Thursday, 15 April 2010

So is that the end of summer then?

Iceland has been hit with two volcanic eruptions in a month. “Big whoop” I here you say, “I’m not in Iceland, so I don’t care”. But when I heard about this on the news this morning I was worried that it could turn out to be really bad. Already, as well as causing hundreds of Icelanders with names like Magnusson to flee their homes in terror it has started messing things up for the rest of the world.

Huge numbers of Flights to the UK have been grounded because jet planes don’t like having their engines packed full of volcanic ash. AS well as shutting all the airports in Scotland, anybody wanting to take flights to Manchester, Birmingham, Liverpool or Newcastle is having to rethink their plans. Even flights to London heading into Stansted have been hit.

No-one seems to know how long this volcanic no-fly zone will be in effect, or if it is going to get worse. The thing I am worried about is not flying though. Did you ever hear about ‘the year without a summer’? It’s pretty messed up.

In 1815 Mount Tambora (a dirty great volcano) erupted. It spewed ash and debris into the sky enthusiastically. In 1816, across the world, there was no summer. All that ash and muck made the skies dark. Crops failed, there was rioting and starvation. It was during that summer that never came that Mary Shelley wrote ‘Frankenstein’ because she was stuck inside on holiday by Lake Geneva.

So the weather has just started to get nice after that pig of a winter, is going to go all dark and rubbish for the next 12 months? I hope not. To be fair what happened in 1816 was because of a much bigger eruption, but after two in a month maybe there are more on the way. Could be worse though I suppose, they reckon that the Lake Toba supereruption reduced the population OF THE ENTIRE PLANET to less than ten thousand. Very long time ago that, though.

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