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Earth Science

Alaska's Mt. Redoubt Has Erupted 327

Posted by CmdrTaco
from the mountain-go-boom dept.
alaskana98 writes "Alaska's Mt. Redoubt volcano has erupted 3 times, with the first event starting at 10:38 PM Alaska standard time. The ash cloud is estimated to be higher than 50,000 feet. So far, only light ash fall is predicted for areas north of Anchorage."
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Alaska's Mt. Redoubt Has Erupted

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  • by Kludge (13653) on Monday March 23, 2009 @09:06AM (#27296881)

    The web cam just shows blackness

  • by Anonymous Coward on Monday March 23, 2009 @09:08AM (#27296921)

    Can Governor Sarah Palin see it happening from her house?

  • by ptomblin (1378) <ptomblin@xcski.com> on Monday March 23, 2009 @09:10AM (#27296937) Homepage Journal

    Sarah Palin reports she can see it from her house.

  • by gooman (709147) on Monday March 23, 2009 @09:19AM (#27297017) Journal

    Well this should clearly be illegal, dumping all of that ash and those greenhouse gasses into the atmosphere.
    Of course there's a Republican governor.
    Won't somebody think of the caribou?!

    • by Samschnooks (1415697) on Monday March 23, 2009 @09:32AM (#27297163)
      It's different. Those greenhouse gases are all natural; therefore, they're safe and healthy. Why I expect the next time I walk into Wholefoods, they'll have canisters with the gas output from the volcano.

      I may even market it in an infomercial: "Volcano Gas! The natural male enhancement! For women too! You can have an Earth Shattering Happy moment with your partner!"

      I'm on my way to film commercials with that smiling couple!

    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      by Doc Ruby (173196)

      There's nothing we can do about the natural contributions of Earth's own systems to the Greenhouse - except where we're increasing it by cutting trees, replacing them with livestock, helping heat the oceans to kill coral reefs, create dead zones instead of carbon-based life ecosystems and acidifying them to release more oceanic carbon into the air. The Earth's baseline Greenhouse gas cycles are stable enough for us to live in, as we evolved to do over thousands and millions of generations.

      But the sudden ext

      • Re:Send in Al Gore (Score:5, Insightful)

        by Duradin (1261418) on Monday March 23, 2009 @10:01AM (#27297517)
        Explain why we are still not in an ice age if the "natural contributions of the Earth's own systems" are stable and don't cause climate change.
        • Re: (Score:2, Insightful)

          by dupup (784652)

          Explain why we are still not in an ice age if the "natural contributions of the Earth's own systems" are stable and don't cause climate change.

          The natural contributions referred to do contribute to climate change, of course, as do other factors like fluctuations in the Earth's orbit around the sun and continental drift. The thing that makes the anthropogenic contributions to climate change troublesome is that they happen over a dramatically shorter period of time than is typical for natural events.

          And when I say, "troublesome", I mean, of course, troublesome to us. The Earth will cheefully cruise along whether we infest it or not.

          • by DavidTC (10147)

            They're 'troublesome' regardless of the cause.

            I know what you're saying, but this is something that the right seems to be ignoring. They've now switched from 'no global warming' to 'global warming is natural'...which somehow means it's fine.

            Yeah, and molten lava erupting from the surface of the earth is 'natural' too. Doesn't mean we shouldn't, you know, try to stop it from melting people.

            • What We Can Do (Score:3, Insightful)

              by Doc Ruby (173196)

              Yes, you've nailed it exactly (though unfortunately there's more people than just the dwindling "right" that is stuck on the doomed path).

              The debate over causes of climate change is worthwhile only as a means to the end of identifying what we can change here and now to avert disaster. We can't change the frequency and size of volcanic eruptions. But we can reverse the destruction of vegetation that naturally balances our atmosphere, but now synthetically unbalances us as we burn it instead of grow it. And e

        • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

          by Doc Ruby (173196)

          Because "stable" is relative. You probably notice the seasons changing, too. But we've been in a stable range for the past 12,000 years or so, neither ice age nor steamy jungle (or parched desert), which is unusually long. We're becoming unstable not from any natural increase in Greenhouse gases or other factors, but from the dramatic and recent increase in accumulating Greenhouse gases from human activity (a dramatic and recent increase in the human population has contributed). The human activity contribut

