“A volcano is a vent in the Earth’s crust through which molten rock, gas, or ash flow onto the surface or are injected into the atmosphere” (Environmental Science 818). A volcanic eruption occurs when the magma chamber is pressurized. When the pressure builds to a sufficient level, some contents in the magma are forced to the earth’s surface. The magma is ejected through the cracks found in the rock or the solid rocks around the mantle, which are denser. When the magma reaches the earth’s surface, volcanic eruption is experienced.  A volcano can result to various forms of damage. Among them is the smothering of animals and plants. This is brought about by the ash introduced into the atmosphere after the eruption has occurred. Volcanoes also have the ability of causing death to people based on the intensity. A good example is the eruption of Mt. St. Helens that took place in 1980. “The initial explosion killed 62 people and destroyed about 150 square mi of surrounding forest” (Environmental Science 819). The timber industry incurred a loss of around $1 billion as a result of the eruption. Mt. Pelee volcanic eruption on the other hand resulted to the death of approximately 30,000 people. This was in 1902, in the town of Saint-Pierre. Volcanic eruptions also have the ability of changing the climate. This aspect was experienced in the Philippines after the eruption of Mt. Pinatubo, which ejected excessive sulfur dioxide particles into the atmosphere.  “These bright particles reflect sunlight into space and infrared light back toward earth, tending to make summers cooler and winters warmer” (Environmental Science 819).


Work Cited

“Volcanoes.” Environmental Science: In Context. Ed. Brenda Wilmoth Lerner and K. Lee            Lerner. Vol. 2. Detroit: Gale, 2009. 818-820. In Context Series. Opposing Viewpoints in    Context. Web. 02 May 2016.

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