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The Corner

Faster, Please

USA Today reports:

Scientists working in and around Yellowstone National Park say that the supervolcano sitting under the tourist attraction may blow sooner than thought, an eruption that could wipe out life on the planet.

According to National Geographic, the researchers, from Arizona State University, analyzed minerals in fossilized ash from the most recent mega-eruption and found changes in temperature and composition that had only taken a few decades. Until now, the magazine reported, geologists had thought it would take centuries for the supervolcano to make the transition.

The discovery, which was presented at a recent volcanology conference, comes on top of a 2011 study that found that ground above the magma reservoir in Yellowstone had bulged by about 10 inches in seven years.

“It’s an extraordinary uplift, because it covers such a large area and the rates are so high,” the University of Utah’s Bob Smith, an expert in Yellowstone volcanism, told the magazine at the time.

As longtime readers know, I have long been worried about the volcano threat. It’s a much bigger threat than an asteroid strike and, I would argue, than global warming. While I joke about it a lot, I sincerely believe that scientists and policymakers need to take this threat a lot more seriously. As I wrote last month, NASA is doing that. I began that Corner post:

Old School readers of the Corner will recall that one of my obsessions about a dozen years ago was the obvious need to develop volcano-lancing technology, ideally airborne-laser volcano-lancing technology. The Vulcan menace is real and it is underappreciated. Unfortunately, my first Airborne-Laser Volcano-Lancing posts have been lost to the mists of time. If any truly gifted Google-fu masters can find links, I’d be grateful to see them.

Well, a very generous and resourceful reader took matters into his own hands and seems to have found my entire volcanic oeuvre. I don’t want to embarrass him, so I’ll just use his initials, and say thanks very much C.K. Here it is:

Ground-Based Volcano-Fracking? — 8/2/12

Progress on the Volcano Lancing Front — 3/31/12

We Might Just Make Them Angry — 1/24/12

It’s Like a Big Bull’s-Eye!? — 10/24/11

It’s Not the End of the World, Just North America — 1/25/11

The Italian Volcano Threat — 10/20/10

Behind Enemy Lines — 10/4/10

Thinking Big . . .  — 6/18/10

More Volcanic Latin — 4/20/10

No Latin for Volcano Cont’d — 4/20/10

No Latin For Volcano — 4/20/10

You May Want Your Three Minutes Back — 4/20/10

I Told You So — 4/20/10

Question for the Planet Gore Guys — 4/18/10

Global Warming Causes Volcano Eruptions — 4/18/10

Oh Man, Supervolcanoes — 4/13/10

Great Moments in Volcano Lancing — 3/12/10

The Razor’s Edge — 2/17/10

Why Contribute to NRO? — 2/17/10

Volcano Saber Rattling — 6/24/09

Volcano Lancing Update — 3/31/09

Airborne-Laser Volcano-Lancing Beta Testing? — 1/15/09

The Missing Word Is: Volcano-Lancing — 12/3/08

Send in the Clones? — 7/10/08

Arctic Warming — 6/26/08

Forward, Not Backward! — 6/18/08

New Strides in Airborne-Laser Volcano Lancing — 5/21/08

Did I Speak Too Soon? — 4/19/08

Cleaning Up — 4/17/08

Proxy War in the Clouds — 4/14/08

Important News — 3/26/08

Airborne-Laser Volcano Lancer — 3/14/08

Volcano Defense Initiative — 2/8/08

Bush: The Manchurian Vulcanite — 1/21/08

Stealth Volcanos — 1/21/08

Cool — 11/7/07

Know Your Enemy — 10/2/07

Someone’s on the Case — 10/2/07

And Volcanoes Tremble, Cont’d — 9/20/07

Volcano-Lancing Update — 6/22/07

We Crush Puny Animals . . .  — 6/19/07

Matt Barrie For Hoquiam High School ASB President — 3/27/07

Volcano News — 2/23/07

Cool Cal & Volcanos — 2/20/07

And Volcanoes Tremble — 1/29/07

Uh Oh — 1/24/07

Faster Please — 12/4/06

Tornado Hits London — 12/7/06

This Is Not About Star Trek — 10/19/06

Volcano-Lancing Update — 10/16/06

New Volcanos — 8/1/06 (“Volcanos”? Might need a new editor.)

Isn’t it Ironic? — 7/14/06

Super-volcano update — 7/6/06

Re: Supervolcanoes — 7/6/06

Super-Volcanoes — 7/5/06

When Themes Collide — 6/29/06

Two If by Sea — 6/28/06

Really Deep Hole — 6/22/06

Re: Meteorite Strike — 6/9/06

Poppa G’s Solution for Global Warming — 6/9/06

Volcano Tragedies — 5/17/06

Re: Newt — 4/18/06

Raise Shields! — 4/10/06

Re: The Blob — 2/21/06

Good News — 1/24/06

Earth-Boring Mantle Lancing — 1/16/06

Great Moments in Volcano Lancing  – 12/28/05

Phasers! — 11/8/05

Re: How Warren Spent His Day — 10/15/05

Archimedes — 10/10/05

Yes, But . . .  — 9/27/05

The Volcano Menace — 9/13/05

Kathryn — 7/29/05

Beyond Complacency — 7/27/05

Re: Where the Hell Am I? — 7/4/05

Outrageous — 6/17/05

Such . . .  — 6/17/05

Enough Study — 5/4/05

Wiki-NRO — 4/28/05 (On the benefit of glossaries . . . )

Yessssss . . .  — 4/18/05

Robot Revolutions and Super Volcanos — 4/14/05

For Volcano Watchers — 4/12/05

I Feel Like Winston Churchill . . .  — 4/12/05

Taking the Fight to the Volcanos! — 4/7/05

Disappointing Email — 3/8/05

Super-Volcano Guaranteed to Destroy Everything — 3/8/05

Axis of Volcanos Beware — 3/2/05

Rock-Boring-Nuke-Hunters — 2/17/05

Great News for The Prisoner Fans — 2/14/05

Obvious Evidence . . .  — 2/4/05

Laser Guy — 1/5/05

The Next Disaster to Worry About — 12/29/04

And Volcanos Tremble — 11/12/04

Disappointed . . .  — 11/4/04

Off to O-Hi-O — 10/13/04

Okay . . .  — 10/12/04

4 Words: Airborne-Laser Volcano Lancing — 10/12/04

I Love Corner Readers — 10/12/04

More Puny Facts! — 10/12/04

Good times. Thanks again, C.K.

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