Yellowstone volcano could cause nuclear winter

Supervolcanoes are some of the most ominous natural formations that exist on planet Earth. Their eruption could trigger climate change. At the moment, there are about 20 supervolcanoes known to science. On average, eruptions occur once every 100 thousand years. notesthat the most famous supervolcano in the world is the Yellowstone caldera. It is a vast chasm in Wyoming that lies beneath a vast national park. While Yellowstone is considered safe and the most visited park in the country, the scale of disaster in the event of an eruption would be horrendous.

In many ways, the consequences depend on the geological composition of the supervolcano. These range from avalanches of hot rocks and gases to extreme changes in global climate. And it is the latter that the Yellowstone Caldera is quite capable of. According to Professor Christopher Kilburn, a volcanologist at University College London, the eruption will affect the whole world.

The most important and dangerous consequence is the release of volcanic gases (sulfur dioxide), which form opaque droplets of sulfuric acid and reduce the amount of sunlight, but for a much longer period than ash.

What scientists call a “nuclear winter” will follow. This will lead to lower global temperatures, crop failures, problems for human health and a reduction in energy production. There will also be numerous economic consequences that will disrupt the global economy, food supplies and overall activities around the world.

Despite all this, as Professor Kilburn points out, the activity of many volcanoes and supervolcanoes is not actively monitored.

Scientists measure specific points of movement of the formations every few months, but even with the most accurate data it will be difficult to determine whether an eruption will occur.

However, volcanic activity in Yellowstone makes experts nervous.

The United States Geological Survey (USGS) said: “Volcanoes are unpredictable and their eruptions do not follow predictable schedules. However, mathematical calculations do not allow us to consider that the volcano is ready to erupt.” In terms of major explosions, Yellowstone has only had three eruptions: 2.08, 1.3 and 0.631 million years ago. It turns out that on average about 725 thousand years pass between eruptions. In this case, humanity still has about 100 thousand years to do something.

Recently, the Popocatepetl volcano, which is located 50 kilometers east of the capital of Mexico, Mexico City, threw it away column of steam and ash.

Olesya Mayevskaya

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