Volcanoes Seem To Be Slowing Global Warming

Volcanoes Seem To Be Slowing Global Warming

Those volcanic eruptions that seem so scary and apocalyptic might have actually slowed the global warming rate by up to 50 percent.

Climate change, global warming, whatever you want to call it, it's the kind of thing that's concerned a great many scientists in recent years. But over the past decade, researchers noticed something odd about it: Even as the pollutants in the atmosphere continued to rise, the warming seemed to be slowing down. There are a variety of possibilities for why this is, but a recent study from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology has put forward a new theory: Volcanoes could be cutting the rate of global warming in half.

Even though we think of volcanoes as centers of hot firey magma, they also belch out insane amounts of ash and smoke. Instead of making global warming worse however, it could have mitigated the increase of greenhouse gases by reflecting sunlight back into space that would otherwise heat the planet, similar to nuclear winter theories. Balloon, laser radar, and ground-based measurements were used over the course of the study, which concluded that volcanic eruptions are responsible for significant cooling effects since the year 2000.

Now that's not to say the climate change issue is solved - the surface temperature is still rising after all - but if true, it would slow the rate enough to partially explain the pause we've experienced. If anything, it's a temporary fix that lets us catch our breath before finding a more lasting solution.

And no, a more lasting solution cannot involve triggering supervolcanoes. (Please, for the love of God, do not fix global warming by triggering a supervolcano.)

Source: Geophysical Research Letters, via Discovery News

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Fanghawk:

And no, a more lasting solution cannot involve triggering supervolcanoes. (Please, for the love of God, do not fix global warming by triggering a supervolcano.)

Yeah, because we'll get more of John Cusack, running away from lava. DON'T DO IT!

OT: Well, it happens, but not according to schedule. We need some clean-up 'round these parts. I'm doing my part. How about you?

Not surprising. The volcanic ash that's released from a strato volcanic eruption tends to cool the atmosphere. If I recall Mount Pinatubo's plinian eruption in 1991 caused the entire planet to cool down nearly a whole degree. God have mercy though if the Yellowstone supervolcano were to erupt. That'd destroy a good chunk of the United States given the intense pressure that's building up.

Also, they have the power to ground all air traffic over an entire continent. Estimates say the Icelandic eruptions in 2010 prevented the emission of 3 million tonnes of CO2. That's also got to help.

Alexander Kirby:
Also, they have the power to ground all air traffic over an entire continent. Estimates say the Icelandic eruptions in 2010 prevented the emission of 3 million tonnes of CO2. That's also got to help.

Yep, that's got to cut the annual emissions by at least 0.00001%, maybe.

Oh, sure. Nature spits all this smoke, ash, and gasses into the atmosphere and it cools the planet off. We do it, and it makes it hotter.

Great so it's eitehr more fiery ashes (if we had more volcanoes to counteract Global Warming) or too much water/ cold (in the UK) if Global Warming continues.

Jadak:

Alexander Kirby:
Also, they have the power to ground all air traffic over an entire continent. Estimates say the Icelandic eruptions in 2010 prevented the emission of 3 million tonnes of CO2. That's also got to help.

Yep, that's got to cut the annual emissions by at least 0.00001%, maybe.

so basically we need a volcano on the coast of China to make a sizable dent. According to some maps I just googled they're off the coast so I wonder what it would take to trigger them.

I've always wondered why people worry about global warming, what at any given time, human race can play its trap card and invoke nuclear winter.

Its not like there is some kind of global nuke shortage o.O

What? Im just saying that there ARE options.....

Interesting. Just goes to show it's not as cut and dry as a lot of people think it is.

ONE SUPERVOLCANO TO RULE THEM ALL!!!!!

neonit:
I've always wondered why people worry about global warming, what at any given time, human race can play its trap card and invoke nuclear winter.

Its not like there is some kind of global nuke shortage o.O

What? Im just saying that there ARE options.....

Unfortunately, nuclear winter was, IIRC, highly exagerated. Though, humans should be able to kick up lots of dust without nuclear devices if they set their mind to it.

...

IIRC, volcanoes can also have the opposite effect, they can throw out lots of darkly coloured dust which reflects less sunlight, or at least compared to certain areas it lands on, such as ones covered in snow.

And then the dust settles and you're left with more greenhouse gasses. And I don't just mean pansy CO2, but real trouble makers like sulfides and NOx's.

Fanghawk:

And no, a more lasting solution cannot involve triggering supervolcanoes. (Please, for the love of God, do not fix global warming by triggering a supervolcano.)

Oh. You mean I should dig up that nuke I planted underneath Yellowstone Park, rather than pressing this detonator here? Ohhh...

