Skip to comments.Get Ready for Decades of Icelandic Fireworks
Posted on 04/20/2010 10:26:27 PM PDT by TigerLikesRooster
Get Ready for Decades of Icelandic Fireworks
Get Ready for Decades of Icelandic Fireworks We're not quite back to the pre-plane era, but air travel over and around the north Atlantic might get a lot more disrupted in the coming years.
Volcanologists say the fireworks exploding from the Eyjafjallajökull volcano on Iceland, which is responsible for the ash cloud that is grounding all commercial flights across northern Europe, may become a familiar sight. Increased rumblings under Iceland over the past decade suggest that the area is entering a more active phase, with more eruptions and the potential for some very large bangs.
"Volcanic activity on Iceland appears to follow a periodicity of around 50 to 80 years. The increase in activity over the past 10 years suggests we might be entering a more active phase with more eruptions," says Thorvaldur Thordarson, an expert on Icelandic volcanoes at the University of Edinburgh, UK. By contrast, the latter half of the 20th century was unusually quiet.
Along with increased volcanism, more seismic activity has been recorded around Iceland, including the magnitude-6.1 quake that rocked Reykjavik in May 2008.
(Excerpt) Read more at io9.com ...
stick a cork in that thang!
They might figure out a filter of sort for airplanes. Necessity is the mother of all inventions
getting that stuff in a piston engine or clogging up its air filter is no picnic either
Hmm... if that’s the case, airplanes should be equipped with booster rockets which will carry it into stratosphere(anyway going over the reach of ash cloud,) and turn on their engine, and go into ‘reentry’ near the destination(by gliding or using another set of rockets for final approach.)
If this is true, air travel disruptions will be the least of Northern and Western Europe's problems. Icelandic volcanoes have caused widespread crop failures and famines in Europe before, which resulted in great loss of life and major population dislocations.
With today's interconnected, global community, a long-term series of eruptions of volcanoes on Iceland would have devastating effects, world wide.
These eruptions could cause whole countries to fail, which would impact the politics and economies of the planet in terrible ways.
i was thinking this might bring back the zeppelin.
Get Ready for Decades of Icelandic Fireworks- I`m gonna go to Reykjavík `n get me a girl
How about we try going “Hi-Tech” instead?
Indtead of going ‘back’ to a prop plane lets try a rocket ride using a sub-orbital flight..... up and over to the desired landing point. No engines of any kind to plugg up, just a parachute full of dirt and that sudden jolt when you finally stop. The Ruskies started their space program this way.
There are still ways to dodge around the dust cloud, like going to its south. Or at more expense, go over the Orient and Pacific. Routes and perhaps infrastructure will need to adapt.
Sure, air travel routes can be rerouted to avoid the worst of the ash fall, but if these volcanoes start belching with any regularity, we're talking crop failures and famine, not to mention the ruination of all that makes life possible. Whole regions of Western Europe could become wastelands if this continues. It's happened before.
Ironic that these volcanoes started acting up after all the hue and cry about globull warming. We may wish! (Modern botanic science might yet furnish us with cold-tolerant crop plants.)
I just knew that some Freeper would find an upside to this disaster!
Yes...I’ve heard about those Ruskie landings too...they chose to bring space capsules down on land instead of water...ouch...
They might have to redesign airplanes. This time around, they should think “what if there’s a volcano?” And then make an airplane that can fly fine if there’s a volcano.
Something is clearly wrong here. Airplanes have been around 100 years. Volcanos even longer. In that 100 years, we’ve been to the moon, and built supersonic jet aircraft. But we haven’t figured out that we need our airplanes to be able to fly in volcanic ash.
They really need to get those airplanes designed and tested and ready to be built.
And if airlines want to fly, airlines should be allowed to fly. Governments in Europe are keeping airports closed, the airplanes are on the ground, the airlines want to put the planes in the air and the customers want to get on the planes. And they’re going to be bailing out these airlines?
Lower levels of sunlight due to volcanic eruptions aren't the only problem for plants.
Volcanic ash falls from the sky and begins to pile up on every downwind surface. If it continues for any appreciable length of time, it smothers every growing thing, and creates a moonscape that's unlivable for animals and humans.
There are some planetary phenomena that are beyond human technological solutions, and volcanoes are one of them.
More likely increased travel by ship.
“How big” the eruption(s) and “how widely” the ash spreads are going to be the big ifs in this equation. In a scenario such as a Yellowstone volcano, the outlook is far grimmer than this Icelandic volcano that isn’t generating much news about fallout yet.
