Major Philippine volcanic eruption seems imminent

Mayon – Shades of Pinatubo

http://veimages.gsfc.nasa.gov/15782/STS083-747-88.jpg

2001 Image from NASA via the Space Shuttle: click for very hi res image

Here’s a recent AP report and bulletin from local authorities. Meanwhile, fools rush in as 2400 tourists a day flock to the area.

From the Philippine institute of Volcanologyand Seismology

30 December 2009 7:00 AM

For the past 24 hours, one ash explosion occurred at Mayon Volcano (13.2576 N, 123.6856 E). The explosion produced a dirty white ash column that rose to about 100 meters above the summit and drifted to the northwest. Lava continued to flow down along the Bonga-Buyuan, Miisi and Lidong gullies. The lava front has now reached about 5.9 kilometers from the summit along the Bonga-Buyuan gully.

Mayon Volcano’s seismic network recorded 16 volcanic earthquakes. A total of 150 rock fall events related to the detachment of lava fragments at the volcano’s upper slopes was also detected by the seismic network. Yesterday’s measurement of Sulfur Dioxide (SO2) emission rate yielded an average value of 4,397 tonnes per day (t/d). The volcano edifice remains inflated as indicated by the electronic tilt meter installed at the northeast sector of the volcano.

The status of Mayon Volcano is maintained at Alert Level 4. PHIVOLCS-DOST reiterates that the Extended Danger Zone (EDZ) from the summit of 8-km on the southern sector of the volcano and 7-km on the northern sector should be free from human activity.  Areas just outside of this EDZ should prepare for evacuation in the event hazardous eruptions intensify.  Active river channels and those perennially identified as lahar prone in the southern sector should also be avoided especially during bad weather conditions or when there is heavy and prolonged rainfall. In addition, Civil Aviation Authorities must advise pilots to avoid flying close to the volcano’s summit as ejected ash and volcanic fragments from sudden explosions may pose hazards to aircrafts. PHIVOLCS–DOST is closely monitoring Mayon Volcano’s activity and any new significant development will be immediately posted to all concerned.

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159 thoughts on “Major Philippine volcanic eruption seems imminent

  1. Who considers an exploding volcano a “viewing opportunity”?

    “Up close and personal” can get you dead, guys.

  2. OMG! at the satellite picture. That volcano looks like a ripe zit on the face of the earth ready to blow. I hope the local populace take note and evacuate before the event.
    Considering the bigger picture- with a quiet sun, -ve AMO and -ve AO, a big volcanic eruption could flip the earths climate into protracted cooling. The final straw that broke the AGW back.

  3. Darwinian theory at work.Do not leave the shallow end of the Gene Pool…
    My Ex-Brother in law was on the south side of St. Helens when it blew.Tried to
    tell him to stay away that this wasn’t a movie production.I was flying around that thing for USGS and Army Corps. I wasn’t happy,either.Glad I was flying a Hottrod Twin Cessna.Oh the BIL-he managed to escape-barely-had his wife and kids,too…

  4. I don’t think I like this. If there is a major eruption and the earth cools down as a result, the AGW cultists and fraudsters will blame the volcano for the cooling that would have occured regardless. Oh well.

  5. This is going to make it extremely difficult for The Philippines to meet their CO2 emissions targets. However, the cooling effect of the sulfate emissions might make this winter even colder.

  6. @ mojo (11:53:12) :

    You don’t need to get close to them to be in danger from them. I was stationed at Subic Bay when Pinatubo erupted. Subic Bay was 25 miles away and deemed to be “safe” from any eruption. Wish the USGS and PhilVolics had told Mother Nature. Just When the main eruption occured a Typhon came onshore and the counter clockwise winds took the hot dry ash from the erupting volcano and dumped heavy wet ash on the base. The stuff was up to 2 ft deep in places, buildings collapsed and people killed.

    http://www.subicbaypi.com/sub_desbase009.htm

    Luckily Mayon doesn’t historicly erupt like Pinatubo does, ie blow up. Now what will be interesting and will put everyone in the hurt locker is the Yellowstone Super Volcano that is due for one of its historic eruptions. It goes pop usually every 600,000 years and its been 640,000 since the last eruption. In 2006 the USGS have seen two warning signs that Yellowstone might be heading towards eruption:
    1. Major increase in the number and intensity of earth quakes.
    2. Ground upswelling in the Crater. The ground has swelled over a foot since 2006 sowing magma rising up from the hotspot to the magma chamber beneath Yellowstone.

  7. Well again, Al Gore says Tsunami’s are caused by anthropogenic global warming so if they are caused by earthquakes and underwater landslips then it follows that earhquakes and volcanic eruptions must also be caused by CO2.

    The problem is that if this volcano does go bang that any cooling that occurs (including the last week or so of pre-emptive cooling) will all be attributed to volcanic action and not to solar activity etc.

  8. How to observe an erupting volcano:

    Step 1: Identify volcano about to erupt
    Step 2: set up cameras looking toward volcano
    Step 3: FLEE
    Step 4: watch from a distance.

  9. Is there any correlation between Solar minima & volcanic activity?

    I seem to recall Leif saying that the Maunder & Dalton minima were times of high volcanic activity is why I ask.

    DaveE.

  10. Will our climate alarmists be able adjust all appropriate temperature measurements to preserve the hockey stick and hide the decline?

    How will they ever eliminate the contribution of mother nature so they can highlight Mann-made climate change?

    How long before the predictions of acid rain and volcanic winter?

    If Mayon blows, it will be a Mann-caused catastrophe. Somebody call homeland security.

  11. John (12:00:04)

    The “zit” reference was gross, but that volcano indeed looks like a teenager’s worst nightmare. If history is any judge, that dude’s gonna blow at some point. But when? And how bad will it be? Volcanos are a lot like climate: they’re fickle and complex with many factors involved, both known and unknown. Funny how volcanos can effect climate upon the earth: one complex system complicating the complexities of another highly complex system. (Sorry, I couldn’t help it. But I meant it!)

  12. If this puppy turns into a Pinatubo, we could be in a world of hurt food wise next year. Policies put in place since 1996 have converted the USA to “just in time” in regards to the food supply with the production of grains lower than consumption for the past eight years (2000-2007). Storing grain surplus has become out of fashion and much of the surplus was converted to bio-fuel. As of 2008 the USDA had no stores left.

    “International grain supplies are the tightest in three decades, and prices of wheat, corn, rice and other food staples have doubled or tripled…

    The whole world has gotten fairly sanguine about food supplies,” says Bruce Babcock, director of the Center for Agricultural and Rural Development at Iowa State University. “Advances in logistics and just-in-time production have allowed the world to get by on very low stock levels for a very long time. We kind of undershot it this year [2008]….

    Total U.S. wheat stocks are down from 777 million bushels in 2001, and are the lowest since World War II. The USDA says that’s about a 35-day supply of wheat and notes that farmers in Texas are already starting to harvest a new crop. The American Bakers Association estimates the country has a 24-day supply of wheat compared with the previous three-month level on hand.” http://www.usatoday.com/money/industries/food/2008-05-01-usda-food-supply_N.htm

    Ag Professional discusses the changes in USDA policy that has resulted in the decrease in stock levels of grains.

    http://agprofessional.com/show_story.php?id=51716

    “At the risk of sounding like Johnny One Note, we would suggest that the pressure for governments to institute trade embargos, would be much less if they were willing to hold reserve stocks to even out supplies in the event of a production shortfall and/or a sudden increase in demand. Adequate supplies would reduce the likelihood of food riots that have the potential to topple governments.

    When the 1996 farm bill was passed, we were told that times had changed and governments no longer needed to hold reserves of storable commodities like wheat, rice, corn and soybeans. It was argued that commercial enterprises, in their quests for profits, would provide that function if there were a need for reserves.

    We now read that over seven of the past eight years (2000-2007) the production of grains has been lower than the consumption. These years include the 2000 and 2001 crop years when prices were extremely low and U.S. farmers were collecting emergency and marketing loan payments. We were told that the prices in those years were low because farmers were overproducing.

    The U.S. virtually eliminated government-held stocks under the provisions of the 1996 act. With consumption exceeding production, stock levels for grains fell by more than 200 million tonnes since 2000….”

    This is a problem seen this year due to delayed harvest of corn because of rain according to the Iowa State University Extension Service.
    “The corn harvest is later than it has been any time in recent memory, and the prolonged moist conditions are conducive for molds to develop on grain in the field. Over the past few days we have received numerous reports of ear rots developing in the field and questions concerning mycotoxin production when conditions are cool but wet.”

    http://www.extension.iastate.edu/worth/news/delayedharvest.htm

    Fall is supposed to be clear, bright and sunny. Yesterday I lot a boot in the mud and today the mud/muck/water had turned to solid ice. I have never seen it this bad. (Central North Carolina USA)

  13. Where are all these mighty eco-warriors? Why aren’t they at the base of it protesting the catastrophic release of carbon emissions?

    Nope, instead they are busy terrorizing the kiddies with the imminent death of everything if their parents don’t use curly light bulbs.

    After we have decisively destroyed the CAGW myth, can we sue Greenpeace et al for intentional infliction of psychological trauma?

  14. Are people really this stupid?

    The Mayon volcano has a track record of generatind nuées ardentes during its rather violent eruptions. These are very bad things. They are the worst form of pyroclastic flows. They are fast moving clouds of extremely hot vapor and volcanic aerosols that travel at more than 100 mph. In 1902 a nuées ardentes destroyed the city of St. Pierre on Martinique when Mt. Pelee erupted. St. Pierre was four miles away from the volcano…

    MT. PELÉE ERUPTION (1902)

    At about 7:50 a.m. on May 8, the volcano erupted with a deafening roar. A large black cloud composed of superheated gas, ash and rock rolled headlong down the south flank of Mt. Pelée at more than 100 miles per hour, its path directed by the V-shaped notch at the summit. In less than one minute it struck St. Pierre with hurricane force. The blast was powerful enough to carry a three-ton statue sixteen meters from its mount. One-meter-thick masonary walls were blown into rubble and support girders were mangled into twisted strands of metal. The searing heat of the cloud ignited huge bonfires. Thousands of barrels of rum stored in the city’s warehouses exploded, sending rivers of the flaming liquid through the streets and into the sea. The cloud continued to advanced over the harbor where it destroyed at least twenty ships anchored offshore. The hurricane force of the blast capsized the steamship Grappler, and its scorching heat set ablaze the American sailing ship Roraima, killing most of her passengers and crew. The Roraima had the misfortune of arriving only a few hours before the eruption. Those on on board could only watch in horror as the cloud descended on them after annihilating the city of St. Pierre. Of the ~28,000 people in St. Pierre, there were only two known survivors.

  15. If it even lets off so much as a single flutter-blast or a treblo, Warmist willies will blame the next 350 years of cooling on the volcano.

  16. John – {q} Considering the bigger picture- with a quiet sun, -ve AMO and -ve AO, a big volcanic eruption could flip the earths climate into protracted cooling. The final straw that broke the AGW back. {EQ}

    The pro AGW’s do not state that natural variability cannot, for a time, overcome the relentless march of increased energy entrapment. There claim, as far as I understand, is that there will be periods of cooling or stagnant temp rise, but over a long period of time, it will average to higher then what should be natural.

