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Following a fresh series of tremors at Katla in South Iceland this lunchtime, the Icelandic Met Office has raised the status of the famous volcano on its ‘Aviation Colour Code Map for Icelandic Volcanic Systems’ from green to yellow. “An intense seismic swarm is ongoing since yesterday morning (29 September) at Katla volcano. An intense pulse, the largest one if compared with the previous activity, started today at 12:02 (30 September) with several earthquakes around magnitude 3 or larger,” reads the website.
During several of the summer months of the year 1783, when the effect of the sun's rays to heat the earth in these northern regions should have been greater, there existed a constant fog over all Europe, and a great part of North America. This fog was of a permanent nature; it was dry, and the rays of the sun seemed to have little effect towards dissipating it, as they easily do a moist fog, arising from water. They were indeed rendered so faint in passing through it, that when collected in the focus of a burning glass they would scarce kindle brown paper. Of course, their summer effect in heating the Earth was exceedingly diminished. Hence the surface was early frozen. Hence the first snows remained on it unmelted, and received continual additions. Hence the air was more chilled, and the winds more severely cold. Hence perhaps the winter of 1783–4 was more severe than any that had happened for many years.