Volcanic Haze Closes British Airports; Continent Cut Off
Another reason to take the train: Apparently planes cannot fly in volcanic ash. An eruption in Iceland is shutting down airports across the UK and spreading to the rest of Europe.
The Telegraph, reports that the ash can shut down the engines and be sucked into the ventilation systems. According to one expert:
"There is a risk of engine failure because of the ash. The problem with aircraft radar is that it is designed to pick up clouds of moisture and it won't detect ash. This is why you have to take precautions and keep aircraft out of the area."
Thousands of people are stranded (including TreeHugger contributor Bonnie) and the Eurostar is sold out. The British Airport Authority say that it could go on for days.
'It all depends which way the wind blows - literally - and whether there is another volcanic eruption,' said CAA spokesman Richard Taylor. He noted: 'It's absolutely unprecedented. We can't think of any incident of volcanic ash which has affected UK airspace in this way.
It is worse than the 9-11 terror attack. That stopped transatlantic air traffic. But even then, flights to the Continent and within the UK continued.'
More in the Daily Mail
SLIDESHOW: Erupting Volcano's Incredible Impact
Read more about volcanoes:
Iceland's Volcanic Eruption: More Tourists, Colder US Winter
Scientists Discover a New Form of Lightning
Global Warming Versus the Volcano: Could Eruptions Slow Climate Change?