Tag Archives | Volcanoes

Volcano Air Traffic Ban In Europe May Cause Higher Temperatures

Approximate drawing of estimated ash cloud from the Eyjafjallajökull eruption as of 17 April 2010 at 18:00 UTC. Source: UK Met Office (CC)

Approximate drawing of estimated ash cloud from the Eyjafjallajökull eruption as of 17 April 2010 at 18:00 UTC. Source: UK Met Office (CC)

Yes, you read that correctly. The volcanic ash cloud over Europe might be expected to block sunlight and lower continental temperatures in a sort of nuclear winter scenario à la The Road, but according to this report in the Daily Mail the opposite may be true:

Temperatures in Europe could rise as a result of planes being grounded across the continent, according to research.

A study conducted after commercial flights were grounded for three days following the September 11 terror attacks found the average daily temperature range in the U.S. rose markedly – exceeding the three-day periods before and after by 1.8c.

Scientists claimed this showed that clouds formed by the water vapour in the exhaust from jet planes have a small but significant effect on daily temperatures.

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Amazing Northern Lights Show Over Erupting Iceland Volcano (Photo)

Major props to “ice,” an Icelandic photographer with one very cool collection of photos of the current volcanic eruption in Iceland. Not so cool is that the volcanic ash in the air over northern Europe has stopped all UK air traffic, so for anyone planning to meet the disinformation crew at the London Book Fair next week, stay tuned…

Here’s the pick of the crop of photos, showing the Northern Lights a/k/a Aurora Borealis:

(c) 2010 Ice - shown here in reduced size as fair use.

(c) 2010 "Ice" – shown here in reduced size as fair use.

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70,000 Years Ago, An Extinction Event May Have Left Only 2,000 Humans on the Planet

Extinction EventWow, this is a fascinating article from Ed Grabianowski on io9.com: a great catalog of the extinction events we believe happened throughout all of human history. Ed Grabianowski writes:

There is one near-extinction event that is fairly well-known, although it remains controversial. Roughly 70,000 years ago, give or take a few thousand years, an enormous eruption occurred in what is now Sumatra, leaving behind Lake Toba. The eruption coincides with a population bottleneck that is often cited as the reason for the relatively low genetic diversity across Homo sapiens sapiens. Research suggests as few as 2,000 humans were left alive by the eruption and its aftereffects.

A recent paper in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences found another population bottleneck much farther back in human history. Genetic studies found that 1.2 million years ago there were as few as 55,000 members of genus Homo, including pre-human hominids like Homo erectus and Homo ergaster.

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Deep-Sea Volcano Erupts 4,000ft Under The Pacific (Video)

Sophie Tedmanson reports for the Times:

Scientists have filmed a volcanic eruption 4,000ft (1,220m) under the sea causing molten lava to flow across the deep ocean floor.

The incredible footage, recorded by a submersible robot, shows the exact moment that a deep-sea volcano erupts from the ocean floor, sending an explosion of bright red lava bubbles and plumes of smoke-like sulphur through the water.

The eruption of the West Mata volcano was filmed by US scientists in May during an underwater expedition south of Samoa. It is the deepest erupting volcano to be discovered.

“It was an underwater Fourth of July,” …

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