of the central and northern parts are frozen over. Far north, the ice is both thick and difficult to break through.

9. The city of Anchorage, Alaska set a record for the longest snow season that it has ever experienced this year.

10. In February, hail the size of “boulders” pounded one poor city in southern India
Hailstones the size of boulders have rained down on villages in southern India.
At least nine people were killed when the violent weather hit several villages in the state of Andhra Pradesh.
The hailstorm which lasted for almost 20 minutes, destroyed crops, houses and live stock, causing devastating financial implications for residents.

11. The tornado that touched down near Oklahoma City on Friday was the widest tornado ever recorded.  It was an EF5 tornado that was 2.6 miles wide at one point with winds of up to 295 miles an hour.

12. The tornado that did such devastating damage to Moore, Oklahoma recently was about 2 miles wide and it sat on the ground for an astounding 40 minutes.

13. During the month of February, Peru, Chile and Bolivia were all hit by unprecedented flooding.

14. At the end of May, more than a foot of rainfall in 24 hours caused nightmarish flooding in San Antonio, Texas.

15. A few weeks ago, unusual levels of rainfall caused the Mississippi River to rise to near record levels.

16. This year the state of Georgia experienced the wettest February ever recorded.

17. Chicago just had the wettest April ever recorded.

18. Scientists are projecting that the nightmarish drought that is taking place in the western half of the United States will “intensify” this year.

19. Overall, hundreds of thousands of trees died throughout the United States during 2012 due to horrible drought conditions.

20. This past January, part of Australia experienced record setting high temperatures that were absolutely unprecedented.  Keep in mind that the following temperatures are in Celsius…
Sydney endured its hottest ever day on Friday, with records smashed across the city and thousands of people suffering from the heat.  The mercury topped 45.8 at Sydney’s Observatory Hill at 2.55pm, breaking the previous record set in 1939 by half a degree. The city’s highest temperature was a scorching 46.5 degrees, recorded in Penrith at 2.15pm, while Camden, Richmond and Sydney Airport all reached 46.4 degrees.

21. Over the weekend, extremely dry conditions were making it difficult for firefighters to battle a very intense wildfire in California that had already burned more than 20,000 acres
By Sunday night, the Powerhouse Fire around the Angeles National Forest in Southern California engulfed about 22,400 acres, endangering some 1,000 homes in the Lake Elizabeth and Lake Hughes area.
Nearly 2,100 firefighters struggled to contain the fire, which more than tripled in size from Saturday to Sunday. Nearly 3,000 people have been evacuated and the blaze has already destroyed at least six homes by Sunday night.

22. About 30 percent of all honeybees are dying each year in the United States, and nobody seems to know exactly why this is happening.  If this continues, it threatens to absolutely cripple U.S. agriculture…
US honey bees have been dying by the tens of millions, with annual death rates of about 30 percent. With fewer bees to pollinate fruits and vegetables each year, ‘beemageddon’ may soon cause the collapse of the agriculture industry.
Honey bees pollinate more than 100 US crops, including apples, zucchinis, avocados and plums, that are worth more than $200 billion a year. Since 2006, about 10 million bee hives at an average value of $200 each have been lost in what scientists call the Colony Collapse Disorder (CCD), according to a new report by the US Department of Agriculture.

We certainly don’t need any more bad news about our agriculture.  Global food supplies are currently at their lowest level in 40 years, and most people in the general public are absolutely clueless about what is going on.
Unfortunately, our weather has not just been unusual for the past few months.  This is a trend that has been developing for quite some time
For example, the planet experienced some truly unusual weather last winter.  The following comes from a New York Times article from last January…

Around the world, extreme has become the new commonplace.
Especially lately. China is enduring its coldest winter in nearly 30 years. Brazil is in the grip of a dreadful heat spell. Eastern Russia is so freezing — minus 50 degrees Fahrenheit, and counting — that the traffic lights recently stopped working in the city of Yakutsk.

Bush fires are raging across Australia, fueled by a record-shattering heat wave. Pakistan was inundated by unexpected flooding in September. A vicious storm bringing rain, snow and floods just struck the Middle East. And in the United States, scientists confirmed this week what people could have figured out simply by going outside: last year was the hottest since records began.

Indeed, “extreme has become the new commonplace” as far as our weather is concerned.
So will our weather get back to “normal” soon or are even greater changes ahead?
And what in the world is causing all of this?


D.  Volcanic Aerosols Tamped Down Recent Surface Warming
11 Mar 2013, ThinkProgress.org, By Climate Guest Blogger
Pasted from: http://thinkprogress.org/climate/2013/03/11/1698211/volcanic-aerosols-tamped-down-recent-surface-warming/?mobile=nc

The last decade was the hottest on record. And the data make clear the planet is still warming, despite deniers’ disinformation to the contrary. But a new study does explain one reason surface temperatures did not rise quite as much as scientists expected in the past decade – JR.

weather volcano bEyjafjallajokull volcano    CIRES News Release

In the search for clues as to why Earth did not warm as much as scientists expected between 2000 and 2010, researchers have discovered the answer is hiding in plain sight. The study, led by a scientist from NOAA’s Cooperative Institute for Research in Environmental Sciences (CIRES), showed that dozens of volcanoes spewing sulfur dioxide have tempered the warming.

