Scientists have warned that a new major volcanic eruption in Iceland could be even more devastating than Eyjafjallajokull last year. The Katla volcano, which has a 6.2-mile-wide crater, is showing increased signs of volcanic activity, with more than 500 tremors recorded in October alone.
“There has been a great deal of seismic activity, and that certainly suggests an eruption may be imminent,” the BBC reported Ford Cochran, the National Geographic’s expert on Iceland, as saying.
But while the eruption of Eyjafjallajokull in 2010 produced an ash cloud that disrupted air traffic across swathes of Europe, scientists warned that Katla has the potential to be even more devastating. Volcanoes in the Katla area erupted for eight consecutive months in 1783.
“Folks talk about a nuclear winter – this eruption generated enough sulphuric acid droplets that it made the atmosphere reflective, cooled the planet for an entire year or more and caused widespread famine in many places around the globe,” Cochran said.
The most recent Kalta eruption in 1918 caused a large glacier to melt, sweeping a huge volume of water into the ocean. As the volcano usually erupts every 40 to 80 years, another incident is long overdue.