Mount Pinatubo Case Study -> An eruption that changed the climate

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A Volcanic Eruption that changed the Climate
In 1991, Mount Pinatubo in the Philippines erupted, it was the second largest
eruption of the 20th century. The volcano ejected around 15 million tons of sulphur
dioxide into the stratosphere and would remain there for two years until a
process of chemical reactions filtered it out the gas itself rose around 22 miles
from the volcano and spread 250 miles wide. The cloud spread quickly and
reached around the earth within a year. The fine droplets of sulphur dioxide
prevented some solar energy from reaching the earth, the effect of this was
during 1992 and 1993 large parts of the planet cooled about 0.4 degrees
Celsius on average.
Although during 1992 and 1993 the ozone hole over Antarctica reached a bigger
than before known size. It also changed some rain patterns as Southern China
and Mongolia received less rainfall than average and parts of the mainland of
South East Asia received more rainfall than normal. In the winter between
19911992 a lot more coral died in the red sea. As well as this the United States
had their third wettest and third coldest summer for 77 years in 1992 along with
the Mississippi floods in 1993 which all had an effect on people's lives all around
the world.
The volcanic eruption itself killed 847 directly in the Philippines, 300 of those
from collapsing roofs and 100 from mud flows called `Lahars'. The economic
effects on the citizens of the Philippines were that, around 200,000 acres of rice
paddies and sugar cane fields were destroyed along with villages were buried
underneath the `Lahars' also, about 800,000 livestock animals were killed. Just
before the eruptions happened 200,000 people were evacuated from the
lowlands surrounding Pinatubo plus the 20,000 evacuated that lived on the
slopes of the volcano. It is thought that in total the eruption cost 1.2 billion pesos.
During the eruption it ejected a lot of ash that covered an area 772 square miles
around the volcano about 10cm deep. Many of the deaths where from the roofs
collapsing due to the weight of the ash.
The eruption itself was so violent that in 1991the top part of the volcano (that
was mainly made up of lava and volcanic ash along with other volcanic material)
145m lower than before the eruption.


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