Guardian Continues To Spread Misinformation About Eyjafjallajokull

By Steven Goddard

Yesterday WUWT reported on the inaccurate #1 environmental story at Guardian.

The Guardian article originally read :

The volcanic eruption has released carbon dioxide, but the amount is dwarfed by
the savings. Based on readings taken by scientists during the first phase of
Eyjafjallajokull activity last month, the website Information is Beautiful
calculated the volcano has emitted about 15,000 tonnes
of CO2 each day.

After their article was written, more accurate information spread across the web – The Guardian numbers were off by more than an order of magnitude :

Experts said on Monday that the volcano in Iceland is emitting 150,000 to 300,000 tons of carbon dioxide (CO2) per day, a figure comparable to emissions released from a small industrial nation.

The Guardian responded by updating their article with better numbers, but failed to update their conclusions:

The volcanic eruption has released carbon dioxide, but the amount is dwarfed by the savings. Based on readings taken by scientists during the first phase of Eyjafjallajokull activity last month, the website Information is Beautiful calculated the volcano has emitted about 150,000 tonnes of CO2 each day. Worldwide, the US Geological Survey says volcanoes produce about 200m tonnes of carbon dioxide every year.
• This article was changed on 21 April. It originally said the volcano has emitted about 15,000 tonnes of CO2 each day. Information is Beautiful has since corrected this figure to 150,000; we have updated our article to reflect this.

So what is wrong with their correction?  Lots of things.

  1. Their source of information now claims that the numbers are 206,465 tons saved vs. 150,000 tons emitted by the volcano.  Those two numbers are well within the margin of error of the volcano estimates, and are the very low end of what scientists are claiming.  If we use the average scientific estimate of 225,000 – the volcano was actually producing more CO2 per day than the savings from grounded aircraft.  Yet the Guardian story still claims that emissions are dwarfed by the savings.
  2. The Guardian story claims that there have been 2.8 million tons of savings, and the math doesn’t work out.  At the time the story was written there had been six days of grounded flights.  206,465 tons/day X  6 days = 1.2 million tons, not 2.8 million tons.
  3. The Guardian failed to research the actual volcano estimates, and again published the very low end numbers from an apparently unreliable source.
  4. They failed to consider that the eruption has been going on for more than a month, while the flight ban has lasted only six days.  Total volcano emissions actually dwarf the savings from the aircraft.
  5. They failed to consider Anthony’s point that people stranded by grounded aircraft seek other means of transportation, including cars, trains and battleships, etc.  The BBC estimated that these other modes of transport generate as much CO2 as the planes would have.
  6. They failed to consider that the airlines will eventually run extra flights in order to catch up.

The evidence indicates that the net balance from the volcano is a large increase in CO2 emissions.  The Guardian article was just Plane Stupid.

Furthermore, we know that plants, soil and the oceans generate 30 times as much CO2 as all fossil fuel burning combined.  That is 200,000,000,000 tons of CO2 per year from natural sources, compared with The Guardian’s inaccurate claim of 2,800,000 tons in savings from aircraft grounded.  In other words, even their exaggerated claimed savings are less than 0.0014% of all natural emissions of CO2.

http://www.whrc.org/carbon/images/GlobalCarbonCycle.gif

Numbers  from Woods Hole Institute


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89 Responses to Guardian Continues To Spread Misinformation About Eyjafjallajokull

  1. Bill in Vigo says:

    Don’t ya just love good solid mathematics!

    Bill Derryberry

  2. Al Gore's Holy Hologram says:

    Excellent rebuttal. So simple, so effective, so beyond the grasp of a Guardian journalist.

  3. LightRain says:

    Don’t these newspapers have Ombudsmen to look into complaints about misleading data? If they did they should be contacted and asked to investigate, if they are found in error the Ombudsman enforces the paper to correct the information in a conspicuous retraction.

  4. Doug in Seattle says:

    Specious sources would, in my opinion, include Woods Hole Institute.

  5. Doug in Seattle (20:32:34) :

    One thing for sure, Woods Hole is not going to intentionally exaggerate natural CO2 emissions.

  6. Tony says:

    “The Guardian story claims that there have been 2.8 million tons of savings, and the math doesn’t work out. At the time the story was written there had been six days of grounded flights. 206,465 tons/day X 6 days = 1.2 million tons, not 2.8 million tons.”

