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2400 - 2499

Pressures, during the Asama (Japan) volcanic eruption, may have been as high as 8,500 pounds per square inch ... and it is thought that much higher pressures maintain in greater eruptions.

Below erupting Kilauea, thousands of earthquakes have been recorded at depths of up to 25 miles. Magma may originate at depths of 20-60 miles.

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.

We are entering upon a prolonged period of volcanism, with consequent major changes to world weather and rainfall patterns.

Where the volcanic emission factor is operating, it has a far greater influence on climate than the Greenhouse and ozone factors.

Average insolation, absorbed at surface in the northern hemisphere, as a function of latitude, is as follows:

Insolation Latitude
381 0
395 10
408 20
390 30
322 40
252 50
185 60
134 70
95 80
66 90

(Note: Insolation is in calories per square centimetre).

Approximately one-half of incoming solar energy is absorbed at the Earth's surface: Also one-fifth is absorbed within the atmosphere, and the remaining one-third is reflected back into space.

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.

Approximately one-half of volcanic gaseous emissions are water vapour.

Volcanic emissions, per se, do not reduce the overall world total of rainfall.

Volcanic eruptions tend to return ground water to atmosphere, and thence to surface.

In areas affected by volcanism, the temperature differential between the upper and lower atmospheres is changed ... and this plays havoc with weather and rainfall patterns.

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.

The Earth's rotational or Coriolis 'apparent' force results in a deflection of all motion. It is greatest at the poles and zero at the equator.

On average, temperature decreases at the rate of 3 degrees F per 1,000 feet of altitude.

Moving air masses tend to retain many of their source characteristics.

Fronts, or air-mass boundaries, lie along lines of low pressure.

At the fronts, the wind tends to change abruptly: Most bad weather will be found in the vicinity of fronts.

Wind jet-streams are like meandering rivers of strong winds: At 30,000-40,000 feet of altitude, they may reach up to 200 m.p.h. Velocity.

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.

El Niño signals vast changes in the atmosphere's global circulation, including:

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.

Primary threats to our food chain are, or stem from, increased volcanism, ozone depletion and radiation.

There are over 500 volcanoes which are classed as active ... that is, which have erupted in historic time. Of these, 50 to 60 volcanoes are currently active.

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.

10,000-20,000 years ago, glaciation was such that sealevel was probably 100-145 metres lower than present.

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.

It has been estimated that the sea-level near Japan was 15-30 metres higher (than the present level) in past periods when the surface temperature was 1-3 degrees C higher than at present.

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.

5,000-6,000 years ago, average temperatures were 2-3 degrees C higher than at present ... and Arctic ice had retreated to 80 degrees N latitude.

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.

The world's climate warmed up from 1900 to 1940 and, since 1940, it has been cooling down ... and there is evidence to indicate that world climate may be re-entering a period of glaciation.

Over the past one million years, there have been four ice ages: The last (the Wurm) ended about 10,000 years ago.

The amount of volcanic ash in sea-floor sediments increased about 2 million years ago and has stayed high ever since. This coincides with the Quaternary ice ages.

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.

At a Jan. 1972 conference of geologists at Brown University (Rhode Island), the consensus was that the present mild climate will probably end in the near future.

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.

A number of scientists consider that the onset of ice ages may occur rather abruptly ... that is, within a 100 year period.

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.

Past statistics indicate that famines, crop failures, floods and heavy rainfall are related to each other.

Among the cold years, since the 19th century, at least six have been related to great eruptions.

All of the four ice ages, of the last one million years, began when volcanic activity in the low latitudes was extraordinarily vigorous.

We are now in a period when the climate of Earth is unstable.

The amount of volcanic dust in atmosphere is estimated to vary between 25 and 150 million tonnes.

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.

The Temmei (Japan) famine and cold of 1787 was probably a direct result of the almost continuous Asama eruptions of 1783 on.

European, US and Japanese meteorologists have recently warned that it will become increasingly colder in the next few decades. A stockpiling of food is recommended.

Mankind's caloric intake needs to increase by approximately 50% when average temperatures drop from 25 to 4 degrees C.

Rice cultivation is widespread where, in summer, there are high temperatures and abundant rainfall. Volcanic ash induced climatic changes could put huge Asian rice crops at risk.

Past statistics indicate that:

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.

About 40 subduction volcanoes erupt each year. The most violent volcanic eruptions belong to the subduction category.

The 1883 Krakatoa eruption produced tsunamis more than 30 metres high, which killed 36,000 people.

The number of sunspots peaks soon after the beginning of each 14-year cycle, and decays to a minimum level of activity in 11 years.

The atmosphere weighs 5.6 x 10 to the 15th tonnes, and forms an aerial current, carrying the weather from west to east.

Water vapour, heat and momentum is drawn to the higher latitudes, as the atmosphere moves with the rotating Earth and fan-spreads to the north-east and south-east.

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.

In the last ice age, which peaked 20,000 years ago, the total mass of ice was probably about three times that of the present ice mass.

Underground water is estimated at 10 million cubic kilometres: This is about 46 times as much as all fresh water and salt water lakes, and about 8,400 times as much as in the rivers.

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.

The average annual precipitation is about 1 metre. The water vapour remains in atmosphere for an average of only nine days. The average annual evaporation from the oceans is 1.25 metres.

The easterly trade winds dominate in the tropical equatorial zone, and the westerlies dominate in the middle latitudes.

A sub-tropical high pressure zone, outside the tropical easterly zone, is characterised by fine dry weather, deserts and variable winds.

The average depth of all oceans is 12,500 feet.

The surface area of the Earth is 197 million square miles and the surface area of the oceans is 140 million square miles. 71% of the Earth's surface is covered by oceans.

The volume of the ocean waters is 331.4 million cubic miles. As the Earth's volume is 258,156 million cubic miles, the ocean waters are approximately 1/779 part of Earth's volume.

As Earth's average density is 5.53, the ocean waters are approximately 1/4308 part of Earth's mass.

Earth's mass is approx. 6,000 billion, billion tonnes, of which the ocean waters are approx. 1.393 billion, billion.

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.

The lithosphere is heating up ... and the ocean-floor crust and deep ocean-waters are warming.

From 1940, lower biosphere insolation (due to increased volcanism) has been causing an ongoing reduction of average world surface temperatures.

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.

The volcanic cooling effect will maintain until the volcanic surface heating effect offsets and then exceeds it.

Volcanic gases generally are predominantly water; other gases include various compounds of carbon, sulfur, hydrogen, chlorine and fluorine.

According to Budyko, Ronov and Yanshin ('History of the Earth's Atmosphere', published by Springer-Verlag, Berlin, 1987), the Phanerozoic mean air temperatures were:

MYA Degrees C
500 18
480 22
460 21
440 20
420 20
400 19
380 20
360 22
340 26
320 22
300 20
280 21
260 20
240 20
220 20
200 21
180 22
160 23
140 23
120 23
100 23
80 23
60 21
40 18
20 17
0 15

During the quaternary, there were considerable temperature fluctuations. During the coldest epochs of the quaternary the mean surface air temperature dropped by approximately 5 degress C compared to the present ... that is, to 10 C. (Note: The above temperatures were based upon estimates of carbon dioxide in troposphere).

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.

Less than one-tenth of the Earth's quakes occur in the southern quarter of the crust ... that is, higher than 45 degrees south latitude.

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.

Eruptions, ranging from moderate to very large, seem to have similar effects on temperature.

The world's population is distributed latitudinally as follows:

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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