The findings essentially shift the focus away from Asia, including India and China, two countries that are estimated to have increased their industrial sulfur dioxide emissions by about 60 percent from 2000 to 2010 through coal burning, said lead author Ryan Neely, a CIRES scientist working at NOAA’s Earth System Research Laboratory. Small amounts of sulfur dioxide emissions from Earth’s surface eventually rise 12 to 20 miles into the stratospheric aerosol layer of the atmosphere, where chemical reactions create sulfuric acid and water particles that reflect sunlight back to space, cooling the planet.

Neely said previous observations suggest that increases in stratospheric aerosols since 2000 have counterbalanced as much as 25 percent of the warming scientists attribute to human greenhouse gas emissions. “This new study indicates it is emissions from small to moderate volcanoes that have been slowing the warming of the planet,” said Neely.

A paper on the subject was published online in Geophysical Research Letters, a publication of the American Geophysical Union. Co-authors include Professors Brian Toon and Jeffrey Thayer from CU-Boulder; Susan Solomon, a former NOAA scientist now at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology; Jean Paul Vernier from NASA’s Langley Research Center in Hampton, Va.; Christine Alvarez, Karen Rosenlof and John Daniel from NOAA; and Jason English, Michael Mills and Charles Bardeen from the National Center for Atmospheric Research in Boulder.

The new study relies on long-term measurements of changes in the stratospheric aerosol layer’s “optical depth,” which is a measure of transparency, said Neely.  Since 2000, the optical depth in the stratospheric aerosol layer has increased by about 4 to 7 percent, meaning it is slightly more opaque now than in previous years.

“The biggest implication here is that scientists need to pay more attention to small and moderate volcanic eruptions when trying to understand changes in Earth’s climate,” said Toon of CU-Boulder’s Department of Atmospheric and Oceanic Sciences. Overall these eruptions are not going to counter the human caused greenhouse warming, he said.  “Emissions of volcanic gases go up and down, helping to cool or heat the planet, while greenhouse gas emissions from human activity just continue to go up.”

The key to the new results was the combined use of two sophisticated computer models, including the Whole Atmosphere Community Climate Model, or WACCM, Version 3, developed by NCAR and which is widely used around the world by scientists to study the atmosphere.  The team coupled WACCM with a second model, the Community Aerosol and Radiation Model for Atmosphere, or CARMA, which allows researchers to calculate properties of specific aerosols and which has been under development by a team led by Toon for the past several decades.

Neely said the team used the Janus supercomputer on (the CU) campus to conduct seven computer “runs,” each simulating 10 years of atmospheric activity tied to both coal-burning activities in Asia and to emissions by volcanoes around the world. Each run took about a week of computer time using 192 processors, allowing the team to separate coal-burning pollution in Asia from aerosol contributions from moderate, global volcanic eruptions. The project would have taken a single computer processor roughly 25 years to complete, said Neely.

The scientists said 10-year climate data sets like the one gathered for the new study are not long enough to determine climate change trends. “This paper addresses a question of immediate relevance to our understanding of the human impact on climate,” said Neely. “It should interest those examining the sources of decadal climate variability, the global impact of local pollution and the role of volcanoes.”

While small and moderate volcanoes mask some of the human-caused warming of the planet, larger volcanoes can have a much bigger effect, said Toon. When Mount Pinatubo in the Philippines erupted in 1991, it emitted millions of tons of sulfur dioxide into the atmosphere that cooled the Earth slightly for the next several years.

The research for the new study was funded in part through a NOAA/ ESRL-CIRES Graduate Fellowship to Neely.  The National Science Foundation and NASA also provided funding for the research project.  The Janus supercomputer is supported by NSF and CU-Boulder and is a joint effort of CU-Boulder, CU Denver and NCAR.

.weather GA guidestones 

E. The Georgia Guidestones
A message consisting of a set of ten guidelines or principles is engraved on the Georgia Guidestones in eight different languages, one language on each face of the four large upright stones (see photograph of the face with the English version right). Moving clockwise around the structure from due north, these languages are: English, Spanish, Swahili, Hindi, Hebrew, Arabic, Chinese and Russian.

  1. Maintain humanity under 500,000,000 in perpetual balance with nature.
  2. Guide reproduction wisely — improving fitness and diversity.
  3. Unite humanity with a living new language.
  4. Rule passion — faith — tradition — and all things with tempered reason.
  5. Protect people and nations with fair laws and just courts.
  6. Let all nations rule internally resolving external disputes in a world court.
  7. Avoid petty laws and useless officials.
  8. Balance personal rights with social duties.
  9. Prize truth — beauty — love — seeking harmony with the infinite.
  10. Be not a cancer on the earth — Leave room for nature — Leave room for nature.

