Geologic wonder and part-time smoke bomb, Eyjafjallajokull, was still burping out ash clouds today, though experts say the eruption is showing signs of slowing down. Our thoughts are with all the stranded travelers and the tongue-tied TV journalists forced to go on trying to pronounce the volcano's name.
On the plus side, the Eyjafjallajokull eruption has become a bright and shiny news hook for all sorts of interesting volcano science stories.
First fun fact:One volcanic eruption can trigger a blast in a nearby volcano
You may have heard that eruptions of Eyjafjallajokull have, in the past, been followed by eruptions at nearby, easier-to-pronounce Mt. Katla. There's not enough data to know whether that connection is more than coincidence, but there is a scientific basis behind the speculation.
Volcanoes explode because the pressure of the magma building up in the chamber forces it out, which then relieves the stress in the chamber; but what relieves stress in the one chamber could increase stress in a neighboring chamber.
Next up: Some recent research suggests that climate change could trigger more frequent eruptions in Iceland
How's that supposed to work? Like linking individual volcanoes, it's all about pressure. As glaciers and ice caps melt—which they are—there's less pressure on the crust of the Earth below. Relieving that weight makes it easier for subsurface rock to become magma. Increased levels of magma mean the volcanoes that pop up out of the ice cap are likely to erupt more frequently—say, a 30-year gap between eruptions, rather than a 58-year gap. That effect could carry over to other volcano-prone places that are suffering from a lot of ice melt. Alaska, for instance.
Princeton University psych prof Susan Fiske published an open letter denouncing the practice of using social media to call out statistical errors in psychology research, describing the people who do this as “terrorists” and arguing that this was toxic because of the structure of social science scholarship, having an outsized effect on careers.
Blue writes, “Peter Watts has be stricken with debilitating pain, loss of range of motion and motor control. Watts’ doctors remain baffled despite a battery of tests, and Watts has reached out to his fans to ask for their theories and ideas as to what might be causing his illness.”
Today, I’ve launched a very special Kickstarter with two friends, Timothy Daly and Lawrence Azerrad. A year in the making (and many more years on our minds), the Voyager Golden Record: 40th Anniversary Edition is the first vinyl release of the stunning golden phonograph record launched by NASA in 1977 aboard the Voyager spacecraft, one […]
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With the iPhone headphone jack having gone by the wayside, we’re excited about the addition of the FRANKLIN Bluetooth Headphones in our store. These headphones are foldable so they’re easy to carry around, but most importantly, they pack impressive sound. Our biggest struggle with Bluetooth headphones is the worry of them dying at the worst moment. This pair lasts an impressive 8-10 […]
Evan Kimbrell, founder of the digital agency Sprintkick, recently released a series of online courses that feature some of the best advice we’ve come across. These courses are well worth your time, and will save you from making many typical mistakes down the line if you ever want to start your own business.With this Business […]