NASA Warns Of A Global Catastrophe That Is Threatening The Planet

NASA Warns Of A Global Catastrophe That Is Threatening The Planet

If you think of a global catastrophic event, what's the first that comes to your mind?

I bet you think of a nuclear war and a deserted landscape that's left as a result of it. In the troubled times we live in, such a scenario is indeed possible. However, there is another force we continuously neglect – our planet itself.

Have you noticed how many natural disasters have been happening worldwide lately? It might seem like if the planet is rebelling against the parasite species that are destroying the natural environment – and these are we, humans. While hurricanes and earthquakes can be unbelievably catastrophic, wiping out entire cities and taking countless lives, they still strike only specific locations. However, there is something on our planet that could cause a global disaster: a supervolcano eruption.

There are around twenty supervolcanoes on Earth, but fortunately, all of them are currently “sleeping.” It's estimated that the last eruption of a supervolcano occurred at Lake Taupo in New Zealand approximately 26,500 years ago.

Now, NASA scientists claim that a supervolcano eruption could be much more catastrophic to the human civilization than any other external threat, such as an asteroid impact, for instance. Luckily, they also have a plan on how to prevent it.

As Brian Wilcox of NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory told BBC:

“I was a member of the Nasa Advisory Council on Planetary Defense which studied ways for NASA to defend the planet from asteroids and comets. I came to the conclusion during that study that the supervolcano threat is substantially greater than the asteroid or comet threat”.

The Yellowstone Caldera is a huge volcanic caldera that measures around 34 by 45 miles. The last supereruption happened approximately 630,000 years ago, followed by a smaller eruption around 70,000 years ago. But what could happen if it erupted again?

It is estimated that in this case, the supervolcano could release hundreds of cubic miles of lava. That would completely burn the surrounding area of sixty miles and could cover Wyoming and neighboring states with 3 feet of volcanic ash.

Then, dust, ash, and gases released into the atmosphere could lead to the phenomenon of volcanic winter in which the sunlight is blocked by these products of the eruption. That could last for decades, leading to destroyed crops and millions of deaths.

According to the scientists, Yellowstone isn't going to erupt in our lifetime. Still, one day, the supervolcano will “wake up, ” and something has to be done to prevent an eruption’s catastrophic consequences.

According to NASA, pumping heat from the caldera to turn it into electricity could decrease the volcano’s power. To do that, it would be essential to drill into the hot rock some miles away from the Yellowstone Park. Water could also be pumped through the borehole and could then return to a temperature of more than 600 degrees Fahrenheit. This process would power turbines and modify the generated geothermal energy into electricity.

This project would be costly – it would take approximately $3.46 billion to drill into the rock and build a geothermal plant. Nevertheless, it would be a useful and long-term way to generate clean energy at competitive prices. Wilcox claims that the electricity generated from Yellowstone’s heat could power the surrounding area for 10,000 of years! And most significantly, it would help to prevent a disastrous supervolcano eruption.

“Keeping these volcanoes from devastating the human food supply and causing the deaths of 99 percent of all of humanity, that seems like a worthwhile thing to debate,” he concluded.

Reference: The Mind Unleashed

NASA Warns Of A Global Catastrophe That Is Threatening The Planet NASA Warns Of A Global Catastrophe That Is Threatening The Planet Reviewed by Κατερίνα Παπ on 3:14 AM Rating: 5

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