The recent eruption of Mount Semeru Volcano on the 16th of January which was followed by an eruption on the 29th of January of the Mount Merapi volcano, causing an avalanche of rocks in Yogyakarta, Indonesia, resulted in the emission of hundreds of tonnes of Carbon dioxide, (which does not have an odour but is highly poisonous) along with highly toxic trace volcanic compounds such as sulphur dioxide, and mercury.
The eruption generated a Pyroclastic cloud of smoke which spread across the skyline at a height of over 5,000 metres over East Java in Indonesia.
Following the eruption of Mount Semeru and Mount Merapi in mid-January, the climate in Indonesia cooled down by several degrees. Such cooling (directly attributed to the high volcanic fallout of sulphuric acid together with other volcanic ash compound particulates), may affect agriculture production in some regions of the world as a consequential factor of it’s effect on Global Climate Change this year (2021).
HISTORICAL VOLCANIC ERUPTIONS:
The historical records for the year of 1257 mention a major volcanic eruption both in Peru and in Indonesia. The aerosols from the volcanic activity at the time cooled the atmosphere for several years which led to a mini Ice-Age that caused crop failures in many areas of the world. Records indicate that several cities in affected regions were destroyed.
The volcanic eruptions had an immediate effect on human health which was affected by the various volcanic ash particulates which also had immediate effects on regional climates in that period in the lowering of regional temperatures. It is known that volcanic eruptions in Iceland during the Medieval times affected both the Climate and crops in Europe.
HISTORICAL CLIMATE CHANGE RECORDS OF VOLCANIC DATA:
Volcanic eruptions are one of the two principle streams of carbonic emission rates on the planet; with the other larger carbonic stream being man-made C02.
There are numerous historical records of super (or near super) volcanic eruptions which have been chronicled over time, however, we should not dismiss the fact that sometimes non-super volcanic eruptions have affected the Eco-balance in the past.
The magnitude 6 (Thebes/Minoan Era) eruption in the timeline proximity of around 1400-1600 BC on the Greek islands of Santorini, the Mount Vesuvius eruption, the 1500 BC Mount Etna/Pompeii eruption and the Krakatoa eruption of 1883 are notable. Also notable was the (magnitude 7) Mount Tambora Indonesian eruption of 1815, which again affected Global Climate and which resulted in crop failures and food shortages across Europe. The Mount Tambora eruption affected the climate of North America , and caused ice weather conditions across New York State, and damaged corn harvest thereby creating such crop shortages.
Records indicate that when Kra KaToa erupted in 1883 it affected the climate globally with colder temperatures for several years. However, it is necessary to continue to differentiate between naturally occurring C02 which is known to contribute only 0.006 percent of Global carbonic emissions when compared to that of man-made CO2 pollution. In 1980, Mount St Helens in Washington state erupted, flattening 135 miles of pine forest (and also causing a number of fatalities). It has been reported that Scientists are currently researching the reasons for volcanic activity in regards to studying the data of zircon crystal sequences in volcanic lava, as part of more needed volcanic lava directional flow research. (Strangely enough, it has been reported that Mount St. Helens sits on an area of rock that is not of a temperature reading to produce magma).
RECENT VOLCANIC ACTIVITY :
Volcanic activity appears to be increasing. Scientists estimate that volcanoes across earth produce approximately 300 million tonnes of carbon each year. Volcanic activity reports show that recent volcanic eruptions occurred in over 18 countries across the planet for January alone of this year (2021). Volcanic activity is an important example of C02 produced by the natural environment.
Mount Etna recently erupted on December 14th 2020 at a magnitude of 2.5. (Also, the Lava Dome of Soufriere St. Vincent’s main Volcanic Crater on the Caribbean island of St.Vincent also currently continues to grow rapidly).
Prior to the Indonesian volcanic activity in January of this year, Hawaii saw an eruption in the Halema’ Uma’ U Crater in December of 2020 where volcanic lava flow extended up to fifty meters in the air, followed by a magnitude 4.4 earthquake. A typical fallout of volcanic ash, along with gas and smoke was emitted by the volcano.
