Keeping Watch on the Redoubt Volcano
Posted by The Diatribe Guy on January 30, 2009
While nobody wishes for volcanic eruptions, due to the obvious destructive capabilities they present, they are at the same time awesome events to behold (particularly for those of us not in harm’s way).
Reality is reality, though. I suppose it is always possible that scientists are mistaken about the imminence of a volcanic eruption, but all indications are that the 10,200 Redoubt Volcano, about 100 miles southwest of Anchorage, is on the verge of eruption.
From the story I linked to:
On Nov. 5, geologists noted changed emissions and minor melting near the Redoubt summit and raised the threat level from green to yellow. It jumped to orange – the stage just before eruption – on Sunday in response to a sharp increase in earthquake activity below the volcano.
Alaska’s volcanoes are not like Hawaii’s. “Most of them don’t put out the red river of lava,” said the observatory’s John Power.
Instead, they typically explode and shoot ash 30,000 to 50,000 feet high – more than nine miles – into the jet stream.
From the L.A. Times we get a picture of the last eruption, in 1989.
It would not be a pleasant period in Anchorage if Redoubt were to blow its top, if its previous eruption is any indication.
For five months beginning in December 1989, smoke and ash from the 10,197-foot peak disrupted international air traffic and deposited volcanic dust throughout the Anchorage region.
Now, as this applies to climate, we can already prepare ourselves for the response to probable continued cooling in 2009: “Well, of course it cooled. That volcano over in Alaska erupted. It’s all that Palin gal’s fault, you know.”
Now, far be it from me to suggest that introducing megatons of ash into the air won’t have a cooling impact on the climate. It absolutely does, to one degree or another (catch the pun? Ha! I slay myself…), depending on the amount of ash, its composition, how high and persistent it is in the jet stream, yada yada. So my contention is not that such an event won’t contribute to cooling. My issue will be – as I predict will happen – that this will be a psychologically welcome event by AGW supporters so they have a convenient scapegoat for ALL cooling that ensues for the next year after this eruption.
But that’s conjecture. We shall see. Until then, here’s hoping and praying for the safety of our friends in the great state of Alaska. By the way, I like your guys’ quarter.