Abstract

Satellite remote sensing offers a convenient way to monitor changes in the thermal budgets of Earth's subaerially active volcanoes. By using data acquired by the National Aeronautics and Space Administration's Moderate Resolution Imaging Spectro-radiometer, we have calculated the amount of heat released into the atmosphere by 45 volcanoes active during 2001 and 2002, in order to quantify the contribution active volcanism makes to Earth's energy budget. We report that the amount of heat radiated into the troposphere by these volcanoes, as detected from space, was ∼5.34 × 1016 and 5.30 × 1016 J/yr during 2001 and 2002, respectively. This energy flux is three orders of magnitude less than the amount of energy consumed by the United States of America for residential, manufacturing, and transportation purposes during 1999.

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