Volcanic eruption happening at Mount Agung, shown by NASA satellite that measures sulfur dioxide in the atmosphere [OC]

Volcanic eruption happening at Mount Agung, shown by NASA satellite that measures sulfur dioxide in the atmosphere [OC]

It is currently erupting and has been for nearly a week. The airports in the area have closed, and all that sulfur dioxide is what is being spewed out - along with lots of ash.

So this volcano is erupting now, or just in the early stages?

In case anyone else didn't know what a Dobson Unit is.

Dobsin Unit - A unit of measurement for the total amount of ozone in the atmosphere above a point on the earth's surface, one Dobson unit being equivalent to a layer of pure ozone 0.01 mm thick at standard temperature and pressure.

The airports are actually back open today. The wind shifted.

Yep, my brother is stranded there and was really pissed about that. The airport was supposedly closed until January so he canceled his flight and was trying to get a bus/ferry out.

Yeah. I’m literally on Bali right now, and really really hope I can get back in time for Christmas. Haven’t been home in 5 months by now! I can see the smoke, sometimes, from where I’m staying!

Bus to the ferry.

I’m assuming the unit is essentially just the thickness of a specific gas layer above the earths surface, so the same measurement/principle can be applied to any gas in question.

Bus/Ferry? So just a ferry then?

How does Sulfur Dioxide correlate with ozone? I thought ozone was O3?

My cousin had plans to go on her honeymoon to Bali this past weekend. They changed their plans last minute and are enjoying Thailand. Thought they were kidding about volcanic activity, but guess not!

Then ferry to the bus...got it.

It's venting gas and is now an open magma crater - but no lava flow yet


What's concerning is that these volcanoes have a history of having monumental explosions (ie Krakatoa). If you look at the craters just west of Mt Agung, you can see the remnant craters of explosions that blew up the entire mountain.

I think by now wiki is almost a better source than lots of text books. I haven’t heard someone question it’s viability since middle school. But hey thanks for linking! :)

Crazy to think that just last year I climbed that son of a bitch and now it decided to spew it's molten guts for all to see.

The last time this volcano erupted was in 1963 and it was fairly large.


I know it’s wiki as a source but the information is the same as in my textbook.

Will this have a slight cooling effect on the Earth?

Yea, but that happened a long time ago. Volcanoes don't do that any more </s>

That would make sense. Definitely a strange unit.

From what I heard it is showing signs of an impending eruption.


Any large eruption has a cooling effect on the earth. The type, size of event, and location determine how much of an effect.

Typically, events that force columns of sulfuric gas high enough into the atmosphere to reach the Stratosphere*, and are located at or near the equator have the largest impact on climate.

If you would like more information, I’d check out a video on “the mystery of the mega volcano”

Pretty decent explanation of what occurs and why in regards to eruptions and climate. Plus my professor is in the video lol

Edited: Troposphere to Stratosphere.*

A friend of mine is in Bali. He watched the volcano from about 20Km (according to his calculations), and said the evacuation radius is 8Km.

You'd think people would be less inclined to blow a volcano eruption off if they looked at the literal craters from volcanoes that wiped their civilization out.

I'm watching this volcano expecting this to happen I'd be getting a hell of a lot further away than 8km...

An eruption isn’t a one-off explosion in most cases; it’s a series of events that denote the shifting of materials and gases within the volcano and subterranean chambers.

An eruption can last for weeks and taper off, or go for a month slowly then suddenly boom.

The real danger is the increased gas emissions and changes in earthquakes that we’ve seen that prelude the big ones; if the earthquakes go down or the gas goes really off track suddenly, it’s a bad sign.

Imagine this; take a 2 liter of pop and shake it well. When you open it, the first thing out isn’t the pop itself, but the gases trapped in it. That decompression is followed by the fluid itself with the added force of the decompressing gas and geological pressure. If you open it slowly and in spurts, you might drain it out with only a bit of liquid, but if you dropped the cap all you can do is point it away from yourself and hopefully you’re near a sink.

That’s what this gas escape could symbolize, the ‘cap’ is off. Lava moves and acts much slower than pop, but since we don’t know the future all we can do is be cautious.

Are the ferries locked down too? I’d look into trying to get to Lombok or Java and taking a flight out from there. IIRC Lombok and the closest Airport in Java are both regional, so you’d have to fly to Jakarta before going international.