Leave a comment

Filed under News & Editorial

Volcano 2 of 2: Yellowstone caldera awakening

(News & Editorial/ Volcano 2 of 2: Yellowstone caldera awakening)

A.  Yellowstone Supervolcano Alert: The Most Dangerous Volcano In America Is Roaring To Life
2 October 2013, EndOfTheAmericanDream.com,  by Michael Snyder
Pasted from: http://endoftheamericandream.com/archives/yellowstone-supervolcano-alert-the-most-dangerous-volcano-in-america-is-roaring-to-life

volcano2 yellowstone np

[Area of outstanding natural beauty: The Yellowstone caldera (circled in red) in Wyoming is the world’s largest super-volcano]

Right now, the ground underneath Yellowstone National Park is rising at a record rate.  In fact, it is rising at the rate of about three inches per year.  The reason why this is such a concern is because underneath the park sits the Yellowstone supervolcano – the largest volcano in North America.  Scientists tell us that it is inevitable that it will erupt again one day, and when it does the devastation will be almost unimaginable.  A full-blown eruption of the Yellowstone supervolcano would dump a 10 foot deep layer of volcanic ash up to 1,000 miles away, and it would render much of the United States uninhabitable.  When most Americans think of Yellowstone, they tend to conjure up images of Yogi Bear and “Old Faithful”, but the truth is that sleeping underneath Yellowstone is a volcanic beast that could destroy our nation in a single day and now that beast is starting to wake up.

The Yellowstone supervolcano is so vast that it is hard to put it into words.  According to the Daily Mail, the magma “hotspot” underneath Yellowstone is approximately 300 miles wide…

The Yellowstone Caldera is one of nature’s most awesome creations and sits atop North America’s largest volcanic field.

Its name means ‘cooking pot’ or ‘cauldron’ and it is formed when land collapses following a volcanic explosion.

In Yellowstone, some 400 miles beneath the Earth’s surface is a magma ‘hotspot’ which rises to 30 miles underground before spreading out over an area of 300 miles across.

Atop this, but still beneath the surface, sits the slumbering volcano.

When most Americans think of volcanic eruptions in the United States, they remember the catastrophic eruption of Mount St. Helens back in 1980.  But that eruption would not even be worth comparing to a full-blown eruption of the Yellowstone supervolcano.

And now the area around Yellowstone is becoming increasingly seismically active.  In fact, Professor Bob Smith says that he has never seen anything like this in the 53 years that he has been watching Yellowstone…
Until recently, Bob Smith had never witnessed two simultaneous earthquake swarms in his 53 years of monitoring seismic activity in and around the Yellowstone Caldera.
Now, Smith, a University of Utah geophysics professor, has seen three swarms at once.
In September, 130 earthquakes hit Yellowstone over the course of a single week.  This has got many Yellowstone observers extremely concerned

Yellowstone’s recent earthquake swarms started on Sept. 10 and were shaking until about 11:30 a.m. Sept. 16.
“A total of 130 earthquakes of magnitude 0.6 to 3.6 have occurred in these three areas, however, most have occurred in the Lower Geyser Basin,” a University of Utah statement said. “Notably much of seismicity in Yellowstone occurs as swarms.”

So what is the worst case scenario?

Well, according to the Daily Mail, a full-blown eruption of Yellowstone could leave two-thirds of the United States completely uninhabitable…

It would explode with a force a thousand times more powerful than the Mount St Helens eruption in 1980.
Spewing lava far into the sky, a cloud of plant-killing ash would fan out and dump a layer 10ft deep up to 1,000 miles away.
Two-thirds of the U.S. could become uninhabitable as toxic air sweeps through it, grounding thousands of flights and forcing millions to leave their homes.

Can you think of another potential disaster that could accomplish the same thing?
That is why what is going on at Yellowstone right now is so important, and the American people deserve the truth.  The following are some more facts about Yellowstone that I compiled that I included in a previous article…

#1 A full-scale eruption of Yellowstone could be up to 1,000 times more powerful than the eruption of Mount St. Helens in 1980.
#2 A full-scale eruption of Yellowstone would spew volcanic ash 25 miles up into the air.
#3 The next eruption of Yellowstone seems to be getting closer with each passing year.  Since 2004, some areas of Yellowstone National Park have risen by as much as 10 inches.
#4 There are approximately 3,000 earthquakes in the Yellowstone area every single year.
#5 In the event of a full-scale eruption of Yellowstone, virtually the entire northwest United States will be completely destroyed.
#6 A massive eruption of Yellowstone would mean that just about everything within a 100 mile radius of Yellowstone would be immediately killed.
#7 A full-scale eruption of Yellowstone could also potentially dump a layer of volcanic ash that is at least 10 feet deep up to 1,000 miles away.
#8 A full-scale eruption of Yellowstone would cover virtually the entire midwest United States with volcanic ash.  Food production in America would be almost totally wiped out.
#9 The “volcanic winter” that a massive Yellowstone eruption would cause would radically cool the planet.  Some scientists believe that global temperatures would decline by up to 20 degrees.
#10 America would never be the same again after a massive Yellowstone eruption.  Some scientists believe that a full eruption by Yellowstone would render two-thirds of the United States completely uninhabitable.
#11 Scientists tell us that it is not a matter of “if” Yellowstone will erupt but rather “when” the next inevitable eruption will take place.

