NASA As a Messenger Of The Apocalypse || Who Will Destroy Super-Volcanoes? When?

NASA As a Messenger Of The Apocalypse

WITH THE perforation of super-volcanoes: A threat to individual countries or a catastrophe on an earthly scale? How true are the forecasts of NASA scientists? And what are the threats of Russia’s super-destruction?

NASA experts said that one of the most dangerous factors for life on Earth is not the world war 3, but a possible eruption of a super volcano. According to scientists, there is about 20 supervolcano.

As an example, NASA is led by the Yellowstone volcanic caldera (a volcanic basin) in a national park in the northwest of the US, in the state of Wyoming.

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 Volcanic caldera in the  Yellowstone  National Park in the northwest of the United States. Photo: © flickr /  Ken Lane

Independent journalists also add that NASA has already developed several plans to eliminate the danger from super-volcanoes. Their essence lies in a complex technical and technological algorithm of action. One such option is to increase the volume of water to “cool” the volcano.

The next messenger of the Apocalypse:

Viral news that “we are about to die” from the eruption of the Yellowstone Supervolcano shake the WWW every couple of years. However, as a balanced analysis of geologists shows, it is almost always a false alarm. It is impossible to say with confidence that a super volcano can explode at any particular time, for today it is impossible.

Modern monitoring methods are still taking their first steps even in the field of predictions of ordinary earthquakes. Superstunizations of Yellowstone type are fundamentally stronger and less frequent. Therefore, there is simply no experience of their observation in mankind. The first people who survived many such eruptions were illiterate and left no seismological observations. So the correct answers to the question “When Yellowstone breaks?” will not be “Tomorrow” or “In a year,” but “We do not know” and “At any time.”


What are the consequences of the awakening of the Yellowstone Super Volcano? For a better understanding of the scale of such an event, one should look at the latest super-eruption in this region. It is known as the Lava Creek and it happened 630 000 years ago. According to modern data, the emissions then reached a minimum of 1000 cubic kilometers (many billions of tons) of ash and an unknown amount of sulfur dioxide.

Solid emissions covered the territory from the Gulf of Mexico in the east to the Pacific Ocean in the west. And the ashes fell from the south of modern Canada and to the north of Mexico. It is not difficult to see that this is the main part of the territory of today’s US, which will automatically assume the first and strongest blow in the future eruption. The release of ash can be very dangerous – its thickness after Lava Creek on the surface of the earth reached 180-200 meters. Although it was not everywhere, nevertheless the layer was thick enough to ruin all living things in at least a hundred thousand square kilometers. At the same time, the ash fell not lightning fast: according to modern views, “black snow” after the super-eruption can go on for a whole day. However, any living creature must sometimes stop to sleep.

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Photo: ©

The last danger? Not yet: next to the Yellowstone caldera, all the above problems will not bother anyone. The US Geological Survey maintains that an eruption of this kind will be accompanied by a massive outburst of lava. The only question is whether the lava spreads by 10 or 30 kilometers to the sides of the caldera. Some spills of the last hundreds of thousands of years covered up to 340 square kilometers at a time (the area of Moscow is just over 2500). In the zone of lava fields everything and everything will just burn, so ash and stuff there will not be a topical threat.

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American researchers are comforting: the ashes are likely to have a weak impact on California and Florida and thus spare two important centers of agricultural production in the States. One misfortune – if the main part of the country’s territory is covered by multi-meter deposits of ashes, it will be very difficult to feed them with a couple of state-barns. And even if there is something to grow, there is a possibility that food will not reach anywhere. Ash blocks the railways and roads, and aviation transport for a long time can not fly at all in the above-mentioned region.

Judging by the experience of a smaller Eyjafjallajökull volcano, ash easily disables the airliner turbines, and all air routes alongside the active volcano will be closed for a long time. This alone will create a transport collapse that is unimaginable for the modern world. Today, in the event of a catastrophe like the New Orleans (Hurricane Katrina), you can send an army and national guard with military transport, but in the case of the consequences of Yellowstone, such an opportunity will simply be absent. Neither evacuate, nor deliver food and water to the places of disaster, as a rule, just will not work.

To understand the scale of the catastrophe is easy with one comparison. Calculations show that during a nuclear war, up to five tons of dust and soot will enter the atmosphere per ton of trotyl equivalent. This means that even with the full use of all nuclear warheads in the air will rise less than lifted Yellowstone 630 000 years ago.

“What do we want, you lya?”

Of course, you can console yourself that lava (probably) and ash (with some probability) to the territory of Russia will not reach. Although the ashes of the super-volcano Toba (Indonesia) once flew to the lakes of East Africa, where his traces were recently discovered by geologists. So the echo of American ashes can quite reach Russia. However, he is unlikely to bother any of its residents. After all, they will have more pressing reasons to think.

Geophysicist Viktor Bokov of the Russian State Hydrometeorological University in the commentary to Layf noted that after such an event, billions of tons of raised ash will inevitably rise to the stratosphere. There, as the scientist remarks, jet streams with speeds up to 200 kilometers per hour are blowing. In the atmosphere over the northern hemisphere, Western transport prevails, therefore some Yellowstone emissions are quite capable of reaching a number of regions of our country.

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A great prismatic source. Due to the brightly colored bacteria  and  algae, the  bottom of the shallow lake formed at the outlet of the spring shimmers with all the colors of the rainbow. Photo: ©

More importantly, aerosols formed by ash (as well as sulfur dioxide) will reflect a significant percentage of solar radiation, which will cause a global cooling. Not knowing the power of the future super-eruption, it is impossible to predict the scale of the volcanic winter. For Russia, it will be about lowering the average annual temperature by several degrees. At first glance, this is not much. However, on closer examination, it becomes clear that for us the possible disaster will be of enormous proportions.

