After Eyjafjallajökull Erupted...
It has been a while since “Eyjafjallajokull” volcano erupted and got noticed across the globe. The mighty Icelandic volcano erupted on April 14, 2010, spewing lava and poisonous gases that devastated the island’s crops and sent the European air traffic on a tail spin. The sky turned dark across Europe, and the disruption to weather patterns led to severely damaged crops, worldwide. However, the good news is that despite recurring belchings, volcanologists are not worried about any long-term repercussion on climate or health.
(An audio recording of how to pronounce Eyjafjallajokull: http://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/1/10/Eyjafjallaj%C3%B6kull.ogg "AY-uh-fyat-luh-YOE-kuutl-uh")
Eyjafjallajokull, is showing a marked drop in activity. A video footage indicated that the temperature in the crater had fallen to just 100 degree Celsius. Said a leading volcanologist Magnus Gudmundsson,“ This means Eyjafjallajokull is now producing steam, not magma. Today the Eyjafjallajokull volcano looks peaceful compared to its violent avatar just days ago. Researchers do not worry now as the remaining ash, they claim, will simply blow away into the atmospheric background or fossilize to form new rocks in some time. The eruption seems (so far) to be small enough, with the potential only to affect portions of the Earth’s Northern Hemisphere.
Normal life is also slowly being restored. Tourists who planned their holidays in Iceland had initially cancelled their trips but are now slowly returning to their original destination. Authorities, however, have issued an advisory asking them to wear masks to avoid skin or throat irritations, if they go for the volcano tour.
Farmers near the base of the volcano have started to grapple with long-term consequences of the eruption as they begin to clean up and hope to start harvesting at the beginning or middle of September.
Impact on Agriculture
Farmers in South Iceland are expecting a particularly good harvest this year. And the reason they say is the volcanic eruption. The warm weather that Iceland has been enjoying this summer has helped the wheat crop. The lack of rain does not seem to have affected the yield. The volcanic eruption has a role to play in this. How? It has added nutrient to the soil and has changed its colour to a darker shade. It can now retain the sun’s heat longer.
Wheat farming is not especially common in Iceland; but some 450 farmers grow it on 4,000 hectares of land. They are convinced that volcanic ash from this spring’s Eyjafjallajokull eruption had a vital role to play in the good harvest.
Tourists are back
For the past few weeks there has been no activity in the Eyjafjallajökull volcano. Only a small trace of smoke comes up occassionally from the crater but no ash, lava or any other material. This most likely marks the end of the eruption. So travelling to Iceland is safe, declare the authorities. Eyjafjallajokull has, in fact, set off a surge in Icelandic tourism, with people travelling to Iceland to see the smouldering crater. The volcano has introduced a new form of tourism called volcano tourism.