I have always been interested in the impact volcanic activity has on climate change, especially the Little Ice Age. This post by Javier answers a lot of my questions. Bottomline in this quote:
“The solar-LIA remains the only hypothesis supported by evidence, even if we do not understand well the climatic response to reduced solar activity.”
The effect of volcanoes on climate
The relationship between volcanoes and climate is a very complex one. From reading the media one gets the impression that they are some sort of climatic wild card. They are used to explain the cooling after the Pinatubo eruption, or the Little Ice Age cooling as a detriment to the solar hypothesis. But they are also used to explain the warming leading to mass extinctions in the distant past.
To be able to fulfill such a dual role, scientists take advantage of the different gas emissions from volcanoes. About 50-90 % of the gas emitted by volcanoes is water vapor. The rest is highly variable from one volcano to another, but CO2 can be 1-40 %, SO2 1-25 %, H2S 1-10 %, and HCl 1-10 %, plus a lot of other minor gases. H2S gets quickly…
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