Sunday, May 2, 2010

Climate Change - Volcanic Eruptions & Global Warming

Climate Change - Volcanic Eruptions & Global Warming - What Do Volcanic Eruptions Really Do?
While we all look on in astonishment at the recent major disruption caused by the Iceland Volcano eruption bellowing its ash cloud high into our skies, there is believe it or not a benefit to be gained from this apparent catastrophe. In reference to Global Warming, volcanic eruptions actually create a cooling effect to the Earth that can reduce climate change, but is the Icelandic volcano eruption big enough?

One such event that climate change gained from was when Mount Pinatubo erupted in the Philippines back in 1991. It is said it reduced the temperature of the Earths' surface by 0.5 degrees Celsius, which offset the greenhouse gases from 1991 to 1993 and a similar event was caused by the Mount St Helens volcanic eruption in Washington USA back in 1980.

This is caused by the volcanic ash particles and sulphur dioxide reaching the stratosphere. There is then a chemical reaction which causes the volcanic particles to create a mirrored effect that reflects the Suns' rays away from the Earth, similar to reflecting the Sun away using a shiny object.

That is of course providing that the ash plume from a volcano is significant enough in dissipating the right quantity of ash and that it reaches the stratosphere. Others such as the Iceland volcanic eruption sometimes only make it into the troposphere where the ash is dispersed over a wide area by very strong winds.
There are volcanic eruptions happening all the time, but it seems you are only aware of them if you live near one or are affected by it erupting. For instance a volcano erupted the same day as the Iceland volcano did, but on the other side of the World in Japan. This was a dormant volcano that has shocked the Japanese, but how many of us either know about it or are affected by it? Very few I suspect.

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Here's something to think about climate change issues. It is good to know that at least Mount Pinatubo actually reversed for a time climate change issues with regard to global warming trends.

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