April 18, 2010

Ash cloud slows global warming

In Danish media everyone seems to be complaining about this ash cloud. A geophysicist being a bit enthusiastic about the things happening in the eruption almost had to excuse herself. It does annoy a lot of people I'm sure, but I really think this ash eruption and the ash cloud is a great thing.
It might just help fight global warming in quite a few ways.

The first thing is that a big volcanic eruption in history always has had a cooling effect on the earths atmosphere. Two things that add to this is
- The ash cloud absorbing some of the sun's rays up in the higher layers of the atmosphere from where the infrared rays can much easier get out into space again.
- The particles released into the atmosphere increases development of clouds which also helps cool the atmosphere.

But then there is another effect, maybe not the first one that springs to mind, but perhaps the one with the biggest long term effect.
With people being forced to find other possibilities instead of going by plane these days, they will discover that some of the solutions they come up with these days are actually better than going by plane, thereby reducing the amount of plane travel.
For example people who have not really tried online meetings will be forced to try it now, I am sure quite a few of them will see that is actually has become a viable alternative to meeting in person, there's a lot of money saved using these kinds of meetings and I'm sure that just the fact that people try this out now will make online meetings more common when airspace is opened again.

So thank you Iceland for helping fight global warming :)

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