    Therefore the “Pudding Proof”, will be when we come out of this latest cooling trend, if the average temp jumps (and quickly relatively speaking) more then what should be expected.

  17. mojo asks: “Who considers an exploding volcano a “viewing opportunity”?”

    I can understand the appeal.

    Easily the most amazing thing I’ve ever seen is lava gushing into the ocean at night on the big island (Hawaii). The ground shaking under my feet, the roar of the rock, the smell of sulphur, the nearly unbearable heat (basically we got as close as the heat would allow), the orange light bathing everything including the huge billowing clouds of steam.

  18. Haha – I can see it now…

    In the grand rewriting of history this season’s cold winter in the North and mild summer in the South will be attributed to volcanic activity

    Maybe the NOAA guys will even “correct” it out of the records for us

  19. When Mt. St. Helens blew, the force was equivalent to a Hiroshima-sized A bomb every second. When the grand-daddy of them all, Yellowstone, last blew, the force was equivalent to 1,000 Hiroshima-sized bombs every second. And while the geologist in me would love to be up close and personal (my master’s thesis was on volcanism), the engineer in me wants to be watching this thing on TV in the safety of my own home, which is very distant from the vent.

  20. Climate Cultists –Briffa, Hansen, Jones, Mann, Trenberth et al.– will hasten to claim Mount Mayon emissions as key to the next few decades’ radical cooling phase. But no… despite a scattering of sunspots through December, indications are that we are entering a 20 – 70 year “dead sun” period akin to previous Dalton or even Maunder Minimums. By complex chains of circumstance, solar irradiance affects various climate determinants, including cosmic rays penetrating declining gusts of “solar wind”. Milankovich Cycles play their part, but only as plate tectonics disposes continental landmasses in accordance with deep-ocean currents affecting atmospheric circulation patterns.

    From 1645 – 1715, the last Maunder Minimum defined the depth of a 500-year Little Ice Age, when wolves froze to death in Rhineland forests and Louis XIV’s wine-glass glazed over in his Palace of Versailles. Meantime, well-defined Pleistocene Era glaciations averaging 102,000 years display median 12,250-year remissions. Since continental ice sheets receded by BC 8800, only to be set back to BC 7300 by a 1,500-year “cold shock” called the Younger Dryas, our current Holocene Interglacial Epoch, Earth’s immemorial “long summer”, was statistically due to peter out in AD 2000 + (12,250 – 12,300) = AD 1950.

    Given Luddite sociopaths’ determined sabotage of the U.S. energy economy over forty years, treating coal, oil, and nuclear power as luxuries rather than necessities, death-eating Warmists will feast on mega-deaths as Ice Time looms. Depend upon it, Al Gore and his criminally malfeasant ilk will admit to nothing as civilization crumbles in their wake.

  21. So here is the new narrative that will play out in the next 2 months –

    “Gee – the volcano blew and we should see decreasing temperatures due to the particulates in the upper atmosphere, and yet look at the Winter Olympics in Vancouver. Where is the snow in Vancouver? It must be Global Warming!”

    That story will ignore several facts –

    1) That Vancouver / British Columbia occupies the warm corner of Canada and that Vancouver doesn’t have snow very often. The only reason for the Olympics is that Whistler / Blackcomb are nearby and do have good snow coverage in winter and will therefore host the alpine events. In nearby Victoria British Columbia you can find palm trees – even dendronologists agree that palm trees are not found in snowy regions.

    2) That the cold jet stream that is about to deep freeze the midwestern and eastern US and Canada will result in a warming on the western coast of the continent.

    But never mind such – the narrative will be adopted and the alarmists will scream (like always) and anyone pointing out simple observations and weather patterns will be informed that they are deniers.

  22. Mojo, Take a look at the picture on wikipedia for Mt Pinatubo. I imagine it’s quite the viewing opportunity (at least briefly).
    Boballab, The PI was home away from home for me when I was on Blue Ridge in Yoko. I understand my favorite bar on Magsaysay, Slim’s, was crushed by the ash.

  23. “The Mayon volcano has a track record of generatind nuées ardentes during its rather violent eruptions. These are very bad things. They are the worst form of pyroclastic flows.”

    Correction, they are the second worst form of pyroclastic flows. The worst is ignimbrites. Fortunately they are rare, the only ignimbritic eruption to occur in historical time was Katmai/Novarupta in 1912.
    Interestingly both Rome and Mexico City are built largely on ignimbrites, and there seems to be no reason to suppose that the volcanoes in question are extinct.

  24. “Google earth” the island and have a look at the other older volcanic edifices in the area. Some of them look like collapsed calderas and others look like they blew their tops. Could be a significant dispersion of atmospheric dust by going on the the other volcanoes in the area. Then again it could all shut down tomorrow.

  25. The data recorded by all the new global observation equipment now installed will prove invaluable. Hopefully CRU et al, will be the gatekeeper of the data.

  26. Been quite a bit of tectonic quake activity to the south and east of the volcano. Don’t know what effect it’ll have on the volcano itself. Also, the full moon is in perigee, so that will add a little more stress.

  27. David Middleton (12:35:35) :
    …. St. Pierre was four miles away from the volcano…A large black cloud …. at more than 100 miles per hour….In less than one minute it struck St. Pierre ..

    Sounds like a good bit more than 100 m.p.h

  28. In 5 days they will have pumped out more emissions than the US does in a year. Quick, put a sulphur tax on them.

  29. @mojo
    “Who considers an exploding volcano a “viewing opportunity”?
    “Up close and personal” can get you dead, guys.”

    Actually, vulcanologists are some of the bravest/most foolhardy of all scientists, depending on your point of view. Right up there with the obscure illness specialists who infect themselves to check the progress of the disease.

    I believe they have the highest ‘death while working’ rate of all scientists…

  30. An emergency climate change meeting should convene at the base of the Mayon Volcano. All those who know the science is settled are highly encouraged to attend. Deniers are not welcome.

  31. Question about that Yellowstone super volcano thing…

    What would be a safe distance from that? What would be the guestimated radius of total destruction?

  32. @ John Blake

    I don’t remember seeing any estimates of sunspot numbers showing Maunder or Dalton type minimums. If I remember right the latest estimates are showing the sun ramping back up next year. Is that your estimate, and if so what methods are you using to derive, and if not can you give a link please?

    Thx
    Lloyd

  33. The 1814 Explosion of Mayon was probably one of the reasons that the Dalton minimum was a time of low temperatures, combined with Tambora in 1815 and the 1809 eruption of an unknown volcano [Dai, JGR, vol 96, 1991].

  34. Could we possibly use either AlGore or Gordon Brown as volcano butt-plugs. Or maybe the both of them at the same time, if it proves big enough?

    Please, PLEASE !!!!!

  35. boballab (12:14:38) :

    Luckily Mayon doesn’t historicly erupt like Pinatubo does, ie blow up. Now what will be interesting and will put everyone in the hurt locker is the Yellowstone Super Volcano that is due for one of its historic eruptions. It goes pop usually every 600,000 years and its been 640,000 since the last eruption.

    The last time I responded to this claim I got a thank you note from a volcanologist at the USGS. I remember some previous discussion about checking facts vs. common knowledge, and that led me to really tear into the guy who posted this claim. Hmm, I might be able to dig up the history at home. It would be worth doing, I found a very good .pdf about Yellowstone volcanism along the way. I’ll try to be kinder this pass.

    You assertion that “it goes pop usually every 600,000 years and its been 640,000 since the last eruption” is half right. From http://volcanoes.usgs.gov/yvo/about/faq/faqactivity.php :

    Is it true that the next caldera-forming eruption of Yellowstone is overdue?

    No. First of all, one cannot present recurrence intervals based on only two values. It would be statistically meaningless. But for those who insist… let’s do the arithmetic. The three eruptions occurred 2.1 million, 1.3 million and 0.64 million years ago. The two intervals are thus 0.8 and 0.66 million years, averaging to a 0.73 million-year interval. Again, the last eruption was 0.64 million years ago, implying that we are still about 90,000 years away from the time when we might consider calling Yellowstone overdue for another caldera-forming eruption. Nevertheless, we cannot discount the possibility of another such eruption occurring some time in the future, given Yellowstone’s volcanic history and the continued presence of magma beneath the Yellowstone caldera.

    In 2006 the USGS have seen two warning signs that Yellowstone might be heading towards eruption:
    1. Major increase in the number and intensity of earth quakes.
    2. Ground upswelling in the Crater. The ground has swelled over a foot since 2006 sowing magma rising up from the hotspot to the magma chamber beneath Yellowstone.

    2006, heh? I was in Yellowstone in 2003 when half of the Norris Geyser Basin was closed because ground temps next to the boardwalk melted boot soles or rangers taking ground temperature measurements. (Norris Basin is the hottest of all the basins, I felt very uncomfortable there.) It was also a period when people were investigating a bulge under Yellowstone Lake. While we were there, a Bozeman newspaper ran a stupid story “Yellowstone – Ready to Blow?” There had been an earthquake swarm not long before.

    “Swelled over a foot since 2006?” Given that the caldera is some 30 miles wide, one foot is hardly worth getting excited. I think the bulge under the lake uplifted part of the shore half a foot. (Most of the features people to to see in Yellowstone are within the caldera.) http://volcanoes.usgs.gov/yvo/new.html has better information. GPS data it providing a huge amount of data about such changes.

    See http://tbi.montana.edu/topics/inthenews/pdfsdocs/BozemanChronicle03 copy.pdf (not the story I read, this is from December 2003) and is reasonably decent. See also my http://wermenh.com/biketour/yellowstone.html for 2003 photos and notes about changes since 1974, my only other visit to Yellowstone.

    Please folks, Yellowstone is a unique and fascinating area, it does not need to be hyped with misinformation about being overdue for a replacement caldera.

    Also, please take the time to do a little research before posting here – I’m not fond of off the cuff comments that take an hour of my time to iron out.

  36. Once in a lifetime viewing opportunities!

    I can see the appeal in wanting to witness something spectacular, but the making of documentary for Dante’s Peak put me off a little. Producers looked for volcanologists to consult on the film, many were dead. Having read more about them, think it’s something I’d want to study from a safe distance.

    I’ve been following the reports on this here-

    http://www.reliefweb.int/rw/dbc.nsf/doc108?OpenForm&emid=VO-2009-000259-PHL&rc=3

  37. DavidE (12:21:34)

    It could be possible to argue that the Taupo eruption of 210CE (or possibly 186CE if red sky observations from Rome and China at that time give a truer date) caused the end of the Roman Climate Optimum. The problem comes with trying to attribute one simple cause to a very complex system, sort of like warming is caused by CO2. It is more likely that the Taupo eruption merely coincided with the ending of the optimum, but may have accelerated the effect.

  38. Earlier this year when two volcanoes erupted – one in Alaska and one in the Kamkatcha peninsula – I briefly mentioned the possibility a climate change in the Northern Hemisphere. Has anyone linked those eruptions with AccuWeather meteorologist Joe Bastardi’s prediction of a much colder winter in North America?

  39. I’ve been watching the Mayon news for about 2 weeks now, and all the sources seem to agree that Mayon will not be another Pinatubo. I note that somewhere between 3000 and 6000 tons of sulfur dioxide is being produced a day – would this be a significant quantity, cooling-wise, over the course of a month?

