On 25th of November, Indonesia saw the most potentially dangerous volcano since 1963. Mount Agung was almost covered with 1500 meters high ashes and steam. Indonesian National Disaster Agency (BNPB) is monitoring the situation closely and making major announcements about the situation.
Eruptions at Agung
Indonesia is amongst the countries having large number of active volcanoes. In 2012 the number of active volcanoes was 127. More dangerous part of it is, there is ample amount of human population living in the volcano-prone regions.
Last major eruption at Mount Agung claimed more than thousand lives in 1963. Since eruption at 25 November 2017, seismic activity is slowly increasing raising a concerns across the regions surrounding Mount Agung.
Keeping an eye
Observatories are keeping an eye on the Mount Agung activity. Indonesian volcanologist Dr. Devy Kamil Syahbana who has been working in an observatory near the Mount Agung area constantly emphasizing that, “There’s no instrument in the world that can estimate precisely when there will be a major eruption”.
Syahbana and his 16-scientist team is observing seismic activity through GPS trackers and CCTV cameras. You can view the live stream here.
VONA (Volcano Observatory Notice for Aviation) changed their alert level to Red. Indonesian Government also raise the alert level to the highest level 4 (AWAS).
More than 100,000 tourists remain stranded in Bali due to restrictions on Flights and transport due to volcano eruption. Indonesia Government has urged low cost airlines not to charge fees for changing flights. Hotels were also advised to give discounts to customers for extending their stay. Automatic Visa Extension of a month is also provided to help travelers whose visa period is expired.
Volcano Eruptions and Global Cooling
A major eruption of SO2 particles at Mount Agung volcano eruption can have the effect as Reverse Global Warming. Chris Colose, NASA climate scientist said that to have a global impact there must be a large enough eruption which will be able to reach the stratosphere. He added that there also need to be a Sulphur-rich eruption. SO2 particles have size in the range of visible wavelengths which can scattered the incoming sunlight and hence helping the planet earth to cool.
Scientists remarked that current Agung behavior is expected to reduce global temperatures by 0.1C to 0.2C between 2018-2020. Last eruption at Mount Agung in 1963, was influential for reduction in global temperature by 0.2C per year.