Several volcanic eruptions have occurred between the 19th-the 26th of January of this year in Java (Indonesia), Guatemala, Russia, Ecuador and also in Japan. The Sakura-Jima volcano in the Kagoshima Prefecture of Japan is still erupting. The Stratovolcano erupted on January 19th of this year in 2021. (The eruption has since been followed by three earthquakes rating between 2.0-2.8 so far).
Stromboli Volcano erupted in the Aeolian islands of Italy from January 18th-the 24th of January (2021) Santa Maria volcanic lava Dome erupted in Guatemala from January 19th to January the 25th (2021), Eruptions also occurred from the Reventador and Sangay Volcanoes from the 19th January-the 26th of January (2021). Volcano Fuego in Guatemala (which is east of the Volcanic Axis and 3562 kilometres above the Western Amazon Basin), erupted from the January 19th-January 25th (2021), with shockwaves felt as far as 12 kilometres away.
(Update: Mount Etna Volcano in Sicily, along with other Volcanoes such as Reventador Volcano; which overlooks the Western Amazonian Basin, Sangay Volcano in Ecuador, Santa Maria i.e Santiaguito Volcano in Guatemala, Sakura-jima Volcano in Japan, along with Mount Semeru Volcano in East Java, Indonesia, have all erupted throughout the course of February 2021, resulting in further ash fallout and volcanic carbon emission).
Appreciating that our Planet, along with it’s above sea-level and submarine volcanos are always in a state of flux, and that the natural environment is not static and is continually evolving; our concern at this time is the primary focus of excessive carbon in the atmosphere produced by human activity as the major contributory factor in conjunction with the earth’s natural carbon emissions even though volcanic eruptions would cause cooling from other occurring volcanic gases (outside of natural volcanic carbon dioxide emissions). along with volcanic winters.
The majority of volcanic eruptions like that on the island of Monserrat and also in Hawaii, whilst not classed as super-eruptions, ( like that of the super-eruption that took place thousands of years ago on the island of Sumatra, Indonesia) do (as smaller scale volcanic eruptions) contribute to environmental change both positively i.e through the formation of volcanic-rich soil over time and also negatively; via volcanic carbonic pollution. (Major volcanic eruptions are usually followed by earthquakes and tsunami’s and also vice-versa).
Of course, volcanos have been erupting for millennia, with a large number of eruptions having not been super eruptions. However, these smaller magnitude volcanic eruptions ( which can sometimes also happen in clusters) do need careful monitoring (in conjunction with any other subsequent seismic activity which can either follow or precede a volcanic eruption), to enable a full assessment of any additional changes to the Carbon loading rate in the atmosphere and the invariable impact on Climate Change from excessive carbon pollution (and from other volcanic gases such as sulphur dioxide).
Obviously, there is little we can do to control the carbonic flow produced by the forces of nature ( i.e the natural environment), but as human beings known to generate more carbon than that of the natural environment, we really need to bear in mind that we should avoid adding any further carbon to the already excessive levels of man-made carbon (C02), in parallel to the naturally occurring carbonic flow cycle of the Planet itself.
Man-made C02 has a direct knock-on-effect in that it actually piles up on top of and accentuates any occurring climatic effects upon global crop yields, in conjunction with any existing rates of naturally occurring C02 emissions. According to scientific data, every yearly total rate of Global C02 emissions stays in the earths atmosphere for a period of 100 years, affecting our planet for generations to come.
The Volcanic Carbon Stream is essentially dynamic to the Ecology in the natural evolution of our planet Earth, with volcanic eruptions occurring over and over again in infinity and with each eruption having a butterfly effect both on climate and on the environment.
THE MELTING PERMAFROST OF THE ARCTIC CIRCLE:
With billions of metric tonnes of Carbon buried in the Arctic ice, another environmental change which is happening rapidly is the melting of the permafrost in the Siberian Arctic Circle of Alaska and Iceland which is directly attributed to the climatic change in rising temperatures across the Arctic due to Global Warming.
