Geologists warn us about dangerous volcanoes. Will we spend pennies for warnings?

Summary: While we obsess about climate change and debate if we live in the Anthropocene, we prepare poorly or not at all for natural forces like volcanoes that can level cities. This is folly we can no longer afford. Experts recommend a simple first step to better protect ourselves. Let's start listening, or nature will … Continue reading Geologists warn us about dangerous volcanoes. Will we spend pennies for warnings?

The global economy is sitting on a volcano. What happens next?

Summary:  Previous posts have discussed our perilous situation and how we got into this predicament.  Let's take a step back and ask why we are here.  The says much about where we're going. Contents We're living on a volcano Let's look at the volcano How big an eruption might we get? What can we do … Continue reading The global economy is sitting on a volcano. What happens next?

News about the earthquake in northeastern Japan

Summary:  Here is information on some aspects of  the world's latest natural disaster.  Was the 20th century usually calm, geologically?  {update:  see graph at the end for an answer}  Links to other posts about earthquakes and volcanoes appear at the end.  Updates will be posted below.  Also see About the atomic crisis in Japan – background information and news … Continue reading News about the earthquake in northeastern Japan

Can volcanic eruptions devastate entire continents – with poisonous gas for example?

Summary:  The recent eruption of Eyjafjallajokull in Iceland has prompted increasingly fevered discussion about the danger of a future eruption -- perhaps by Eyjafjallajokull's sister, Katla.  Might an eruption expel volcanic gases that poison much of Europe?  Just like Laki did in 1783-84.   Or not.  The stories have grown as they circulate around the Internet, … Continue reading Can volcanic eruptions devastate entire continents – with poisonous gas for example?

“2nd Iceland volcano issues warning” (Katla speaks to MSNBC’s newshounds)

Summary:  Today's fearful headlines about Icelandic volcanos from the news media and popular websites.  And the real story.  BTW -- "soon" means something different to geologists than laypeople. Disturbing:  "2nd Iceland volcano issues warning", MSNBC, May 2010 -- "Scientists say powerful Katla is ‘close to failure’."  The opening is misleading but the full article is accurate. … Continue reading “2nd Iceland volcano issues warning” (Katla speaks to MSNBC’s newshounds)