Deciphering the workings of global climate has been a dominating task of environmental scientists. Thus, the best way to understand how these critical components of the planet’s heat regulation works, scientists have to rely on “natural experiments.”
Thus, to decipher the global climate’s workings, the scientists are studying the trail of evidence left in the skies by the Mount Pinatubo’s eruption in 1991. Its eruption in the Philippines sent 10 cubic kilometers of ash, gas and other materials sky high!
Scientists seem to have turned the catastrophe into a tool for comprehension, by tracking how this eruption has affected the global climate and determining how to trace its footprint in other records.
Atmospheric scientist Joanna Futyan of Columbia University said,
The big problem with climate–and trying to study it–is you can’t play with it in the lab. We were trying to use this abrupt event as a natural experiment: something dramatic happened and you can look at how the atmosphere responds to it.
Studying the global climate’s working, the scientists have analyzed –
How the atmosphere’s humidity and temperature responded to the eruption.
How the atmosphere’s humidity and temperature responded to the overall radiative balance of the planet.
The difference between the sunlight energy absorbed by Earth and the amount radiated back to space.
Image Credit: USGS