Similar Questions for How did Eyjafjallajokull Erupt In 2010 from Yahoo AnswersQuestionAnswer
Primary: The fact that I haven't thought about that since the World Cup started.
Secondary: We can all still YouTube news anchors mispronouncing "Eyjafjallajokull"!
On 23rd May 2010, the London Volcanic Ash Advisory Commission declared the eruption to have stopped, but are continuing to monitor the volcano. The volcano continues to have several earthquakes daily, with Volcanologists watching the volcano closely.
Katla has not displayed any unusual activity (such as expansion of the crust or seismic activity) during the 2010 eruptions of Eyjafjallajökull, though geologists have been concerned about the general instability of the larger volcano since 1999. Some geophysicists in Iceland believe that the Eyjafjallajökull eruption may trigger an eruption of Katla, which would cause major flooding due to melting of glacial ice and send up massive plumes of ash. On 20 April 2010 Icelandic President Ólafur Grímsson said "the time for Katla to erupt is coming close...we [Iceland] have prepared...it is high time for European governments and airline authorities all over the world to start planning for the eventual Katla eruption".
As of June 2010, Volcanologists are continuing to monitor Katla, aware that any eruption from Katla following an eruption from Eyjafjallajökull has historically occured within months of an Eyjafjallajökull eruption. The Icelandic Meteorological Office updates it website with reports of quakes both at Eyjafjallajökull and Katla.
I think flying would be fine....for now. ;)
The Icelandic volcano is under the Eyjafjallajokull glacier, much of the material which is being injected into the atmosphere is nothing more than steam caused by the melting of glacial ice. The remainder, approx 50 million tons, is largely rock and silica particles. It's the silica that was causing problems for air traffic.
Volcanic eruptions produce many chemicals and one of these is sulphur dioxide (SO2). This is a reflective molecule and prevents incoming solar radiation from reaching the Earth's surface. Think of each molecule as a minute mirror reflecting the sunlight back into space before it reaches us. The more SO2 erupted from a volcano the greater the cooling effect will be. The amount of SO2 coming from Eyjafjallajokull is relatively small and thus there is negligible cooling.
The eruption is also producing black particulate matter that is entering the atmosphere, this absorbs incoming solar radiation and is a second contributor to cooling. Again, the quantities are insufficient to have any noticeable effect.
BMP is dissipated out of the atmosphere within days so it's effect is not only small but very short lived. SO2 remains in the atmosphere for 1 to 2 years and undergoes a three stage chemical reaction, the byproducts of which are sulphuric and nitric acid (acid rain). Both these acids are also reflective.
The last time we witnessed significant cooling as a result of volcanic activity was from 1991 to 1993 following the massive eruption of Mount Pinatubo. Unlike Eyjafjallajokull this volcano did inject massive quantities of SO2 into the atmosphere and the result was an average fall in global temperatures of 0.6°C with the peak decline occurring in the summer of 1992. An even bigger eruption occurred in 1815 when Tambora erupted, the following year became known as 'the year without a summer'.
Additionally, the equatorial locations of Pinatubo and Tambora meant there was an enhanced contribution to cooling, the Arctic location of Eyjafjallajokull ensures that what little cooling effect will occur will be further diminished.
2010 is an ENSO year (El Nino Southern Oscillation) which causes a slight rise in the average global temperature, this oscillation will more than compensate for the slight cooling caused by the Icelandic volcano.