While we're worrying about global warming and hurricanes, Cameroon has a couple of lakes they'd like to disarm:
Efforts to prevent the release of deadly clouds of toxic gas from two African lakes appear to be failing.
According to George Kling at the University of Michigan, US, unless urgent action is taken there is a real risk of a repeat of the tragic events of the 1980s when the lakes Nyos and Monoun in Cameroon suddenly released huge clouds of carbon dioxide into the atmosphere, killing 1800 people.
The dissolved gas is created by volcanic activity beneath the lakes and can gradually build up to dangerous levels before suddenly being released. To try to prevent this from happening again, a venting pipe was placed in Lake Nyos in 2001 and another in Lake Monoun in 2003 to allow the gas to be released at safe concentrations.
But having analysed 12 years’ worth of data on the lakes, Kling and colleagues have found that, although gradually reducing the CO2 content of the lakes without running the risk of triggering another massive release, the pipes are not working fast enough.