January 05, 2009

Doom, Sweet Doom

Oh, man. Back in October, I ran across some evidence that the supervolcano lurking beneath Yellowstone National Park capable of obliterating a good chunk of the United States might actually be losing its vigor, maybe even going dormant. Well, scratch that. Charlie Petit reports that since December 26, there's been an unusually large uptick in earthquake activity beneath Yellowstone—some 400 seismic events in all. Is the beast getting restless? Let's pray not, 'cause here's a quick recap of what doomsday would look like:


On the upside, if Yellowstone does burst, we could stop fretting about global warming for a spell, since all that ash would have a fairly sizable cooling effect...

Update: Doom averted for now! The AP added an update yesterday, reporting that the earthquakes appear to be subsiding, and that, according to one researcher, the seismic shudders "could alter some of the park's thermal features but should not raise any concern about the park's large volcano erupting anytime soon." Now I'm off to find something else to fret about.
-- Brad Plumer 9:12 PM || ||