Volcanic activity correlated with prolonged solar minimum

Thought it was about time to start a post on this topic as it relates to earths climate

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Volcanic activity erupts particulate matter and chemicals that have been associated with global cooling
diagram volcano

Salvatore Del Prete

a contributor from Tallbloke wordpresss has dished up some amazing findings

This preliminary study showed 80.6% of the largest eruptions took place during extended solar activity minimums. Significantly, the following list of the eight largest volcanic eruptions globally (VEI>6) since 1650, shows all but one took place only during a solar hibernation, or significant reduction in solar activity as measured by sunspot count.

source: Source: Smithsonian Institute.

Table 1.Volcanoes of greater than or equal to VEI of 5 from 1650 to 2009. This list of large volcanic eruptions since 1650 was used as the baseline list for comparison against solar activity, i.e. periods of reduced sunspot count to determine any apparent associations. 5* = a class five VEI with potentially large date uncertainty, P* = plinian large class eruption, assumed >VEI 5. The study did not include activity associated with geological hot spots or caldera (super volcano) sites. Source: Smithsonian Institute.
Volcano Location Year VEI
1. Shiveluch Kamchatka Penninsula 1650 5
2. Long Island N.E. New Guinea 1660 6
3. Usu Hokkaido, Japan 1663 5
4. Shikotsu Hokkaido, Japan 1667 5
5. Gamkonora Halmahera, Indonesia 1673 5*
6. Tongkoko Sulawesi, Indonesia 1680 5*
7. Fuji Honshu, Japan 1707 5
8. Katla So. Iceland 1721 5*
9. Shikotsu Hokkaido, Japan 1739 5
10. Katla So.Iceland 1755 5
11. Pago New Britain 1800 P**
12. St.Helens Washington State, USA 1800 5
13. Tambora Lesser Sunda Islands,Indo. 1815 7
14. Galungung Java, Indonesia 1822 5
15. Cosiguina Nicaragua 1835 5
16. Shiveluch Kamchatka Penninsula 1854 5
17. Askja N.E.Iceland 1875 5
18. Krakatau Indonesia 1883 6
19. Okataina New Zealand 1886 5
20. Santa Maria Guatemala 1902 6
21. Lolobau New Britain 1905 P*
22. Ksudach Kamchatka Penninsula 1907 5
23. Novarupta Alaska Penninsula 1912 6
24. Azul, Cerro Chile 1932 5+
25. Kharimkotan Kuril Islands 1933 5
26. Bezimianny Kamchatka Peninsula 1956 5
27. Agung Lesser Sunda Islands, Indo. 1963 5
28. St. Helens Washington State, USA 1980 5
29. El Chichon Mexico 1982 5
30. Pinatubo Philippines 1991 6
31. Hudson, Cerro So. Chile 1991 5+
Table 2.Volcanic eruptions that took place during major solar minimums and solar hibernations. This table establishes the strong relationship between the largest volcanic eruptions and solar activity lows on the order of the Centennial and Bi-Centennial Cycles defined by the RC Theory.
Volcano Location Year VEI Associated Solar Minimum
1. Long Island N .E. New Guinea 1660 6 Centennial: Maunder
2. Pago* New Britain 1800 P Bi-Centennial: Dalton
3. Tambora Lesser Sunda Islands 1815 7 Bi-Centennial: Dalton
4. Krakatau Indonesia 1883 6 Centennial: Year 1900
5. Santa Maria Guatemala 1902 6 Centennial: Year 1900
6. Lobobau New Britain 1905 P Centennial: Year 1900
7. Novarupta Alaska Peninsula 1907 6 Centennial: Year 1900

Salvatore DePrete suggests
“One item to remember is this period of below normal solar activity started in 2005 so the accumulation factor is coming into play.
Secondly it is not just solar activity within itself but the secondary effects associated with solar variability which I feel are extremely hard to predict as far as how strongly (to what degree)they may change and thus effect the climate in response to long prolonged minimum solar activity.
I strongly suspect the degree of magnitude change of the prolonged minimum solar activity combined with the duration of time of the prolonged minimum solar activity is going to have a great impact as to how EFFECTIVE the associated secondary effects associated with prolonged minimal solar activity may have on the climate. An example would be an increased in volcanic activity”
8. Pinatubo Philippines 1991


22 comments on “Volcanic activity correlated with prolonged solar minimum

  1. Salvatore Del Prete


    June 26, 2014 at 9:50 pm

    From web-site and this is a big factor which will respond to prolonged solar minimum activity like it always has in the past. The question is by how much and where.

