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Yellowstone Super-volcano Eruption


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#1
fractalfederation

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I saw a documentary that the Yellowstone Caldera is a supervolcano and is powerful enough to blanket all of North America in ash. The official site said that it could erupt within the next 10,000 years. I checked the timeline and didn't see it mentioned.



#2
Yuli Ban

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1) The chances of it erupting even within the next 10,000 years has been vastly overhyped by apocalypticists on pop-documentary channels. Even you pointed out that it could erupt, not that it will

 

2) Taking into account the possibility that it does erupt, you also have to take into account mankind's technological prowess at that same time. The timeline assumes no technological singularity, and yet even then a boatload of nigh-magical sci-tech occurs. Do you think a Type I or Type II civilization would just let a catastrophic supereruption occur? Not unless we've moved off world or settled ourselves into perfectly contained environments. 

 

So all in all, there's still a very low chance of Yellowstone erupting within the next 10,000 years. In fact, even the US Geological Survey has backtracked from the early initial doom-mongering to point out how unlikely such a disaster is. The fact that the History Channel and even Hollywood jumped onto the Yellowstone bandwagon was more a case of getting views; televised pseudo-informational clickbait that took the  absolute worst case scenario and ran with it until it was nigh cartoonishly bleak and far beyond the actual potential of Yellowstone or even any known supervolcano on the planet.

 

 

To give you an idea of just how overblown the supervolcano threat is, the Toba Catastrophe Theory has fallen out of academic favor due to a sheer lack of evidence that the Toba supereruption even affected human populations at all  (the scary implication being that something caused a genetic bottleneck among humans and we don't know what it is).


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#3
Jakob

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Or it could be detonated early during some apocalyptic conflict, like the War of Gods and Men.*

 

*stuff from my timelines, too lazy to explain


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#4
Sciencerocks

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I saw a documentary that the Yellowstone Caldera is a supervolcano and is powerful enough to blanket all of North America in ash. The official site said that it could erupt within the next 10,000 years. I checked the timeline and didn't see it mentioned.

 

 

If humanity isn't at least somewhat a space species by that time I predict that it will knock us back at least 200-500 years.


To follow my work on tropical cyclones


#5
voluntaryist

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I saw a documentary that the Yellowstone Caldera is a supervolcano and is powerful enough to blanket all of North America in ash. The official site said that it could erupt within the next 10,000 years. I checked the timeline and didn't see it mentioned.

 

 

If humanity isn't at least somewhat a space species by that time I predict that it will knock us back at least 200-500 years.

 

 

A supervolcanic eruption would not be a catastrophe for the entire planet.  



#6
Jakob

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I saw a documentary that the Yellowstone Caldera is a supervolcano and is powerful enough to blanket all of North America in ash. The official site said that it could erupt within the next 10,000 years. I checked the timeline and didn't see it mentioned.

 

 

If humanity isn't at least somewhat a space species by that time I predict that it will knock us back at least 200-500 years.

 

 

A supervolcanic eruption would not be a catastrophe for the entire planet.  

 

Maybe not by itself, but what about the resulting economic collapse, wars, and famines? Recovery would certainly take at least a generation or two.


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#7
Yuli Ban

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I saw a documentary that the Yellowstone Caldera is a supervolcano and is powerful enough to blanket all of North America in ash. The official site said that it could erupt within the next 10,000 years. I checked the timeline and didn't see it mentioned.

 

 

If humanity isn't at least somewhat a space species by that time I predict that it will knock us back at least 200-500 years.

 

 

A supervolcanic eruption would not be a catastrophe for the entire planet.  

 

Maybe not by itself, but what about the resulting economic collapse, wars, and famines? Recovery would certainly take at least a generation or two.

 

Even that is only if there's a total eruption. It's possible that, when Yellowstone erupts, it only partially erupts. This is common with volcanoes, after all. And while there would be a famine in the US if Yellowstone totally erupted, it wouldn't end civilization. Not unless we were being particularly stupid that day.

 

A supervolcano eruption that could do some lasting global damage as a result of its location would be Mount Paektu in North Korea.


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#8
BarkEater93

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Supervolcanic eruptions have happened several times in human history (the latest in New Zealand about 26 kya), so we've been through them before. Of course civilization hasn't, and considering how fragile it is to big natural disasters and climate change it would be heavily damaged if an eruption were to happen today, but it wouldn't be the end of it; life would go on. And anyways, like Yuli said, if it were to happen many millennia from now (more statistically likely) civilization would likely be able to mitigate or prevent such an eruption. 

 

Now imagine if we were at the eve of a period like the Siberian Traps? Holy crap! Now that would likely signal the end of the human species, but again, were likely tens or hundreds of millions of years away from such a similar event. And an event like that is a gradual process.






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