BRITAIN could freeze in YEARS of super-cold winters and miserable summers if the Bardarbunga volcano erupts, experts have warned.
By: Nathan Rao
Published: Fri, August 22, 2014
The first effect could be a bitterly cold winter to arrive in weeks with thermometers plunging into minus figures and not rising long before next summer.
The Icelandic Met Office has this week warned of “strong indications of ongoing magma movement” around the volcano prompting them to raise the aviation warning to orange, the second highest and sparking fears the crater could blow at any moment.
The region has also this week been hit by a magnitude-four earthquake – the strongest for almost 20 years, officials said.
The British Met Office said the effects of an explosion on Britain’s weather depends on the wind direction in the upper atmosphere.
Spokeswoman Laura Young said: “If the upper winds are north-westerly it will have an effect on our weather.
“If the upper winds are westerly then it won’t.”
As well as huge volumes of ash, the furious mountain also spat out large volumes of sulphur dioxide gas which added to the cooling effect.
In Indonesia, the eruption of Mount Tambora in 1815 led to an unusually cold spring and summer the following year.
The bizarre effect on the weather also ruined corn crops devastating farmers and leading to a food crisis.
Parts of Europe and America saw snow in June due to the eruption which also led to a shifting of the Atlantic sea ice.
After Krakatau erupted in Indonesia in 1883 the world was hit by colder than average conditions for months although it is reported airborne particulate matter led to brilliant sunsets which were the subject of several late 19th-century paintings.
The 1980 eruption of Mount St Helens in Skamania County, Washington, United States, led to global temperatures dropping by 0.1C.
Two years later the El Chichon volcano in Mexico spat much less debris into the sky but a greater amount of sulphurous gasses is thought to have triggered a global temperature drop of up to five times the St Helens effect.
Weathermen say the effect in the UK could be nothing short of catastrophic if an explosion is strong enough.