Monday, March 21, 2011

Yellowstone Supervolcano Ready to Blow? Now That is Something to Worry About

I have long argued that the "man is causing dangerous global warming that will doom the planet" is based on faulty, politicized science.  If people want a real threat to be worried about they should take a look at Wyoming.

In Wyoming Yellowstone Park is the world's largest super volcano.  It erupts every 600,000 years like clockwork.  Only this time, it's 40,000 years over due.  The ground above the volcano has been rising over recent years.  Earlier this year volcano "took a breath," yet another sign of troubling activity.  Of course predicting when a volcano is going to blow is an inexact science.  It could blow tomorrow, it could blow ten thousand years from now.  We do know the volcano will eventually erupt.

We do know from climate history what will happen when it blows.  When the volcano goes off everyone in a 100 mile radius will be immediately dead.  The volcano will dump as much as 10 feet of dangerous, noxious ash across the United States in about a 1000 mile radius of the blast.  It will kill crops in the United States and people will breath in the dust that cuts their lungs and eventually kills them.  The temperatures on the planet will plummet as much as 20 degrees, destroying crops worldwide.   Millions of people will die and probably half the United States will be inhabitable for decades, forcing millions of people to relocate to the east and south.  The United States will be crippled as a country.

What preparation has the United States taken for this event?  None.  At the very least, the U.S. should stock up on masks that would protect those out of the blast area from breathing the volcanic dust that will become a part of their daily lives.

While the earthquake and tsunami in Japan was a terrible thing, Mother Nature is capable of much, much greater devastation. That is something we should never forget.  We're visitors here on this planet and only stay at the mercy of Mother Nature.


Doug said...

If you want a good list of catastrophic things to worry about, I recommend Bill Bryson's "A Short History of Nearly Everything."

By way of summary: We, as a species, are insignificant and doomed. He writes about it in a relatively cheerful manner, however.

varangianguard said...

We have a few years left on that super-volcano. IIRC, since it is still mainly beneath the Rockies, the chances of it being able to pop is diminished. Another 10-20,000 years or so, watch out!

National Geographic magazine had a fascinating article about it last year. Amateur geologists (like us) can track its "movment" across the US on Google Earth, if you know what to look for. Seems it has popped off several times where you can see here in North America.

Paul K. Ogden said...

Doug, I must read that book.

We also have an asteroid that is on line to hit the planet in like 2035 within the life span of many people on earth. That could doom us all.

M Theory said...

I can get my own mask, my own food, my own water, thank you. I don't want to depend on the government and I don't want to be in a line with throngs of desperate, unprepared people.

We always talk about people taking responsibility for themselves, yet you condemn the government for not laying in supplies.

The government does publish guides on how to protect yourself in emergencies, yet few people do it.

The thing I'm concerned about is New Madras. It would not surprise me a bit if it erupted this year or next.

varangianguard said...

New Madrid (Missouri). Pronounced: New 'Maa-drid. Just an FYI.

Paul K. Ogden said...


I have no problem with government preparing for a massive calamity that will kill millions of people. The notion that people can just go it alone in the face of an eruption that kills millions of people and destroys half the US isn't realistic.

Government does have a role and disaster preparedness is one of them.

Gary R. Welsh said...

Paul, I think the greater concern right now is the adjustment of the earth's plates along the west coast. If you have watched the seismic activity for the past several months, the entire west coast and Alaska's coast have seen very active seismic activity. The plates are connected to the plates that triggered the massive earthquakes in Japan, New Zealand and Chile. If the Cascadia plate slips as many experts believe it will in the coming days or months, it could set off a Tsunami with a wave as high as 100 feet hitting the west coast, likely in the Washington coast area. The damage could devastate Seattle. Making matters worse is the fact that much of the west coast is floating on the Pacific Ocean. A major quake along the San Andreas fault that causes a deep fissure to develop almost instantly literally could send the California coast, including all of its major cities, into the Pacific Ocean. Many people are unaware that the Navy's submarines are able to navigate deep under the western states through caverns that stretch hundreds of miles inland. Some claim you can park a submarine at the Fallon naval base in the Nevada desert and take an elevator to the surface.

M Theory said...

Thanks Kurt....I'm thinking plaid today.

M Theory said...

But't will screw it up, like everything else they do.

I would rather take responsibility for myself and I don't want government in my way.

Downtown Indy said...

The guy in the video tends to grab a lot of time in front of the TV cameras. He seems to have a knack for sensationalizing whatever the topic of the day happens to be.

I think he's more of a narcissist than a scientist.

Cato said...

Gary, really? That is some amazing stuff. I had no idea the California mantle was that porous.

There's also a supervolcano near Mono Lake in California.

Paul K. Ogden said...


I didn't say individuals shouldn't also take precautions. But I think planning for a potential national disaster is a legitimate government function.

Tim said...

Just remind Hoosiers for a Fair Tax that the Fema folks will pass him by on his way to Galt's Gulch. Don't ask for our help, rugged individualist, 'cause you are free to perish alone, while the rest of us band together to survive.

Libertarians are anarchists with better suits

Still, Paul, the Bryson book is awesome, although it may shake that residual Catholicism you've been holding on to!