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NOVA: Doomsday Volcanoes

Frey and Sigrun surveying the volcanic landscape, Iceland.
Courtesy of Edward Watkins/Darlow Smithson Productions
Frey and Sigrun surveying the volcanic landscape, Iceland.

Airs Wednesday, October 9, 2013 at 10 p.m. on KPBS TV

Deadly Volcanoes

Explore some of the worst volcanic disasters of the past 400 years—from Indonesia's Krakatau to Iceland’s Laki.


The eruption of Iceland’s Eyjafjallajökull volcano in 2010 turned much of the northern hemisphere into an ash-strewn no-fly zone. But Eyjafjallajökull was just the start. Katla, an Icelandic volcano 10 times bigger, has begun to swell and grumble. Two more giants, Hekla and Laki, could erupt without warning.

Iceland is a ticking time bomb: When it blows, the consequences will be global. In NOVA's "Doomsday Volcanoes," meet scientists trying to understand those consequences — for air travel and for the global food supply and Earth’s climate. Could we be plunged into years of cold and famine? What can we do to prepare for the coming disaster?

Past episodes of NOVA are available for online viewing. NOVA is on Facebook, and you can follow @novapbs on Twitter.