Northern Europe’s air traffic is at a near-total standstill after windblown ash from Iceland’s EyjafjallajÃ¶kull volcano spread across Scandinavia and the north of the U.K. While posing little environmental threat in the long term, this silica-rich ash could melt into liquid glass inside aircraft engines, clogging and even stopping them in mid-air.
Pity the U.K’s commercial airline services, set to lose tens of millions a day while disruptions last and if EyjafjallajÃ¶kull repeats its performance of 1821, that could be a very long time indeed.
“We are volcanoes. When we women offer our experience as our truth, as human truth, all the maps change. There are new mountains.” – Ursula K. Le Guin
“Don’t dance on a volcano” – French Proverb
“How do volcanoes affect world climate?” – Karen Harpp, Scientific American
“Harness volcano power, energy experts say” – Daily Telegraph
“Erupting Volcanoes From Earth As Seen From Space” – Betsy Mason, Wired
Editor’s note: Join us every Friday for our environmental photo essay with Mike Sowden.