Friday, April 20, 2007
I got to thinking about yesterday's post and started reading up on the volcanic eruption of Pinatubo. I think I know what my father meant when he said that is put 100 years worth of industrial gas in the air. They actually refer to it as a stratovolcano.
According to Wikipedia beginning 5/5/1991, it was emitting 500 metric tons of sulfur dioxide per day and then by 5/13/1991 it had increased to 5000 metric tons/day and then rapidly decreased on May 28th. Eruptions then began June 3. "Over the following months, the aerosols formed a global layer of sulfuric acid haze. Global temperatures dropped by about 0.5 °C (0.9 °F), and ozone destruction increased substantially." The total mass of Sulfur Dioxide that was emitted when all was done was 20 million metric tons. There was measured damage to the ozone layer right after this.
Every time I read anything that discusses what our (mankind's) refineries put into the air the number is like 14.5 metric tons. But it doesn't state if it's daily or annually. Honestly, I don't think we could put a dent in this. Even if we reduced emmissions by 100%, which we can't do, it wouldn't amount to a hill of beans to something like this.
And if 50 - 60 volcanos are erupting annually, obviously not of this magnitude, then I believe that is the source of gases. The earth, in effect, is passing gas.