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24 April 2014 11:45 am ,
Vol. 344 ,
Major climate data sets have underestimated the rate of global warming in the last 15 years owing largely to poor data...
The tsetse fly is best known as the vector for the trypanosome parasites that cause sleeping sickness and a disease in...
The National Institutes of Health is revising its "two strikes" rule, which allowed researchers only one chance to...
By stabilizing the components of retromers, molecular complexes that act like recycling bins in cells, a recently...
Fossil fuels power modern society by generating heat, but much of that heat is wasted. Semiconductor devices called...
Researchers are gaining insights into what made Supertyphoon Haiyan so powerful and devastating through post-storm...
Millions around the world got a first-hand look at what it was like to be in Tacloban while it was pummeled by...
- 24 April 2014 11:45 am , Vol. 344 , #6182
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ScienceShot: Volcano CO2 Emissions No Match for Human Activity
14 June 2011 3:30 pm
A popular myth among climate change skeptics is that volcanic emissions of carbon dioxide dwarf those generated by humans. But a new report in today's issue of Eos reveals precisely the opposite: In a mere 2 to 5 days, smokestacks, tailpipes, and other human sources of CO2 spew a year's worth of volcanic emissions of that greenhouse gas. According to the paper, five recent studies suggest that volcanoes worldwide (such as Alaska's Shishaldin, shown) emit, on average, between 130 million and 440 million metric tons of CO2 each year. But in 2010, anthropogenic emissions of the planet-warming gas were estimated to be a whopping 35 billion metric tons. Individual events—such as Mount Pinatubo, whose major eruption in 1991 lasted about 9 hours—can produce CO 2 at the same rate that humans do, but they do so only for short periods of time. It would take more than 700 Mount Pinatubo-sized eruptions over the course of a year to emit as much carbon dioxide as people do, the study notes.
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