Icelandic volcano grounds flights across UK, Ireland, Scandinavia

There are a series of video reports at the BBC, but the upshot of the newly re-awakened volcano on Iceland is that a plume of volcanic ash up to 11km high drifting over UK controlled airspace has resulted in the grounding of flights in the UK and Ireland. And, as this BBC report notes

By Thursday morning, the disruption to air traffic stretched from the UK to Scandinavia. Oslo airport, which is Norway’s largest, was closed, while Finland’s airport agency Finavia said air traffic to northern Sweden and northern Finland was also affected. In Denmark, officials said airspace would be closed from 1800 (1600 GMT). The Air Traffic Control Service (Nats) said no flights would be allowed in or out of UK airspace from midday to 1800BST (1100-1700 GMT) amid fears of engine damage. Airports in Scotland had already been shut earlier on Thursday and flights at several English airports had been suspended. The last volcanic eruption at the Eyjafjallajoekull glacier was on 20 March – the first since 1821 – and it forced about 500 people in the sparsely populated area from their homes.

Adds via the Guardian’s Jemima Kiss, keep an eye on the clear skies at Update The BBC reports – “Restrictions on UK airspace have been extended until 1300 BST on Friday, the Air Traffic Control Service has said. But some flights between Northern Ireland and Scotland and some north Atlantic flights to Belfast may be permitted after 0100 BST on Friday.”And more details here

These are some of the knock-on effects of the ash disruption:

•Eurocontrol says Germany is monitoring the situation and considering partial airspace closures

•Planes have been grounded in Ireland, the Netherlands, Belgium, Denmark, Norway, Sweden and Finland. France is also preparing to close its main airports.

•There is severe disruption in both Poland and Spain, where all northbound flights are cancelled. Switzerland has cancelled a number of flights from Geneva.

  • Greenflag

    Iceland fights back against the global menace of neo con financial capitalism in the only way it can 😉
    Tourism and cod fishing just don’t cut it when applying pressure on the Brits and Dutch i.e those are the two main countries currently ‘gouging ‘ the Icelanders;(

    Interestingly historians now believe earlier volcanic eruptions in ICeland may be responsible for ‘famine ‘ conditions in Scotland in the 17th century and perhaps the effect of even earlier volcanic ash eruptions had consequences for Irish and British economic and political history which remain largely unheeded by our ‘experts’

    450 flights cancelled at Dublin Airport today which is not good as the man said . Head for the ferries folks if you need to get somewhere fast 😉

  • An Lorgain

    But where does Gerry (what’s under that beard) Adams come into this?


  • Cynic2

    “where does Gerry (what’s under that beard) Adams come into this”

    there is some evidence that the eruption was precipitated by the action of dust particles in the atmosphere caused by excessive use of laundered diesel

  • Mark McGregor


    Does this mean we are likely to get a spectacular sunset?

  • iluvni

    Anyone blamed global warming yet?

  • Drumlins Rock

    So Iceland is to blame for the troubles here, if what Greenflag says is right, the 17c famine in Scotland was a major, if not the biggest, factor in largescale migration of lowland Scots to Ulster, up to that point the Plantation was far from a complete success.

  • I’m sitting right under the Heathrow flight path: it’s eerily, disturbingly quiet.

    To save me looking it up, wasn’t there a detectable meteorological effect of the post 9/11 groundings? Something like a 1½/2 degree C temperature difference as a result of the lack of con-trails?

    So perhaps iluvni @ 02:23 PM might have a bit of a point. There has to be a first time.

  • Pete Baker


    That’s what the experts are predicting…

  • Pete Baker

    Adds via the Guardian’s Jemima Kiss, keep an eye on the clear skies at

  • Pete Baker @ 02:53 PM:

    and should add further:

    The time-lapse satellite sequences at Eumetsat are pretty impressive, too.

  • al

    An Lorgain:

    Gerry can’t use his helicopter? 😉

  • Greenflag

    Drumlin’s rock ,

    ‘So Iceland is to blame for the troubles here,’

    Stretching it more than a little DR. Prof Mike Baillie of QUB has written on the ‘nuclear winter’ which Ireland and presumably nearby Britain experienced circa 1193 BC iirc . The Irish Bronze Age civilisation was well developed and of long duration possibly up to 1,500 years and then it declined rapidly post 1190 BC . The ‘nuclear winter ‘ may well have been caused by volcanic eruptions from Iceland . Ancient Irish sagas make references to various plagues etc wiping out the earliest inhabitants such as the Parthalonians, Nemedians etc with some of them heading off for more congenial climes whence some of their ancestors came .

    It’s more than probable that there would have been severe famine in Scotland and Ireland and elsewhere in those days if the ‘growing ‘ season was shortened or even failed for several seasons.

    No Tesco’s to nip down to to stock up the freezer ye see . I wonder if somebody has researched the overall effect /impact of earlier dramatic and not so dramatic climate change on the history of this and the neighbouring island ?

    Presumably a long series of volcanic ash eruptions could under some circumstances ‘trigger off a new Ice Age assuming several consecutive very cold winters and short overcast summers combining to trip off the big freeze . Sheesh this is a prospect which makes Pete’s pulsar gamma ray instant irradiations seem almost benign and indeed merciful 😉

  • Procrasnow

    God is to blame for all this.

    Heard it described as an act of God.

    Question is which denomination will handle any claims arising there from?

  • old school

    Stock up with grit for next year. This coupled with low sun activity recently will bring us some decent Winters.

  • old school

    Yes I am a highly qualified, climate meteorologist with previous work in NASA studying the link between volcanic activity , sun troughs and weather patterns in Northern Europe.
    *coughs* ahem.

  • old school

    Procrasnow, the only people who use the term “Act of God” these days are Ballymena Councillors,and reticent Insurance companies.