While progressives decry fossil fuel use as the source of our climate change woes, Mother Nature may be presenting us a more serious, immediate and real threat.

Most Americans are familiar with our supervolcano in Yellowstone. However, there is one in Italy that shows signs of potential activity.

A massive supervolcano under the city of Naples, Italy, is showing signs of life again, prompting concern among some scientists.

The Campi Flegrei, Italian for “burning fields,” that make up the vocano’s crater, or caldera, have been full of boiling mud, steam, and even smaller volcanoes for centuries. The people of ancient Rome believed the area to be the home of the Roman god of fire and volcanoes, Vulcan. Today, the fields are a popular tourist destination. But the caldera has been showing signs of an explosive awakening since 2012, and a new study indicates that a destructive eruption of the volcano could be coming soon.

While the volcano could pose a threat to the 500,000 people living in or around the caldera of the volcano, the researchers involved in the study stress that volcanoes are extremely hard to predict, and it is possible that it could fizzle out before reaching a critical pressure. But based on their findings, it will be prudent to continue monitoring the volcano.

An Italian report on the area with subtitles is provided in this video:

The supervolcano erupts periodically, with substantial impact on both the region and the global climate.

The initial eruption, which occurred 200,000 years ago triggered a “volcanic winter” from the massive amount of ash ejected into the atmosphere. The volcano then erupted again 40,000 and 12,000 years ago. … In recent memory, Campi Flegrei erupted in 1538 for 8 days straight, sending ash across Europe and forming the new mountain Monte Nuovo.

Interestingly, this supervolcano may have been a significant, contributing factor to the extinction of our Neanderthal cousins over 40,000 years ago. A study of Neanderthal remains and ash deposits show a composition signature that ties it back to the Camp Flegri complex.

The ash layers correspond chronologically to what is known as the Campanian Ignimbrite super-eruption which occurred around 40,000 years ago in modern day Italy, and a smaller eruption thought to have occurred around the same time in the Caucasus Mountains. The researchers argue that these eruptions caused a “volcanic winter” as ash clouds obscured the sun’s rays, possibly for years. The climatic shift devastated the region’s ecosystems, “possibly resulting in the mass death of hominins and prey animals and the severe alteration of foraging zones.

However, there is no need to panic just yet.

…[T]he Italians’ model only predicts eruption, if at all, decades down the line. The unrest noted in the volcano’s behavior starting in 2005 could also subside, stresses volcanologist Prof. Oded Navon of the Hebrew University of Jerusalem.

File this news under “Christmas Miracle”!


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