    Also, an earlier poster asked about the correlation between the solar minimum and volcanism. As far as I know, there is no study that shows such a correlation, although this study:

    http://www.springerlink.com/content/buvw2tq081013210/

    finds that “Earthquakes occur frequently around the minimum years of solar activity” and shows other related correlations. Also, the Year without a Summer (1816) occurred at the end of the Dalton Minimum, “caused by a succession of major volcanic eruptions capped off by the Mount Tambora eruption of 1815, the largest known eruption in over 1,600 years.” (from Wikipedia).

  40. An unusual calm in the last 24 hrs according to this Philippino paper:

    http://newsinfo.inquirer.net/inquirerheadlines/nation/view/20091231-244760/Deadly-calm-over-Mayon

    “This morning, Mayon even appeared to be not emitting smoke from the crater. This is not normal. For an erupting volcano, this thing is dramatically very unusual,” volcanologist Eduardo Laguerta said Wednesday. (but note that this artlicle posted 6 hours ago is not such recent news as we are now at 6.30 am Thursday.)

  41. @ DavidE (12:21:34) :Is there any correlation between Solar minima & volcanic activity?
    I seem to recall Leif saying that the Maunder & Dalton minima were times of high volcanic activity is why I ask.

    Apparently there is a negative correlation:

    http://articles.adsabs.harvard.edu/cgi-bin/nph-iarticle_query?bibcode=2003ESASP.535..393S&db_key=AST&page_ind=1&plate_select=NO&data_type=GIF&type=SCREEN_GIF&classic=YES

    “Prolonged maxima of solar activity correspond to prolonged minima of volcanic activity, and vice versa. This regularity is more pronounced during the last three centuries [...]”

    Cosmic ray flux? Spin orbit coupling? Angular momentum? Magnetic field? The geomagnetic changes also correlate with cooling, but I have no idea. The correlation is there, but the causality isn’t demonstrated–yet. Now that people are looking, maybe it won’t be long before they find it.

    From what I can see (and I’m not a scientist, but I can read), whatever is causing geomagnetic field changes is also causing the volcanic eruptions. Both events seem to be correlated with solar minima.

    That question leads to another, maybe self-evident one. If there is a correlation between solar minima and volcanic activity, wouldn’t we also see a correlation between solar minima and earthquake activity (separate from those that occur with volcanoes)?

  42. Oops, never mind. Madman (14:39:30) just answered my question:

    @Also, an earlier poster asked about the correlation between the solar minimum and volcanism. As far as I know, there is no study that shows such a correlation, although this study:

    http://www.springerlink.com/content/buvw2tq081013210/

    finds that “Earthquakes occur frequently around the minimum years of solar activity” and shows other related correlations. Also, the Year without a Summer (1816) occurred at the end of the Dalton Minimum, “caused by a succession of major volcanic eruptions capped off by the Mount Tambora eruption of 1815, the largest known eruption in over 1,600 years.” (from Wikipedia).”

    I’d like to point out that it was already cooling BEFORE Tambora exploded. My 7th grader just wrote a paper on Tambora and that stuck in my head.

  43. Let’s just hope the eruption is a minor one, like the 2006 eruption. Currently, the 2009/10 El Nino is large enough to create a step change in the East Indian and West Pacific Ocean SST anomalies and it would be nice to illustrate the effect again without the volcano noise on the instrument temperature record.

    I hate volcano noise–not the sound, the multiyear dip and rebound in surface temperatures.

  44. Greg (13:51:02) :

    Question about that Yellowstone super volcano thing…

    What would be a safe distance from that?

    Europe… But you’d starve to death the next winter.

    What would be the guestimated radius of total destruction?

    It would be really bad. Jackson Hole would be vaporized. Casper and Cheyenne would probably be obliterated. Denver would be buried under ash pretty quickly.

    Thick ash layers would be deposited as far west as California and as far south as North Texas. The subsequent volcanic winter (or winters) would be devastating.

    The Unites States would effectively be neutralized as a functioning nation.

  45. Leif Svalgaard (14:04:51) :
    The 1814 Explosion of Mayon was probably one of the reasons that the Dalton minimum was a time of low temperatures,

    Lets not forget of course that all these volcanoes seem to become more active after a decade or two of low solar output and solar induced cooling. They only serve to increase the rate of cooling, they are not the cause.

  46. The real joker in the volcanic pack is Chaiten. It’s still code red 18 months after the start of it’s eruption. The dome/domes on top of the former caldera keep getting larger daily. This is an unprecedented event and totally unpredictable. Even tough it’s at a lower latitude the potential of a massive eruption is lurking.

    Mayon has history and somewhat “predictable”. Chaiten is an unknown.

    Indonesia – the country adjacent to the Philippines has the most active volcanoes on the planet. Indonesia also straddles the equator. History has shown that Indonesian volcanoes have effected climate patterns in recent periods e.g. Krakatau and especially Tambora. There is one theory that a very large eruption of Krakatau in the 5th century caused the beginning of the dark ages.

    The Les Francis prediction for a Mayon eruption is a VE-I of 4 – just an irritant to the worlds weather i.e. no great drama.

  47. Madman (14:39:30) : & Kay (14:41:49) :

    Thanks. That’s about what I had in mind.

    Now to find out why.

    DaveE.

  48. Have been watching these reports for a few days now. Here’s the SO2 emissions since the 17th in tonnes/day:

    17th 750
    18th 1,065
    19th 2,034
    20th 7,024
    21st 6,089
    22nd 6,737
    23rd 5,737
    24th 2,738
    25th 8,993
    26th 2,304
    27th 4,329
    28th 3,416
    29th 4,397

    Note from the latest bulletin, more fits and starts to come maybe:

    The volcano edifice remains inflated as indicated by the electronic tilt meter installed at the northeast sector of the volcano.

    Good summary of past activity here. I read somewhere that 40,000 people in an 8km radius have been evacuated. Sincere best wishes to them all.

  49. It’s not possible for Mayor explosion to be even half of Pinatubo explosion. Mayon is exploding every 5-6 yrs now, used to be every 10 yrs until about 3 decades ago. So there is no huge energy below it because of frequent explosion. Pinatubo was “inactive” for more than 600 yrs, the energy below it was so huge. When it suddenly woke up, it blew up whole big mountain of rocks, sand, soil and gases.

  50. To have much of a global cooling affect, volcanoes have to erupt explosively, with enough power to send sulfur dioxide into the stratosphere. Not every volcano does that, and not all big ones do. In some cases you’ll get a lot of ash and not too much sulfur dioxide. In others you’ll get a lot of the force directed sideways and the sulfur dioxide will mostly stay low enough to get rained out.

    You can definitely see the really big volcanoes in the temperature record, especially when the temperatures haven’t been excessively smoothed. Krakatoa shows up big time, as does Pinatubo. The records weren’t good enough to really know how big of an impact there was back in 1809 and 1815 when we had back-to-back volcanoes, at least one of which and probably both of which were bigger than Krakatoa, but that was probably the cause of New England’s “Year Without a Summer”, when they had winter conditions in June, and hard frosts in both July and August.

    A big enough volcano can cause major food problems. One in Peru in the 1600s probably caused a famine in Russia that killed 2 million people, about a third of the Russian population at the time. The government or some other body really should be keeping at least several months of food on hand, because there are a myriad of things that can lead to a lost crop year.

    It would be interesting to try to figure out how long a volcano-based cooling lasts. My understanding is that most of the sulfur dioxide from Pinatubo washed out in about three years. That probably wouldn’t be the end of the cooling impact though. Oceans would be somewhat cooler than they would have been in the absence of the volcano, and it would take a while for that to even out. Apparently ozone gets depleted in the big eruptions, and ozone depletion has a minor cooling impact. Are there other impacts? Does the ash fertilize the soil and lead to growth pulls carbon out of the atmosphere? Does it lead to temporary surges in plankton growth by providing nutrients to nutrient-poor areas of the ocean–which would lead to temporarily lower CO2 levels? If so, how long would it take for that impact to fade?

    Of course volcanoes also produce carbon dioxide in relatively large quantities, though not in quantities comparable to what we produce–at least the ones we’ve been able to measure haven’t.

    I was looking at one of the global temperature averages a while back (don’t remember which one) and just eyeballing it, it looked to me as though temperatures were on a slight upward trend before Krakatoa, dropped abruptly, then didn’t get back to the trend line they had been on for at least twenty to thirty years, and possibly fifty. That may just be my eyes seeing a pattern that really isn’t there. I’ve looked for that pattern in other charts and haven’t seen it to the same extent, though it looks like there was a decade-plus drop in most of the ones I’ve seen.

    It would be kind of ironic if we discovered that a lot of the upward trend line in temperatures from the 1800s to now was because they happened to have bigger volcanoes and some mechanism caused the impact of the really big ones to stretch for several decades rather than just a few years. I wonder what kind of a trend line you would get if you pulled out the years from the time of a major volcano (of Krakatoa or at least Pinatubo-size) until the five year average was back to the level right before the volcano. I’m guessing it would be considerably flatter than one that included the volcano cooling years.

  51. @Gail Combs

    Be careful relying on trade publications and newspaper articles that cherry-pick data. Yes, the wheat carryout (stocks at end of season) in ’08 were very low at ~300 million bu, but the 08-09 plantings were enormous (and flour extraction was way up), and the carryout now is 657 MM bu. This is close to the 777 for 01, and the estimate for next season is over 900 MM bu. (Source ProExporter Dec 12 report). Bad weather would reduce output, but it shouldn’t be a disaster.

  52. Will this counter the El Nino? Overwhelm it? Will the plume be dragged across the Pacific by the jet stream?

  53. Nonoy Oplas (15:16:26) :

    “natubo was “inactive” for more than 600 yrs, the energy below it was so huge. When it suddenly woke up, it blew up whole big mountain of rocks, sand, soil and gases.”

    St. Helens was active prior to it’s having blown half of it’s mass away.

  54. I have always wondered why not enough attention isn’t paid to the global climatic effects of a possible super volcanic eruption within the next hundred years.

    When AGW alarmists talk about catastrophic consequences of 3 C rise in temperatures in the next fifty to hundred years they disregard the human ingenuity and inventiveness that may avert or deal with such consequences given such a long time frame and the slow-motion changes in the global climate.

    Yet a super volcanic eruption may happen at any time with very little warning and its impact on the global climate will be swift and strong. A 3 C drop in global temperatures arriving within a year and lasting for several years could have greater catastophic results considering the fact that all preparations for the future is currently geared for a warmer world. Indeed, I am very curious to know whether there has been any climate modelling that looks at the consequences of a sudden drop in global temperatures.

    Maybe it is time to take the microphone from climatologists and pass it to volcanologists for a while.

  55. Ah, I didn’t mean to say that the discussion of a sudden global cooling falls within the field of Volcanology. Of course, global warming as well as global cooling falls within the scientific discipline of Climatology. What I meant to say was that perhaps Volcanologists should step into the debate about climate change because Volcanic eruptions happen frequently -though super volcanic eruptions less so- and that such eruptions do effect global climate.

  56. ” Leo G (12:45:55) :

    John – {q} Considering the bigger picture- with a quiet sun, -ve AMO and -ve AO, a big volcanic eruption could flip the earths climate into protracted cooling. The final straw that broke the AGW back. {EQ}

    The pro AGW’s do not state that natural variability cannot, for a time, overcome the relentless march of increased energy entrapment. There claim, as far as I understand, is that there will be periods of cooling or stagnant temp rise, but over a long period of time, it will average to higher then what should be natural.

