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What If The Yellowstone Volcano Erupted?

What If Yellowstone Erupts?

The Yellowstone Supervolcano is an active volcano beneath the Yellowstone National Park, a sprawling area straddling Wyoming, Idaho, and Montana in the United States. Given its eruption pattern, it could be ready to blow at any time. What would this mean for America, Canada and the rest of the world.
What If The Yellowstone Volcano Erupted?

The Yellowstone Volcano last erupted 640,000 years ago, the eruption before that took place 1.3 million years ago, and the one before that 2.1 million years ago. For those with some quick mathematics skills, you’ll spot a rough pattern here – honey is due a spew. But these things don’t happen spontaneously; scientists are constantly monitoring volcanic activity in and around the calderas. They have a technologically advanced network of sensors and that monitor the calderas for signs of activity. SO, what if the worst was confirmed and scientists realized the volcano was going to experience a super eruption? Of course, there would be 1000 degree flowing lava that would scorch anything and everything in its path, but that really wouldn’t be the main issue.

What would be the catastrophe causer would be the hot ash thrown high into the air. The ash cloud could drop fall out over a 500 mile, so 800-kilometer radius from the epicenter of the eruption. This means Salt Lake City, Cheyenne, and Boise, and Denver would be covered in over 1 meter of ash. Los Angeles, San Francisco, Portland, Seattle, Albuquerque, Calgary, Winnipeg, Chicago, Kansas City and Saint would see up to 30 centimeters of ash, and even places as far away as Toronto, New York, Washington DC and Austin in Texas could experience up to 3 centimeters of ash covering. Of course, the jet stream could carry ash as far away as Europe.

To put this in perspective, just millimeter of ash is enough to cause airport closures, seriously damage property, cause breathing problems and shut down transport, such as airports. This means that the fallout would include the destruction of Midwest agriculture, and rivers and streams would be clogged by ashy much, diminishing the water supply of the states, and some areas of Canada. If this is just the damage millimeters of ash can do – what about the people living close to the volcano? Well, unfortunately, it is curtains for them. The closer ash falls near the eruption zone, the less time the air will have had to cool the particles of searingly hot volcanic ash. People who had not evacuated within a 100-kilometer radius of the Volcano would die, and buildings would practically melt.

The death wouldn’t just be focused on the immediate radius either, a lot of people with asthma and are respiratory problems would be at serious risk. It isn’t just ash that would be a problem, either. In the long term, a supereruption from Yellowstone would throw gasses like sulfur dioxide in the air. Lots of these particles in the air can absorb the sun's light and reflect it out into space, meaning we wouldn’t get as much light on earth as we are used to. This would cool the climate for anything up to ten years and would have the ability to affect rainfall patterns and generate more freezing weather than could devastate crops across the world, not just the united states.

resulting in climate cooling could last up to a decade. The temporary climate shift could alter rainfall patterns, and, along with severe frosts, cause widespread crop losses and famine. It is estimated that the damage caused by a fall scale eruption of Yellowstone could cost the United States three trillion dollars, with 20% of the countries total economy destroyed or severely disrupted. While at the moment, we are unable to stop an eruption, Nasa does have an idea for a 3.5 billion dollar plan that could greatly reduce the risk of eruption.

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