Yellowstone Volcano giant would not kill a fly

Recently, scientists have made a model proposed supervolcano eruption, located in Yellowstone National Park in the United States, which last year's scare the media. It turned out that even if this happens, the disaster did not happen: the eruption is not strong, and within ten years, America has fully recovered from the effects of high-profile events.

All last year, the media frighten respectable audience, describing the troubles that come upon America and the world, if the start of the famous eruption of the Yellowstone supervolcano. While much of what was written was a revelation inventions journalists and assorted charlatans, the goal has been reached — many readers to believe in the inevitability of the disaster. They do not even bother what the researchers who study the volcano, were slow to share the results of their research.

Recently, however, volcanologists have to summarize all available data about the volcano, and a model of its possible eruption. Which, by the way, based on this model, in the next 100 years is unlikely to happen — the probability of this event is 1:10 000. However, we should not forget that supervolcanoes are not as predictable as their conventional counterparts — a huge wall of the chamber in their basement filled with magma, could "break" from the slightest impact.

However, even if this happens, it should not be particularly worried, says Jacob Lowenstern of the Yellowstone Volcano Observatory (USA). He points out that this supervolcano woke three times, with each successive eruption was weaker than the last. Thus, the strongest of which was 2.1 million years ago. Next, happened 1.3 million years ago, it was much weaker, and the last 640 thousand years ago — quite weak. All of this suggests that the magma chamber located beneath the volcanoes apparently cools, the flow of new material from the mantle is reduced, — respectively, the volcano sleeps.

However, even if the eruption is the same as 640,000 years ago, nothing terrible will happen. According to the calculations of Dr. Levenstern during this eruption outside got more than one thousand kilometers? volcanic ash. This is enough to cover most of the ashes of North America, but it will not be uniform layer: near the volcano, its thickness is more than 30 cm, and at a distance of 3000 kilometers away — is less than a millimeter.

Clearly, in this situation, to say that half of America will be covered with ashes, quite correctly. Of course, the settlements located near Yellowstone, moggut seriously hurt, but scientists believe that human sacrifice would not be, if in time to evacuate. So, in pleasantry Levenstern directly suffer from the eruption of a tourist business in Wyoming. And even then not for long — look at the consequences of this event, many will want to.

Of course, in the days following the eruption of people and other living creatures in the surrounding areas will be difficult to breathe. The fact that the Yellowstone fire-breathing mountain does not belong to the so-called stratovolcano that spew ash and gases in the upper atmosphere, as it was during the Krakatoa eruption of Mount Pinatubo in the Philippines or in 1991. Therefore, the ashes will remain in the air and will slowly sink to the surface of the Earth, but just something that will last two to three months.

As for the poison gas, then there should not be worried — as studies have shown magma Yellowstone volcano, sulfur and cyanide in it very little. And it was the sulfur dioxide and volatile cyanogen compounds and form the basic "chemical weapons" fire-breathing giant. In this way, there is another advantage — we can not be afraid of lowering the temperature: it is the particles of sulfur are the main "cooler" atmosphere, as it was said above, there are almost none.

"The huge volume of magma means that a certain amount of sulfur does get into the atmosphere, but studies have shown that there is a kind of limit on the amount of aerosols produced by sulfur dioxide. Consequently, our earlier assumption that the major change in temperature will occur, incorrect" — says geochemist Stephen Self of the Open University (UK). The maximum that will happen — is that the ash cloud will pass the planet several times, providing three or four days of overcast, and, perhaps, the year after the eruption will be colder than normal.

Of course, some problems will be — for example, food. Ash that fell in the western states, can poison the rivers, lakes and soil, which would make it impossible for some years farming in the open field. However, this problem is solved — you can go to the cultivation of plants in greenhouses or buy food abroad. And in ten years, according to calculations of scientists, the rain completely washed away the ashes, and the water had already been cleared.

As to the fauna, according to scientists, the vast majority of living things survive safely Yellowstone supervolcano eruption — except maybe the individuals that will be in the immediate vicinity. In the geological record not found evidence of mass extinctions similar to previous eruptions of the volcano. Hence there is no reason to believe that this can happen during the future hypothetical eruption.

So, even if the Yellowstone supervolcano and decides to "revive old" to any major catastrophe it will not. Generally strong eruption that occurred in the last century, result in, a large number of casualties. For example, during one of the most violent eruptions of the twentieth century, which occurred 100 years ago, in May 1912 exploded Novarupta Alaska, generally no one died. Moreover, the event did not even notice it.

But the eruption of Mount Pinatubo in the above, who was given six points on a scale of volcanic eruptions (one point less than that of Krakatoa), died less than a thousand people — and all because the authorities had time to evacuate. The fall of the same temperature 0,5 ° C as a result of emissions in the stratosphere was felt only seven months, after which they returned to normal. No more effects in this eruption was not.

True, there were cases when the victims to a lot — for example, during the eruption of Nevado del Rios in 1985 in Colombia, killing about 23 thousand people. But it happened because the power to delay the evacuation. The way, the eruption was not particularly strong — just four points. The tragedy occurred because of the explosion of a nearby glacier melted, and some of the surrounding towns and villages were flooded by streams of mud.

It should be recognized — among all natural disasters volcanic eruptions are the least harmful to people. By earthquakes, landslides, floods, mudflows, hurricanes, and tsunamis killed far more people (and these events happen many times more often). Already because of this one should not be afraid of eruptions.


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