Worse than Bjork

This volcanic eruption disproves global warming. I’m not sure how yet, but I’ve got the Corner on my RSS reader so I should find out soon enough.

Update. Holy shit, the Corner started making Al Gore jokes about this hours ago.






64 replies
  1. 1
    pharniel says:

    Sadnees and sympathy to everyone trying to airtravel today.

  2. 2

    Yeah, it looks pretty brutal. Good luck to Europe with this. It’s gonna be hell to clean up, methinks (if that’s even possible).

    Selfishly, this is just restricted to Europe, yes? I’m flying to North Carolina in a few hours, so I should be safe, right?

  3. 3
    beltane says:

    My mother-in-law flew to Amsterdam yesterday. Since we haven’t heard from her yet, I’m assuming she got there OK.

    Why are the wingtards mocking Al Gore over a volcanic eruption? Do they think he blamed global warming for volcanoes? If so, they are more stupid than previously thought.

  4. 4
    Mnemosyne says:

    The “Year Without a Summer” of 1816 was caused by a volcanic eruption in Indonesia but affected weather and crops in northern Europe and Canada.

    So this could have much more far-reaching effects than air travel.

  5. 5
    Quaker in a Basement says:

    I’m at a complete loss trying to understand the Corner’s Al Gore joke. The best I can make of it is that a guy in European air traffic control compared the ash cloud to other weather events and that somehow means Al Gore is Fat.

  6. 6
    Sinister eyebrow says:

    @asiangrrlMN: The weather in North Carolina is currently sunny, clear and quite pleasant. Even the pine trees have given us a break on the whole pollen storm thing.

  7. 7
    dmsilev says:

    Let me guess, “Al Gore is so fat, he ruptures the Earth’s crust, causing volcanos”. No?

    Edit: OK, I looked. My joke was funnier, and yes that is clearing a very very low bar.

    dms

  8. 8
    David in NY says:

    @Mnemosyne:

    If this were of that scale of the 1816 eruptions, I think there would be no more Iceland.

  9. 9
    "Fair and Balanced" Dave says:

    I’m at a complete loss trying to understand the Corner’s Al Gore joke. The best I can make of it is that a guy in European air traffic control compared the ash cloud to other weather events and that somehow means Al Gore is Fat.

    “Conservative humor” is an oxymoron (or is that “oxymoran“?)

  10. 10
    PaulW says:

    Let’s just remember one thing: Al Gore is always wrong. And greedy. And fat. And stoooopid. And a loser.

    This has been your “Republicans Are Assholes” moment. We now return you to your regularly scheduled planetary demolition.

    …by the by, we’ve had all these earthquakes everywhere, I mean Haiti, Chile, China, couple of other places. I’ve never remembered a time when there were so many quakes back-to-back like this. Now we’ve got this massive Icelandic eruption going on. Is there something afoot with our plate tetonics we need to worry aboot?

  11. 11
    Bill E Pilgrim says:

    @asiangrrlMN: You’ll be fine, AG, it’s a million miles away.

    Have a good trip.

  12. 12
    comrade scott's agenda of rage says:

    WTF can afford to go to Europe anymore? Even with the euro’s slight fall against the dollar lira over the last couple of months, Bushie and crew made damn sure none of us would fly to the Eurozone ever again.

  13. 13
    Moonbatting Average says:

    @Quaker in a Basement: They’re referencing that time Gore claimed to have invented Plate Tectonics

  14. 14
    RSA says:

    That’s the weather for you. Completely unknowable.

    I wonder why Cornerites never make this argument about the economy?

  15. 15
    Calouste says:

    @Mnemosyne:

    That eruption in 1816 was really massive. In the visitors centre at Mt St Helens, they have a comparative display with ash clouds from various eruptions, including that 1816 one and Mt St Helens in 1980. Mt St Helens generated a lot of ash (darkness at noon, inches of ash falling down over most of Washington state and Idaho and into Nebraska), but the cloud for Mt St Helens in the display is absolutely puny compared to the 1816 eruption.

  16. 16

    […] is astounded: Holy shit, the Corner started making Al Gore jokes about this hours […]

  17. 17

    @Bill E Pilgrim: I know that intellectually. Thanks.

    @Sinister eyebrow: When you say pleasant, you mean…?

  18. 18

    There’s a sneaky side-bit of “I hope scientists are using this to get real data on blocking gases.”

    slap — scientists.
    slap — real data.
    slap — anthropogenic sources.