    Therefore the “Pudding Proof”, will be when we come out of this latest cooling trend, if the average temp jumps (and quickly relatively speaking) more then what should be expected.

    My point is that the planet is (or will be soon) demonstrating clearly that there are these factors (volcanoes, AMO, AO, PDO, El Nino, sun spots etc) that are vastly more powerful than mankinds tiny annual contribution to a trace gas in the atmosphere. It may be that due to increased albedo (more snow cover/clouds) due to colder temperatures from the above causes over time that the climate system “flips” due to -ve feedback into a cooling trend that lasts decades or even hundreds of years. This is how I imagine a chaotic system such as the earth’s climate responds to inputs. -strong inputs co-incide in the same direction, the system flips into a new state, then reaches an equilibrium until the next sufficiently strong input. Add to this a suitably favourable Milankovitch condition and the volcanic zit may be the final straw. And potential cooling inputs tend to be more sudden in their onset than do potential warming inputs.

  57. DavidE (12:21:34) :

    Is there any correlation between Solar minima & volcanic activity?

    No, not a correlation. There is a clear tendency for volcanoes and earthquakes to occur more frequently and with an elevated strength at times of solar minimum. Otherwise, they occur evenly scattered across the whole length of solar cycles in general.

  58. John Blake (13:13:12) : Said

    “Given Luddite sociopaths’ determined sabotage of the U.S. energy economy over forty years, treating coal, oil, and nuclear power as luxuries rather than necessities, death-eating Warmists will feast on mega-deaths as Ice Time looms. Depend upon it, Al Gore and his criminally malfeasant ilk will admit to nothing as civilization crumbles in their wake.”

    I have often wondered if those behind the AGW craze were intent on moving “civilization” to third world tropical countries by stripping all the assets from first world countries and getting the tax payers to foot the bill and thereby setting their descendants up to weather an Ice Age in relative comfort. The information that we are nearing the end of this interglacial is not exactly a state secret.

    Consider this. AGW was started in 1972 BEFORE we actually saw warming. AGW was kicked off at Maurice Strong’s Earth Summit I and coincided with CLIMAP: the search for conclusive evidence supporting Milankovitch theory of Ice Ages. In the spring of 1971, a group of scientists and researchers organized a series of studies known as CLIMAP — the Climate Long Range Investigation, Mapping and Prediction project. Shackleton first looked at the critical Pacific Ocean core in December of 1971. In January and July of 1973, Hays located the two critical cores raised from the southern Indian Ocean. Hays, Imbrie, and Shackleton published their findings in December 1976: “Variations in the Earth’s Orbit: Pacemaker of the Ice Ages.”

    Gliessberg cycle (70–100 years) was also known at this time so entering into a period of warming could be expected to coincide with the spreading of the AGW message.

    The concern for conserving resources, curbing population growth and moving civilization to the tropics as well as the active discouraging of research into what actually drives the climate can all be explained by the belief of the powerful in a coming Ice Age and their desire to keep that information from the masses because they do not want a panic.

    http://corior.blogspot.com/2006/02/part-15-ice-ages-confirmed.html

  59. rbateman (16:22:06) :

    DavidE (12:21:34) :

    Is there any correlation between Solar minima & volcanic activity?

    No, not a correlation. There is a clear tendency for volcanoes and earthquakes to occur more frequently and with an elevated strength at times of solar minimum. Otherwise, they occur evenly scattered across the whole length of solar cycles in general.

    Sounds like a correlation to me.

    DaveE.

  60. It could trigger a mini ice age, if enough particulates are blown into the upper atmosphere, a massive volcanic erruption can cause devastation.
    The Northern hemisphere does not need any further cooling at the moment.
    If the erruption is vast, what price a 15 million+ sq km Arctic Ocean Sea ice cover?

  61. tty: “Correction, they are the second worst form of pyroclastic flows. The worst is ignimbrites. Fortunately they are rare, the only ignimbritic eruption to occur in historical time was Katmai/Novarupta in 1912.
    Interestingly both Rome and Mexico City are built largely on ignimbrites, and there seems to be no reason to suppose that the volcanoes in question are extinct.”

    —…—…—

    Rome? I know Naples, and several other mid-Italian cities are on top of (right next to) volcanoes, but don’t of any active (last 2500 years) of a volcano going off near Rome.
    I don’t recognize the “ignimbrites” term (but then again, neither does my Firefox spell checker). Is it what buried Pompeii and Herculaneum?

  62. What if the “Watts effect” causes this volcano to stop. I´ve been thinking that there is an explanation for these “correlations”: Perhaps Anthony´s meteorological intuition makes him post a quiet Sun when he unconsciuosly is perceiving the contrary, or an active sun when he guesses it will stop forming spots, or here with this poor Filipines´volcano (it took some blue pills before…and there he comes to spoil it all) :-)

  63. 1- Dodgy Geezer (13:29:57) :
    Actually, vulcanologists are some of the bravest/most foolhardy of all scientists, depending on your point of view. Right up there with the obscure illness specialists who infect themselves to check the progress of the disease.

    I believe they have the highest ‘death while working’ rate of all scientists…

    I remember reading about 5 or 6 volcanologists who happened to be on top of a volcano looking into the caldera when it erupted unexpectedly. I think it was in either Central or South America some ten years ago. Two or three of them died. It was a fascinating account. One of the survivors said that the volcano seemed to take a huge breath before the eruption.

    2- Madman (14:39:30) :
    Also, an earlier poster asked about the correlation between the solar minimum and volcanism. As far as I know, there is no study that shows such a correlation, although this study…finds that “Earthquakes occur frequently around the minimum years of solar activity” and shows other related correlations.

    This is as good a time as any to remind the readers that “correlation is not causation”. Even if one can establish a correlation between solar activity and volcanism, one must still establish a chain of causation between the two in order to demonstrate a link. There are people who claim that there is a link between solar eclipses and earthquakes. How so? Well, according to the claims that I read decades ago, the eclipse causes sudden drop in temperatures on its path, and this causes perturbations in the faultline, and voila, an earthquake! This claim had a real field day in 1999 when the faultline of the major earthquake in Turkey’s northwest correlated with the path of a solar eclipse several days earlier. I am sorry to say that any alleged link between solar activity and volcanism won’t have any more value than the one alleged between a solar eclipse and earthquakes. At least, for this layman.

    I also find it rather curious that Solar activity as a possible explanation gets so much attention in this new age. Is it a sign of lack of faith in more traditional deities or is Amon Ra really making a come back?

    3- Barry R. (15:25:33) :

    To have much of a global cooling affect, volcanoes have to erupt explosively, with enough power to send sulfur dioxide into the stratosphere. Not every volcano does that, and not all big ones do. In some cases you’ll get a lot of ash and not too much sulfur dioxide. In others you’ll get a lot of the force directed sideways and the sulfur dioxide will mostly stay low enough to get rained out.

    The first paragraph of a superb post. Really appreaciated it. Thanks.

  64. Les Francis (15:03:54) : I believe you are referring to the 6th Century event involving the Sunda Caldera. Krakatoa did not exist back then, but emerged in the middle of what was left of the large caldera. The best work on the social-political effects of that event was accomplished by David Keyes in “Catastrophe, An investigation into the origins of the modern world.”

  65. sHx (15:42:39) :

    I have always wondered why not enough attention isn’t paid to the global climatic effects of a possible super volcanic eruption within the next hundred years.

    When AGW alarmists talk about catastrophic consequences of 3 C rise in temperatures in the next fifty to hundred years they disregard the human ingenuity and inventiveness that may avert or deal with such consequences given such a long time frame and the slow-motion changes in the global climate.

    Yet a super volcanic eruption may happen at any time with very little warning and its impact on the global climate will be swift and strong. A 3 C drop in global temperatures arriving within a year and lasting for several years could have greater catastophic results considering the fact that all preparations for the future is currently geared for a warmer world. Indeed, I am very curious to know whether there has been any climate modelling that looks at the consequences of a sudden drop in global temperatures.

    Maybe it is time to take the microphone from climatologists and pass it to volcanologists for a while.

    What preparations for a warmer world? I don’t see anything like that being done. Is anyone building dikes? etc?

    What I do see are preparations being made to fleece everyone for $$$ – so unless anything changes, I expect that the average person will have to work an extra 5 years past normal retirement ages to cope with the $$$ vacuum sucking value out of their savings/incomes.

    I don’t think that Governments are preparing for a warmer or a colder world – they are primarily reactive and focussed on short term goals such as winning the next election, and the appearance of doing “things” as opposed to actually doing things.

  66. There are three Kamchatka volcanos at orange levels, (watch level).
    One Kamchatka volcanoe at yellow level,(advisory).
    Mt Redoubt in Alaska has recently been returned to yellow.
    The Kamchatka group can be difficult to monitor; especially so in the winter

  67. Finally! A volcano thread! I can discuss a couple of things! I am going to throw a freaking party! Ok, I am not that excited, but close.

    First, can’t we tell from the volcanic eruptions that the effects of atmospheric climate influences like sulfur and CO2 are pretty much immediate?

    Second, wouldn’t sulfur outgas from the ocean the same way other gases do, or is it too heavy? As many under water volcanoes as there are, I expect they certainly have some effect on the ocean, but what?

  68. “I have always wondered why not enough attention isn’t paid to the global climatic effects of a possible super volcanic eruption within the next hundred years.”

    Volcanoes cannot be blamed on Western Industrial activity.

  69. Paul K (15:33:16) :

    Be careful relying on trade publications and newspaper articles that cherry-pick data. Yes, the wheat carryout (stocks at end of season) in ‘08 were very low at ~300 million bu, but the 08-09 plantings were enormous…

    Reply
    Thanks Paul, I was aware of the 2008 problems and the doubling of the price in feed corn and other livestock feed but I could not find anything about 2009 except worry in the spring that farmers would not have the cash to buy seed. Looks like they found the money but that type of info never makes the news.

  70. sHx (16:49:40) :

    2- Madman (14:39:30) :
    Also, an earlier poster asked about the correlation between the solar minimum and volcanism. As far as I know, there is no study that shows such a correlation, although this study…finds that “Earthquakes occur frequently around the minimum years of solar activity” and shows other related correlations.

    This is as good a time as any to remind the readers that “correlation is not causation”. Even if one can establish a correlation between solar activity and volcanism, one must still establish a chain of causation between the two in order to demonstrate a link.

    Couldn’t agree more! Correlation does not automatically indicate causation. I was the poster that asked. If there is sufficient correlation we should be looking for a causative link. Even if we don’t find it, it doesn’t mean it doesn’t exist.

    I also find it rather curious that Solar activity as a possible explanation gets so much attention in this new age. Is it a sign of lack of faith in more traditional deities or is Amon Ra really making a come back?

    Why do you need to invoke Sun Gods? As the Sun is the major contributor of energy to the planet, shouldn’t we consider it in our understanding of our climate? The mere fact that we do not know if there is a causative link between reduced Solar activity & increased earthquake/volcanic activity when there appears to be some correlation is cause to investigate. We may not find that link but it still doesn’t mean that it doesn’t exist.

