Monday, November 21, 2016

Climate change doing strange things to volcanoes

SCIENTISTS have detailed the consequences Earth could face as a result of climate change wreaking havoc on our planet’s volcanoes.
Published in the Journal of Geophysical Research: Atmospheres, the new researchexplores how climate change is hindering the cooling properties volcanoes have on Earth.
While the concept of a mountain that spews molten lava helping to cool Earth might sound strange, it all has to do with column of ash and gas released during an eruption.
Following an eruption, sulphur gasses are sent out into the stratosphere — about 10 to 15 kilometres above Earth’s surface — where they form aerosol particles after reacting to water.
These particles then reflect the heat from the Sun’s rays away from Earth and back into space, which helps cool the planet.
Research author Thomas Aubry said climate change is making this process much harder as it causes lower layers of the atmosphere to expand, which prevents the gasses from reaching the stratosphere.
“Volcanic eruptions tend to counteract global warming but as the planet heats up and our atmosphere changes, we’ve found that fewer eruptions will be able to reflect the Sun’s radiation,” he told Science Daily.
“It will be harder for the volcanic gasses to reach high enough into atmosphere to help cool the planet.” Read More