I didn’t know there were people who go around the world chasing volcanoes like the people who chase tornadoes. Andy Revkin has the story.
My friend, Dr. Joe D’Aleo, has contended that below normal volcanic activity contributed to the global warming period from 1978 to 1998. With the increased volcanic activity these days, one must be concerned it will lead to cooler temperatures in the next year or two.
When the volcano erupted in Iceland and disrupted European air travel, the threat of volcanic eruptions was briefly in the headlines. I wrote about it several times includingthis post regarding predictions that world was going to see more volcanic activity than we have been used to the last quarter century.
Now, another “unexpected” volcanic eruption as Mt. Sinaburg has begun erupting in the last 48 hours. The Wall Street Journal says,
The vulcanologist said Mount Sinabung last erupted in 1600, so observers don’t know its eruption pattern and are monitoring it for more activity. Evacuations on the volcano’s slopes started Friday at the first signs of activity. Many of the people who fled are staying in government buildings, houses of worship and other evacuation centers in two nearby towns.
My point is: At this time last week, there was no inkling that this volcano would erupt. We have a number of active volcanos in the western U.S. For all we know, we might be a month or less from a major eruption.
This is why we need to have an enhanced volcano monitoring, watch and warning program in the U.S. I don’t know if we’ll need it next week or twenty years from now, but need it we will.
This article contends that we are in for a period of increased volcanic activity. Dr. Joe D’Aleo, CCM, a long time friend, wrote years ago that one of the reasons for the warming of recent decades was the low level of volcanic activity. That may be coming to an end. The computer models forecasting global warming do not allow for volcanic activity.
The seeming increase in volcanic activity a reason why I believe the U.S. needs to institute a high quality volcano watch/warning program using the existing meteorological infrastructure.
Taken yesterday (19th). Note how most of Iceland is not experiencing the plume. Note also the densest ash is flowing over the ocean. When a Sierra or Cascade volcano erupts in the U.S., the densest ash will affect a populated area.