Wow, hope everyone in Bali had left. I plan to track this and see how it ends. Thanks mate

Data: SO2 observations from Suomi NPP

Tools: Python, QGIS

More info, including a comparison image showing how the plume is now being pulled west by the winds of Tropical Cyclone Cempaka: https://earthobservatory.nasa.gov/IOTD/view.php?id=91329

But its still a lot more tangible than something like kilograms per square meter of gas which is just arcane to try to visualize etc.

Edit: Because someone is going to point out that mass per square area doesn't make sense I'm referring to mass of a vertical column by its cross sectional (actually someone correct me if I meant a different adjective) area.

Dobsin! We’ve got Dobsin here!

Bus and swim.

Heh - volcanic activity on a honeymoon. Oh yeah baby

They'll be fine.

Hopefully you didn't just jinx a whole bunch of people.

Another (relatively) recent eruption in the same region in 1815 caused massive food shortages and climate anomalies in the northern hemisphere. Called "the year without summer." Pretty crazy stuff.


See, nobody cares.

Just wondering how old you are out of curiosity. I finished high school in 2011 and using wikipedia for anything was considered a grave sin by teachers, of course they didn't seem to ever check my sources against wikipedia's citations.

Not everyone in Bali needs to leave, just the area in close proximity

Look at this map. The white tip is the volcano currently erupting (Agung). Now look at the huge ass caldera (10x13 km) to the northwest. That is what is left from a very old (>20,000 years) eruption. Standing on the rim of that caldera and realizing the scope of what must have happened was mind blowing. I really hope scientists today could tell if people were siting on a powder keg like that thing was back then.

The white tip is the volcano currently erupting (Agung). Now look at the huge ass caldera (10x13 km) to the northwest. That is what is left from a very old (>20,000 years) eruption. Standing on the rim of that caldera and realizing the scope of what must have happened was mind blowing. I really hope scientists today could tell if people were siting on a powder keg like that thing was back then.

They'll be fine. I was there just the other week when it was at high alert. Currently the smoke is heading towards Lombok and the Gili islands, but they're not at risk of pyroclastic flows, just soot and smoke. The mainland of Bali is at risk of pyroclastic flows but the exclusion zone was far enough from all the main tourist areas. At most they will miss their flight and have to spend a few days indoors to avoid the soot and smoke. Not ideal but at least it would be a pretty unique experience. I just hope more of the locals have started to move out of the exclusion zone. They're the ones really at risk here.

“I ain’t afraid of no volcaner”

Humanity is a reactionary species, not an anticipatory one.

Can confirm, am in a hotel waiting for airport to reopen


You can watch live here: (If it's night there keep watching and you can see frequent lightning around the ash cloud)

I’m 25, graduated high-school in 2011 as well. I had the exact same experience, Wikipedia is the devil! Except the devil is a beautiful collaboration with less mistakes than the encyclopedia britanica :D


Boom, found the solution to climate Change. We just need to trigger a certain amount of eruptions every year to cancel out human activity.

It's Win Win, what could go wrong!

I remember the result of Mount Pinatubo (sp?) erupting - it was a cold freakin' Winter in Southern Ontario Canada. I was a university Student and I got frostbite walking to the bank (to cash a cheque that was a gift, so I could drink beer).

So you were just there....and now its erupting,,,

Coincidence? I think not!

Indonesian/Ring of Fire volcanoes have a history of causing mass amounts of damage. I believe the most destructive eruption ever recorded was in Indonesia. The ash plume was blasted so high up it spread across the earth and actually caused snow in the Midwestern USA in August. Reports say there was snow, darkness, and quiet as far as America.

Volcanoes are literally vents to hell.

Edit: Clarification

when you're discussing a column measurement, a mixing ratio doesn't make much intuitive sense - mixing ratios are good for predicting chemical reactions in defined air parcels. You're taking a vertical profile of a heterogeneous space and squishing it to one number. DU tells you how thick that number is.

Nice hat.

The sensor that detected this isn't even made for SO2, it's a happy scientific accident! It's made for mapping the ozone layer, but is also sensitive to these spectra.

It also means they can't afford the bad PR of "1000 tourists died in a volcanic eruption."

Wiki usually has sources at the bottom of the page, so you can follow those through and get the same info. Did that all the way through uni on anything I couldn't find.

