Ash Crisis May Not Be Over, Says Leading Volcanologist

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BUFFALO, N.Y. — Air travel may be resuming in some European countries, but Michael F. Sheridan, PhD, a leading volcanologist and founder of the University at Buffalo’s Center for Geohazards Studies, says that the future behavior of both the volcanic ash cloud and the eruptive system that spurred it is difficult to predict.

“It’s hard to forecast the behavior of this volcanic system,” he says. “It is short-sighted to assume that even if air travel returns to normal that the environmental problems related to the eruption will end immediately.”

In addition to air travel woes that the massive ash cloud has already caused, it may trigger longer-term changes in climate and health hazards, Sheridan says.

His concern stems from his understanding of similar kinds of eruptions that have occurred in this part of Iceland.

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