Now might not be a good time to plan on a summer trip to Europe

Signs and Portents
[Via Only in it for the gold]

This image, from the Department of Geophysics of the Icelandic Meteorlogical Service, shows locations of earthquakes in Mýrdalsjökull and Eyjafjallajökull for a recent 48 hour period.

Hat tip to Mark Liberman of Language Log of all people.

Lifting text directly from Liberman,

Mýrdalsjökull (the “mire valley glacier”) covers the volcano Katla. According to the Wikipedia article,

In the past 1,000 years, all three known eruptions of Eyjafjallajökull have triggered subsequent Katla eruptions. Following the 2010 Eyjafjallajökull eruptions, on 20 April 2010 Icelandic President Ólafur Grímsson said “the time for Katla to erupt is coming close … we [Iceland] have prepared … it is high time for European governments and airline authorities all over Europe and the world to start planning for the eventual Katla eruption”.


Eyjafjallajökull erupts and then the big one erupts. That is the pattern. If Katia blows, it could put a lot of ash into European airspace. A lot of ash.

I’m hoping that it simply melts the glacier a little. If it decides to really go off, things could get quite bad in Europe, especially since the ash has been toxic to livestock in the past. A case could be made that the food shortages that helped lead to the French Revolution were caused by the ash from this volcano.