    I calculate that for 5.5 days of grounded flights aircraft related emissions would be reduced by between 2 and 2.9m tonnes for CO2 (depending on what figures are used). I even think these figures are optimistic. Given 29,000 flights/day and average sector length of 2hrs and an average consumption of 4 tonnes/hr I suspect the higher end of the range seems more realistic.

    However, due to the lack of infrastructure between the endpoints as well as the highly scalable and flexible nature of aviation, as a total package aviation is the most efficient means of transport on Earth. As you say, rescuing people with ships, cars and trains (that run empty most of the day) is going to cost more.

  7. AnonyMoose says:

    LightRain (20:28:21) :
    Don’t these newspapers have Ombudsmen to look into complaints about misleading data?

    Actually, this one does not. The Guardian is in the process of appointing a new Reader’s Editor.

  8. E. Mitchell says:

    Sadly, most journalists are innumerate. Even publications in their own field say journalists should never be allowed alone, in a room, with numbers. Remember, most are English or journalism majors and self chose those fields, in part, because they did not like thinking mathematically. Journalism schools teach reporters to try and edit out as many numbers as possible – which often results in articles that are sheer gibberish.

    As of the 2005-2006 academic year, the Accrediting Council for Journalism and Mass Communications Schools adopted its first ever math recommendation that “graduates should … be able to” “apply basic numerical and statistical concepts”. This means basic arithmetic, percentages, averages and that is about it.

    Consequently, journalists typically embarrass themselves when presented with numbers.

  9. Tony (20:49:49) :

    Did you consider in your calculations that at least 40% of EU flights proceeded normally during the last week? Britain is not the entire EU.

  10. Roger Carr says:

    stevengoddard (20:37:25) : — Doug in Seattle (20:32:34) : One thing for sure, Woods Hole…

    Side note: Woods Hole Oceanographic InstitutionWoods Hole Marine Biological Laboratory.

    There is a world of difference that is easy to miss in a cursory glance. Think: mistletoe; the common name for a group of hemi-parasitic plants that grow attached to and within the branches of a tree or shrub. Or perhaps leech?

  11. Ric Werme says:

    Doug in Seattle (20:32:34) :

    > Specious sources would, in my opinion, include Woods Hole Institute.

    The what? I don’t think there is an organization by that name, so I guess that makes anything from them specious. Maybe.

    There’s the Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution a respected scientific institution my brother-in-law graduated from, and there’s the Woods Hole Research Center, an activist research group focused on REDD (Reducing Emissions from Deforestation and Forest Degradation) and We seek to conserve and sustain the planet’s vegetation, soils, water, and climate by clarifying and communicating their interacting functions in support of human well-being and by promoting practical approaches to their management in the human interest.

    Please be more explicit when you refer to one of the several research organizations at Woods Hole. (Others are the Marine Biological Laboratory, a part of the National Fisheries, and a small part of USGS on the WHOI campus.)

  12. jorgekafkazar says:

    Doug in Seattle (20:32:34) : “Specious sources would, in my opinion, include Woods Hole Institute.”

    Your opinion would be misinformed. Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution, which is well respected, has been around since January 6, 1930.

    You may be thinking of “The Woods Hole Research Center,” which is a Warmist organization started roughly in 1989. There is some confusion about the “Woods Hole” name and reputation, perhaps deliberately. There is no disclaimer on the Woods Hole Research Center home page regarding the fact that they are not connected to WHOI.

  13. AEGeneral says:

    Math can be so simplistic in its brilliance.

    “Eyjafjallajokull,” on the other hand….gimme an abbreviation….something….anything….

  14. Toto says:

    Green journalism is the new yellow journalism.

  15. That Guy says:

    Is it not also true that, while the flight ban is now lifted, the CO2 is still pouring out? Will they continue to update their figures until Eyjafjallajokull stops erupting?

  16. Luboš Motl says:

    To defend the Grauniad, I got the same result intially based on the SO2 data and the typical SO2/CO2 ratio, and building upon the estimates of the emissions during the first eruption in March. It just happened that the April eruption was bigger at least by one order of magnitude.

    I still think it’s fair to say that the “saved” CO2 emissions from the airplanes are comparable to the CO2 emitted by the volcano in the same time – and both of them are negligible. Their effect on the climate is not really worth taking about because it’s in microkelvins.

  17. Mariss says:

    Wish we didn’t have the “decline” here in Sunny Southern California. Its been a cold, cloudy and windy spring. Today tied the record low maximum temperature ever measured in Laguna Beach:

    LAGUNA BEACH 59F 59F IN 1945 SINCE 1928

  18. Patrick Davis says:

    “AEGeneral (21:23:55) :

    Math can be so simplistic in its brilliance.

