Chaitén Eruption June

Heads up for a new volcanism blog by Erik Klemetti with a very succinct description of new developments with the ‘bad boy’ of Chile, Mt Chaitén.

The newest reports out of Chile are indicating that the eruption at Chaiten has reached levels of intensity not seen since the eruption first started over six weeks ago. I have to admit, that isn’t a good sign in terms of keeping the volcanic edifice in one piece. There have been frequent, small (m3) earthquakes along with “rumbling noises,” which might indicates that the domes are collapsing to form pyroclastic flows. Alternately (and need I remind you, very speculatively) it might be the the edifice itself beginning to show the wear of this long eruption and the emptying of the magma chamber.

The most troubling to me is this part of the report: [The military flyover] spotted two new craters. Officials said they saw bursts of gas coming from different areas around the base of the volcano. This suggests that there is enough pressure under the volcano to start opening new vents. Whether or not this leads to the formation of a ring fracture – the series of fractures around edge of a caldera that facilitate collapse – is pure speculation, but at the very least, this is a new stage of activity at Chaiten.

Over at The Blackboard, Lucia finds a huge statistical contribution of volcanic eruptions to climate variation.

How does the 2.1 C/century compare to periods with no volcanic eruptions?

Unfortunately, the historical period of time with no-volcanic eruptions and no-jet-inlet to bucket measurement noise is quite short. However, if I calculate the standard deviation of 8 year trends for the period from roughly the 20s-40s, I get a standard deviation of 0.9 C/century. This is less than 1/2 the value computed by Gavin. But, I’m not at all confident it is correct, as the period is very short.

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0 thoughts on “Chaitén Eruption June

  1. Oh no! This supports the theory that the earth is going to explode! (See the bizarre theories of warming I posted just as you were posting. )

    I’d hardly call myself the first to note that volcanic activity affect the GMST. But, clearly, if stratospheric volcanos can affect the GMST, and the veiling remains in the sky for a long time, we expect to see big swings in 8 year trend while they erupt. These are absent when they don’t– and that’s how the data look.

  2. Oh no! This supports the theory that the earth is going to explode! (See the bizarre theories of warming I posted just as you were posting. )

    I’d hardly call myself the first to note that volcanic activity affect the GMST. But, clearly, if stratospheric volcanos can affect the GMST, and the veiling remains in the sky for a long time, we expect to see big swings in 8 year trend while they erupt. These are absent when they don’t– and that’s how the data look.

  3. Lucia, I am exploring a theory of climate chage produced by ultra-plinian volcanos right now. Pages 12-13 of the Australian Institute of Geologists Newsletter has an article I wrote exploring the possibility of surface temperatures being affected by stratospheric temperatures through a compensation mechanisms. Thing is, the data suggest both cooling AND warming from large eruptions. Probably do a post on this tomorrow.

  4. Lucia, I am exploring a theory of climate chage produced by ultra-plinian volcanos right now. Pages 12-13 of the Australian Institute of Geologists Newsletter has an article I wrote exploring the possibility of surface temperatures being affected by stratospheric temperatures through a compensation mechanisms. Thing is, the data suggest both cooling AND warming from large eruptions. Probably do a post on this tomorrow.

  5. Hi David–
    Based on the current paper it looks like you need these volcanos to calm down to test the idea in the new paper? In the next one, will you be discussing where things go if they keep erupting?

    Anyway, if you get to the point of quantitative predictions, you know I’ll compare to data. 🙂

    Right now, it looks like you predict temperature going down, but there is an ozone caveat and you don’t suggest a rate. ( I’m asking to make sure I’m understanding correctly.)

  6. Hi David–
    Based on the current paper it looks like you need these volcanos to calm down to test the idea in the new paper? In the next one, will you be discussing where things go if they keep erupting?

    Anyway, if you get to the point of quantitative predictions, you know I’ll compare to data. 🙂

    Right now, it looks like you predict temperature going down, but there is an ozone caveat and you don’t suggest a rate. ( I’m asking to make sure I’m understanding correctly.)

  7. Hi Lucia, the relationship with ozone is inverse in this model — volcanic stability = higher O3 levels = lower surface temperatures. This is the reversal of current view that ozone is a positive forcing agent. This relationship is BTW supported by Miskolczi’s HARTCODE line-by-line spectroscopic simulations.

    As to the rate, I only have rates of ozone recovery estimated from multi-variate regression fitting, but its very sensitve to what variables are included in the regression.
    Of the order of -1-1.5C per century reduction in surface temperatures
    seem to come up as a result of accumulation of O3 under ‘stable’ atmospheric conditions.
    These are more rate balance equations, rather than ‘accumulation’ but I
    use accumulation just to give the general approach.

    That is not to say that the current relatively warm temperatures
    that I attribute to 5 ultra-plinian eruptions in the last 150 years
    are not subject to a more forceful return to a lower temperatures
    through solar or some other equilibrating mechanism. In this model, it would
    take another ultra-plinian eruption to force the surface temperatures
    higher (after a short-term cooling).

  8. Hi Lucia, the relationship with ozone is inverse in this model — volcanic stability = higher O3 levels = lower surface temperatures. This is the reversal of current view that ozone is a positive forcing agent. This relationship is BTW supported by Miskolczi’s HARTCODE line-by-line spectroscopic simulations.

    As to the rate, I only have rates of ozone recovery estimated from multi-variate regression fitting, but its very sensitve to what variables are included in the regression.
    Of the order of -1-1.5C per century reduction in surface temperatures
    seem to come up as a result of accumulation of O3 under ‘stable’ atmospheric conditions.
    These are more rate balance equations, rather than ‘accumulation’ but I
    use accumulation just to give the general approach.

    That is not to say that the current relatively warm temperatures
    that I attribute to 5 ultra-plinian eruptions in the last 150 years
    are not subject to a more forceful return to a lower temperatures
    through solar or some other equilibrating mechanism. In this model, it would
    take another ultra-plinian eruption to force the surface temperatures
    higher (after a short-term cooling).

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