Will a Volcanic Eruption in Chile Cause Climate Cooling?

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For those who missed it, or did not see the pictures of the recent volcano eruption in Chile, check out the YouTube video showing the enormous amounts of ash being spewed into the atmosphere. The question is: Will the ash, being belched into the atmosphere, have a devastating effect on climate change? If so, will the end result cause a heating or cooling effect? Check out the outstanding pictures of the Chile volcano eruption here. As expected, the dust and ash is settling in large amounts on the ground, buildings and surrounding areas.

According to Professor Charles Stern, of the Colorado University-Boulder geological service science department, said the possibility of the Chaiten volcano affecting Earth’s climate is probably fairly low. “In to order to significantly affect the climate, a volcano has to put out a lot of sulfur dioxide aerosols into the stratosphere for an extended period, which then reflects sunlight away from the Earth,” he said. “Our data from Chaiten showed the last eruption was high in silica and low in sulfur.”

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In contrast, “the massive eruption of Mount Pinatubo in the Philippines in 1991 cooled the global climate for about one year because of high sulfur dioxide emissions”, he said. The eruption of Tambora in Indonesia in 1815 affected the world’s climate for about three years and caused what is known as the Year Without a Summer in 1816 by cooling Europe and North America with huge atmospheric sulfur dioxide emissions.

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