Volcano Current Affairs

Volcanic carbon dioxide drove ancient global warming: Study

According to study conducted by researchers from University of Southampton, UK, extreme global warming event 56 million years ago was driven by massive carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions from volcanoes, during formation of North Atlantic Ocean.

They had used combination of new geochemical measurements and novel global climate modelling to show that Palaeocene-Eocene Thermal Maximum (PETM) was associated with rapid doubling of atmospheric CO2 in less than 25 thousand years because of CO2 emissions from volcanoes.

Key Facts

The PETM was most rapid and extreme natural global warming event of last 66 million years. It had lasted for around 150 thousand years and increased global temperatures by at least 5 degrees Celsius. Its period coincided with the formation of massive ‘flood basalts’ — large stretches of ocean floor coated in lava, resulting from of a series of huge eruptions.

Earlier it was suggested that PETM event was caused by injection of CO2 into ocean and atmosphere, but ultimate trigger source of CO2 was not known. Now researchers believe that, the CO2 was released during land drifts, separating Greenland from north-western Europe, thereby creating North Atlantic Ocean.

During this time, more than 10,000 petagrammes of CO2 was released predominantly from volcanic source. This is a vast amount of CO2, 30 times larger than all fossil fuels burned to date and equivalent to all current conventional and unconventional fossil fuel reserves.

Tags:

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.

Tags:

12