Tag Archives: volcano

Don’t Believe the Mt. Etna CO2 Meme

Have you seen this floating around on Facebook or Twitter?

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Don’t believe it. Don’t believe one word of it. Check this out. It’s a link to the Snopes article explaining why it’s not true. Simply, Mt. Etna releases the same amount of carbon dioxide in an eruption as a small European country does in one day. It’s rather insignificant when compared to the world.

I’ve seen this going around on Facebook with people believing every word of it. They’d take the word of a meme that cites no legitimate sources over the consensus of more than 99% of climate scientists. They say it’s a hoax or conspiracy. “They” are climate change deniers, people who have no formal training in climate science or atmospheric science. They are people who have no idea what science is.

I will fight against ignorance. When you understand the science, then I’ll take you seriously. If you look at all evidence and come to an unbiased conclusion, then I’ll listen. Unfortunately, all the people I’ve seen arguing that climate change isn’t happening are doing so from a political point of view, or they feel that local economics are more important than the future of our planet and the lives of our children and grandchildren. Such arrogance. Such self-centred righteousness.

Spectacular Mt. Fuji

A sunny day with clear air and a day off for all of us means a long walk to see Mt. Fuji. And that’s what we did. So, I’ll spare you the long-winded things called words and allow you to look at the pictures.

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One of the best views in the world, I think. What do you think? Did you enjoy the photos? What other places do you think are perfect for photographing? Let me know in the comments below.

Mount Hakone Volcanic Activity

The popular hot spring resort town Hakone, here in Kanagawa Prefecture, is having quite the spectacle at the moment. The Owakudani area, which is known for its steam vents and black eggs (a local delicacy), is the centre of the activity.  A phreatic explosion is possible, meaning a small eruption. There have been many small earthquakes every day, more than one hundred per day.

Owakudani from the tram. Notice the steam. This photo is showing normal activity.
Owakudani from the tram. Notice the steam. This photo is showing normal activity.

If there is an eruption, it’ll likely only affect a small localised area. My guess is that the town of Hakone will be okay, but Owakudani will be inaccessible for quite some time.

From where I live, I can see Mount Hakone. It’s much smaller than the nearby Mount Fuji, which everyone is expecting a large eruption from sometime in the future (that would be devastating for the Tokyo area most likely).  I’ve been asked many times if I’m in any danger.  I would say that no, it’s extremely unlikely I’d be in danger here.  A major eruption is not expected. However, I’m hoping the volcano settles down, because we have a possible plan to visit Hakone in October. We’ll see.

Deadly Eruption at Mount Ontake

Mt. Ontake.  Looks beautiful, doesn't it?
Mt. Ontake. Looks beautiful, doesn’t it?

Such a tranquil-looking mountain isn’t it?  Well, Mt. Ontake is Japan’s second tallest volcano, and it erupted on Saturday.  There were around 300 people on the mountain at the time, and 31 are suspected to be dead, as there were many at the summit around the caldera during the eruption.

I live around 190 km from the mountain (Tokyo is 200 km from it), which is on the border of Nagano and Gifu prefectures.  At 3,067 metres tall, it’s a fairly tall stratovolcano with a somewhat frequent history of eruptions.  It’s interesting that it’s often climbed considering how often it does erupt.

Another volcano, at 3,776 metres, is Mt. Fuji.  It’s visible from my area, and is the tallest mountain in Japan.  It occasionally has earthquakes around it, and in recent years, the lakes around it have been getting a bit warmer.  There are worries about an eruption from Mt. Fuji, which is quite possible in the coming years.  It’s probably inevitable.  The last time it erupted was in 1708, and it dumped a lot of ash on Edo (modern name is Tokyo), causing many fires.  If it erupts today, the entire region will be shut down.  Planes can’t get in, trains are stopped, all transportation will stop.  No supplies, no food, no fuel, and the water system may be contaminated.  Sounds pretty bleak.  It would devastate Japan’s economy, as it would almost completely shut down Tokyo.

So, what were the effects of Mt. Ontake on the Tokyo area?  Nothing, really.  So, everyone, I’m fine.  Don’t worry.