    DaveE.

  71. Ric Werme (14:19:36) :

    What I put out came from the USGS so if you got a problem with it take it up with them. You also failed to point out critical piece’s of information with your “Nothing to see here folks, move along” post:

    Three extremely large explosive eruptions have occurred at Yellowstone in the past 2.1 million years with a recurrence interval of about 600,000 to 800,000 years. More frequent eruptions of basalt and rhyolite lava flows have occurred before and after the large caldera-forming events. For example, scientists have identified at least 27 different rhyolite lava flows that erupted after the most recent caldera eruptions, about 640,000 years ago, from vents inside the caldera. The most recent was about 70,000 years ago. Many of these eruptions were separated in time by several tens of thousands of years. Because the evidence of earlier eruptions may have been either buried or destroyed, we do not really know how often the volcano has actually erupted.

    How many caldera-forming eruptions have occurred from the long-lived hotspot that is currently beneath Yellowstone?
    Many eruptive units found along the path of the Yellowstone hotspot have been dated, but only a few of them represent large caldera-forming eruptions. At least five volcanic fields centered on large caldera complexes have been identified. Some of these caldera complexes erupted climatically more than once; probably 15 to 20 caldera-forming eruptions have occurred along the hotspot as it left a trail from western Idaho to Yellowstone within the past 16.5 million years.

    Notice that you can get big eruptions with out a large caldera eruption and they can’t tell exactly How many of the caldera forming eruptions there have been since the evidence gets buried/destroyed. So going by the 600,000 time frame is the responsible postion for monitoring and not whistling past the graveyard of “well we average the two we know” postion since that is a completely irrelevent number, since the Planet Earth could care less for your Math. So before jumping me maybe you ought to actually read the FAQ page you linked to since the USGS does not know exactly how many caldera forming eruptions there have been, when they occured nor what the historical time frame is.

    See I have been down this road with the USGS before: during the 1991 eruption of Pinatubo, they downplayed the thing until the last minute even though they were able to figure out it was due for a major eruption from its past eruptions and all the signs were there. Also for anyone else that wants to learn the truth Yellowstone also produces Pinatubo sized eruptions and the USGS doesn’t have a clue about the frequency of those either and neither does the poster that jump on me.

    How much volcanic activity has there been at Yellowstone since the most recent giant eruption?
    Since the most recent giant caldera-forming eruption, 640,000 years ago, approximately 80 relatively nonexplosive eruptions have occurred. Of these eruptions, at least 27 were rhyolite lava flows in the caldera, 13 were rhyolite lava flows outside the caldera and 40 were basalt vents outside the caldera. Some of the eruptions were approximately the size of the devastating 1991 Pinatubo eruption in the Philippines, and several were much larger. The most recent volcanic eruption at Yellowstone, a lava flow on the Pitchstone Plateau, occurred 70,000 years ago.

    Nothing I posted earlier is alarming nor untrue, however the person that responded to my post went with the old “warmer” trick of “nothing to see here, move along” and “Quit looking at the man by the curtain.”

    So inclusion in less then 10 minutes from the same link you provided I just showed that your postion on this is not supported by the USGS, they don’t know how many nor how often Yellowstone has Cladera forming eruptions. Yellowstone produces Pinatubo and larger sized eruptions that the USGS has no time frame for since they can only date the last one to 70,000 years ago and they and yourself even showed that yes Yellowstone is Due for one of its big eruptions since the last time I looked 640,000 is in between 600,000 and 800,000.

    As to Mayon you stated I was wrong about its eruptions historically then wandered off into the Yellowstone minefield, well here you go:

    Based on historical records, the eruption of Mayon has been characterized as small volumes of eruption. Mayon erupts much smaller volumes than Pinatubo,” Mahar Lagmay of the University of the Philippines’ National Institute of Geological Sciences told ANC’s Dateline Philippines.

    Lagmay said the biggest eruption of Mayon was in 1814, releasing several hundreds of millions of cubic meters of volcanic debris. He said the eruption was way smaller compared to Mount Pinatubo’s eruption of 11 billion cubic meters in 1991.

    http://www.abs-cbnnews.com/nation/12/22/09/mayons-eruption-wont-be-explosive-pinatubos

    No alarmism needed, just reading the entire FAQ page the USGS has put out instead of cherry picking one section.

  72. We’re quite safe!

    I was discussing the recent report that snow will be “a rare and exciting event” with my young son. After thinking a bit, he replied that a little while ago, I had said that Global Warming was going to make rare weather extremes much more common. So the two will cancel each other out, and we should have weather features much as we have always had.

    Of course, if our weather remains the same, this is obvious proof that Global Warming is true…

  73. Greg (13:51:02) :

    > Question about that Yellowstone super volcano thing…

    > What would be a safe distance from that? What would be the guestimated radius of total destruction?

    It’s hard to define total destruction. The USGS has some maps of how far volcanic ash reached after some Yellowstone and a Long Valley California eruption. See http://pubs.usgs.gov/fs/2005/3024/ about 2/3 of the way down, continue to see a graphical comparison of size vs eruptions as small as Mount St. Helens. The mapped regions are likely not “total destruction,” I suspect it’s only major immediate inconvenience. Global inconvenience comes a month or so later.

    We really do need start moving off this planet. Too many hazards here.

  74. Second, wouldn’t sulfur outgas from the ocean the same way other gases do, or is it too heavy? As many under water volcanoes as there are, I expect they certainly have some effect on the ocean, but what?

    —…—…

    Well, yes, the underseas vents (many more numerous than “volcanoes”) emit the SOx and other nasty pollutants into the water, but you’ve got to remember that each vent is almost certainly under 3000 to 5000 feet of very cold high pressure sea water.

    So the moving water right above and around the vent gets hit by the gas bubbles, absorbs the gas, and moves on past the vent. Fresh (gas-free) cold salt water moves past the vent a few seconds later, and the next bit of gas to erupt up gets absorbed very quickly (maybe 10 to 50 feet of “free gas bubbles” – if that much.)

    So the local cold salt water never gets saturated, and the dissolved gasses never really get released into the atmosphere. At least not in a measurable distinct way.

  75. Interesting thread. Katmai / Novarupta blew in 1912. Size of the eruption was just a bit larger than Pinatubo, but it was a high latitude eruption. I think the WUWT archives have an article with the number of days without sunspots. The period 1912-1914 (or so) was a three year period with three of the top ten years without sunspots this last century. Link? Who knows. Worth watching, though.

    Another little known relatively high latitude eruption was Baitoshan on the NORK / China border. It blew in 1010 with about 150 cubic km of ejecta. Don’t know what climate impact it had. Cheers -

  76. This afternoon I wrote:

    Ric Werme (14:19:36) :

    The last time I responded to this claim [about the Yellowstone supervolcano being overdue] I got a thank you note from a volcanologist at the USGS. I remember some previous discussion about checking facts vs. common knowledge, and that led me to really tear into the guy who posted this claim. Hmm, I might be able to dig up the history at home. It would be worth doing, I found a very good .pdf about Yellowstone volcanism along the way.

    The thank you note turned out to be in response to my thank you to the authors fo Preliminary Assessment of Volcanic and Hydrothermal Hazards in Yellowstone National Park and Vicinity I don’t know if a more recent document is available.

    The trigger that set me off before was a poster who referred to “There is a super-volcano in Yellowstone Park in the northeast corner of Wyoming. According to the best scientific information available, it is overdue for an eruption.” He made no attempt to document either claim so I debunked both, rather harshly. Wow, that was only a year+month+day ago? Seems longer! See http://wattsupwiththat.com/2008/11/29/statistician-debunks-gores-climate-linkage-of-the-collapse-of-the-mayan-civilisation/#comment-60475

  77. @ Gail Combs (17:22:57) :

    Paul K (15:33:16) :

    Be careful relying on trade publications and newspaper articles that cherry-pick data. Yes, the wheat carryout (stocks at end of season) in ‘08 were very low at ~300 million bu, but the 08-09 plantings were enormous…

    Reply
    Thanks Paul, I was aware of the 2008 problems and the doubling of the price in feed corn and other livestock feed but I could not find anything about 2009 except worry in the spring that farmers would not have the cash to buy seed. Looks like they found the money but that type of info never makes the news.+

    Progressive Farmer has some info on this years corn crop:

    http://www.dtnprogressivefarmer.com/dtnag/common/link.do?symbolicName=/ag/blogs/template1&blogHandle=grainmarkets&blogEntryId=8a82c0bc25987ff10125dfddcaf2034b&showCommentsOverride=false

    “Second Thoughts on Unharvested Corn Guesses

    When USDA released its final crop progress report just before Christmas that showed 5 percent of expected production was yet to be harvested, analysts were guessing about how many bushels would be lost.

    Some estimates — as we reported in “Tallying Corn in the Field” on Dec. 23 were pegging unharvested corn around 625 million bushels, with expected losses near 100 m bu.

    Now there are some more conservative estimates around. One private analyst pointed out to clients that yields in three of the states where harvest is lagging are below the U.S. national average (North and South Dakota and Wisconsin). And in addition, he reasoned that the remaining unharvested fields are mostly the very late planted corn, which likely have yields even below the state average.

    Taking those ideas into account would put unharvested bushels closer to 530 million, and if 7 to 10 percent of those are lost, the actual reduction could be closer to 40 or 50 million bushels, or half what some analysts were expecting.

    If that’s accurate, the lost bushels could have an even more limited or localized effect on corn supplies and markets.”

  78. John (12:00:04) :

    > OMG! at the satellite picture. That volcano looks like a ripe zit on the face of the earth ready to blow. I hope the local populace take note and evacuate before the event.

    Well, yeah, except for one thing – the zit is already oozing gray glop. This means there’s a direct connection between magma chamber and surface and unless there’s a blockage or big gas release the volcano may not “blow”. Also, note that the volcano has such a nice symmetric cone, so it likely hasn’t exploded recently. The evacuation efforts have focused on low events like lahars and pyroclastic flows, not explosions.

    (Note that Mount St. Helens had nice symmetry too, but the bulge that formed on it side resulted in the lateral blast that flattened the forest.)

    As others have mentioned, no good explosion means little transport of SO2 aerosols into the stratosphere and hence little cooling.

  79. “Ric Werme (17:57:22) :
    [...]
    We really do need start moving off this planet. Too many hazards here.”

    The risk of a deadly accident while escaping the planet far outweighs the lifetime risk of volcano eruptions.

  80. The sad part is when people look back at the colder temperatures they may well associate the volcano with the temperature when the volcano has nothing to do with the effect. 10 to 1 that 20 years from now some idiot mentions temperature and this volcanic eruption. 2 to one that some ignorant AGW proponent in the news mentions it in the next 2 years.

  81. Gail, we Export a couple of Billion Bushels of Corn, and Soybeans Every Year.

    Also, that farmland is worth $3,000.00 to $5,000.00 per Acre. It can more than stand for the $50.00, or so, for Seeds.

  82. Some recent news:

    MANILA, Philippines – The Mayon Volcano has abruptly calmed down with no ash explosions taking place on Wednesday and a “very weak” emission of white steam from the crater summit.

    The Philippine Institute of Volcanology and Seismology (Phivolcs), however, has maintained Alert Level 4 over the restive volcano, which means a hazardous explosion is still imminent.