    As volcanic activity picks up, I’m expecting big-time cooling.

    This does not include the volcanoes that are now showing “unrest.”

    It also does not include the hundreds of thousands of underwater volcanoes that no one is even monitoring.
    •   Stromboli (Eolian Islands, Italy)
    •   Kilauea (Hawai’i)
    •   Bagana (Bougainville Island, Papua New Guinea)
    •   Manam (Papua New Guinea)
    •   Yasur (Tanna Island, Vanuatu)
    •   Ambrym (Vanuatu)
    •   Colima (Western Mexico)
    •   Santa María / Santiaguito (Guatemala)
    •   Fuego (Guatemala)
    •   Ol Doinyo Lengai (Tanzania)
    •   Erta Ale (Ethiopia)
    •   Barren Island (Indian Ocean)
    •   Nyiragongo (DRCongo)
    •   Sinabung (Sumatra, Indonesia)
    •   Dukono (Halmahera, Indonesia)
    •   Ibu (Halmahera, Indonesia)
    •   Lokon-Empung (North Sulawesi, Indonesia)
    •   Sangeang Api (Indonesia)
    •   Semeru (East Java, Indonesia)
    •   Batu Tara (Sunda Islands, Indonesia)
    •   Slamet (Central Java, Indonesia)
    •   Marapi (Western Sumatra, Indonesia)
    •  Ubinas (Peru)
    •   Reventador (Ecuador)
    •   Shiveluch (Kamchatka)
    •   Karymsky (Kamchatka)
    •   Zhupanovsky (Kamchatka, Russia)
    •   Sakurajima (Kyushu, Japan)
    •   Suwanose-jima (Ryukyu Islands, Japan)
    •   Nishino-shima (Volcano Islands, Japan)
    •   Erebus (Antarctica)

    See interactive map:

  2. Thanks Salvatore Del Prete for this link

    Abrupt onset of the Little Ice Age triggered by volcanism and sustained by sea-ice/ocean feedbacks

    Gifford H. Miller,1,2 Áslaug Geirsdóttir,2 Yafang Zhong,1 Darren J. Larsen,1,2 Bette L. Otto-Bliesner,3 Marika M. Holland,3 David A. Bailey,3 Kurt A. Refsnider,1 Scott J. Lehman,1 John R. Southon,4 Chance Anderson,1 Helgi Björnsson,2 and Thorvaldur Thordarson5
    Received 29 November 2011; revised 29 December 2011; accepted 30 December 2011; published 31 January 2012.

  3. Gail Combs ..Also a contributor at Tallbloke wordpress has found some amazing information on this topic

    June 27, 2014 at 1:00 am

    Salvatore Del Prete says: “….Do you think there is a solar/volcanic connection?”

    Connections have been found:
    Possible correlation between solar and volcanic activity in a long-term scale (Full paper)

    The Role of Explosive Volcanism During the Cool Maunder Minimum

    Sun / dust correlations and volcanic interference (includes list of other papers)

    Possible correlation between solar and volcanic activity in a long-term scale
    Authors: Střeštik, J.

    Volcanic eruptions and solar activity
    Richard B. Stothers
    Journal of Geophysical Research (Impact Factor: 3.17). 01/1990; DOI:10.1029/

    The historical record of large volcanic eruptions from 1500 to 1980, as contained in two recent catalogs, is subjected to detailed time series analysis.

    Two weak, but probably statistically significant, periodicities of ~11 and ~80 years are detected. Both cycles appear to correlate with well-known cycles of solar activity; the phasing is such that the frequency of volcanic eruptions increases (decreases) slightly around the times of solar minimum (maximum).

