The eruption on Deception Island could also disrupt air traffic in South America, Australia and Africa and globally as air currents spread deadly ash.
A scientific report said: “Ash emitted during explosive volcanic eruptions may disperse over vast areas of the globe posing a threat to human health and infrastructures and causing significant disruption to air traffic.”
Experts have warned that ash from an eruption could quickly circulate around the world posing threats to countries all over the Southern Hemisphere and beyond.
The report said: “Volcanic ash emitted from Antarctic volcanoes could potentially encircle the globe, leading to significant consequences for global aviation safety.”
The study revealed “significant consequences to global aviation” after reviewing computer models of ash flows from different types of eruption during different seasons.
The research is the first of its kind investigating the impact of ash from an Antarctic volcano on the rest of the word.
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The scientific paper said: “No attention has been paid to the potential socio-economic and environmental consequences of an ash-forming eruption occurring at high southern latitudes.”
The potential impact to the global economy could be huge with the eruption of Eyjafjallajokull in 2010 costing the global economy £3.49billion ($4.7billion) by grounding flights across Europe.
Volcanic ash has caused plane’s engines to stall so decisions have often been made to close flight paths when they are smothered with ash.
Planes are under threat because the ash can clog engines and fuel lines causing them to stall and potentially fall out of the sky.
The study said: “We demonstrate here that ash from high southern latitude volcanoes may pose a threat higher than previously believed.”
The study looked at eruptions from Deception Island over the last 10,000 years.
The island has research settlements from Spain and Argentina and is popular with tourists because of its colonies of penguins.
The report ‘Potential ash impact from Antarctic volcanoes: Insights from Deception Island’s most recent eruption’ was written by Adelina Geyer, Santiago Giralt, Alejandro Marti and Arnau Folch.
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News of the potentially devastating impact of a blast at one of the Antarctic’s volcano comes after it was revealed that scientists “don’t know” how big an eruption at Yellowstone could be.
A study by a team of scientists from Bristol University found these deadly eruptions may happen every 17,000 years or so.
This means our next super-eruptions could be overdue after the two most recent super-eruptions to rock Earth happened somewhere between 20,000 and 30,000 years ago.
Michael Poland, Scientist-in-Charge at the Yellowstone Volcano Observatory, has now admitted they do not know how large an eruption could be about to take place.
He said: “We don’t know whether there’s enough magma beneath the surface to have a super eruption.”
Explaining exactly how large eruptions are measured he continued: “Super volcanos, or super eruptions, are these eruptions that are on the eruption intensity scale, there’s something called the volcano explosivity index (VEI) and eruptions that have a VEI of eight are considered super eruptions.
“And that’s massive, most eruptions that we see would be VEI three, four. Big ones are five and then once a century or so there’s a six, so a VEI eight is really, really tremendous.”