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2400 - 2499
The Tambora (Indonesia) eruption, of 1815, evinced a force in the magnitude of 4,000 hydrogen bombs. It ejected about 1.7 million tons (or 12 cubic miles) of rock into the sky. A large quantity was pulverised to ash, which went into the upper atmosphere and circled the Earth.
Although the Tambora eruption took place on 5 April (1815), night-time freezing temperatures lasted until June-July in New England. People there wore warm coats, even during the day. In August, early frosts killed off crops, drastically reducing the harvest. In Europe, the crop losses were particularly severe.
A major eruption, thousands of miles away, may diminish insolation, altering the world's climate for a year or more. It may cause shorter growing seasons and produce may be scarcer and dearer. In some countries, famine may be triggered, resulting in heavy loss of life.
It is noteworthy that from zero to 30 degrees of latitude receive twice as much solar energy, per unit square measure, as the 50-70 latitude band. The magnitude of surface insolation falls off rapidly above 30 degrees latitude.
Latitudes below 38 degrees have a net gain of solar heat, and latitudes above 38 degrees have a net loss. The above 38 areas constitute a heat sink, to which low latitude heat energy moves via winds. This is the main driving force of atmospheric circulation.
There is a slow sinking of air in anti-cyclones, as air descends to replace surface air which spirals outwards. Over cyclones, there is an ascent of air, where it is displaced upwards by incoming converging winds. Clear skies are normally associated with anti-cyclones and cloudiness and precipitation are normally associated with cyclones.
Greenhouse gases tend to trap solar heat and to prevent it from re-radiating out of the biosphere. Ozone depletion results in a greater percentage of incoming solar energy reaching the biosphere. Both Greenhouse and ozone effects operate to heat up the biosphere. Volcanism, on the other hand, operates to cool the biosphere and is, generally, inimical to organic life.
The net Greenhouse/ozone/volcanism effects in the 0-30 latitudes is for less rain in drought-prone areas; intensification of droughts; wetter wet seasons; downpours; floods; landslides; hurricanes and crop failures.
The net Greenhouse/ozone/volcanism effects in the 30-60 latitudes is for greater cold; colder winters; shorter summers; wetter wet seasons; drier dry seasons; storms; hail; floods; landslides and crop failures.
Volcanic emissions are mainly in the 0-35 latitudes that is, the latitudes which normally have a net gain of solar energy received over solar energy absorbed, and this net gain is the main driving force of atmospheric circulation (as winds carry warmth to the highl-atitude heat-sink). Volcanic emissions in the 0-35 latitudes, eliminate the net gain of solar energy (by decreasing solar energy received) and reduce the driving force of atmospheric circulation and reduce the east-to-west trade winds of the 10-35 latitudes. This sets up the pre-conditions for El Niño.
Normally, the trade winds blow from South America west across the Pacific. Surface waters move westward and are replaced by cool, nutritious waters from the continental shelf. The sea is cool and full of phytoplankton. But, when the trade winds die, the waters become warm and plankton populations decrease. El Niño (the boy child) starts to operate, as pressures in the Pacific area become lower than pressures in the Indian Ocean area ... setting up the 'southern oscillation' winds.
The human species is quite remarkable in its will to survive, ability to adjust, resilience and ability to regenerate. However, the human species depends upon a food chain which is not as strong, survivally, and the human species is most at risk when its food chain is threatened.
Historical records indicate that eruptions, comparable in size to St. Helens or El Chich6n, occur about once or twice a decade. Larger eruptions, such as Pinatubo, occur about once every 100 or 200 years. Of course, past records may not be a reliable guide as to the future.
The Pinatubo eruption, of June 1991, probably emitted about .5 of a cubic mile of solid matter: It probably injected into atmosphere at least twice the volume of aerosols as El Chichon (1982). The resultant stratospheric volcanic cloud, from the Pinatubo eruption, is likely to affect global climate into the mid-1990's. Pinatubo is the second largest eruption this century ... second only to Novarupta, Katmai, Alaska (1912).
As up to 70% of volcanic aerosol emissions are composed of water-vapour, the Pinatubo-affected El Niño winds reaching the West Coast of the South Island of New Zealand are likely to bear greater moisture than the pre-Pinatubo El Niño winds. Also, of course, these moisture-laden winds would not encounter rain-inducing mountain barriers during their Australian transit.
The Earth is heating up, by reason of the ongoing core explosion of 180mya and the Greenhouse effect ... but the biosphere is cooling, due to increasing levels of volcanic ash in atmosphere, which reduce biospheric insolation.
Volcanically, the most active period has been the Quaternary ... that is, the past two million years. This may indicate that the Earth has heated up and expanded more in the Quaternary than in past periods.
It is paradoxical that the Quaternary biosphere has been subjected to great glaciation and low temperatures, while the Earth's interior has been heating up. This apparent contradiction has been due to decreased insolation, caused by increased volumes/mass of atmospheric volcanic dust. The dust which cools the biosphere is indicative of the Earth's heating and expansion.
The past 10,000 years, from the dawn of civilisation to the present, has been an interglacial period, during which average temperatures have been 4-5 degrees C higher than those of prior glaciation periods.
The warmest period of the past 2,000 years was between 800 and 1200 AD. The climate cooled from 1550 to 1900 AD (the little ice age) and was then approximately 1 degree C cooler than at present. It was especially cold in the years 1640, 1740, 1820 and 1850.
