It woz the volcanoes wot dunnit

A thing dissenters say about global warming is that volcanoes contribute way more than human activities. Back in 2009 Scientific American said nuh-uh.

According to the U.S. Geological Survey (USGS), the world’s volcanoes, both on land and undersea, generate about 200 million tons of carbon dioxide (CO2) annually, while our automotive and industrial activities cause some 24 billion tons of CO2 emissions every year worldwide. Despite the arguments to the contrary, the facts speak for themselves: Greenhouse gas emissions from volcanoes comprise less than one percent of those generated by today’s human endeavors.

200 million v 24 billion. Hard to argue that it’s close.

Another indication that human emissions dwarf those of volcanoes is the fact that atmospheric CO2 levels, as measured by sampling stations around the world set up by the federally funded Carbon Dioxide Information Analysis Center, have gone up consistently year after year regardless of whether or not there have been major volcanic eruptions in specific years. “If it were true that individual volcanic eruptions dominated human emissions and were causing the rise in carbon dioxide concentrations, then these carbon dioxide records would be full of spikes—one for each eruption,” says Coby Beck, a journalist writing for online environmental news portal “Instead, such records show a smooth and regular trend.”

You also have to wonder why the whole warming thing started around the same time the first railroads were built.

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