American theoretical physicist Michio Kaku warned a Yellowstone eruption would devastate the US and change the face of the planet. Yellowstone had its last major eruption some 640,00 years ago and is not expected to erupt any time soon. However, many experts still worry about the supervolcano’s potential for destruction. Yellowstone Volcano has the potential to be one of the most powerful volcanoes in the world which is why experts continuously monitor it.
However, Mr Kaku has said that even if Yellowstone was to give a warning, there would still be little one can do in footage unearthed from 2011.
Up to a thousand miles of the US would be covered in volcanic ash and the climate of the planet would be altered as debris is ploughed into the atmosphere.
Mr Kaku told CNN in 2011: “When it blows, it could destroy the United States as we know it.
“We’re talking about immediate damage to the surrounding area up to 100 miles will see total devastation, basically wiping out everything in
“However, the real damage goes out to 500 miles if you include volcanic ash, poisonous gasses. And that’s a ring which goes around a thousand miles across.
“It would wipe out the United States as we know it. It could happen tomorrow, or it could happen a hundred thousand years from now.
“It’s black magic trying to predict when it will blow, but we do know one thing – one day, it will blow.”
Mr Kaku went on to add: “All you can do is run.”
One NASA employee believes he has found a unique way to stop a major eruption – by feeding cold water into Yellowstone’s magma chambers.
NASA engineer Brian Wilcox hopes to stave off the threat of a super-eruption by cooling down the magma in the chambers inside the volcano.
Around 60 to 70 percent of the heat generated by Yellowstone seeps into the atmosphere but the remainder builds up inside. If enough builds up, it can trigger an eruption.
By drilling 10 kilometres into Yellowstone, the NASA employee believes it would be possible to pump high-pressure water which will allow the cool liquid to absorb some of the heat before it is pumped out again.
Mr Wilcox told journalist Bryan Walsh in the latter’s new book End Times the plan could cost $3.5bn (£2.9bn).
The proposal would have the added benefit of using the steam from the water and magma combo to create carbon-free geothermal electricity at a much cheaper rate than any alternative energy currently available on the market.
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Mr Wilcox told Mr Walsh: “The thing that makes Yellowstone a force of nature is that it stores up heat for hundreds of thousands of years before it all goes kablooey all at once.
“It would be good if we drained away that heat before it could do a lot of damage.”
Others, however, are not so convinced about the feasibility of Mr Wilcox’s idea.
USGS scientist Jake Lowenstern told Mr Walsh: “It all seems a bit fanciful.”
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