The warming trend of 1900-1940 AD was probably due to the low level of volcanism of that period. The colder closing decades of the 19th century were probably due to the major eruptions of Krakatoa 1883, Tarawera 1886, Bandai-San (Japan) 1888 and Bogoslof (Alaska) 1890.
H.H.Lamb, the British climatologist, carried out extensive researches on the correlation between volcanism and climate, concerning the period from 1500 AD onwards. He concluded that there has been a definite relationship between world climatic trends and large volcanic eruptions.
Signs that we are entering a period of decreasing surface temperatures include: The habitat of the armadillos is moving southward. The growth period, for British crops, has decreased by half a month over the past 40 years. The Iceland fishing grounds have advanced further south. The amount of drift-ice has increased to that experienced at the beginning of this century. The mountain glaciers of Europe and North America have stopped receding and, in some cases, have been advancing. The area covered by snow and ice, in the northern hemisphere, increased suddenly from 1971 to 1973.
The cooling trend in the arctic area is accelerating and a new cold period has already started. It may soon become impossible to grow rice, wheat and maize in the northernmost areas of cultivable land, including Japan.
High-speed stratospheric winds, of nearly 120 K's per hour, carried the fine volcanic ash of the 1883 Krakatoa eruption westward around the globe. Within two months, the stratospheric haze covered over 70% of the Earth's surface. The ash and pumice emissions have been estimated at 18 cubic kilometres (solids).
The volcanic ash and dust effects probably operate in the stratosphere, above 10 kilometres height, where the layer of haze hovers for a long time, because there are no clouds and rain to wash it away quickly. Meteorologists have identified a long-lasting aerosol layer at 15-30 kilometres height. These aerosols are a composite of sea salt, silicate dust, and sulphuric acid ... originating from sea spray, dust storms, volcanic eruptions, forest fires, industrial emissions etc. This aerosol layer can increase suddenly with an injection of volcanic dust, but it takes several years to decrease again to normal levels.
After the Feb.18, 1963 eruption of Mt. Agung (Bali), volcanic dust reached more than 10 kilometres height and circled the Earth within weeks. Stratospheric temperatures were measured to rise as much as 6 degrees C and the average world temperature dropped .4 of a degree C, for three years after the eruption.
Huge deposits of pyroclastic flows (masses of hot dry rock fragments, mixed with hot gases), covering thousands of square kilometres and tens to hundreds of metres thick, exist in many regions of the world. The volume of these deposits is in the range 100-1000 cubic kilometres, compared with the 30 cubic kilometres of the Katmai (Alaska) eruption.
At present, natural forces are, on average, approximately 1000 times greater than energy released by human activities but, in Manhattan, the energy produced by human activities is more than six times the natural energy.
The speed of north-south atmospheric flows is much slower than that of east-west flows. East-west circulation (especially in the middle latitudes) plays the major role in the transportation of the atmosphere's physical quantities.
The amount of water in atmosphere is only about a one thousandth part of 1% of the total amount of the Earth's water. If it were all condensed, it would cover the surface of the Earth only to 25mm of depth.
It is not by accident but by design that the final physical phase, to 2020, will be a period of volcanic cooling of the biosphere. Underneath us, the Earth's mass will be heating up and, above us, the upper atmosphere will be heating up ... but the biosphere and troposphere will be kept cool, due to the insulation effect of stratospheric volcanic dust.
The major factor, bearing on present and future world weather, is Earth expansion, causing increased volcanism, causing greater quantities of volcanic dust in the stratosphere, causing a significant reduction of insolation.
As the onset of an ice age may occur with a 100-year transition period, it may be that we are half way through a transition period which started in 1940. We may be now experiencing the onset of an ice age caused primarily by Earth expansion and its increasing volcanism.
The Greenland ice bore-core analysis, of the past 40,000 years, indicates that there have been up to 7 degree C 'flips' in temperature, occurring over as small a period as 40-50 years. It is to be noted that a 7 degree C variation at a polar region would probably indicate a much lesser variation in lower latitudes.
Since the work of Budyko, Ronov and Yanshin, the presence in the stratosphere of a deinsolating aerosol layer (see 2457) has raised the possibility that volcanism may increase deinsolating dust levels, while also increasing the levels of carbon dioxide in troposphere. The temperatures of 2491 need to be interpreted with this in mind. Mean surface air temperature cannot be deduced with reference to carbon dioxide incidence alone.
When volcanism reaches a certain high level, its dust levels, in stratosphere, have a cooling effect which is greater than the heating effect caused by its carbon dioxide emissions (Greenhouse effect). Such has been the case during the Quaternary ice ages.
Budyko, Ronov and Yanshin consider that the Earth's biosphere is unique and that the existence of other biospheres in this and neighbouring galaxies is hardly probable. Astrophysicists Hart and Shklovsky are of like opinion.
The hypothesis of Gaia suggests that living organisms have the ability to control their environment and of maintaining a state favorable for their life activity. This hypothesis is mainly based on the apparent impossibility of otherwise accounting for the long existence of the biosphere.
Large eruptions (like Tambora, Krakatoa and Santa Maria) were associated with temperature decreases of 0.2 to 0.5 degrees C on a hemispherical scale for periods of one to five years. The lag effect was up to three years, depending mainly on distance from source. Some eruptions had effects over greater distances than others.
|60 to 90 degrees North||2%|
|30 to 60 degrees North||42%|
|0 to 30 degrees North||43%|
|0 to 30 degrees South||10%|
|30 to 60 degrees South||3%|
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