Letter: Volcanic eruptions undo all climate change measures

Letter: The volcanic eruption in Iceland, since its first spewing of volcanic ash has, in just four days, negated every single effort we humans have made in the past five years to control carbon dioxide emissions on our planet.

Letter: The volcanic eruption in Iceland, since its first spewing of volcanic ash has, in just four days, negated every single effort we humans have made in the past five years to control carbon dioxide emissions on our planet.

Of course you know about this gas we are trying to suppress – it’s that vital chemical compound that every plant requires to live and grow, and to synthesize into oxygen for all animal life.

The volcanic ash has erased every effort you have made to reduce the evil beast, carbon.

And there are about 200 active volcanoes on the planet spewing out this gas every day.

I don’t really want to rain on your parade too much, but I should mention that when Mount Pinatubo erupted in the Philippines in 1991, it spewed out more greenhouse gases into the atmosphere than the entire human race had emitted in its entire time on earth.

Should I mention the effect of solar and cosmic activity and the well-recognized 800-year global heating and cooling cycle, which keep happening, despite our completely insignificant efforts to affect climate change?

I do wish I had a silver lining to this volcanic ash cloud but the fact of the matter is that the bushfire season across the western USA and Australia this year alone will negate your efforts to reduce carbon in our world for the next two to three years.

Denis Allen


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Comments for: "Letter: Volcanic eruptions undo all climate change measures"

The Original Jake

Volcanic eruptions are, always have been and always will be a massive source of greenhouse gases. Without them, life as we know it would not exist. They are going to continue to happen and we have no control over that.

The quantity of gas injected into the atmosphere comes in fits and starts, but over millions of years a natural and delicate balance has been created, which we have done a fantastic job of upsetting over the last hundred and fifty or so by ADDING to the natural background activity.

Unlike volcanic eruptions, we CAN control how much fuel we burn and how rapidly we burn it. Natural events should not be used as an excuse to shrug our shoulders and ignore the problem.


I second that. Well said


Third motion, well said!!


Garbage Denis, utter garbage. The Iceland volcano is emitting near as makes no difference 300,000 tonnes a day. Which, were it a country, would place it about 50th in the world league table of polluters.

Your statement is completely wrong. I completely understand why people are sceptical about climate science, but you can't just make stuff up. Read some proper books, not just red top newspapers and blogs from people who are funded by the oil industry.


The Original Jake: It's true what you say, one should not pollute one's environment just because someone or something else is. Like polluting the oceans is something that man can control and should because it kills fish, etc.

However, with 200 active volcanoes on the planet, creating this balance over millions of years (you mentioned,)do you really think that this species called Man, who has only been burning fossil fuel for the past 250 years, is the real "upset" of such a balance?

If so, then how come there are Interglacial periods lasting 10,000 years and Glacial periods lasting 100,000 years that came and went long before 1750?

If MAN is the culprit of this BALANCE then how do you explain these major climate changes over the past 2 million years prior to the Industrial Revolution, which produced MUCH more pollution than man has ever created?

"Accelerating" (not causing) a bad thing should be pointed out, but claiming an anthropogenic CAUSE for climate change is a bit presumptuous don't you think?


"do you really think that this species called Man, who has only been burning fossil fuel for the past 250 years, is the real “upset” of such a balance?"

Possibly. Volcanoes are a REALLY bad example to pick if you want to debunk AGW. Human production of greenhouse gasses dwarfs that of volcanoes.


Yes, but the species called man is slowly and surely taking over the planet. Man is greedy and takes what he can for his own ends, which will be his undoing. insects WILL inherit the earth!!

The Original Jake

I don't know the answer. Nobody knows the definitive answer. But it's better to err on the side of caution than find out for the worse in hindsight, don't you think?


"You will not be saved by General Motors or the pre-fabricated house.

You will not be saved by dialectic materialism or the Lambeth Conference.

You will not be saved by Vitamin D or the expanding universe.

In fact, you will not be saved."

Best quoted in an approximation of Pvt Frazer.

Harvey Unwin

The Mount Pinatoba eruption sent out an estimated 42-234 million tonnes of carbon dioxide. this is published in a 1999 paper by the USGS: "Preeruption Vapor in Magma of the Climactic Mount Pinatubo Eruption: Source of the Giant Stratospheric Sulfur Dioxide Cloud" (by Terrence M. Gerlach, Henry R. Westrich, and Robert B. Symonds)

Annual man made emissions of COS are 29 Giga tonnes. So Pinatoba emitted, at most, around 1.25% of the man made emissions in a single year.

Additionally, the amount leaving the Icelandic volcano barely registers. His point about solar emissions is also wrong. The so called cycle is expected to reduce global temperatures at the very most by around 0.7C compare that with the potential for a 6 degree rise ( unlikely ) this century on a stay as we are basis.


Denis is sort of on the right track.. to others, get your head out of the provebial guys, and wake up to reality! If you removed ALL of the heat that sits in the atmosphere, it is only the amount of heat that heats the top 10 feet of ocean. Our oceans are several miles deep in parts... but they are heating up! You cannot even start to visualise the amount of heat necessary to do that! Our paltry contribution to atmospheric heating is quite insignificant.

