Drill into the supervolcano and the thing could erupt, don’t do anything and the thing could erupt at any time.
And yet, if any eruption occurs, the immediate damage would be likely limited to the park. The worst part of this would be the 500 mile radius of ash it will deposit across the United States, in the rivers, in the farmland, and in the atmosphere.
We would see a large amount of global cooling, maybe even a mini ice age for a few years while the ash is cleared from the atmosphere. Unfortunately, given the state of the world economy, this would likely trigger some nasty revolutions and other conflicts. Hopefully this kind of eruption doesn’t occur in our lifetimes.
A geologist at the national park said the proposal could have dire consequences, including killing scores of animals.
The warning comes after the US space agency revealed its options to prevent the volcano from exploding, including drilling into the bottom to release heat from it.
Fears were immediately raised the “risky” plan could actually backfire and trigger an eruption – potentially triggering a deadly nuclear winter.
Despite warning something must be done about the Yellowstone threat, Brian Wilcox, an ex-member of the NASA Advisory Council on Planetary Defence, warned the plan could cause an eruption.
And now Dr Jefferson Hungerford, who works at Yellowstone, has warned NASA scientists to stay away from the volcano.
He said: “Messing with a mass that sits underneath our dynamic Yellowstone would potentially be harmful to life around us.
“It would potentially be a dangerous thing to play around with.”
And he questioned whether the drilling could even work, saying “we’re not there scientifically”.