Yellowstone Volcano

     Did you know that the Yellowstone super volcano is thousands of times more powerful than regular volcanoes? According to Vox, the Yellowstone volcano has already erupted three times: the first eruption was over 2.1 million years ago, the second 1.3 million years ago, and the third was only 664,000 years ago. If the volcano buried underneath Yellowstone National Park were to explode again, ash would spread for thousands of miles throughout the U.S., destroying towns, buildings, crops, and forcing power plants to shut down.   

     Scientists know that the volcano is capable of killing up to 90,000 people immediately and can cover Montana, Wyoming, Colorado, and Idaho in volcanic ash. This volcanic ash contains a combination between splintered rock and glass. Around 5 million people could die in the aftermath if this huge volcano erupted. 

     “I remember hearing that scientists won’t tell us when they know the volcano is about to erupt because they don’t want to cause panic, and they don’t think people could escape fast enough,” said Lindsey Woody.  

     This volcano can also have regional effects like changes to global climate. Sulfur dioxide from the volcano would be released into the atmosphere, causing the Earth’s surface to cool and the weather would get colder. The global temperatures would drop by about 1.3 degrees fahrenheit.  

     Scientists really have no idea if and when the volcano will erupt again. They aren’t worried about it erupting during our lifetime, although it is possible. Volcanoes can die out after time, so Yellowstone may not even have a fourth explosion. All we know is that our chances of surviving are very low, especially for people in Wyoming and Montana.

Supervolcano blast would blanket U.S. in ash | Science News