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Historically Katla’s eruptions have been perhaps 10 times as strong as Eyjafjallajökull, sending much larger ash plumes much higher into the atmosphere. A Katla eruption would have more serious consequences for Europe and transatlantic air travel, and probably would measurably cool the planet for a short period of time.
Einar Kjartansson, a geophysicist with the Icelandic Met Office, believes that a small volcanic eruption at Katla was the reason for this summer’s glacial flood in the Mulakvisl river.
If a small Katla eruption did take place this summer, it does not necessarily mean that the pressure inside the volcano dropped significantly, or that another eruption is less likely than it otherwise would have been, the scientist warns.