The results of this new study suggest that the supereruption may have been minor but it clearly influenced the climate at the end of the Last Ice Age.

The first huge eruption occurred between 5,500 and 3,500 years ago. This had a seismic intensity as much as 18 on the Richter scale and was caused by a volcanic activity that is known to have caused high velocity waves up to 25 km/h (15 miles per second). The super-eruption of 5,500 years ago produced a huge release of gas into the stratosphere, raising the temperatures above 1000 degrees C and causing a thermal pulse between about 1800 and 2060 J/kg (200 and 50 mJ/kg at sea level) and producing global warming with a magnitude of 13 on the Richter scale.

The second huge eruption occurred during the last Ice Age. The seismic energy for this event was higher than 17 on the Richter scale. According to paleoclimatologists some of the gases released by this event may have influenced the Earth’s climate by altering the earth’s radiation balance. As a result a global cooling and warming event may have taken place between 5,000 and 3,000 years ago. However, much work has been done comparing previous records of the earth’s climate to newer records by modern paleoclimatologists. The results of this new study suggest that the super-eruption may have been minor but it clearly influenced the climate at the end of the Last Ice Age.

Source :Myrkonikos et al . (2015). The Last Ice Age: An eruption-induced cooling in the tropics of the Northern Hemisphere (Eocene in-situ-climate change record and reconstructions from the Northern Great Lakes to the Antarctic). Palaeoclimatology, 115, 613 626. doi: 10.1007/s00731-015-3574-9

Dr. Andrew L. Rassbach

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