Archive for the ‘volcanos’ Category

Famous name


Photo by Lee Siebert, 1978 (Smithsonian Institution)

Most news feeds have items and there is at least one current photograph, many are not, 400 people evacuated as a precaution, this volcano has previous. Ash has fallen in Quito. Earth tremors started during May/June but no major eruption is forecast.

Cotopaxi is a stratovolcano that has erupted 50 times since 1738. The 1877 eruption melted snow and ice on the summit, which produced mudflows that traveled 60 miles (100 km) from the volcano. The most recent eruption of Cotopaxi ended in 1904. Reports of an eruption in 1942 have not been confirmed. The most recent activity was an increase in steam emissions, melting snow, and small earthquakes from 1975-1976

Enjoy (and donate if you are flush)


Hekla eruptions, when, how big

Posted: August 8, 2015 by tchannon in volcanos

Not been much recently for volcano folks


Northern lights near Hekla, Iceland. Picture by Moyan Brenn on Flickr

Paul Vaughan posted a link on Suggestions to a story on an Icelandic web site.

Hekla eruption aviation risk warning
Iceland’s Hekla volcano poses a real threat to passenger jets, according to Professor of Geophysics at the University of Iceland, Páll Einarsson.

Despite written warnings from Einarsson to the Icelandic Transport Authority, transatlantic jets are still flying directly over South Iceland’s famous active volcano and are taking a “needless risk”.

The riposte is as usual and yet the good professor only suggests a tiny change in route… I’d keep well clear unless there is a jolly good reason, lot of space on long haul. Technically I can guess why, aircraft route between radio beacons.


NASA/JPL's VolcanoBot 1, shown here in a lava tube [Credits: NASA/JPL-CalTech]

NASA/JPL’s VolcanoBot 1, shown here in a lava tube
[Credits: NASA/JPL-CalTech]

Want to see inside a volcano? Send for VolcanoBot – that’s one option scientists can now use, as E&T Magazine reports.

Exactly 200 years after the biggest recorded volcanic eruption in history, scientists are using robots and UAVs to unlock the secrets of today’s volcanoes.

Two hundred years ago this year, Mount Tambora erupted on Sumbawa, a remote island in the south of Indonesia. The eruption began on 5 April 1815 and reached its climax five days later. A series of smaller steam-driven eruptions continued for the next three years as magma heated ground and surface water.The island lost all its vegetation, most of its animal life and around 10,000 people. Many tens of thousands more perished in the famine and disease epidemics that hit the surrounding islands in the aftermath. No one knows the exact number of deaths, but it is thought to be between 50,000 and 100,000.


The quiet volcano as it appears today. [credit: Creative Commons  / Karla Yannín Alcázar Quintero]

The quiet volcano as it appears today. [credit: Creative Commons / Karla Yannín Alcázar Quintero]

The day a Mexican farmer saw the beginnings of one of the seven natural wonders of the world – at least
according to CNN

On February 20, 1943, Dionisio Pulido was working in his cornfield just outside the Tarascan Indian village of Paricutin, Mexico. He and his family had spent the day getting ready for the spring sowing by clearing the field of shrubbery, putting it in piles and burning it. At about four in the afternoon, Pulido left his wife and moved to a different field so that he could set fire to a new pile. When he arrived he noticed something strange: on top of a small hill in the field a huge crack, over six feet wide and 150 feet (47m) long, had appeared in the earth. At first Pulido wasn’t concerned, the crack only looked like it was about a foot deep. As he was lighting the pile of branches, however, the sound of thunder rumbled across the field and the ground began to shake.


Active volcanoes on Venus, heat gets out how?

Posted: June 20, 2015 by tchannon in volcanos

Michele dropped a link on Suggestions, here is the story

After the end of the ESA Venus mission rapidly changing hotspots are found in IR images, after earlier noticing large changes in Sulpur levels.Why now?

I’m not keen on ESA PR, doesn’t even link the GRL paper so I’ll add a good blog link afterwards.


Title Brightness changes in Ganiki Chasma
Released 18/06/2015 2:00 pm
Copyright From E. Shalygin et al (2015)

18 June 2015

ESA’s Venus Express has found the best evidence yet for active volcanism on Earth’s neighbour planet.

Seeing the planet’s surface is extremely difficult due to its thick atmosphere, but radar observations by previous missions to Venus have revealed it as a world covered in volcanoes and ancient lava flows.

Venus is almost exactly the same size as Earth and has a similar bulk composition, so is likely to have an internal heat source, perhaps due to radioactive heating. This heat has to escape somehow, and one possibility is that it does so in the form of volcanic eruptions.

Some models of planetary evolution suggest that Venus was resurfaced in a cataclysmic flood of lava around half a billion years ago. But whether Venus is active today has remained a hot topic in planetary science.


Dr Michele Casati is familiar to many Talkshop readers as an occassional contributor and for his blog.

