Volcanic Co2

Discussion in 'Environment' started by Matthew, Jun 19, 2011.

  1. Matthew
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    Matthew Blue dog all the way!

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    Volcanic CO2


    From time to time we hear the claim that volcanoes inject more CO2 into the atmosphere than human activity. Its typical form is exemplified by a comment at RealClimate which was (quite appropriately) consigned to the “Borehole.”


    When the volcano, Mt Pinatubo, erupted in the Philippines in 1991, it spewed out more greenhouse gases into the atmosphere than the entire human race had emitted in its entire YEARS on earth.

    This claim is almost as ubiquitous as it is ridiculous, and seems to be championed by Australian geologist Ian Plimer, author of the execrable book “Heaven and Earth: Global Warming, the Missing Science.” Science seems to be missing from all of Plimer’s musings on global warming.


    There’s an article in EOS by Terrance Gerlach, and a press release about it, which attempts to lay some of these myths to rest. Gerlach notes that this is a common misunderstanding, not just among the general public but among geoscientists who don’t work in this field:


    The most frequent question that I have gotten (and still get), in my 30 some years as a volcanic gas geochemist from the general public and from geoscientists working in fields outside of volcanology, is ‘Do volcanoes emit more carbon dioxide than human activities?’

    Gerlach doesn’t just echo the question, he answers it:


    Which emits more carbon dioxide (CO2): Earth’s volcanoes or human activities? Research findings indicate unequivocally that the answer to this frequently asked question is human activities. However, most people, including some Earth scientists working in fields outside volcanology, are surprised by this answer. The climate change debate has revived and reinforced the belief, widespread among climate skeptics, that volcanoes emit more CO2 than human activities [Gerlach, 2010; Plimer, 2009]. In fact, present-day volcanoes emit relatively modest amounts of CO2, about as much annually as states like Florida, Michigan, and Ohio.

    Gerlach surveys the literature and reports the scientific findings:


    Global estimates of the annual present-day CO2 output of the Earth’s degassing subaerial and submarine volcanoes range from 0.13 to 0.44 billion metric tons (gigatons) per year [Gerlach, 1991; Allard, 1992; Varekamp et al., 1992; Sano and Williams, 1996; Marty and Tolstikhin, 1998]; the preferred global estimates of the authors of these studies range from 0.15 to 0.26 gigaton per year. Other aggregated volcanic CO2 emission rate estimates — published in 18 studies since 1979 as subaerial, arc, and mid-oceanic ridge estimates — are consistent with the global estimates.

    Considering that human activity released some 30 Gt CO2 into the atmosphere last year, human emissions are likely 100 (or more) times as large as volcanic emissions. Those who make claims about the Mt. Pinatubo explosion emitting more CO2 than all of human activity for all time, should be made aware that the estimated CO2 emissions from Mt. Pinatubo are 0.05 Gt CO2, about the amount released by human activity in half a day, not our entire history. In fact, in less than 3 days we outstrip the volcanic emissions for an entire year:


    On average, humanity’s ceaseless emissions release an amount of CO2 comparable to the 0.01 gigaton of the 1980 Mount St. Helens paroxysm every 2.5 hours and the 0.05 gigaton of the 1991 Mount Pinatubo paroxysm every 12.5 hours. Every 2.7 days, they emit an amount comparable to the 0.26 gigaton preferred estimate for annual global volcanic CO2 emissions.

    Annual CO2 emissions from human activity are greater even than what results from supereruptions, volcanic events which spew forth more than 450 cubic kilometers of magma:


    Supereruptions are extremely rare, with recurrence intervals of 100,000–200,000 years; none have occurred historically, the most recent examples being Indonesia’s Toba volcano, which erupted 74,000 years ago, and the United States’ Yellowstone caldera, which erupted 2 million years ago. Interestingly, these calculations strongly suggest that present-day annual anthropogenic CO2 emissions may exceed the CO2 output of one or more supereruptions every year.

    Supereruptions are a significant contributor to adding CO2 to the atmosphere on geologic time scales. Yet they pale by comparison to human emissions. Yes, you read that right — while supereruptions only happen every 100,000 to 200,000 years or so, we’re presently adding CO2 to the atmosphere at a rate of one or more supereruptions every year.

    Those who continue to claim that volcanic activity puts more CO2 into the atmosphere than human activity (including Ian Plimer) have been corrected — many times — by those who actually do the research. Yet the claim, like a zombie, refuses to die. Those who cling to it do so, not just out of ignorance, but out of willful ignorance.
    Volcanic CO2 | Open Mind

    These kinds of volcano's(Stratovolcanoes/hot spot) don't put out much co2. Unlike the ones that occur in divergence cases that can spit out a shit load. The decan traps and other Fissure vents cases on the other hand put out a lot.
     
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    Last edited: Jun 19, 2011
  2. Old Rocks
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    Old Rocks Diamond Member

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    A minor correction, Yellowstone erupted about 640,000 years ago. That was not as large as the eruption of 2 million years ago, but were it to happen today, it would definately mess the US up big time.

    There is one type of volcanic eruption that emits significant amounts of CO2. That is Trapp eruptions. Columibia Basalts, Darren Trapps, and the Siberian Trapps are examples of this type of eruption. In fact, we get a good deal of our information about the effects of rapid increases of GHGs in the atmosphere from studying what happened during and after these eruptions.
     
