Supereruptions as a threat to civilizations on earth-like planets

  title={Supereruptions as a threat to civilizations on earth-like planets},
  author={Michael R. Rampino},
  • M. Rampino
  • Published 2002
  • Environmental Science
  • Icarus
micron atmospheric aerosols and dust. These eruptions may be capable of creating global climatic disturbances sufficient to cause severe problems for world agriculture and modern civilization. Supereruptions are estimated to occur on average about every 50,000 years, which is about twice the frequency of impacts by comets and asteroids ≥1 km diameter predicted to cause similar climatic effects. Prediction, prevention, and mitigation of global volcanic climatic disasters may be potentially more… Expand

Figures and Tables from this paper

Consequences of Explosive Supereruptions
Rare but extremely large explosive supereruptions lead to the catastrophic formation of huge calderas, devastation of substantial regions by pyroclastic flow deposits, and ash falls that coverExpand
Explosive Super-Eruptions and Potential Global Impacts
Abstract Rare, but extremely large, explosive super-eruptions lead to the catastrophic formation of huge calderas, devastation of substantial regions by pyroclastic density currents or flows andExpand
The geological record contains evidence of rare, explosive supereruptions that have covered whole continents with volcanic ash and have global long-term recurrence intervals estimated to be in theExpand
An AOGCM simulation of the climate response to a volcanic super-eruption
Volcanic ‘super-eruptions’ have been suggested to have significantly influenced the Earth’s climate, perhaps causing glaciations and impacting on the human population. Climatic changes following aExpand
The effects and consequences of very large explosive volcanic eruptions
  • S. Self
  • Environmental Science, Medicine
  • Philosophical Transactions of the Royal Society A: Mathematical, Physical and Engineering Sciences
  • 2006
It is more likely that the Earth will next experience a super-eruption than an impact from a large meteorite greater than 1 km in diameter, and major disruption of services that society depends upon can be expected for periods of months to years after the next very large explosive eruption. Expand
Quaternary Intenational April 2006 From natural hazard to environmental catastrophe : Past and present
The number of environmental catastrophes is rising, mostly owing to an increase in hydrometeorological hazards. The number of disasters is escalating as the world population grows and people settleExpand
From natural hazard to environmental catastrophe: Past and present
The number of environmental catastrophes is rising, mostly owing to an increase in hydrometeorological hazards. The number of disasters is escalating as the world population grows and people settleExpand
The Effect of Super Volcanic Eruptions on Ozone Depletion in a Chemistry-Climate Model
With the gradual yet unequivocal phasing out of ozone depleting substances (ODSs), the environmental crisis caused by the discovery of an ozone hole over the Antarctic has lessened in severity and aExpand
The climatic impact of supervolcanic ash blankets
Supervolcanoes are large caldera systems that can expel vast quantities of ash, volcanic gases in a single eruption, far larger than any recorded in recent history. These super-eruptions have beenExpand
The Frequency and Consequences of Cosmic Impacts Since the Demise of the Dinosaurs
million years ago a huge asteroid collided with the Earth and ended the long reign of the dinosaurs. In the aftermath of this catastrophic event the mammals arose and eventually mankind came toExpand


Impacts on the Earth by asteroids and comets: assessing the hazard
There is a 1-in-10,000 chance that a large (∼2-km diameter) asteroid or comet will collide with the Earth during the next century, disrupting the ecosphere and killing a large fraction of the world'sExpand
Can Rapid Climatic Change Cause Volcanic Eruptions?
Dust veils provide positive feedback for short-term (less than 10 year) global cooling, but seem unlikely to trigger glaciations or even minor climate fluctuations in the 10-to 100-year range. Expand
Environmental Perturbations Caused by the Impacts of Asteroids and Comets
We review the major mechanisms proposed to cause extinctions at the Cretaceous-Tertiary geological boundary following an asteroid impact. We then discuss how the proposed extinction mechanisms mayExpand
Climate-Volcanism Feedback and the Toba Eruption of ∼74,000 Years Ago
Abstract A general feedback between volcanism and climate at times of transition in the Quaternary climate record is suggested, exemplified by events accompanying the Toba eruption (∼74,000 yr ago),Expand
A Pinatubo Climate Modeling Investigation
Global cooling of the Earth’s surface has been observed following the largest volcanic eruptions of the past century, although the average cooling is perhaps less than expected from simple energyExpand
Volcanic winter and accelerated glaciation following the Toba super-eruption
THE eruption of Toba in Sumatra 73,500 years ago was the largest known explosive volcanic event in the late Quaternary1. It could have lofted about 1015 g each of fine ash and sulphur gases toExpand
Sulphur-rich volcanic eruptions and stratospheric aerosols
During the past decade it has become clear that the long-lived stratospheric clouds produced by volcanic eruptions are composed largely of sulphuric acid aerosols1,2. The amount of sulphur-richExpand
Fire or ice: anticorrelation of volcanism and glaciation in California over the past 800,000 years
Compilation of published ages of Quaternary volcanism in eastern California indicates that volcanism was episodic, with maxima occurring during interglacial periods. The smoothed age distributionExpand
Pinatubo eruption winter climate effects: model versus observations
Large volcanic eruptions, in addition to the well-known effect of producing global cooling for a year or two, have been observed to produce shorterterm responses in the climate system involvingExpand
Fluctuations of the Campanian explosive volcanic activity (South Italy) during the past 190,000 years, as determined by marine tephrochronology
Abstract A statistical analysis of the time variations of the frequency of explosive events is derived from the detailed record of marine tephra in deep-sea sediment cores of the centralExpand