Two volcanoes are erupting right now: What you need to know

Eruptions in Iceland and Papau New Guinea have captured the world's attention VIDEO

Topics: Video, Volcano, Iceland, Air Travel, Climate Change, ,

Two volcanoes are erupting right now: What you need to knowSmoke billows from Mt. Tavurvu after an eruption in Kokopo, east New Britain, Papua New Guinea, Friday, Aug. 29, 2014. (Credit: AP Photo/Jason Tassell)

Good morning! As you’re going about your pre-Labor Day Friday, not one but two volcanoes are in the process of erupting.

In Iceland, we have the long-anticipated Bárðarbunga eruption, which began Thursday night in the form of a “small fissure eruption” that sent lava — but not ash — to the surface.

So far, we’re not looking at a $5 billion disruption to air travel of the type seen in 2010: After temporarily closing the airspace directly overhead, the Iceland Met Office this morning lowered its alert level from “red” to the less-urgent “orange,” and all airports remain open.

Meanwhile, in Papua New Guinea, East New Britain Island’s Mount Tavurvur, one of the region’s most active, began spewing lava early Friday morning, sending smoke as high as 60,000 feet into the air, diverting flights, covering surrounding areas in half an inch of ash and making for some spectacular images:

You Might Also Like

While they do spew carbon dioxide in the air, volcanoes are actually a natural factor known to contribute to global cooling: ash combines with water and oxygen in the atmosphere to form aerosols, which then reflect sunlight. In Iceland, notes Mashable, magma may have come into contact with glacial ice: a phenomenon that could “enhance its explosiveness” and create a situation similar to what occurred in 1783, when the eruption of the country’s Laki volcano lowered temperatures for some time in Europe and North America.  Even though major eruptions can cool things down by as much 0.4 degrees Celsius, however, the effect only lasts for about two years — and while they can trick people into thinking that global warming isn’t happening, they’re by no means a long-term solution to the continued increase in Earth’s temperature.

Lindsay Abrams
Lindsay Abrams is a staff writer at Salon, reporting on all things sustainable. Follow her on Twitter @readingirl, email labrams@salon.com.

More Related Stories

Featured Slide Shows

  • Share on Twitter
  • Share on Facebook
  • 1 of 8
  • Close
  • Fullscreen
  • Thumbnails
    Sonic

    7 ways Americans have defiled the hot dog

    Sonic's Bacon Double Cheddar Croissant Dog

    Sonic calls this a "gourmet twist" on a classic. I am not so, so fancy, but I know that sprinkling bacon and cheddar cheese onto a tube of pork is not gourmet, even if you have made a bun out of something that is theoretically French.

    Krispy Kreme

    7 ways Americans have defiled the hot dog

    Krispy Kreme's Doughnut Dog

    This stupid thing is a hotdog in a glazed doughnut bun, topped with bacon and raspberry jelly. It is only available at Delaware's Frawley Stadium, thank god.

    KFC

    7 ways Americans have defiled the hot dog

    KFC's Double Down Dog

    This creation is notable for its fried chicken bun and ability to hastily kill your dreams.

    Pizza Hut

    7 ways Americans have defiled the hot dog

    Pizza Hut's Hot Dog Bites Pizza

    Pizza Hut basically just glued pigs-in-blankets to the crust of its normal pizza. This actually sounds good, and I blame America for brainwashing me into feeling that.

    Carl's Jr.

    7 ways Americans have defiled the hot dog

    Carl's Jr. Most American Thick Burger

    This is a burger stuffed with potato chips and hot dogs. Choose a meat, America! How hard is it to just choose a meat?!

    Tokyo Dog

    7 ways Americans have defiled the hot dog

    Tokyo Dog's Juuni Ban

    A food truck in Seattle called Tokyo Dog created this thing, which is notable for its distinction as the Guinness Book of World Records' most expensive hot dog at $169. It is a smoked cheese bratwurst, covered in butter Teriyaki grilled onions, Maitake mushrooms, Wagyu beef, foie gras, black truffles, caviar and Japanese mayo in a brioche bun. Just calm down, Tokyo Dog. Calm down.

    Interscope

    7 ways Americans have defiled the hot dog

    Limp Bizkit's "Chocolate Starfish and the Hot Dog Flavored Water"

    This album art should be illegal.

  • Recent Slide Shows

Comments

Loading Comments...