Major Eruption of Taal Volcano in Philippines in Progress

January 12th, 2020 by Roy W. Spencer, Ph. D.

The sudden eruption of Taal volcano south of Manila, Philippines began about 0630 UTC today, and the Himawari-8 satellite infrared imagery suggests that the plume might have penetrated the stratosphere, which is necessary for the volcano to have any measurable effect on global temperatures. The following link will take you to the recent satellite loop.

Here’s a nighttime photo by Domcar Lagto, ABS-CBN News.

35 Responses to “Major Eruption of Taal Volcano in Philippines in Progress”

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  1. Rawandi says:

    Prepare for the collapse of temperatures. The year 2020 is going to be cold.

    • Steve Case says:

      Prepare for the collapse of temperatures. The year 2020 is going to be cold.

      Here just north of Milwaukee, we had frost June 1992. I don’t remember the date, but the night before we were at an out door event, and it was cold!

    • Nate says:

      Ok. But dont get your hope’s up for an end to GW…

    • Bindidon says:

      Rawandi says:

      “The year 2020 is going to be cold.”

      Are you sure? There is mostly a one-year lag between eruptions and temperature drops due to aerosols.

      • Rawandi says:

        The cooling is already noticed shortly after the eruption, although it usually reaches its peak a year later. That means that 2021 is going to be even colder than 2020.

      • Henk says:

        Last year there were over 25 eruptions that reached the stratosphere (over 33,000 feet). This year Sabancaya and Taal have done the same. Taal is still spewing over 36,000 feet today – Jan 13th.

        So there has been plenty of materials reaching the stratosphere over the past 12 months and so we should see some direct cooling effect from that.

        At the same time with the continuing solar minimum we are expecting more eruptions to reach the stratosphere as there seems to be an uptick in volcanic activity and earth quakes during solar minimum conditions.

        • Bindidon says:


          “… as there seems to be an uptick in volcanic activity and earth quakes during solar minimum conditions.”

          Ooops?! Where did you read that? Until now, I thought both would increase upon Earth’s crust getting warmer.

          Please give some reference (but not coming from junk sites like (No)TrickZone or

    • dave m says:

      Don’t worry as Dr Roy Skeptic’s Cornwall Alliance puts it “God wouldn’t let damaging climate change happen” so we are perfectly safe. Especially because all of Dr Skeptic’s other little projects are all funded by the good people in the fossil fuel industry. How did you put it Dr Roy Skeptic? “Climate Nazis”?

      You gotta love the irony of someone paid off by the fossil fuel lobby as not being objective!

      • Gary says:

        The Grauniad is your source? Heh.

      • Joe R says:

        Dr Spencer repeatedly says there IS global warming, provides data to prove it, defends that greenhouse effect is real, and attributes some of the warming to man made CO2. Have you ever once noticed this? He is only “skeptical” that we are nearing the end of the world, and provides well reasoned arguments.

    • Ethan says:

      Are you sure about that? I highly doubt that Taal is like Toba, Yellowstone, Long Valley, Tambora, and Mount Pinatubo. According to a Wikipedia article, Taal is the same volcano type as Mount Vesuvius in Italy. For example, the aftermath of Mount Vesuvius eruption in 79 AD is just burying Pompeii in ash and destroying nearby areas. Mount Tambora caused a long winter so it is less likely that one of the smallest (active) volcanoes can cause a volcanic winter.

    • Svante says:

      Rawandi says:
      “Prepare for the collapse of temperatures. The year 2020 is going to be cold.” => How cold?

  2. Turbulent Eddie says:

    Earlier imagery indicated the plume at less than -80C, perhaps stratospheric, but the plume is warmer now, presumably lower.

    Waiting for the next eruption.

  3. gbaikie says:

    “The Earth Energy Imbalance (EEI) is a key issue for estimating climate sensitivity.

