ENVT 200 03

The Next Big Volcano could Briefly Cool Earth and NASA wants to be ready

In this article, the author starts off with discussing a brief history of large volcanos erupting and their effects. A volcano in the Philippines called Mount Pinatubo, blew up twenty million tons of sulfur dioxide gas into the air along with ash and rock. This gas given off from the volcano mixed with water and air droplets in the atmosphere caused global temperatures to decrease by one degree for a couple of years. The author then discusses how scientists along with NASA researchers want to plan a way to prepare and study for the next big eruption. Not only do scientists want to do this, but they want to look at basically altering the atmosphere, just like the volcano did to cool the planet, otherwise known as geoengineering. The author then discusses different approaches such as using small jets to spray the same type of chemicals and gases that the volcano did into the atmosphere. Due to the fact that jets might have some trouble reaching some parts of the atmosphere, scientists came up with this idea of using balloons to shoot up into the atmosphere to complete the same tasks. Scientists also want to use certain satellites to try to predict when a larger volcanic eruption could occur. Scientists think that predicting volcano eruptions is important incase geoengineering does not work out because it is very important to comprehend how volcanos affect climate. The authors main point in this article is to show people like us that although scientists have certain environmental tools to try to alter the Earth’s atmosphere or using satellites to try to tell when certain eruptions could occurs, no one really knows if it will exactly work and no one knows exactly when a volcano will blow. Scientist will try their best to complete both tasks because they think it is important to see the influences on climate that come from these volcanos. I think this article was pretty interesting. I did not know that volcanos could have this type of impact on the environment. There was minimal bias presented in the article. The author backed up his statements by using quotes from certain scientists and including good background information on the topic. The only thing the author did not mention was the detrimental impact that volcanoes can have on an environment, which might have been nice to add in this article as well. The author could have mentioned the negative impacts of the volcanos like people losing their homes or even there lives. Also in the article it was stated that the next big volcanic eruption could potentially damage the ozone layer. The author does not really discuss what that means for the readers but if we did not have the ozone layer, we would not have protection from the sun, which means plant life, animal life, and human life could all be destroyed. Although it is seen that volcanos can potentially help cool the climate for the global environment, volcanos also have negative impacts.


One thought on “The Next Big Volcano could Briefly Cool Earth and NASA wants to be ready

  1. latzerms

    I think this is really interesting. I never considered that volcanos can possibly help cool down the global climate, I really only ever thought about negative impacts from volcanic erruptions, especially for people. The idea of geoengineering is very clever, although, I’m not exactly sure how prepared we are to do such a thing. I also wonder what other natural phenomena we could utilize as humans to work towards cooling down the climate. This brought up some very interesting points, great article.

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