Friday, 20 November 2020 05:07

January 17, 2002 Nyiragongo Eruption and Climate Change

Written by A. H. Mvukiyehe
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A. H. Mvukiyehe

ISP Kinyatsi-Nyamitaba, DRC

University of Eastern Africa, Baraton

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Nyiragongo volcano is the most active of the Virunga mountains located in the Western part of the Eastern Africa Rift system.  From the historical volcanic records, two recent eruptions January 10, 1977 and January 17, 2002 impacted heavily the environment where soil, forests, drainage system, settlement, farming and livestock were affected.  Another major impact of volcano eruption is reported from world’s volcanoes(Laki, Krakatoa, Pinatubo…), where ash, dust, carbon dioxide, sulfur dioxide and other greenhouse gas are released into the atmosphere affecting the regime of temperature and rainfall, hence the overall climatic system. To establish such impact of Nyiragongo volcano eruption in 2002, data from six meteorological stations accessed for some physically and for others  trough online retrieval  from www.infoclimat, were collected and analyzed using a Statistical Software Package for Social Scientist (SPSS),  in which the two sample t-test  was applied,  and involving the comparison of two sets of parameters( temperature, rainfall, humidity, saturation point, wind speed, air pressure , and visibility) before and after the 2002 eruption.  The results reveal a significant difference at .05 significant level of Nyiragongo volcano on the regime of rainfall (p value.007) air saturation (p value: .010) and air pressure (p value .000).  However, a no significant difference between the four other meteorological parameters: Temperature (p value.335), humidity (p value.869), wind speed (p value .660) and visibility (p value.144) was mentioned.  The mean temperature raised at 0.55 after the eruption due probably to the CO2 emissions. Further investigation of the impact of volcano eruptions on the farming and livestock in surrounding areas of the volcano, will prevent any crisis of food supply.

Keywords: Climate change, meteorological parameters, Nyiragongo volcano

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