Exploring the “Volcano Solution” to Global Warming
Exploring the problematic theory of ash and aerosol coming to solve our problems.
My biggest frustration with conservative friends and family isn’t that they are conservative. I can accept and understand many of their positions, and even agree with a few of them. But I struggle to understand how many of them don’t buy in fully on global warming.
Climate change shouldn’t be a right or left subject, but a shared concern. The topic is settled science via NASA, the United Nations, the Environmental Protection Agency, the Royal Society (a science driven organization out of Britain), and thousands of university researchers. A study at Cornell University even found that 99.9% of scientists agree that climate change is real and that it is being caused by humans.
The science is clear, yet I still encounter this halfway-ism with some, but not all of my otherwise rational and likable conservative friends. One relative recently said, “Well, I think we just need a good volcano to go off.” It wasn’t the first time I’ve heard this argument. The thought isn’t entirely illogical but has a few flaws.
Exploring the volcano theory of global cooling
The volcano solution is often informed by the prominent theory of dinosaur extinction through global cooling, after dust and debris were kicked up by an asteroid at Chicxulub. The after effects are strikingly similar to a mega volcanic eruption.
Similar events have happened throughout history. A recent study, led by Dr. Kunio Kaiho at Tohuku University, suggests that the fourth mass extinction was caused by a low-temperature (by the standards of magma) volcanic eruption that pushed substantial sulfur dioxide into the stratosphere. This sulfur dioxide converted to sulfuric acid aerosols, which reflected light and cooled the planet. The fact that these cooling events also accompanied mass extinctions, should be your first concern.
What’s interesting is that volcanos also emit enormous quantities of carbon dioxide. But the particulate matter that gets released, including the aforementioned aerosols, often offset the carbon — and then…