Kīlauea been churning out staggering amounts of both lava and gasses. The lava is reshaping the landscape and the gasses are creating some serious volcanic smog, or vog. The emissions from the Kīlauea volcano have been occurring since the early 80s, but the amount of vog has more than doubled since the latest eruptions.
Atmospheric Sciences professor Jennifer Griswold showed Island News the Vog Measurement and Prediction Project, known as VMAP.
Right now the VMAP is showing that Puna has unhealthy levels of vog. “For folks living in Puna if this keeps going for months and months it could cause long term damage to people’s lungs because its acidic,” said Griswold. “Imagine pouring acid on your hands, it would damage your skin. Imagine breathing that acid into your lungs.”
The vog is also affecting Hawai‘i sunsets, but in a more positive way. “The particulate matter given off by the volcano is intensifying or enhancing the amount of sunlight that’s being scattered which makes the sunsets appear brighter,” said Atmospheric Sciences professor Alison Nugent. She says its all about how the gasses interact with the sun light. Which is why you may have seen some extraordinary sunsets lately.
Read more about it and watch the video report at KITV4.