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What if every volcano eruped at once ?


Posted on Sunday, 4 January, 2015 | Comment icon 30 comments

There are usually up to two dozen volcanoes erupting at any given time. Image Credit: C.G. Newhall / USGS
What would happen in the unlikely scenario that every volcano on Earth erupted at the same time ?
It's a truly terrifying prospect, albeit an unlikely one, but if every volcano across the planet did suddenly decide to erupt simultaneously would it spell disaster for the human race ?

Geologist Parv Sethi from Radford University in Virginia believes it would. Even if the eruptions themselves didn't do the job directly they would be likely to trigger a domino effect of environmental destruction that would make the planet extremely inhospitable.

"Things will become so bad that I wouldn't want to survive on an Earth like this," he said.
To make things even worse the sheer quantity of ash being pumped in to the atmosphere would be likely to block out the sun resulting in years of freezing temperatures and darkness.

"The planet would be pitched into complete dark, and that is going to devastate photosynthesis, destroy crop yields and cause temperatures to plunge," said Sethi.

Fortunately however the chances of this particular scenario occurring are infinitesimally small.

Source: Live Science | Comments (30)


Tags: Volcano, Apocalypse


Recent comments on this story
Comment icon #21 Posted by paperdyer on 5 January, 2015, 19:21
Has anyone called SyFy yet? Sounds like a Saturday night movie plot to me. Seriously, if allt he volcanoes erupted ate once, the oceanic ones would probably boil the oceans, killing all the fish while the land-based ones would take care of everything else. If the eruptions emptied the Earth's core, would the Earth collapse inwards to fill the hole? Yeah - Let's call SyFy!
Comment icon #22 Posted by seeder on 5 January, 2015, 19:27
Has anyone called SyFy yet? Sounds like a Saturday night movie plot to me. Seriously, if allt he volcanoes erupted ate once, the oceanic ones would probably boil the oceans, killing all the fish while the land-based ones would take care of everything else. If the eruptions emptied the Earth's core, would the Earth collapse inwards to fill the hole? Yeah - Let's call SyFy! Im glad you said that about the oceans, because 90% of ALL volcanic activity takes place underwater, so if that 90% kicked off, plus the land based volcanoes, we will go extinct rather quickly.
Comment icon #23 Posted by Doug1029 on 5 January, 2015, 19:39
Thank you for giving me another unlikely scenario to constantly worry about. What if a plane falls on my house? What if the car explodes? What if every volcano on Earth erupted at once? About that plane: my dog barks at them to keep them away. Must work - we've never had one come near the house. Do you seriously think this is going to happen? The closest we ever came were the Siberian Traps. It is believed they were the cause of the end-Permian mass extinction which killed off 95% of terrestrial species. That was 250 million years ago and nothing that big has happened since. Geologists tell us... [More]
Comment icon #24 Posted by spud the mackem on 5 January, 2015, 22:06
What made them decide to erupt simultaneously this time ? You shouldn't have chucked the remains of your curry into one of them, you know they dont like cold curry, it makes them feel sick.
Comment icon #25 Posted by seaturtlehorsesnake on 6 January, 2015, 0:22
i think the real question is, what if every volcano on earth erupted at once, and instead of lava, snakes came out? and the snakes had guns ? and by real, i mean, that's probably just as likely as this scenario.
Comment icon #26 Posted by Thorvir Hrothgaard on 6 January, 2015, 0:30
i think the real question is, what if every volcano on earth erupted at once, and instead of lava, snakes came out? and the snakes had guns ? Snakes lack thumbs, they can't use guns. Now you're just trying to panic the children. and by real, i mean, that's probably just as likely as this scenario. Agreed
Comment icon #27 Posted by TheDarkerSide on 6 January, 2015, 1:03
All at a Once! That would be an amazing firework display...
Comment icon #28 Posted by seaturtlehorsesnake on 6 January, 2015, 1:15
Snakes lack thumbs, they can't use guns. Now you're just trying to panic the children. they could grip it by the husk! wait, no, that line doesn't really work for this
Comment icon #29 Posted by Likely Guy on 6 January, 2015, 2:14
i think the real question is, what if every volcano on earth erupted at once, and instead of lava, snakes came out? and the snakes had guns ? and by real, i mean, that's probably just as likely as this scenario. As pointed out, that's an impossibility. However, volcanos spewing sharks with laser beems coming out of their eyes is much more likely.
Comment icon #30 Posted by Kenemet on 6 January, 2015, 2:33
Has anyone called SyFy yet? Sounds like a Saturday night movie plot to me. Oh yes. I think, however, folks have a rather ...optimistic... view of how big a volcano is and how much impact it has. At any given moment, between 20 and 70 volcanoes are erupting. Worldwide, there are about 500 active volcanoes: http://www.universetoday.com/29662/active-volcano/ Many eruptions are fairly minor affairs. We went to Costa Rica and watched Arenal erupt (http://www.govisitcostarica.com/travelInfo/volcanoes.asp) and visited Poas while it was active. In both cases the eruption was a few hot rocks flung in t... [More]


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