yellowstone supervolcano
Yellowstone National Park's Grand Prismatic hot spring is among the park's myriad hydrothermal features created by the fact that Yellowstone is a supervolcano – the largest type of volcano on EarthWindows into the Earth, Robert B. Smith and Lee J. Siegel

News has been erupting this week that if the supervolcano beneath the Yellowstone National Park in the US burst into life, it would wipe out 90,000 people living in America and bring with it widespread climate turmoil.

The volcano has remained dormant for the past 70,000 years, and reports published say that it is overdue some volcanic activity. But the problem is, it isn't.

Scientists say that they are 99.99% sure that the volcano will not erupt in the 21st century, meaning most of us will be safe. They even add there is a one in 700,000 annual chance that it will erupt.

Research published in Modeling ash fall distribution from a Yellowstone Supereruption, reads: "Over the past two million years, trends in the volume of eruptions and the magnitude of crustal melting may signal a decline of major volcanism from the Yellowstone region. These factors, plus the 3-in-2.1-million annual frequency of past events, suggest a confidence of at least 99.9% that 21st-century society will not experience a Yellowstone supereruption."

It added that even if it were to erupt, it would "almost certainly" not be big enough to wipe out 90,000 Americans.

Furthermore, another report claims that the volcano's activity is at the opposite end of the active scale and may actually be extinct.

Ken Sims, of the University of Wyoming, says that samples taken from what has been recently credited as the world's largest volcano indicate that it could actually be dying.

After analysing the snowy ground near Mammoth Hot Springs, where pools are filled with crystal clear water, Sims said: "I have gotten radium out of that," explain that the steamy appearance may not be what it seems: "It looks like it's boiling. But it is actually from steam or CO2," he told the Star Tribune.