Our magnetic field 2000 years ago was 2.5 times stronger than it is today. It is declining year on year, and is moving towards Russia at teh rate of 40 miles per year.

THREE independent studies of different aspects of geology and geomagnetism have all recently concluded that the next sunspot cycle, 25, will simply not happen... low sunspot activity coincides with HIGH volcanic activity historically. There are more than THREE MILLION underwater volcanoes. We are, geologically speaking, at the highest level ofvolcanic activity in 500 years. There is an ACTIVE underwater volcano the size of Vesuvius, pumping out molten basalt underneath the Arctic ice cap. Do you know how much heat is involved here when you start to look at red hot basalt being spewed out miles underwater by many thousands of volcanoes and vents. This is a cycle of course.. the last "dead" sunspot cycle produced the Maunder Minimum.. the Little Ice Age.. and THAT is where we are going and the amount of C02 in the air is irreelevant! In fact, the Ice Age cycle happens every 11,500 years.. increasing volcanic activity, heating seas, more moisture driven into the air.. cooler, wetter weather for northerly climes (tens of thousands of cold weather records were broken this winter across the US and Europe.. more being broken across Australia right now)

Increasing volcanic activity causes cooling... add all these elements together and it is happening right now, right here.. and Ice Ages don't happen gradually.. the whole process can happen within a few years once they get going.. glad I live well south of the extent of previous ice sheets, have super-insulated my home to an extraordinary extent, have solar panels for energy, and a large greenhouse to help extend my growing season. This area in my adopted country, was US growing Zone 6 in the 1960's but has cooled to the extent that it is now Zone 5.. same for areas of Tennessee for example. I'm ready for Zone 4 temps.. never did like the heat.. so bring it on! The work of Robert Felix author of Ice Age Now, is now been recognised. Go to his site, iceagenow.com and read what you are NOT being told. It will open your eyes forever.

Did you know that there is an Alaskan glacier that is ADVANCING 10 feet a day?

Right now volcanic ash is circling the globe. Entire villages are being buried in Southern Argentina....

Mount Rainier’s buildings are still buried under 20 feet of snow

Snowpack in Utah's mountains is 500-700% greater than normal

Did you know that 31,000 scientists now dispute claims of global warming?

Darwin, NSW, is suffering the heaviest precipitation and coldest weather on record.. right here.. right now..

South Africa has been slammed by severe cold and snow storms in the past few weeks..

Antarctic ice is GROWING.. all the old polar stations are buried under snow.. in one case, under 100 feet of snow!

A tiny handful of named glaciers are shrinking but 99%, in terms of area, are actually growing!

Google "New Consensus Predicts an Ice Age" by Alan Caruba for the truth..

The temperature of massive Lake Tahoe in California/Nevada has been DROPPIING for the last 50 years..

The temperature of Greenland has been falling.. surprised?

You've been conned by the Global Tricksters.. and it's all about tax and profits for global Carbon Trading.. wake up Sheeple!

The Original Jake

Since you like quoting dubious statistics, here's an indisputable one for you: did you know that if we continue to burn fossil fuels at the rate we do now, they will run out more quickly than if we burn them at a slower rate? In fact there is a direct correlation. You can't get more statistically sound than that.

Rea Brook

The wonderful thing about statistics is that anyone can make them up. And Caroline is very good at that.

Only those evil climate scientists think that you should actually try to find out which statistics are true.


Well its all very nice to create a panic about underwater volcanoes, but to point out the obvious, at these depths the pressure is so great that the gases are trapped. This is one method considered of carbon capture as a reductant in industrial emissions.

Also, you obviously do not understand anything about the difference between weather and climate. Just because it's global warming doesn't mean we're going to be living in 100F every day.


Caroline, I think you have set a record!!



If - as I trust - you wish to offer a considered opinion, I take it you also question your sources of information, the research techniques used and whether or not the research is truly independent and verifiable by others not funded by those who commissioned the research in the first place. That after all is what science is about and is also why the majority scientific community scoff at opinions such as yours and Denis Allen.


Some very interesting statistics, wikipedia must have brought another server online so that you could complete your research.

You can read into statistics what you will, in a recent survey 73% of those taking part believe your figures, 28% did not, the other 11% were undecided.

Rea Brook

All the volcanoes in the world produce in an average year less CO2 than the human race currently produces by burning fossil fuels in three days. It's as simple as that.

Rea Brook

If the paper received a letter saying that cricketers scored goals, tennis players made runs and rugby players made 40-love, the Editor would rightly reject it on the grounds that the writer doesn't know what he is talking about.

Why, then, does the paper publish worse nonsense about science, like Denis Allen's letter about the carbon dioxide from volcanoes outweighing that from the burning of fossil fuels by people? Even a very easy enquiry involving little scientific knowledge easily establishes that this is totally untrue.