  19. 19
    jl says:

    OK, that does it. No one is that crazy/dumb. This is proof that the whole NRO operation is a DougJ spoof.

    DougJ needs to quit it, because a lot of people do not realize it is a joke.

  20. 20
    comrade scott's agenda of rage says:

    @PaulW:

    Is there something afoot with our plate tetonics we need to worry aboot?

    I think it’s either an Al Qaida plot or the Rapture is nigh.

    Or to put it in a Chinese dynastic context, it could be a sign that we (hooomans) have lost the Mandate of Heaven and the gods are prepping for a change.

    It’s kinda like the Rapture now that I think about it.

    When the New Madrid fault lets fly with a big one (which will level Memphis so make your pilgrimage to Graceland before it’s too late), I’ll definitely know something’s up.

    I’m sure dinosaurs had this exact same kind of conversation right before they went extinct.

  21. 21
    MikeJ says:

    The denialists have been saying that increases in atmospheric co2 is due to volcanoes, not humans. Therefore, if a volcano erupts, humans don’t emit co2.

  22. 22
    PeakVT says:

    So this could have much more far-reaching effects than air travel.

    So far this is a very minor eruption – much smaller than Mount St. Helens. To affect more than travel, the current eruption would have to expand to the size of the 1783 eruption of Laki, which was the last time an Icelandic volcano affected a large area.

  23. 23
    tatertot says:

    I am heartbroken – you have slandered Bjork, who I worship. Good outcome of Icelandic volcano dust: really good sunsets for a few months. Plus it’s been really nice here, in the w. of Scotland, to have a sunny, beautiful day with NO airplane trails littering the sky.

  24. 24
    Calouste says:

    @PaulW:

    There are not statistically many more quakes, but the ones that have been have been near populated areas and thus make more headlines.

    Last year for example there was a 7.8 earthquake in a basically uninhabited part of New Zealand. No casualties, no injuries and very minor property damage. That might not have even made the news at all.

  25. 25
    comrade scott's agenda of rage says:

    Plus it’s been really nice here, in the w. of Scotland, to have a sunny, beautiful day with NO airplane trails littering the sky.

    Sunny day? In the British Isles?

    That happens what, once or twice a year?

  26. 26
    t jasper parnell says:

    @Quaker in a Basement: I couldn’t figure it out either; I think that at this point Gore + ? = Joke for the right.

  27. 27

    The Guardian has some nice maps of wind patterns, and therefore ash fall patterns.

    This whole volcano eruption thing is fascinating. It reminds me that we are all just little animals perched on a rock.

  28. 28
    djork says:

    What’s so bad about me?

    Oh, B-Jork.

    I rescind my question. Please no one answer it.

  29. 29
    Ash Wing League says:

    I must know:
    (a) Is Al Gore fat?
    (b) Does he own a large home?
    (c) Does he own a large home because he’s fat?

  30. 30
    FormerSwingVoter says:

    @djork:

    What’s so bad about me?

    Do you want that list sorted alphabetically, or what?

  31. 31
    tamied says:

    There is nothing that makes you feel like a tiny bug more than going to Mt. St. Helen’s, standing on Johnston Ridge and realizing the mountain is still five miles away. It took seconds for that hot ash to make it that distance and incinerate poor David. 25 years later, it’s still an awesome sight. Volcanos are fascinating.

  32. 32
    David in NY says:

    Yeah, lucky that that Icelandic volcanic explosion was not on the scale of the 1815 explosion at Mount Tambora:

    Before the explosion, Mount Tambora was approximately 4,300 metres (14,100 ft) high,[2] one of the tallest peaks in the Indonesian archipelago. After the explosion, it now measures only 2,851 metres (9,354 ft).[19]

    Wikipedia.

    That’s a mile of mountain that got blown into the air in 1815.

  33. 33
    LD50 says:

    @Quaker in a Basement:

    I’m at a complete loss trying to understand the Corner’s Al Gore joke.

    I think the wingnuts’ policy is, every time the weather is mentioned in any way, make fun of Al Gore. You’re supposed to then make a joke about Gore ‘inventing the internet’, not ask ‘how the fuck do volcanoes disprove global warming?’

  34. 34
    Cerberus says:

    Okay, I love Icelandic people.

    Read this article.

    Apparently, a volcano explodes right on their doorstop and it’s basically, “meh”, and “shame about the flights being cancelled”.

    Fuckers are crazy. Here’s a sample.

    “Things like this don’t get people really worked up in Iceland,” said Louise Harrison, who emigrated to Iceland from Alberta some 25 years ago.