        • Re:Send in Al Gore (Score:4, Informative)

          by e1618978 (598967) on Monday March 23, 2009 @11:44AM (#27299011)
          We are still in an ice age, we have been in one for 10 million years so far. We are just in an interglacial period for the last 10,000 years. And the current warm period is caused by Milankovitch cycles. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ice_age [wikipedia.org] http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Milankovitch_cycles [wikipedia.org]
      • Re:Send in Al Gore (Score:5, Insightful)

        by mikem170 (698970) on Monday March 23, 2009 @10:15AM (#27297757) Homepage

        If we don't rein in our artificial contributions, even though they're small compared to the natural baseline, we're going to inherit a whirlwind that will probably destroy our civilization."

        There is not enough scientific eveidence to back up your statement. "Probably" is a strong word. Overpopulation could be the real danger. Humanity might receed, the climate will go on.

        Throughout history there have always been those crying "end of the world". Many of them cooks and manipulators, I'm sure. All of them wrong.

        • by T Murphy (1054674) on Monday March 23, 2009 @10:44AM (#27298131) Journal

          Throughout history there have always been those crying "end of the world". Many of them cooks and manipulators.

          Note to self: when someone says the world is ending, do NOT try their soup.

        • Re:Send in Al Gore (Score:4, Insightful)

          by vertinox (846076) on Monday March 23, 2009 @12:35PM (#27299913)

          There is not enough scientific eveidence to back up your statement. "Probably" is a strong word. Overpopulation could be the real danger. Humanity might receed, the climate will go on.

          To be fair he specifically said "civilization" and not "life on earth" or even "all the humans".

          Civilization isn't that hard to destroy if you look at the last few civilization that went kaput (Mayans, Romans, Egyptians etc).

          Climate change could do that to ours, but it is pointless to say "we can't do anything" regardless of its man made or not.

          We could spary Gobi and Sara with white reflective paint with B52 bombers. We could drop a few nuclear bombs into an active volcano. We could genetically engeer a new algae that sequesters all the CO2 it can and then sinks to the bottom of the ocean.

          But to say mankind can't do anything is short sited.

          We may be involved in climate change or we may not. (several billion humans, cows, and cars making CO2 obviously does something, but how much? In past times when there were lots of plants there were high oxygen content atmosphere followed by an ice age, followed by an increase in animal life which also happened to coincide with CO2 with increase of temperature which resulted in more plants and then more animals etc. Might be related. Might not.)

          Anyways... My point is not that global warming is man made or not. My point is that either way we should do something about it if we want to keep our civilization.

          Either that means adapting the environment or adapting ourselves.

          We can put some intelligence and technology into this or just let natural selection work its thing.

          Personally, I'd rather not be around when natural selection works it thing.

      • That's why Al Gore is warning us so urgently. And why Republican governors are dangerous sources of hot air.

        And that's why Al Gore's house uses more energy than 50 normal houses. He's using the energy before it can cause ecological problems from wasteful people.

        • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

          by Doc Ruby (173196)

          Nonsense. Gore's home is highly energy efficient [peakoil.com]. The energy he uses is produced by non/less polluting alternative sources. His large "home" includes offices for his wife, himself, space for staff and a lot of security.

          Even at that scale, and even before he renovated years ago, Gore's house didn't use anywhere near "50 times" as much as a "normal" house.

          You Republicans (er, "libertarians") will just lie and say anything to attack people who actually work to protect us in this country.

  • Finally.... (Score:3, Funny)

    by ThePhilips (752041) on Monday March 23, 2009 @09:20AM (#27297033) Homepage Journal

    Finally, several months after the loss in elections, Sarah Palin let the steam out.......

  • Meanwhile (Score:4, Interesting)

    by Alzheimers (467217) on Monday March 23, 2009 @09:24AM (#27297071)

    Meanwhile, in Louisiana, Governor Bobby Jindal mutters something about all this wasteful government spending.

