Scientists: the eruption of supervolcanoes happen every 17 thousand years

© AFP 2017 / Juan CevallosИзвержение of Tungurahua volcano in Ecuador. 27 Feb 2016Scientists: the eruption of supervolcanoes happen every 17 thousand years© AFP 2017 / Juan Cevallos

. The most powerful eruption of the SUPERVOLCANO that could seriously change the climate of the Earth or cause mass extinctions of animals, occur much more often than scientists thought, about 17 thousand years, according to a paper published in the journal Earth and Planetary Science Letters.

«In 2004, our colleagues published the first evaluation of this kind, in which super-eruptions should take place every 45-700 thousand years, which exceeds the lifetime of our civilization. Our calculations show that they occur on average once in 17 thousand years. This suggests that mankind was incredibly lucky – the last such event happened 30 thousand years ago,» said Jonathan rougier (Jonathan Rougier) from the University of Bristol (UK).

Earth’s volcanoes are now considered one of the key «conductors» of our planet’s climate. They can raise the temperature on its surface, throwing huge masses of carbon dioxide and other greenhouse gases and to reduce it, filling the atmosphere with particles of ash and aerosols microcephaly reflecting the rays and heat of the Sun.

Humanity in the entire brief history of its existence has already experienced several such disasters. For example, the eruption of the SUPERVOLCANO Toba, which occurred about 70 thousand years ago, led to the occurrence of a «volcanic winter» for a few years and an almost complete disappearance of people. The same power of the events occurred in New Zealand, 27 thousand years ago, 240 thousand years ago, as well as in California 760 thousand years ago.

Rouge and his colleagues tried to calculate the frequency of eruptions of supervolcanoes, based on a simple mathematical principle – the more powerful such a disaster, the less often they occur. Following this idea, the researchers analyzed data collected by geologists and seismologists at the time of observations several thousands of eruptions in LaMEVE project.

According to calculations by British geologists, the eruption of supervolcanoes should occur more frequently than predicted by the study of their latest traces on the Ground – they explode every 5-49 thousands of years, rather than every 45-700 thousands of years, as scientists believed before. On average, they should produce a powerful eruption every 17 thousand years.

This assessment, as noted by Rouget, says that scientists underestimated the danger of a SUPERVOLCANO – the likelihood that they could destroy our civilization in the past, was much higher than expected by geologists.

«On the other hand, it is important to understand that this discovery suggests that the next eruption of the volcano had a long time to happen, and that it can happen at any time — the Earth does not run on a schedule, do not go like a clock. Mankind can easily destroy itself before this happens, and therefore should not be considered supervolcanoes the only serious threat to civilization,» concludes a British scientist.