  3. skookerasbil
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    skookerasbil Gold Member

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    Rush Limbaugh has been talking about these fissure vents for more than 15 years........and the real scientists dont ever want to talk about it. The thought that man can destroy the atmosphere in 100 years more than the great eruptions of the late 1800's is nothing less than laughable. There was an eruption in the same area as Krakatoa in the early 1800's..........cant remember the name.........massive amounts of ash that caused climate disruption. Other mega- eruptions even in the past 2,000 years and wha-la..........we're still here!!!:eusa_dance:
     
  4. Old Rocks
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    You silly dumb ass. The caldera volcanos such as Krakotoa and Tambora emit very little CO2 compared to what we emit. In fact, the major effect of such volcanic eruptions is a two to ten year cooling of the climate due to the sulphate aerosols.


    The Summer(?) of 1816

    It is told that finalizing the state line between Vermont and its neighbor to the west resulted in one old farmer suddenly living in New York, though he hadn't moved in nigh onto fifty years. Asked how he felt about it, he said that it suited him just fine. "Couldn't take 'nother one o' them Vermont winters," said he.

    Stories about the weather abound. But no fiction is stranger than the truth about 1816, the year summer was apparently entirely forgotten.

    Spring started off fine after a severe winter, dry and warm by the end of April, with flowers bursting into color, trees blooming, and the earthy smells of the new season in the air. May, however, was annoyingly cold and dryer than normal; many blamed it on huge sunspots, visible to the naked eye for the first time in memory. It was 90 degrees on June 5; by the following day, the temperature dropped to 40, and the snow that was falling melted as it touched the still very warm ground.

    It was snowing again on June 7 and continued until noon the next day at Waterbury. By that time there was a foot of white on the ground in Montpelier, over eighteen inches in Cabot. Many crops and leaves on trees were killed; farmers wearily replanted. Birds which had not taken shelter perished and newly shorn sheep froze to death.

    June 9 found inch-thick ice on shallow ponds and foot-long icicles were noted. A good early crop of oats kept many from going hungry; it was the first time most had even tasted oatmeal. Seed prices were by now up to five times the norm, but farmers were thankful even at that.
     
  5. skookerasbil
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    skookerasbil Gold Member

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    Cataclysmic eruptions, such as the June 15, 1991, eruption of Mount Pinatubo (Philippines), inject huge amounts of sulfur dioxide gas into the stratosphere, where it combines with water to form an aerosol (mist) of sulfuric acid. By reflecting solar radiation, such aerosols can lower the Earth's average surface temperature for extended periods of time by several degrees Fahrenheit. These sulfuric acid aerosols also contribute to the destruction of the ozone layer by altering chlorine and nitrogen compounds in the upper atmosphere.

    CVO Website - Volcanic Gases and Fumaroles



    Ooooooooooooops!!!!



    [​IMG]



    Of course, I'm the dumbass here!!!!
     
    Last edited: Jun 19, 2011
  6. Matthew
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    Matthew Blue dog all the way!

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    Humans put out 100 times the emission then the avg volcano's put out yearly.


    Considering that human activity released some 30 Gt CO2 into the atmosphere last year, human emissions are likely 100 (or more) times as large as volcanic emissions. Those who make claims about the Mt. Pinatubo explosion emitting more CO2 than all of human activity for all time, should be made aware that the estimated CO2 emissions from Mt. Pinatubo are 0.05 Gt CO2, about the amount released by human activity in half a day, not our entire history. In fact, in less than 3 days we outstrip the volcanic emissions for an entire year:
     
  7. Toronado3800
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    This is confusing. Are you claiming some sense of amazement that volcanic eruptions have caused things like cooler summers?

    Or are you claiming that it is no big deal because the earth has recovered from cataclimsic events before? I mean the planet did not go dead after the mass extinctuon 65 million years ago but why should we liberally test the linits of the planet.
     
  8. CrusaderFrank
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    Moral of the story: CO2, it's just not a big deal.
     
  9. Old Rocks
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    So says Franky boy.

    What does a real geologist state? From the 2009 American Geophysical Union lectures;

    A23A
     
  10. whitehall
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    whitehall Gold Member

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    Dr. Gerlach might be a nice guy. He used to work for a subsidiary of Lockheed called Sandia Labs before he went to work for the US Government propaganda administration. (I made up the propaganda administration part but it's close). A good Phd could put any scientific scenario together and make it seem authentic. Here's the way you do it, you establish the first broad assumption as fact and work from the assumption. "CO2 and so-called greenhouse gas is the cause global warming". It's never been proven. Next you pick a narrow point and use scripted data to try to undermine it. Next you leave out gigantic evidence that might undermine your theory such as...In addition to CO2 volcanoes emit immense clouds of hydrogen sulfide, sulphur dioxide, carbon monoxide, organic hydrocarbons and volatile heavy metal compounds. The chemical mix of airborne sludge reacts with salt water and fresh water and natural pollutants and produces a continuously changing mix. In other words Gerlach's estimated volcanic statistics might be entirely changed by the time they drift over water and land masses or they might be based on the continuing lavish government grants Gerlach and his comrades enjoy courtesy of US taxpayers.
     
    Last edited: Jun 19, 2011

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