Airborne volcanic ash is such a rare threat to air travel that no one's bothered to invest the time, effort, and money to develop an ash-proof aircraft engine.
I'd be interested to hear the ideas of some aviation engineers as to how you would design such an engine. They'd have to invent a whole new air filtration technology to keep the ash out of the intakes.
And ash in the engines isn't the only problem. At the speeds that jet liners travel, airborne ash can scour the paint right off the airframe and pit the windshields so badly that they turn white.
It can also incapacitate the aircraft's instruments, which also blinds the pilots.
Lotta stuff to overcome, there.
That's where my money is.
Well, we flew to the moon for some reason. Part of the rationale for that was we’d get some great technological advances just in the doing.
I’m not advocating government spending, but volcanos are forseeable. I understand why private industry might not want to design aircraft for that contingency, but since the government does seem to waste money, we’re looking at something that some government might want to look into spending money on. Skip the global warming bs. Global warming is good. If it gets 1 degree hotter, and a volcano makes it 1 degree cooler, it’s all good.
Well, there are accurate historical records on previous eruptions of Icelandic volcanoes going back a thousand years. The historical records also show where the fallout and major effects downwind occurred, as well, because the Europeans recorded these events.
From what I've read, there's only a small "if" factor involved with these volcanoes. They have an established eruptive periodicity of about two hundred years, per the reports I've read. The last big eruption happened early in the nineteenth century and lasted for almost two years. These latest eruptions are right on schedule.
Geologic records show that they've erupted with a fair amount of regularity for millenia.
Maybe we'll get lucky this time and this will only be a minor event, but the geologic record says that's not likely. Read the article. The near-term scenario isn't too promising.
Ships are already invented.
And they can’t fall from the sky.
The space shuttle is fairly sturdy, can any technologies be taken from that?
In a lesson to do what you really want when you have the chance, in 2007 (late) I was going to go to Iceland for vacation. I decided against it an thought I would sneak it in this summer or even Spring 2011. Now it’s not that it is totally out of the question but it’s possible vacations in general, food prices and human existence are going to be affected greatly.
Do it when you have the money and time and just DO IT. Or you may not get the chance (or the landscape you wanted to photograph may be significantly altered.)
People think that because we’re all modern and everything that those old timey bad things like plagues and pandemics and very bad geologic events such as severe volcanoes won’t happen any more.
Wrong answer. They will. Now? Next year? 100 years? Looks as though this volcanic thing might indeed be a destructive thing.
The other aspect is that because things are all modern and whatnot, if one card goes down, many other cards go down. in earlier times the interconnected stuff wasn’t there, and people were self sufficient in smaller areas. One card going down didn’t mean 100 other cards went down.
Odd that with this Iceland volcano stuff going on regularly like this (if it is) nobody thought to rank this up with major world concerns until oops, air travel was knocked out.
My opinion is that this problem should be solved by private industry. It’s their planes, and their shareholders making the profits from air travel, so let them overcome it.
But, if someone’s going to commit taxpayer dollars to solving it, then let it be some other country’s taxpayers. We’ve given the world plenty of technology already. It’s our turn to be on the receiving end for a change.
The only reason that this is suddenly such an urgent problem is that these particular volcanoes blow their ash high into the stratosphere where jets normally fly, and the fact that if they follow their historical behavior, they could be blowing for up to two years. Also, it’s where the ash from these volcanoes winds up — over Northern and Western Europe.
Doubtful. They use solid rocket boosters to lift them into space. That's not a propellant that's particularly applicable to terrestrial aircraft technology. Once you light it, there's no shutting it down.
I'm sure there's a technological answer. I just don't know what it is.
Let’s take a cruise to Chicago this year, dear.
I don’t really have a good feel about how big a problem this could be. I know that planes could be flying and aren’t.
I don’t really like the sound of “well this could be a catastrophe, but we’ll let private industry handle it” I’ve seen plenty of movies where meteors or comets hit the earth. We should have a solution ready for that.
Well, doesn’t the space shuttle withstand intense heat on re-entry? Perhaps it’s built to withstand little chunks of volcano ash as well. Or, whatever is out there in space that’s much worse - sharper, moving through space much faster, whatever. If the windshield glass is a problem, use space shuttle technologies to make the windshield glass more scratch resistant. Figure out all the potential problems with airplanes and volcanic ash and see what can be fixed.
Wrong answer. They will.
Absolutely. The last two to four thousand years have been relatively quiet for this planet, and that quiet allowed human civilization to flower, grow, and advance to the present stage. There were other epochs in which the human race was nearly wiped out because of natural events such as this.
