Ice Free Eyjafjalajökull Picture

Check out the latest picture from orbit of Icelandic volcano Eyjafjalajökull from NASA's Aqua satellite. (click to make huge!)

This picture gives a clear view of the ash cloud as it streams hundreds of miles from the volcano toward Europe. The disruption to air traffic is made all the more understandable by pictures like this. Eyjafjalajökull shows no signs of letting up in the near future, and a lack of pressure from glacial ice on the surrounding land is making the eruption more severe. Although it is difficult to say if the eruption would have been suppressed by the presence of ice, glacial retreat is being increasingly factored in to the prediction models for volcanic eruptions in sub-tundra regions.

A warming planet has many implications beyond simple weather and ocean changes, and we are just now beginning to get a look into the future of a man-altered climate. The controversy over anthropogenic global warming was over decades ago, but yet forces of denial still persist despite exponentially increasing evidence that is far in excess of what is required to be beyond reasonable doubt. The question now isn't why the denial exists - it simply suits a particular political and economic agenda - but rather what will reach tipping point first, the Earth's climate, or the untenability of denial. We can only hope it is the latter.

For more information on climate observation visit: http://earthobservatory.nasa.gov/

Image credit: Jeff Schmaltz, MODIS Rapid Response Team
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