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Tag: Europe

Eyjafjallajökull: Fire in the Ice

Here is a live footage of recent volcanic activity in Eyjafjallajökull glacier in Iceland. This is the second time this particular volcano has erupted this year, first time on March 20th and then second time on April 14th, the second one being much stronger and causing major air traffic shutdown in most of Europe. Last time the volcano was active was around 200 years ago in 1821-1823, the event lasted for about 13 months!! Iceland is one of the most active regions for volcanic activities along with Alaska and Pacific Ring of Fire. Iceland’s location makes it more prone to volcanic activities: Earth’s magma or lava is closest to earth’s surface in this region and combined with continental plate rift-zone makes Iceland prone to numerous and frequent volcanic activities. This particular volcano has caused ripples all around the world due to it’s impact on air traffic leading to closure of major airports in European countries including UK, Germany, Poland, Russia and Netherlands. Travelers all around the world are stranded leading to cancel or postponement of many events and activities.Plume of ash as high as 5.3 mile can bee seen coming out of this volcano which is filling up the European airspace. It might take sometime while the airspace clears up and change in wind direction will be needed to expedite the process. Click here to see some amazing pictures of Eyjafjallajökull.

Volcano eruptions can lead to Global Cooling in subsequent years which is attributed to release of sulfur di oxide gas from the volcanoes. Huge amounts of SO2 released from these volcanoes when reach stratosphere, gets converted to sulfate aerosols which reflects back the sunlight and prevents them from reaching the earth’s surface. Such major Global cooling was observed in 1991 due to eruption of Mount Pinatubo in Philippines. Eyjafjallajökull activity might continue for some time, maybe months , not sure; scientists have already reached the site and started collecting data and air samples to do further analysis. With all the air traffic chaos the volcano has caused, it’s also resulting in some very spectacular sunsets as a result of scattering of the sunlight by these very fine ash particles in the air (Picture by Danny Mekic’- used under Creative Commons License).

Iceland is already going through major economic crisis which started back in 2008, let’s hope this recent volcanic activity is not going to affect it’s tourism industry and further worsen the economic crisis. In another Iceland related news, today IMF approved release of $160 million loan package from a 2.1 billion package which was approved in 2008. But due to Iceland’s ongoing disputes with UK and Netherlands regarding settlement of money for UK and Netherlands citizens who lost their money in Iceland banks, IMF did not release the loan earlier and had to review the situation. “The crisis has taken a heavy toll on Iceland and its citizens, but I am confident that the policies and financing now in place will ease the burden of adjustment and help Iceland’s economy stage a recovery in the second half of 2010,” IMF Managing Director Dominique Strauss-Kahn and Chair, said.

(The picture shows the image of major bankers being used in one of the restaurant urinals in Reykjavík, Iceland capital. Photo credit:Olivier Morin/Agence France-Presse —Getty Images)

2 Comments April 17, 2010

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