Not by Fire but by Ice

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Many more Iceland volcanoes seem to be stirring


Laki cooled the entire northern hemisphere
for nearly three years,
causing crop failures and famines that killed 2 million people
and helped trigger
the French Revolution

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16 May 10 – (Excerpts) - 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.”

The three other volcanoes cited by Thordarson as being potentially close to a large eruption are Grimsvotn, Hekla and Askja — all of which are bigger than Eyjafjallajokull.

In the past, they have proved devastating. Hekla alone has erupted about 20 times since AD874, pouring out a total of two cubic miles of lava.

Geologists report that snow is once again melting on Hekla’s summit, suggesting that magma is rising.

Grimsvotn, another highly active volcano, is linked to the massive Laki fissure volcano whose 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 2m people and helped trigger the French Revolution.

Some scientists suggest that historic clusters of eruptions could well have occurred by chance.

A recent report suggested that Katla - 15 miles to the east of Eyjafjallajokull - is “close to failure [eruption]”.

See entire article, entitled “Scientists forecast decades of ash clouds”
http://www.timesonline.co.uk/tol/news/uk/article7127706.ece
Thanks to Benjamin Napier, Charles Patrick, Everett Allen and Tom McHart for this link

 

 

 



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