Warning - Some posts may cause choking, spitting of beverage and /or a severe giggle fit. This advice brought to you by regular reader Louisa.

Sunday, 9 May 2010

Don't Blow Your Top!

Day four of requests (which I'm thinking about extending to a full week rather than five days, by the way), and today's topic was suggested by my good HPANA buddy, Auriga. I'm going to immediately warn you that I have no idea what I'm going to end up typing here, because the subject that was given to me was the recent events concerning the Eyjafjallajokull volcano in Iceland  (I had to copy and paste that one, I can't say it, never mind spell it).

I've visited the mostly trusty Wikipedia and read up on a few things, but seeing as Wiki tends to use lots of big words that, like the Eyja -thingy volcano, I can neither pronounce or spell (nor understand for that matter), I think I can safely say that what you won't be getting today is a clear and concise blog post. But honestly, that rarely happens anyway, so I'm not overly worried.

Apparently, the Volcano Now To Be Called 'Eyja' To Avoid Further Typos, while causing localized problems for the inhabitants of Iceland, has done little more than cause a few hiccups for several airlines. The cloud of ash that is still being emitted from Unpronounceable Eyja is spreading across international airspace and causing highly inconvenient interruptions and cancellations to flight traffic. I say 'little more' because although the media is rushing to report these delays and giving doomy predictions of dire consequences, nothing terribly bad has actually happened yet.

I mean, yes, the effects on importing and exporting, if affected in the long term, will cause all sorts of economic problems, but it's hard to get worked up about it when so far all it has done (for me) is cause a slight delay in receiving the goods I have ordered on eBay. That may sound like I'm being incredibly dim, or perhaps burying my head in the sand, but living in a world where we keep hearing all sorts of reports of a Serious Nature, but rarely have to deal with them coming to pass, maybe you can see what I'm getting at.

Remember the panic of 1999? The whole world was in chaos as we counted down to the new millennium. Employment from the End Of The World Is Nigh placard company surely sky-rocketed, and the media was in competition for the Who Can Report On The Millennium Bug Most Often trophy. Doomy people everywhere were convinced that at the stroke of midnight, the world would spontaneously combust, or something equally catastrophic. And what happened? Well, apart from a few computer glitches, pretty much nothing. Very anti-climatic. Not that I wanted the world to spontaneously combust, you understand, but a few bells and whistles here and there might have been nice.

Of course, the threat from the Eyja volcano is based on scientific studies and what-not, so the warnings carry a little more weight. The most concern seems to be about Eyja's bigger (and easier to spell ) sister, Katla. Apparently, Katla has some serious activity every 80 years or so, and is over a decade overdue for another seismic event ( does anyone else see innuendo in that sentence?). Another apparently, is that the last three times Katla has exploded, it has been following an eruption from Eyja. Oh dear.

You see, Katla is Eyja's evil big sister, and an eruption from her could be about ten times as catastrophic when compared to her younger sibling. Wiki informed me that while not technically classed as a 'Supervolcano' (so no blue lycra or a red cape on this baby), Katla has the potential to cause all sorts of bad things when she erupts. Of course, they don't have any idea of when she will erupt, only that she will at some point. They also don't know how serious an eruption it will be, but are dutifully reporting the worst case scenario so that the world will be prepared.

The scary thing is, a huge eruption from Katla has the potential to drop the climate worldwide (don't know how this works, the techy stuff went over my head). Apparently (my fave word of the day, apparently *snort*), it was an eruption from a supervolcano that caused the extinction of the dinosaurs. *nods* So, the impression I am getting from all these doomy and gloomy possible scenarios, is that if and when Katla has a seismic episode, it could potentially cause the planet to slip into another Ice Age. On a scale of one to ten on the Worldwide Panic Scale, that's definitely at the higher end.

So what does this mean for us? That was the question Auriga posed when she suggested today's blog topic. Well, to be honest, I don't really know. I mean,  I'm slightly more clued up than I was yesterday, but I'm still largely befuddled by the whole thing. In the simplest of terms, if Eyja continues to spew up tons of ash, it will continue to disrupt airline traffic in the foreseeable future, which will have a knock on effect on world trade and the general economy. This is bad, no question, but quite likely the least of our problems if big sister Katla decides to follow in her sibling's footsteps. If Katla starts erupting, we are quite possibly doomed. Doomed, I say, doomed.

Unless you work for the media, that is, because if you do, you will have a field day.

Next request?


  1. the world's ending??
    *dies* omg *runs away scared*
    anyway if you don't have a topic what about mojos???

  2. Tara, it's Amy from HPANA!

    I've been silently reading for awhile, and finally decided to comment.

    You should have added 2012 into this whole mix of doom-and-gloom. My brother is one of the diehard believers that the world is ending, but I personally feel that it's been blown out of proportion by the media, same way Y2K was.

  3. Ana - Yay! I don't have ANY problem with blogging about mojos.... no research required. *snort*

    Amy - glad you've let me know you're reading - thanks! I was going to delve into the 2012 thing, but that would have required some serious research, and I can only withstand a certain amount of wikipedia in one sitting. I'm not the biggest fan of research, I'm too lazy to do it. *shifty* Thanks for stopping by!

  4. Fun fact - Katla is also the name of the monster-meets-dragon-meets-dinosaur in the brilliant Astrid Lindgren's "Brödrarna Leonhjärta" (The Brothers Lionheart). What to learn from this? If you ever need a name for a monster-metts-dragon-meets-dinosaur in a book, try Eyja!