Icelandic volcanoes are dangerous for Europe — say scientists

Scientists have calculated the consequences for Europe of possible catastrophic eruption of the volcano in Iceland. The article appeared in the scientific journal Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, and its summary results ScienceNOW.

In the years 1783-1784 Laki volcano, located in Skaftafell National Park in southern Iceland near the town Kirkyubeyarklaustur, emissions 122 million tons of sulfur dioxide. For comparison, it is little more than the amount of gas produced by the entire modern world industry for one year. As a result, according to historians, died fifth of the population of Iceland (over 10,000 people) and three quarters of cattle. In addition, elevated levels of mortality have been reported in the Netherlands, Sweden and the UK.

Given that, according to the researchers, in the last 1150 years in Iceland, there were at least four similar eruption, scientists have modeled the impact of such an event in our time. They concluded that the concentration of particles with diameters less than 2.5 micrometers to grow across Europe twice in the first three months after the eruption. As a result of problems with the heart and lungs will die about 142 thousand people (about twice that die each year from influenza).

As part of their work, scientists did not consider the consequences of this eruption on the economy. In April 2011, in Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences published an article in which scientists assess the real danger presented by the eruption of Eyjafjallajokull. As it turned out, the particles emitted volcano had an irregular shape, so we were able to damage the lungs, as well as carry on their surface a large amount of harmful substances.

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