You drop a bottle of soda on the floor. You pick it up and without thinking crack the cap. Woosh, Fizzz! The cap goes flying, and the contents of the bottle erupt all over you and your kitchen.
Pretty predictable outcome for an overcharged carbonated beverage, right? It shouldn't be too much surprise, then, that volcanologists think that as icecaps melt on volcanoes all over the world, explosions like the ongoing eruption at Iceland's Eyjafjallajokull volcano will become more common, and more violent.
Caveat time: as far as I know, there is no evidence to suggest that Eyjafjallajokull's eruption has anything to do with human-induced climate change. Saying that this eruption was caused by greenhouse gases would be utterly misguided.
But Hugh Tuffen of Lancaster University in the United Kingdom thinks it might not be long before melting glaciers on volcanoes in places like the Andes mountains, North America's Cascades, Alaska's Aleutian Islands — and yes, even Iceland — could release enough pressure from supercharged magma chambers to increase the frequency and intensity of volcanic eruptions.
In short: our greenhouse gas-emitting habits will eventually increase Earth's volcanic activity.
It may not be long before we see things ramp up either; according to Huffen, activity could increase significantly before the year 2100.