The Fire Below: Volcanoes and the impact on climate change

There are few things more fascinating -- or more powerful -- than a volcano. They are Mother Nature's way of showing she is in charge.

The Fagradalsfjall volcano just outside of Reykjavik, Iceland, came to life in March, giving us a spectacular view of how our world is constantly and dynamically changing.

Dr. Thor Thordarson, a volcanologist at the University of Iceland, has visited it many times to study its progress. He shows me the lava field as it spews out of a brand new crater. As far as volcanoes go, he says this one is very small, but tourists still flock to the lava field to take in the alluring beauty and incredible danger.

Thordason says there are a number of gases a volcano puts out that are toxic, including sulphur dioxide and carbon monoxide. Those gases are the reason volcanoes are part of the climate change conversation.

To show you why, we travel 100 miles to the east. The Eldhraun lava field, which is the largest of its kind in the world, is the result of what's known as the Laki eruption in 1783. The lava field, which spans 218 square miles, presents contrasting images -- the hardened lava and a lush green moss that has grown over most of it.

Looking at that, it's hard to imagine the frightening and tragic event when it erupted some 250 years ago. The molten monster killed people and livestock, stole invaluable land and dried up rivers.

Watch David Ono's full report in the video above.
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