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Remembering Mount Pinatubo

On June 15, 1991, Mount Pinatubo erupted in the Philippines. It was the 2nd largest eruption of the 20th century and the most recent eruption big enough to affect the global climate. To remember that eruption, NASA provided a very interesting interview with John Murray, their disasters program associate director. He was there watching the eruption and monitoring the weather at the time, which included a hurricane passing close by the mountain. You can read it here. The next time we get a tropical eruption that large, you can be sure it will cool off the planet for a few years, even if global warming is still occurring.

Tropical Storm Yunya arrives about 5 miles away from land in this image taken by the NOAA-12 satellite on June 14, 1991. The eruption column from Mt. Pinatubo (in dark gray) can be seen through the storm’s clouds. Credits: NOAA