Tuesday, February 10, 2009

Which is the bigger polluter – humans or volcanoes?

"Scientists Hugh Corr and David Vaughan of the British Antarctic Survey believe that volcanoes underneath Antarctica may be melting the continent’s ice sheets from below, just as warming air temperatures from human-induced emissions erode them from above."

According to the US Geological Survey, all the world’s volcanoes – on land and undersea – generate about 200 million tons of carbon dioxide (CO2) annually, while our automotive and industrial activities create some 24 billion tons of CO2 emissions every year worldwide. Those facts speak for themselves: Greenhouse gas emissions from volcanoes are less than 1 percent of those generated by today’s human endeavors.
Another indication that human emissions dwarf those of volcanoes is the fact that atmospheric CO2 levels, as measured by sampling stations around the world set up by the federally funded Carbon Dioxide Information Analysis Center, have gone up consistently year after year regardless of whether or not there were major volcanic eruptions in specific years.

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