1783 eruption ejected so much ash into the atmosphere that it cooled the entire northern hemisphere for nearly three years. The resulting low temperatures caused crop failures and famines that killed 2 million people and helped trigger the French Revolution. Better drive those SUVs!
Jonathan Leake and Chris Hastings at TIMESONLINE
THE Icelandic eruption that has caused misery for air travellers could be part of a surge in volcanic activity that will affect the whole of Europe for decades, scientists have warned.
They have reconstructed a timeline of 205 eruptions in Iceland, spanning the past 1,100 years, and found that they occur in regular cycles — with the relatively quiet phase that dominated the past five decades now coming to an end.
At least three other big Icelandic volcanoes are building towards an eruption, according to Thor Thordarson, a volcanologist at Edinburgh University.
“The frequency of Icelandic eruptions seems to rise and fall in a cycle lasting around 140 years,” he said. “In the latter part of the 20th century we were in a low period, but now there is evidence that we could be approaching a peak.”
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