I've been looking for an excuse to get the name Eyjafjallajokull into an article, and now I finally have something special to say about the mighty Icelandic volcano that has wreaked havoc with European air traffic.
It's mostly science and history, which appeals to my finely honed annotation instinct, but there is most definitely an investment point, which you will have to wait to the end to see.
First, I learned today from some hedge-fund sources that scientists believe the real threat from the relatively small Eyjafjallajokull volcano is that it could trigger an eruption in its much larger neighbor, which is called Katla. I was told there's a better than even chance that this would happen.
This would be troublesome. University of Iceland geologist Andy Hooper told Reuters that an eruption of Katla would make the ash cloud from Eyjafjallajokull look trivial. Hooper further declared that increased volcano action in Iceland might be inevitable if our planet continues to warm.
"At the end of the last ice age, the rate of eruption in Iceland was some 30 times higher than historic rates. This is because the reduction in the ice load reduced the pressure in the mantle, leading to decompression melting there," he said. "Since the late 19th century the ice caps in Iceland have been shrinking yet further, due to changing climate. This will lead to additional magma generation, so we should expect more frequent and more voluminous eruptions in the future."
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