Volcanic eruptions could be slowing global warming, and climate change here on Earth. Well, minor volcanic eruptions could be doing that. A recently-published study found that the frequent and small volcanic eruptions that are taking place on Earth might be benefiting Earth to some degree. The study conducted by scientists from MIT pointed out that while volcanic eruptions have long been known to cool the surface of the Earth – the protection the smaller eruptions are giving Earth benefit because they’re mitigating the increases in output of greenhouse gases here on Earth.

In other words, while humans on Earth might be putting out greater, and greater amounts of greenhouse gases – the small volcanic eruptions are preventing the greenhouse gases from making it to the top of our atmosphere, and doing damage to the crucial layers that prevent the sun from being filtered more effectively. The same scientists even went as far as to point out that it’s entirely likely that this could be a very logical explanation as to why climate change has slowed statistically over the last several years – even though output is at an all-time high. The last several years, the study scientists point out, has fallen beneath projections.


The study showed that it would take a stunningly small number of “small eruptions” to reduce greenhouse emissions enough to cool the Earth’s temperature by 0.12 degrees Celsius. While that may seem like a small change of temperature – over the course of decades, temperature change is typically measured in fewer than one or two degrees.

Must Read: Aerosol in volcanic eruptions blocks solar radiations, decreases Global warming

This isn’t something that is necessarily new, either. The study does point out that this was something that has been thought of, and tested before, but the impacts of the small volcanoes might be significantly greater than what anyone had thought before. As it turns out, the sulfur dioxide that is released by volcanoes when they erupt actually cause the sunlight to be blocked, and work to absorb some of the greenhouse gases that humans continue to put into the atmosphere at an astronomical rate.

This study though reminds us of the dangers that climate change poses. While this may be working to prevent some of the more aggressive climate change that could be happening, if Earth weren’t creating this natural barrier – it’s important to note that change is obviously necessary. The connection though is one that is unique to the entire concept of climate change – and a surprising benefit of volcanic eruptions.



  1. FYI, volcanic eruptions also release more CO2 than we can ever produce. Climate change is a natural process that has been happening since the Earth began. I am not saying our puny amount of CO2 emissions are not contributing, but I seem to remember something about an ice age that ended 12,000 years ago…with glaciers over most of the northern hemisphere 2 miles or more thick…climate change took care of that with no help from us at all….and BTW, we are in an interglacial period, which means sometime in the next 20,000 years or so, glaciers will again form and pretty much ruin the day for anyone north of the Mason/Dixon line.

    I also have read about a condition called snowball Earth, that existed hundreds of millions of years ago. From what I recall, the only thing that saved the Earth from being permanently covered with ice was, you guessed it, volcanoes! Volcanoes cool the earth when its hot and warm it when its frozen…hmmm. Scientists really need to make up their minds about this stuff and stop trying to blame everything they cannot explain on man.

    • this is actually a well thought out, intelligent comment (something the other two comments, of the 3 total on this article, vastly lacks). well done.

  2. Not everything has to be political. Some things are just science. You know, that thing that conservative whizzbangers love to ignore if it flies in the face of their regurgitated platform rhetoric.

  3. Wait so the global warming is coming from outer space radiation!?!!? No way, I mean for a second I thought it may be my fault, that’s why hippies and democratic whizzbangers are trying to make me pay carbon taxes…. Science I love how you prove people wrong and yet you still get a bad wrap.

    • that is not what the article said at all. i get, and agree with, the whole satirical response. but, ionizing solar radiation is just one of many sources for global warming. this article claims that volcanic eruptions lower the amount of that source, thereby slowing the effects of it. it does NOT claim that the only source is ionizing solar radiation.