This could make Happy Valley not so happy anymore


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A recently study published in Nature Geoscience disclosed some pretty terrifying information: there is an active volcano beneath Mount Sidley, the largest mountain in Antarctica.

In 2011, Mount Erebus (the second largest mountain in Antarctica) erupted with very little ramifications to its emissions however; seismologists are not expecting the same result with Mount Sidley.

Scientists anticipate a rise in sea levels, which has not yet been calculated. According to this map on Geology.com, if sea levels rise 7 m, New Orleans, the edges of Manhattan, along with Long Beach, parts of Brooklyn and Newark, will be covered with water. To put this information in perspective, it would take an estimated 50 m to almost completely submerge Manhattan, but even having parts of the city covered with water is a frightening thought...

Some of the most populated regions of the world are located close to sea level and if people have watched Al Gore's An Inconvenient Truth then we can also get a more dramatic representation of rising sea levels.

Although this seems to be an important discovery and valuable information for our population to be aware of, I was a little taken aback by the lack of answers the seismologists had to give. They do not know when the volcano will erupt, they do not know how much sea levels will rise and they also seem to be unsure of its overall impact on our planet. How would you prepare for this dilemma?

I suppose it is interesting to consider that State College is in a mountainous region, so perhaps we would be fine but what about our hometowns? What would become of them?  Pittsburgh, my hometown would definitely experience some flooding since it so close to some rivers and that's a frightening throught.

"If the volcano in Antarctica did erupt, it would melt the bottom of the ice sheet immediately above the vent. Scientists aren't sure what would happen next," Becky Oskin writes in a recent article regarding this Antarctic volcano.

The known is frightening but the unknown is even more frightening and hopefully our questions will be answered sooner rather than later.

1 Comment

This is a very interesting blog post since I lived at the Jersey shore for a good part of my life and I can't help but to think what would happen to the places I grew up at and spent a lot of my time hanging out with friends at. This is also very frightening especially since scientist don't yet know exactly what the effect of this might be.

I do have one stipulation though, I don't know if I'm wrong or not this is just me thinking out loud so don't take any offense to this--I think this would have an effect to places that are in direct contact with the oceans, and not rivers that aren't connected to the oceans. The only reason I say this is because I don't know why the rivers would rise if there is no extra water being deposited into them. Therefore, I believe that towns like Pittsburgh, Salt Lake City, and all cities and towns that are on water but not exactly sea water wouldn't be effected by this.

I like this article though because it might have an impact that many people didn't know about but could very well effect them.

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