Global Sea Ice Extent

September 17th Data:

Arctic Sea Ice: 1.2 Million km

Antarctic Sea Ice: 1.5 million km

Net Global Sea Ice Deviation: 0.3 million km

Bardarbunga Eruption

The Bardarbunga eruption taking place in Iceland has been going on for weeks now.  I was reading that at one point something like 200 cubic meters of magma was being release every second.  The volcanic system has plenty of magma left to be released and now there is the potential danger of a massive explosion.  Since the eruption started, the caldera has fallen over 80 feet.  It is feared that the caldera will eventually collapse, glacier melt would make its way into the caldera, and we would see a massive explosion.  This explosion could potentially be larger than any we’ve seen in modern times.

How bad are we talking?  It is hard to say.  I’ve seen posted that if the glacier water gets mixed in to the explosion that the magma, during the explosion, would expand to something like 600 times its original size.  I assume this means the liquid magma would be converted to ash.  If there is still significant magma remaining, we could be looking at a historic eruption.  I would think this would rival the Pinatubo eruption.  That would mean it would be at least a VEI-6.  Could it reach VEI-7?  Larger?  There is just no way to tell for sure.  But before this can happen, the caldera has to collapse.  But given that the ground has already sunk 80+ feet, it seems almost likely.

Here is a great resource to monitor that shows current earthquake activity and the inflation and deflation of the caldera.  Also note the earthquake history plotted further down the page.  You can easily see the quakes circling the caldera.

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