What makes all of this even more alarming is that a number of other very prominent volcanoes around the world are starting to roar back to life right now as well.
For example, an Inquisitr article from back in July described how “the most dangerous volcano in Mexico” is starting to become extremely active…
Popocatepetl Volcano is at it again. The active volcano near Mexico City erupted again this morning, spewing ash up into the sky.
The volcano is currently in the middle of an extremely active phase. According to the International Business Times, the volcano has registered 39 exhalations in the last 24 hours.
An eruption earlier this month caused several flights to be canceled in and out of Mexico City.
The BBC notes that officials raised the alert level yellow following Popocateptl’s eruption on Saturday morning. Yellow is the third-highest caution level on the city’s seven step scale.

And an NBC News article from August noted that one of the most dangerous volcanoes in Japan has erupted 500 times so far this year…
Ash wafted as high as 3 miles above the Sakurajima volcano in the southern city of Kagoshima on Sunday afternoon, forming its highest plume since the Japan Meteorological Agency started keeping records in 2006. Lava flowed just over half a mile from the fissure, and several huge volcanic rocks rolled down the mountainside.

Though the eruption was more massive than usual, residents of the city of about 600,000 are used to hearing from their 3,664-foot neighbor. Kagoshima officials said in a statement that this was Sakurajima’s 500th eruption this year alone.

So what does all of this mean?

Are we now entering a time when volcanic eruptions will become much more common all over the globe?
Could we rapidly be approaching the day when an absolutely devastating volcanic eruption will paralyze much of North America?

volcano2 yellowstone USA ashbed


B.  Study: Yellowstone magma much bigger than thought
December 2013,  Associated Press
Pasted from: http://missoulian.com/news/state-and-regional/study-yellowstone-magma-much-bigger-than-thought/article_21a29736-669b-11e3-9336-001a4bcf887a.html

volcano2 yellowstone caldera

[Yellowstone’s NW caldera rim at the Madison Junction in the park. The rim is 500 m. tall, and was formed when this area collapsed during the eruption that took place 640,000 years ago.]

HELENA — The hot molten rock beneath Yellowstone National Park is 2 ½ times larger than previously estimated, meaning the park’s supervolcano has the potential to erupt with a force about 2,000 times the size of Mount St. Helens, according to a new study.

By measuring seismic waves from earthquakes, scientists were able to map the magma chamber underneath the Yellowstone caldera as 55 miles long, lead author Jamie Farrell of the University of Utah said Monday. The chamber is 18 miles wide and runs at depths from 3 to 9 miles below the earth, he added.
That means there is enough volcanic material below the surface to match the largest of the supervolcano’s three eruptions over the last 2.1 million years, Farrell said.

The largest blast — the volcano’s first — was 2,000 times the size of the 1980 eruption of Mount St. Helens in Washington state. A similar one would spew large amounts of volcanic material in the atmosphere, where it would circle the earth, he said.

“It would be a global event,” Farrell said. “There would be a lot of destruction and a lot of impacts around the globe.”
The last Yellowstone eruption happened 640,000 years ago, according to the U.S. Geological Survey. For years, observers tracking earthquake swarms under Yellowstone have warned the caldera is overdue to erupt.

Farrell dismissed that notion, saying there isn’t enough data to estimate the timing of the next eruption.
“We do believe there will be another eruption, we just don’t know when,” he said.
There are enough instruments monitoring the seismic activity of Yellowstone that scientists would likely know well ahead of time if there was unusual activity happening and magma was moving to the surface, Farrell said.
The USGS’ Yellowstone Volcano Observatory listed the park’s volcano alert level as “normal” for December.
Yellowstone attracts millions of visitors with its geothermal features of geysers, hot springs and bubbling mud pots. The park just opened its gates on Sunday for its winter season.
Park officials did not immediately return a call for comment.

A large earthquake at Yellowstone is much more likely than a volcano eruption, Farrell said.
The 7.5-magnitude Hebgen Lake earthquake killed 28 people there in 1959.
Farrell presented his findings last week to the American Geophysical Union. He said he is submitting it to a scholarly journal for peer review and publication.

Brigham Young University geology professor Eric Christianson said the study by Farrell and University of Utah Professor Bob Smith is very important to understanding the evolution of large volcanoes such as Yellowstone’s.
“It helps us understand the active system,” Christianson said. “It’s not at the point where we need to worry about an imminent eruption, but every piece of information we have will prepare us for that eventuality.”


C.  Yellowstone’s Slumbering Giant
3-9-2005, Rense.com, via Independent News & Media (UK) Ltd.,  By Steve Connor Science Editor
Excerpts pasted from: http://www.rense.com/general63/yellowstonesslumbering.htm

“…A super-eruption at Yellowstone would be far more devastating for the world than the eruptions at Tambora in 1815, Krakatoa in 1883 and Pinatubo in 1991 which all caused global climate disturbances for several years after the event. Super-eruptions are hundreds of times larger than the

biggest volcanic explosions of recorded history and their effects on the global climate are much more severe, said Professor Stephen Self, a vulcanologist at the Open University.

“An area the size of North America can be devastated and pronounced deterioration of global climate would be expected for a few years following the eruption,” Professor Self explained. “They could result in the devastation of world agriculture, severe disruption of food supplies and mass starvation. These effects could be sufficiently severe to threaten the fabric of civilization…

… if some 2,000 million tons of sulphuric acid were ejected into the atmosphere to block out sunlight over much of the planet causing global temperatures to plummet by between 10C and 20C.

