Japan's Mount Io erupts for the first time in 250 years

From wire reports:

A volcano in southern Japan, Mount Io, erupted for the first time since 1768 on Thursday, spewing steam and ash 400 meters (1,300 feet) into the air. Video follows.

Authorities warned locals not to approach the mountain. A warning area has been issued within 3km of the volcano due to large flying volcanic rocks and pyroclastic flows.

“There is a possibility that the mountain will become more active,” said Makoto Saito, an official from the Japan Meteorological Agency (JMA), confirming the eruption, warning that large flying rocks could fall over a two-mile (3 km) radius.

One person has been killed, and authorities have banned access to the peak.

Click for video:


The eruption occurred a few kilometers away from Shinmoedake, which featured in the 1967 James Bond film “You Only Live Twice” and erupted in March.

Japan, with scores of active volcanoes, sits on the so-called Pacific “Ring of Fire” where a large proportion of the world’s earthquakes and volcanic eruptions are recorded.



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400 meters? So far so small. Let’s hope it stays that way.

Terry Harnden

Right on. When it goes to 5 miles its time to pay attention.

Bob Burban

There were two recent eruptions of Mt Sinabung in Indonesia but not a peep in the MSM about the 55,000 ft high plumes generated on each occasion.

peanut gallery

So… how did it get the fatality? Had to have been pretty close.

John Bell

Maybe some nut like that lawyer sacrificed himself to the volcano thinking he was appeasing the gawds of global warming?

When do the CAGW alarmists start citing this as further evidence of… something?


Obviously, the increased global temperatures helped liquefy the magma and cause the eruption. Didn’t you get the memo?


I’ve been told that since the earth has warmed up by 0.8C in the last 150 years, this means that rocks in the crust have gotten softer, which allows that magma to break through more easily.

Haven’t they done the “ice melted which changed pressure on the crust which means volcanoes erupt because of global warming” route, too? I think that was done during the last big Iceland eruption– it’s probably even in the archives, here .

“As the glaciers melt, the pressure on the underlying rocks decreases,” Compton said in an e-mail to TIME. “Rocks at very high temperatures may stay in their solid phase if the pressure is high enough. As you reduce the pressure, you effectively lower the melting temperature.” The result is a softer, more molten subsurface, which increases the amount of eruptive material lying around and makes it easier for more deeply buried magma chambers to escape their confinement and blow the whole mess through the surface.


The question of course is, what percentage of difference does a couple of feet of ice make to a magma chamber that is already under several miles of rock?

After swallowing the camel to ignore liquid rock melting ice, I doubt they’ll choke on that gnat!

Tom Halla

On Kyushu. The main results on Duckduckgo mostly show Japanese sources.


A blink of an eye in geologic terms.


So primordial. Is it too late to toss virgins?

Bryan A

Perhaps that was the one casualty


Yep. There’s none left.


Yep. they’re right.

Absent a virgin, I suppose we could alawys try throwing Hillary in there.

Too dangerous. It would create a plug dome.

She does have a pretty big spread below the waist.


“the Japan Meteorological Agency (JMA), confirming……….”
Sorry folks, forgive my abject ignorance, but I believed meteorological agencies studied weather, not volcanoes.
Is this kind of a cross agency deal where volcanologists study climate now?
No wonder the concept of AGW confuses me.

James Beaver

Volcanos can affect climate so they matter.


The quotation goes thus:
““There is a possibility that the mountain will become more active,” said Makoto Saito, an official from the Japan Meteorological Agency (JMA), confirming the eruption, warning that large flying rocks could fall over a two-mile (3 km) radius.”
No mention of climatic conditions there. Or did I miss something?


Flying rocks are caused by CO2. Nye is going to do an experiment with a cork in a bottle of seltzer to demonstrate it. The bottle will be secretly hooked to a compressed air source to show what happens.


HotScot, it says quite clearly “flying rocks”, that’s definitely meteorological. Sort of like Sharknadoes.