New landscapes are becoming habitable in a lot of areas. However, in some areas, the melting permafrost is releasing gases such as the high levels of methane which is flammable.
The added danger of these methane fires is that when they burn into the atmosphere through the melting permafrost; they are invisible to the naked eye.
Forest fires are becoming more of a regular occurrence in the Arctic Circle, along with frequently warmer temperatures which at times have been known to reach over 80 degrees celsius, resulting in warmer summers along with warmer winters and resulting in a rise of mosquito’s across the Siberian Arctic Circle.
The rise in temperature along with various gases and residual compounds from polymers/plastic waste being released into the atmosphere in conjunction with the melting permafrost, is causing new problems for the environment and for the climate. Additionally, rising sea levels and erosion are also caused by increased Carbon (C02) emissions.
Scientists report that the iced over Siberian Arctic Circle Peatland bogs that had once stored a high amount of carbon in the soil could release as much as 415 billion tons of Carbon emission into the atmosphere by the second half of the 21st century (i.e less than thirty years away).
Pollution in the Arctic urgently needs to be cleaned up in an ethical way, along with complete transparency and co-operation of different Scientific communities working together on various data along with Bio hazard Scientific teams).
Such excessive Carbon emissions are of greater concern than methane in that methane takes around ten years to clean up from the atmosphere, whereas Carbon emissions stay in the atmosphere for a hundred years, even after any further implementation of Global Carbon reductions have been introduced.
This is all the more reason to protect the hugely important bio-diversity of eco-systems on our planet such as the Amazon Rainforest Basin. Parts of the planet that some may have thought of as being pristine (i.e cleaner and greener whether usually covered by snow and ice or by tropical/rainforests) are quickly being degraded.
Scientific data reports suggest that Global C02 Emissions need to be kept within a threshold of between 405pm (parts per million) to 450ppm (at maximum global emission), in order to effectively cut global C02 emissions to a more adequate rate of carbon (C02) emission reduction. If such Carbon emissions (in conjunction with other aerosol particulates) are not more effectively reduced, it is estimated that Earth’s Climate will reach irreversible Climatic damage from a temperature rise of 2 degrees Celsius in Global warming by 2038; which would have serious knock on effects for eco-systems and life all over the planet.
The increasing evidence that our reckless approaches to natural resources has a direct effect on the existence of various life forms/populations on this planet. It is clear that certain adverse human behavioural patterns (which have been allowed to perpetuate over the course of many decades and which in essence are completely unacceptable, and out of step with regards to being in harmony with the earths own natural environment), have inflicted enormous damage, both to the Earth along with all life on Earth. Environments must now adjust rapidly to the reality of Climate Change. The continued destruction of Eco-Systems and Carbon pollution must be curtailed. The pollution of rivers and streams from highly hazardous toxic and industrial waste chemicals and compounds should cease, and the diversity of the Eco-systems within Rainforests must be carefully managed.
All Eco-systems across the planet are inter-connected, and the degrading of our Eco-Systems not only destroys many life forms, but also inevitably undermines human existence itself. With greater conservation, along with the reduction of human pollution, we can gain time to allow the Planet to heal and to ensure the survival of all life; including the survival of all humanity.
GOOD NEWS: We are delighted to report that the U.S Government has also announced their intention to resume commitment to the Paris Climate Agreement.
Update: 9th April 2021
LOOKING AT THE PAST IN READINESS FOR THE FUTURE…
Prior to the volcanic eruption of the Fagradalsfjall Volcano in March of 2012, this volcano had not erupted since the year 1221 A.D
Along with Carbon dioxide (CO2) and Sulphur dioxide emissions, volcanic vapours release Hydrogen Sulphate and other aerosol particulates, such as Hydrogen flouride, mercury and carbon monoxide vapours along with halogenic (acidic) vapours like Chlorine and Bromine, into the atmosphere, whereby the ph value of any glacial meltwater going into the earths oceans changes into more acidic ph.
