If Baroabunga in Iceland does erupt, as experts predict it might, it could trigger years of freezing winters and rotten summers as tiny particles of ash reflect the warming sunlight away from the Earth.
Years of chaotic weather could follow, leading to icy-low temperatures in winter and equally-miserable summers. The first indication would be an early winter that would sweep into Britain within weeks and bring the mercury down to below zero, with it staying chilly until next summer.
Iceland’s equivalent of the Met Office has warned again this week of: “strong indications of ongoing magma movement” around Baroabunga. They have raised the aircraft warning to orange – the second highest – as there are real fears the volcano could erupt at any second.
Volcanic eruptions have been linked with season disruption throughout history; in 1783, eastern areas of the USA recorded their lowest ever temperatures following the eruption earlier that year of the Laki volcano in Iceland. Also the eruption of Mount Tambora in 1815 was followed by a very cold spring and summer the year after. Unseasonal weather can have a disastrous effects on crops as well.
In the even of a large eruption and if the wind is blowing in the right direction, the effects on Britain’s weather could be devastating. Jonathan Powell, a forecaster with Vantage Weather Services, said: “There is a definite potential knock-on effect and with an eruption looking imminent, this is fairly worrying. Particles can also be picked up by the jet stream and spread globally, a large amount can have a significant effect on the weather, the first could be an exceptionally cold winter this year. But the effects can last for many years, even decades.”
The UK’s weather has been chillier of late due to the wind blowing down from the north; this means that Britain is right in the danger zone if an eruption occurs in the next few days.