Volcano to cool world temperatures

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http://dailynews.yahoo.com/h/nm/20000305/sc/environment_volcanoes_1.html Sunday March 5 8:36 PM ET Mayon to Cool World Temperatures -Again By Regan Morris

SINGAPORE (Reuters) - While villagers living near Mayon volcano in the Philippines are feeling the force of brutal eruptions almost daily, the rest of the world could feel Mayon's impact through cooler global temperatures.

Mayon has been blasting out rock, dust and boulders as big as houses for over a week and climate experts say if the dust makes it into the upper atmosphere, the stratosphere, it would form a veil over the Earth, preventing some of the Sun's heat from reaching the Earth's surface and causing temperatures to drop.

``You would expect to see a reduction in temperatures in two, three months' time in global terms of a few tenths of a degree,'' said Dr Jean Palutikof, Director of Internal Affairs of Britain's University of East Anglia's Climate Research Unit.

``Of course, there will be regional differences with immediate effects under the dust cloud,'' she told Reuters by telephone.

She said a small temperature change can have a big impact.

``It (a few tenths of a degree Celsius) sounds a small amount, but the global warming we all worry about is about 0.7 of a degree per year, because we're looking at global averages.''

While some regard man's hand in causing global warming as myth, most scientists agree that humans burning fossil fuels like coal and gas have contributed to the warming.

Nature's Revenge

Billowing, lava-spewing volcanoes, arguably nature at her most awesome, play a hand in slowing global warming.

``It is a paradox,'' meteorologist Peter Scholefield of the U.N. World Climate Program told Reuters by telephone from Geneva. ``In 1991-92 the temperatures were not as high as the year before, there was a definite dip after Pinatubo.''

Powerful Philippine volcano Mt Pinatubo was the last volcano to have an impact on global weather patterns. It erupted with astonishing force in 1991 killing 800 people and forcing thousands to evacuate.

Pinatubo blasted rock and dust 12 miles (20 km) into the atmosphere while Mayon has so far reached about eight miles (13 km) and Scholefield thinks that will make a difference.

``It (Mayon) might not have a major impact at this moment. If it goes up to 10-12 miles then conceivably it will significantly change global weather,'' he said.

But the effects wouldn't last long.

``Volcanoes don't contribute to long-term climate changes,'' Robert Fawcett, meteorologist with Australia's National Climate Centre, told Reuters.

``Expect temperatures cooling where the debris goes, the larger the volcano the larger the effect. But don't expect long-term effects.''

So where will the debris go? It depends which way the wind blows.

Ben Franklin To Frankenstein

Benjamin Franklin was the first to establish the link between volcanic eruptions and climate change when he suggested the bitterly cold winter of 1783-84 in Europe was a result of the dust cloud from the massive eruption of Iceland's Mt Laki in 1783.

If Mayon helps create a cooler summer in Europe or North America this year, it won't be the first time.

Mayon blew her top in 1814 and was closely followed by the deadly Tambora eruption of 1815 in Indonesia. Tambora, on the island of Sumbawa, killed more than 90,000 people and resulted in Europe's so-called ``year without summer'' in 1816, famous for giving birth to Mary Shelley's Gothic tale Frankenstein.

The late frosts of that cold, dark summer destroyed crops across Europe and kept Shelley and her husband Percy holed up on the shores of Lake Geneva at the house of Lord Byron, who suggested a ghost story writing contest to amuse them.

Percy Shelley and Lord Byron soon abandoned their efforts, but Mary persisted and a monster was indirectly created from an Indonesian volcano.

Tambora blasted millions of tons of rock and dust into the stratosphere. But Mayon's recent eruptions are not in the same ballpark. Farms at the foot of Mayon have been devastated, but the recent eruptions are unlikely to damage crops elsewhere.

``This eruption would have to get considerably worse to impact global crop yields and harvests,'' Palutikof said.

