Bárðarbung: Icelandic Volcano Threatening to Blow

https://theweek.com/speedreads/index/266585/speedreads-an-enormous-volcano-in-iceland-may-be-preparing-to-erupt

http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-europe-28843968

http://www.slate.com/blogs/future_tense/2014/08/19/iceland_volcano_bardarbunga_how_bad_would_an_eruption_be.html

http://www.vox.com/2014/8/20/6049241/bardarbunga-volcano-iceland-air-travel

So...what do you Euro folks think about this? Personally, I'm a bit worried. There's the potential for a "world ender" here, after all, and this subset of the volcanic chain has produced some...well, awful eruptions in the past several hundred years, not to mention one of the worst in the last 12,000.

Kind of surprised this isn't really getting much attention. It could just be a dud, certainly, but the Iceland authorities seem to be pretty damned serious about the matter.

That's concerning. The last time a volcano in the Atlantic erupted, it nearly grounded me while I was in Europe and would have caused serious concerns for me getting home. As it was, I beat that 2010 volcano but it still screwed with the air-traffic of Eastern Canada and Europe for two weeks or more...

Still, if the eruption can get as bad as those links suggest... Grounding airplanes might be the last thing to worry about.

Hmm... I'm not sure where you're getting "World ender" potential from. It could be bad, maybe even deadly, but none of the four links you posted indicated there was a significant threat to society in general. In fact, the only thing that comes close is the in the first link, where it mention an eruption two-to-three hundred years ago released lethally toxic gas and killed a lot of people. And while that is horrible, there's two things about this that raises my suspicions:

1) If toxic gas releases were a serious concern, why is only one of the links - and the least credible one, at that - talking about it? All the others only mention grounded flights and potential floods as concerns of an eruption. These scientists don't seem to think things such as gas clouds are really note-worthy, so why ignore them and trust the speculation of some obscure journalist?

2) Several of those links note that volcanoes in the area have erupted before, at least two have done so in the past five years. Despite that, the last gas release was well over two centuries ago. If it were such a common event with these eruptions to cause real concern, one would think that they'd happen with a touch more regularity. At worst, this seems like a rare occurrence, and thus unlikely to happen with this eruption, assuming an eruption even occurs.

Also, after a quick glance at Wikipedia, that all the consequences of Laki are things we could deal with much easier now, even if it happened on a wider scale. Nevermind that Laki was so deadly because it happened to erupt when a rare weather pattern was in effect, and it probably wouldn't bee line for mainland Europe in normal conditions. So that mostly removes concerns of the intial gas cloud for everyone but those living in Iceland. We obviously can't say where the wind will be blowing if this volcano not only erupts but spews a significant amount of gas, too. But chances are it won't be in the direction of Europe, at least. Guess we should be thankful that Iceland's a pretty isolated country.

... I mean, I get you're worried, and it would be pretty bad if it happened. But there's just so many if's that have to occur for this to be the disaster scenario you're worried about. It doesn't seem worth getting worked up about to me.

It's unlikely to cause such catastrophe, but if it does there's nothing to be done.

The more likely circumstance is that Bakalakaookiewookie erupts and glad particles in the gas cloud ground air traffic again. Funny that it's happening at the same time of year as the last one 4 years back, 2 weeks before schools are due to restart and while everyone is abroad.

What do I do about it? Nothing except wait for all the cool videos of the eruption to be posted on youtube. I don't worry about it because Iceland is far away from where I live and I don't plan to travel by air anytime soon.

Is this the European counterpart to the Yellowstone caldera volcano?

It affects air travel, but unless you live in Iceland it's largely unnoticeable. In the UK we were warned about ash clouds back in 2010, had nothing but blue skies.

I'm pretty glad that my upcoming flight cover the opposite timezones of the world.

Other than that, well, there's nothing truly "world-ending" about the volcano. Heck, it doesn't even look to be Iceland-ending. You've forgotten to cut the seriousness of the average newspaper article in half to get an accurate reading.

