A recent study, published in the journal Earth and Planetary Science Letters, has revealed that the Earth might be due for its next volcanic super-eruption that would devastate the planet and wipe out civilization.
The scientists tracked the average time between such monstrous eruptions of volcanoes and discovered that these catastrophic explosions happen more often than previous scientific estimates would indicate.
The latest research put the schedule at roughly 17,000 years after the last one. However, it said that the super-eruptions can occur as quickly as 5,200 years or as late as 48,000 years after its predecessor.
"Volcanoes pose a larger risk to human civilization than previously thought," the study said.
The study was further explained by the University of Bristol and the experts said that the geological evidence shows the last two super-eruptions occurred between 20,000 and 30,000 years ago.
"On balance, we have been slightly lucky not to experience any super-eruptions since then," researcher Jonathan Rougier said in the university statement. "But it is important to appreciate that the absence of super-eruptions in the last 20,000 years does not imply that one is overdue. Nature is not that regular."
Meanwhile, the previous scientific reports have calculated a range of 45,000 to 714,000 years between eruptions.
According to science, a volcanic eruption is classified as a super-eruption when it spews more than 1,000 gigatons of material into the air and onto the Earth's surface. The university claim that this is equal to 2.2 quadrillion pounds of ash, gas and rock and is "enough to blanket an entire continent with volcanic ash, and change global weather patterns for decades".
The statement further added: "One recent assessment described them as capable of returning humanity to a pre-civilization state."
This latest time-frame for super-eruptions comes as Indonesia witnessed the eruption of Mount Agung for the last few days. Meanwhile, the scientists have also warned that the melting of glaciers, occurring due to climate change, could change the pressure on Iceland's icy volcanoes and cause them to explode.