    In its December 31 bulletin, the Phivolcs said lava was still flowing out of the volcano’s crater and the rolling down of incandescent lava fragments along the Bonga gully continued.

    “No ash explosion was observed during times of good visibility. Emission of very weak to moderate volume of white steam that drifted towards west- southwest was observed during clear views of the crater,” the Phivolcs’ latest bulletin said.

    The volcano’s sulfur dioxide emission has also dramatically decreased on Wednesday with only an average value of 1,158 tons per day compared to Tuesday’s 4,397.

    The Phivolcs said 60 volcanic earthquakes and 267 rock fall events were monitored on Wednesday.

    Government volcanologist July Sabit told ABS-CBN News on Wednesday that the sudden decrease in the volcano’s activity could have been an indication that a hazardous explosion may not happen.

    Sabit, however, said there is also a possibility that the sudden lull is an indication of an imminent major explosion.

    And the notion that any volcano is “due” to erupt is nonsense. You can have a volcano that erupts, on average, at 10,000 year intervals but maybe those eruptions vary by up to 5,000 years. 5,000 years is a long time in the life of human beings and is nothing in geological time. A volcano that erupts quite frequently can suddenly “sleep” for thousands of years or one that hasn’t erupted and was thought “extinct” can come roaring back into active eruption.

  83. Gail Combs (17:22:57) :

    Last year (2008) when corn and other commodities began to rise because of an ‘alleged’ shortage, 3 Princeton Univ. folks went out to investigate. They found the silos stuffed to the gills in the Midwest. Bought by future traders and stored (illegally –you can’t do that and operate on the CBOT) for the purpose of causing a shortage.
    So, the story of all the grain going to biofuel was bunk. After the biofuel, feedlot and food processors orders were filled, there was still enough to stuff all the silos to the gills.
    After the June/July corn price swoon, the pricing returned to normal in the space of about 2 months.
    While there may be coming food shortages due to unseasonable weather, we’re not there yet. There may still be time to make preparations, provided the Agenda doesn’t confuse the crap out of the market and foul everything up. And that requires dumping the warming model predictions and getting back to reality.

  84. Steven Frost (17:16:27) :

    Mother earth is angry at the countless sins we’ve committed against her.

    These problems with the volcanoes are obviously tied to the ongoing decline of moral standards. Not enough virgins to toss in.

  85. “rbateman (19:05:29) :
    [...]
    They found the silos stuffed to the gills in the Midwest. Bought by future traders and stored (illegally –you can’t do that and operate on the CBOT) for the purpose of causing a shortage.”

    Ah America with its ruthless capitalism. Break rules, get rich. What an expression of the Will To Power. A truely Nietzschean country.

  86. rbateman (19:05:29) :

    While what you say is for the most part true, the way it is presented is somewhat misleading.

    Up until the early 2000’s, the US government would purchase large amounts of grain and other agricultural products in order to support prices. These surplus stocks were used to feed the poor both here and abroad. In times of famine, large shipments of this surplus food would find its way overseas to ease the suffering.

    Today the grain prices are high enough that the support price triggers are never reached. The government doesn’t have any surplus anymore. While prices may not be through the roof, biofuel production has taken up the slack that used to be met by surplus government purchase. The result is that we no longer have a large reserve of surplus food products in case of an emergency or a famine. In other words, the world is living more “hand to mouth” than ever and there is no national “pantry” of stored food that could be thrown into the breech in case of need.

  87. “Thursday 24th December 2009
    Mayon Volcano, Philippines
    Eruptions continue at Mayon volcano, Philippines. Lava fountains have reached a height of 500 m above the summit. Lava is flowing down the Bonga-Buyuan, Miisi and Lidong gullies. Seismiometers measured 815 volcanic earthquakes over the past day. One hundred twenty four booming and rumbling sounds were heard over the past 24 hours. Sulphur dioxide emission was 5, 737 tonnes/day.”

    http://www.volcanolive.com/news.html

    See other links there for more on Mayon and other Philippine volcanoes.

    But it’s not JUST Mayon volcano that needs watching…

    Sunday 20th December 2009
    Ambrym Volcano, Vanuatu
    A large amount of gas is currently being emitted by Ambrym volcano, Vanuatu, . . . Volcanic gas measurements on 17th December 2009 show that there were 15,000 tonnes of sulphur dioxide emitted.

    Saturday 19th December 2009
    Mt Etna Volcano, Italy
    A swarm of earthquakes occurred at Mt Etna volcano on 19th December. More than 30 earthquakes occurred in the swarm, with the largest being magnitude 4.6.

    Saturday 19th December 2009
    Gaua Volcano, Vanuatu
    Renewed eruptive activity occurred at Gaua volcano, Vanuatu on 14th December. . . . On 17th December 3000 tonnes of sulphur dioxide were emitted.

    Saturday 19th December 2009
    Chaiten Volcano, Chile
    . . . . The danger of dome collapse remains, and may generate explosions and pyroclastic flows. Chaiten volcano remains at alert level RED.

    Thursday 17th December 2009
    Bezymianny Volcano, Kamchatka, Russia
    An explosive eruption occurred at Bezymianny volcano, Kamchatka, between 21:45 UT on 16th December and 04:00 UT on 17th December 2009.”

    See John Seach’s website for details.

  88. My family were the tourists in the exclusion zone. To get there they rode 3 ATVs straight past a military checkpoint where the 4 soldiers were sound asleep. The guide was great. He took them up to the 2006 lava flow and they climbed it. A photo journalist joined them and took pictures.

    There were in fact 5 of them but 3 are Filipinos. We stayed 3 nights in Legazpi at the Venezia Hotel about 14km from the volcano. All the residents we spoke to said there would not be a big eruption, that the slow lava flows and gas clouds were all that would happen. They are spectacular at night. There are vents low down on the slopes which emit constant gasses.

    While there we also swam with the whale sharks at Donsol. There are a lot more there than normal for this time of year as the krill supply is good.

  89. crosspatch (19:19:13) :

    Ergo the need to prepare. The biofuel is so far a bust as it costs more to produce than what can be gotten out of it. Dump the food crop biofuel subsidies and store the excess for emergency reserve. They can still make biofuel out of crop chaff that has no other purpose.
    I just hope we are in time to remove the blockheads standing in the way of saving our butts from potential famine.

  90. I grew up and lived less than 20 miles from Mount Pinatubo and I never knew it existed until it exploded. I’m no volcanologist, but I think Mayon is quite different, and I’m hoping this will be a non-event.

  91. @Gail Combs (17:22:57) :

    “…but that type of info never makes the news.”

    Absolutely right. That is why AGW propaganda has been so successful!

    @Curiousgeorge (18:15:19) :

    Taking into account rbateman’s comments (19:05:29), the corn situation is a textbook study in (ab)using the public domain to try to alter the market’s perception of supply/demand. The “unharvested” corn due to weather is probably insignificant…because the “shortage” of corn was fabricated. The corn cost has just about kept pace with the cost of storing corn. And on top of that, the “hoarders” who kept corn out of the market by storing ended up taking losses because the corn degraded in storage, and the quality of the corn has diminished in the last several months! Even so, the cost has not skyrocketed. No shortage exists…period. The “food vs. fuel” argument is absolute BS! The current cost of corn is (IMHO) quite in line with supply/demand given the nominal increase in demand for corn for ethanol production. The bottom line is that EVERY market will try to benefit from very publicly proclaimed changes in supply/demand.

  92. I certainly hope those of you that are pontificating on biofuels have studied “Climate” more than you have Energy, and Agriculture.

  93. THIS VOLCANO IS MORE DANGEROUS THAN MAYON:

    http://scienceblogs.com/eruptions/2009/12/soufriere_hills_causing_flight.php

    It was also active during the Little Ice Age causing some major eruptions.

    Volcanic activity during the past week:
    New Activity/Unrest: | Bezymianny, Central Kamchatka (Russia) | Mayon, Luzon | Poás, Costa Rica | Redoubt, Southwestern Alaska | San Cristóbal, Nicaragua
    Ongoing Activity: | Karymsky, Eastern Kamchatka | Kilauea, Hawaii (USA) | Kliuchevskoi, Central Kamchatka (Russia) | Sakura-jima, Kyushu | Shiveluch, Central Kamchatka (Russia) | Soufrière Hills, Montserrat | Suwanose-jima, Ryukyu Islands (Japan)

    http://www.volcano.si.edu/reports/usgs/

    Recent NASA Satellite Images and Scienceblog Eruptions report:

    http://earthobservatory.nasa.gov/NaturalHazards/view.php?id=42001

    http://earthobservatory.nasa.gov/NaturalHazards/view.php?id=41596

    http://earthobservatory.nasa.gov/NaturalHazards/view.php?id=41544

    http://earthobservatory.nasa.gov/NaturalHazards/view.php?id=41529

    http://scienceblogs.com/eruptions/2009/12/redoubt_returns.php

  94. I find the statistical correlation between solar minimums and volcanic activity to be interesting, but not yet convincing. If it is something more than a statistical coincidence, about the only mechanism I can think of for causation would be geomagnetic; the weakening of the sun’s magnetic field causing changes in Earth’s field, with effects deep within the Earth, via mechanisms unknown. If this theory ever proves out, I suspect that the mechanisim will be interesting indeed.

    Mayon…I don’t think we’ll see Pinatubo style climactic impact from Mayon, unless it produces an atypically large eruption (far larger than its history would suggest.)

    Yellowstone.. Even if the ground swelling is a precursor to an eruption, it’s probably nothing to worry about from a global perspective; the vast majority of volcanic eruptions at Yellowstone have been of a conventional size, not the giant-caldera-forming events such as 600k years ago.

    CJ

  95. Ric Werme (17:57:22) :
    “Greg (13:51:02) : What would be a safe distance from that? What would be the guestimated radius of total destruction?”

    It’s hard to define total destruction. The USGS has some maps of how far volcanic ash reached after some Yellowstone and a Long Valley California eruption.

    IIRC, they originally figured out the size of the eruptions after it was discovered that about 4 FEET of ash had fallen in Nebraska and a nice set of fossiles resulted with interesting features showing they died from a particular lung disease caused by dust inhalation… “minor inconvenience” would likely start in Europe in the first week. NYC would probably “have issues” with lung diseases starting in the first week…

    I looked it up on a map once and coastal California south of San Francisco was in the “Well, you might not get much ash fall if the winds don’t get all screwed up” zone… Basically, “North America” ceases to function as anything other than a graveyard unless you are in the very southwest or up toward Alaska. (Though some of the far N.East and S.East might get a pass depending on what happens to winds… at least for a few weeks.)

    Then a month or so later the weather goes so horridly bad that farming will happen in the topics… maybe… and if they can get some cold weather low light seeds from somewhere really quickly.

    IMHO, global civilization would likely collapse. Our system is now built on “just in time” for way too much stuff (food, fuel, minerals, manufactures) and in any big “oopsy” like this the system will suffer catastrophic breakdown.

    Global shipping would halt pretty quickly and with it the global sourcing and supply chain that everything depends on these days. For example, from where would you get repair parts for: GM, Ford, Chrysler products in week one? And for Mercedes, BMW, Citroen, Renault, etc. in month two? From where would Japan get food in month three? Then were do Honda, Toyota, etc. parts come in month six? From where does OPEC get food in month three? Not N. America and not Europe. Not from a glaciating Russia.