    “Eyjafjallajokull,” on the other hand….gimme an abbreviation….something….anything….”

    A volcano on Iceland.

  19. That Guy (22:02:45) :

    Exactly. The eruption could go on for months. The volcano doesn’t stop emitting CO2, because Heathrow opened back up.

    However, Plane Stupid thinks that opening up the third runway will cause the end of life as we know it on this planet.

  20. @AEGeneral (21:23:55) :
    >>“Eyjafjallajokull,” on the other hand….gimme an abbreviation….something….anything….<<

    Eyjafjallajokull = Are ya feeling loco?

    Eyjafjallajokull = Eyes fill a skull full

    Eyjafjallajokull = Ah we're all fulla jokes, y'all

  21. Skip says:

    My semi-phonetic translation of Eyjafjallajokull suggests it means a profane curse to all not local.

  22. According to the USGS, Hot Spot volcanoes (like Iceland) produce huge amounts of CO2. Kilauea produces more CO2 than H2O.

    http://volcanoes.usgs.gov/hazards/gas/index.php

    Volcano
    Tectonic Style
    Temperature 	Kilauea Summit
    Hot Spot
    1170°C 	Erta` Ale
    Divergent Plate
    1130°C 	Momotombo
    Convergent Plate
    820°C
    H20 	37.1 	77.2 	97.1
    C02 	48.9 	11.3 	1.44
    S02 	11.8 	8.34 	0.50
    H2 	0.49 	1.39 	0.70
    CO 	1.51 	0.44 	0.01
    H2S 	0.04 	0.68 	0.23
    HCl 	0.08 	0.42 	2.89
    HF 	--- 	--- 	0.26
  23. rbateman says:

    AEGeneral (21:23:55) :

    “Eyjafjallajokull,” on the other hand….gimme an abbreviation….something….anything….

    Why certainly. Eyjafjallajokull = an eye full of joe cool.

  24. JAN says:

    AEGeneral (21:23:55) :

    ““Eyjafjallajokull,” on the other hand….gimme an abbreviation….something….anything….”

    Ancient Norse/Icelandic isn’t my strong side, but here is my suggestion:

    “Eyjafjallajokull” – pronounced “eya-fialla-yoecull”

    Anglofication – “Island-Mountain-Glacier”

    Any Icelanders around to confirm this?

  25. Brian Johnson uk says:

    During the BBC Radio 5 [April 22] at around 03:35 BST the same Grauniad figures were quoted by a Doctor Karl/Rhod Sharp as evidence of the drop in CO2 production with all EU aircraft grounded.

    The usual BBC progress.

  26. Al Gored says:

    Just found this from a poster named dot_bust, on Wed, 04/21/2010 – 16:18, at zerohedge.com:

    Eyjafjallajokull [snip]
    ———–

    AP says “Eyjafjallajokull (ay-yah-FYAH-lah-yer-kuhl)”

    AP also worries about “an even more dangerous eruption at the nearby Katla volcano” which would help. Kat-la.

  27. JAN (23:17:52) : ““Eyjafjallajokull” – pronounced “eya-fialla-yoecull” Anglofication – “Island-Mountain-Glacier” ”

    I’m not Icelandic, so I wont judge whether this is close enough, but Icelanders pronounce double l’s as “dl”. Both eyja and fjalla are genitive *plurals*, so “islands-mountains-glacier” (“the mountains of the islands glacier”) is technically more correct,

    In my Norwegian ears Icelanders speak fast and unintelligible, and since the languages are strangely close relatives yet quite different, I can’t help saying Øyfjelljøkulen, the modern (southeast) Norwegian equivalent.

    The world’s journalists will be relieved the day Katla erupts making Eyjafjallajökull insignificant…

  28. Dave F says:

    Eyjafjallajokull = Eyja mountain glacier (translatedish)= Eyja M.G.

    How’s that?

  29. k morgan says:

    anyway wha’t wrong with co2 anyway I don’t think the sane take too much notice of all that crap that there saying

  30. Perry says:

    Or you could try: I yaf yalla yerkel. Jays are whys.

    The name Eyjafjallajökull is made up of the words eyja (genitive plural of ey, meaning eyot or island), fjalla (genitive plural of fjall, whose nominative plural is fjöll, meaning fells or mountains) and jökull (meaning glacier, cognate with the -icle in icicle). A literal translation would thus be the “island-fells glacier” or the “island-mountains glacier”. Wikipedia.

