The Chaiten Volcano after 9,000 years

The Chaiten volcano in southern Chile sprung to life for the first time in thousands of years. The powerful eruption sent ash more than 20 km into the sky and caused a poor visibility in the area. After drifting across Argentina (the southern most country), the plume of ash dissipated over the Atlantic.

NASA reports after radiocarbon dating that the volcano last erupted in 7420 ± 75 years BC.

Volcanic eruptions emits huge quantities of greenhouse gases like carbon dioxide (CO2), sulphur dioxide (SO2) which are a natural contributor of acid rain (this is the bad side). On the other hand, clouds produced from volcanic gases/ash can hinder sunrays entering the Earth’s surface causing a drop in temperature. Mt. Pinatubo eruptions in 1991 released about 22 million tons of SO2 that caused a temperature drop in some regions as much as 0.5°C. Look, that’s against global warming. That shows Earth has her own way to cool things down. Volcanic eruptions are one such event.

News sources: CNN

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