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Volcano Eruptions and Climate Change

Published on November 2, 2020 by ClimateYou Administrator in CausesCITY-TECH BlogCurrent ResearchSciencesliderPicturesWeather

Yellowstone National Park is the world’s first and largest national park which covers an area of approximately 89.8 hectares and is located at the junction of Wyoming, Montana, and Idaho. It was included in the World Natural Heritage List in 1978. Yellowstone National Park is famous for its charming scenery. The clean and pristine natural area is preserved in the park. The dense forest provides a paradise for the survival of wild animals. The park is mainly divided into 5 areas. The mammoth area in the northwest is dominated by limestone steps, also called hot steps area; the northeast is the Roosevelt area, which mainly retains the old western landscape; the middle is the canyon area, where visitors can watch the Yellowstone Canyon and the Great Falls; the southeast is the Lake area, which is mainly composed of lakes and mountains; the west and southwest are geyser areas with hot springs and steam pools. Not only that, but there is also the largest and still active supervolcano in the Yellowstone National park, the Yellowstone Super Volcano. The Yellowstone supervolcano hides the super energy that destroys the earth, and its eruptive ability can bury half of the United States. According to scientists’ estimates, its eruption cycle is about 600,000 years, and it has now entered the eruption cycle.

Mount Sinabung, Indonesia.    Volcano ash cloud. Photo by Yosh Ginsu

Volcanic eruptions are a type of crustal movement, which is molten material inside the earth is ejected under pressure. A large amount of volcanic ash and volcanic gas emitted during a volcanic eruption will cause damage to the climate and the environment. Volcanic gases contain large amounts of carbon dioxide, water vapor, carbon monoxide, and hydrogen sulfide, which will have a great impact on climate change. For example, SO2, (sulfur dioxide) H2S (Hydrogen sulfide ) HCl (Hydrochloric acid), etc. will destroy the atmosphere and increase the greenhouse effect. At the same time, not only volcanic gas but volcanic ash also has a great influence on the climate. When a volcano erupts, rocks, minerals, are broken down into fine particles, which are called volcanic ash. The volcanic ash that rises to a high altitude during a volcanic eruption will form an aerosol layer, thereby reducing the solar radiation reaching the earth and reducing the temperature. For example, the eruption of Gunung Tambora in Indonesia in 1815, which was the largest eruption in human history, killing about 100,000 people, and a large amount of volcanic gray entering the high altitude made the global climate abnormal. For example, in 1816, the whole year in the United States was very cold. In June, there was even snow, and crops were not harvested.

Unlike ordinary volcanoes, supervolcanoes are volcanoes that can cause super-large-scale eruptions, and the eruption of volcanic material must be more than 1,000 cubic kilometers. When the supervolcano erupts, it can change the terrain and change the global weather. And the volcanic ash floating in the atmosphere can last for years or even decades. There are many supervolcanoes in the world, such as the Danau Toba supervolcano, Yellowstone supervolcano, Taupo supervolcano, among others. Although all supervolcanoes in the world are in a dormant state, the Yellowstone supervolcano is still active. According to scientific evidence, volcanic eruptions can curb global warming, but they have little effect. Some people in life say that a volcanic eruption is a roar of nature and a gift of nature. For example, the greenhouse gases produced by volcanic eruptions will cause climate change. Although the impact is small, other volcanic gases will deplete the ozone layer in the atmosphere. But the hot magma will bring a lot of heat energy, forming mineral deposits through various effects, and volcanic ash can also be used as a raw material for concrete. Therefore, taking care of nature is the best protection for the earth.


Work Cited

“Birth of a National Park.” National Parks Service, U.S. Department of the Interior, www.nps.gov/yell/learn/historyculture/yellowstoneestablishment.htm.

“Global Volcanism Program: Has Volcanic Activity Been Increasing?” Smithsonian Institution | Global Volcanism Program, volcano.si.edu/faq/index.cfm?question=historicalactivity.

Plumer, Brad. What Would Happen If the Yellowstone Supervolcano Actually Erupted? 5 Sept. 2014, www.vox.com/2014/9/5/6108169/yellowstone-supervolcano-eruption.

“Volcano Hazards Program.” Volcanoes Can Affect Climate, www.usgs.gov/natural-hazards/volcano-hazards/volcanoes-can-affect-climate.

“Volcano World.” What Are Some Good Things That Volcanoes Do? | Volcano World | Oregon State University, volcano.oregonstate.edu/what-are-some-good-things-volcanoes-do.

“Yellowstone.” Volcano Updates, www.usgs.gov/volcanoes/yellowstone/volcano-updates.

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