40,000 to 60,000 tons of sulphur dioxide spewing out of Bárðarbunga volcano per DAY

A few days ago I posted an article saying that Iceland’s Bardarbunga volcano was pumping out 35,000 tons of sulphur dioxide per day,

more than twice the amount spewed from all of Europe’s smokestacks.

Turns out that it’s even worse than that.

According to the Icelandic National Broadcasting Service, RUV, some 40,000 to 60,000 tons of sulphur dioxide spew out of Bárðarbunga every single day.

The Holuhraun eruption is the second biggest effusive eruption in Iceland when it comes to SO2 pollution since the 18th century, says geophysicist Pall Einarsson, professor at the University of Iceland’s Institute of Earth Sciences. Pollution levels have sometimes reached dangerous levels, especially in eastern Iceland.

Started small – getting bigger

The Holuhraun lavafield has been growing steadily, reaching 70 sq km (27 sq miles) in recent days. The volume is also impressive; with over 1 cubic kilometer of lava erupted.

Only the Laki eruption in 1783 – 1784 was bigger, with 15 cubic kilometers of erupted lava.

For comparison, all of Manhattan covers 59.5 sq km (22.96 sq miles) of land.



Thanks to DMH and Chris Beal for these links

14 thoughts on “40,000 to 60,000 tons of sulphur dioxide spewing out of Bárðarbunga volcano per DAY”

  1. They better put a carbon tax on that puppy so they can pay their bills! Mankind is devious at best when it comes to their agenda and money. Who cares about the real science, they just want to make as much as possible so they can retire to their lovely island homes that they got for cheap since the island are suppose to be under water. Yikes in the beginning I fell for the “Fire next time”. Now it looks like volcanic gas this time!

    • If the four Jovian Gas giants gravity forces can guide the Sun into a disturbed orbit around the Solar System Barry Centre and cause the series of Grand Minimums think what it their forces can do to a little rocky planet like the Earth – slight orbit changes, increases in Volcanism and Ocean plate rifting spring to mind.

    • molecular weight of sulfur dioxide, carbon dioxide, and oxygen is roughly 64, 44, and 15 mole/g. respectively.
      Would take a significant blast for So2 to reach the stratosphere and reside for a considerable amount of time. As Robert has posted, the most immediate concern with sulfur dioxide is at the low to mid elevations affecting respiratory and ph imbalances of the environment.
      However, I believe that any element added to the stratosphere in considerable amounts will have a reflective effect to solar wind and could theoretically contribute to trapping us inside a cold bubble.
      Go Figure :}

    • http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Laki
      The eruption, also known as the Skaftáreldar (“Skaftá fires”) or Síðueldur, produced an estimated 14 km3 (3.4 cu mi) of basalt lava, and the total volume of tephra emitted was 0.91 km3 (0.2 cu mi).[1] Lava fountains were estimated to have reached heights of 800 to 1,400 m (2,600 to 4,600 ft). The gases were carried by the convective eruption column to altitudes of about 15 km (10 mi).[8]

  2. I remember reading that after the eruption of 1783 people in Europe started dropping dead in their fields from SO2 pollution, is that correct and if so could it start again soon!

    I also read where the winter was so cold that the Mississippi froze down to the Gulf and the Gulf of Mexico had ice in it. Was this due to particulates in the upper atmosphere from the eruption?

    • According to diary reports at the time the UK was affected during harvest time “and a brown fog enveloped the country side”. A large proportion of those that died in the UK were men shearing corn. The cause of death was severe lung damage caused by the SO2 forming sulfur acid droplets on the lung tissues. Shearing crops with a full sized scythe is very heavy work
      This SO2 fog was trapped in a High pressure system over Europe for a number of weeks; eventually the easterly flow around the High pressure brought the SO2 cloud over the UK. Many tens of thousands died in the various European countries as most where involved with the Harvest at the time.

    • Jay,
      They died primarily from fluoridosis as fluoride was deposited in high quantities on the foods they ate. Their farm animals too, especially cattle and sheep.

      • This particular affected Icelandic grass lands. They have learnt! As soon as this eruption and the last one for that matter started, fodder was brought inside, together with stock.
        The system erupted over an eight-month period between 1783 and 1784 from the Laki fissure and the adjoining Grímsvötn volcano, pouring out an estimated 14 km3 (3.4 cu mi) of basalt lava and clouds of poisonous hydrofluoric acid and sulfur dioxide compounds that killed over 50% of Iceland’s livestock population, leading to a famine that killed approximately 25% of the island’s human population.

    • Actually 1883 sir Jay.

      August 27th Krakatoa shot ash and particulate 50 miles high. Bang was heard 2200 miles away in Australia. Some regions were under total darkness for almost 2 days. The year without a summer! Frosted every month in the U.S. the next year (hunger). Same year the novel Frankenstein was written.
      Nothing compared to the 535 AD explosion which many now believe sent the world in the Mid (Dark)Ages. The equivalent of 2 billion Hiroshima nuclear bombs.
      Trees were stunted for 15 years. The Gauls got hungry and finished off the Roman Empire. Genghis Khan got cold hungry and diseased came down from Mongolia and conquered more land than the Romans did. Have not looked for a while but the Son of Krakatoa jumped out of the ocean several years back and grumbles and growls every so often. :{

      Yep, compared the awesome “man-made” volcanoes (oops sorry),((had to do that)), the made made factories and carbon based machines become so very insignificant.

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