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Brace yourself. Maybe.

I’m sure you’ve heard that a volcanic eruption in Iceland has halted all air travel in the UK and much of Northern Europe. They’ve just extended it to tomorrow afternoon. The problem is that bits of volcanic junk can screw up engines and electronics, and the planes’ radar is blind to it.

It’s spooky with all the air traffic halted. Not as edgy as the days after September 11 — for obvious reasons — but still odd. Not many places in the South of England don’t have something of a constant drone from Gatwick and Heathrow.

There’s a scrap of worry it could be the start of something much worse, though. If this signals the beginning of an active volcano season, it could have serious weather implications.

Volcanoes were thought to play a major role in the famously terrible Summer of 1816 (which is where the expression Eighteen Hundred and Froze to Death comes from). And an early active period may have nearly extinctered our whole species 70,000 years ago. There may have been as few as 5,000 of us left afterwards, meaning we are all inbred hillbillies.

Yep. Lethal global cooling.

But let’s think happy thoughts. Here’s our Mrs Compton at today’s Tea Party protests. I think she’s the one with the hat and the sunglasses.

If not…may I say what a lovely glossy coat you have, ma’am?



April 15, 2010 — 10:21 pm
Comments: 21