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

Influences on the Bardarbunga Caldera

As subsidence continues, I have to wonder what are the outside influences on the Bardarbunga caldera.  How much additional downward pressure will come from ice and water sliding/running down into the new pit.  I am not sure of the GPS unit’s proximity to the glacier.  So I don’t know if the subsidence is close enough to allow ice or water to fill the giant pit.  If it is close enough and water and ice is flowing inward, I would think the addition of the weight would just exacerbate the problem.  Has something been set in motion here that cannot stop until the caldera fails?

If this happens, I wonder what the magnitude of the eruption/explosion will be.  Are we talking about something the size of Mount St. Helens which was a VEI5.  Are we talking about Pinatubo size which was a VE6.  Are we talking about a Tambora size eruption/explosion which was a VEI7. Mount St. Helens was relatively small in geological terms.  Pinatubo as was large.  It had a pronounced impact on the climate.  Most people probably didn’t realize what happened and didn’t realize that there was an impact.  But the year or two following the eruption was noticeably cooler.  The impact was so significant that the Midwest in the United States saw temperatures down into the mid 30’s in late July.  I believe some areas even saw a frost or freeze.

The Tambora eruption was enormous.  The explosion was so large that it created the famous year without a summer.  In the early 1800’s the New England area saw snow every month of the year.  Such en eruption today would put a serious strain on food supplies for a couple of years.  Prices will soar and family that live on the edge of starvation will certainly be pushed over that edge.  How do you begin to prepare for something of this magnitude?  I guess at this point all we can do is watch and wait.  It is pretty much too late to start preparing now.

View the latest Bardarbunga data feed.

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2 comments to Influences on the Bardarbunga Caldera

  • I want to add that there would be the additional weight of the magma released. Thought I don’t know how much of a factor that would be.

  • The effect on climate will have a lot to do with when it erupts. Due to it being a high latitude eruption, if it erupts big in the winter, it will have a much smaller effect on the climate due to there already being less sunlight hitting that area. If it were to go off between March till maybe August, it would have a much greater influence. It’s hard to use Tambora as a baseline for this eruption because they are in such different areas.

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