March 31, 2023
Volcanic eruptions are often discussed in relation to climate change because they release CO2 (and other gases) into our atmosphere. However, human contributions to the carbon cycle are more than 100 times those from all the volcanoes in the world - combined.
In comparison, while volcanic eruptions do cause an increase in atmospheric CO2, human activities emit a Mount St. Helens-sized eruption of CO2 every 2.5 hours and a Mount Pinatubo-sized eruption of CO2 twice daily.
Learn more at our related FAQ: https://climate.nasa.gov/faq/42/what-do-volcanoes-have-to-do-with-climate-change/.
This graphic shows a volcano with a smoke plume in the background and trees and grass in the foreground. Text at the top reads "Annually, human activities produce about 100 times..." and continues at the bottom of the graphic with "...the carbon dioxide (CO2) of Earth's volcanic eruptions." At the bottom right, in small italicized text, is "climate.nasa.gov."