  • haha (Score:4, Insightful)

    by p3on (1245484) on Monday March 23, 2009 @09:25AM (#27297079)
    i bet jindal feels like a doof
    • Re:haha (Score:5, Insightful)

      by Reality Master 201 (578873) on Monday March 23, 2009 @09:39AM (#27297239) Journal

      No he doesn't; If 8 years of Bush has shown us anything, it's that conservatism means never having to consider the possibility you're wrong.

      • by Lars T. (470328)
        I thought it was "Conservatism means never having to say you're wrong".
        • Re:haha (Score:5, Funny)

          by geobeck (924637) on Monday March 23, 2009 @11:16AM (#27298593) Homepage

          I thought it was "Conservatism means never having to say you're wrong".

          But happiness is never having to say you're Tory.

  • by denzacar (181829) on Monday March 23, 2009 @09:25AM (#27297083) Journal

    NOT from TFA:

    Alaska volcano Mount Redoubt erupts 4 times

    By MARK THIESSEN - 40 minutes ago

    ANCHORAGE, Alaska (AP) -- Alaska's Mount Redoubt volcano erupted four times overnight, sending an ash plume more than 9 miles high into the air, but the state's largest city has likely been spared from any ashfall.
    "The ash cloud went to 50,000 feet, and it's currently drifting toward the north, northeast," said Janet Schaefer, a geologist with the Alaska Volcano Observatory.

    The first eruption, in a sparsely area across Cook Inlet from the Kenai Peninsula, occurred at 10:38 p.m. Sunday and the fourth happened at 1:39 a.m. Monday, according to the observatory.

    The wind patterns were taking the ash cloud away from Anchorage, toward Willow and Talkneetna, near Mount McKinley, North America's largest mountain in Denali National Park.
    Geophysicist John Power said no cities have yet reported any ash fall from the volcano, but noted that it was still early.
    Using radar and satellite technology, the National Weather Service is predicting ash to start falling later Monday morning.

    Dave Stricklan, a hydrometeorogical technician with the National Weather Service, expected very fine ash.
    "Just kind of a light dusting," he said. He said the significant amount of ash probably dropped immediately, right down the side of the volcano.
    "The heavier stuff drops out very quickly, and then the other stuff filters out. There's going to be a very fine amount of it that's going to be suspended in the Atmosphere for quite some time, but nothing to really affect anything such as aviation travel. The heavier stuff will filter out," he said.

    Still, Alaska Airlines on Monday canceled 19 flights in and out of the Anchorage international airport because of the ash.
    Elmendorf Air Force Base in Anchorage told only essential personnel to report to work. The Air Force says 60 planes, including fighter jets, cargo aircraft and a 747 commercial plane, are being sheltered.

    The 10,200-foot Redoubt Volcano, roughly 100 miles southwest of Anchorage, last erupted during a four-month period from 1989-90.
    But the volcano became restless earlier this year. The observatory had warned in late January that an eruption could occur at any time.
    Increased earthquake activity over the past 48 hours prompted scientists to raise the alert level for Mount Redoubt on Sunday.
    On Sunday morning, 40 to 50 earthquakes were being recorded every hour.
    A steam plume rising about 1,000 feet above the mountain peak was observed Saturday.

  • by Doc Ruby (173196) on Monday March 23, 2009 @09:40AM (#27297247) Homepage Journal

    When Republican governor of Louisiana Bobby Jindal took to TV immediately after President Obama's address to the Joint Session of Congress last month, he whined that the government funded volcano monitoring is "wasteful spending" [sciam.com]. Of course he was lying, since he said "$140M for volcano monitoring", when that money is for USGS "facilities and equipment, including stream gages, seismic and volcano monitoring systems and national map activities", all kinds of important stuff for running and protecting our country.

    Then Jindal went into some kind of weird story about his standing for sanity during Hurricane Katrina (which he was lying about [talkingpointsmemo.com], too - and it was a story about the lone Democrat getting things done, surrounded by Republicans including Jindal doing nothing but flapping their lips). Reminding us what happens when the government doesn't monitor predictable local natural disasters that kill thousands and destroy cities.

    This was the official Republican response. Maybe they just want to keep secret their main competition for spewing filthy hot air that kills Americans.

    • Re: (Score:2, Insightful)

      by ArcherB (796902)

      I think Jindal was talking about using Stimulus money to fund volcano monitoring. Sorry, but I have to agree with him here. Monitoring volcanoes does nothing to STIMULATE the economy. Now if he were opposed to a stand-alone bill that spent $140,000,000/yr for volcano monitoring, then your points may be valid.

