BRITAIN’S greatest future threat may come not from flooding, terrorism or economic collapse but from a supervolcano erupting in Iceland, a Cabinet Office report is to warn ministers.
Such an eruption would blanket the UK and northern Europe with ash and toxic fumes, creating climatic chaos — including roastingly hot summers and bitterly cold winters, a cycle that could last several years, the report will warn.
The alert emerged from a study commissioned by the Cabinet Office from scientists at the Met Office, British Geological Survey (BGS), and the universities of Leeds, Edinburgh and others.
The scientists, who will detail their findings at the European Geosciences Union annual meeting in Vienna this week, found that such eruptions had happened before. The last was in 1783 but Iceland has produced at least three other large ones and more than 200 smaller ones in the last 1,130 years.