It also describes the chaos and panic caused by the dumping of billions of tons of volcanic ash over huge swaths of North America. Scientists calculate that it would be equivalent to covering an area the size of Britain in four metres of ash.

“Fema had no contingency plans for a disaster on this scale. The largest disaster they ever had to deal with was 9/11 and that stretched their resources to the limit,” Ms Orr said.

“Our scenario would affect an area 10 million times greater than 9/11 did. Fema were extremely interested in working with us to come up with a theoretical plan as to how they might deal with it. They gave us data on how many people would be affected by the eruption in the US.”

Satellite images show that the mouth or caldera of the Yellowstone supervolcano is 85km (53 miles) long and 45km (28 miles) wide – which amounts to an area big enough to swallow Tokyo, the largest city in the world.

Five miles underneath the surface of Yellowstone sits the volcanic chamber itself which is estimated to hold 25,000 cubic kilometres of molten rock or magma. Seismologists and vulcanologists working for the Yellowstone Volcano Observatory routinely monitor the regular swellings and subsidences of the land as it responds to shifting underground lake of molten rock below.

Some scientists believe that the Toba eruption, which caused global climatic disturbances, may have even caused a genetic “bottleneck” in human genetic diversity following a dramatic decline in the global population. If the Yellowstone supervolcano were to erupt in a similar fashion the ash that it would spew out would cover three-quarters of North America in a layer deep enough to kill crops and other plants.

Few people would survive in the zone immediately around the eruption as the volcanic gases and choking sulphur dioxide would burn the lungs of anyone caught in the open air. Those sheltering in their homes would not be safe because layers of heavy volcanic ash would eventually cause their roofs to collapse.

The supervolcanic eruption of the Toba volcano in Sumatra ejected about 300 times more volcanic ash than the eruption of Tambora in Indonesia in 1815 – which caused a “year without a summer” in 1816 and prompted Lord Byron to write his poem “Darkness”.

A report on supervolcanoes compiled by the Geological Society states: “It is easy to imagine that an eruption on the scale of Toba would have devastating global effects. A layer of ash estimated at 15 cm thick fell over the entire Indian subcontinent with similar amounts over much of south-east Asia. Most recently, the Toba ash has been found in the South China Sea, implying that several centimetres also covered southern China.

“Just one centimetre of ash is enough to devastate agricultural activity … Many millions of lives throughout most of Asia would be threatened if Toba erupted today,” it says.

Ms Orr said the University of Utah and the UK Met Office had helped to compile a map of the fallout that might result from the eruption of ash from the Yellowstone supervolcano.

“From this, we created an ash projection map which took into account wind direction and time of year of our eruption. Every time we refined our storyline we would send it back to them for approval so they were closely involved,” she said.

But it is the emission of sulphuric acid into the atmosphere that would create the greatest long-term problems for countries further afield, as the biggest volcanic eruptions of the past 200 years have shown, warns Professor Steve Sparks of Bristol University, a consultant to the programme. “They caused major climatic anomalies in the two or three years after the eruption by creating a cloud of sulphuric acid droplets in the upper atmosphere. These droplets reflect and absorb sunlight, and absorb heat from the Earth – warming the upper atmosphere and cooling the lower atmosphere,” Professor Sparks said.

“The global climate system is disturbed, resulting in pronounced, anomalous warming and cooling of different parts of the Earth at different times.”

If enough sulphuric acid were released – and Yellowstone could emit 2,000 million tons – then what could take place would be the equivalent of a “nuclear winter”, when the dust and debris from the fallout of a nuclear war block out sunlight for several years causing worldwide famines.

The Max Planck Institute in Hamburg helped the makers of Supervolcano to model the spread of sulphuric acid around the world.

“We’re talking about catastrophic amounts of sulphuric acid circling the world within just a few weeks. It forms a veil that blocks out sunlight, causing temperatures to plummet,” Ms Orr said.

“The Met Office models predicted a drop of about 15C across Europe and 20C in the southern hemisphere, the monsoon would stop, crops would fail and somewhere in the region of one billion people would die through climate change and starvation,” she added. ..”

Leave a comment

Filed under News & Editorial

Volcano 1 of 2: The danger of current volcanic activity leading to further global cooling

(News & Editorial/ Volcano 1 of 2- The danger of current volcanic activity leading to further global cooling)

 A.  2013 Sets A New Record For Volcanic Eruptions: Heightens The Risk Of Worldwide Cooling
5 Dec 2013, The Daily Sheeple , by Chris Carrington
Pasted from: http://www.thedailysheeple.com/2013-sets-a-new-record-for-volcanic-eruptions-heightens-the-risk-of-worldwide-cooling_122013

volcano1 eruption1
2013 has seen more volcanic eruptions than at any time since records began. As reported in Seven Volcanoes In Six Different Countries All Start Erupting With in Hours Of Each Other, vulcanism is on the increase. (see: http://www.thedailysheeple.com/volcanoes-could-usher-in-new-cold-period-say-scientists_032013 )

In an average year, 50-60 volcanoes erupt. So far this year there have been 83, not including any eruptions when writing this article.

