Yellowstone Volcanic Activity?

Discussion in 'Current Events' started by Durandal7, Oct 9, 2003.

  1. Durandal7 macrumors 68040

    Joined:
    Feb 24, 2001
    #1
    YELLOWSTONE NATIONAL PARK, Wyo. — The rolling pine forests, snowcapped mountains and crisp fall evenings here tend to make people forget the fact that the park sits atop a huge simmering underground volcano. But new geologic events have served up reminders.

    In a few days in July, acidic ground water dissolved parts of the unpaved trails in the Norris Geyser Basin, and the ground temperature of the trails shot up to 200 degrees from the usual maximum of 80. Park officials closed nearly half of the basin's trails, and they remain shut.

    On Aug. 21, a magnitude 4.4 earthquake shook the southern boundary of the park and startled residents. Yellowstone is one of the most seismically active places on the planet, with hundreds of shakes and shimmers throughout the year. They reach magnitude 4 usually only every other year.

    In the park, such events are no great surprise. "Change is what we expect in Yellowstone," said the park geologist, Hank Heasler.

    Although there is no indication that any of the changes suggest an impending eruption, even that would not be so surprising.

    http://www.nytimes.com/2003/10/07/science/07GEYS.html?ex=1066541288&ei=1&en=6bfbb4f20999c1a1
     
  2. G4scott macrumors 68020

    G4scott

    Joined:
    Jan 9, 2002
    Location:
    Austin, TX
    #2
    I was there a couple of summers ago... It was pretty nice. It's just sad to see all the people with snowmobiles tear through the wildlife...

    I would be concerned about a 120° rise in the temperature of the ground, though...
     
  3. Powerbook G5 macrumors 68040

    Powerbook G5

    Joined:
    Jun 23, 2003
    Location:
    St Augustine, FL
    #3
    That does sound like something to keep an eye on...a 120 degree jump in temperature and larger than normal earthquakes at more frequent intervals cannot be a good thing...
     
  4. MacBandit macrumors 604

    MacBandit

    Joined:
    Aug 9, 2002
    Location:
    Springfield, OR (Home of the Simpsons)
    #4
    I saw a show about Super Volcanoes a couple years ago. They're pretty much responsible for every non meteor extinction on this planet. Well the only one on the planet they know about for sure today is Yellow Stone Park. When it goes it is really going to go. The magma chamber for Yellow Stone is lager than Yellow Stone lake. In fact the Yellow Stone sits upon what's called a hot spot. It's a continuous source of heat and lava similar to what forms the Hawaiian chain. It's the same hot spot that formed the Columbia Plateau in Oregon and Washington which is made up of lava hundreds feet thick. All I have to say is I'm glad I live up wind of that place.
     
  5. Powerbook G5 macrumors 68040

    Powerbook G5

    Joined:
    Jun 23, 2003
    Location:
    St Augustine, FL
    #5
    I am glad I live in Florida...the only thing we have to worry about is being sucked back into the ocean or having a hurricane flatten us! ;)
     
  6. Frozone macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Nov 2, 2002
    Location:
    Atlanta, Georgia
    #6
    I was watching a program about all of that once and they said that the last time it erupted it sent ash as far away as the mid-west. And they said that it erupts every so often and that it is time for it to erupt again. Good thing I live in Georgia!
     
  7. laukev7 macrumors member

    Joined:
    Feb 28, 2003
    #7
    You do not seem to understand the situation. The Yellowstone caldera is going to do much greater ravages than merely bury a big part of the United States with ashes. An eruption of the Yellowstone, which is likely to happen within this century, if not our lifetimes, is going to affect the whole world. The dust emited by the caldera will (because it's a question of time, not possibility) block out the sun rays for at least two years, and temperatures worldwide will plummet down by 20 degrees celcius. The whole ecosystem will be affected, a lot of animals and plants will be extinct, and agriculture will be impossible for two years without resorting to artificial greenhouses.

    The human species almost went extinct 240,000 years ago because of the nuclear winter caused by the Yellowstone Caldera. With our technology, we are likely to survive this ordeal, but we will most certainly live in very difficult conditions.
     
