Yellowstone National Park has a magnificent geyser called the Old Faithful that draws out boiling hot water at regular intervals (on average, each 90 to 94 minutes). I never saw him face to face, But I felt there was no rush with a name like Old Faithful, it would probably last forever. Turns out I was wrong, because like everything else, the geyser is getting worse from the climate crisis.
a New study Evidence published in Geophysical Research Letters this week found that eight centuries ago, Old Faithful stopped erupting for a period of several decades when There was a severe drought in the west. Now the weather is reversed Increasing the risk Is serious Drought to the westIs, which can once again stop the geyser.
Researchers became interested in Old Faithful’s examples when they read it Other scientists A piece of petrified wood was found On his mound. Those fragments suggest that the now desolate area once promoted tree growth, and the regular geysers of the geyser and the trees could never withstand the heat and salt, meaning that something major had changed.
To learn more, the new study team recovered 13 pieces of petrified lodgepole pine wood from the site. After that, they used radiocarbon dating – which is used to determine the age of organic matter based on carbon isotopes – to find out how old the pieces of wood are. They were able to date them back to grown between 1233 and 1362.
By examining data from nearby tree rings and perforating the scientific literature, the authors learned that at the time, the region was experiencing an “acute multidecodal regional drought”. It was the so-called era Medieval warm periodWhen hot, dry conditions were observed in the Northern Hemisphere, probably. Due to changes in sea circulation.
Studies suggest that long, dry periods would have been cut Water supply of Old Faithful. Finally, when geysers form when there is an abundance of groundwater that can escape through cracks in it.Earth. The eruption was stopped because the water did not erupt.
That dry past will make our climate look similar to the future. According to For National Park Service, Yellowstone is likely to be hotter and drier By the latter part of the 21st century. If carbon pollution increases dramatically in the coming decades, Show estimates Yellowstone will It should be 13 degrees Fahrenheit (7.2 degrees Celsius) warmer than today. In fact, over the last several decades, researchers have observed that the time between the outbreaks of Old Faithful Increased From some 66 minutes in the 1960s More than 90 minutes today. So as long as we do everything we can to tackle the climate crisis (by the way, if we want to survive), we can expect the hot spring to come out once again.