It’s long been known that if the Yellowstone supervolcano were to erupt at full force the loss of life would be substantial and the effects on the world’s climate would be disastrous — water sources would be fouled, crops would fail, many people would die directly and indirectly. In an international report that has recently captured headlines, scientists have attempted to quantify the threat of such catastrophes while also urging governments worldwide to collaborate on investment in scientific research to better prepare the world in hopes of lessening the impacts of such a calamity.

“I think the paper and its contents are very valuable,” said Bob Smith, a University of Utah researcher who has long studied the geodynamics of Yellowstone, even if certain websites tend to sensationalize the findings to the “point of annoyance.” The warnings and recommendations are contained in “Extreme Geohazards: Reducing the Disaster Risk and Increasing Resilience.” The report was supported by the European Science Foundation and included an international cast of authors with expertise in such diverse fields as economics, health and earth sciences. FULL REPORT