(ORDO NEWS) — Ice cores of ancient glaciers have preserved evidence of dozens of powerful eruptions, including three events of the level of the famous Toba volcano disaster.
The eruption of the Tambora volcano in 1815 is considered the most powerful in recorded history. The catastrophe occurred on the territory of present-day Indonesia, but the inhabitants of the entire planet felt its consequences.
Particles thrown into the air caused climatic anomalies on all continents, led to a short global cooling, crop failures, mass starvation and epidemics.
And these things happen more often than you think. The authors of a new article published in the journal Climate of the Past counted almost 70 very powerful eruptions over the past 60 thousand years.
Anders Svensson of the University of Copenhagen and colleagues analyzed ice cores from six different glacier sites in Greenland and Antarctica.
This ice accumulated slowly and for a long time, over many thousands of years, and preserved dust particles and aerosols that flew in the atmosphere in those distant times, and in chronological order.
This work made it possible to reconstruct the content of sulfate particles in the air, a key component of volcanic emissions. It is they who, reaching the stratosphere, are capable of causing global climate anomalies.
At high altitude, they spread throughout the planet, settling, among other things, on the surface of distant glaciers.
Based on the magnitude of the peaks of sulfate accumulation, scientists counted 69 eruptions more powerful than Tambora in 1815, which occurred over the past 60 thousand years, when humanity was already entering the Late Paleolithic.
25 of these eruptions were estimated by geologists to be the most powerful eruptions that have occurred in recorded history, including Tambora.
And three of them could reach the maximum possible strength on the scale of volcanic activity VEI , falling into the same group of “mega-eruptions” as the disaster of the Toba volcano, which happened more than 75 thousand years ago and, according to some hypotheses, almost killed all of humanity.
The increase in this activity after 60 thousand years ago, scientists attribute to the end of the long ice age and the “tectonic response to the melting ice.”
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