Humanity is at huge risk of volcanic eruption, but it is not ready

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Humanity is at huge risk of volcanic eruption, but it is not ready

According to previous studies, the chances of a deadly volcanic eruption occurring are low and therefore, one should not worry about it. However, the latest research by scientists from Birmingham University and the Center for the Study of Existential Risk (CSER) of theUniversity of Cambridge suggests otherwise. According to their conclusions, the earth is ill-prepared for a volcanic disaster.

A volcanic eruption

Volcanologists believe that no serious monitoring measures are undertaken to observe volcanoes. But the risk of a spurt occurring is higher than it seems. Worse, the activity frequencies of these magmatic centers have increased incredibly and they would have the same consequences as an asteroid shock.

The scientists therefore call on the authorities to become aware of the alarm state. Lara Mani, a global risk expert at CSER, was the lead author of the study. The various conclusions of the work appear in the review Nature.

Unguarded volcanoes, yet as dangerous as asteroids

According to the researchers, the probability of a volcanic catastrophe is a hundred times greater than that of a collision of comets. Estimates have revealed that an eruption would have serious human, climatic and economic consequences.

However, it has been noticed a cruel lack of monitoring of volcanoes. The greatest magnitude due to magmatic activity was recorded in Tonga. If the disaster had lasted a little longer, and had been in an inhabited region like the Mediterranean, the seismic waves could have been destructive.

Other scientists have investigated the frequency of catastrophic eruptions by analyzing traces of sulfur in old ice sheets. They noticed that an eruption ten to a hundred times greater than that of Tonga occurs every 625 years.

“The Tonga eruption was similar to a meteorite exploding in Earth’s atmosphere. The tremors recorded are large enough to trigger the state of crisis. »

Lara Mani, global risk expert at CSER

Action must be taken now

To better study seismic activity, seismologists require a dedicated volcano monitoring satellite. But for years nothing has been done. They are therefore obliged to turn to private structures to benefit from this service.

In addition, seismologists also demand more in-depth studies on the geo-engineering volcanoes. This research will make it possible to find ways to contain the toxic gases released into the atmosphere by the eruptions in order toavoid the phenomenon of volcanic winter. Finally, it is also important to study the manipulation of magma pockets.


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