Pardon me, I just HAD to share this.

planes-vs-volcanoes.jpg

Crunchy nugget for thought: That erupting volcano in Iceland may represent a headache for travellers, a hardship for flight crews, and a profit loss for airlines. But it’s also an unexpected, if temporary, boon as far as global warming goes.

If we want to become less dependent on fossil fuels, I’d say spending less time up in the air is a good place to start.

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7 Responses to Pardon me, I just HAD to share this.

  1. Martin Veart says:

    Can you confirm your figures for the aviation industry please? Is that output daily, weekly or what?
    I can see that the diagram has a link but I’m not able to see it clearly.
    (Yes, I do think that there is a large man-made conponent to climate change. I am also a geologist.)
    Cheers!

  2. Jim Hadstate says:

    Yeah, ‘Bina, as a former airline pilot, I’m glad the EU took the precaution of shutting down their airports to stop the flying. A BA 747 was enroute to Perth from London with a stop in Delhi, I think. Anyway, as they were crossing the Indonesian chain, they ran into this funny looking cloud (their words). Turns out it was volcanic ash for a volcano in the Indonesian chain. All 4 engines quit and they became a 400 ton glider. Very calmly (as only the British can be) they ask Jakarta Control for a vector towards Jakarta and explained their problem. Jakarta cleared all the airspace around them. The crew kept trying to restart ANY of the engines and finally, somewhere below 15,000 ft. (they had been at 39,000 ft.) they finally got one engine running. Soon, they got another stared. Finally, they got a third started, but it would only develop 50% power. They limped into Jakarta and discovered that the ash was full of silica that melted in the burner cans of the jet engine then cooled and solidified in the after part of the engine, mucking up the airflow in the engine. That’s why the EU is now so cautious about letting anyone fly into this ash. The much reduced CO2 is a splendid side effect. Maybe the jet engine makers will now have an incentive to make their engines more environmentally friendly. And Volcano friendly too, wouldn’t hurt.

  3. Martin, the info came from here:
    http://www.informationisbeautiful.net/2010/planes-or-volcano/
    I suspect their comments section might be more informative than mine.
    And Jim, the entire Indonesian chain is volcanic poop–literally. Those islands were built by volcanoes. Volcanic ash in particular. The soil is lovely and fertile, great for all kinds of food crops, but it comes at a price, as the Aceh disaster made painfully clear–earthquakes, volcanic eruptions, and in the coastal regions, devastating tsunamis. The Pacific plate subduction zone is right offshore, so it’s one of the spewiest spots anywhere. Krakatoa and Tambora both lie in the chain, and are notorious ash-kickers. (And yeah, I got a kick out of writing that.)
    Galunggung was a particularly notorious one from the chain that I remember from high school…fouled the engines of a 747, like you said.
    And yeah, wouldn’t it be great if someone discovered a means of flight that didn’t create so much exhaust pollution. Maybe it’s time to revisit the good ol’ blimp!

  4. Anthony says:

    Personally, I think this is a unique window of opportunity to improve such means of travel like railways and ferries. I recall a fast-rail connection between Madrid and Barcelona greatly reducing the need for air commutes between the cities. Who knows, this mass grounding of airplanes all across Europe might inspire improving railways all across this fragile planet.
    Myself, I’ll only take the plane when travelling long-haul. *cough*japan*cough* 🙂

  5. Anthony, good to see you back. Hope the computer’s feeling better. 🙂
    And yeah, I’m all for trains. The more the better. Anything to get cars off the road and make people less reliant on jets (which should be for cross-oceanic travel only, IMO). In a country the size of Canada, everything should be connected by railroads, but currently, only a small fraction of it is. I’m disgusted at the laziness of our feds; the smell of oil coming from their pockets is waaayyyy too strong for my liking.

  6. Anthony says:

    Actually, I’m writing from my PSP (PlayStation Portable), which can connect to the Internet aswell. It doesn’t come with a keyboard, so typing takes way more time than usual. xD
    And yes, my laptop still had problems, so I sent it back to the repair shop. At least I was able to backup all my stuff.

  7. Always a good idea.
    Which reminds me, I should let my Time Machine do another backup, I think I’m overdue and my novel draft is nearing completion…

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