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Nature Iceland Volcano Eruption Could Last Months

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Iceland volcano eruption could last months


Iceland volcano eruption could last months - Science Fair: Science and Space News - USATODAY.com

The last time Iceland's Eyjafjallajokull volcano blew, the eruption lasted more than a year, from December 1821 until January 1823, reports Sally Sennert, a geologist at the Smithsonian Institution."This seems similar to what's happening now," she says.

The volcano is erupting small, jagged pieces of rocks, minerals and volcanic glass the size of sand and silt into the atmosphere, according to the U.S. Geological Survey. This volcanic ash can even be as small as 1/25,000th of an inch across.

Volcanic ash is formed during explosive volcanic eruptions. Once in the air, the wind can blow these tiny ash particles tens to thousands of miles away from the volcano. Life-threatening and costly damages can occur to aircraft that fly through an eruption cloud, reports the geological survey.
"Silica in the ash gets into the engine and heats up and melts, which causes the engines to stop," says Sennert.

Based on reported damages from ash encounters, the hazard posed to aircraft can extend more than 3,000 miles from an erupting volcano. (Click here for a map of the ash zone over Europe).
Fortunately for the USA, Sennert says the wind direction is such that the ash cloud is traveling east-southeast, toward Europe and away from the USA.

However, as Science Fair noted previously, the Eyjafjallajokull volcano isn't necessarily the main problem. It's Katla, Iceland's noisier neighbor, that's the concern. If lava flowing from Eyjafjallajokull melts the glaciers that hold down the top of Katla, then Katla could blow its top, pumping gigantic amounts of ash into the atmosphere.

The potential eruption of Iceland's volcano Katla could send the world, including the USA, into an extended deep freeze.

"There's no telling how long the eruptions could last," says Sennert about the Eyjafjallajokull volcano."These explosions could go on for some time."
 

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Weather Talk
By Mark Vogan

http://markvoganweather.blogspot.com/2010/04/todays-top-weather-stories-on-weather_16.html

Though Eyjafjallajokull likely won't have weather or climatic influence on a global-scale (FOR NOW ANYWAY), but did this have other "in-direct influences of surface temperature in Britain and Europe the past few days?

Though the continuous eruption of the Eyjafjallajokull volcano in southwest Iceland likely won't have impact on either global weather patterns or long-term climate simply because this hasn't produced a powerful enough release into the atmosphere, ash and gasses etc would have needed to be forced upwards and into the stratosphere, some 30,000 feet "higher" than the levels this ash at the moment is reaching (between 20,000-30,000ft) in order to catch the very highest, upper-level atmosphereic winds that circle our world and this would have probably been a much more likely scenario for alterations in global weather and or climatic patterns as like we saw with Mt St Helens in WA, USA were ash fell on the East Coast, thousands of miles from the volcano itself, these gasses and ash clouds reached the very limits of earth's atmosphere, circled the planet and ultimately clouded the worlds outer atmosphere enough to produce several years of cooling... This has happened with many major eruptions such as Pinatubo, Krakatoa and other huge eruptions.. Here is a piece from a Science Fair article released today..

"In 1991, the eruption of Mount Pinatubo in the Philippines, the second-largest eruption of the 20th century (much larger than Eyjafjallajokull), sent a sulfuric acid haze into the stratosphere, reducing global average temperatures about 0.9 degrees Fahrenheit over the next year."

Full article Here

That being said, all this recent activity and the mention that in the past, this very volcano in Iceland reacted like it did now just prior to the eruption of a "larger more dangers" nearby volcano by the name I believe "Katyla".. If that was to occur, then this may be a very different story. Many wonder how long all this chaos will last across the UK and Europe, well it depends on two key elements... The actual volcano itself and it's activity and behavior as well as weather... Which is seeing a jet stream flow from Canada, Greenland and across Iceland, where it's 30,000ft band of winds is picking up the upward flow of ash to the jet level and unfortunately, this jet flow is pushing all this ash cloud into the heart of one of, if not thee busiest airspaces on earth, therefore creating the massive problems. Until this flow changes, we are likely to see continuous issues with flights.

OK, so what in-direct weather related influences MAY this volcano be having on the ground here in Britain and across Scandinavia, Netherlands, Belgium and other European countries which have their airpspace closed?

Well. The complete absense of airtraffic over this large area I believe may be allowing "clearer" air and therefore days with high pressure and perhaps less obstruction between the sun, it's rays and the surface of earth may allow warmer daytime temperatures and at night, cooler temperatures than otherwise would be with thousnads of aircraft travelling through European airspace.. When you look into the skies above somewhere like Heathrow or New York airspace on a clear morning before sunrise,you can actually see the man-made cloud formed by the vast amounts of vapor trails, which on one particular morning when waiting for a flight to LA from Newark, I could see an artificial cloud formed purely by airplanes... The shear absense of airplanes over Britain and Europe MUST be having even a slight impact, especially with lack of cloudcover thanks to the high pressure in control.... But this is purely my own speculation and cannot tell for sure, perhaps an article will be written on this very topic in the future.​

Interestingly. I drove down to Dumfries from Glasgow this morning where the skies were crystal clear and a surprisingly harsh frost was formed... Is this my theory playing out here? Would it have dropped to -2 or -3C had it not been for the lack of aircraft in the sky? Here at my house today, I reached a high of 61 degrees under clear, sunny skies... Wonderful? Is this high pressure cell and dry spell my summers ideas holding? Time will tell.
 

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Global cooling: What happens if the Iceland volcano blows

Weather and Climate Through the Eyes of Mark Vogan

The potential eruption of Iceland's volcano Katla would likely send the world, including the USA, into an extended deep freeze."When Katla went off in the 1700s, the USA suffered a very cold winter," says Gary Hufford, a scientist with the Alaska Region of the National Weather Service. "To the point, the Mississippi River froze just north of New Orleans and the East Coast, especially New England, had an extremely cold winter.

"Depending on a new eruption, Katla could cause some serious weather changes."
Eyjafjallajokull, the Icelandic volcano that has continued to belch lava, ash and steam since first erupting last weekend, isn't the direct problem. It's Katla, the noisier neighbor, that's the concern. If lava flowing from Eyjafjallajokull melts the glaciers that hold down the top of Katla, then Katla could blow its top, pumping gigantic amounts of ash into the atmosphere.

Scientists say history has proven that whenever the Eyjafjallajokull volcano erupts, Katla always follows -- the only question is how soon.

"If it (Eyjafjallajokull) continues to belch, then you worry," says Hufford.

What's key in having volcanic eruptions affect the weather is both the duration of the eruption, and how high the ash gets blasted into the stratosphere, according to Hufford.

For example, he says, Mount Pinatubo pumped ash for two days in 1991, and spewed it 70,000 feet into the stratosphere. This dropped temperatures worldwide about four degrees for about a year.

"When volcanic ash reaches the stratosphere, it remains for a long time," reports Hufford. "The ash becomes a very effective block of the incoming solar radiation, thus cooling the atmosphere's temperatures."

Scientists are continuing to monitor Eyjafjallajokull for signs of further activity.
Contributing: Associated Press
By Doyle Rice
 

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