OT: Cool. This actually puts some weight behind the idea of pumping reflective particles into the atmosphere to cool the planet down. Of course, the downside to that plan is that you're pumping something into the atmosphere to deal with something else that you're pumping into the atmosphere. To take the Volcanic Ash example, it might be nice and cool the planet down, but it does all sorts of nasty stuff too...

explosions

the one answer to every problem

'Global Warming.' Ugh.

Anyway, yeah volcanoes affect climate on a global scale. We've known this for a while. The year without a summer is a good example of the impact volcanic eruptions can have.

But triggering a super volcano would be a perfect solution! Not only would you get the massive dust clouds reflecting a lot of light from reaching the surface, wiping huge swaths of the population out would make sure emissions after the dust has settled would be a lot lower! And hell, given how good we are at forgetting important things, society may take decades to recover, curbing emissions even more!

Lagslayer:
Oh, sure. Nature spits all this smoke, ash, and gasses into the atmosphere and it cools the planet off. We do it, and it makes it hotter.

Why don't you read into the science behind it?

Now if we could get US Congress to stop telling the scientific community that their full of shit...

I don't know why this is some form of surprise. Increased Volcanic activity caused one of the Ice Ages. (I forget which)

Quick! Get me ten tons of dynamite and a plane to Yellowstone Natuonal Park! I have a cunning plan!

Oh, god. Now they're flailing around to find excuses why global warming isn't happening.
If scientists in academia got paid a decent wage they wouldn't be such whores to whoever is buying the results.

Just because global warming is a hoax doesn't mean we don't need to pollute less. It's just harder for politicians to strike enough fear without it.

Oh Wow! Really!? This is something I've known for just about a decade now - It's called global dimming. Fun fact kids, It's something along the lines of the nuclear winter theory.

Global dimming has said to be responsible for the Sahel drought since the 1980s.

http://www.climos.com/news/articles/candr.htm

Using manufactured volcanic gases as a solution to climate change has been discussed for years now.

Ah, nothing greater than a short term solution with long term consequences. time to invoke the yellowstone card!

neonit:
I've always wondered why people worry about global warming, what at any given time, human race can play its trap card and invoke nuclear winter.

yep, if there arent any people left there wont be anyone to worry about global warming.

This is not a new information. Sulfur from volcanic eruption cool the atmosphere. Too bad SO2 is a pollutant.

DoctorM:
Oh, god. Now they're flailing around to find excuses why global warming isn't happening.
If scientists in academia got paid a decent wage they wouldn't be such whores to whoever is buying the results.

Just because global warming is a hoax doesn't mean we don't need to pollute less. It's just harder for politicians to strike enough fear without it.

Oh look someone who doesn't understand the scientific method trying to dismiss the work of qualified professionals with his own ignornace, I was wondering how long it would take for denialists to turn up.

Nature fixes our screw-ups, who knew.

Next we'll learn the sky is blue or some nonsense like that.

Shocksplicer:
Quick! Get me ten tons of dynamite and a plane to Yellowstone Natuonal Park! I have a cunning plan!

You have to have a license in order to purchase that amount of high explosives.

But we can get everything we need to frack Yellowstone from any commercial equipment rental agency.

Plus forklifts.

On the one hand, that's neet. On the other, some people don't need any more excuses for actively behaving like we don't have to pay any heed to what we do.

I went to a cafe for lunch the other day. An hour lunch. On the way, I walked past a lady sitting in her Hummer with the engine running reading the paper. When I left, she was still there, with her engine still running, still reading the paper... It was not unpleasant out; the temp was a comfortable 55 F and she had a coat - so heat in the car wasn't needed... I see stuff like this all the time. Even if she thinks it doesn't matter, she's wasting money and resources. People like this will cut off their nose to spite their face.

Lagslayer:
Oh, sure. Nature spits all this smoke, ash, and gasses into the atmosphere and it cools the planet off. We do it, and it makes it hotter.

flarty:

Why don't you read into the science behind it?

DoctorM:
Oh, god. Now they're flailing around to find excuses why global warming isn't happening.
If scientists in academia got paid a decent wage they wouldn't be such whores to whoever is buying the results.

Just because global warming is a hoax doesn't mean we don't need to pollute less. It's just harder for politicians to strike enough fear without it.

JazzJack2:

Oh look someone who doesn't understand the scientific method trying to dismiss the work of qualified professionals with his own ignornace, I was wondering how long it would take for denialists to turn up.

oh look, people going back and forth again.

image

Tsaba:

image

Always happy to entertain.

No triggering super-volcanoes? Aw... -_-

But what about deliberately starting a nuclear winter? We can do that one, right? RIGHT!?

XD

This stuff always has been a bit amusing from certain angles...
You can never quite be sure what will heat up, and what will cool the planet. (Neither is good in isolation, it's all about balance...)

I think that's the way the Dinosaur TV series ended. They triggered all the volcanoes and caused the Ice Age.

 

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