Earlier this month, Senator Lisa Murkowski of Alaska and Maria Cantwell of Washington introduced a bill to establish a National Volcano Early Warning and Monitoring System. Now, this isn’t the first time the senators have have attempted to establish a system to coordinate and update the monitoring of the United States’ many volcanoes, but it is a very timely bill. In December, the Bogoslof volcano in Alaska unexpectedly produced a violent explosive eruption—and continues to release occasional blasts that reach over 10 kilometers above the volcano. Explosions like that in the Aleutians can be a hazard for air and sea traffic in the area, but if such eruptions happened in the Cascades or Yellowstone, you could imagine the hazards.
Should we have an early warning system for volcanoes?