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The primary volcanism atmospheric effects are caused by injections of sulphur into the stratospheric veil. This becomes converted to sulphuric acid and dominates the veil, as the aerosol with greatest influence upon climate.
The high incidence of sulphur-dioxide in the Venusian atmosphere probably indicates that great volcanic activity has occurred in Venus' past. Venusian clouds are a water solution of sulphuric acid.
It is estimated that the mass of sulphur injected into atmosphere by Fuego(1974) was one to two magnitudes greater than the mass of silicates injected ... and the ensuing stratospheric sulphate layer probably persisted for several years.
The importance of the climatic factor in human history has not been sufficiently recognised, nor have climatic aspects been sufficiently analysed. Much research remains to be done in connection with socio-historical climatology.
It is now recognised that the more efficient farming methods, which are finely tuned to certain normal weather conditions, may result in severe production decreases when weather conditions vary from the assumed norm.
The west and east Antarctic ice sheets are presently rather unstable. If, by reason of underlying meltwater, the ice sheets start to slide, the climate of the southern hemisphere would be cooled rather drastically ... and sea levels may then rise.
The coincidence of the growing ozone hole over Antarctica and the more equatorial orientation of sulphur and dust volcanic emissions (causing reduced insolation), may have the effect of reducing the latitudinal temperature differentials.
Many of the world's major grain crops are sensitive to moderate drops of average temperature. Wheat production in Canada would probably be eliminated by a decrease of 3 degrees C in average temperature. Rice is most sensitive to drops of temperature: If temperatures fall below 15 degrees C, at critical growing periods, rice grains will not form.
The largest known eruption of the past 2000 years was at Taupo, New Zealand. At about 150AD, approximately six cubic miles of ignimbrite debris were ejected, to cover over 10,000 square miles of New Zealand's North Island with an average four inches, or thereabouts, of volcanic deposits. The magma froth poured out at a speed sufficient to climb ridges 1,000 metres higher than source height.
The upper atmosphere is very sensitive to dust. It has been calculated that a reduction in solar radiation by 20% would require only 1/1600 of a cubic mile of very fine dust in upper atmosphere. If this amount was to be continually supplied into atmosphere every two years, the average mean temperature of the troposphere would decrease by approximately 5 degrees C. Of course, not only volcanoes but also nuclear explosions may increase the levels of dust in atmosphere: The effects of nuclear winters are mentioned elsewhere.
Small temperature changes may destroy crops through frost damage. In 1816, Mt. Tambora dust clouds caused average summer temperatures in N.E. USA, Canada, and W. Europe, to drop by 1-2 degrees C. Frosts May-August 1816 eliminated nearly all maize production and much of the Canadian wheat crop. Frosts caused crop failures in France and Switzerland.
With the disintegration of the USSR, the risks of a major nuclear war have decreased enormously. However, nuclear weapons and nuclear weapons technology are more freely available, and more and more nations are becoming nuclear-capable.
There are risks associated with the experimental detonation of nuclear devices. Underground nuclear explosions, in resistant solid-rock formations, may cause the reversion of some mass to singularity, with unknown geophysical consequences.
Nuclear fusion research, itself, involves high risks in respect of accidental initiation of uncontrollable chain-reactions. Research is being carried out, involving ever higher temperatures, approaching those of the 'big bang'. The risks arise from uncertainty concerning a critical temperature, which may result in chain-reactive conversion of matter to singularity.
Nuclear scientists, in research establishments, take unknown risks without any democratic mandate to do so. Their authority derives from cliques of governmental officialdom. High risks to society are taken without the cognisance and prior approval of the general membership of society.
There are risks of nuclear detonations in respect of wars between states, particularly in 'backs to the wall' or 'last ditch' situations, where a country or nation sees itself as having no other chance of survival.
There are high risks of dangerous radiation leakages. A large number of nuclear power plants, particularly in the former USSR and other countries of eastern Europe, are listed as dangerous to public life and health. Some of these have been poorly designed and, although still in service, are technically obsolete. Others are dangerous by reason of sub-standard staffing and maintenance.
As Earth's mass is 6.0 by 10 to the power of 21 tonnes and as the mass of the Earth's atmosphere is 5.6 by 10 to the power of 15 tonnes, the mass of Earth is one million times greater than the mass of its atmosphere.
The cost of banning CFC's and other halogenated chemicals may prove to be prohibitive. It is a matter of concern that additional refrigerator costs may result in a reduction of refrigeration in areas where it is needed to prevent food-borne diseases.
The propositional data of this network, taken as a whole, indicates that caution should be exercised before engaging in very costly eco-projects, which may later prove to be ill-advised or even futile.
Rising levels of carbon dioxide may also contribute to ozone depletion. Global warming in the lower atmosphere means cooling in the upper atmosphere, where ice crystals assist in the formation of chlorine radicals.
