Volcanic Ash Dispersion Models

Volcano plume at Eyjafjallajökull

The volcanic eruption of Mount St. Helens in 1980 did not paralyze North American airlines at the time. Why? Because the U.S. managed things properly: they used real life measurements, and left it to the airports to make their own risk assessments, based upon the conditions. But in socialist Europe, what happened after the eruption at Eyjafjallajökull? They ran off to their well-paid government scientists, to impose measures across the whole swathe of Europe, and what did these scientists base their advice upon? Their beloved computer models, of course!

There are clear parallels to the “global warming” debate, with the over-reliance on computer models to predict future climate. As with AGW theory, the measurements from the real world contradicted the simulations; test flights to measure the effects of Iceland’s volcanic eruption found that the ash cloud did not behave as predicted; and also, as with AGW, costly decisions were made based upon computer models, rather than real life.

“The flight ban, which is completely based on computer calculations, is causing economic damage in the billions. This is why, for the future, we demand that dependable measurements must be available before a flight ban is imposed.”

‘German airlines question extended flight ban’
http://www.thelocal.de/national/20100418-26615.html

Where did The UK’s computer model come from? The notorious Met Office:

‘The Met Office dispersion model;
http://web.archive.org/web/20070109200727/www.metoffice.gov.uk/research/nwp/publications/nwp_gazette/dec00/name.html

‘Volcanic Ash Advisory Statement’
http://web.archive.org/web/20070109200734/www.metoffice.gov.uk/research/nwp/publications/nwp_gazette/dec00/images/final_name2.gif

‘Mount St. Helens’
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mount_St_Helens

20 April, 2010

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