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Science & Technology

We Need More Volcanoes: Eruptions Slowed Global Warming in Past

Saturday 09/June/2018 - 09:01 PM
Sada El Balad
Edited by Ahmed Moamar
There is no question that Earth's surface temperature has ramped up in the last 150 years. The oceans themselves are experiencing heat waves and in April، Pakistan recorded the highest temperature ever measured anywhere for that month: 50.2 degrees Celsius (122.36 Fahrenheit).

In those 150 years، there were three periods when the warming halted or at least slowed. The causes were natural، claims a new paper published in Science Advances on Wednesday. The chief effects in the most recent slowdown that ended in 2013 were short-term solar cycles and ocean temperature patterns and volcanic activity، as Harretz said.
In other words، the perpetual eruption by Hawaii's Kilauea since 1983 and the explosion of Fuego in Guatemala، to name but two major volcanic events، are locally distressing but are helpful on the planetary scale، albeit briefly.
Yes، volcanic eruptions and their associated ash clouds helped deflect sunlight and slow global warming not by much but by a statistically significant degree a little، say Chris Folland of the Meteorological Office Hadley Center and colleagues.
"If we have volcanic cooling، it does buy us a little bit of time. So does extra solar cooling،" Folland told Haaretz. "It buys us a little bit of extra time to respond through mitigation or adaptation to global warming."
Note that there have been no eruptions on a global scale in this time، just local ones. "I drew attention to [volcanism] because it shows up as small، but significant، due to an increase in volcanic activity in many parts of the world. There were no big players here، but there were enough to cause a small cooling effect."
So we can either throw ourselves at the clay feet of our political leaders and hope they're talking the truth about actually doing something about climate change، or pray for more volcanoes. Up to you.
Meanwhile، taking data starting in 1891، Folland and the team used statistical methods to analyze what part of the warmingcooling trends could be explained by natural causes. Further climate developments beyond what nature could explain has to be anthropogenic - caused by human activities.

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