April 18, 2010

The Icelandic volcano is causing trouble, but how much worse would it be if Yellowstone erupted?

Haven't you been wondering?

37 comments:

Scott said...

Is this another exercise in liberals drawing a false moral equivalence? :(

rhhardin said...

The big asteroid will get us by then anyway.

Triangle Man said...

I'm sure you and Meade have put together a Yellowstone eruption evacuation plan. Or, are you planing to hunker? It pays to be prepared.

I heard that Yellowstone was constructed with nuclear devices in the basement.

Big Mike said...

I have it from a USGS geologist that the last time Yellowstone erupted some of the rocks it spewed out came down in Ohio.

I remember that my first thought was that the entire US and most of Canada east of the Rockies would be almost totally gone. Then I realized that a geological event of such magnitude would probably trigger one or more faults in the three left coast states, so there's no sense worrying about Yellowstone. The US of A would be a total loss.

Ron said...

Maybe the Giant Meteor will land at just the right time and place to plug the Supervolcano...but let's talk about something crazy, like if we'll ever have a balanced budget.

Scott said...

"The US of A would be a total loss."

That's the wet dream of the left.

Big Mike said...

@Scott, it's also the unfortunate reality.

David said...

I wondered about Yellowstone several years ago. Then, after it became clear what the consequences would be, I said "Whoopee, enjoy life today because there's nothing you can do about it."

Pogo said...

"...how much worse would it be if Yellowstone erupted?"

I suggest we begin sacrificing maidens straight away.

We may have to import them, however.

Hagar said...

The power of a "super volcano" eruption is beyond the human imagination - like the size of the national debt.

Mount Tabora was just a large eruption - not a "super volcano, I don't think even the Jemez in New Mexico is rated as a "super volcano," and the last Jemez eruption buried and killed camel-size animals as far away as the Dakotas.

The last eruption of Eyjafjallajokull in 1783 is estimated to be second only to Mount Tabora of eruptions in historic times.

downtownlad said...

Good thing that Republicans will shut off all funding to scientists who study volcanos when they next take over Congress. And yes - they have promised to do this.

edutcher said...

downtownlad said...

Good thing that Republicans will shut off all funding to scientists who study volcanos when they next take over Congress. And yes - they have promised to do this.

Since it's going to be about a half million years from now, I think we can spare the money.

In any case, The National Socialists want it to happen - you don't let a good crisis go to waste, after all.

AllenS said...

If Yellowstone blows, it'll not be because of a cut-off of funding to scientists.

Sheesh.

The Drill SGT said...

"The Icelandic volcano is causing trouble, but how much worse would it be if Yellowstone erupted?"

short answer? The difference between some flights being canceled and covering 3/4 of the US and Canada in 2 feet of ash and the deaths of 300 million folks in the direct effects and potentially most of the rest of the world's people in the next 10 years without crops.

AJ Lynch said...

Ron:

LOL good one.

DTL:

Studying volcanoes will help how? Perhaps they will tell us when we should "run away run away"?

AJ Lynch said...

BTW Ron, your keen sense of humor makes you unqualified to work at Think Progress.

AJ Lynch said...

Sgt:

If that happened in the winter, it would be even worse I guess? Damaging power lines, roads impassable, etc. We'd freeze to death in a matter of weeks maybe sooner?

If was Prez, I'd propose a big infrastructure program to put electric lines underground and make our power delivery lines and systems less vulnerable to elements and criminals.

Fred4Pres said...

Iceland's volcano is a little tiny geological event. Yellowstone's caldera is about 35 miles by 45 miles in size. That is a massive volcano that would devestate half the country if it blew (from the ash fallout alone) let alone from the impact on weather.

Fred4Pres said...

Chances are we have a few 10,000 years before it goes.

Paco Wové said...

How much worse? Much, much worse, orders of magnitude worse, but (a) not likely in the next few centuries and (b) there isn't jack we could do about it anyway*, so not worth worrying about.

--

*Well, I suppose we could invade Canada or something.

AllenS said...

Why invade Canada? Mexico has nicer beaches.

Big Mike said...

@Paco, Canada would be just as gone as we are. We'd have to take over Mexico or, better yet, South America.

JAL said...

No.

JAL said...

To the "Haven't you been wondering?" question.

And I'm still not.

Hagar said...

Fred:

Iceland sits across the Mid-Atlantic ridge. The present activity may be just the overture before the main event. The 1783 eruption at Eyjafjallajokull is thought to have been second only to Mount Tambora of eruptions in historic times.

Jon said...

The closest humans have ever come to extinction was the aftermath of a volcanic eruption: The Toba super-eruption of c. 70,000 BC, which may have reduced the total human population on Earth to less than 15,000 individuals.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Toba_catastrophe_theory

Joe said...

It all depends. At worse, it would kill 90% of life on earth. A more realistic scenario would wipe out the western United States, turn the plain states into desert and start an ice age that would cause all sorts of havoc. On the other hand, nothing may happen for a few million years.

As for preparing for it--you can't, so it isn't worth the time or money to bother.

YoungHegelian said...

Super volcanos --- that's a day in the park!

It gets worse, much worse.

How 'bout major volcanic eruptions that go on for about a million years and blow away 90+ per cent of the life on Earth, covering an area the size of the US in basalt kilometers deep.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Siberian_Traps

No reason it can't happen again.

We really need to find some other planets to colonize before Mother Nature blows us away.

Time's a-wastin', people!

David said...

"The last eruption of Eyjafjallajokull in 1783 is estimated to be second only to Mount Tabora of eruptions in historic times."

Really? This could get more interesting.

Paco Wové said...

"We really need to find some other planets to colonize before Mother Nature blows us away."

Nah, I wouldn't worry about it. Althouse assures me that all that space travel stuff is a waste of time.

Largo said...

Where are Jonah's Sharks with Frickin' Volcano Lancing Lasers when you need them? That's what I want to know.

I say we start a SFVLL research and breeding program forthwith.

ironrailsironweights said...

Yogi Bear would be really angry.

Peter

Fen said...

Its says alot that our resident Libtards would turn this topic into a political thread.

Fen said...

If Yellowstone blows, the only signs of life in North America will be clustered around nuclear carriers anchored off the costal areas.

Its one of those events where the lucky ones will perish immediately.

Original Mike said...

Good thing that Republicans will shut off all funding to scientists who study volcanos when they next take over Congress. And yes - they have promised to do this.

If you think human beings are capable of stopping Yellowstone from blowing ... I really don't know what to say. I really don't.

HDHouse said...

Original Mike said...
Good thing that Republicans will shut off all funding ..
If you think human beings are capable of stopping Yellowstone from blowing ... "


Oh Mike. I think you miss the point. Just a hunch.

Original Mike said...

"Oh Mike. I think you miss the point. Just a hunch."

Certainly possible. What was his point?

And for the record: i) I would not support his hypothetical funding cut, and ii) I certainly don't take his word for it. But that's neither here nor there. What was his point?