Huge eruption may cool the globe

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Author: Richard A. Kerr
Date: June 28, 1991
From: Science(Vol. 252, Issue 5014)
Publisher: American Association for the Advancement of Science
Document Type: Article
Length: 599 words

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The eruptions of Unzen in Japan and Mount Pinatubo in the Philippines may have competed for space on front pages over the past few weeks, but in global terms there has been no match. At press time Unzen was still a minor rumble, but Pinatubo, at least in its atmospheric effects, appears to have set a modern record. Even the 1982 eruption of El Chichon in Mexico, which may have significantly depressed world temperatures, appears to have wreaked less havoc than Pinatubo now threatens, according to scientists monitoring the eruption cloud by satellite. "It's no Krakatoa," says Arlin Krueger of NASA's Goddard Space Flight Center in Greenbelt, Maryland. "But this is possibly the largest eruption of this century."

The enormity of Pinatubo's eruption has caught the attention of a lot of researchers. On the one hand, atmospheric scientists are delighted to study just how much a volcanic eruption can...

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Gale Document Number: GALE|A11000985