University of Wisconsin–Milwaukee

Paula Orth

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Warming Cold Hands
Susan Krans warms her hands at the Eyjafjallajökull (E15) eruption site. Temperatures inside the crater reached the boiling point of water. Surface temperature was high enough to make grilled cheeses sandwiches for lunch that day.
Glacial River
Green scenery on the hike back from the E15 eruption site, on the Porsmork-Skogar Trail.
Ice trekking
Hiking along the Solheimajokull glacier requires solid footwear, like the crampons (metal cleats) that UWM trekkers attached to the bottom of their boots.
At the end of this rainbow lies a treasure trove of geologic history, the volcanic fissure at Laki, which released massive amounts of lava and sulfuric gas in 1783-84. Fatalities in Iceland were devastating: 20 percent of the human population and half the nation’s livestock. Temperatures plunged worldwide. America’s Benjamin Franklin was the first to connect global cold and other catastrophic weather in that period to the Laki eruption.

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