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Volcanic gases

Volcanic Gases AMNH/R.Mickens

Exhibition Text

Volcanic gases are composed mainly of water, carbon dioxide, and sulfur dioxide. During violent eruptions, these gases are injected into the stratosphere. There, the sulfur dioxide reacts with water to form microscopic droplets, or aerosols, of sulfuric acid. The aerosols block sunlight from reaching the Earth’s surface, causing cooling. Sulfurous aerosols, along with chlorine, contribute to the destruction of stratospheric ozone, though most of this depletion comes from man-made chemicals.

For Educators

Topic: Earth Science

Subtopic: Volcanoes

Keywords: Aerosols, Volcanic gases, Volcanoes, Volcanism, Volcanic eruptions

Audience: General