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Feb Webinar: Volcanoes, Climate and Art - Dr Fred Prata, AIRES Pty Ltd

Updated: Feb 17, 2022

The four “Screams” by Edvard Munch

Volcanic eruptions are amongst the most awe-inspiring and energetic natural events occurring on Earth. They have generated scientific interest since the beginnings of scientific thought and are responsible for many myths and legends across the world, including the legend of Atlantis and the Dreamtime story of "Craitbul and his Giant Ovens". Volcanoes, volcanic eruptions and their effects on the environment have also inspired artists, poets and film directors. "Stromboli" starring Ingrid Bergman and directed by Rossellini was filmed on the slopes of one of the most continuously active volcanoes in the world. Volcanoes also affect the climate by injecting sulphur dioxide high into the atmosphere where it forms sulphuric acid aerosols that reflect sunlight and cool the planet.

In this talk I will provide examples of how volcanoes have influenced some artists and how science has benefited from this. I will also describe how Edvard Munch’s “Skrik” has mistakenly been linked with the eruption of Krakatau. I will show that Munch was influenced by the sighting of some esoteric clouds rarely seen outside the high latitudes.

Time permitting, I will present some of the spectacular satellite images of the Hunga Tonga Hunga Ha’apai eruption of 15 January 2022 that seems to have generated the largest explosion in living memory and certainly since 1883 when Krakatau erupted.


Dr Fred Prata is Research Director of AIRES Pty Ltd, a small start-up company based on the Mornington Peninsula. He is an Adjunct Professor at Curtin University, WA and previously worked at a research institute in Norway and at the Division of Atmospheric Research, CSIRO in Melbourne. He has published over 100 peer reviewed papers, mostly in remote sensing and the effects of volcanic eruptions on the atmosphere.

Did you miss Dr. Fred Prata's webinar about Volcanoes, Climate and Art?

Here is the recording

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