  35. 35
    Gozer says:

    That’s the weather for you. Completely unknowable.

    Argh! It’s not weather, it’s a geological event and in any case global warming is not about “weather” it’s about climate change.

    /rant

    These fuckers make me want to punch babies.

  36. 36
    LD50 says:

    @David in NY: And the global cooling that followed for a few years after Tambora is still more proof of Al Gore’s fatness.

  37. 37
    jibeaux says:

    @asiangrrlMN:

    Welcome!

  38. 38
    David in NY says:

    @comrade scott’s agenda of rage:

    When the New Madrid fault lets fly with a big one (which will level Memphis so make your pilgrimage to Graceland before it’s too late), I’ll definitely know something’s up.

    Is there really a fault there, right in the middle of N. America? Or what? I know there was a big event there in mid-19thC, but wasn’t sure there was an explanation for it.

  39. 39
    lost in GA says:

    Umm . . . I hope the title to the post was meant to be sarcastic, because, frankly, the wife and I love Bjork. Point taken either way. Good post.

  40. 40
    comrade scott's agenda of rage says:

    Is there really a fault there, right in the middle of N. America? Or what? I know there was a big event there in mid-19thC, but wasn’t sure there was an explanation for it.

    It’s not a fault in the sense that most people understand faults, ie., two plates colliding/rubbingtogther/slidingonewayortheother.

    It’s more of a “thinness” in the crust in that area. As the overall plate moves, it changes the stresses or load or wtf geologists call it which is felt in the thin spots in the plate, ie., around New Madrid.

    Wikipedia does a good job with this in the “Geology” section of the following link:

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/N.....ismic_Zone

  41. 41

    @jibeaux: That’s where you’re at? Cool! I am off now. If you don’t hear from me this weekend, get the bail money ready! I intend to kick up my heels in a big way.

  42. 42
    Cris says:

    So are we going to get to hear news anchors pronounce “Eyjafjallajokull” today?

  43. 43
    Sinister eyebrow says:

    @asiangrrlMN: Sunny, calm, 75 degrees in Raleigh. Asheville and Wilmington I’m not so sure about, but it is a nice day outside my window.

  44. 44
    Comrade Mary says:

    Yes, there’s really a fault there. EDIT: OK, technically a “thinness”. I stand corrected.

    THE HIGHEST EARTHQUAKE RISK in the UNITED STATES outside the West Coast is along the New Madrid Fault. Damaging tremors are not as frequent as in California, but when they occur, the destruction covers over more than 20 times the area because of underlying geology.
    __
    A DAMAGING EARTHQUAKE in this AREA, 6.0 or greater, occur about every 80 years (the last one in 1895). The results would cause serious damage to schools and masonry buildings from Memphis to St Louis.
    __
    A MAJOR EARTHQUAKE in this AREA, 7.5 or greater, happens every 200- 300 years (the last one in 1812). There is a 25% chance by 2040. A New Madrid Fault rupture this size would be felt throughout half the United States and damage 20 states or more. Missouri alone could anticipate losses of at least $6 billion from such an event.
    __
    THE GREAT NEW MADRID EARTHQUAKE OF 1811-1812 was actually a series of over 2000 shocks in five months, five of which were 8.0 or more in magnitude. Eighteen of these rang church bells on the Eastern seaboard. The very land itself was destroyed in the Missouri Bootheel, making it unfit even for farmers for many years. It was the largest burst of seismic energy east of the Rocky Mountains in the history of the United States and was several times larger than the San Francisco quake of 1906.
    __
    WHEN WILL ANOTHER EARTHQUAKE HAPPEN THE SIZE OF THOSE IN 1811-1812? Several lines of research suggest that the catastrophic upheavals like those in 1811-12 visit the New Madrid region every 500-600 years. Hence, emergency planners, engineers, and seismologists do not expect a repeat of the intensity of the 1811-12 series for at least 100 years or more. However, even though the chance is remote, experts assign a 3% probability of a major earthquake by the year 2040. Earthquake probabilities for known active faults always increase with time, because stresses within the earth slowly and inexorably mount, year by year, until the rocks can take no more, and sudden rupture becomes inevitable.
    __
    OUR GREATEST CONCERNS ARE THE 6.0-7.6 SIZED EVENTS, which do have significant probabilities in the near future. A 6.0 shock has a 90% chance by the year 2040. Damaging earthquakes of this magnitude are a virtual certainly within the lifetimes of our children.

    But the prospect of Yellowstone going kerblooie is much scarier.

