Wednesday, April 21, 2010

Volcano's Ash Spread Map + Pictures

It seems likely that the first 50 years of jet travel across the North Atlantic enjoyed, in historical terms, particularly clear skies. - The Economist

SHOOT: Which means we're in for darker skies in the future. Nature Rules.
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"Katla can start tomorrow or in 100 years, you don't know," said Palsson. "All we can do is be ready."
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Iceland is peculiarly volcanic because it is formed by the intersection of a hotspot and a mid-ocean ridge. The hotspot has pushed the spreading ridge up to the surface and supplemented its activities with some extra volcanism on the side. There are 33 large volcanoes on the island, or just offshore, which have erupted since the end of the last ice age, around 12,000 years ago.
The fineness of the ash is, says Thorvaldur Thordarson, an Icelandic volcanologist, unusual.
Studies of ash captured from the air show that for every one of the largest particles (about 300 microns) there are a million or more in the 2 micron range. So though the total volume of the eruption, put at about 0.14 cubic kilometres, is low, the amount of ash capable of travelling long distances is high.
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~~Just Me in T~~ said...

In Australia there are some who take a positive attitude to volcanic ash:

says Iceland's volcanic carbon emissions are good news for plant growth and the current eruptions give an indication of the potential for carbon emissions from future volcanos.

"We are living in a period of volcanic quiescence, as we haven't had a dirty big eruption since 1912; and this is a small eruption but it is giving us the window into what a very big eruption would be like."

Nick van der Leek said...

yep but the potential for climate to swing wildly on the hot or cold side rises pretty damn quickly when you maintain high levels of anthropomorphic global warming. it just means you have to hope and pray nature doesn't do anything, because if it does, tipping point.