A volcano eruption is a geological event in which lava, ash, and other materials are expelled from an active volcano. These events can have significant impacts on the local environment and can pose a threat to human populations living in the vicinity of the volcano. In 2021, several volcanoes around the world experienced eruptions, including Hunga Tonga-Hunga Hapai, Taal, Nyiragongo, and Iceland.
During a volcanic eruption, plumes of ash can spread over large areas of the sky, reducing visibility and causing localised cooling due to the ash’s ability to reflect incoming solar radiation. Volcanic ash can also pollute the regional environment by releasing harmful gases such as carbon dioxide and fluorine, making it difficult for animals and humans to breathe. In addition, volcanic eruptions can stimulate earthquakes in the region and are sometimes accompanied by volcanic lightning.
Most active volcanoes are located along the Pacific rim of fire, but they can occur anywhere in the world. While it is not possible to prevent volcanic eruptions, steps can be taken to mitigate their effects and protect populations living in areas prone to volcanic activity.