In late September, MAGMA Indonesia, the country’s volcano monitoring service, spotted a serious uptick in seismic activity at Mt. Agung. And that volcano has a history: When it erupted in 1963, it killed more than 1,000 people and erupted powerfully enough to cool the planet by up to a full degree Fahrenheit . So when the ground around the mountain started shaking again, scientists across disciplines wanted to see if the same sort of Earth-cooling eruption would happen again. “The problem with Agung is we can’t tell if this is actually certainly going to erupt,” said volcanologist Janine Krippner, who has been monitoring the situation from the U.S. “This volcano hasn’t stopped. Whether that will continue to go and actually produce an eruption, I’m throwing my hands up in the air with that one.” Eruptions simply aren’t that predictable. But if Agung does erupt and in a manner similar to its last eruption, climate scientists will also be ready and watching. That’s because the impact of volcanic eruptions on climate is one of the biggest weaknesses in current climate models —unsurprisingly, since there haven’t been a whole lot of eruptions large enough to affect climate during the era of satellites…. Read full this story
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