Take approximately two seconds (assuming both a slow browser and slow typing skills) and look the agency up.
They’ve even got a page in English, and link to the establishing act, also in English.
Alternatively, you could use common sense, think about what kind of disasters Japan tends to face as an island, and realize they function as a natural disaster clearing house rather than either having a ludicrously long name or having fifteen different departments that duplicate efforts but gosh, they only do exactly what it says on the tin.


Fair comment.
No need to be so aggressive about it though.
I am, after all, a layman, seeking enlightenment from people like you, and judging other meteorological establishments on the British model I’m familiar with.
“Alternatively, you could use common sense, think about what kind of disasters Japan tends to face as an island, and realize they function as a natural disaster clearing house rather than either having a ludicrously long name or having fifteen different departments that duplicate efforts”
Why would that be common sense? Every Western nation I can think of has fifteen different departments dealing with different aspects of natural disaster. That’s the norm in my world.

I’m a housewife. It doesn’t take any sort of expert certification to take a moment for research rather than being nasty about the horrific thought that, perhaps, Japan does not conform to your biases– and if taking a moment to check for a simple answer that costs nothing is no longer a part of basic British manners, the world has suffered a great loss.


I have no biases. How presumptuous.
However, as a non expert, you deign to lecture me on research.
I admit my failings dear, one of them is not presuming I’m competent to conduct any type of meaningful research in a manner consistent with scientific rigour.
Kindly don’t impose your amateur research conclusions on me when I can seek intellectual council from any number of suitably qualified individuals on WUWT.
Good day to you madam.

I admit my failings dear, one of them is not presuming I’m competent to conduct any type of meaningful research in a manner consistent with scientific rigour.
It takes no “scientific rigour” to take a moment to see if the information has been made utterly public. Seriously, a Japanese agency has an English language website, down to the founding documents– and it comes up instantly if you look for their name. If you have the competency to reach this website, you are competent to conduct basic research to that level.
It does, though, take serious gall to first declare a bias, then insist you have none– even beyond that required to decide that after you have been rude you are qualified to lecture others on manners.


As I said madam, good day to you.
I will add, you could at least have had the common decency to use quotation marks when you quote me in print.
Might I suggest you research some English language protocols before lecturing anyone on scientific research.

*points up to the article at top*
Observe. Quotes can be put in italics, so as to indicate they are quotes.
As I said madam, good day to you.
And yet, you keep talking.
The point of the pointed “good day” is that then you leave in a huff, not that it magically forces whoever you are speaking to into silence.
Appeal to manners really loses something when you attempt to bind others by it, yet will not bind yourself.

or Fox, maybe you could lay off the “offended therefore I’ll attack” jargon. Sheesh, you sound like a typical SJW. Passive agressive AGGRESSIVE

Oh, goodie, DARVO.
Is Mr. Gosh-How-Offensive-To-Suggest-Research-I’m-Just-A-Layman your buddy?


Accusing others of lacking common sense doesn’t make it to the top ten list of ice breakers for your next party.


Sorry folks, my fault. I rose to the bait.


HotScot, no need to apologize.

I think the Japanese take the view (defensible, in my opinion) that beyond the immediate vicinity, volcanic eruptions present issues quite similar to weather issues. Typhoon – tsunami. Snow and rain fall – ash fall. Air route advisories for weather fronts – air route advisories for ash clouds.

Richard Patton

Japan Meteorological Agency is a combined Meteorological/Geological department of the Japanese government. Why they just don’t call it the Earth Sciences Agency, which would cover both, I don’t know.

David Snope

Hmmm, Mt. Io appears to be more like 1800 km from Shinmoedake

David Snope

Aaah, found it. There is another Mt. Io, or rather, Ioyama, which is more or less a shoulder of Mount Karakuni, and is close to the Bond film location Shinmoedake

David Snope

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The northern one is Mount Iō
The southern one is Mount Io
The difference in spelling is, of course, really obvious. 🙂

Philip Mulholland

It’s Mount Io-Yama. link


It’s Mt. Io OR Io-Yama. It is not Mt. Io-Yama.
It’s like The La Brea Tar Pits, which literally means The The Tar Tar Pits. Redundant.


