Threat Of Devastating 'Supervolcano' Eruption At Yellowstone Is Greater Than Previously Thought

Scientists from the US Geological Survey who breezily informed the public that there’s “nothing to worry about” with regards to the Yellowstone caldera, a supervolcano that should it erupt could cause potentially hundreds of thousands of deaths, should be eating their words.

Since about mid-July, the earth beneath the volcano has been shifting in a sign that magma could be rushing into the caldera’s main chamber. Since then, there have been roughly 2,500 small-scale earthquakes recorded near the volcano, the largest stretch on record. Previous estimates had assumed that the process that led to the eruption took millenniums to occur.

The same estimates that USGS based their warning on.

As the New York Times explains, the Yellowstone caldera is a behemoth far more powerful than your average volcano. It has the ability to expel more than 1,000 cubic kilometers of rock and ash at once, 2,500 times more material than erupted from Mount St. Helens in 1980, which killed 57 people. That could blanket most of the United States in a thick layer of ash and even plunge the Earth into a volcanic winter.

As the Times points out, scientists expect a supervolcano eruption to scar the planet once every 100,000 years.

To reach their conclusion, the team of scientists spent weeks at Yellowstone’s Lava Creek Tuff – a fossilized ash deposit from the volcano’s last supereruption, where they gathered samples and analyzed the volcanic leftovers. The analysis allowed the scientists to pin down changes in the lava flow before the last eruption. The crystalline structures of the rocks recorded changes in temperature, pressure and water content beneath the volcano just like tree rings do.

“We expected that there might be processes happening over thousands of years preceding the eruption,” said Christy Till, a geologist at Arizona State, and Ms. Shamloo’s dissertation adviser. Instead, the outer rims of the crystals revealed a clear uptick in temperature and a change in composition that occurred on a rapid time scale. That could mean the super eruption transpired only decades after an injection of fresh magma beneath the volcano.”

Thanks to this research, scientists are beginning to realize that the conditions that would lead to a supervolcano eruption could emerge during a human lifetime. As the research continues, scientists hope they will be able to spot more signs of a coming eruption.

“It’s one thing to think about this slow gradual buildup – it’s another thing to think about how you mobile 1000 cubic kilometers of magma in a decade,” she said.

While scientists at the USGS have brushed off the threat of a supervolcano eruption, scientists at NASA have at least acknowledged the threat to the US population. The agency has devised a potential strategy to try and defuse an eruption should one appear imminent, though according to several the techniques involved – specifically, pumping water directly into the volcano’s magma chamber – involve significant risks.

But who knows? If the research is accurate, an eruption could emerge as a serious threat to the US – and possibly the global population – population as the fallout kills crops and livestock, causing widespread famine, while clouds of choking ash and debris spread for hundreds, if not thousands, of miles.


tmosley Wed, 10/11/2017 - 18:25 Permalink

The fact that it only takes a decade is a good thing. That means that such movements will be easy to detect. Ten years should be enough time to enact countermeasures and evacuate the areas that will be worst effected.

Slack Jack Automatic Choke Wed, 10/11/2017 - 22:34 Permalink

Record-Setting Hurricanes; Record temperatures; Record-Setting Wildfires; ya think it might be global warming?


So, why is the global rise in temperatures so worrisome?

For one thing, as temperatures rise good farmland will become desert (e.g., dust-bowl conditions will probably return to the American Midwest).

Another major problem is sea-level rise.

Have a look at

The U.S. Geological Survey people claim that;

The Greenland ice sheet melting will raise sea-level 6.55 meters (21.5 feet),
the West Antarctica ice sheet melting will raise sea-level 8.06 meters (26.4 feet),
the East Antarctica ice sheet melting will raise sea-level 64.8 meters (212.6 feet),
and all other ice melting will raise sea-level 0.91 meters (3 feet).

For a grand total of about 80 meters (263 feet).

So, what does an 80 meter (263 feet) rise in sea-level mean. Have a look at the following map of the world after an 80 meter rise. It means that over one billion people will have to be resettled to higher ground and that much of the most productive agricultural land will be under water. Fortunately, at current rates, the Greenland ice sheet will take over a thousand years to melt and the Antarctica ice sheet, much longer. However, the greater the temperature rise the faster the ice sheets will melt, bringing the problem much closer. Remember, the huge ice sheet that recently covered much of North America, almost completely melted in only 15,000 years (today, only the Greenland ice sheet, and some other small patches of it, remain). Since then (15,000 years ago), sea-levels have risen about 125 meters (410 feet), only 80 meters to go.

