Experts warn that it could produce a Pompeii-size eruption leading to cooling and famine.(Huge volcanic eruptions have also occurred at or near the onset of previous little ice ages.)
The Bolshaya Udina volcano on Russia’s Kamchatka Peninsula stands at around 10,000 feet. Until 2017 it was considered extinct, meaning it has not erupted in a long time and is unlikely to ever erupt again.
However, scientists recently noticed continuing seismic activity beneath the mountain, potentially suggesting its “awakening,” scientists wrote in the Journal of Volcanology and Geothermal Research.
As a result, an international team of researchers monitored the volcanic complex over May and June of last year. During that time, they recorded hundreds of seismic events in two different clusters, in Udina and the Tolud zone.
In an interview with Science in Siberia, Ivan Kulakov, lead author of the paper, said an eruption at Udina could be catastrophic, likening the scale to the eruption of Vesuvius in 79 A.D.
“When a volcano is silent for a long time, its first explosion can be catastrophic,” Kulakov explained. “A large amount of ash is thrown into the air, it is carried far away, and not only the surrounding settlements, but also large territories all over the planet can suffer. Recall Pompeii: the awakening of Vesuvius was preceded by a lull for several thousand years. And the eruption in Peru in 1600 led to a cooling in Europe and famine in Russia.”
Thanks to Vance for this link