Wednesday, 27 April 2011
Blast From The Past
A little off the usual beat is this article from e-science news about the volcanic eruption in Iceland last year that stopped a good deal of air traffic in the Northern Hemisphere.
At the time there was some severe criticism of the authorities from executives of airlines and others, including some politicians, who wanted definitive proof of danger before any warnings were issued.
My view was that volcanoes can put a lot of dangerous stuff into the air and if you do not know what exactly is in it and the experience of history tells us it is far better to avoid it than to take chances.
Recent research is showing that the grounding of air traffic was right.
The scientists involved have devised very sensitive measuring techniques to help find out what is up there and how bad it is in the event of future eruptions.
Given the amount of muck that is going into the air from other sources that may not affect aircraft all that much but does affect people on the ground it is a pity the same time and effort does not go into measuring other stuff.
But that may not turn a profit and might cause some big operators to lose.