An extra 23-33 eruptions (so far) may not seem like much, but those extra eruptions represent a massive amount of gases and ash being blown into the atmosphere. Millions and millions of metric tonnes which can have a profound effect on life on Earth.

The ash, which contains a variety of particulate matter, reflects sunlight back away from the surface. In severe eruptions it actually prevents sunlight getting through at all, as with the Mount Pinatubo eruption in 1992. Sulfur dioxide, one of the main gases thrown up during eruptions, also decreases temperatures and millions of tons at a time can be discharged when a volcano erupts.

If this level of vulcanism continues, which at this point looks likely, then we could be heading for a drop of a couple of degrees in temperature. Again this doesn’t sound like much, but a 2°C drop is enough to alter the agricultural zone charts in some areas. Climate scientists tell us that a rise of 2°C due to anthropogenic global warming (AGW) will be a disaster for mankind, yet they never mention what a drop of 2°C can do.

The effects of such a drop would be profound, and if you add in the predicted drop in temperatures from the very long and subdued solar cycle, it looks like life is going to become very chilly indeed.

Solheim and Humlum are predicting a minimum drop of 1°C due to the solar cycle and James Marusek goes further suggesting:

We will experience temperatures that we have not seen in over 200 years, during the time of the early pioneers.

David Archibald, a climatologist, also suggests that the dip in solar activity will lower temperatures to levels we have not experienced for centuries.

Add these predictions to the effects of the volcanoes, and you have a doomsday scenario of long, bitterly cold winters and shorter, cooler summers. Crops and livestock will be affected, and famine is a real possibility, both home and abroad.

Grain stores are not full enough to last for decades of cold. The reserves would cover a year maybe two but not a decade or longer.

The Little Ice Age saw millions dying of hunger and cold, and with so many more mouths to feed now, that figure could go much higher.

Every day the global warming alarmists throw something more into the mix, some new way that positive figure climate change is going to be the death of us all. Loss of environment, loss of habitat  for a species no one has ever heard of, melting ice, rising sea levels… it’s endless.

The real and immediate danger we all face is global cooling, and with the uptick in vulcanism and the down tick in activity on the Sun, the chances are we will experience it sooner rather than later.

Yet it’s never mentioned.
•  I have never heard a politician say that we should be storing firewood and long-life foods and grains that we may not be able to grow in ten years time.
•  I have never heard a politician say ‘we are cutting green energy taxes so you can afford to insulate your homes and fit solar and PV units’.
•  I have never heard them say ‘we need to improve natural gas storage facilities and improve our electrical infrastructure so we can cope with the surge in demand that’s going to occur in the near future’.
If you have never looked at the Georgia Guidestones now would be a good time. Point one may explain why the government says nothing.

Maintain humanity under 500,000,000 in perpetual balance with nature.
You need to think about this. You need to consider not just the usual doomsday scenarios we talk about. It’s said that if the grid goes down for good, 99% of Americans will be dead within a year. Would that figure rise if the grid goes down and we are facing bone numbing cold and famine at the same time? I suggest it would.


– See more at: http://www.thedailysheeple.com/2013-sets-a-new-record-for-volcanic-eruptions-heightens-the-risk-of-worldwide-cooling_122013#sthash.HF20gf1k.dpuf


B.  15 Signs That The Ring Of Fire Is Waking Up As We Head Into 2013
18 Dec 2012, The American Dream, By Michael
Pasted from: http://endoftheamericandream.com/archives/15-signs-that-the-ring-of-fire-is-waking-up-as-we-head-into-2013

volcano1 ring of fire

While most of the world has been focused on other things, the Ring of Fire has been quietly waking up. Over the past couple of months, there has been a steady string of noteworthy volcanic eruptions and earthquakes that have occurred along the perimeter of the Pacific Ocean. But because none of them have happened near a highly populated area, we really haven’t heard much about them in the news. But if activity along the Ring of Fire continues to increase, it is inevitable that a major event will happen near a major city at some point. When that happens, the entire world will be focused on the Ring of Fire once again. Most people don’t realize that approximately 90 percent of all earthquakes and approximately 75 percent of all volcanic eruptions occur along the Ring of Fire. The entire west coast of the United States sits along the Ring of Fire and a massive network of faults runs underneath California, Oregon and Washington. Fortunately, the west coast has not experienced any devastating seismic events in recent years, but scientists assure us that will change at some point. So it is important to sit up and take notice when there are reports of increasing activity along the Ring of Fire.

Unfortunately, most Americans cannot even tell you what the Ring of Fire is. The following is how Wikipedia defines the “Ring of Fire”…
The Pacific Ring of Fire (or sometimes just the Ring of Fire) is an area where large numbers of earthquakes and volcanic eruptions occur in the basin of the Pacific Ocean. In a 40,000 km (25,000 mi) horseshoe shape, it is associated with a nearly continuous series of oceanic trenches, volcanic arcs, and volcanic belts and/or plate movements.

It runs roughly along the rim of the Pacific Ocean. Coastal residents of four different continents realize that a major event along the Ring of Fire could fundamentally change their lives in a single moment.

Nearly all of the worst earthquakes in modern history have occurred along the Ring of Fire. When the Ring of Fire is very active, it is a very big deal. That is why so many people are alarmed that the Ring of Fire seems to be entering a period of increased activity.

