It is quite impressive what one volcano eruption can do to the air infrastructure. I am following airplane movements in Europe on an on-line airplane radar site and I have seen gradually closing more and more airports in the last 24 hours. At this moment there are only planes flying in Portugal, Turkey and the island of Sardinia. Italy had been open until early this morning, Bulgaria closed only a few hours ago.
And news from Iceland is that there are no signs yet that the eruptions will stop.
It depends on how the wind is blowing,I heard that this eruption has been going on since January but the wind changed recently.
Down here in Hampshire we haven't noticed it much, as we aren't in a flight path. My car was covered with a light dust this morning but that is not that unusual,and my wife noticed a sulphur smell outside last night but we thought it was the local oil refinery.
Could this be the end of air travel as we know it? Back to propeller driven aircraft and dirigibles within a year. That should suit the tree huggers but oh dear all this cr@p that Eyjafjallajokull is spewing out into the atmosphere must be even more polluting than the aircraft it is grounding... Perhaps global warming is a product of nature not civilisation?
The Eyjafjallajökull has been unstable since the end of 2009, but this eruption from the center crater where all the ash is coming from only started on April 14th. It was only active three times in recent history, but the average time of eruptions was nearly a year each time, and every time it was active, the nearby Katla volcano also started erupting. And according to scientists, the Eyjafjallajökull is just a glass of sparkling water compared to the Katla.
Imagine what happens if this continues for some prolonged period of time and the wind changes every few weeks from east to west, sending the dust to both the European and North American continent. It would make air traffic impossible in a large part of the Western world, totally changing life for many.
It wouldn't be the first time that a volcano from Iceland had severe impact on civilization in the northern hemisphere. In 1783 the Laki caused severe ash pollution in Europe, triggered extreme weather conditions and is even said to have contributed to the French revolution in 1789 due to famine as a result of failed harvests.
One good thing though, large volcano eruptions are believed to stop the global warming temporarily.
As lammert says, this volcano has erupted for years before, not just days which is what the airlines are hoping. This could be a big deal for air travel and I bet none of them have business insurance that includes "acts of god". The no-fly orders just might last a lot longer than a few days.