  8. MacBandit macrumors 604

    MacBandit

    Joined:
    Aug 9, 2002
    Location:
    Springfield, OR (Home of the Simpsons)
    #8

    As I stated in my previous post this is a Super-Volcano and they have been attributed to numerous mass extinctions in the past so you are quite correct but some of your facts are a little off. For one if the earth's temperature dropped 20 degrees Celsius the planet would prabably never recover. Changes of 1 to 2 degrees in global temperature has vast effects on the planet. In fact a drop as little as 3 degrees could send the planet into a minor ice age. If Yellow Stone were to blow again and with the force we no possible it would most likely drop global temps 3-4 degrees. This would send us into a minor ice-age lasting from 3-5 years. Man would definitely survive but all food production would have to be moved to the lower latitude regions of the earth so that plants got enough sun light to grow. Unfortunately there is no way man can produce enough food artificially to feed the planet. A 3-4 degree drop would mean that places like Mexico would suddenly have a growing capacity similar to mid west US states towards the eastern side of Mexico towards the west it would be more like Northern California. Quite simply man would be forced to adapt and migrate or die. The one reason man is the dominate species today is our ability to adapt so I think as a species as a whole we will do just fine. Though on a inter-species basis I'm sure a huge global climate change like that and the need for mass migration will cause lots of fighting so if we die do to a global climate change it will most likely be do to ourselves.
     
  9. meta-ghost macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Apr 9, 2002
    Location:
    San Francisco
    #9
    should i wait to order my bluetooth mouse?
     
  10. Powerbook G5 macrumors 68040

    Powerbook G5

    Joined:
    Jun 23, 2003
    Location:
    St Augustine, FL
    #10
    No, buy it now...that way you can sit back in your house and let the 3-5 year apocalypse pass while surfing the web with your wireless mouse and ordering in a lot of pizza, Chinese, and DVD rentals. ;)
     
  11. Mantat macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    Sep 19, 2003
    Location:
    Montréal (Canada)
    #11
    The reason that a variation of 2-3 degree affect so much the planet is that its AN AVERAGE of 2-3 degree on the planet. This mean that in some area the temperature is going to increase/ decrease by 10-20 degree. This would be a drastic change.

    If this super volcano blows, I bet that Bush is going to blame it on the terrorist and invade Mexico so it could supply all the needed food to the states.

    I wonder what they are waiting for to make a film about this natural disaster...
     
  12. patrick0brien macrumors 68040

    patrick0brien

    Joined:
    Oct 24, 2002
    Location:
    The West Loop
    #12
    -Mantat

    I wish this would be true. But if Yellowstone does a full eruption, most of us won't be around to argue about it - in very short order.
     
  13. laukev7 macrumors member

    Joined:
    Feb 28, 2003
    #13
    Indeed, now I think of it, the source where I took this from said 20 degrees, but not celcius. I am used to metric, so I probably mistook fahrenheit for celcius. My bad. Thanks for correcting me.

    Edit: Actually, it was in metric, but it only said that some temperatures would plummet by 20 degrees, not a global 20 degrees.
     
  14. MacBandit macrumors 604

    MacBandit

    Joined:
    Aug 9, 2002
    Location:
    Springfield, OR (Home of the Simpsons)
    #14
    That's true but you can't really refer to earth as a whole and quote local temps at the same time. In some places the temp may even drop as much as 50 degrees or more if you are referring to places north or south of the 60th parallel. This would be a isolated incident probably and would be a record breaker even by the new climate standards. The point is simply put you can always quote extremes if you're trying to shock people but if you really want to inform them you have use averages when referring to a large area such as the global temp or even continental temps.
     
  15. Dros macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Jun 25, 2003
    #15
    One reason why a 3 degree drop is so drastic is that the extreme temperatures shift more dramatically, and those temperatures define an ecosystem. Say you live someplace that experiences lows of -5 Celcius every 50 years. You may now experience lows of -20 once every 10 years. That infrequent event isn't going to change the average much at all, but will wipe out almost every plant adapted to the former climate.
     
