Heatwaves, hurricanes and other extreme weather might be the “face of climate change,” but it’s not the only sign. A grim new visualization from NASA shows another problem caused indirectly by global warming: airborne particles and droplets. These “aerosols,” shown on a single day on August 23rd, come from dust, volcanic ash and other sources. They’re particularly brutal this year because of fires in California, British Columbia and the southern part of Africa. Continue reading NASA’s terrifying visualization of atmospheric aerosols
There’s no end in sight to the hellish-looking eruption at Mount Mayon, the Filipino volcano that’s been spewing a mix of ash and lava for two weeks. This week, after Mayon ratcheted things up with tall ash clouds and half-mile-high lava fountains, volcanologists placed it on alert level 4 out of 5—meaning a “hazardous eruption” could be imminent.
Scientists have identified nearly 100 previously unknown volcanoes in West Antarctica, which, in addition to the 47 already known to exist in the region, makes it one of the largest concentration of volcanoes in the world.
In 2009, Kerry McPhail descended Jacques Cousteau-style towards the Axial Volcano, inside the cramped, 30-year-old little submarine DSV Alvin, with a pilot and another scientist. Three hundred miles off the coast of Oregon, they were collecting tubeworms, bacterial mats and bivalves living near a deep sea volcanic vent. These samples could potentially yield new pharmaceutical compounds—and in turn, new chemical cures and desperately needed antibiotics that are yet undiscovered.
Seeing as the Earth is a puny nugget of metal sitting atop a nearly 2000 mile-thick mantle of high-pressure flowing rock, it’s no surprise that the rock occasionally seeps out, either slowly or explosively, through the surface. It’s pretty cool to see the magma glowing beside Sicily’s nighttime lights, though.
The lost continent of Mauritia likely spanned a great swathe of the Indian Ocean before it was torn apart by indomitable geologic forces and plunged into the sea. Now, a good chunk of it may have been found.
Two years ago, Iceland’s Bardarbunga volcano erupted—and it kept erupting for the next 181 days, forming the largest volcanic depression ever seen. New research reveals the extraordinary processes that transpired beneath the surface, including the formation of a magma-filled canal that measured a whopping 28 miles long.