The following are 15 signs that the Ring of Fire is waking up as we head into 2013…
#1  Mount Lokon, which is located in Indonesia, has erupted more than 800 times since July. On Monday, volcanic ash from the volcano reached heights of up to 10,000 feet.
#2  An “orange alert” had been issued for towns and villages near the Tungurahua volcano in Ecuador. On Tuesday it erupted and shot lava up to a half mile above its crater.
#3  Lava is still flowing out of the Tolbachik volcano which is located on the Kamchatka Peninsula. Anyone that has ever played the board game “Risk” knows where Kamchatka is located.
#4  Lava also continues to flow and ash also continues to rise from the Fuego volcano in Guatemala.
#5  On Tuesday, an ash plume more than 2.5 kilometers high had risen from the Paluweh volcano in Indonesia.
#6  There was an average of about 4 seismic events per hour at the Popocatépetl volcano in Mexico on Tuesday.
#7  Scientists recently discovered “one of the world’s weirdest volcanoes” on the floor of the ocean just off the coast of Baja, Mexico.
#8  Mt. Fuji (located not too far from Tokyo, Japan) has been dormant for about 300 years, but in recent months there have been increasing signs of activity there. One study recently found that a “magma chamber under the mountain has come under immense pressure“, and one prominent scientist is warning that Mt. Fuji is due for “a big-scale explosive eruption“. Authorities were alarmed when a tunnel leading to Mt. Fuji collapsed on December 2nd, killing 9 people.
#9  Scientists are now warning that there is a very dangerous build up of magma at a large number of Japan’s 110 active volcanoes.
#10  A magnitude-6.1 earthquake struck off the coast of Sulawesi, Indonesia on Monday.
#11  A magnitude-6.0 earthquake hit the New Britain region of Papua New Guinea on Saturday.
#12  A magnitude-6.5 earthquake struck the Gulf of Alaska in mid-November.
#13  A magnitude-7.3 earthquake hit Japan earlier this month.
#14  There has been a substantial increase in earthquake activity in the Long Valley caldera region of California, and authorities tell us that “magma is indeed moving down there“.
#15  Over one recent five week period, more than 170 significant earthquakes were detected in one town in Chile. That town is now being called “one of the shakiest places on earth”.

All of those events occurred along the Ring of Fire.
So why is all of this happening?
Well, there are certainly a lot of theories out there.

In the United States, a large percentage of the population is convinced that an increase in natural disasters is evidence that we are in the “last days” described in the Bible. In fact, one recent survey found that a whopping 36 percent of all Americans believe that the increase in natural disasters that we have seen in recent years is an indication that we are in the end times…

More than a third of Americans believe the severity of recent natural disasters is evidence that we are in the “end times” described in the New Testament — a period of turmoil preceding Jesus’ Second Coming and the end of the world.

“There is a significant proportion of Americans who see these phenomena through a theological lens,” said Daniel Cox, research director at the Public Religion Research Institute, which released a poll on religion and climate change on Thursday (Dec. 13) in partnership with Religion News Service.

“It’s hardly a fringe belief. It’s nearly four in 10 Americans who are embracing this,” Cox said.

The conviction is particularly strong among white evangelical Protestants (65 percent), and less common among Catholics (21 percent) and the religiously unaffiliated (15 percent).

Other Americans believe that there are other causes for all of these natural disasters, and a large number of Americans are absolutely convinced that nothing unusual is happening at all.

Internet linkVideo: Is a North American volcanic eruption imminent?
Click the following link: (http://www.vancouversun.com/technology/Video+North+American+volcanic+eruption+imminent/8201416/story.html)


C.  Revamping the Volcanic Explosivity Index (or Tiny Eruptions Need Love, Too)
2 Jul 2013, Wired.com, by Erik Klemetti
Exxcert pasted from: http://www.wired.com/wiredscience/eruptions/

volcano1 eruption2Small (but still hazardous) explosive eruptions from Kilauea in 2008 might require a tweaking of the Volcanic Explosivity Index (VEI). Image: HVO/USGS.

Much of the discussion of volcanic eruptions tends to center on the big ones — those monstrous eruptions that really capture everyone’s attention, potentially plunging the parts of the planet into a cool spell that could last years. Those eruptions are relatively rare, coming a few times a decade for the smaller ones and a few times a century (or longer) for the real colossal blasts. It is true that those are important events to understand, especially because humanity will need to face life after a giant eruption like Tambora or Taupo someday in the future. However, all this focus on the enormous eruptions ends up leaving those “everyday” events in the cold and even if they are small, they can have a profound effect on local areas, especially if they are places that are highly frequented by tourists.

