> In a well written and informative article, Jill Lawless (see references below) described for us the current state of airline affairs, due in no small part to the cloud of volcanic dust being picked up by the Jet Stream, from Iceland’s spewing volcano.
“Thousand of flights were cancelled, stranding tens of thousands of passengers, and officials said it was not clear when it would be safe enough to fly again. In a sobering comment, one scientist in Iceland said the ejection of volcanic ash – and therefore possible disruptions in air travel – could continue for days or even weeks. “
Michael Hanlon in his article entitled: Awesome power of the fires of hell; How all the technology on Earth cannot save us from Mother Earth’s fury, reminds us gravely about the terror the passengers of a British Airways flight, must have felt, when their Captain announced: “Good Evening Ladies and gentlemen, we have a small problem. All four engines have stopped. We are doing our damnedest to get them going again. I trust you are not in too much distress.”
Now I don’t know about you, but if the Captain of my aircraft informed me that all four engines had stopped working mid flight – I would be a tad more than a little concerned. I would be terrified.
I am certain the passengers on that British Airways flight from Malaysia to Australia, on June 24th, 1982 were doing some very serious praying!
Eventually Captain Moody got the planes engine restarted and made a safe touchdown at Jakarta. It was only then that they discovered they had flown through a volcanic plume, which had caused the engines to shut down, nearly ending all of their lives.
Is it any wonder then that because of the billowing plumes of ash coming from the Eyjafjallajokull glacier near Reykjavík, Iceland, hundreds of thousands of passengers now find themselves ‘fortunately’ grounded?
There have of course been other major eruptions at different times and indifferent places, which have spewed out voluminous amounts of volcanic ash.
In May of 1960, the most powerful earthquake on record rocked southern Chile. At magnitude 9.5, the quake killed thousands of people and sent a massive tsunami rippling across the Pacific Ocean. It also triggered a cluster of volcanic eruptions up and down the Andes mountains that persisted into the spring of 1961, according to new research.
Scholars have puzzled over whether earthquakes can cause eruptions for almost two millennia; in the 1st century, Pliny the Younger wrote about the relationship as a possible cause of the eruption of Mt. Vesuvius in 79 A.D. Similarly, Charles Darwin reported that volcanoes in Chile awoke violently following an earthquake during his visit to Chile aboard the Beagle in 1835.
In recent years, scientists have worked out a solid correlation; volcanic eruptions in a given region are far more frequent for the few days following an earthquake than they are otherwise. Now Sebastian Watt of Oxford University and a team of researchers are adding a new twist — some of the world’s biggest tremors can make volcanoes blow their tops for up to a year afterwards.
History records many super volcanic eruptions which have affected the earth’s climate.
Lake Toba, Sumatra, Indonesia – ~74,000 years ago plunged the Earth into a volcanic winter, eradicating an estimated 60 percent of the human population (according to wikipedia)
The eruption at Tambora, Sumbawa Island, West Nusa Tenggara, Indonesia – 1815 (160 km³), the following year 1816 became known as the “Year Without a Summer“.
Then we have the eruption of Krakatoa which culminated in a series of massive explosions on August 26–27, 1883, which was among the most violent volcanic events in modern and recorded history. But there is more to this volcanoes history which is worth knowing about.
According to historian David Keys, the last time global climate change transformed our planet was back in the sixth century AD, the heart of the Dark Ages. Today climate change is at least partially (hypothesized to be) driven by human agency. But 1,500 years ago it was triggered by a massive volcanic eruption (535 AD) in Southeast Asia (Krakatoa being the likeliest culprit), setting in motion a chain of events which included plague, barbarian migrations and revolution.
It seems that the disease had long been endemic among wild rodent populations in East Africa, but it was the climatic disaster following 535 AD which enabled the disease to spread outside its normal territory.
Professor Mike Baille of Queens University in Belfast, who has been working on tree-ring data, says: The tree rings show that in the mid 530s — just about the time civilizations on Earth suffered a sharp setback — there was a sudden decline in the rate of tree growth which lasted about 15 years.
A REAL PUZZLER:The thing that puzzled me about both Jill Lawless and Michael Hanlon’s articles was the lack of any reference, what so ever to possible issues related to climate change, because of the vast amounts of volcanic debris clouding the skies in Europe.
Already it has been noted that it is dangerous to fly airplanes, and farmers have been advised (in Iceland) to keep their animals inside. There is also scientific evidence, as shown by the examination of the ash particles that as the ash originated inside a volcano it can contain the chemical Florine, which is a pollutant and can have harmful short term and long term effects for grazing animals.
Volcanic ash can also effect humans.
The most common effects are:
Respiratory effects: Common short-term symptoms include:
Nasal irritation and discharge (runny nose).
Throat irritation and sore throat.
This is sometimes accompanied by dry coughing.
Breathing becomes uncomfortable.
People with pre-existing chest complaints may develop severe bronchitis symptoms which last some days beyond exposure to ash (for example, hacking cough, production of sputum, wheezing, or shortness of breath).
Airway irritation for people with asthma or bronchitis;
common complaints of people with asthma include shortness of breath, wheezing and coughing.
Eye irritation is a common health effect as pieces of grit can cause painful scratches in the front of the eye and conjunctivitis.
Contact lens wearers need to be especially ware of this problem.
Yet nowhere is there mention of what this wide ranging volcanic gritty cloud might do to weather conditions as it is now known to be travelling via the Northern Hemispheres Jet Stream.
Man Made Global Warming Theorists (AGW) have been very quick, and very vociferous in their claims that we humans are causing the climate to change – to heat up.
You would imagine that someone who is waging the war against AGW (aka climate change / global warming skeptics) would be quick to point out that masses of volcanic ash, being spewed into our atmosphere by the Icelandic Volcano, just might have the opposite effect? Just might contribute to a cooling of the climate, as has been shown to have happened during past eruptions (in history) of other volcanoes.
It’s no good pretending this could never happen – or that it has never happened before, because it has, and it could happen again now.
We are under a cloud….. a volcanic dust cloud, which should be watched very closely to see if there is any unusual change in weather patterns following this rather large eruption.
You know there is speculation that it was not an asteroid that wiped out the dinosaurs….
Another leading culprit is a series of colossal volcanic eruptions that occurred between 63 million to 67 million years ago. These created the gigantic Deccan Traps lava beds in India, whose original extent may have covered as much as 580,000 square miles (1.5 million square kilometers), or more than twice the area of Texas.
This could have caused a phenomenal climate change, cooling down the planet sufficiently to wipe out possibly many species.
Just a thought! Climate Change can go either way, hotter or colder, and the proof is not in yet for HOTTER…… it’s still speculation.
More on the Glacier
Earthquakes and volcanic activity
Krakatoa – Wiki
Krakatoa – the dark ages.
Historian David Keys comments
Tree Ring Data
Dinosaur Extinction Theory