Orbital View: Rinjani Erupting (in motion)

Editor’s Note: This article previously appeared in a different format as part of The Atlantic’s Notes section, retired in 2021.

I spotted a haunting GIF in Rob’s newest installment of his weekly newsletter on climate change (which you can subscribe to here):

+ The fires in Borneo and Sumatra continue, emitting more carbon than the U.S. every single day. “Indonesia is burning. So why is the world looking away? The Wall Street Journal reports on how the fires are choking the palm oil, rubber and paper industries.

+  Mount Rinjani, on the Indonesian island Lombok well south of the fires, began erupting Tuesday. Ash and smoke from the volcano has covered hundreds of miles, and it’s delaying flights on the nearby island and tourist destination Bali.

+ The eruption as captured by Himawari-8, Japan’s weather satellite. Notice also the convection off the rainforest, the flash of the ocean (it looks like thunder) at midday:

Thankfully the volcano doesn’t appear to pose a threat:

[A]ccording to a vulcanologist for the MInistry of Energy and Mineral Resources, Surono, the eruption is of a minor nature. “The volcano is spewing up material upwards, towards a height of 1,000-1,500 metres above Barujari crater. This is a mere ‘roar’ and has yet to count as a major eruption,” said Surono toTempo on Wednesday, November 4, 2015.

According to Surono, Mount Rinjani has yet to become a danger for local residents despite its' repetitive eruptions. "We have no data that points out how often will it erupt, but basically it poses no danger for local residents," he said.

Indonesia has the highest number of volcanoes in the world - with 127 volcanoes reported to be active across the archipelago.