One of the daftest questions asked by reporters and journalists over the last few days is ‘are we going to get more of this ash in the future?’ It’s a bit like asking if there are going to be any more earthquakes in those parts of the world known to have had recent earthquakes (well, I’m sure you know what I mean). The short answer to their question is yes. The long answer is that Iceland is on the geologically active mid-Atlantic Ridge, where volcanic eruptions have been commonplace since everything on this side of the Atlantic split from everything on that side of the Atlantic at least 200 million years ago. So, it’s time we got used to it.
<<<If you don’t know what an ash cloud looks like, here’s one they made earlier (2010)
What has changed so much recently is the weather, and the way the ash clouds move and disperse. The likelihood is that many – if not all – of these climate changes are our own fault anyway. And, because aircraft contribute to the pollution of our skies, we shouldn’t grumble too much when they are grounded.
As for the timing of eruptions, it’s rather like predicting earthquakes: the further we are from the last, the closer we are to the next.