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We Can Expect More Frequent Volcanic Eruptions in the Future, According to Study

Yet another effect by climate change.
IMAGE WIKIMEDIA COMMONS
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The Taal Volcano isn't the only volcano that's under watch right now. Japan's Sakurajima, Hawaii's Mauna Loa and Kilauea, Mexico's Popocatépetl, Guatemala's Fuego, and Peru's Sabancaya have also recently shown increased activity. And, it's just a preview of the future, according to the researchers at the University of Leeds.

The study by the university showed that climate change caused by humans is increasing volcanic eruptions. Scientists examined Icelandic volcanic ash to identify a period of significantly reduced volcanic activity between 5,500 and 4,500 years ago caused by a major decrease in global temperature.

What it found was a time of "roughly 600 years" from the climate event that caused a glacier growth and decrease in volcanic eruptions. But, Dr. Graeme Swindles says, "The human effect on global warming makes it difficult to predict how long the time lag will be but the trends of the past show us more eruptions in Iceland can be expected in the future." 

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"When glaciers retreat there is less pressure on Earth's surface. This can increase the amount of mantle melt as well as affect magma flow and how much magma the crust can hold. Even small changes in surface pressure can alter the likelihood of eruptions at ice-covered volcanos," said study co-author Dr. Ivan Savov from the School of Earth & Environment at Leeds.

History has also shown that the warmer the climate is, the bigger the volcanic eruptions are. Not to mention, we also have to worry about dangerous volcanic ash and emissions.

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Paolo Chua
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