Terrawatch: how climate change alters impact of volcanic eruptions

Terrawatch: how climate change alters impact of volcanic eruptions

Cooling impact of very explosive eruptions could be amplified while moderate eruptions have less effect

It’s well known that volcanic eruptions alter the climate but can human-made climate change alter volcanic eruptions? Curiously, the answer appears to be yes.

When the Philippine volcano Mount Pinatubo erupted in 1991, the resulting sulphuric acid haze suppressed global temperatures by 0.5C for more than a year. Very explosive eruptions like this are rare – they occur once or twice a century on average – but their cooling impact could be amplified by as much as 15% as the world becomes warmer.

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