Volcanic ash closes English airspace, world cut off

Bummer for those of you headed for London today.

But I’m intrigued: when Krakatoa exploded in 1883 it created “the year without summer”  as its ash circled around the globe and stayed suspended in air. There are lots of volcanoes around today that could similarly blow their tops. A year would be a long time for world-wide plane travel to be shut down, no? Should we be buying stock in cruise ship companies?

UPDATE/Correction: Inagua notes that I have conflated two different volcanic eruptions, Tambora in 1816 and Krakatoa in 1883. Point regarding the possible disruption of air travel stands, but I should get my history right.

UPDATE II: This one bitty volcano seems to have shut down air travel to a good portion of western Europe.

20 Comments

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20 responses to “Volcanic ash closes English airspace, world cut off

  1. Anonymous

    HERE IN ENGLAND, WE ALREADY DONT HAVE SUMMERS

  2. Inagua

    You have conflated Tambora in 1816 (the year w/o summer) and Krakatoa in 1883.

  3. Island Surveyor

    Climate change skeptics-

    This volcanic ash is the source of cooling used by Joe Bastardi (a weatherman with a weather effect) used to offset the evidence of climate change induced by human consumption of carbon, including meat-farming related CH4 exhalations (your farts and theirs).

    Do you think forests will save you as the world’s reservoirs of carbon sequestration?

    Check those Amazon pictures again:
    http://bit.ly/aVO7zt

    And when trees are in a hot environment, they become net CO2 emitters, and not the carbon-fixers that leave simple O2 behind, which they used to do we the Earth was sunny and cool, instead of dark and CO2 rich like Venus at 800 degrees.

    So breathe in deeply and enjoy the future – just don’t breathe out.

  4. Island Surveyor

    wiki: Krakatoa

    Global climate
    In the year following the eruption, average global temperatures fell by as much as 1.2 °C (2.2 °F). Weather patterns continued to be chaotic for years, and temperatures did not return to normal until 1888. The eruption injected an unusually large amount of sulfur dioxide (SO2) gas high into the stratosphere which was subsequently transported by high-level winds all over the planet. This led to a global increase in sulfurous acid (H2SO3) concentration in high-level cirrus clouds. The resulting increase in cloud reflectivity (or albedo) would reflect more incoming light from the sun than usual, and cool the entire planet until the suspended sulfur fell to the ground as acid precipitation.[10]
    [edit]Global optical effects
    Main article: Noctilucent cloud

    The dramatic skyline in Edvard Munch’s The Scream (1893) is thought to be based on the global optical effects caused by the eruption and seen over Oslofjord, Norway.
    The eruption darkened the sky worldwide for years afterwards, and produced spectacular sunsets throughout the world for many months. British artist William Ashcroft made thousands of colour sketches of the red sunsets half-way around the world from Krakatoa in the years after the eruption. In 2004, researchers proposed the idea that the blood-red sky shown in Edvard Munch’s famous 1893 painting The Scream is also an accurate depiction of the sky over Norway after the eruption.[11] Munch said: “suddenly the sky turned blood red … I stood there shaking with fear and felt an endless scream passing through nature.” Also, a so-called blue moon had been seen for two years as a result of the eruption.
    This eruption also produced a Bishop’s Ring around the sun by day, and a volcanic purple light at twilight.

  5. pulled up in OG

    The record temperatures we’re seeing now are especially impressive because we’ve been in “the deepest solar minimum in nearly a century.”

    http://climateprogress.org/2010/04/12/global-cooling-hottest-march-on-record-nasa-uah-rss-satellite-data/?utm_source=feedburner&utm_medium=feed&utm_campaign=Feed%3A+climateprogress%2FlCrX+%28Climate+Progress%29&utm_content=Twitter

    (Time to bone up on tiny urls, I think.)

  6. Cos Cobber

    Global Warming maybe a reality. The problem is, humanity has very limited means to curb global warming unless we immediately adopt nuclear on a mass scale.

    • CC, we’re not going to do anything like that – we’re not going to go back to the dark ages, either. So we’d better start adapting to whatever climate changes are coming. But instead, the whackos will seek to impose as many restrictions on economic growth as they can, with an eye towards destroying our economy. That’s their goal, that’s their vision of Eden.

  7. Cos Cobber

    I agree with you CF. The enviro wackos have coupled global warming with other ill agendas to remake humanity. We’re going to have to learn to live with global warming while we look at reasonable and economically viable steps to curb greenhouse gases.

    The great challenge is, how do you convince the 3rd and 2nd world to make similar efforts and how do you decide what is a reasonable effort vs a futile and expensive effort in our own 1st world.

  8. Island Surveyor

    Pulled Up Type bit.ly into your browser address after you have the desired long address on your clip board.

    Cos Cob & CF:

    Not to worry: The solution is at hand. We turn Ole’s Creek into a tide mill low-head hydro plant, and sell our power to CL&P at 11 cents per KWH.

    I’ll propose it tonight at Town Hall:
    http://bit.ly/bRGmxe

  9. Here’s the Earth Image Daily update on the volcano ash plume – drifting well past Scotland now:
    http://bit.ly/byOMQA

  10. Island Surveyor

    CF-
    Am I dreaming? Did I die and go to heaven?

    I thought or maybe just dreamed that you told CC:

    “we’re not going to do anything like that – we’re not going to go back to the dark ages, either. So we’d better start adapting to whatever climate changes are coming.”

    Well, here it is:
    http://bit.ly/cj1rYW

  11. pulled up in OG

    Island – That oughta power an electric toothbrush : )
    . . . until CF nukes it w/ the spud cannon.

  12. pulled up in OG

    Island – Tested out bit.ly. Thanks.

  13. Greenwich Gal

    Ok – I am not really in the know on all the science here – but if there is really no global warming or clinate change – as many of you believe – why are all the glaciers disappearing?

  14. Cos Cobber

    I love the tidel turbine ideas. So how much juice could we generate with the Cos Cob salt pond damn? Enough for 3 or 4 houses? But seriously, its cool stuff.

    Part of me is tempted to execute an end run on all local power generation by running to the P&Z to advocate a moritorium. Of course I kid, but I am sure the Greenwich time would give my wacky protest the front page. I’m sure I can find an endangered mollusk or some other creature your tidal generators would harm.

    Have you cruched any numbers, just how much “subsidy” would these machines need to make it work?

  15. not so anonymous

    so, if CO2 is connected to rising temps, why were there higher levels of it in the atmosphere during the ice ages? hmmm?

  16. Island Surveyor

    cc- working on the analysis.
    see update: http://earthimage.net/GRID/Local_Smart_Grid.htm

    The Rippowam is the only local river with long term data. It averages between 1 and 3 cu.meter/sec. The Mianus and Byram have similar watersheds. So that’s not too hefty a flow.

    The tides are a different story.

    The Housatonic has some great hydro projects, including the dam at Lake Zoar and the pump-up station to store hydro-potential in Candlewood Lake.

    Unfortunately, PCB’s got into the Lake.