Wednesday, May 25, 2011


The volcanic ash from Grimsvoten, Iceland, that descended on us, is sticking like a limpet to any surface it has landed on. This morning, I spent time rinsing the car, it was absolutely no use. That stuff does not come off with water alone. No wonder rain was not much assistance. The car windows and the windscreen were in need of special attention.

The volanic ash is abrasive: I have no desire to etch the car windows with doodles from attempted cleaning. 

The car roof was equally as resistant to the clearing of volcanic ash: I lifted a layer of ash with a soft tissue napkin. Where it lifted, another skimming of ash has descended. Everywhere else, the dust has increased in density.

The car windscreen responded to a soft tissue napkin quite well, till the next ash coating formed. If this is what I am finding, likewise my neighbours, I can only think that an aircraft would be subject to a greater deluge of the stuff. There had better be an international inspection of remote flying controls. On board visibility could become severely restricted. 

O'Leary, (of Ryan Air) ex-sidekick, Walsh, has had an aircraft flying on behalf of British Airways and Iberia. We do not know what type of aircraft, or any other essential data about the flight. After giving out a load of science-speak, which he knows the majority of journalists and media groups would not be able to question knowledgeably, nor would a large proportion of the general public, we are left with less understanding than before. We do know that there are gaps in Walsh's report as it stands and that there are vested financial interests to keep going at any cost. What we do not know, because we are not scientific specialists, is what all those gaps in the report are. It should not be forgotten that the UK sits in a small space by comparison to other continents, and there are fewer ways to get round any ash clouds.

As this is the second eruption in a year to affect Northern Europe, one useful aspect of all the posturing, is that research into the affects of volcanic ash is now being given a higher profile. 

Air space in Northern Germany has been affected today, planes in the area affected are grounded. No-one is doing this for perverse fun. Thank heavens, I say, for a far-reaching aviation safety inspectorate. 

If it's good enough for the American President to re-arrange his travel itinerary around the volcanic ash cloud, it is certainly appropriate for everyone else to have to do the same.

I trust to my eyes and in addition my throat. I can see and feel what the ash is doing. In simple every day language, the volcanic ash sticks and is very difficult to remove without abrading the surfaces it sticks to. That says quite a bit in my book.
The silver lining in the ash cloud is that it should provide a boost to agricultural and small growers by improving their soil no end. :idea:


Vincent said...

Ah, so it is real, then. Last year's ash cloud crisis happened when I was holidaying in Jamaica, and very nearly delayed my return. the very next time I leave the country (just got back from 3 days in Lisbon) the very same thing happens. I felt personally jinxed, but today's news was that the volcano has gone back to sleep.

So how will you get the ash off your car? Warm water and plenty of Fairy liquid ought to loosen it, then hose off.

ZACL said...

Hello Vincent,

I trust your trip to Lisbon was pleasant and uneventful.

I remember last year when you were thinking about what karma there might be for you to call upon if you were stuck in the USA, all because of another Icelandic volcanic ash cloud.

The Icelanders are not enjoying a particularly good environment at present and pictures of the affects of the last eruption were quite startling.

Rain has poured down today, nothing unusual, we've had lots of the wet stuff on and off. There's not a lot of point in experimenting with detergents - even if hands are as soft as your face - while there is every likelihood more ash will fall, probably with the rain.

I recently rubbed a heavy wax onto the car body, hopefully that will protect the paintwork a bit from the abrasive affects of the ash.

keiko amano said...


I hope it stopped by now, and rain can help take of the problem.

ZACL said...

Thanks Keiko, we will have to wait and see. (There may be another ash cloud coming our way soon).

keiko amano said...

I don't want to use this word because I'm sick of it, but at least it isn't radiation.

ZACL said...

Hi Keiko,

That's an interesting comment, I must check it. There is so much natural radiation we are in contact with every day, I haven't even thought about that context.