For instance, if Yellowstone volcano were to erupt in this age, it would nearly mean the end of civilization as we know it, it would cause such planet-wide devastation.
If the Chixilub asteroid were to hit the planet today, it would probably destroy all human and animal life. It killed off the dinosaurs 65 million years ago.
Like I said, it's been relatively quiet on the planet for the last several thousand years, and that's the only reason we're here.
...because things are all modern and whatnot, if one card goes down, many other cards go down. in earlier times the interconnected stuff wasnt there, and people were self sufficient in smaller areas.
Yep. In ancient times, if a volcanic eruption completely wiped out the people in one region, those in unaffected regions would go on as if nothing happened. Today, there'd be a ripple effect of such devastation all around the world.
I'm sure there are vulcanologists who tried to make governments listen to their warnings, but no one's perfected the science of exact volcanic eruption prediction, so no one listened.
Even if governments had listened, and were fully apprised of the situation, what were they supposed to do about it? In this case, I think they did all that can be reasonably expected.
It’s all very interesting.
Makes me glad I live in the woods with a well and firewood and all that stuff.
Not that I want to live forever, just don’t like cities anyway, and any kind of Black Swan even can turn things chaotic faster than anyone can imagine.
Are you certain that those planes could be flying those air routes that cross the path of the ash cloud? Have you ever seen or read about what volcanic ash does to jet airplane engines?
The ash is in the air at the altitudes and within the air lanes where these planes need to fly. Believe me, you can't just tough it through a volcanic ash cloud. It's suicide.
I read today that limited flights were supposed to start up again in Northern and Western Europe. Don't know if the ash cloud moved off enough for them to do that or not. If it didn't, then they're still grounded.
Ive seen plenty of movies where meteors or comets hit the earth. We should have a solution ready for that.
Scientists and other thinkers have been trying to dream up a technology to handle that scenario for some time, but there are technological limitations that need to be overcome. I agree that governments ought to be funding research to design and build a technology to handle the threat of large objects from space. If there's anything that can kill off the whole human race, that's it.
Yes, but the space shuttle is essentially a glider that re-enters the earth's atmosphere nose up, with its belly exposed to the heat of re-entry. The belly is covered with heat-resistant tiles, but not the rest of the orbiter.
That technology won't help us with designing a jet engine that can ingest volcanic ash and keep running.
If the windshield glass is a problem, use space shuttle technologies to make the windshield glass more scratch resistant.
The windows on the space shuttle aren't any more scratch resistant than the windows on a 747. They're not meant to resist the pummeling of re-entry.
Building an ash-proof airplane is going to require some new technology.
That’s the ticket.
Or expensive technology. I can’t imagine that they can’t get treated glass for the windows at this time. There are a lot of people working on new materials. Engines probably the biggest problem. Volcanic ash gets hot in engines and melts - adding a coating of molten glass (from what I hear). Non stick coating on jet engine parts so the glass does not stick to the jet engine. Perhaps a vent somewhere, so the molten glass does not accumulate in the engine, but is removed to where it can be removed easier. Perhaps a molten glass trap. People have mentioned air filters before. It’s been said that wouldn’t work. So, a better air filter.
I believe that after Christ splits the Mt of Olives,
the planet will quiet down incredibly for a thousand years.
Probably on a case by case basis, airport by airport basis, there are conflicts between governments and airlines. Airlines do want to fly.
I’ve read about what volcanic ash can do. Which is different from saying what volcanic ash always does. There have been instances of the engines shutting down. Then there’s usually a scary dive which I believe in 100% of the cases has resulted in getting the engines turned on again.
One key question is exactly how much ash is causing the engines to fail. Lufthansa has flown planes in this ash and observed no damage. The Finnish Air Force did see damage.
Lufthansa wanted to get up there a couple days ago. Maybe they are now.
Here’s a link to Lufthansas take on all of this
Lufthansa CEO: Govt Ash Decision Didn’t Reflect Reality
Experts predicting decades of Icelandic fireworks is a good sign but we’ll really know the eruptions are about to end when Al Gore says they will continue for years.
Looks like a return to Atlantic steamship travel is coming up.
How will it affect the weather?
I just wanted to say, Windflier, that I’ve really enjoyed reading your informative posts on these volcano threads. I’ve learned a lot, and I appreciate it, FRiend. :)
“well really know the eruptions are about to end when Al Gore says they will continue for years.”
Why don’t we throw a virgin or two in that thing?
Better yet, let’s use a bunch of dimocrats and throw them in there!