Anthropogenic climate change will be a non-issue if this volcano blows
I don't think it's a coincidence that so many of the most hysterical climate-change greenies are based in urban regions. A big city represents the heaviest human footprint there is, something that misleads people into believing that man can ride herd on nature. In fact, we humans are always scrabbling along, hanging by our fingernails and hoping for the best. Whether it's earthquakes, floods, droughts, hurricanes, or just inexorable greenery (e.g., kudzu, every jungle), when nature gets a head of steam, we're tossed about like ants after a careless human foot kicked their anthill. And surely the most stunning and destructive example of nature's power is a volcano. That's why volcanic activity in Antarctica is a bit unnerving.
As the Mount St. Helens eruption in 1982 demonstrated, a mid-sized eruption can rewrite the local environment. When Mount Vesuvius erupted in A.D. 79, it buried Pompeii and Herculaneum for almost 1,500 years and killed an estimated 2,000 people.
In 1815, Mount Tambora erupted, spewing so much dirt in the air that it created a volcanic winter. The next year, 1816, was known as the "year without a summer" because global temperatures decreased so dramatically. Famine followed. (If more greenies and climate changistas understood that it's global cooling that kills, not global warming, the world would be a better place.)
But it's the really big "supervolcanos" that should frighten us. If you've been to Yellowstone, you know that it's one of the most beautiful places on earth. But that vast, peaceful valley was once a supervolcano that erupted 640,000 years ago. Were that to happen today, the surrounding states would be covered by pyroclastic flows, while the rest of the U.S. would experience falling ash, destroying lungs and crops and obscuring the sun — and that was a small supervolcano.
The biggest supervolcano that we know of was the Youngest Toba eruption in what's now Sumatra, Indonesia, around 75,000 years ago. It produced 2,200–4,400 million tons of H2SO4, and the material it spewed measured at 2,000–13,200 km3. The last Yellowstone eruption, by contrast, spewed only 1,000 km3 of material.
Image: Eruption at Fimmvörðuháls at dusk by Boaworm. CC BY 3.0.
The last officially identified supervolcano erupted around 26,500 years ago, in New Zealand, so those biggies are, thankfully, infrequent occurrences. Nevertheless, at Legal Insurrection, you can read about what may be a burgeoning supervolcano in Antarctica. The region caught people's attention because of a "swarm" of 85,000 earthquakes in 2020, over a six-month period, that we now know was caused by magma from a developing underwater volcano.
Currently, because the ice sheet is so thick, scientists can only guess how much magma is collecting down there. However, the best scientific guess is that it's a developing "mantle plume"—and that's bad:
This mantle plume — some of which are known as supervolcanos — pumps out some 200 milliwatts of energy per square meter.
The background heating from beneath the Earth in non-geologically active areas is about 40 to 60 milliwatts.
The one under Antarctica appears to be roughly in the same league, at up to 150 milliwatts.
Should this volcano erupt, all or part of the Antarctic ice sheet will instantly melt, and the oceans will rise by feet, not the centimeter or two that panics greenies. In addition, the sun will be obscured for years. When the Lake Toba eruption occurred, the Earth's temperature dropped — not by one or two degrees, but by 15! At the time, the human population shrank almost to extinction.
We are living in a glorious period right now, one in which we have some resilience against the worst the Earth can throw at us. We should be enjoying this era, taking advantage of the wonders of technology to control heat and cold, strengthen buildings against earthquakes, and warn us in advance of most weather conditions, even as we act as good stewards to the Earth, protecting the life upon it for the benefit of all.
Instead, the climate changistas run around squealing that the Earth is going to be boiled or frozen or flooded or dried out, and so we should all panic all the time while doing nothing genuinely useful. And we can do useful things. Because the Earth's climate has always changed and will always change, and because a grand solar minimum is heading our way, we should always use the fat years to prepare for the lean ones. Thanks to the maddened greenies, though, plus the effects of COVID and war in Ukraine, we may be facing the lean years without having done anything to prepare for them.