      As to Jindal lying about his actions during Katrina, I can't seem to find your posts of outrage when Hillary Clinton claimed she was shot at in Bosnia, Barack Obama's claims that he had no ties to Wi

      • by nedlohs (1335013) on Monday March 23, 2009 @10:15AM (#27297771)

        It's spending money, right?

        To pay people's wages? That sounds exactly like stimulus.

        To buy equipment? That sounds exactly like stimulus too.

        Sure less multiplier effects than say building roads and bridges to connect industries to transport hubs/people, but you can't say it "does nothing to STIMULATE the economy", since clearly it does.

        Of course stimulating the economy by borrowing/printing money is retarded anyway, but that's beside the point.

        • by ArcherB (796902) on Monday March 23, 2009 @10:35AM (#27298023) Journal

          It's spending money, right?

          To pay people's wages? That sounds exactly like stimulus.

          To buy equipment? That sounds exactly like stimulus too.

          Sure less multiplier effects than say building roads and bridges to connect industries to transport hubs/people, but you can't say it "does nothing to STIMULATE the economy", since clearly it does.

          Of course stimulating the economy by borrowing/printing money is retarded anyway, but that's beside the point.

          Well, if simply paying wages is the goal, then you could pay a LOT more wages for $140,000,000 a year than you could by simply monitoring volcanoes. How much of that money is spent monitoring volcanoes overseas? How many American jobs does it provide? What is the LONG TERM stimulus to the economy when compared to say a school which employs teachers, janitors, administrators for decades, not to mention educating kids?

          Now don't get me wrong, I have nothing against volcano monitoring, but not under guise of "stimulus". $140,000,000/yr will provide 2800 people with $50,000/yr jobs that actually build something, fix something, or make life easier for someone else, all of which would stimulate the economy much more than a few geologists sitting around collecting steam and ash data from a non-active volcano in the Phillipines. Again, I'm not saying it's not important, but it certain is not stimulus.

          • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

            by nedlohs (1335013)

            It obviously is stimulus.

            It creates more spending (either indirectly by the workers spending their wages, or directly by purchasing equipment/fuel/etc) and is thus a stimulus.

            Yes other things are much better, because they have multiplier effect.

            Just because something is not the best way to do something, doesn't mean it doesn't do it at all.

      • by darkmeridian (119044) <william.chuang@gm a i l . com> on Monday March 23, 2009 @11:49AM (#27299099) Homepage

        So you are okay with Bobby Jindal having no morals and lying as long as everyone else is lying? Two or three wrongs make a right? Or are you suggesting that every time you note someone is lying you have to find someone on the other side that lied in the last ten years (on matters that are irrelevant to the current discussion) to be "fair"?

        Bullshit. Katrina wiped a ton of Americans out because the government didn't monitor the situation. Jindal says we should not monitor volcanoes. He lied about his experience. Why do you insist on changing the subject? Because you are a partisan hack yourself.

      • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

        by Uberbah (647458)

        Monitoring volcanoes does nothing to STIMULATE the economy.

        You're entitled to your own opinion, but not your own set of facts. Monitoring makes jobs and buys equipment (creating more jobs). That's stimulus, straight up. That it might not be your favored form of stimulus, but that does nothing whatsoever to change the fact that it is stimulus.

        And seriously, what kind of moron is going to oppose disaster preparedness after Katrina? Pinching pennies on preparedness is a penny wise, pound asinine decision.

  • A poem (Score:5, Funny)

    by SoundGuyNoise (864550) on Monday March 23, 2009 @10:03AM (#27297567) Homepage
    Mount Redoubt has blown its spout. Throwing ash and soot about.
  • by haeger (85819) on Monday March 23, 2009 @10:26AM (#27297895)

    Since everyone but Myanmar, Liberia and the United States use the metric system I just thought I'd point out the hight of the ash cloud.

    In case you don't know this obscure "ft" unit. ;-)

  • to see any potential effect of the global cooling of these events. We'll have to wait for a bigger one in order to update some of those climate science base lines.

    Still waiting for the big one

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