The ice sheets have been continuously melting for thousands of years. What is left of them today, is still melting, and will continue to melt. Human caused global warning will cause this remnant to melt significantly faster. This is a big, big, problem.

For HUGE detailed maps of the "World after the Melt" go to:

Global temperatures are increasing. And by quite a lot each year.

2016 is the hottest year on record for global temperatures.

This is 0.0380 degrees centigrade hotter than the previous record year which was 2015.

0.0380 is a large increase in just one year.

2015 was the hottest year (at that time) for global temperatures.

This was 0.1601 degrees hotter than the previous record year which was 2014.

0.1601 is an absolutely huge increase in just one year (at this rate temperatures would increase by 16 degrees in a century).

2014 was the hottest year (at that time) for global temperatures.

This was 0.0402 degrees hotter than the previous record year which was 2010.

The conspiracy to hide global warming data.

The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) is given tax money to make global temperature records available to the public. However, certain people at NOAA continually sabotage this aspect of NOAA's mandate. For example, these people have (deliberately) sabotaged the web-page that delivers the temperature records.

Look for yourself:

Go to the page: scroll down to the The Global Anomalies and Index Data section and click the download button and see what happens. Well, you get the message:

"Not Found. The requested URL /monitoring-references/faq/anomalies-download was not found on this server."

I guess that the 2017 data must be truly horrible if they have to hide it away.
It turns out that this seems to be the case; NASA reports that:

July 2017 had the hottest average land temperatures on record.

The new July 2017 record was +1.20 degrees centigrade above the 20th century average (of the July data). The previous record average land temperature for July was just last year. It was +1.10 degrees above the 20th century average.

Did the media bother to tell you about this? No!

The average land temperatures for August 2017 are second only to those of last year, August 2016.

In reply to by Automatic Choke

Slack Jack Slack Jack Wed, 10/11/2017 - 22:55 Permalink

California wild-fires claim more than 1000 homes,.... and ZH didn't report it?

The American West has seen one of its worst fire seasons this year, burning through a particularly large area of the landscape, according to the National Interagency Fire Center. Nearly 9 million acres have gone up in flames so far this year compared with close to 3 million over the same period in 2014.

In reply to by Slack Jack

LightBeamCowboy BarkingCat Thu, 10/12/2017 - 12:05 Permalink

The part of California that is true desert doesn't get many fires. It's the coastal brushy semi-desert that catches hell. Northern CA is technically a "Mediterranean climate", which means it has wet winters and dry summers. Native Americans dealt with the fire problem by burning it off themselves at exactly the right time of year and at the right intervals, creating a clean, healthy landscape that was a marvel to the European explorers. But, being stupid white men, they still haven't figured out how the Indians did it. I can tell you: they sent an old squaw out to take a hike with a firebrand when conditions were right. It didn't even strain their budget.

In reply to by BarkingCat

canisdirus LightBeamCowboy Thu, 10/12/2017 - 13:37 Permalink

You're giving them far too much credit.The problem is that we have put the natural fires out when they happened. That changes the composition of the forests, scrub, etc, and allows excessive amounts of organic matter (both alive and dead) to build up. When it finally does burn and there's just too much fuel for us to stop it, we get what we're seeing now.The "natives" were simply nomadic hunter-gatherers, so they had little, if anything, invested in fixed structures, planted crops, and similar. This meant that the less-intense fires that did happen simply displaced them to an area that hadn't been affected.Wood is a bad building material in most of the western third of North America, unless you want to rebuild it often due to fires, water/rot/mold, and/or insects.

In reply to by LightBeamCowboy

maximin thrax Slack Jack Wed, 10/11/2017 - 22:59 Permalink

Remember, the huge ice sheet that recently covered much of North America, almost completely melted in only 15,000 years (today, only the Greenland ice sheet, and some other small patches of it, remain). Since then (15,000 years ago), sea-levels have risen about 125 meters (410 feet), only 80 meters to go.If I can get you that last 80 meters would you finaly shut up about it?