    The weak quasi-biennial solar cycle is not obviously seen in the eruption data, nor are the two slow lunar tidal cycles of 8.85 and 18.6 years. Time series analysis of the volcanogenic acidities in a deep ice core from Greenland, covering the years 553-1972, reveals several very long periods ranging from ~80 to ~350 years and are similar to the very slow solar cycles previously detected in auroral and carbon 14 records.
    Solar flares are believed to cause changes in atmospheric circulation patterns that abruptly alter the earth’s spin. The resulting jolt probably triggers small earthquakes which may temporarily relieve some of the stress in volcanic magma chambers, thereby weakening, postponing, or even aborting imminent large eruptions. In addition, decreased atmospheric precipitation around the years of solar maximum may cause a relative deficit of phreatomagmatic eruptions at those times.

    Another good paper (in full not just abstract):

    Bipolar correlation of volcanism with millennial climate change
    Ryan C. Bay *, Nathan Bramall, and P. Buford Price


    Analyzing data from our optical dust logger, we find that volcanic ash layers from the Siple Dome (Antarctica) borehole are simultaneous (with >99% rejection of the null hypothesis) with the onset of millennium-timescale cooling recorded at Greenland Ice Sheet Project 2 (GISP2; Greenland). These data are the best evidence yet for a causal connection between volcanism and millennial climate change and lead to possibilities of a direct causal relationship. Evidence has been accumulating for decades that volcanic eruptions can perturb climate and possibly affect it on long timescales and that volcanism may respond to climate change. If rapid climate change can induce volcanism, this result could be further evidence of a southern-lead North–South climate asynchrony. Alternatively, a volcanic-forcing viewpoint is of particular interest because of the high correlation and relative timing of the events, and it may involve a scenario in which volcanic ash and sulfate abruptly increase the soluble iron in large surface areas of the nutrient-limited Southern Ocean, stimulate growth of phytoplankton, which enhance volcanic effects on planetary albedo and the global carbon cycle, and trigger northern millennial cooling. Large global temperature swings could be limited by feedback within the volcano–climate system.

    Although the Earth maintains a remarkably constant temperature, climate fluctuations have been identified on many timescales. On the 103-year scale, poorly understood Dansgaard–Oeschger (DO) events (1, 2), extremely rapid coolings/warmings and subsequent cold/warm periods, are best exhibited during the last glacial period [20,000–110,000 years before the present or 20–110 thousand years ago (ka)] but may extend with reduced amplitude into the Holocene (3) (the comparatively stable, warm, last ≈11 ka).
    Proposed causal mechanisms involve harmonics of Milankovitch (orbital) forcing, thermohaline circulation, internal ocean–atmosphere oscillations, solar forcing, and even long-period tidal resonances in the motions of the Earth and Moon.
    Recent work suggests that the fluctuations resemble those of a system possessing threshold instability. Rapid transitions between states are exhibited in many climate models, including those of oceanic circulation, atmospheric energy balance, and atmospheric regime change. It is becoming increasingly apparent that global climate models currently either omit some natural forcings from the simulations or underestimate the size and extent of climate response to threshold crossings, e.g., by considering the North Atlantic as the amplifier for DO oscillations and only including North Atlantic triggers in the model (4). The possibilities that rapid climate change can induce volcanic activity and, conversely, that volcanic eruptions can force millennial climate have both been suggested in the past (5). Based on evidence we have found using our optical profiles of deep boreholes in the polar ice caps, we conclude that volcanism may supply a vital missing link in millennial climate change.

    Study of Dust in Ice Cores Shows Volcanic Eruptions Interfere with the Effect of Sunspots on Global Climate

    Gail Combs says:

    June 27, 2014 at 3:50 am


    On the subject of volcanoes, from Ice Age Now: Wow! Look at how many volcanoes are erupting right now!

    one of the commenters mentioned:

    JimS says:
    June 26, 2014 at 12:00 pm

    I did some quick research, and found out that on average, about 20 volcanoes are erupting at any one time. Above is a list of 31 that are now erupting.

    Apparently, 2013 – last year – was a record year for volcanic eruptions with about 83 occurring throughout that year. Average years vary between 55 to 60 volcanic eruptions annually.

    There seems to be an upward trend in the last few years for erupting volcanoes.

  4. A weaker solar input coupled with increased volcanism may well be the double whammy required to make the solar min events so identifyable in ice core examination.

