Reportedly, scientists and experts the world over are becoming concerned that an eruption of the Yellowstone caldera could be imminent. The reason? According to The Express UK, Yellowstone is currently emitting larger-than-usual levels of CO2. Add that to the fact that scientists say that any volcano’s eruption can be preceded by higher levels of CO2, you might start getting worried. Especially since Yellowstone should be no different. Scientists fear that the high levels of carbon dioxide coming from the Yellowstone volcano could be an indication that pressure is building beneath the Earth’s crust, and it is that pressure that could result in a violent, devastating and potentially imminent Yellowstone eruption.
A recently posted YouTube video, added to the video-sharing site by user The Cutting Edge 2, indicates that the Yellowstone volcano is surrounded by levels of CO2 higher than almost anywhere else in the world. The levels of CO2 in the immediate vicinity of Yellowstone, levels that could indicate an imminent eruption, are indicated by satellite imagery.
According to the YouTube video regarding the potentially imminent Yellowstone eruption, the CO2 levels near the Yellowstone caldera could indicate that one of the many fault zones in the area is leaking gasses from the depth of the Earth.
“That lets us know that we’re probably getting some kind of leak from one of those fault zones in that area.”
Additionally, the YouTube video pertaining to the potentially imminent Yellowstone eruption indicates that the Yellowstone area has been recently subjected to an unusual concentration of seismic activity. The volcano is located in the Wyoming area, and within the vicinity during a single week in June, over 40 small quakes were recorded in the space of less than seven days.
At least according to the YouTube video.
If Yellowstone was the source of an imminent eruption, the effects on the local environment and the Earth itself could be devastating. As LiveScience reports, an imminent Yellowstone eruption could be catastrophic. And because the last major eruption of the supervolcano took place over 70,000 years ago, scientists can only speculate as to how it could impact the environment and modern society.
Going by the history of the Yellowstone supervolcano, people in harm’s way won’t have to worry much about lava. The most devastating impact of a Yellowstone eruption would most likely be copious amounts of ash in the atmosphere, and the impact zone would be much more broad than the area in the direct vicinity of the caldera itself.
If a Yellowstone eruption is imminent, the ash would pile up inches thick close to the blast zone. It would also, most likely, destroy Midwest crops and turn North American rivers, streams, lakes and reservoirs into cement as they became inundated with ash. Americans living upwind of a Yellowstone eruption, such as those in the Pacific Northwest, may literally find themselves choked to death on the ash and fallout.
“People who live upwind from eruptions need to be concerned about the big ones. Big eruptions often spawn giant umbrella clouds that push ash upwind across half the continent. These clouds get their name because the broad, flat cloud hovering over the volcano resembles an umbrella. An umbrella cloud fundamentally changes how ash is distributed.”
Those living further away, say Florida and California, would likely see much less ash. They would also, however, likely find their lives disrupted by the horde of displaced American refugees that a Yellowstone eruption would undoubtedly create.
If a Yellowstone eruption is imminent, one of the biggest issues humanity could face might be the associated volcanic gasses, like sulfur dioxide. Sulfur dioxide released into the atmosphere in large quantities could even result in short-term global cooling that might kill off crops, disrupt weather patterns and ultimately result in loss of food crops that could cause massive loss of life.
Despite widespread concerns regarding an imminent Yellowstone eruption, experts don’t believe that an eruption of the supervolcano would constitute an extinction level event. It might cause an array of terribly inconvenient problems for humanity and civilization, but chances are a Yellowstone eruption wouldn’t wipe us all out. Our lives would definitely change, but humanity would most likely survive, like species have done throughout the history of Yellowstone eruptions.
“Are we all going to die if Yellowstone erupts? Almost certainly the answer is no. There have been quite a few supereruptions in the past couple million years, and we’re still around.”
However, while scientists continue to try to placate North Americans and humanity about the less-than-world-ending impact that could come from an impending Yellowstone eruption, they also warn the public that other dangers of Yellowstone seismic activity do exist.
Especially in the biggest Yellowstone National Park tourist draws, such as the hot springs (like the one that cost a tourist his life earlier this year). Isolated and unpredictable earthquakes could also cost people their lives leading up to a Yellowstone eruption.
“These pose a huge hazard and could have a huge impact on people.”
While it’s currently impossible to determine whether or not a Yellowstone eruption is imminent, there have been some troubling signs lately. In addition to the current reported spike in CO2 emissions in the area, the Yellowstone River is also is also in the midst of an unexplained fish die-off. Reportedly, officials have restricted all recreation on the river to prevent the spread of the inexplicable whitefish die-off plaguing the Yellowstone River.
What do you think? Are people worrying for no reason? Is something being made from nothing? Or are the United States and humanity on the verge of a potentially devastating imminent Yellowstone eruption?
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