REYKJAVIK (Reuters-United Press-FNN) — Iceland volcano Eyjafjallajökull continued to erupt today. Its enormous ash plume is visible from space. That ash has caused airlines to cancel thousands of flights and the World Health Organization to issue a warning to Europeans to stay indoors. Scientists say the chemical makeup and shape of the ash cloud’s dust particles will raise the planet temperature exponentially.
“Eyja” is the Icelandic word for island. “Fjalla” means mountain. “Jokull” is glacier.
Nobel Laureate, chairman of the Alliance for Climate Protection, and former United States Vice President Al Gore visited the Atlantic coast region of Iceland about 75 miles southeast of capital Reykjavik today where he met with volcanologist Hjálmar Hjálmarsson.
“I have seen and I have learned today,” Mr. Gore said.
“This plume is a case study about how eruptions impact this Earth,” Mr. Gore added. “We’re learning more and more about anthropogenic climate change and have determined that it is time for a major change.
“This is not the only eruption. Beneath the Caribbean Sea right now, the world’s deepest volcano spews super-heated mineral-rich liquids from chimney structures deep in the Cayman Trough onto the ocean floor. This eruption will eventually move north to melt more polar ice.
“And speaking of ice, the Eyjafjallajökull volcano has melted an entire glacier and is sending it straight to the sea.
“As we have learned in our studies of the deadly chemical carbon dioxide, the average temperature on Earth is increasing daily from the pleasant 59 degrees,” Mr. Gore said. “The average temperature on Venus is 867 degrees. That has nothing to do with the fact that Venus is closer to the Sun than we are. The fault is not in our star. The fault is the carbon dioxide and the volcanic eruptions. If we allow volcanic eruptions to continue here, the average temperature on Earth could begin to look more like the average temperature on Venus.
“Depending on the continuation of this eruption a third of the human race could die in the next three years, and the survivors could be living lives of struggle and hunger and hardship that nearly doomed the world in the Dark Ages.”
With about 130 volcanic mountains, Iceland has more active volcanoes than any other land. Eleven U.S. states have volcanoes. Arizona and New Mexico have eight each, California has nine, and Oregon tops the list with 21. Hawaii’s Kilauea is the subject of a Volcano Watch Orange. A few U.S. volcanoes have produced some of the largest and most dangerous eruptions in this century including Mount St. Helens, the active stratovolcano in Skamania County, Washington.
“Once again, Americans must come together and direct our government to take on a global challenge, Mr. Gore said. “American leadership is a precondition for success.
“I have issued a challenge to the United States Congress today to pass new legislation making the dispensing of illegal in the United States. With this one action we can take the first step to making the planet cleaner and safer for our children and grandchildren.”