It seems silly to ask whether climate change could have anything to do with causing the Iceland volcano to erupt. Volcanos are way deep, after all, and have been erupting for eons, creating island groups and such.

The relevant question to ask is whether the volcano could affect climate change. Particles in the atmosphere reflect some of the sun’s light back to space, and hence will have a temperature lowering effect. On the other hand, with far fewer planes flying, there’s a lot less carbon dioxide being emitted. It will be interesting to hear from the folks at Real Climate on all this.

In the extreme, what if the Iceland volcano continues at a certain emissions rate for years, as has occurred in the past? What if emissions go way up or down? It would be nice to see the climate change models run to give us some idea of the possibilities. No doubt there are a lot of graduate students cranking away on this one.


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