3/4 @alexwitze. In England, enormous thunderstorms that affrighted & distressed; the lurid sun blank as a clouded moon. Heat so intense, meat could hardly be eaten the day after it was killed; flies so swarmed they rendered the horses half frantic

Dec 02, 11:42 PM

Photo: Lava flow during a rift eruption at Krafla volcano (caldera), northern Iceland, in 1984.

Permissions: This image is in the public domain in the United States because it contains only materials that originally came from the United States Geological Survey, an agency of the United States Department of the Interior.

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Island on Fire: The Extraordinary Story of a Forgotten Volcano that Changed the World, by Alexandra Witze and Jeff Kanipe

Can a single explosion change the course of history? An eruption at the end of the 18th century led to years of climate change while igniting famine, disease, even perhaps revolution. Laki is one of Iceland’s most fearsome volcanoes. Laki is Iceland’s largest volcano. Its eruption in 1783 is one of history’s great, untold natural disasters. Spewing out sun-blocking ash and then a poisonous fog for eight long months, the effects of the eruption lingered across the world for years. It caused the deaths of people as far away as the Nile and created catastrophic conditions throughout Europe. Island on Fire is the story not only of a single eruption but the people whose lives it changed, the dawn of modern volcanology, as well as the history―and potential―of other super-volcanoes like Laki around the world. And perhaps most pertinently, in the wake of the eruption of another Icelandic volcano, Eyjafjallajökull, which closed European air space in 2010, acclaimed science writers Witze and Kanipe look at what might transpire should Laki erupt again in our lifetime.