Old Faithful May Go Quiet After 800 Years, Experts Say
"Experts" are saying that Old Faithful may go silent after erupting continuously for nearly 800 years.
Are the experts correct? If so, when will Old Faithful stop? Only time will tell.
Researchers say that the ever and always changing climate has led to droughts in the past that paused the geyser. When those droughts ended, Old Faithful began to erupt again.
The new theory comes from a newly published study that you can read in LiveScience.
"Climate models project increasingly severe droughts by mid‐21st century, suggesting that geyser eruptions could become less frequent or completely cease," researchers wrote.
The LiveScience researchers have observed that Old Faithful is 'Less' Faithful than it used to be. Intervals between eruptions are increasing. Back in the 1950s, eruptions were between 60 and 65 minutes. But since 2001, eruptions are every 90 to 94 minuets apart.
"When I submitted the samples for radiocarbon dating I didn't know whether they would be hundreds or thousands of years old," the studies lead author Hurwitz said. "It was an 'aha!' moment when they all clustered within a hundred-year period in the 13th and 14th centuries."
Since the climate is always changing, there will naturally be times of drought and times of wetter weather. This means that even if the modeling is wrong, eventually what they are predicting will indeed happen.
Sooner or later there will be another drought. Predicting exactly when is what current climate models often fail at. While scientists know more than ever before this sort of modeling is still far away from making those sort of accurate predictions.