    The study, led by the University of Colorado Boulder with co-authors at the National Center for Atmospheric Research (NCAR) and other organizations, suggests that an unusual, 50-year-long episode of four massive tropical volcanic eruptions triggered the Little Ice Age between 1275 and 1300 A.D. The persistence of cold summers following the eruptions is best explained by a subsequent expansion of sea ice and a related weakening of Atlantic currents, according to computer simulations conducted for the study.
    The study, which used analyses of patterns of dead vegetation, ice and sediment core data, and powerful computer climate models, provides new evidence in a longstanding scientific debate over the onset of the Little Ice Age. Scientists have theorized that the Little Ice Age was caused by decreased summer solar radiation, erupting volcanoes that cooled the planet by ejecting sulfates and other aerosol particles that reflected sunlight back into space, or a combination of the two.
    “This is the first time anyone has clearly identified the specific onset of the cold times marking the start of the Little Ice Age,” says lead author Gifford Miller of the University of Colorado Boulder. “We also have provided an understandable climate feedback system that explains how this cold period could be sustained for a long period of time. If the climate system is hit again and again by cold conditions over a relatively short period—in this case, from volcanic eruptions—there appears to be a cumulative cooling effect.”
    What it says: The Little Ice Age was initiated by a series of volcanic eruptions then ocean circulation and sea ice changes caused a positive (ie cooling) feedback that lasted for centuries.
    more from the link below
    thanks to for this link

  6. Noting from an independent observer of seismic and volcanic activity an increase in events.
    Remember that solar downturn cycles are correlated highly with increased volcanic activity. Volcanoes are reported to have powerful feedbacks for global cooling mostly thought to be due to ash and chemicals emitted into the atmosphere.
    On weatherzone there is an independent ( not biassed by climate literature)observer of seismic activity . Some notes taken from their in the recent months
    Chaparrastique volcano ( El Salvadore?)

    VOLCANO: Kelut 263280
    PSN: S0756 E11219
    AREA: Indonesia
    SUMMIT ELEV: 1731M

    The Tungurahua volcano in Ecuador created a spectacular plume of ash, 10km (six miles) high on Friday in an eruption that lasted just five minutes.
    eruption of Sangeang Api yesterday. Ash cloud has cancelled flights in Darwin.

    eruption in the Afar region in Ethiopia
    The link below to CanIndia highlights a current article about a fissure which has opened up in the earth, which is spewing “flames and hot liquid steam”, akin to a volcanic behaviour.
    It is located NW of India, on the southern edge of the Himalayas.

    “Volcano-like eruption…” June 6 2014

    Duckweather the host of this earthquake thread says
    on 1st July 2014
    There is so much volcanic activity occurring around the planet, it can be hard to keep up with all of the info.

    Forum thread:Hosted and maintainbe by ‘Duckweather’


    Adding to the list above. More from’ Duckweather’

    Speaking of the Japanese growing island land mass, a new article has just been put up on The Watchers regarding yet more volcanic activity making a spectacle of itself…

    “Growing Japanese island and volcano Nishino-shima erupts ash plume 3 km into the air” TW

    most of this info’ from’ the watchers’

    M6.1 deep earthquake hit Bonin Islands region, Japan
    Elevated activity continues at Stromboli volcano, Italy
    Powerful burst of hot ash erupts from Mount Sinabung triggering massive evacuations, Indonesia
    Strong and shallow earthquake M6.2 struck Samoa Islands region
    Strong M6.2 earthquake hit Volcano Islands region, Japan
    Three new volcanoes discovered in southeast Australia
    Active volcanoes in the world: June 18 -24, 2014
    Very strong M8.0 earthquake struck Aleutian Islands, Alaska

    Anomalous seismic activity reported at Semisopochnoi volcano, Alaska
    Active volcanoes in the world: June 4 – 10, 2014

    Violent phase of explosive/effusive activity observed at Etna, Italy
    Puzzling earthquake swarm near Noatak still in progress, northern Alaska

  9. M6.1 deep earthquake hit Bonin Islands region, Japan
    Elevated activity continues at Stromboli volcano, Italy
    Powerful burst of hot ash erupts from Mount Sinabung triggering massive evacuations, Indonesia
    Strong and shallow earthquake M6.2 struck Samoa Islands region
    Strong M6.2 earthquake hit Volcano Islands region, Japan
    Three new volcanoes discovered in southeast Australia
    Active volcanoes in the world: June 18 -24, 2014
    Very strong M8.0 earthquake struck Aleutian Islands, Alaska

