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May. 3 2010 - 1:25 pm | 1,302 views | 0 recommendations | 2 comments

Ireland may shut down airspace due to volcanic ash cloud

Smoke and ash from the Eyjafjallajökull volcan...

Image by AFP via Daylife

Update: Ireland, parts of Scotland close airspace due to ash cloud.

Eyjafjallajokull, the volcano in Iceland with the name you can’t pronounce, may be making a comeback, menacing trans-Atlantic travelers and newscasters on both sides of the ocean. According to a release from the Irish Aviation Authority, a southern drift of a volcanic ash could could result in the suspension of flights over Ireland’s airspace, resulting in a ‘no fly zone’ that takes the Dublin and Shannon airports out of commission for an unknown duration tomorrow.

The Irish government agency is asking people to check back in about two hours for an update.

Whether or not Ireland’s airspace, and subsequently all of Europe, will be shut down, there has been a definite observation of increased activity at Eyjafjallajokull according to a report today from Iceland Review:

The explosive activity in the volcano in Eyjafjallajökull glacier seems to be increasing as the volcanic cloud has been larger and darker in color in the past few days than what it was the week prior, according to a new report from the Icelandic Meteorological Office.

It sure would be bad news for airlines. The civil aviation industry worldwide already lost billions from the first round of flight disruptions caused over concerns that when volcanic ash enters an plane’s engines, it basically turns into glass and shreds the turbines that keep your plane aloft. Thousands of tourists got stranded in Europe or America, and the British Navy even took to picking up the country’s nationals in Spain and bringing them back to the United Kingdom aboard Her Majesty’s ships.

And that leads me to ask: do we need to consider a geo-engineering solution to volcanoes that disrupt major civil aviation channels when they erupt? Consider that if you had major flooding disrupting economic development in a region, you’d perhaps build a dam to prevent a river from overflowing its banks. Does the same logic apply for a troublesome volcano like Eyjafjallajokull?

HT: Rodrigo at Breaking News Online


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