How did the volcanic eruption of Mt Pinatubo affect sea levels?
(Mirror Daily, United States) The fact that sea levels increase every year is concerning, and it is caused mostly by the climate change and global warming. Scientists have also found that the volcanic eruption of Mt. Pinatubo might have balanced with the effects of global warming, resulting in the increase of sea levels at a normal rate.
Mt. Pinatubo is an active volcano in the Philippines, and researchers have recently discovered that its eruption in 1991 might have slowed down the predicted acceleration of rising sea levels. Scientists first thought that global warming would work much faster, affecting sea levels around the world. Nevertheless, another legit observation is that in the last twenty years, the rhythm of the phenomenon remained the same, namely three millimeters per year.
Mt. Pinatubo erupted on July 15, 1991, and it was a memorable event. Soon after it, researchers at NASA sent a satellite to gather data on the water temperature, fearing that sea levels would rapidly increase, as a result of the volcano’s activity.
Expert John Fasullo has recently published a study which proves that the effect of Mt. Pinatubo’s eruption was quite the opposite of the one scientists had in mind. He declares the following:
“When we used climate model runs designed to remove the effect of the Pinatubo eruption, we saw the rate of sea level rise accelerating in our simulations.”
The study shows that what happened was that the volcanic eruption created a coat of aerosols in the atmosphere, covering the oceans and preventing them from being exposed to direct sunlight. Thus, the water temperature actually dropped for a time, and it slowly recovered its initial temperature over time, when the effects of eruption started fading away.
Scientist John Fasullo also thinks that satellites and radars will provide similar information.
The next step for researchers is to figure out what is happening to the ocean and sea levels now that the cooling effects are not working anymore. What does work, instead, is climate change, and it will take its toll on seas and oceans. Lead author Fasullo is aware of the changes:
“Accelerated sea level rise is real, and it’s ongoing, and it’s not something we should doubt based on the altimeter record. “
The study was published on August 10, in Scientific Reports (journal).
Image courtesy of: Wikipedia