US Geological Survey: Do Volcanoes Emit More CO2 Than Humans? No.

January 15, 2022

Look for a lot of “volcanoes emit more than humans” bad takes, but the US Geological Survey has a page on this.

US Geological Survey:

Carbon dioxide (CO2) is a greenhouse gas and is the primary gas blamed for climate change. While sulfur dioxide released in contemporary volcanic eruptions has occasionally caused detectable global cooling of the lower atmosphere, the carbon dioxide released in contemporary volcanic eruptions has never caused detectable global warming of the atmosphere. In 2010, human activities were responsible for a projected 35 billion metric tons (gigatons) of CO2 emissions. All studies to date of global volcanic carbon dioxide emissions indicate that present-day subaerial and submarine volcanoes release less than a percent of the carbon dioxide released currently by human activities. While it has been proposed that intense volcanic release of carbon dioxide in the deep geologic past did cause global warming, and possibly some mass extinctions, this is a topic of scientific debate at present.

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One Response to “US Geological Survey: Do Volcanoes Emit More CO2 Than Humans? No.”

  1. rhymeswithgoalie Says:

    “While it has been proposed that intense volcanic release of carbon dioxide in the deep geologic past did cause global warming, and possibly some mass extinctions, this is a topic of scientific debate at present.”

    As big as Honga-Tunga may seem right now, it’s just a geologically forgettable blip. The volcanic “events” associated with past extinctions took place over centuries with igneous volumes measured in millions of cubic kilometers. Humans’ targeted extraction and combustion of fossil carbon over the past five decades compresses the effects of those past atmosphere-changing extinctions into a tiny sliver of geologic time.

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Large_igneous_province


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