    How long does the Boeing fleet fly with no spare parts from N. America?

    So how does oil keep flowing if OPEC is devolving into food riots? OPEC is a major food importing group that is way over the local carrying capacity of their lands. Much of that food comes from N. America…

    We really do need start moving off this planet. Too many hazards here.

    That is so painfully true, and so completely ignored.

    The only good news is that super volcanoes are so rare that we could easily have evolved into another species before the next one goes off… Lets just say that I don’t lose any sleep over them. Rocks from space have a much higher probability of killing us all off before the next super volcano event, so just rememeber:

    “Never panic about a global catatastrophe before it’s time. -E.M.Smith”

    Strangely, that’s one of the reasons that the AGW threat doesn’t get me worked up. Even if real, the onset would take 100 years or more to really notice and we’ve adapted to as much change already in the world over the last centuries. The need to “hype it” to get people motivated is a prime bit of evidence that it isn’t really an important risk.

    IIRC we get a ‘continent killer’ asteroid about every 50,000 years? and a ‘mess up a continent’ size about every 10,000 ? Something like that. “City Killers” ought to be about every 100 to 200 years (Tunguska sized…). And every year about 2 “bangs” go off in the air somewhere the size of a small nuke; they are just almost universally over the 80% of the planet that is nearly empty so nobody much notices. They had to put special processing on the early nuclear surveilance satellites to discriminate the ‘double peak’ of a real nuke from the single peak of an air burst rock from space.

    So I worry about nuclear war first, rocks from space second, and then after a whole bunch of other stuff, you can get to supervolcanos, and somewhere a long ways behind THEM would be AGW consequences … if any.

    And folks wonder why I have a self reliance ethos and a (modest) DIY food storage system…

    http://chiefio.wordpress.com/2009/04/06/food-storage-systems/

    BTW, you ought to have a fire hood or gas mask first, then a water purification system second, then environmental protection (i.e. tent and bag, warm clothing in the car trunk), and only after THAT to you really need to worry about food. The “precedence order” is from least density to most density. You need breathable air within minutes, water within days, food? Well, some of us could go a few months…

    http://chiefio.wordpress.com/2009/05/27/crisis-kits-and-preparedness-packs/

    Oh, and if you live in a place colder than California or do not have a car to sleep in in an emergency, you might want to move the “warm shelter” ahead of water on the list. In the snow, warmth is needed in minutes to hours, water not so much…

    Well, this is getting a bit maudlin… so I think I’ll stop now. While it isn’t likely any of that stuff will be needed, when you do need it, it is a 100% need. During our last big quake our here it was really handy.

  96. Mike Atkins (12:11:23) :

    “If this blows, how big would it be? If it is big, could it have an impact on temperatures?”

    According to an article in Gulf News, the “experts” were predicting “spew out more than 60 million cubic metres of lava” That works out to about 130,800,000 – 135,000,000 metric tonnes of magma.. if my guess at it being felsic magma and doing a rough guess at 2.18 to 2.25 gm/cm3 (Rhyolite) is halfway correct.

    By comparison, Mt Pinatubo – ~10 billion metric tonnes in the 1991 eruption. If the SO2 and ejecta are about the same ratio… and if the Gulf News statement is correct… that’s about 1/100 of Mt Pinatubo’s event.

  97. Arizona CJ (22:01:21) :

    I find the statistical correlation between solar minimums and volcanic activity to be interesting, but not yet convincing. If it is something more than a statistical coincidence, about the only mechanism I can think of for causation would be geomagnetic…

    Could it possibly be gravitational? Consider how massive the Sun is compared to Earth, and how close we are. The assorted solar currents, surges, and storms must involve enormous amounts of mass shifting about. While treating the Sun as a point source of gravity might be good for modeling and computations, there could be variations in the actual strength of the gravitational field, especially at the edges of the more severe events. Can it be possible that one side of our planet could feel a stronger gravitational pull than the other side, that the planet is being washed over with an invisible “map” of varying gravitational forces? We have done satellite mapping of the varying gravitation across the surface of the Earth. Wouldn’t the Earth, a satellite of the Sun, notice variations across the surface of the Sun?

    We live on the solidified scum that floats on a molten core-covering ocean. If the height of these proposed fluctuations occur at solar maximums, then perhaps the relatively thin crust is “flexed” in a way that relieves stresses. One could check if they coincide with increased amounts of seismic activity, perhaps lots of smaller earthquakes instead of fewer larger ones. This may aid in temporarily relieving pressures that lead to noticeable volcanic activity. At solar minimums the mechanism is not working, stresses build up, we get more noticeable volcanic activity. I say “noticeable volcanic activity” in that eruptions and lava flows are very much noticed, but an increased amount of venting through odd “cracks” may be much less noticed although that would be relieving pressures.

    It is late, I am going to bed, and hoping I did a good job of proofreading. Later on I may well consider this whole concept completely ridiculous, as helped along by more knowledgeable commentators. But at this moment, eh, seems worth considering.

  98. DirkH (18:28:17) : edit

    “Ric Werme (17:57:22) :
    [...]
    We really do need start moving off this planet. Too many hazards here.”

    The risk of a deadly accident while escaping the planet far outweighs the lifetime risk of volcano eruptions.

    For the individual. But for the species, the risk profile is exactly opposite. If we, as a species, stay on this rock, we are ultimately doomed. 100% risk of extermination. It’s an odd thing, but true.

  99. E.M.Smith (23:45:09) :

    We don’t need anything like a Yellowstone or Long Valley eruption to fairly well wipe out our current culture as we know it. A fairly typical Krakatoa eruption, such as the one in AD 535 would do just fine.

    It took 10 years after that eruption for sunlight to return to normal in the Northern Hemisphere. You might know the upheaval it caused by the name of “The Dark Ages”.

  100. E.M.Smith (23:45:09) :

    “IMHO, global civilization would likely collapse. Our system is now built on “just in time” for way too much stuff (food, …”

    And if Obama gets his way, things will only get worse. I found this over at Greeniwatch.

    http://www.washingtontimes.com/news/2009/dec/29/forests-vs-food-study-worries-agriculture-chief/

    “Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack has ordered his staff to revise a computerized forecasting model that showed that climate legislation supported by President Obama would make planting trees more lucrative than producing food.

    The latest Agriculture Department economic-impact study of the climate bill, which passed the House this summer, found that the legislation would profit farmers in the long term. But those profits would come mostly from higher crop prices as a result of the legislation’s incentives to plant more forests and thus reduce the amount of land devoted to food-producing agriculture.”

    Whoever has the land to grow his own veggies had better start optimizing that, and soon.

  101. Quite worrying that quite a few volcanoes are popping off. What really scares me are the invisible deep ocean volcanoes and the growing North Atlantic ridge.

    These have the capability of altering deep ocean currents and could trigger long-term climate change by, for example, slowing the flow warm water to the Arctic and changing the direction of the thermoline flow.

  102. @sHx (16:49:40) :

    I remember reading about 5 or 6 volcanologists who happened to be on top of a volcano looking into the caldera when it erupted unexpectedly. I think it was in either Central or South America some ten years ago. Two or three of them died. It was a fascinating account. One of the survivors said that the volcano seemed to take a huge breath before the eruption.

    It was the Volcán Galeras. See http://content.scholastic.com/browse/article.jsp?id=4883

    Also http://intranet.ingeominas.gov.co/pasto/Erupcion_enero_14_1993 (in Spanish) where you can see a photo of some of the scientists.

    Also http://intranet.ingeominas.gov.co/pasto/images/e/e1/Actividad_historica_galeras.pdf (in Spanish) has photos of the volcano, caldera, eruptions and interesting graphs.

    Also http://intranet.ingeominas.gov.co/pasto/Actividad_histórica has a photo and diagram of an interesting petroglyph of an eruption of Galeras (hi-res image here: http://intranet.ingeominas.gov.co/pasto/images/0/00/Prictografo_de_El_Higueron_Genoy.jpg)

  103. How long does the Boeing fleet fly with no spare parts from N. America?

    How long does anything fly without engines, regardless of their origin? Volcanic ash and turbine blades don’t play well together…

  104. Just a small correction, which might already be corrected. Most tables for the amount of SO2 that the US puts out annually is in thousands of short tons. So if it reads 18,000 then that would really be like 18 million short tons per year, or about 3,000 days of this volcano’s output. These are rough numbers pulled from thin air, mind you. Pun intended. I mention this just because an earlier post posited that the volcano is putting out in a few days what the US does in a year. You may redact this if it has already been corrected.

  105. “Luckily Mayon doesn’t historicly erupt like Pinatubo does, ie blow up.”

    Not sure what a ‘blow up’ VEI number might be. Mayon erupted in 1814 killing 3400 at VEI 6 adding to the Dalton colding. Laki began in 1784, Soufriere about 1812, Tambora in 1816 at VEI 7.

    But “correlation does not equal causation”. Find comfort where you can I suppose.

  106. DirkH (19:14:53) :

    “rbateman (19:05:29) :
    [...]
    They found the silos stuffed to the gills in the Midwest. Bought by future traders and stored (illegally –you can’t do that and operate on the CBOT) for the purpose of causing a shortage.”

    Ah America with its ruthless capitalism. Break rules, get rich. What an expression of the Will To Power. A truely Nietzschean country.

    And yet Europe, handicapped by its socialism, has “lapped” America in carbon-trading fraud.

  107. crosspatch (00:09:15) :

    > We don’t need anything like a Yellowstone or Long Valley eruption to fairly well wipe out our current culture as we know it. A fairly typical Krakatoa eruption, such as the one in AD 535 would do just fine.

    Tambora was 5X the size of Krakatoa. (See the Yellowstone comparison, at my http://wermenh.com/1816.html I list Tambora at 25 mi^3, Krakatoa at 4.5, and St. Helens at 1. Please ignore the silly units.)

    > It took 10 years after that eruption for sunlight to return to normal in the Northern Hemisphere.

    Reference please? Climatic effects are generally 1-2 years. AFAIK, a larger SO2 aerosol injection into the stratosphere doesn’t materially increase the settling time. Interesting sunsets after Pinatubo took an extra year or so to clear up.

    Also, I concluded the key thing about 1816 was that the storm track shifted south and that allowed several incursions of cold weather. Areas south of New England had decent crops, though it may have messed up parts of India and started a migration that spread cholera to, umm, I forget. (My focus has been New England.)

  108. >>>Mother earth is angry at the countless sins we’ve committed against her.

    Not half as angry as she was ın the 16th century BC at Santorını, or ın the 8th century AD when an earthquake swarm spread across the Eastern Roman Empıre.

    .

  109. “Roger Knights (05:49:55) :

    DirkH (19:14:53) :

    “Ah America with its ruthless capitalism. Break rules, get rich. What an expression of the Will To Power. A truely Nietzschean country.”

    And yet Europe, handicapped by its socialism, has “lapped” America in carbon-trading fraud.”

    Thank you. Yes, that is our newest masterpiece.

