It’s a Small World


Sulfur Dioxide from the Kliuchevskoi Eruption over the Midwest United States – Wired Science.

A volcano erupted on the Kamchatka peninsula last week. Volcanoes release more than just lava – many different gases and ash are expelled into the atmosphere.  The map above shows that just one week later,

the plume [is] over parts of Kentucky, Ohio, West Virginia, Maryland, Pennsylvania, New York and eastward. So, if you’re in that part of the country, you can look up and know that somewhere above you are particles of sulfur dioxide from the eruption of Kliuchevskoi.

These aerosols spread rapidly across our planet.

 Sulfur dioxide (converting to sulfuric acid droplets in the atmosphere) can heat the upper atmosphere by absorbing solar radiation and thus end up cooling the lower atmosphere by blocking that light. 

What affect would a large-scale eruption have on Earth?  And are we ready for it?

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