According to Viktor Bokov, the ancient Russian chronicles already recorded similar single climatic problems in the past of our country – up to the XII century. Then they were accompanied by a catastrophic famine. However, the Yellowstone script is given special gravity by the fact that volcanic aerosols will not leave the atmosphere in a year or two. Depending on the strength of Yellowstone’s super-eruption, they will spend there a few years or even a decade. The drop in temperature in terrestrial conditions will lead to a significant decrease in the volatility – and rain. Even where it will be slightly warmer than now in Murmansk, a prolonged drought may occur.

All this means that crop failures will not be just total, but also perennial. Something can grow only in regions like the Crimea and the Kuban (unless, of course, precipitation disappears there). But this will not be the usual food crops for these places, but those that usually grow hundreds and thousands of kilometers to the north. And to feed the whole country from the Kuban patch will not be so easy. Because of the global nature of the catastrophe, it is also not worth hoping for international assistance – the whole world will face the prospect of hunger. On the planet, there are simply no countries with food reserves equal to five to ten years of their own consumption. Far from the fact that many will manage to avoid depopulation as a result of starvation.

About Good:

However, both domestic and American scientists insist that the scope of the future catastrophe will still be relatively moderate. The extinction of the human species as a whole from one super-eruption is not exactly threatened. As Jamie Farrell, a renowned Yellowstone specialist from the University of Utah, notes: “Almost certainly, we will not completely extricate ourselves from the [future] eruptions of Yellowstone, since there have already been super-eruptions in the last couple of million years, but we’re still here.” Indeed, this super-volcano 630,000 years ago did not kill our older relatives – Homo erectus.

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Photo: © RIA Novosti /  Alexander Piragis

At the same time, the resort still does not have to wait. Overwhelming the Toba volcano 70,000 years ago coincides with the sudden extinction of all Homo sapiens who managed to reach Asia. They survived only in Africa, but their numbers fell tenfold. 40 thousand years ago, super-eruption in the region of the Phlegrean fields (Italy) temporarily covered the ashes with space from modern Naples to Donbass. For a long time in this part of Europe, all traces of both people and Neanderthals have disappeared. And at the same time, there was no complete extinction on the world scale – just a sharp decline in the number. If hunters and gatherers dressed in skins were able to survive despite the sharp deterioration of the climate and the mass death of animals, then there are some chances for survival, and we, their descendants.   

When will the thunder strike?

Is it possible to know when to dig a cellar in the yard and prepare to speculate by a stew? Alas, the current state of volcanology does not allow us to make an accurate prediction of this kind. According to Viktor Bokov, popular attempts to designate the frequency of super-eruptions have little to do with science. “When they say that super-eruptions happen every 50,000-100,000 years, we are talking about extremely approximate assumptions,” he notes. Only that is true, concludes the scientist, that the longer this or that supervolcano does not erupt, the higher the probability of its super-eruption in the future.

Sometimes American experts allow themselves more confident statements. Peter Cervelli of the Geology, Geodesy and Cartography Service of the US Interior Ministry believes that the Yellowstone super-eruption  will not be  “in the next 10,000 years.” True, he immediately stipulates: “We are always ready for surprises [in this respect] and do not declare that we fully understand everything connected with this.” However, geologists from the area of the future earthquake often tend to make politically conditioned soothing statements, which then turn out to be overly optimistic. Similar forecasts by Italian geologists in 2009  led to an increase in the number of victims of the earthquake in L’Aquila. In our country, most experts doubt the idea of a possible accurate prediction, how long we will have to wait for the next event of this kind.

True, notes Victor Bokov, volcanology can point to a situation in which the probability of super-overgrazing will increase substantially. In the case of Yellowstone, a nuclear war could well be its trigger. As you know, the United States is a priority target for a significant number of nuclear warheads. One of them can explode alongside the Yellowstone caldera and accidentally provoke the beginning of such a catastrophe. At the same time, as mentioned above, the cooling effect of Yellowstone for the planetary climate in itself can not be weaker than that of a nuclear war. Thus, humanity, in this case, will face a catastrophe of double scales.

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View of Yellowstone National Park. Photo: ©  REUTERS / Lucy Nicholson

And at the same time, Viktor Bokov notes attempts to deliberately provoke super-volcanoes with nuclear weapons are in themselves ineffective. After all, in order to guarantee the eruption, it is necessary to understand exactly how shock waves will propagate from nuclear explosions in the upper layers of the mantle and where they will come. And our planet is a non-stationary object, it changes all the time, its crust is subject to constant small movements, the geophysicist states. Precisely predict the consequences of a hypothetical provoking nuclear strike is impossible. Therefore, it is impossible and to blow up Yellowstone is planned – only by chance.

Let’s sum up: although the American volcano seems far from the problems of our country, in fact, its muzzle was attached to the head of humanity as a whole. And even if a deadly wound is inflicted on him, the threat is serious in seriousness comparable to a nuclear war. The situation is aggravated by the fact that if the government of a number of countries is at least theoretically preparing for the latter, then the super-volcano does not affect state planning and the accumulation of reserves in case of an emergency situation. Without any serious breakthrough in volcanology, all that scientists can say about the timing of this event is that sooner or later it will inevitably happen. And given the lack of specific deadlines that allow us to take preventive measures, we can face him completely defenseless.

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