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Volcanic Winter

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    Ocean & Union, NJ

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  1. Sorry guys, been rather busy. The sourcing I’ve been able to find states the first main eruption was .4 cubic kilometers, and the larger second blast on 4/30 was about .9. Together that’s a full VEI 5 event (that close together it’ll be taken as a single event, many big eruptions are multi phased). Together it’s just larger than St Helen’s 1.2 cubic kilometers. I’m still uncertain on the SO2 figures and resulting climate impact. This eruption was smaller than El Chichon which had over ~7Tg’s of SO2 ejected into the atmosphere as a slightly larger but very gassy VEI 5. I’m thinking ~1.5 - 2 Tg’s possible for the combined event, but I will look into and pull actual data in the future. That’s just a guess based on early figures. Remember a lot of sources are only showing the .4 Tg of the first blast, and the second was substantially larger. It was a substantial eruption. It’s not going to cause a deep volcanic winter of course, but it could cause some climate perturbations. I wouldn’t bet on a major effect though, IMHO. Usually low end VEI5’s aren’t major climate drivers unless they’re unusually gassy (like El Chichon erupting through the anhydrite of the Yucatán).
  2. Bumped to an EF4. They usually revise several times as the damage survey continues. Crazy storm regardless of rating.
  3. As best I understand it was due to engineering reasons, they determined the old F rating wind speeds were exaggerated for the damage they indicated (IE lesser winds produced equivalent damage). Hence they changed to the Enhanced Fujita. However I heard somewhere after the April 2011 super outbreak they began changing the criteria / damage thresholds that would allow a tornado to be classified as an EF5, and I heard essentially that the requirements are so strict as to be nearly impossible. It had lots of engineering arguments that are above me, but I thought it was interesting. They were suggesting we wouldn’t be seeing many EF5’s in the future with this new method solely for giving out an EF5 rating. Again, don’t know how ultimately valid this is but it was compellingly presented. I’ll look for the page I saw this on and link it if I can come across it. Has a lot of analysis of the mid to late 2010’s EF4’s that maybe could’ve been EF5 strength.
  4. Iowa tornado from today: This is one of the most impressive multi-vortex structures I've ever seen since El Reno.
  5. Was just thinking about when we’d see the next EF5. I had heard / read some criticisms that the NWS essentially redefined the damage necessary to classify a tornado as an EF5 as to be almost impossible. Basically it was stated that many historic EF and F5’s would be an EF4 with the new survey methods employed. Don’t know how valid that is, but the arguments I saw made sense in context and with examples. A few of the EF4’s since Moore would probably have been an EF5 with the less strict survey methods.
  6. About 3am facing the northern horizon. The green was very visible to the naked eye, and there was a faint pink / purple hue to space in the area it developed in the picture.
  7. A little backyard Aurora action??? I’m pretty blown away, but then again given the intensity of the solar storm it’s not even that surprising. During the 1859 Carrington Event, aurorae were visible all the way down to the Caribbean.
  8. @snowman19 When do you foresee the PDO actually shifting? Do you think we stay predominantly -PDO for a while or do you think a shift may happen within several years?
  9. The larger eruption I'm hearing was 0.94 cubic kilometers, combining with the earlier 0.40 cubic kilometers of the eruption on the 17th, this event is a clear VEI 5 overall and actually larger than St Helens in 1980, though that erupted 1.2 cubic kilometers in one sustained eruption. Still, this is a very, very significant event. Usually one eruption per decade will reach VEI 5 levels.
  10. And just to give a sense of how insane the VEI scale and explosive volcanism in general gets, assuming Ruang hits a minimal VEI 5 of 1 cubic kilometer (St Helens was 1.2 cubic kilometer, much of that erupted laterally), it would have to further erupt 10x more volume to reach a minimal VEI 6 (around what Hunga Tonga did, and a little less than Pinatubo). From current levels (again assuming 1 cubic kilometer - a minimal VEI 5), it would have to erupt 100x more material to reach a VEI 7, 150x in the case of Tambora. To reach a ‘supereruption’ at VEI 8, it would need 1000x its current erupted volume. The Toba supereruption 75kya was 3500-5000x this hypothetical VEI 5 Ruang eruption.
  11. Absolutely Don. I see they revised the first blast up to half a Tg up from 0.3 from the initial estimate. I can’t overstate how impressive this entire sequence has been. The first blast was the destruction of the existing lava dome (think a plug of viscous magma that hardens into a dome shape blocking the conduit and helping to increase pressure in the system). It was notably intense transpiring only over a couple hours and outputting mid VEI 4 volume; that’s extremely impressive. Most volcanoes would then go quiet and enter a prolonged period of repose after such a blast. Instead, Ruang extruded another, even larger lava dome which hardened into another plug. The injection of fresh magma into the chambers below apparently never stopped, and Ruang built back up like a pressure cooker. This second blast was utterly spectacular, the amount of power behind blasts of that nature is bewildering. Like Grimsvotn in 2011, most VEI 4-5 plinian eruptions are only moderately intense and transpire over 12 or more hours. You have a generally sustained eruption column that may occasionally collapse into pyroclastic flows down the flanks of the system. Ruang just did everything all at once, twice!
  12. Indonesia in the Sangihe islands, near North Sulawesi. Gunung Ruang
  13. @snowman19 This eruption is even larger than the first, this is incredible. The first was a solid VEI 4 by itself with about .40 cubic kilometers of erupted material. Given this blast now is even larger, there really is a chance for a collective VEI 5 event here. These are incredible sequences of lava dome creation and destruction, like Shiveluch last year but even larger and more powerful.
  14. TWC was my childhood. I was a kid in its heyday. Honestly I probably credit it partially with my intense passion for earth science.
  15. Yup, we both have that chilly Pine Barrens night time microclimate. I’ve been amazed just how consistently chilly it gets down here on clear nights. Pretty sure we were right around 0-2 during one of those stronger Arctic pushes in the mid 2010’s, but it was before I had a reliable weather station on my property. I’m backed up to woods off 37 near the western border with Manchester / Lakehurst. Can be a pretty chilly little pocket, and slightly more elevated than the downtown area. I’m at about 60-70ft.
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