The supervolcano, which has been dormant for hundreds of years, is showing alarming signs that it may be about to erupt massively and send part of the planet into a “mini ice age”.
The Campi Flegrei near Naples, in southern Italy, has been inactive since 1538 and is home to more than 360,000 people, who can be evacuated at any time. Researchers point out that in recent decades the region has been experiencing thousands of small tremors, almost always continuous.
Professor Christopher Kilburn, from University College London’s Department of Earth Sciences, said in a new talk A study published in the journal Nature That Campi Flegrei is approaching a large eruption that could shake most of the Earth.
However, this does not mean that a volcanic eruption is guaranteed. A rupture can open a crack in the crust, but the magma still needs to be pushed into the right place for an eruption to occur.”
If the volcano does indeed erupt, it could cause a catastrophe on the level of Mount Vesuvius, which destroyed the cities of Pompeii and Herculaneum in 79 AD, in addition to causing climate change that could last for decades.
The supposed ice age may have been caused by ash from the eruption blocking sunlight from reaching the Earth’s surface, which could lead to a sudden drop in temperature and the death of many plant species.
“We still can’t say for sure what will happen. The point is to be prepared for all outcomes,” claimed Stefano Carlino, of the Vesuvius Observatory.
* Supervised by Philip Sequeira
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