Before the thirteenth century, the Fagradalsfjall Volcano actually lay dormant for a period of up to 6,000 years. This highlights the fact that any volcano can lay dormant for a very long period, even spanning over several Millennia before it could suddenly start to erupt.
The fracture zone known as the Romanche Fracture Zone, is a partially connecting plate boundary, which lies between the Northern Equatorial Atlantic Ocean zone which spans from Brazil to West Africa, and this Fracture Zone is convergent in that it also cuts through the 10.000 mile Mid Atlantic Ocean Ridge, which also contains the volcanoes of the Icelandic Reykjanes Peninsula, and stretches from the Arctic Ocean region to Southern Africa.
In the year 536 AD, there was a major Icelandic volcano eruption where it is highly likely to have occurred from the same immediate area as the Fagradalsfjall Volcano location (i.e around the Reykjanes Peninsula in the Mid Atlantic Ocean Ridge).
(Magma from volcanic activity in the Mid atlantic Ocean Ridge affects the Earths magnetic pole positions.
The naturally occurring volcanic Carbon (CO2) airborne gases from volcanic eruptions also contribute towards a rise in temperature of the earths oceans. A rise in the ocean temperature along with the added issue of ocean acidification, affects the existence of all sea life, including coral reef eco-systems in their ability to sustain a vast majority of sea life throughout the worlds oceans.
According to scientific data, the Earths oceans are currently at a ph level of 8.1. It is estimated that 25% of marine life lives in and around the oceanic eco-systems of coral-reefs, which helps to provide calcium carbonate along with other minerals to all sea life requiring calcium carbonate in their diets.
Extremely high carbon levels in the earths atmosphere, are exhausting the oceans ability in acting as a carbon sink, at a cost of increasing ocean acidification and putting a strain on marine life, whilst the planets oceans continue to absorb huge amounts of carbon at an ocean-carbon dioxide CO2)-absorption rate of approximately over 8 billion tonnes of man-made carbon dioxide (CO2) per year, according to scientific research data. At such a rate of ocean absorption from atmospheric man-made carbon (CO2) pollution, the future ocean ph levels of earth could drop to a ph level of 7.8, whereas coral reefs actually die at any ph reading that goes beyond an ocean ph level of 7.6 ph.
Four billion years ago, the ph level of the earths ocean water was approximately between 7.5 and 6.0 ph.
Oysters tolerate an ocean ph level of between 7.5 and 7.1 with coral reefs tolerating an ocean ph level of 8.4 and 7.6 in ph (and not a ph unit lower than 7.6 ph).
The year 536 AD was the catalyst which triggered the coldest weather for two millennia, whereby sunlight was blocked out by thick clouds of volcanic ash for well over a year.
The 536 AD Icelandic volcano eruption was followed approximately four years later by a major volcanic eruption from Ilopango Volcano in El Salvador. The South American pyrogenic air-borne ash particulates joined with a lot of the the still lingering Icelandic air-borne ash particulates and gases across the earths atmosphere, which continued to block out the sunlight and perpetuate the already ongoing crop failures from the 536 AD major volcano eruption in Iceland.
(Aerosols from volcanic eruptions can linger in the atmosphere for up to and over a period of three years, yet that is still enough to cause Climatic Change and crop damage across the planet).
The spread of the 536 AD and 540 AD volcanic ash particulates, continued to block out sunlight, causing Climatic weather fluctuations (such as prolonged cold weather) which resulted in crop failures across Scandinavia, China, Ireland, Mesopotamia, and the Mediterranean, and which in turn caused a lot of food shortages thus resulting in a lot of people going hungry and suffering deteriorating health conditions (along with the additional complications of breathing in the pollution of airborne/atmospheric particulates), to the point where a large number of people could not survive a pandemic which occurred a year on, (going into 541 AD), and which at the time was the bubonic plague. Indeed, the whole chain of events resulted in increased mortality rates across large areas of the planet.