  45. 45

    @David in NY: Yes, indeed. There is a New Madrid fault. Memphis and north [I don’t remember how far it stretches]. If it were to let loose, it would punch a hole in the continental US.

  46. 46
    JL says:

    That’s the weather for you. Completely unknowable.

    Does Denis Boyles really believe that volcanic ash is weather? Or does he just believe his readers do?

  47. 47
    Paul L. says:

    Someone has forgot Al Gore in addition to being a premier Climate Scientist is also a Geologist.
    Al Gore: Earth’s Core At “Several Million Degrees”

  48. 48
    maus says:

    @Gozer:

    Argh! It’s not weather, it’s a geological event and in any case global warming is not about “weather” it’s about climate change. /rant These fuckers make me want to punch babies.

    “What are you, some kinda Scientologist? All I know is that Al Gore is fat and it’s cold where I am, therefore global warming is a lie.”

  49. 49
    Jason In the Peg says:

    I’m supposed to go to Iceland in June. Hope the flights are still going.

  50. 50
    bemused says:

    @Cerberus:
    I’ve been there once & would love to visit again. It is a strangely eerie and starkly beautiful place.
    They take their elves living there very seriously. Icelanders who can see elves are consulted by the highway dept when making new roads or rerouting them so they do not go through an elf community.

  51. 51
    David in NY says:

    @comrade scott’s agenda of rage: @Comrade Mary: @Linda Featheringill:

    Thanks to all the New Madrid faultists for the information.

    By the way, though I’ve never lived South of 40° latitude, I happen to know that one pronounces that “New Madrid”, or at least that’s what the guy driving a convertible and drinking Thunderbird told me at 8 a.m. after he picked me up hitchiking down to New Orleans in about 1971. Good times.

  52. 52

    As folks have said, wingtards confuse random short-term weather with long-term averages that climatology studies. They also confuse CO2 emissions from volcanoes with those from fossil fuels, even though the carbon isotopes make it possible to distinguish them.

    #47 Paul – yes, Gore misspoke once in a live interview and said several million when he should’ve said several thousand degrees. If he had a pattern of doing this like those on the denialist side who “misspeak” in ways that help their cause, that would be important. But this isn’t even a factual error that helps his argument. In other words, give it a break.

  53. 53
    Elizabelle says:

    What drives me nuts is that yesterday’s NYTimes story on the whinging of “well-educated” tea partiers arrived with an email alert, whereas this one did not.

    From their own story (and hey, this sounds like big news to me):

    “The shutdown, among the most sweeping ever ordered in peacetime, forced the cancellation of thousands of flights and left airplanes stranded on the tarmac at some of the world’s busiest airports…

    Deborah Seymour, a spokeswoman for Britain’s National Air Traffic Service, said the closure of the country’s airspace was the most extensive in recent memory. “It’s an extremely rare occurrence,” she said, noting that British airspace remained open even after the September 2001 terrorist attacks in the United States, except for a zone over central London…”

  54. 54
    David in NY says:

    @Paul L.:

    Paul. Since your link shows that Gore was summarizing part of his book when he said “million degrees,” it might be fair to look at what his book says to see if he really does know what he’s talking about. But, of course, some people are just not interested in fair.

  55. 55
    R-Jud says:

    I live not too far off the BHX flight path. Didn’t realize how much noise planes add to our daily lives until they all stopped flying today.

    We were thinking of flying to Spain this weekend. Glad we didn’t get around to booking the tickets.

  56. 56
    Peter J says:

    When Katla erupted in 1755, it blew like a torch into the glacier above, releasing a hellish torrent of instantly melted water, equal, in one estimation, to the combined outflows of the Amazon, Mississippi, Nile and Yangtze rivers. Everything that lay between Katla and the sea was erased at a stroke. Feel the magic, indeed.

    “Eyjafjalla has blown three times in the past thousand years,” says Dave McGarvie, a volcanologist at Britain’s Open University – “in 920, 1612 and [around] 1823. Each time, it set off Katla.”

    “Katla … is a vicious volcano that could cause both local and global damage,” adds Pall Einarsson, a geophysicist at the University of Iceland – global, because an eruption from Katla could trigger widespread cooling.

    “When volcanic ash reaches the stratosphere, it remains for a long time,” Gary Hufford, a scientist at the U.S. National Weather Service, told a newspaper. “The ash becomes a very effective block of the incoming solar radiation, thus cooling the atmosphere’s temperatures.”

    When Katla went off in the 1700s, he said, the U.S. suffered a winter so cold that the Mississippi River froze as far south as New Orleans.

