End of times and volcanic fertilizer

As I was flying over Ol Doinyo Lengai I contemplated that it is the largest fertilizer factory on the planet. It is the prime cause of the massive herds of herbivores trekking across the inner parts of Africa. The ash from the volcano super-charges the grass with nutrients and makes it the best animal-feed on…

Kilauea eruptions

Two VC readers, mjf and Turtlebirdman, contributed lists of historical and slightly pre-historical eruptions of Kilauea. They are worth putting into a post and that is what we have done. We assumed that the second list made use of the first, and used that. It is worth pointing out that an eruption is a failed…

The other Hawaii: observing Haleakala

For a Kilauea update, see the bottom of the post Astronomy is a dangerous science. It is not just the fact that astronomers love to blow things up. Exploding stars are their bread and butter. For a bit of adventure, they collide black holes. And who else would start the history of everything with a…

The Art of Fracking a Volcano II

In this part of the series I will take a look at the risks of harvesting geothermal energy. Let me begin with stating that so far there has been no large accident caused by harvesting geothermal energy. On the other hand, there is no such thing as totally safe ways to harvest energy. We all…