Climate Change Effects: Volcanoes Essay

1058 words - 5 pages

Climate Change has become a rising topic of interest and worry in Today's world. It has effected almost every aspect of modern life: Including the food industry, living conditions, as well as Volcanic activity. In recent years, Humanity has seen a steady increase in Volcanic activity, possibly due to climate change. The potential destruction from increased Volcanic Activity could potentially cause a mass extinction.
Disclaimer: When looking at any data about the effects of Climate Change, it is important to take into consideration that not all of the data could be following the Climate Change “trend” it could be no more than a variable change in activity. This also counts for Volcanic activity. Increased Volcanic Activity could be a random event, and not one connected with Climate Change. Therefore, this paper will be focusing on the idea that increased Volcanic Activity is a result of recent Climate Changes.
Volcanic activity is a fairly common event for the Earth. Generally, there are anywhere between 50-60 small eruptions a day) These eruptions barley register onto the Volcanic Explosivity Index (VEI), similar to the Richter scale for Earthquakes. It ranges from zero to eight, zero being the weakest and eight being capable of mass extinctions. Major Volcanoes generally erupt every 100-200 years. Every 10,000 years, A Volcano erupts with so much power that they can cause Mass Extinctions.
Over the last 100 years, there has been 12 significant Volcanic Eruptions. All of these Eruptions range from a 1 to a 6 on the VEI. Definitely the most powerful eruption on this list is the Mount Pinatubo eruptions in 1991 in the Philippines. It measured a 6 on the VEI, and luckily only resulted in 350 deaths. This is due to the efficiency and accuracy of their alert systems at the time.
To further explain the VEI scale, a 6 on the scale is described as “Colossal” and is capable of ejecting a plume up to 20 to 35 Kilometers high. Its ejecta volume, or the volume of the smoke and other things the Volcano releases during an eruption is about 10 kilometers. When comparing this to the high numbers on the scale, these figures seem minuet. The physics behind Volcanoes are phenomenal and extreme. The force needed to push the waste of a volcanic eruption 20 – 35 kilometers in the air is incredible. The physics behind this powerful and destructive eruptions will be looked at more in depth.
How and why is climate change effecting Volcanoes? Just look at the last 100 years. Generally, a category 6 Volcano eruptions every 100 years. The Mount Pinatubo eruption occurred roughly 100 years after the last category 6 (Krakatoa, 1883). But another 200 years before than in 1600, a category 6 erupted. The frequency of these eruptions are becoming more and more regular. 1883 is an interesting time period to look at, because at that time the Industrial Revolution was in full swing. This heated the Earth very quickly, causing melting of Glaciers. It
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