Homepage > News > High Tech > 

Meteorologist says Iceland eruption may cause global cooling

2010-04-19 08:51 BJT

VIENNA, March 16 (Xinhua) -- The ongoing volcanic eruption in Iceland, which has forced half a dozen European countries to close their airspace may affect the global climate, a meteorologist said Thursday.

Herbert Formayer, a meteorologist with the University of Vienna, told a local radio station that the large amount of dust particles spewed out by a volcano beneath Iceland's Eyjafjallajokull glacier will enter the Earth's stratosphere and stay there for several years.

The stratosphere is the second layer of the Earth's atmosphere at altitudes of above 12 km. The stratosphere is dry and contains little water vapor. Because of that, little rain or wind is found in the layer and any dust particles that reach it would stay for a long time.

Formayer said that the dust particles from Iceland are likely to "stay in the stratosphere for one, two or even three years."

"As the dust particle would stop the sun's rays to the Earth for such a long time, it would also cause global cooling," he said.

Air transportation has been suspended in many areas of Scandinavia and Central Europe because of the ash clouds.

Eurocontrol, the European air traffic agency, said the flight disruptions that snarled travel in Europe and rippled throughout the world, were even worse on Friday.

Some Austrian authorities expect that the volcanic ash will arrive in Austria on Saturday and some important airports like Vienna, Salzburg, and Linz may temporarily be closed.

Editor: Yang Jie | Source: Xinhua