|Smoke & steam from volcano, 14 April. From the Examiner.|
This is not the first time that an Icelandic volcano has caused such disruptions. I found that the Laki eruption in 1783 is thought to have had worldwide ramifications for years. It continued to erupt for eight months. There is a great Wikipedia link about this one, and I found this to be very frightening:
The consequences for Iceland—known as the Mist Hardships—were catastrophic. An estimated 20-25% of the population died in the famine and fluorine poisoning after the fissure eruptions ceased. Around 80% of sheep, 50% of cattle and 50% of horses died because of dental and skeletal fluorisis from the 8 million tons of hydrogen fluoride that were released.That was in Iceland. In Europe, tens of thousands of people died because of the massive amounts of ash and sulfur dioxide that traveled across the water to Europe. The link gives some fascinating information (not at all reassuring), and blames the Laki eruption for the French Revolution!
We can only hope that worldwide travel disruptions will be the only thing that we humans and other animals experience from this one. It makes me remember how little we can protect ourselves from catastrophic events, and how powerful they are. Does anybody else feel like these things (earthquakes, volcanic eruptions, etc.) are increasing?