  16. MacBandit macrumors 604

    MacBandit

    Joined:
    Aug 9, 2002
    Location:
    Springfield, OR (Home of the Simpsons)
    #16
    Even a degree or two change in a local climate on average over a year can have huge affects on animal and plant survival rates. You are correct though that the occasional extreme also has an impact but not as much as a overall average change can have for a local region.

    As I was stating before if the global temp changes 2-5 degrees that is an average for the globe. In some places that may be a 10 degree change or more towards the poles. Towards the equator it may not change at all or maybe as little as 1 degree in some places.

    One thing you have to remember is with lower temperatures comes larger ice caps and lower ocean levels. This has a huge affect on land and sea life because of a change in water temps, currents, and precipitation due to the change in ocean levels.
     
  17. pyrotoaster macrumors 65816

    pyrotoaster

    Joined:
    Dec 28, 2002
    Location:
    Oak Park, IL
    #17
    Boy, this makes me question whether I really want to go to college in Colorado (I've got another year and half or so to think about that, though). I suppose I'll be fine as long as I have a residence in the South Pacific I could wait out the whole thing at (I should get started on that, shouldn't I?).

    I believe the actual statistic here is something like Yellowstone erupts about once every 60,000 years and the last eruption was about 65,000 years ago.

    I think we're also overdue for an ice age. But global warming might be able to take care of that for us. ;)
     
  18. Powerbook G5 macrumors 68040

    Powerbook G5

    Joined:
    Jun 23, 2003
    Location:
    St Augustine, FL
    #18
    We had better start stocking up on aeresol cans then. :)
     
  19. laukev7 macrumors member

    Joined:
    Feb 28, 2003
    #19
    What's the point? There's no greenhouse effect without sun rays. I doubt that any amount of pollution will be enough to counter the paucity of sun rays.
     
  20. neut macrumors 68000

    neut

    Joined:
    Nov 27, 2001
    Location:
    here (for now)
    #20
    a plan

    is anyone working on a way to counter-act a large scale volcano explosion?

    is there a way to "burn the sky"?

    would this cause even more damage?


    :( <just a few hundred miles from Yellowstone>
     
  21. MacBandit macrumors 604

    MacBandit

    Joined:
    Aug 9, 2002
    Location:
    Springfield, OR (Home of the Simpsons)
    #21
    I wouldn't worry about it too much. Any sort of eruption will be precluded by vast amounts of increased activity in the Yellow Stone basin. It won't happen without people knowing what's coming. Also in geological times a few extra thousand years is like a second or two so I wouldn't hold your breath on it happening in your life time.
     
  22. MacBandit macrumors 604

    MacBandit

    Joined:
    Aug 9, 2002
    Location:
    Springfield, OR (Home of the Simpsons)
    #22
    Well actually Super-Volcanoes have been linked to ice ages so in fact the two could coincide. Also the thing about Ice Ages is they don't come on slowly. In fact if ocean currents were disturbed starting today we could be in a full blown ice age by this time next year. Ice ages are one of the largest climatological upsets that the earth has but they also happen the quickest not giving animal life time to acclimate or migrate.
     
  23. Phil Of Mac macrumors 68020

    Phil Of Mac

    Joined:
    Dec 6, 2002
    Location:
    Washington State University
    #23
    Let's hope that by then we have the technology to clean the skies. Nanotech!
     
  24. MacBandit macrumors 604

    MacBandit

    Joined:
    Aug 9, 2002
    Location:
    Springfield, OR (Home of the Simpsons)
    #24
    The skies will clean themselves through precipitation and the thick ash that blocks sunlight should only last 3 or 4 years. Let nature take it's course.
     
  25. Phil Of Mac macrumors 68020

    Phil Of Mac

    Joined:
    Dec 6, 2002
    Location:
    Washington State University
    #25
    3 or 4 years is too long: some species may die out by then. Plants require sunlight, and without it, they die, the herbivores die, and all we're left to eat is mushrooms. No, it's better that we clean the skies as quickly as possible.
     

Share This Page