14 Apr 11 - A strong explosive eruption of Bezymianny volcano on
Kamchatka began last night raising the alert code to RED for the
region, says meteorologist Joe Bastardi.
With preliminary reports of ash at least to 33,000 feet, the
volcano's activity could affect international and low-flying
aircraft, and climate.
Bezymianny was thought to be dormant before the major eruption of
1955/56. That eruption may have played a role in the turn to colder
in the late 1950s. It has been intermittently active since along
with many others on the very tectonically active Kamchatka
If this eruption turns out to be significant, it would be the fourth
straight year with high latitude volcanoes. Recall last year the
Iceland volcano eruptions of Eyjafjallajökull caused enormous
disruption to air travel across western and northern Europe - the
highest level of air travel disruption since World War II.
Eyjafjallajökul- - April 2010
The prior year, 2009, Mt. Redoubt in Alaska erupted also in April,
Sarychev in June on the Kamchatka Peninsula in Russia, and in 2008,
it was Kasatouchi in Alaska.
Why should we care?
"Climatologists may disagree on how much the recent global warming
is natural or manmade," says Bastardi, "but there is general
agreement that volcanism constitutes a wildcard in climate,
producing significant global scale cooling for at least a few years
following significant eruptions."
High-latitude volcanoes need not erupt as high up to cause climate
See all of this great article, with maps, photos, and charts: