CORNELL UNIVERSITY MEDIA RELATIONS OFFICE
Jan. 22, 2020
Taal volcano threatens life, climate, agriculture
The Taal volcano in the Philippines has eased its dramatic spewing of ash, but researchers monitoring the volcano say the possibility of a major eruption remains.
Esteban Gazel, professor of earth and atmospheric sciences at Cornell University, is an expert on the processes inside the Earth that produce magma and volcanoes. He says explosive volcanic eruptions have devastating effects on lives, air quality, agriculture, health and climate.
“Every year, 50 volcanic eruptions affect over 10% of the world’s population. Explosive volcanic eruptions are devastating for human life, damaging air quality, covering entire regions with ash that destroys crops, livestock, and cause significant disruptions in global air traffic.
“Additionally, explosive eruptions can impact climate by injecting massive amounts of sulfur aerosols directly into the stratosphere, triggering global cooling that can result in a worldwide failure on agricultural production.
“Finally, the respiratory hazard of volcanic ash particulate matter is of particular concern because these materials can reach areas hundreds of miles away from the zone of primary volcanic hazards.”
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