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originally posted by: Rezlooper
a reply to: TrueAmerican
Although I'm not disagreeing with you TA, I highly doubt that they would come out with any sort of public announcement about it for several reasons... one being that tourism at Yellowstone is up more than ever right now and they don't want to scare the several million visitors per summer. I'm thinking that if things were off at Yellowstone, they'd wanna keep it under wraps until they could be real damn certain something truly was threatening, and even then, how long before we'd hear anything about it.
Has worldwide volcanic activity been increasing recently?
We sometimes are being asked if the number of currently active volcanoes and ongoing erruptions, or global volcanic activity, has been increasing recently. Should we be worried "globally"?
The current level of volcanic activity is completely normal, on the contrary (if not on the low end of averages over decades).
The main difference is that there is faster and more information available, as well as increased media coverage and public interest on the subject of global volcanic activity. This might give the impression that volcanic activity is on the increase (which it is not).
So, we should not be worried by global volcanic activity.
A study published in the journal Terra Nova in February showed that, since the early 19th century, changes in the Earth’s rotation rate tended to be followed by increases in global volcanic activity. It found that, between 1830 and 2013, the longest period for which a reliable record was available, relatively large changes in rotation rate were immediately followed by an increase in the number of large volcanic eruptions. And, more than merely being correlated, the authors believe that the rotation changes might actually have triggered these large eruptions.
Altering the spin of a planet, even by a small amount, requires a huge amount of energy. It has been estimated that changes in the Earth’s rotation rate dissipate around 120,000 petajoules of energy each year – enough to power the United States for the same length of time. This energy is transferred into the Earth’s atmosphere and subsurface. And it is this second consequence that the Terra Nova authors believe could affect volcanoes.
The vast quantities of energy delivered to the subsurface by rotation changes are likely to perturb its stress field. And, since the magma that feeds volcanic eruptions resides in the Earth’s crust, stress variations there may make it easier for the liquid rock to rise to the surface, and thereby increase the rate of volcanic eruptions.
The fact is that the sensors they use for monitoring are notoriously unreliable and drift off calibration extremely easily, and often.
Stone’s research could one day make evacuation plans more accurate for people living in the shadow of an active volcano. Scientists could determine when an eruption would take place and estimate the magnitude of danger it would bring to neighboring areas, likely saving lives.