Chilean Volcano Snubs Nose at Earth Day

April 23rd, 2015 by Roy W. Spencer, Ph. D.

In flagrant disregard for humanity’s attempts to clean up air pollution, the Chilean volcano Calbuco erupted violently on Earth Day 2015, pumping millions of tons of hazardous materials into the pristine South American atmosphere.

Calbuco Volcano eruption on 22 April, 2015 (photo: AFP).

Calbuco Volcano eruption on 22 April, 2015 (photo: AFP).

The eruption terrorized local residents, one of whom had just returned from an Earth Day protest tearfully exclaiming, “¿Por qué está haciendo la Tierra esto a nosotros? Nos plantamos un árbol!

The eruption continued into the night last night, producing an angry display of toxic, asthma-causing emissions and lightning:

20 Responses to “Chilean Volcano Snubs Nose at Earth Day”

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  1. jimc says:

    These volcanoes are out of control. Legislative action is definitely required.

    • Gary says:

      They have a plan to limit emissions to current levels by 2030, however subsidies from first world nations will be needed to achieve this goal.

  2. zuppi says:

    Very nice potos indeed! (Although not very fine for people living in the vecinity of the volcano).

  3. Phil Neel says:

    That gives new meaning to the term “Carbon Belch Day”.

  4. geran says:

    Earth reminds who is really in control….

    • John B() says:

      In case anyone cares:

      Spanish Translation: Why is making the Earth this to us? We have planted a tree.”

      • Mark says:

        NO, “Why is the earth doing this to us?”…

        “Why is making the Earth this to us” might be English words, but it aint English!

        And then it says we planted OURSELVES a tree. not jsut “we planted a tree” which seems rather self-serving for Earth Day…

  5. Tim says:

    Is there any chance this could produce any ‘pinatubo’ style cooling? I’m guessing it’s too far south, but couldn’t readily find any info on whether the past eruptions are high in sulphate. Hoping for some good sunsets from Perth WA in the next few days. Sympathies to all more directly affected.

    • AZ1971 says:

      No. The volume of Pinatubo was far more significant than the two eruptions from Calbuco so far. It would take a prolonged and/or far greater eruption to have any effects; its latitude is too far south to impact the mid-latitudes where the greatest levels of solar insolation take place (and thus, the chance for greatest cooling).

      Calbuco is at 41.37° S — nearly identical to Chicago’s 41.84° N on the opposite hemisphere. Prevailing westerlies might give you some nice sunsets but that’s about all you might expect.

      The lack of virtually any forewarning before this eruption is striking. There’s definitely an uptick in planetary volcanism in recent years; this is just the latest and likely not the last.

  6. mpainter says:

    Calbuco is an extraordinarily active volcano, with 10 eruptions since 1837, according to Wikipedia. At latitude 41° S it should not have any effect on the NH. I will be watching Antarctic sea ice extent come September, however.

  7. Jonthetechnologist says:

    Looking at geo maps doesn’t it appear that this volcano sits on the flank of a larger structure(volcano) which might be an “oh sh*t” moment.

    • Jonthetechnologist says:

      Looking again at google maps it looks like the rim of an older caldera.
      Any geologist around?

  8. Thanks, Dr. Spencer.
    Great pictures.
    Geology calls for attention to natural causes!
    The “consensus” Climatology? Not.

  9. Johan says:

    Funny, but unlike CO2 or greenhouse gases which aren’t much of a problem on a global scale; localized air pollution (e.g.smog in cities) is very much a real problem.

  10. Mike Bromley the Kurd says:

    This must be some of that “mountain warming” that seeped out from some research group that recently postulated that it was happening somewhere, and needed to be observed.

  11. Steve says:

    I bet any glaciers in the area melted quickly as all the CO2 came oozing out….

    • Bohdan Burban says:

      The red glow seen in night pics/vids is evidence of oxidation, but what could be burning? Perhaps it’s mantle-derived methane reacting with atmospheric oxygen to produce carbon dioxide.

  12. ossqss says:

    Gaia is not following the script!

    Next up, the EPac Blob is drifted latent heat from a mid Pacific series of unknown thermal vents?

  13. boris says:

    I read somewhere that this was an “unexpected” eruption so does that mean the “settled science” of vulcanism failed the Chileans? As for those affected, a shame, but truly, while we should help, the vagaries and setbacks of weather and geophysical events are something to prepare for with good old common sense. Don’t build a straw house in Tornado alley and be surprised when the inevitable happens. Don’t live next to an active volcano and not be ready to move on. You’d be surprised by the number of people living in dangerous earthquake zones in California that don’t even have a few days of drinking water set aside to get themselves through the inevitable “big one” and all they have to do is go to bulk store and buy it on sale in bottles! Human beings, I worry, are easier to convince that there is something wrong with their food, or that there are aliens (and its worth NASA issuing press releases on the search), that we understand climate well enough to control by deliberate policy.

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