These events gave rise to the period we refer to as ‘The Dark Ages’ ; people during this period mostly either starved or froze to death, (or even both). The whole cataclysmic string of environmental disasters from around 536 AD onwards also led to a time of great social violence and anarchic unrest.
The 1257 Indonesian eruption of the Mount Samalas volcano, again resulted in volcanic ash cloud deflection of the Earths sun, crop failure, increased numbers of starvation, ( and probable breathing difficulty from the earths naturally occurring airborne derivative particulates of volcanic ash in the atmosphere), an increased low immunity from a lack of food, and high mortality rates, along with international economic decline in the pandemic that followed.
Historical records mention huge clouds of ash covering the sky over London in 1257 A.D. Scientific timeline research data of 1257 also points to Ozone Depletion, and contemporaneous cooling of the planet by 2 degrees celsius, which was enough of a Climatic Change to cause widespread crop failures, followed by high rates of hunger, (thus lower immunity levels) and ending in higher mortality rates along with resulting mass burials through a pandemic that swept across Europe and many other parts of the world (Circa 1257 A.D.) This historical example alone is all the more reason for the International community to fully adhere to the Carbon Reduction Objectives, so as to fully achieve a reduction of 2 degrees celsius (which is a minimum world climatic safety threshold cut) in the reduction of global warming causation directly attributed to excessive man-made Carbon CO2 pollution, as recommended in the Paris Climate Agreement.
(Scientific data showing Sulphate Dioxide spikes attributed to the Mount Samalas volcanic eruption has been recorded both in the Arctic and the Antarctic ice-sheets).
These Climatic Historical examples are extremely relevant factors for today, in highlighting just how environmental events along with the additional factor of harmful industrial and private human activity on our planet contribute to the acceleration of Climatological change to the Eco-balance of the world.
If 200 million tons from naturally occurring Carbon dioxide from the earths volcanic activity alone (as indicated from the hard scientific data and reflected from Historical Climatic Change), can trigger such historically catastrophic consequences to the planet; then the question one has to address is what effect will unrestrained man-made Carbon generation have on the planet for the survival of all species.
At the present time, Scientific data reports an atmospheric emission rate of 24 billion tons of man-made carbonic pollution per year, ( man-made aerosol particulates and man-made CO2 emissions can stay in the atmosphere for up to a hundred years).
A comparison of this figure ( i.e 24 Billion tons of man-made carbon pollution) which indicates excessive man-made carbon (CO2) loading into the Earths atmosphere; with that of 200 million tons per year of already naturally occurring carbonic CO2 emissions from Volcanic activity across the planet (and which at present also appears to be of increasing occurrence) is indeed a cause for continuous International concern.
The story of the Mount Vesuvius Volcano, located in Italy which erupted in 79 A.D is well known.
Ash and pumice generated by this volcano was so extensive that it buried the cities of Pompeii and neighbouring Herculaneum. The radial effect of the emission extended to a distance in excess of ten miles.
The gases and super-heated ash devastated both human and animal life: indeed several thousands of people died almost immediately from the suffocating density of the hot ash, gases and other volcanic aerosol particulates.
An entire region of Southern Italy was devastated. However, it is believed that a few people escaped from the eruption of the Vesuvius Volcano.
In 365 A.D, the Greek island of Crete was hit with two earthquakes from what is known as the Hellenic Trench near Crete. Not one but two earthquakes occurred. One of the earthquakes was on a magnitude of 8.5+, and along wth affecting Crete, the high level of seismic activity also impacted Methoni in Southwest Greece, along with Cyprus, Sicily, Spain, Libya and also the city of Alexandria in Egypt along with the River Nile.
The effect of the Mount Vesuvius Volcano eruption, along with the 365 AD Cretan (Kissamos) earthquake are dramatic as well as a poignant historical accounts of high volcanic and seismic activity.