Atmospheric carbon dioxide has been measured for a long time at various places around the earth, and for over 50 years continuously at Mauna Loa in Hawaii. If volcanoes did produce the large amounts of carbon dioxide that Mr Allen claims, the the record would show a huge increase after a big eruption like Pinatubo (the second largest eruption of the 20th century). But it doesn't - there is just a small bulge on the large regular increase caused by fossil fuels. So Mr Allen is wrong.

In fact the best estimate is that in an average year all the volcanoes in the world produce less carbon dioxide than the human race currently produces in three days from fossil fuels. Eyjafjallajökull matched only a few hours of human production.

Rea Brook

What's more, this letter is not even original. If you Google the words, you can see that the same text, almost word for word, has been reposted by blogs round the world.

The Original Jake

Interesting find. I googled it too and discovered that its source is Professor Ian Plimer, who is, to quote another blog, "...not a climate scientist. He's a heavily invested mining geologist and a director of Ormil Energy, which is currently engaged in a $3.2 million commitment to investigate coal seam gas and coal mine gas in the Sydney basin, pending government approvals".


So, Jake, a geologist involved in seeking further energy sources for an ever increasing global population is not - as you allude to - to be trusted on the issue of purported Man Made climate change.

Yet you would believe the findings of Government sponsored climate "scientists", funded by taxpayers money to "find" the fingerprint of Man in global temperature variations of +/- 0.05 degrees Celsius? Funded to exercise more control over the populate in what we do, where we go, how we travel, what we spend. What would you do, Jake, if <b>you</b> were a climate "scientist" whose funding depended entirely on Govt coin paid on tabling evidence of AGW? Hmm?

"Greens" are like watermelons: green on the outside, red on the inside; they seek control of the populate under the specious auspices of "saving the planet".

Rea Brook

"Funded to exercise more control over the populate in what we do, where we go, how we travel, what we spend."

No they're not, they're funded to find out how the climate works. And in that they have been pretty successful.

It's been known for over a century that increasing the CO2 in the atmosphere will increase the temperature at the earth's surface. It's basic physics. And now multiple independent lines of evidence from different branches of science, published in thousands of scientific publications, show that is what we are doing with our fossil fuels.

I've been following this for years now, and the one thing that is clear about the 'sceptics' is that they avoid facing the science because they know they have no argument against it. They instead try to confuse the public with various tactics - one of which is circulating outright falsehoods as in the letter at the top of this page.

The Original Jake

Your post adopts the cynical - and largely incorrect - view that climate change research is somehow financed and influenced entirely by political agenda.

It's been many years since I wrote my final year dissertation on climate change (for which I was awarded a First, I might add). I spent many hours in the university library, hunched over a microfilm reader, researching hundreds of articles and papers, hardly any of which were financed or shaped by politics.

In answer to your fist paragraph: "So, Jake, a geologist involved in seeking further energy sources for an ever increasing global population is not – as you allude to – to be trusted on the issue of purported Man Made climate change." Well.. no. His company's (and no doubt personal) fortunes are reliant on the continued exploitation and burning of fossil fuels. Are you actually suggesting you *would* trust his opinion? If you do, don't forget to leave all the lights on when you go to bed tonight, because apparently is doesn't matter.

Finally, regarding government control of the populace... you'll probably find that the oil companies exert more influence over your daily life than the government. I'm happy to settle for the lesser of two evils.


As others have stated, the original letter is poorly researched and reeks of a cut & paste exercise, which the letter writer has taken at face value (much like proponents of AGW - but that's another story).

Major volcanic eruptions cause the opposite of what is claimed in the letter. See here:


The eruption of Mount Pinatubo in the Philippines instigated a major global cooling episode.


This burden weighs heavily on the minds of us caring individuals. We are given the knowledge that others want us to believe, without knowing the full facts. But for most of us the full facts would be too much for us to understand. We have professors that have studied this for years that still have a limited idea of whats happening.

All I know is, the world is changing and I have seen it during my lifetime. I have experienced droughts, flooding, extreme cold, and extreme heat. Weatherwize, people shout global warming must be to blame. I dont know, maybe it is. But what I have also seen during my lifetime is the increased number of people developing cancer. When I was a kid, I knew no one that had the illness, now it is like a plague. I believe we are reaping what we sow. We pump out deadly gasses so what do we expect, not to be harmed by them, i think not.

Lets take the oil industry: I watched a movie called who killed the electric car and if you get a chance watch it. This movie really opened my eyes to the control that these oil companies have on society. If we would have invested as much into alternative transportation and clean energy 30 years ago as the profits these companies make, i'm sure our planet would look a little different.

As one person I can't do much to combat this mess, but I do what I can like plant trees, drive an efficient vehicle, buy local produce, turn off appliances and lights etc. I'm definately not a hippie, but i do know something is not right.

Finally, I believe that the world will maintain a balance and look after itself. It has done for millions of years before us. If maintaining that balance means deleting the presence of a plague in order to survive, I believe it will. Lets just hope we can find an antidote for the plague of greed.

Michael Wilkinson

BamBam,I like your thinking

atcham jack

the time to worry is when the wrekin blows., until then it is all hot air

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