2011-06-10 11:56:45Volcano myth renewed every time there's a volcanic eruption
John Cook


Someone emails me about this viral message of the Icelandic volcano cancelling out any CO2 reductions we might do:

This came to me in an email with no identifier but Google says...


You could pick the best target they are all using the same copy...


That one quotes you back at them.


That is the KKK.

And they quote this...


Ron Paul


That might be the first mention of it.

It is obviously a rampant bogus claim being passed about word for word including capitalisation.

2011-06-10 14:29:09
Alex C


Hey hey, that's me @Yahoo! Answers!


I'm very glad that I'm not on any sort of reception list for that email.  You've got to wonder who organizes this though.

2011-06-10 15:53:20Does anyone know where to get data on the CO2 emissions from this last eruption?
John Cook


Would be good to answer this one with hard data.

2011-06-11 01:11:59Susggestion
John Hartz
John Hartz

If someone volunteers to author it, we could include a brief article about this issue in the Weekly Digest. 



2011-06-11 01:15:30Puyehue volcano in Chile...
John Hartz
John Hartz

Puyehue's volcanic ash cloud grounds flights out of Argentine capital

"This Just In." blog, CNN News, June 9, 2011

2011-06-11 03:06:33Not a lot: less than 1 days worth emitted by airplanes in the EEU alone
Daniel Bailey
Daniel Bailey

Volcano emitting 150-300,000 tonnes of CO2 daily: experts

PARIS — Iceland's Eyjafjoell volcano is emitting between 150,000 and 300,000 tonnes of carbon dioxide (CO2) per day, a figure placing it in the same emissions league as a small-to-medium European economy, experts said on Monday.

Assuming the composition of gas to be the same as in an earlier eruption on an adjacent volcano, "the CO2 flux of Eyjafjoell would be 150,000 tonnes per day," Colin Macpherson, an Earth scientist at Britain's University of Durham, said in an email.

Patrick Allard of the Paris Institute for Global Physics (IPGP) gave what he described as a "top-range" estimate of 300,000 tonnes per day.

Both insisted that these were only approximate estimates.

Extrapolated over a year, the emissions would place the volcano 47th to 75th in the world table of emitters on a country-by-country basis, according to a database at the World Resources Institute (WRI), which tracks environment and sustainable development.

A 47th ranking would place it above Austria, Belarus, Portugal, Ireland, Finland, Bulgaria, Sweden, Denmark and Switzerland, according to this list, which relates to 2005.

Experts stressed that the volcano contributed just a tiny amount -- less than a third of one percentage point -- of global emissions of greenhouse gases.

Total emissions by six heat-trapping gases in 2005 were more than 36 thousand million tonnes (36 gigatonnes) as measured in CO2, according to the WRI index.

"It's not of any significance compared to the anthropogenic [manmade] budget," said Kjetil Toerseth, director of regional and global pollution at the Norwegian Institute for Air Research.

Specialists cautioned those who believe the eruption is good for climate change as carbon-emitting jetliners are unable to take to the skies.

According to the European Environment Agency (EAA), daily emissions from the aviation sector in the 27 nations of the European Union are around 440,000 tonnes per day.

Not all of this is saved because of the volcanic eruption, said the sources.

Firstly, some airports in southern Europe have remained open for traffic.

In addition, carbon is emitted when passengers stranded by air travel use the train, bus, car or ferry as an alternative.

And many flights in, to and from Europe are merely being deferred until the crisis is over.

"Whether the emissions occur now or three weeks from now does not change things fundamentally," said Herve Le Treut, a French climatologist.

"Another point is that these emissions are of long duration. CO2 is dangerous because it stays in the atmosphere for about a hundred years. Its short-term effect is not the big problem."

2011-06-11 03:13:13
Daniel Bailey
Daniel Bailey

Google spreadsheet here.

Planes or Volcano