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‘Island on Fire’ recounts enormous 18th century eruption

Sulfurous gases from Icelandic volcano wafted across Europe and briefly chilled the globe

By
3:00pm, January 28, 2015

Island on Fire
Alexandra Witze and Jeff Kanipe
Pegasus Books, $26.95

In the last five years, volcanic eruptions in Iceland have disrupted air travel twice, triggering the cancellation of thousands of flights and causing billions of dollars of losses to airlines.

But those geophysical flare-ups are brief whiffs compared with past eruptions on the island: Starting in June 1783, one

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