Tuesday, 24 May 2011

New Volcano Pictures!

As you have probably guessed, I do love a good volcano photo, and before I start blogging about the purely academic and revision based, here is a brief Photo essay of pinched images of the current Grimsvotn Eruption.

A very dramatic skyline, volcanic eruptions produce sulphur and ash which refract the sunlight creating some truly spectacular sunsets. To place the eruption in a wider atmospheric context, here is a satellite image of the UK and Iceland, as you will all know, this eruption is likely to be nowhere near as disruptive as the last one from E15, as the current weather system is a depression, it should move off to the North East, which will blow ash away from us.

Sometimes, the eruptions produce these rather lovely cloud formations:

In terms of political Impacts, Obama flew to London a day early to avoid the potential ash chaos:

The Ash is also less likely to cause disruption die to the new Met Office/Aviation rulings on ash in jet engines, which is now 20 times the original level, and a limit of 4000 micrograms per second. 

And a good picture of an Icelandic Dirty Thunderstorm:

Pretty cool, or actually scorching hot, but a very special sight! A lot of you have asked me today why it is that the last year has seen so many Icelandic eruptions, the answer is not too simple, the last 20 years have been unusually quiet, and with the added complication of the volcano/Ice melt feedback cycle (Ice sheets decay faster, less pressure on Magma chambers, therefore the magma chamber has "space" fills with magma, especially in the spring, and is likely to lead to more high latitude eruptions, which for those of you following this, may kick us back into a cold period due to reflection of UV in the upper atmosphere. Perfect negative feedback)

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