    Anomalous seismic activity reported at Semisopochnoi volcano, Alaska
    Active volcanoes in the world: June 4 – 10, 2014

    Violent phase of explosive/effusive activity observed at Etna, Italy
    Puzzling earthquake swarm near Noatak still in progress, northern Alaska

  10. Significant statistically relationship between the great volcanic eruptions and the count of sunspots from 1610 to the present

    Casati, Michele

    EGU General Assembly 2014, held 27April – 02May, 2014 in Vienna, Austria
    “In our research, we compare the 148 volcanic eruptions with index VEI4, the major 37 historical volcanic eruptions equal to or greater than index VEI5, recorded from 1610 to 2012 , with its sunspots number

    table of significant volcanoes

    volcano date
    source file

    Graphed and correlated
    volcano vs sunspot no
    source file

    More ….


    We affirm therefore that the occurrence of a major volcanic eruption, greater or equal to VEI4 index, during the weak solar cycles, is statistically significant and justifies the hypothesis of large volcanic eruptions in the next decade, with reference not only to the weakness of the current solar cycle SC24, but the probable entrance, in a long and deep solar minimum, during the transition to the next solar cycle SC25

  11. Thanks to ‘John Pike from Netweather forum for this great link to recent and past Volcanic activity

    I particularly liked this report on ETNA and the history of her activity

    “Etna volcano
    Mt Etna on Sicily, locally called “Mongibello”, is Europe’s largest and most active volcano.
    Complex stratovolcano Currently about 3329 m (changing due to eruptive activity and collapse of its crater rims)
    Sicily, Italy, 37.75°N / 14.99°E

    Etna webcams / live data
    Etna volcano videos
    Etna volcano eruptions:
    Near continuously active; some major historic eruptions include 122 BC (large Plinian outbursts that created the small caldera of the “Cratere del Piano”), 1669 AD (devastating flank eruption that destroyed 15 villages and part of Catania), 1787 (Subplinian eruption and one of the most spectacular summit eruptions on record – lava fountains reportedly up to 3000 m high).
    Eruptions since 1950 (f: flank / s: summit activity): 1950 (s), 1950-51(f), 1955 (s), 1956 (s), 1956 (f), 1957 (s),1960 (s), 1961 (s), 1964 (f), 1964 (s), 1966 (s), 1966-1971(s), 1968 (f), 1971(f), 1972-1973 (s), 1974 (f), 1974-1975 (s), 1975-1977 (f), 1977-1978 (s), 1978 (f), 1979(s), 1979 (f), 1980 (s), 1981 (s), 1981 (f),1982-1983 (s), 1983(f), 1984(s), 1985(s), 1985(f), 1986(s), 1986-1987 (f), 1987(s), 1988(s), 1989(s), 1989(f), 1990 (s), 1991-93(f), 1995(s), 1996(s), 1997 (s), 1998 (s), 1999 (s), 2000 (s), 2001(s), 2001 (f), 2002(s), 2002-03(f), 2004-2005 (f), 2006 (s), 2007 (s), 2008-2009 (f), 2010(s), 2011-2013(s), 2014-ongoing(f)

    Typical eruption style:
    Effusive (lava flows) and mildly explosive (strombolian) eruptions. Both summit and frequent flank eruptions, the latter seem to be occurring in clusters lasting few to a few tens of years.
    Last earthquakes nearby”

  12. Very interesting. I am curious about the implications of this study. What could be the mechanism that causes a correlation between prolonged solar minimums and significant volcanic explosive events? Cosmic ray flux will certainly increase when solar activity decrease. Possibly ionization of bubbles in lava from high energy muons that penetrate deep into the crust reaching pockets of magma. These results are actually opposite from what I would predict but I have not done the research.

  13. My initial thoughts ‘xakuma’ . I suspect some sought of pressure change. Certain spatial .Planetary positions perhaps
    .Charatova pinpoints a particular pattern in the chandler wobble during a maunder type minimum. I think he describes the pattern as erratic (trefoils)

    Have a read of this section of my blog
    Thanks for dropping by

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