La Nina Overshadows Volcano

Palutikof said any cooling effects from the Mayon eruptions may be overshadowed by the La Nina weather phenomenon's recent wave of destruction.

``Because we are in such a strong La Nina, which is manifesting itself with floods in Mozambique, this change in temperature, compared to what is happening with La Nina, it's quite likely we won't be able to pick it out.''

Rains lashing southern Africa have prompted floods that have displaced at least one million Mozambicans.

La Nina, which is caused by a cooling of currents in the Pacific Ocean, can cause torrential downpours and is often associated with flooding

-- cin (cinlooo@aol.com), March 05, 2000


Good article!

-- (reallytired@my.home), March 05, 2000.


Thanks for the article. I have been watching volcano watch, someone here gave me the site on the old forum, but it is very interesting how many volcanoes are blowing now. Maybe y2k was just a prelimary to get us thinking or the pole shift. 3

-- 3legs (odddog_3@hotmail.com), March 05, 2000.

Remember those GORGEOUS sunsets we had soon after Pinatubo blew?

-- cin (cinlooo@aol.com), March 05, 2000.

wish I could see the lights, alas am stuck in a valley, with mountains all around...can see the stars real well though. The universe is wonderful,so much it gives.

-- 3legs (odddog_3@hotmail.com), March 06, 2000.

I saw a TV programme recently about the supervolcano in Yellowstone National Park. Apparently it's now overdue for another eruption, the last one having happened about 600,000 years ago, so it's believed. When it does erupt, scientists estimate that it could cause an average global temperature decrease of about five degrees Celsius, which would be, to put it mildly, disastrous.

Research also indicates that the last supervolcanic eruption, which took place about 70,000 years ago, may have resulted in the population of the Earth being reduced to just tens of thousands.

I'm recounting this from memory, so some of the details may be a bit off. Does anybody have any links relevant to this story?

-- Richard Dymond (omicron@zoom.co.uk), March 06, 2000.


Richard, I know of what you speak about the super volcano at Yellowstone. Darned if I can find the story again that I read on line, but it is due to erupt again from what I read. This is a good site though, to keep up on the latest eruptions...there were 2 the other day. If you notice there have already been alot of eruptions this year, in conparison to last year.

If Yellowstone blows again, we here, in the good ole usa can pretty much kiss our ass goodbye. They found fossils of dead animals in the Dakotas from the last time it blew. Killed quick. If I find the article or a link will let ya know...am still looking ...hate it when I can't find something.

3 legs

-- 3 legs (odddog_3@hotmail.com), March 06, 2000.

Thanks for the new on this. I'm now screaming! WHY HAVEN'T WE HEARD ANYTHING ABOUT THIS ON TV?? Am I watching the wrong stations? This is real news.

-- gilda (jess@listbot.com), March 06, 2000.


Have no idea how mother nature will do it, but keep your preps. If the poles shift we are all dog meat. Check out planet X. And be aware.

-- 3 legs (odddog_3@hotmail.com), March 07, 2000.

I would be more concerned with Mammoth Mountain in California, than the superblow at Yellowstone. Mammoth Mountain is starting to heave a lot more, and if it goes... BOOM! Also, Mt. Rainier is starting to make noise again also....

watchin' the idiots on TV....

The Dog

-- The Dog (dogdesert@hotmail.com), March 07, 2000.

And another volcano is currently active in Iceland right now also...

The Dog

-- The Dog (dogdesert@hotmail.com), March 07, 2000.

Hey The Dog,

Here's a link to some info about your neck of the woods:

Long Valley Caldera and Mono-Inyo Craters Volcanic Field, California



Some of the most recent world-wide eruptions:

Philippines, Guatemala, Nicaragua, Iceland, Hawaii and Sicily (Mt. Etna).

-- Deb M. (
vmcclell@columbus.rr.com), March 07, 2000.

USGS Yellowstone Volcano Page

With great pics in the "photos" link.

-- (Hallyx@aol.com), March 07, 2000.

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