Whelp, it's blowing.

http://news.nationalpost.com/2014/08/23/bardarbunga-volcano-in-iceland-starts-apparent-subglacial-lava-eruption/

Only time will tell how big the eruption actually is. Though this volcano is on par with Krakatoa.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/1883_eruption_of_Krakatoa

If the eruption is Krakatoa levels, say goodbye to 2/3's of Iceland and a colossal plume of ash and toxic gas killing millions in Europe.

There's also a massive rock chunk on Tenerif close to falling into the sea. When it falls, it'll create a tsunami that'll obliterate the U.S.A.'s east coast.

http://blogs.agu.org/landslideblog/2011/10/04/geological-evidence-for-a-large-landslide-in-tenerife/

And finally, there's gold ol' Yellowstone. It's long overdue for an eruption, and when it blows, it'll wipe out half of the U.S.A., some parts of Canada, and cause a tsunami and earthquake chain reaction that will destroy up to half the planet.

Don´t know where you´re getting world ending from, that volcano has erupted several times throughout history and as it turns out we are still around. I would expect it to have a small impact on Iceland and ground air traffic internationally for a while.

Seriously, if there was risk of 2/3:s of Iceland being destroyed and millions in europe dying of toxic gas don´t you think the island would have been evacuated? Not to mention that all of us actually in europe would be double-checking the air raid sirens and finding our closest bombshelter?

Jdb:
Whelp, it's blowing.

http://news.nationalpost.com/2014/08/23/bardarbunga-volcano-in-iceland-starts-apparent-subglacial-lava-eruption/

Only time will tell how big the eruption actually is. Though this volcano is on par with Krakatoa.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/1883_eruption_of_Krakatoa

If the eruption is Krakatoa levels, say goodbye to 2/3's of Iceland and a colossal plume of ash and toxic gas killing millions in Europe.

Woah, that is really bad. I'll feel really bad if most of Iceland is destroyed. Hopefully it won't be that bad, but I guess you can't know until it's all done.

Jdb:
Whelp, it's blowing.

http://news.nationalpost.com/2014/08/23/bardarbunga-volcano-in-iceland-starts-apparent-subglacial-lava-eruption/

Only time will tell how big the eruption actually is. Though this volcano is on par with Krakatoa.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/1883_eruption_of_Krakatoa

If the eruption is Krakatoa levels, say goodbye to 2/3's of Iceland and a colossal plume of ash and toxic gas killing millions in Europe.

There's also a massive rock chunk on Tenerif close to falling into the sea. When it falls, it'll create a tsunami that'll obliterate the U.S.A.'s east coast.

http://blogs.agu.org/landslideblog/2011/10/04/geological-evidence-for-a-large-landslide-in-tenerife/

And finally, there's gold ol' Yellowstone. It's long overdue for an eruption, and when it blows, it'll wipe out half of the U.S.A., some parts of Canada, and cause a tsunami and earthquake chain reaction that will destroy up to half the planet.

Why do people keep saying that Yellowstone is "overdue to erupt"? Is if because a Cracked writer said it? That has to be it.

None of the disasters you mentioned will have the effects you say they will. For instance, when you say Yellowstone will "wipe out some parts of Canada", what you actually mean is "some of the lightest debris might land in the most southern strip of Saskatchewan... maybe".

We've got to get over the End Of The World fetish the internet has.

lacktheknack:
Why do people keep saying that Yellowstone is "overdue to erupt"? Is if because a Cracked writer said it? That has to be it.

It's probably due to rumors that the USGS has already dismissed:

4) No volcanologists have stated that Yellowstone is likely to erupt this week, this month or this year. In one recent article, a name was attributed to a "senior volcanologist", but that person does not appear to exist, and a geologist with that name assures us that he did not supply any quotes regarding Yellowstone.

