Volcano Current Affairs

Volcanic eruptions slow down Global Warming: Study

As per recently published study in the journal Nature Communications, Volcanic eruptions by injecting particulates into the atmosphere may have slowed down global warming.

The study was based upon research of a team of international researchers including Karlsruhe Institute of Technology (KIT) scientists.

Key facts from study

  • During the last 10 years volcanic aerosols have acted as a natural umbrella to slow down global warming from release of anthropogenic greenhouse gases (GHGs).
  • The global concentration of GHGs in the atmosphere has continuously increased over the past decade but due to volcanic aerosols the mean global surface temperature has not increased indicating negative climate forcing effect.
  • In the years 2008-2011, volcanic aerosol particles have reflected the incoming solar radiation twice in the lowest part of the stratosphere than previously thought.
  • However, the frequent volcanic eruptions and the subsequent cooling effect is only temporary phenomenon. Thus, the temperature rise will speed up again.
  • The study had used the data from the tropopause region located up to 35 km altitude in the atmosphere.

Tropopause: It is region of transition layer between the wet weather layer with clouds (troposphere) at lower level and the dry and cloud-free layer (stratosphere) above it.

In the Tropapause temperature is constant whereas in troposphere it decreases with increase in altitude and in stratosphere it increases with altitude.


Japan Volcano leaves atleast 30 dead

Japan is believed to be one of the most seismically alive regions of the world. It is house to many active volcanoes. It thus has a very robust volcano monitoring systems and to closely look for and follow the signs of activity. The sites which show even faint signs of activity are immediately closed to hikers and general public. However, the recent eruption has broken the myth of Japanese preparedness as the eruption at Mount Ontake took everyone by surprise spewing huge clouds of gas and ash high in the skies and blanketing the area with ash.
Mount Ontake has its peak at 3,067m high and is a popular hiking route lined with lodges, cabins and delineated trails. The destination is also known for autumn foliage. It was having tourists when the eruption occurred on Saturday. Atleast 250 people were feared to be trapped in the tourist spots and along the mountain slopes. Many of them were later successful to pave their way across the thick gas clouds.
However, atleast 30 hikers have been found with cardiac arrest appearing dead near the peak of the volcano. The rescue operation has started with full swing with seven helicopters and 250 troopers alongwith police and firefighters. They helicopters have successfully plucked many people off the ash-laden peaks. The eye-witnesses have said that there was a loud thunder noise like very strong winds as the volcano erupted.
The volcano sits 210 kms west of Tokyo on the Japanese island of Honshu. It last erupted in 1979.