What do you think of when someone mentions the end of the world? Asteroid collision, climate change? Now here comes a threat from yet another obscure corner. But don't worry. NASA's planetary defense team is on the job.
Planetary defense team? What's that, you ask? Nina and Nana introduced you to them in Rockin' Party, where they explained how NASA is working hard to protect us from massive asteroid collisions. Check it out if you don't remember.
So NASA and other space agencies are already policing asteroid activity, and averting a climate change catastrophe is really up to all of us. Then what is this new threat? It's one that comes from with in. And I don't just mean metaphorically. This bit of lurking danger has been bubbling up inside the earth's crust for millenia. It has reached the end of its tether, and is ready to explode sending us all off in to oblivion.
Under the Yellowstone National Park, is a huge amount of magma that makes those awesome Yellowstone geysers work. Every 600000 years or so the magma bubbles up and results in a super volcanic eruption. Brian Wilcox from NASA believes Yellowstone is ripe for another super sized eruption.
NASA is working on ideas to avert this catastrophe. They are considering drilling sideways holes at the base of the volcano and pumping water at high pressure and slowly extracting the heat. Although the project would be insanely expensive, this method would facilitate the creation of a geothermal power plant generating lots of cheap power, possibly making it worthwhile for politicians.
Not everyone believes the planet is in any real danger, or that NASA is really going to go through with this project, or that NASA should interfere, for the consequences of interfering could be dire, but some believe the situation may be more urgent than it was earlier thought to be.
You can read Lavanya's take here.