General Question

pitchtheview's avatar

How do volcanoes affect other Earth systems, particularly climate?

Asked by pitchtheview (170points) July 12th, 2010

I’m doing a school project for… well, school obviously. And this question has me a little confused. Anyone willing to clarify? :]

Observing members: 0 Composing members: 0

10 Answers

marinelife's avatar

I will help you figure it out by pointing you in the right direction.

Review the material on this website and this Website.

UScitizen's avatar

Google Tambora, Krakatoa, and “the little ice age.”

Pied_Pfeffer's avatar

When you say “Earth systems”, do you mean other areas on our planet (Earth) or on other planets in our solar system?

wundayatta's avatar

Think about weather and wildlife and plant life and geology. How do all these things change when a volcano erupts? Hell. Think about airline flights. What happens to the climate when the weather changes for long periods of time?

ETpro's avatar

In modern times, volcanic activity adds just a fraction of the CO2 to the atmosphere that human activity contributes. However, massive eruptions such as the Yellowstone Caldera’s last super-eruption 640,000 years ago caused widespread climate change around the Earth because it sent enough ash into the stratosphere to partially block the sun from warming the Earth for years. The blast is thought to have been so violent that it blew some material completely out of Earth orbit and into open space.

Given the Yelowstone supervolcano’s timetable, with eruptions 2.1 million years ago, 1.3 million and 640,000 years ago—we could be due for a repeat at any time.

Andreas's avatar

@pitchtheview Adding to what @UScitizen said: Don’t forget about the Icelandic volcano eruptions of recent months, especially over Europe. That was felt particularly in Europe, but its influence was international.

Also the 1986 Mt Pinatubo eruption in the Philippine islands were horrific for the people living there, but gave magnificent sunsets in the area as far south as the western part of Australia.

There will be many other examples through history. Also check ancient texts of Pliny the Elder and Pliny the Younger.

pitchtheview's avatar

Oops, yeah, I meant climates on Earth :]

Pied_Pfeffer's avatar

@pitchtheview Thank you for the clarification.

SmartAZ's avatar

First you need to get a dictionary and compare definitions for “climate” and “weather”. Always the first thing to do is be sure you know what you are talking about. In this case you don’t: volcanoes have nothing to do with climate and only temporary effects on weather. They do, however, greatly affect the environment by spewing fertilizer all around and in many cases stirring the soil. Look at any volcano and you will see incredible lushness. Compare that to Blanding, Utah: no water, no trees, poor soil, no way to earn a living except by catering to tourists going to Four Corners. But it sure is a safe place to live: there is no evidence of any natural disaster, ever.

Answer this question




to answer.

This question is in the General Section. Responses must be helpful and on-topic.

Your answer will be saved while you login or join.

Have a question? Ask Fluther!

What do you know more about?
Knowledge Networking @ Fluther