Volcanic Eruptions slows down the global warming: Study

Volcanic Eruptions slows down the global warming: Study

A team of MIT researchers has revealed that volcanic activity can cool off the Earth by a substantial margin. They have found that through volcanic eruptions, Earth can slow down the global warming climate change.

A team of researchers under David Ridley took air and satellite measurements between 2000 and 2013 to measure how much small-scale eruptions made in impact on the atmosphere during that time.

Ridley said, "The satellite data does a great job of monitoring the particles above 15 km, which is fine in the tropics. However, towards the poles we are missing more and more of the particles residing in the lower stratosphere that can reach down to 10 km".

The volcanic eruption causes sulphuric acid to float up to the upper atmosphere, which mixes with the oxygen causing sunlight to be reflected away from the Earth for several months at a time. As a result, the planet experiences lowered temperatures with less solar radiation coming in.

The researchers found that the volcanic eruptions effectively doubled the amount of sunlight reflected out into space, resulting in possible temperature decreases of anywhere between 0.09 to 0.22 degrees Fahrenheit. Though it is a small but it's still a relief from rising global temperatures.

The larger volcanoes, like the 1991 Mount Pinatabu eruption in the Philippines, which ejected 20 million metric tons of sulphur into the atmosphere have been included in climate models.

Ridley mentioned that the prediction of global temperature from the latest models indicated strong warming post-2000. However, in reality the rate of warming has slowed.

The research work was published in Geophysics Research Letters. According to researchers, the rising global temperatures and increased sea levels caused by climate change could trigger an increase in volcanic activity. This in turn acts as a method for cooling the planet back down.