Fact Check: Volcanoes Do NOT Produce More CO2 Than Human Activities

Overovanie Faktov

  • podľa: Lead Stories Staff
Fact Check: Volcanoes Do NOT Produce More CO2 Than Human Activities Lower Impact

Do volcanoes produce more CO2 than humans? No, that's not true: Volcanoes are estimated to release a fraction of the CO2 emitted by human activity. According to the U.S. Geological Survey, published scientific estimates of the global CO2 emissions for all on-land and submarine volcanoes "range from 0.13 gigaton to 0.44 gigaton per year." (Gigaton is a metric unit of mass equal to 1 billion metric tons.) This is just a fraction of the CO2 produced by human activity. In 2021, the global CO2 emissions from energy combustion and industrial processes reached a record high of 36.3 billion tonnes (or gigatons), as shown by the International Energy Agency (IEA) data published in the March 2022 report "Global Energy Review: CO2 Emissions in 2021."

The claim appeared in a TikTok video published by @tinamartina316.g on July 14, 2023, but no longer available on the platform, titled "The natural cycle of the earth" (translated from the Slovak language by LeadStories staff) with the following description:

Global warming is a hoax!! Green deal is a scam. Why do the West and the US need to occupy Russia? What is special about Siberia?

This is what the post looked like on TikTok at the time of writing:

Snímka obrazovky 2023-08-01 o 12.00.09.png

(Source: TikTok screenshot taken on Tue Aug 1 09:53:39 2023 UTC)

CO2 emissions from energy combustion and industrial processes rose radically after the industrial revolution, as captured by the IEA on its graph from March 2022.

Schermata 2023-08-03 alle 10.13.00.png

(Source: screenshot taken on Thu Aug 3 05:23:32 2023 UTC)

"On a global level, volcanoes currently emit just a few percent of the man-made CO2 production," Boris Behncke, a vulcanologist at the Etna Observatory of Italy's National Institute of Geophysics and Volcanology said to Reuters, highlighting that CO2 emissions of human activity have dramatically increased in the past decades, while volcanic emissions have not.

Simon Carn, Professor of Geological and Mining Engineering and Sciences at Michigan Technological University, said the best estimates for Mt. Etna's volcanic CO2 emissions are at "~3 million tons per year." "Hence Etna's CO2 emissions are roughly ~0.01% of anthropogenic emissions in a typical year. A single eruption of Etna would emit much less CO2, so the percentage would be even smaller."

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