  110. And folks wonder why I have a self reliance ethos and a (modest) DIY food storage system…

    http://chiefio.wordpress.com/2009/04/06/food-storage-systems/

    BTW, you ought to have a fire hood or gas mask first, then a water purification system second, then environmental protection (i.e. tent and bag, warm clothing in the car trunk), and only after THAT to you really need to worry about food. The “precedence order” is from least density to most density. You need breathable air within minutes, water within days, food? Well, some of us could go a few months…

    http://chiefio.wordpress.com/2009/05/27/crisis-kits-and-preparedness-packs/

    Interesting articles you wrote, I have been doing essentially identically the same thing for over 35 years myself. Many people today forget how a major wheat crop failure in the USSR back in the 1970s spiked world food prices. Folks whine about corn and other food crop price increases this last year in 2009 dollars in the 1970’s corn rose to almost $16 a bushel (2009 USD) from this past years approx $3.50-$4.00 prices, or recent spikes near $& (2009 USD).

    http://inflationdata.com/inflation/images/charts/Corn/corn_inflation_chart.htm

    Major crop failures can and do happen even in modern agriculture, it is a continuous race to stay one step ahead of grain rust epidemics etc. not to mention weather. Add in a few geographic emergencies, like freezes in countries that produce key crops or political upset and the just in time delivery system is quite brittle. In the 1970’s we also had sudden shortages of sugar and coffee that caused major price spikes in those commodities. For the U.S. these have traditionally been simply major inconveniences, but in other countries, folks have gone hungry. Having even a few days worth of food in the pantry is worth while.

    During the Colorado “Blizzard of 1982″ which basically shut down the city to vehicle traffic for days, the local corner grocery outlets were wiped clean of foods like bread and milk with in 36 hours. At about 48 hours into the emergency the owner of the corner convenience store asked me if I could make a food run for her. The local bakery in the city was making bread again but the bread trucks could not move in the unplowed side streets. She gave me money and I drove down and filled the back of a 1976 full size Jeep Cherokee SUV with fresh bread. It was all sold by late that evening, as local home owners were walking up to a mile in the snow just to get food basics. Many people cannot live out of their cupboards for more than 2-3 days without running out of most foods as they are used to stopping off on the way home from work to pickup food, or at most buy groceries on a weekly basis.

    Even if it is not a major emergency for you, you are doing a public service by taking load off the emergency shelters, as one less family needs to depend on emergency services to get by.

    It would be useful if more people were simply aware of their local history of severe storms. The Billizard of ’82 that shut down most of Denver only dropped about 24 inches of snow in most areas, but drifts to 4 ft. IN December of 1913 Denver got 45 inches of snow in a single storm with drifts to the second story windows of down town hotels. My Uncle’s father helped load coal sacks through the windows of those hotels to keep folks from freezing. The same storm today would bring the city to a standstill for 1-2 weeks.

    http://tpscolorado.wordpress.com/2008/12/09/denver-blizzard-of-1913/

    Larry

  111. How many times per century (for the past 500 years, say) do major volcanic eruptions occur (that could influence climate)?

    Do the UEA’s models for the 21st century temperature projections incoporate the requisite number of volcanoes?

    Hmmm…

  112. Mike Atkins (09:34:05) :

    How many times per century (for the past 500 years, say) do major volcanic eruptions occur (that could influence climate)?

    This info only goes back about 150 years —

    http://www.authorsden.com/visit/viewarticle.asp?id=40379&AuthorID=14304

    http://www.vulkaner.no/v/volcan/latinam/chicon-e.html


    Name – duration of cooling effect — date of major eruption
    Laki ———- 2-5 years ———– erupted in 1783
    Tambora —— 2-5 years ———– erupted in 1815
    Krakatau —— 2-3 years ———– erupted August 26 – 27, 1883
    Katmai ——– 1-3 years ———– June 6-9, 1912 (second largest eruption of 20th century)

    Surtsey ——– 2 cold winters – Northern hemissphere only — 5 June 1967
    St. Helens —— 1-3 years ———– May 18, 1980
    El Chicon ——- 1-3 years ———– March 1982
    Pinatubo ——- 2-5 years ———– June 1991

    That makes the intervals as:
    32 years Laki to Tambora
    29 years Krakatau to Tambora
    55 years Tatami to Surtsey
    13 years Surtsey to St. Helens
    2 years St. Helens to El Chicon
    9 years El Chicon to Pinatubo
    18 years to Current date 2009

    The average for the above 6 major eruptions from Laki to Pinatubo is 23.33 years interval.

    Larry

  113. Okay lets try this again — correction

    That makes the intervals as:
    32 years Laki to Tambora*
    29 years Tambora to Krakatau*
    68 Krakatau to Katmai
    55 years Katami to Surtsey
    13 years Surtsey to St. Helens
    2 years St. Helens to El Chicon
    9 years El Chicon to Pinatubo

    The average for the 7 intervals between the above 8 major eruptions from Laki to Pinatubo is 29.7 years between major eruptions.

    Obviously there is a lot of variation so I am not sure an average interval means a whole lot.

    Larry

  114. All the global warmongers rejoice as they now will have a reason to explain the quickly dropping temperatures. It was volcanic ash that blocked the sun, and this will be the first volcano ever to account for more than 20 years of cold weather.

  115. SPEAKING OF KRAKATOA

    Several people have mentioned it, but I don’t see that anyone has reported on what it’s up to lately. Turns out, it appears to be waking up, at least as of last June/July it was.

    http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/worldnews/article-1203028/Will-Krakatoa-rock-world-Last-time-killed-thousands-changed-weather-years-deadlier.html

    http://thejakartaglobe.com/national/officials-concerned-about-recent-activity-at-krakatau/313785

    An earlier report from 2006:
    “It has grown an average of 13 cm (5 inches) per week in the last sixty years. It’s an active – very active – volcano with multiple episodes of volcanic activity since 1963, the most recent having started in 1994. Since then Anak Krakatoa quiet periods have been measured in days, punctuated with explosions and eruptions. Reports from 2005 indicate that volcanic activity at Anak Krakatoa is increasing.”

    http://www.damninteresting.com/?p=578

    The most recent thing I can find is from Dec 11, and is translated by Google from the Indonesian here.

    http://translate.google.com/translate?js=y&prev=_t&hl=en&ie=UTF-8&layout=1&eotf=1&u=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.mediaindonesia.com%2Fread%2F2009%2F12%2F11%2F111017%2F123%2F101%2FStatus-Gunung-Anak-Krakatau-Turun-Jadi-Waspada&sl=auto&tl=en

  116. 13 years Surtsey to St. Helens
    2 years St. Helens to El Chicon
    9 years El Chicon to Pinatubo

    —…—…

    OK – But Mt St Helens didn’t affect climate much, and on a scale of 1 to Yellowstone erupting, was realitvely minor. Likewise, El Chicon was much less impact than Pinatubo.

    So, your intervals (cherry-picking data here!) would have another much more “sellable” 30 year pattern if you used

    24 year Surtsey to Pinatubo

  117. I have read that the intensity (size) of volcanic eruptions have been declining over time. What we consider large eruptions now would be quite small compared to the earliest eruptions.

  118. RACookPE1978 (11:35:27) :

    OK – But Mt St Helens didn’t affect climate much, and on a scale of 1 to Yellowstone erupting, was realitvely [sic] minor. Likewise, El Chicon was much less impact than Pinatubo.

    I never said any of those eruptions were even close to a Yellowstone event. It is called a super volcano for a reason.

    El Chicon is second only to Mt. Pinitubo in sulfur emissions in the wiki chart posted above and its 27 year time span. Notice also that Pinitubo was immediately followed by a high sulfur emission eruption from the Hudson volcano so cooling attributed to Pinitubo’s eruption is likely augmented by that companion eruptions sulfur emissions.

    It (El Chicon) was the volcanic eruption that cinched the hypothesis that volcanic cooling was due to sulfur emissions that was being discussed at the time. At the time it happened it was interpreted as a significant cooling episode. Obviously nothing like the historical giant eruptions but never the less its cooling effect was well documented at the time and use as proof that it was sulfur emissions of the eruption not the ejecta mass that was important to global cooling.

    http://www.geology.sdsu.edu/how_volcanoes_work/climate_effects.html

    INFLUENCE ON THE HAZE EFFECT:

    Volcanic eruptions enhance the haze effect to a greater extent than the greenhouse effect, and thus they can lower mean global temperatures. It was thought for many years that the greatest volcanic contribution of the haze effect was from the suspended ash particles in the upper atmosphere that would block out solar radiation. However, these ideas changed in the 1982 after the eruption of the Mexican volcano, El Chichon. Although the 1980 eruption of Mt. St. Helens lowered global temperatures by 0.1OC, the much smaller eruption of El Chichon lowered global temperatures three to five times as much. Although the Mt. St. Helens blast emitted a greater amount of ash in the stratosphere, the El Chichon eruption emitted a much greater volume of sulfur-rich gases (40x more). It appears that the volume of pyroclastic debris emitted during a blast is not the best criteria to measure its effects on the atmosphere. The amount of sulfur-rich gases appears to be more important. Sulfur combines with water vapor in the stratosphere to form dense clouds of tiny sulfuric acid droplets. These droplets take several years to settle out and they are capable to decreasing the troposphere temperatures because they absorb solar radiation and scatter it back to space.

    You can’t cherry pick if you are using all the major events you know about. If you would like to add to the list feel free. As mentioned, when you are dealing with a random event, trying to determine a time interval between events is simply creating a feel good human construct that has little if any mathematical meaning.

    As far as “sellable” patterns — sorry I have no interest in manipulating the data to make a good sales pitch, that is what the AGW fools are doing.

    Like the weather, except for eruptions in populated areas, and eruptions that leave big finger prints in the historical record and are identifiable, we really have relatively poor historical records of frequency of major eruptions. It is entirely possible that multiple large eruptions are completely missing from the record or we are confusing multiple near simultaneous small eruptions in remote locations for a single eruption.

    It is much like the concept of the “100 year flood”. You can have two 100 year floods within weeks of each other in the same drainage, or you can go 500 years or more without seeing one. The term is misused by the press and the public. It does not mean that that particular type of flood only occurs once every 100 years, but rather that it has a 1/100 chance of occurring in any given year. Like throwing a fair pair of dice, you have a 1/36 chance of getting a double 6 but that event has no influence on your next throw.

    Larry

  119. Fellow volcanophiles will enjoy reading “Volcano cowboys : the rocky evolution of a dangerous science” by Dick Thompson.

    — which has an amazing, & gripping, account of the runup to the eruption of Mt. Pinatubo in the Philippines, from the viewpoint of a USGS team sent to assist the PI govt & the USAF — as you may recall, Clark AFB was heavily damaged by the eruption, & subsequently abandoned.

    Pete Tillman
    Consulting Geologist, Arizona and New Mexico (USA)

  120. hotrod (21:02:09) :

    “Although the Mt. St. Helens blast emitted a greater amount of ash in the stratosphere, the El Chichon eruption emitted a much greater volume of sulfur-rich gases (40x more). It appears that the volume of pyroclastic debris emitted during a blast is not the best criteria to measure its effects on the atmosphere. The amount of sulfur-rich gases appears to be more important.”

    —…—…

    Thank you for the additional info, and the correction.

  121. I am there to shoot the eruption. Seems like the threat of a major eruption has subsided, though. Good for the folks that live there, major disappointment for me. :(

  122. Seems simple enough to me. Quieter sun-> cooler surface -> bigger thermal gradient between surface and core -> faster movement of underground heat to surface -> more volcanic activity.

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