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A new open-access paper by academics from the University of Cambridge Center for the Study of Existential Risk highlights seven global pinch points where a clustering of global critical systems converges with regions of volcanic activity. This is presenting a new landscape for catastrophic volcanic risk says the paper.

Joint author Lara Mani says, "We need to move away from thinking in terms of colossal eruptions destroying the world. Although valid, the more probable scenarios involve lower-magnitude eruptions interacting with our global critical systems and cascading us towards catastrophe.”

Entitled ‘Global catastrophic risk from lower magnitude volcanic eruptions’, and authored by Lara Mani, Asaf Tzachor, and Paul Cole the paper has been published in the journal Nature.


Globalisation supports the clustering of critical infrastructure systems, sometimes in proximity to lower-magnitude (VEI 3–6) volcanic centres. In this emerging risk landscape, moderate volcanic eruptions might have cascading, catastrophic effects. Risk assessments ought to be considered in this light.

Read the paper.

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