Its not a question of if - its a question of when Many large volcanoes on Earth are capable of explosive eruptions much bigger than any experienced by humanity over historic time. Such volcanoes may be termed super-volcanoes and their colossal eruptions super-eruptions. The occurrence of a super-eruption would have severe environmental effects and might threaten global civilisation. Events at the smaller scale end of the super-eruption size spectrum are quite common when compared to the frequency of other naturally occurring devastating phenomena such as asteroid impacts. The effects of a medium scale super-eruption would be similar to those predicted for the impact of a 1 km-diameter asteroid with the Earth, but even super-eruptions of this size are still 5-10 times more likely to occur within the next few thousand years than an impact.
On this site:
- Society warns of Supervolcano threat(2000)
- Society statement, tsunami threats (2000)
- Yellowstone volcano gets Observatory (2001)
- Yellowstone threat to world climate (2001)
- Pinatubo threat (2001)
- What gave the Earth a nasty turn in AD540? (from the BA, 2001)