    I guess there’s a joke about Al Gore being fat in there somewhere…

  57. 57
    bjacques says:

    Meanwhile vulcanologists are nervously watching for activity on nearby Asdfgdsf, Cynollo and Qwertyuiop.

    The runway lights are going out all over Europe.

  58. 58
    lou says:

    The denialists have been saying that increases in atmospheric co2 is due to volcanoes, not humans. Therefore, if a volcano erupts, humans don’t emit co2.

    My memory is rusty on this since I learned it in high school eons ago but I thought major volcano eruptions caused cooling, not warming? Wasn’t the year after that volcano erupted one of the coldest in the last 200 years? I seem to remember that the particles block the sun, or some such.

    Of course, if this eruption does cause cooling, do expect Al Gore jokes from the denialists.

  59. 59
    mclaren says:

    The AGW deniers are fanatical crackpots — unfortunately, they seem to include a lot of smart well-educated people. If you check blogs like the fabius maximus blog, you’ll find that people who otherwise have a solid grasp of reality and who make insightful points about every other aspect of geopolitics suddenly start gibbering crazy drivel when the subject turns to global warming.

    It’s bizarre and disheartening. And you can’t argue with these people. Cite the scientific references and they sneer, “You’re just giving a reading list, that’s nothing new.” Point out new record temperatures worldwide and they giggle, “Now you’re confusing weather with climate.” Point out the historical record of rising temperatures and they jeer, “The historical data are patchy.” Cite the chemistry and thermophysics of CO2 buildup in the earth’s atmosphere and they dismiss the entire subject with irrelevant digressions about “inaccuracies in the current climate models” and nonsense about “not accounting for the albedo” and so forth.

    It’s like trying to argue with a flat-earther. No matter how much evidence you produce for AGW, it’s never enough. No matter how many different fields produce supporting evidence that converges on the conclusion that AGW is real, they dismiss it all by sneering about “unknown aspects of the current models” and nonsense involving the sunspot cycle (all long since debunked, but they either don’t know, or don’t care).

  60. 60
    Polar Bear Squares says:

    Wow.

    If they are anything they are predictable.

  61. 61
    Just ME in T says:

    Lives being saved thru NOT flying right now…. could impact the weather for some time to come.

    Is it any wonder then that because of the billowing plumes of ash coming from the Eyjafjallajokull glacier near Reykjavík, Iceland, hundreds of thousands of passengers now find themselves ‘fortunately’ grounded?

    http://just-me-in-t.blogspot.c.....cloud.html

  62. 62

    The “This volcanic eruption disproves global warming” folks have it backwards. There is a theory that global warming causes more volcanic eruptions and earthquakes.

    * “Ice cap thaw may awaken Icelandic volcanoes”, Reuters, 16 April 2010

    * “Will present day glacier retreat increase volcanic activity?”, Carolina Pagli and Freysteinn Sigmundsson, Geophysical Research Letters, 7 May 2008 — “Stress induced by recent glacier retreat and its effect on magmatism at the Vatnajokull ice cap, Iceland”

    * “Melting ice caps may trigger more volcanic eruptions”, New Scientist, 3 April 2008 — Article about the above study.

    * “Retreating Glaciers Spur Alaskan Earthquakes”, NASA, 2 August 2004

    A post at the FM website provides links and excerpts for these.

    As for mclaren (#59): Keep trying! Eventually you’ll get something right on this subject.

  63. 63

    The “This volcanic eruption disproves global warming” folks have it backwards. There is a theory that global warming causes more volcanic eruptions and earthquakes.

    Ice cap thaw may awaken Icelandic volcanoes“, Reuters, 16 April 2010
    Will present day glacier retreat increase volcanic activity?“, Carolina Pagli and Freysteinn Sigmundsson, Geophysical Research Letters, 7 May 2008 — “Stress induced by recent glacier retreat and its effect on magmatism at the Vatnajokull ice cap, Iceland”
    Melting ice caps may trigger more volcanic eruptions“, New Scientist, 3 April 2008 — Article about the above study.
    Retreating Glaciers Spur Alaskan Earthquakes“, NASA, 2 August 2004

    We see the two sides of the layperson’s climate science debate, looking at this comment and Mclaren’s (#59). Data vs name-calling. This is a more important division than that between the pro- and con- AGW camps. Which most strongly influences public opinion? Much depends on the result.

  64. 64

    Please delete comment #62. It is a dupe of #63, sent in error. I used the delete button, but it didn’t work.

    Thanks!

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