Some background on the scale of volcanic eruptions: the Volcanic Explosivity Index (VEI; see below) was devised as a way compare eruptions (mainly explosive eruptions) much in the same way we compare earthquake magnitude using the Richter Scale. It was developed mainly to discuss eruptions that have an impact on global climate (that is, the big eruptions). The VEI is based on the volume of volcanic tephra (debris of explosive eruptions, like ash and bombs) that the eruption produces, so VEI 0-1 eruptions produce small amounts of tephra, only ~10,000 m3 (picture a cube with ~21.5 meter / 70 foot sides) while the VEI 7-8 eruptions produce a remarkable 1,000,000,000,000 m3 (take that cube and make it 10 km / 6.2 miles on each side). A VEI 7-8 eruption is actually 10 million times more productive than a VEI 0-1, however across the Holocene (the last 10,000 years), there have been only 6 eruptions that make it into into the heady VEI 7-8 territory while there have been at least 2215 VEI 0-1 eruptions that we know of. I emphasize this idea because a VEI 0-1 eruptions leaves little to be preserved in the geologic record — maybe a mere dusting of ash or a small lava flow — so this value is minimum value for these eruptions*.

volcano1 VEI

The Volcanic Explosivity Index with volumes and terminology as currently defined. Image: Table 8 from Siebert et al. (2010), Volcanoes of the World, 3rd Edition.

That being said, if you’re standing near the vent of a 0-1 explosion, well, you can still get hurt or killed. Volcanic debris is heavy and it is thrown out of the vent at high speeds, so even a small explosion can be hazardous in places where people frequent. You might notice on the VEI that these very small explosive eruptions, those under 10,000 m3 fall into the VEI 0 category, which is described as “gentle”. That is because this is where the VEI breaks down and treats all eruptions that produce small volumes of tephra (remember, explosive debris) as effusive eruptions — that is, eruptions that produce lava flows. However, this is not the case in many places. The eruption of Mayon in May 2013 was a tiny phreatic (steam-driven) explosion that was likely VEI 0 but it killed 5 climbers who were near the vent when it occurred. That would hardly be considered as “gentle”.


D.  First snowstorm in 100 years hits Middle East
14 Dec 2013, EUTimes.net, by EU Times
Pasted from: http://www.eutimes.net/2013/12/first-snowstorm-in-100-years-hits-middle-east/

Icy blast: The Western Wall compound in the Old City of Jerusalem, Israel, today was covered with snow as temperatures plunge below zero.
It’s a festive scene that’s adorned countless Christmas cards… and, for once, the Holy Land actually became a snow covered winter scene.

The ancient city of Jerusalem, which normally basks in fierce heat, was dusted with a light covering of snow during a freak blizzard.

And snow fell on the streets of Egypt for the first time in 112 years as one of the worst winter storms to hit the Middle East in living memory set in.
The rare sight of pristine white precipitation greeted stunned residents of Cairo this morning who took to social media to express their shock at the unsettling weather in the usually sweltering capital.
The blizzard, which has been named Alexa, forced Jerusalem into lockdown today after more than 50cm of snow was dumped on the region.
The unusual weather system brought travel chaos and disruption to much of the region.
People had to abandon their cars and seek emergency shelter as the snowstorm brought transport to a standstill.
Police set up roadblocks on routes in and out of the ancient city.

Ben Gurion airport near Tel Aviv was shut earlier this morning and Egypt’s main ports on the Mediterranean and the Red Sea remained closed for the third straight day due to bad weather.
Israelis were told over media and public broadcasts today not to enter or leave Jerusalem and some 1,500 people were evacuated from stranded vehicles overnight, said police spokesman Micky Rosenfeld.
Three emergency centers were set up and medics treated 350 people for cold-related symptoms, Rosenfeld said. Jerusalem Mayor Nir Barkat said he asked the military for assistance.

Rare snow also fell in Cairo’s suburbs, the port city of Alexandria and a blanket of white covered St. Catherine’s Monastery on Mt. Sinai.
The cold weather was part of a storm, dubbed Alexa, which has been pounding much of Lebanon and parts of northern Syria since Wednesday, pushing temperatures below zero and dumping snow and heavy rains.
The snow has heaped another layer of misery on the already grim existence of many of the more than two million Syrians who have fled the civil war raging in their homeland.

volcano1 isreal[Worship: An Ultra-Orthodox Jew prays at the snow-covered compound of the Western Wall in the Old City of Jerusalem today.]

The weather even featured in talks between visiting U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry and Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, who said he was briefed on the emergency measures
Kerry, a former Massachusetts senator, said the snow made him feel ‘at home’.
‘I have heard of making guests welcome and feeling at home. This is about as far as I’ve ever seen anything go… giving me a New England snowstorm,’ Kerry said as he viewed a snow-covered Old City of Jerusalem with Netanyahu.

In the West Bank and Gaza, U.N. relief teams offered emergency services to the worst-hit communities.
In Gaza, which was experiencing its first snow in a decade, more than 500 people were evacuated from their homes, according to Hamas spokesman Ihab Ghussein.

Egypt’s state MENA news agency said the country’s two Mediterranean ports near the city of Alexandria and two ports on the Red Sea remained closed for the third day Friday.
The report quoted the head of the Alexandria port authority, Adel Yassin Hammad, as saying the decision was taken to avoid possible accidents in the ports.

Snow-covered valleys made Jerusalem look more like the Alps than the Middle East.
Public transport has ground to halt as a result of heavy snow in Jerusalem.

See also my blog article, “Volcanic Winter” at: https://4dtraveler.net/2013/06/24/disaster-volcanic-winter/

volcano1 egypt

Leave a comment

Filed under News & Editorial