In reply to by Slack Jack

King of Ruperts Land Slack Jack Thu, 10/12/2017 - 00:16 Permalink

Global warming is like so 2005.

Only the very young and misguided and the deluded still fall for that dog and pony show.

The Temperature is not rising.
There are more polar bears than ever.
The sea level is not rising.
The Arctic ice is melting every spring and freezing back every fall.
Glaciers calve into the sea but are still building up from snowfall. Many are getting thicker.
Carbon dioxide is not the main (or even minor) driver of climate.
The irrational dogmatic focus on "Climate Change" is destroying the objectivity of science.

In reply to by Slack Jack

SoDamnMad waspwench Thu, 10/12/2017 - 05:18 Permalink

You mean China, the emerging nation semi exempt from environmental rules. You mean China who is funding and constructing coal fired power plants all over Africa (also an emerging nation). China who wants us to adhere to the Paris Accord while they get a pass. The China we see with unhelathy air in all their mjor cities who had to dial back un-needed steel production for the Olympics to allow for photography. That China?

In reply to by waspwench

Lore King of Ruperts Land Thu, 10/12/2017 - 03:36 Permalink

This summer the ice east of Cornwallis was 8/10 or 10/10. Lots of old ice in the area, and it remained solid to the west.  A Finnish icebreaker did get through in the summer, claiming (!) to have done it earlier than anyone else, but the fact remains that it took an icebreaker to get through. This is not unusual, as most Arctic sea travel is intentionally left late to avoid the heavy ice. I believe it took ~45 days. However, the ice is reforming now with lots of old ice.  This could be a very cold winter. NASA of course claimed that this is the "3rd warmest year since global temperatures were recorded," but all their adjusted figures have to be adjusted because they're wrong at the end of the year. It's a mystery why anyone takes any of these hijacked agencies seriously anymore.

In reply to by King of Ruperts Land

ThanksChump Lore Thu, 10/12/2017 - 07:13 Permalink

That's the problem! Mars is heating up, yet we have too much ice!There's only one possible explanation: too many beer fridge doors are opening at once. Man made global cooling. There's no other possible explanation.Give me a billion dollars to study this before we all freeze.

In reply to by Lore

maximin thrax bigd2000 Thu, 10/12/2017 - 11:34 Permalink

Consensus isn't science. Consensus is politics. Science isn't taken on faith, but religion is. Anthropological global warming is, at best, a religion held among folks who see humanity is a blight upon the earth rather than an evolutionary phoenominon arrived at through, and maintained by, natural selection. We have as much right to alter the environment as beavers have damming a stream or trees establishing a forest on a bare volcanic mountain slope. We had 3 billion people on this planet in 1960.  We mercifully and dutifully "fed the children" and now we're at 7.3 Billion. Most of these have a much larger "carbon footprint" than their 1960 counterparts. Most of the new 4.3 billion live in subpar environments, as the first 3 billion live in the more hospitable areas, least likely to suffer natural disasters and droughts. Most global warming fanatics can't say NO to anyone having zero carbon footprint coming to the US from the third world to have a half-dozen children, each acquiring cars, heat, air condtioning, TV's and cell phones as they come into adulthood. You socialists count as success every third-worlder who gains a modern coal-burning lifestyle through the shaking-down and mortgaging of the world capitalism built, then have the cajones to condemn capitalism for all your "pollution."Our carbon footprint growth, in the final analysis, has come solely from the Democrats push for gaining voters, through boundless breeding by poor people and boundless immigration from abroad, towards total political domination; without which the US population would not have grown at all since 1960.

In reply to by bigd2000

Snout the First Slack Jack Thu, 10/12/2017 - 20:33 Permalink

Hey Slack,Let's suppose for a moment that human activity did contribute a non-negligible amount to "climate change" (which I don't believe for a second). What's your solution? Bureaucrats and politicos eating at five star restaurants, taking charter jets to climate conferences in Paris, and staying at five star hotels? Not to mention all the cocaine and hookers they want, all on your nickel? Because if you think there will be any actions taken other than those, you don't have the brains that God gave a turnip. So please, tell us all how bureaucrats pissing away a couple hundred billions of dollars a year will stabilize the climate?

In reply to by Slack Jack