Unclassified

The air WE breath

Early Monday morning I awoke to anxiety. Dream after dream of volcanic eruptions and the possibility of THE super volcano going off, kept me up most of the night.
Over the weekend I started constructing a time capsule. I’m not someone who generally suffers from anxiety or fears of the unknown and death but, I am concerned.
Since 2010 I’ve been tracking earthquakes and volcanic activity towards a future body of work also, out of pure curiosity.

IMG_2476.PNG
Was Eyjafjallajökull the beginning or the Chilean earthquake? All I know is when volcanic activity starts in Iceland expect earthquakes to circle the globe (similar to snapping a blanking out). Which, btw has been knocked off its axis several times since those fateful days in 2010 – how does this effect our environment? Well, here’s what kept ME up last night!!
Ok so, the Haitian earthquake in January, Chilean earthquake in February (there’s an extensive list of high octane earthquakes here) then, Eyjafjallajökull from March-June. Circle around the globe some months later into the new year of 2011 and you have the catastrophe in Japan
Now it’s 2014. Certainly there’s been plenty of activity here and there around the planet since. To date the planet has been shaking and with Bárðarbunga going nuts over the summer well… Volcanoes have been erupting all over the place but, it seems most people don’t pay attention or even know what’s going on in other parts of the world. For instance, speaking to my mother the other day, in California. She didn’t even have a clue about what’s been going down in Iceland for the past months now!! What?! Anyways, volcanoes are massively erupting around us. Yesterday, September 28th Japan was surprised when Ontake blew up. As I write this people are still missing, and more found dead. 😦
Today there’s a critical alert for Cleveland volcano in Alaska. The signs aren’t great fellow Earthlings. The Earth, it seems, is terraforming and current life forms don’t seem to be part of the equation. Sorry for the buzz kill.

IMG_2477.GIF
(Taken from USGS website): Volcanic eruptions are one of Earth’s most dramatic and violent agents of change. Not only can powerful explosive eruptions drastically alter land and water for tens of kilometers around a volcano, but tiny liquid droplets of sulfuric acid erupted into the stratosphere can change our planet’s climate temporarily. Temporarily? That all depends on how many eruptions are taking place around the planet, at the same time!!! In short, if this ‘volcano season‘ continues plan for the oceans to heat up. When the oceans heat up life dies, and it is very possible the planet is gearing up for another anoxic event. Google that shit.
Volcanic Gases and Their Effects:
Sulfur dioxide (SO2)Sulfur dioxide gas reacts chemically with sunlight, oxygen, dust particles, and water to form volcanic smog known as vog. Research has also shown that the liquid drops of sulfuric acid promote the destruction of the Earth’s ozone layer.

Hydrogen sulfide (H2S):Hydrogen sulfide (H2S) is a colorless, flammable gas with a strong offensive odor. It is sometimes referred to as sewer gas. At low concentrations it can irritate the eyes and acts as a depressant; at high concentrations it can cause irritation of the upper respiratory tract and, during long exposure, pulmonary edema. A 30-minute exposure to 500 ppm results in headache, dizziness, excitement, staggering gait, and diarrhea, followed sometimes by bronchitis or bronchopneumonia.

Carbon dioxide (CO2):Volcanoes release more than 130 million tonnes of CO2 into the atmosphere every year. This colorless, odorless gas usually does not pose a direct hazard to life because it typically becomes diluted to low concentrations very quickly whether it is released continuously from the ground or during episodic eruptions. But in certain circumstances, CO2 may become concentrated at levels lethal to people and animals. Carbon dioxide gas is heavier than air and the gas can flow into in low-lying areas; breathing air with more than 30% CO2 can quickly induce unconsciousness and cause death. In volcanic or other areas where CO2 emissions occur, it is important to avoid small depressions and low areas that might be CO2 traps. The boundary between air and lethal gas can be extremely sharp; even a single step upslope may be adequate to escape death.

Hydrogen Chloride (HCl):Chlorine gas is emitted from volcanoes in the form of hydrochloric acid (HCl). Exposure to the gas irritates mucous membranes of the eyes and respiratory tract. Concentrations over 35 ppm cause irritation of the throat after short exposure; >100 ppm results in pulmonary edema, and often laryngeal spasm. It also causes acid rain downwind from volcanoes because HCl is extremely soluble in condensing water droplets and it is a very “strong acid” (it dissociates extensively to give H+ ions in the droplets).

Hydrogen Fluoride (HF):Fluorine is a pale yellow gas that attaches to fine ash particles, coats grass, and pollutes streams and lakes. Exposure to this powerful caustic irritant can cause conjunctivitis, skin irritation, bone degeneration and mottling of teeth. Excess fluorine results in a significant cause of death and injury in livestock during ash eruptions. Even in areas that receive just a millimeter of ash, poisoning can occur where the fluorine content of dried grass exceeds 250 ppm. Animals that eat grass coated with fluorine-tainted ash are poisoned. Small amounts of fluorine can be beneficial, but excess fluorine causes fluorosis, an affliction that eventually kills animals by destroying their bones. It also promotes acid rain effects downwind of volcanoes, like HCl.

What’s my point? What’s my concern and why am I putting together a time capsule?!
Volcanic eruptions in Siberia 251 million years ago may have started a cascade of events leading to high hydrogen sulfide levels in the oceans and atmosphere and precipitating the largest mass extinction in Earth’s history,

One thought on “The air WE breath

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s