NASA scientists have now unveiled an ongoing project to prevent a volcano in Yellowstone from ever erupting, and that task could cost three billion euros.
Scientists from the US space agency have now revealed the project to cool and prevent a future eruption of the Yellowstone supervolcano, located in the US state of Wyoming, which could predictably put even humanity at risk. Already in 2012, a United Nations study admitted that food reserves would last only 74 days in the event of a prolonged “volcanic winter”.
Yellowstone is one of about 20 supervulsions already identified on planet Earth in which the largest and most devastating eruptions occur with a frequency of 100,000 years. However, one of these phenomena can have devastating effects on civilization.
“I was a member of the NASA Planetary Defense Council who studied a plan to defend the planet from asteroids and comets. I came to the conclusion during the study that the threat of a supervolcano is substantially greater than the danger of a comet”, said Brian Wilcox, quoted by the BBC website.
In Yellowstone’s case, however, the danger is potential enough for scientists to have a plan to “calm it down”. Once the eruptions of hot water it generates, mixed with existing bacteria on the surface, create the phenomenon of the Morning Glory Pool, a pool of green and yellow colors, which is in and of itself a tourist attraction in the national park located in the state Of Wyoming.
NASA scientists are considering drilling the volcano’s dome into the magma chamber and injecting high-pressure water jets to release heat and prevent an explosion in the future.
“Drilling into the magma chamber and trying to cool it in this way is risky. It may cause the capsule on the magma chamber to become more brittle and prone to fracture. What could trigger the release of harmful volatile gases”, explained scientist Brian Wilcox.
Irrespective of the scientific doubts, the project has an estimated cost in the order of three thousand million euros. Without it, if it is started, whoever sets it in motion will hardly see it finished. It is anticipated that a thousand feet per year will take thousands of years to reach the ten kilometers of the underground magma chamber of the Yellowstone supervolcano.
“With this project, we will start the process, and the main daily profitability will be the energy supply”, explained scientist Brian Wilcox.