In Japanese, yama means mountain.


Without a doubt, this eruption is a direct result of global warming. We were warned!

Patrick J Wood

I totally agree that this is directly related to global warming. Where is Algore to call this out for that it is?

High Treason

All that extra CO2 will have to be accounted for by humans using less fossil fuels.
Actually, I could see the warmists (neopagans) sacrificing others to try to quench the volcano. Personally, I think the warmists should throw themselves and other SJW types in to the volcano to try to cool it off.


High Treason
Well one guy recently set himself alight (tragically he died) with fossil fuel, to protest about fossil fuel use.
Bizarre, however it might begin a cult.
Personally I’d prefer they stuck to conventional means of protest, but who am I to judge?

Pop Piasa

Just what we need here in NA, a volcano to help with cloud nucleation while it gets a boost (or not) from higher GCRF during a centennial minimum. If Io does anything close to what Tambora did in 1815, The relative proximity and wind circulation patterns could really concentrate aerosols over NA. Could we see a facsimile of 1816’s summer next year?


Could you have meant NH, not NA. This volcano is in Japan, which would put it in Asia.

Pop Piasa

Hmm, just read that Io means “sulfur mountain” in Japanese. Think of the SO2 in the downstream troposphere.


Pop Piasa
You mean rotton egg smells. Ugh!
Give me extra CO2 any day.

Pop Piasa
April 19, 2018 at 2:14 pm
Yes, just like Jupiter’s moon Io that has several active sulphur erupting volcanoes.


Come to think of it, doesn’t Io have sulfur volcanoes??
Anyway, I am so glad they are going to get the sulfur out of ship bunker in 2020. The acid rain is ruining the ocean. [/sarc]


Pacific sulfuricated? … mother Gaia turns to the darkside?


Because I don’t subscribe to the 97% concencus, does that make me an elitist?
I mean, the 1% top wealth holders in the world are considered uber elite, and are as hated globally as we ‘deniers’. I reckon I’m just a level down from them.
That makes me feel rather good.
I’m one of the elite.
OT but I had to ask.

Philip Mulholland

I shall indeed be wary!! Very wary.


Perhaps C02 measurements should be taken within the ash plume to determine if C02 is causing the eruption. That C02 causes a lot of sh*t.

Use a Tsunami to put it out…
Water absorbs CO2…


More than likely the fatality was a hiker, the hiking and climbing season has begun here in Japan. These volcanoes can erupt suddenly, with no warning. 30 climbers were killled when Mt Ontake erupted in 2014, there are many videos of the event from climbers who were on the scene.
Many of these places are smoking or steaming, some are not. Some trails are too hot to stand on with bare feet.

guy king

After reading this article I went to get some more news on the eruption. I use startpage for internet searches and Whattsupwiththat came in 5th under a search for Mount Io.
Good work Mr Watts!!

Tim Beatty

Volcanic eruptions are always good fodder that forcists use as the mask that hides all the warming. Of course volcanoes are ubiquitous so it’s kind of a shell game on which one to blame. Next year, some scientist will blame the Chicago baseball snow outs on a volcano.

Ian Macdonald

“Walk toward the fire. Don’t worry about what they call you.” – Andrew Breitbart
In this case,.. probably whatever the Japanese is for fool. 😉

Tom Schaefer

Does anyone know if the steam is formed from H and O in the original magma, or is it from closer to surface hydrological sources?


From Philip Mulholland’s link, above:
“April 20, 1990 16:00 Fukuoka District Meteorological Observatory · Presentation of the Kagoshima Local Meteorological Observatory
“Perimeter crater warning (Eruption warning level 3, Iriyama regulation) continued
“At Shinmoedake, active volcanic activity continues. In the range of approximately 3 km from the Shinmoedake volcanic crater, please be wary of the big ejaculation that scatters the trajectory accompanying the eruption and the pyroclastic flow in the range of approximately 2 km from the Shinmoedake crater.”


It’s only James Bond blowing up Blofeld’s lair…