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What’s Brewing in Yellowstone?

A supervolcano – aching to errupt.  The Norris Geyser Basin in Yellowstone National Park, Wyoming, is evidence of the simmering volcanic activity. In the event that the supervolcano did decide to blow its top:

Vast amounts of ash, causing massive climate disruption would be a global disaster.

Such an eruption would have an impact both on the ground and in the atmosphere, with those closest to Yellowstone, including southern Alberta to southern Manitoba, to experience ash fall that would cover the landscape up to one metre deep; shutting down transportation, collapsing buildings, shorting-out the electrical grid and causing massive agricultural failure.

Ash fall would diminish with distance, but Toronto could see anywhere from 1 to 10 millimetres of ash. Airborne ash would ground most air traffic and cause respiratory problems. Debris within the atmosphere could reduce the Earth’s surface temperature by several degrees Celsius, resulting in a global cooling event that could last for many years, or possibly decades following such and eruption.

It is difficult to imagine that any nation, including Canada, could possibly be ready for a global catastrophe like the eruption of Yellowstone. It last erupted ‘at least’ three times over the past two million years, transforming the landscape each time. The last Yellowstone caldera-forming eruption is estimated to have occurred somewhere around 640,000-years-ago. The monstrous volcanic-blast shaped and formed Yellowstone National Park as it is today. When Yellowstone erupted all those years ago, the supervolcano threw up so much material from deep below the surface, entire mountains collapsed into the ground.

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