Celebrate August 27 as ‘Climate Equilibrium Day’

Today is the anniversary of a singular event that actually did change the earth’s climate for a couple of years (after which Nature’s mighty equilibrating power returned things to normal): the eruption of the Krakatoa volcano. Grantee Kleza writes:

Krakatoa blew apart on this day in 1883 and the shockwaves resulted in terrifying natural phenomena and dramatic climate change. (snip)

Krakatoa had been steaming, rumbling and bubbling since May 1883 when explosions could be heard in what is now Jakarta, 160km away. Ash was blown 6km into the sky.

The Earth’s violence subsided for a while but the volcanic fury was finally unleashed on August 26 and reached its ear-splitting crescendo on the morning of the 27th when more than 70 per cent of the island blew up in a series of four massive explosions. Sailors on ships in the Sunda Strait 60km away suffered burst ear drums from the noise.

A black cloud of ash was estimated to be 27km high.

At least 36,000 people died from the force of the blasts and the tsunamis they created.

Ships were rocked as far away as South Africa and at some places, walls of water were recorded as being 30m high.

Massive amounts of sulphur dioxide were hurled into the stratosphere, which darkened the sky for years.

The Brisbane Courier informed readers that in the aftermath of Krakatoa’s eruption, “passengers on ships coming from America to Australia reported that in the vicinity of the tropics, people were very much astonished at seeing the sun, almost all day long, of a pale blue colour; and on another occasion it appeared green’’.

While the Earth was also treated to spectacular sunsets, there were chaotic weather patterns and the Earth was cooled by as much as 1.2C for the next five years. [emphases added]

While Krakatoa is the largest volcanic eruption in recorded history, volcanoes have been, and remain, the source of vast amounts of pollutants, including particulate matter, sulfur dioxide and CO2.  And we have only a tenuous grasp on the amount of “greenhouse gasses” bubbling up from undersea volcanoes. Consider that just 3 years ago, the first underwater 3-D survey of the ocean floor revealed as many as 20,000 undersea volcanoes, some of them extinct, others dormant, and others still emitting gasses and lava that bubble up constantly into the atmosphere. Nature has a way of dealing with these gasses, as the recovery from Krakatoa’s massive emissions demonstrates. Plant life thrives with higher CO2 levels, and turns CO2 back into O2 and carbon (which often becomes fuel, as in wood).   

The late and sorely missed Michael Crichton penned the best description of nature’s mighty dominance over man’s puny efforts, and the late and sorely-missed Charlton Heston read it for listeners of the Rush Limbaugh Show in 2007:

Indonesia, where what’s left of Krakatoa exists, already celebrates the anniversary of the eruption in the Lampung Krakatau Festival. Now that the carnage is a distant memory, it is appropriate for the rest of the world to follow the lead of Indonesia.

Those on the left who attribute mystical powers to Mother Gaia ought to be in the forefront of these celebrations, though it would require them to see through the flimflam of climate change hucksters like Al Gore.

Hat tip: John McMahon and Monica Showalter

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