5) Finally, we note that those who've kept track of Yellowstone over the past decade or so, have seen a constant stream of "predictions" regarding imminent eruptions at Yellowstone. Many have had specific dates in mind, none had a scientific basis, and none have come true.

But as for the actual eruption that is inevitable, it may not even be that bad

For the most likely type of volcanic eruption in Yellowstone, everywhere would be safe except in the immediate vicinity of the advancing lava flow.
(Source)

With that said, it does have the potential to have a devastating eruption, but as USGS says, we don't have to worry about that for another few thousand years:

Such a giant eruption would have regional effects such as falling ash and short- term (years to decades) changes to global climate. The surrounding states of Montana, Idaho, and Wyoming would be affected, as well as other places in the United States and the world. Such eruptions usually form calderas, broad volcanic depressions created as the ground surface collapses as a result of withdrawal of partially molten rock (magma) below. Fortunately, the chances of this sort of eruption at Yellowstone are exceedingly small in the next few thousands of years.
(Source)

In other words, given other environmental threats like the effects of anthropogenic climate change, even if the eruption does one day occur, it is the least of our concerns.

But hey, I guess people need something to get excited about, and imminent catastrophe, such a volcanic eruptions or asteroid collisions, does the job just fine of getting people excited.

lacktheknack:

Why do people keep saying that Yellowstone is "overdue to erupt"? Is if because a Cracked writer said it? That has to be it.

I don't know about Cracked, but I heard the "overdue for an eruption" thing on the History Channel.

Of course, this was sandwiched between a program telling me to prepare for the disaster scientists have confirmed will happen in 2012, and a documentary about how Joan of Arc's visions were actually totally aliens from outer space.

Methinks the History Channel ain't that reliable.

Hmm, I'm concerned about it. But then I have a holiday to Iceland booked for next month. Not much I can do though just wait it out and I guess check to see if my insurance covers it.

You can monitor the volcano's activity here.

http://baering.github.io/

Seismic activity is picking up and almost all tremors are now at least 2 magnitude.

The volcano is still a threat, but a several hundred meter thick glacier is so far containing it. However, the volcano could breach the glacier. But something like that is difficult to predict as it would take days to weeks to breach the ice. But if it does, all of that superheated steam will cause a massive explosion and throw tons of ash into the atmosphere.

Well, If I was about to go near Iceland by plane I'd probably move the date back if possible. Though, that is the major problem hear. People will be scared of flying even if the eruption isn't catastrophic. And if it is near as bad as the 2010 Eruption, maybe millions of dollars(or Euros/Pounds, sorry) in lost air travel and tourist money will hit the economy kinda hard. Hopefully, it's relieving pressure with the lava flows under the glacier and not warning us that boom time is coming up.

Saetha:

lacktheknack:

Why do people keep saying that Yellowstone is "overdue to erupt"? Is if because a Cracked writer said it? That has to be it.

I don't know about Cracked, but I heard the "overdue for an eruption" thing on the History Channel.

Of course, this was sandwiched between a program telling me to prepare for the disaster scientists have confirmed will happen in 2012, and a documentary about how Joan of Arc's visions were actually totally aliens from outer space.

Methinks the History Channel ain't that reliable.

I think Cracked had at least two writers that threw opposite answers out about Yellowstone. I do remember a History Channel documentary from around 2000 about Yellowstone's super-volcano. It was all about the doomsday level stuff that you can come to expect from a tv channel wanting ratings. (The only believable things from that channel I recall was broad strokes specials on WWII (Especially Hitler, gotta keep the Hitler Channel nickname relevant.) and there was a guy called Nostradamus, who wrote cryptic, vague poems about his prophetic visions. Also, ice road truckers and loggers, but I gave up by then.)

Here's a non-tabloity, local news source. Should reduce some of the hearsay in this thread
http://www.visir.is/section/FRETTIR07

As for you doomsday prophets out there...
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Laki#1783_eruption

 

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