    If EEI is positive then the Earth’s climate system gains energy; if it’s negative the system loses energy, largely due to the energy flow into or out of the oceans.”

  4. bdgwx says:

    Taal is not known for large eruptions. Its history does include several VEI 4 eruptions, but no 5’s. However there was 6 that is estimated to have occurred 5500 years ago. As of the 12Z analysis I didn’t see much if any stratospheric aerosols. We’ll see what happens in the coming weeks. Who knows…maybe it’ll blow its top in a big way.

    • Bindidon says:

      Thx for the somewhat reassuring words.

      I’m 70, and wouldn’t like very much to end my life with the consequences of something like Mt Samalas in 1257!

  5. Danyel Jee says:

    No need for the Svensmark hypothesis if you have volcanoes.

  6. Eben says:

    Volcanoe to the rescue, but so far it doesn’t look like anything

  7. Mark says:

    In order for climate cooling impact the aerosols must get into the stratosphere. Not sure the data indicates that yet….but eruption could continue and that could happen.

    If so…unless we are talking about cataclysmic amounts of aresol… you can google sites that will show comparisons of major eruptions….otherwise cooling is gradual. The haze in the stratosphere takes months to clear out. It reflects some incoming solar radiation and cooling effects accumulate over months.

  8. Scott R says:

    Folks… just a friendly reminder that mt Pinatubo blasted to 110,000 ft, which is twice as high. The strength of volcanic activity required to cause significant global cooling is much higher than this. I’m sure it will do something, but if the temperature drops from here it won’t be due to this eruption. Keep in mind volcanic activity on the earth is normal. We should most definitely monitor the temperatures in the stratosphere and see if this eruption has any effect. If we cool, it will be due to the AMO, El Nino cycles which are already timed to start their negative phases soon. Some have speculated that the magnetic reversal on the sun has occurred, and the new solar cycle has started with the sun spots recently observed.

    • E. Swanson says:

      S R, Another friendly reminder. The climate effects of a volcano is also due to the SO2 emitted. Smaller volcanos with high SO2 emissions can produce greater climate impacts than larger events with magma of low SO2 content. The 1982 eruption of El Chichn (VEI 5) in Mexico was one such event. The resulting sulfate aerosol created a climate impact similar to the much larger eruption of Mt. Pinatubo (VEI 6).

      • Bindidon says:

        E. Swanson

        “The 1982 eruption of El Chichon (VEI 5) in Mexico was one such event. The resulting sulfate aerosol created a climate impact similar to the much larger eruption of Mt. Pinatubo (VEI 6).”


        We can see that pretty good in this graph comparing UAH’s LT and LS series:

        The Pinatubo peak in LS was a bit higher, the surface below is greater than that below the Chichon peak, but they nevertheless are nearly on par.

        The LT coolings are nearly comparable as well.

        El Chichon was a little, very crazy guy.

  9. Snape says:

    Maybe we will be hearing from Salvatore again?

  10. rocky torres says:

    sir good morning, can i ask your permission to use your photo?
    thank you

  11. Ethan says:

    Folks…I highly doubt that the Taal eruption is NOTHING like Toba or Yellowstone…Taal is categorized as a complex volcano according to Wikipedia. And I saw a Wikipedia page on complex volcanoes and I saw that Vesuvius was part of them. Vesuvius probably did NOT affect the global climate, it just caused regional destruction/damage. So I highly doubt Mount Taal will cause global temperatures to collapse. Just because Taal Volcano is a caldera and on a lake does not necessarily mean it is a supervolcano, calderas are formed by stratovolcanoes. Supervolcanoes erupting is very unlikely in our lifetime.

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  16. Robert says:

    Thanks for the link that takes us to the recent satellite loop.

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  18. word hurdle says:

    Are you certain? The time between eruptions and temperature reductions brought on by aerosols is typically one year.

  19. hryutu says:

    I agree, the heat content of the oceans is more important. retro bowl

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