A new study is being presented at EGU General Assembly 2015, held 12April – 15April, 2015 in Vienna, Austria

Relationship between major geophysical events and the planetary magnetic Ap index, from 1844 to the present

Michele,Casati; Valentino,Straser


In this study, for the first time, we compared the annual magnetic Ap index, taken from original sources, from 1844 to the present day [Svalgaard,2014], with:

i) sixteen large volcanic eruptions of index VEI5 + recorded by, Smithsonian Institute (Global Volcanism Program), ii) three sets of the volcanic aerosols data [Ammann,2003][Gao;Chaochao;Alan Robock;Caspar Ammann, 2008][Traufetter,2004] and iii) eight major earthquakes of a magnitude between 8.7<M<9.5, which occurred from 1900 to the present.



Image: Sparkle Motion under CC

“We have not seen such levels of gas in Iceland in recent times, not since the Laki eruption in 1783,” said Evgenia Ilyinskaya, a volcanologist with the British Geological Survey studying the Holuhraun emissions.

Wonder what instruments were used 200 years ago?

AlJazeera article, raises fears.. volcanos, it’s what they do.


Forster_PiersWithout comment, an extract from a Guardian piece:

Prof Piers Forster, at the University of Leeds, led a project using in-computer models to assess six types of SRM (Solar Radiation Management). All reduced temperatures but all also worsened floods or droughts for 25%-65% of the global population, compared to the expected impact of climate change:

  • mimicking a volcano by spraying sulphate particles high into the atmosphere to block sunlight adversely affected 2.8bn people
  • spraying salt water above the oceans to whiten low clouds and reflect sunlight adversely affected 3bn people
  • thinning high cirrus clouds to allow more heat to escape Earth adversely affected 2.4bn people
  • generating microbubbles on the ocean surface to whiten it and reflect more sunlight adversely affected 2bn people
  • covering all deserts in shiny material adversely affected 4.1bn people
  • growing shinier crops adversely affected 1.4bn people


Bardarbunga volcano alert in Iceland

Posted: August 20, 2014 by oldbrew in Earthquakes, Forecasting, volcanos

A previous Icelandic volcano  [image credit: BBC]

A previous Icelandic volcano
[image credit: BBC]

BBC reports:

“Intense seismic activity” began at the volcano on 16 August, and there was a strong earthquake in the region early on Monday, the met office said.

“This is the strongest earthquake measured in the region since 1996.

“Presently there are no signs of eruption, but it cannot be excluded that the current activity will result in an explosive subglacial eruption, leading to an outburst flood and ash emission,” the met office said, adding that the situation was being monitored.

BBC News – Iceland raises Bardarbunga volcano alert to orange.

The risk level to the aviation industry has been raised to orange, the second-highest level, the met office said.

Update 23rd August : Volcano alert level raised to red

*** Update 24th August: Alert level reduced to orange. ***

Update 29 August** Warning A fissure eruption has started north of Dynjujökull.** (Richard Holle)


From the LA Times:

Yellowstone National Park road melts into ‘soupy mess’

Extreme heat from surrounding thermal areas has created a hot spot in Yellowstone National Park, melting a portion of a road and causing temporary closures in the park during the peak summer tourist season.


The more than 3-mile-long Firehole Lake Drive, an offshoot of the park’s Grand Loop Road located between the Old Faithful geyser and Madison Junction, is closed because melting asphalt has turned it into a “soupy mess,” said park spokesman Dan Hottle.


Physorg has a story on a new reconstruction of volcanic activity from ice cores in Antarctica. It’s fairly strong on boilerplate but there is an interesting kicker near the end of the article:

A team of scientists led by Michael Sigl and Joe McConnell of Nevada’s Desert Research Institute (DRI) has completed the most accurate and precise reconstruction to date of historic volcanic sulfate emissions in the Southern Hemisphere.

“Both observations and model results show that not all eruptions lead to the same spatial pattern of sulfate deposition,” said Matthew Toohey from the German institute GEOMAR Helmholtz Centre for Ocean Research Kiel. He added, “Spatial variability in sulfate deposition means that the accuracy of volcanic sulfate reconstructions depends strongly on having a sufficient number of ice core records from as many different regions of Antarctica as possible.”

From 16th May 2014 CERN newswire, I missed it

CERN Experiment Sheds New Light on Cloud Formation

Geneva, 16 May 2014 – In a paper published in the journal Science today, CERN’s* CLOUD** experiment has shown that biogenic vapours emitted by trees and oxidised in the atmosphere have a significant impact on the formation of clouds, thus helping to cool the planet. These biogenic aerosols are what give forests seen from afar their characteristic blue haze. The CLOUD study shows that the oxidised biogenic vapours bind with sulphuric acid to form embryonic particles which can then grow to become the seeds on which cloud droplets can form. This result follows previous measurements from CLOUD showing that sulphuric acid alone could not form new particles in the atmosphere as had been previously assumed.