The Mt. Pinatubo eruption of 1991 is estimated to have injected 15-20 million tonnes of sulphur dioxide into atmosphere. This, by forming sulphuric acid, encourages the development of chlorine radicals. Volcanoes also produce large quantities of chlorine. Volcanism-sourced chlorine and sulphur dioxide (the one directly and the other indirectly) are major causes of ozone depletion.
From 1631 to 1944, Vesuvius never went more than seven years without an eruption: Now, nearly 50 years have passed without an eruption, and long inactive periods have usually been followed by high explosivity.
An increase of global volcanism has a cooling effect on the Earth's atmosphere ... and a major increase would have a major cooling effect. It is paradoxical that a heating-up of the Earth's crust is accompanied by a cooling of the atmosphere.
Over the past 180 million years, the Earth's surface has increased in area from 135 to 510 million square kilometres (ref. prop. 919) and this expansion has been characterised by enormous levels of volcanic activity, which have progressively reduced the global mean air temperature.
During the quaternary ice-ages, the global mean air temperature went down as low as 10 degrees C. The increase of mean air temperature, to the present 15 degrees C, has been due to a relative quiescence of surface volcanism. Earth expansion has continued unabated, with new crust forming via the volcanism of the mid-oceanic construction ridges. Now, with North Pacific crustal expansion largely frustrated (with the Forex plate jammed under North America's west coast), surface volcanism is increasing. We may now expect a progressive reduction of mean air temperature.
As the volcanic dust and aerosol deinsolation-layer is at a stratosphere height of approximately 15-30 kilometres, and as atmospheric carbon dioxide is below this level, the volcanic layer occludes part of the solar energy before it reaches the carbon dioxide. Thus, volcanism tends to reduce and pre-empt the Greenhouse mechanism.
In the case of Venus, we know that its atmosphere is composed of carbon dioxide, sulphur dioxide and a water/ sulphuric acid vapour. The surface waters of Venus probably boiled and vaporised, when the core-explosion heat surfaced amid great volcanism. The volcanism produced the sulphur dioxide which combined with water vapour under the effects of UV rays at high altitudes. Carbon was probably leached from surface rocks by the hot steamy atmosphere. Volcanism was the primary means and mechanism by which heat was delivered from the exploding core, via the mantle, to the Venusian surface and biosphere.
When volcanism starts to deliver surface heat, at levels which first offset and then exceed its stratospheric deinsolation effect, then the Greenhouse will add a further heating effect ... but the biosphere will be no longer livable at that stage, so why should we worry about the Greenhouse?
Even with regard to CFC's, their deleterious effect on the ozone layer is probably small relative to the effect of volcanic chlorine emissions ... and we can't do anything to stop volcanoes from belching out chlorine gas.
Most people know instinctively that the environment is there for us to use and that to try to conserve it and restore it would be pointless. That is why the Green movement doesn't get more support.
From about the years 2005 to 2010, Antarctica will become a much sought after place of habitation, as volcanism increases and the biosphere heats up. Antarctica will have low volcanism (apart from Erebus) and the least earthquakes, and will be the coolest land on Earth.
The mind is not of time-space and has no temperature ... but, while manifesting as human creative intelligence, it needs a temperate environment ... and hence its creation of a temperate biosphere.
Volcanic chlorine emissions are mostly in the form of hydrogen chloride which, having an affinity for water, is absorbed by the water vapour of the lower atmosphere. It is noteworthy that volcanic chlorine emissions seldom rise above 5 to 6 kilometres height ... and this is well short of the bottom of the ozone layer, which is at the 15-50 kilometres of altitude.
The effects of volcanism on climate are far greater than the effects of man-induced increases in atmospheric carbon dioxide. There is no point in introducing costly controls of the latter while the former major factor continues to predominate.
As the deinsolating volcanic ash and sulphur layer is at much greater altitude than the Greenhouse carbon dioxide and methane layer, the former layer's cooling effect dominates over the latter layer's heating effect.
The onset of the El Niño southern oscillation is signalled by high pre5sure over Darwin and low pressure over Tahiti. The opposite pressure conditions are known as La Niña. El Niño and La Niña conditions have manifested in the following years:
|El Niño||Average||La Niña|
When El Niño conditions prevail, New Zealand has cooler, drier weather than normal. More cold air-flows come from the west and south-west, with more storms and gales. South-west fronts come further north than normal. The water is too cold for the fronts to pick up much moisture.
The higher into the stratosphere volcanic veil matter is thrown, the longer the veil will last. The reference here is to very fine particles of volcanic dust and to tiny aerosols of sulphurous acid, in water-vapour. At 15-30 kilometres altitude, conditions are stable and rainless ... and the veil is relatively long-lasting. The sulphurous aerosols are probably the most significant deinsolating factor.
El Niño brings high pressures and high temperatures to South and East of Australia. Prevailing winds and air pressure patterns cause warm air to rush seawards from the desert-outback, resulting in heat-waves in coastal regions, as well as inland.
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