When Will It Happen?
In the topic of global warming there is not really a good grasp on when it will really start to have big effects on the earth. And the truth is that we can only predict and not ever really know when there will be big changes. As I was reading my RSS feed, I came across this story that really relates to this topic of uncertainty.
New studies say that there will be another eruption in Yellowstone and that scientists will be able to predict where it will occur. Well towards the top of the article National Geographic states that they can predict where there is a better probability of some volcanoes erupting someday. Well the part that caught my eye was the word “someday.” What good is knowing where it will erupt if you have no idea when it will in the future?
Well I know you might say that it is good to know where it will erupt so that we will be ready if it happens again, but the last time that two of these potential eruption sites went off was 174,000 to 70,000 years ago. But the third site has erupted in recent years. So I feel like we should be very little concerned about this problem.
Later in the article National Geographic talks about how massive eruptions have come out of Yellowstone that have had consequences that cover regions of land around it in lava. As a result, some people have given Yellowstone the name “super volcano”. In this next quote I want you to pay attention to the time period over which these huge blasts occurred.
The Yellowstone region is often referred to as a “supervolcano” because it has spewed more than 240 cubic miles (a thousand cubic kilometers) of ash and lava in a single event. The most recent of these massive blasts occurred some 640,000 years ago.”
Pay attention to the part about 640,000 years ago. Again, why should we be concerned about things that happened so long ago and have so little chances of happening in thousands of years to come. They do not have any evidence that this will happen again anytime soon. And a little bit later in the article, a scientist says that even the chances of a smaller blast occurring are 1 in 10,000. So why worry about all of this now?
So as you can see, this really relates to the topic of uncertainty in global warming. Now this uncertainty is a little more dramatic than global warming is but they share the same concept. The next eruption could happen in thousands of years and Global Warming could not have catastrophic effects in the next 100 years. But there always is that small chance that it could happen soon, and this creates the uncertainty.