“This is a very important result,” said CLOUD spokesperson Jasper Kirkby,…


Influence of Geothermal Heat on past and present climate


Ben Wouters
Zuid Scharwoude, februari 2014, V 1.4

Current climate science asserts that the sun does not provide enough energy to explain our current pleasant surface temperatures. The Effective temperature for a planet at our distance from the sun without atmosphere is calculated as ~255K, and the atmosphere is supposedly adding ~33K to arrive at the average surface temperature of ~288K for planet Earth. (1)

Interestingly our Moon is such a planet. It reflects less solar radiation than Earth, but its average surface temperature is a mere 197K, as measured by the Diviner Project. (2)

So the assertion that solar energy is not able to explain our surface temperatures is correct, but the temperature difference to explain is at least ~90K. (3)


Nature playing hardball

Posted: February 2, 2014 by tallbloke in Tides, volcanos

Cornwall UK today



Slide from Shariv lecture

Slide from Shariv lecture

Prof. Nir J. Shaviv, who is a member of the Racah Institute of Physics in the Hebrew University of Jerusalem. According to PhysicaPlus: “…his research interests cover a wide range of topics in astrophysics, most are related to the application of fluid dynamics, radiation transfer or high energy physics to a wide range of objects – from stars and compact objects to galaxies and the early universe. His studies on the possible relationships between cosmic rays intensity and the Earth’s climate, and the Milky Way’s Spiral Arms and Ice Age Epochs on Earth were widely echoed in the scientific literature, as well as in the general press.” — From Nir’s blog [1]

Nir gave a lecture at EIKE (Europäisches Institut für Klima und Energie [2]) January 2013. In the lecture at EIKE he flows through some of what is wrong with IPCC assertions and models, then drops in extraterrestrial, solar wind, galactic cosmic rays, showing some neat plots. Asserts that solar accounts for a major proportion of whatever temperature change has gone on and how IPCC omit critical factors. Models are over-sensitive.



From the Talkshop’s favourite weatherman at the BBC Paul Hudson comes news of a possible run of colder weather and climate for the UK. This will be no surprise for talkshop regulars, where we have been predicting a solar slowdown for a few 11y cycles since the blog started in 2009. Nice to get some confirming support from Paul and good to see him sticking his neck out on a 20+ year weather prediction.

NASA last week confirmed their prediction that the current solar cycle 24 is likely to be the weakest since 1906.

Intriguingly, the current solar cycle shows a striking similarity with solar cycle 5 which was also very weak, with the same double peak as the current cycle, and ran from approximately the mid 1790s to around 1810.

Solar cycle 6 was weaker still and stretched from around 1810 to the early 1820s.

Solar cycles 5 and 6 were so unusual that they were named the Dalton solar minimum after meteorologist John Dalton and coincided with a period of increasingly cold winters and poor summers.


Last night I attended a lecture at the university’s chemistry dept. by Susan Solomon, IPCC lead author and architect of the Montreal Protocol on CFC’s. The subject was:

Surprises in Radiative Forcing: What Chemicals Are Changing Our Recent Climate?


In it she outlined an explanation for the ‘hiatus’ or ‘standstill’ in global warming since around the turn of the millennium. I’ll give only a brief synopsis here, since the vid I made of the whole lecture is uploading on youtube and will be added to the post soon. Basically, Prof Soloman says the hiatus is due to a combination of two factors: A reduction in stratospheric water vapour concentrations, and the effect of volcanic SO2 based aerosols getting into the stratosphere from smaller than expected volcanoes.

I think the second of these is pretty dubious myself, but hey, she’s supposed to be the expert.



Figure 1

Pinatubo produced the 2nd largest volcanic eruption of the 20th century after Mt Katmai decided to vanish in 1912, heard 1500 miles away.


Reblogged from GWPF

Before And After The Temperature Standstill

  • Date: 11/06/2013 Dr David Whitehouse

The absence of any significant change in the global annual average temperature over the past 16 years has become one of the most discussed topics in climate science. It has certainly focused the debate about the relative importance of greenhouse gas forcing of the climate versus natural variability.

In all this discussion what happened to global temperature immediately before the standstill is often neglected. Many assume that since the recent warming period commenced – about 1980 – global temperature rose until 1998 and then the surface temperature at least got stuck. Things are however not that simple, and far more interesting.

As Steve Goddard has interestingly pointed out recently using RSS data going back to 1990 the Mt Pinatubo eruption in 1991 had a very important effect on global temperatures.




Remains of Mt Katmai, Katmai Caldera taken from the air.
Image courtesy Pam McPherson (enhanced TNC)

The most massive volcanic eruption of the 20th century came during June 1912 in Alaska, explosive, heard 1,500 miles away. A good deal of the mountain vanished.

Mt Katmai is one of several peaks making up the Novarupta.