Something I saw yesterday said that people were still leaving and that the airport is shut down.

I don't know that I'd trust a government agency. Bali is heavily dependent on tourism, and there are plenty of instances of governments saying to tourists and locals, "everything is great, no need to worry, come and spend your money here" when everything is not great.

I guess, though I would think something like ppm would be a simpler measurement. This doesn't seem like the sort of thing to visualize, more just for comparison.

My buddy was stuck in Costa Rica for three weeks when that volcano went off a few years back. My bank called me because I sent him money and they thought it was fraud. Fun times.

Are you okay out there?

It's too late for that logic... I already said it's win win. You're Fake news. Sad. Boo.

There is some speculation that because of the eruption of Tambora caused the climate to cool so m...

I reckon i'd trust a government agency and other flight operators who have special units to monitor these situations more than locals who are just stubborn to leave cause they dont want to leave everything behind. If you're 10km out you probably wont need to worry though.

They selected novice difficulty and got veteran difficulty.

Bali is an island. There is a large vehicle ferry on the west coast to Java, the next island in the chain, and a regular bus service crosses the ferry and travels to Jakarta and other cities on Java.

Eruptions are fake news.

Krakatoa just lowered global temperatures a couple degrees on average for a year. And made the sky look awesome. It won't be so bad.

Looks like it'll be a long winter...

They’re saying there was an issued alert. Then shouldn’t that be noted on their site when I booked a $5k trip? We researched the hell out of it too. Nothing came up when we booked. Maybe I didn’t think to search Bali volcano. Ugh.

Thats what happens when a country is located in between three tectonic plates and near the equator lol . You could probably experience every natural disaster in Indonesia alone excluding snow related ones . Tsunamis , earthquakes , cyclones , hurricanes , volcanoes . Probably wont be a good idea for indo to have a nuclear reactor anytime soon considering how volatile the region is

Yeah if our instructors caught you using wikipedia in the computer lab they'd just dock your grade. Honestly I think they just didn't understand it. I had computer literate adults around but English or Texan History teachers were not among them.

You're describing albedo modification by stratospheric aerosol injection. Check out these guys: https://geoengineering.environment.harvard.edu/

Lombok's airport is closed too

You've just described the concept of geoengineering (minus the volcanic eruptions thing).

It's a tough spot to be stranded in for sure.

What a horrible practice. Did they not know Wikipedia contains citations to primary sources?

High school administrators are the biggest power tripping idiots on the face of the earth.

Oh I thought it lasted longer than just a year, I was hoping this eruption could help cool the earth for a little bit.

To summarize the post above me:

"I don't like white people."

Thanks for shoehorning that in! Super relevant and helpful sort of sentiment to express to strangers.

What the hell?

Actually, they're a Chinese hoax.

The previous eruption cooled global temperatures by 0.3 degrees for a year, I read.

Maybe more frustrated than pissed. He's a student traveling on a budget and had all of his flights planned so that he could get from Australia to California before Christmas to surprise my mom and to visit a few countries in Asia on the way over. When he was told that the airport would be closed till January, he canceled the flight and requested a refund. For whatever reason, his phone wouldn't let him call the airlines phone number. So we had my sister call and request the refund from Texas. Everytime she spoke with someone, they would put her on hold and hang up after ten minutes. After about thirty tries - they said that they finally processed the refund application. We found out later that it was never processed. Call again, finally get it processed. The refund will take about two months, meaning that he can't use that money from his plane ticket for a bus ticket out. After about 12 hours of planning, canceling tickets and logistics, he then finds out that the airport opens again. on the bright side, he does get to hang out and decompress on the beach for a few more days...and this will be a helluva story to tell.

I hear if you sleep with your pass under your pillow the bus fairy will grant you a smooth departure.

I hope you stay safe!

Then bus to the next ferry. You get the idea.

We have a trip booked over Christmas. Apparently the airlines aren’t honoring insurance booked after September.

The gotdang volcaner took er jerbs

One DU is also equivalent to 2.687×1020 molecules per square metre.

So I'm interested in the scale indicating Dobson units. A quick google of dobson units says they're a measure of the total ozone in the air column between the imager and the ground. Is the measurement based on Dobson units saying that the SO2 level is being inferred from the absence of the ozone that would normally be expected?