He said that NASA’s “risky” proposals to prevent an eruption could go wrong with possibly disastrous consequences.
One of the methods would be to drill into the bottom of the United States volcano and to use a pressurised spurt of water to release heat from the magma chamber.
But Mr Wilcox said there is a chance this would not be successful.
“Yellowstone explodes roughly every 600,000 years, and it is about 600,000 years since it last exploded”
“If you drill into the top of the magma chamber and try and cool it from there, this would be very risky,” he said.
“This could make the cap over the magma chamber more brittle and prone to fracture. And you might trigger the release of harmful volatile gases in the magma at the top of the chamber which would otherwise not be released.”
But Mr Wilcox warned it is clear something must be done about Yellowstone.
“I came to the conclusion during that study that the supervolcano threat is substantially greater than the asteroid or comet threat.”
Earth has 20 known supervolcanoes, which if they erupted, would trigger planet-changing effects.
But if a similar event occurred today, it would cause a nuclear winter with humans wiped out in just a few months from starvation.
Mr Wilcox said Yellowstone is so urgent because an eruption is basically imminent, explaining: “Yellowstone explodes roughly every 600,000 years, and it is about 600,000 years since it last exploded, which should cause us to sit up and take notice.”