  31. Gregg E. says:

    One way to clear up the confusion, Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution sues every other organization over the use of the words “Woods Hole”. They could get that same judge the WWF did when they sued the WWF over the use of the letter F. ;)

  32. Leo Norekens says:

    Here’s how you pronounce it.

  33. Shevva says:

    Has anyone placed a link in the comments to this article? did it even make moderation? (my guess is no).

    I stopped buying newspapers along time again when i realised they stopped reporting news and started reporting anything that made a good story!

    I’ll be gutted when they place the pay wall on the Times though.

  34. Stefan P says:

    ..“Eyjafjallajokull,” on the other hand….gimme an abbreviation….something….anything….

    whats about:

    Eyjafjallajocull…

    ;-)

  35. Troels Halken says:

    “The BBC estimated that these other modes of transport generate as much CO2 as the planes would have.”

    The BBC estimated…

  36. Many journalists are lazy. What passes for journalism today is, in the main, a regurgitation of press releases by advocacy groups. I take my hat off to the small (and diminishing) band of proper investigative and sceptical journalists.

  37. Vincent says:

    Lubos Motl,

    “I still think it’s fair to say that the “saved” CO2 emissions from the airplanes are comparable to the CO2 emitted by the volcano in the same time – and both of them are negligible.”

    Maybe so, but I would say a large number, possibly the majority, of travellers are still stranded abroad and awaiting flights. What happens to the equations when all these extra flights are factored in.

    BTW, I don’t understand the point of the Gaurdian article anyway. Are they saying that Volcanoes are a good thing because they bring aviation to a halt?

  38. Stacey says:

    Here Yesterday Gone Today.

    Posted the following at Comment is Free if you agree, censored out?

    21 Apr 2010, 6:46PM
    Dear Leo
    People like you who go round calling people deniers, because we don’t believe in your stupid unsubstantiated ideas ought to be given a good intellectual seeing to?
    Let’s see now how you and your mates, who just love the IPPC and those jokers at UNRealClimate, are doing in their exams:-
    1 Hockey stick graphs all by the mates. Discredited nonsense.
    2 Himalayan glaciers gone by 2035. Wrong
    3 African food production halved by 2020. Wrong
    4 Copenhagen hotel bill 500 euros a night. Right
    5 Arctic ice gone by 2008. Wrong.
    6 Polar bear population declining. Wrong.
    7 Fiddling data by scientists at the heart of the IPPC. Right.
    8 Acidification of the seas. OOPS sorry they are alkaline.
    9 Met office predictions always wrong. Even managed to shut down UK plc whilst those pesky Netherlanders were flying over the UK?
    10 CO2 level rises, global temperatures in stasis.
    11 Highest temperature in US 1998. Wrong, 1935?
    12 Temperatures in NZ and Australia fiddled upwards
    13 The totally discredited CRU, do not use the vast majority of the temperature data provided by Russia. Why?
    Read the emails, and one can only wonder how corrupt self named climate science has become supported by journos who have no credibility.
    The hypothesis that man made CO2 will cause dangerous global is not proven.
    One thing you can’t deny, Leo is your mates at CRU did the following:-
    1 Fiddled the figures
    2 Prevented papers from being published
    3 Perverted the democratic process on freedom of information.
    The decision I need to make is do I install a urinal in my house to save the planet or kill someone who plays golf.
    Maybe I should Ask Hope and Dope?
    A great newspaper brought low by non-entities.

    “Harsh but Fair”

  39. Alexander says:

    It would be an interesting attitudinal and linguistic exercise to analyse said Guardian article and the responses drawn from Guardian followers (i am unsure that ‘reader’ would be a correct definition). In my view, the more evidence emerges that a considerable volume of AGW pronouncements are not a product of any actual branch of science but of advocacy groups, the shriller and more vituperative the comments of Guardianistas become.

  40. Otter says:

    Not only might this eruption continue for months- even years- but there is a much larger volcano, Katla, which has erupted in tandem with this volcano, the last few times it has become active.

  41. Karl says:

    The Guardian is nothing more than a propaganda outlet for the government. It’s taken sometime to figure that out. The Guardian is setup to target the middle class with propaganda and dis/misinformation. If only the middle class new that in the long run, it will be the end of them.

  42. Tenuc says:

    Good work Steven, the article has been refuted.

    I’m more concerned about the ash, SO2 and fluorine compounds that this unpronounceable volcano is pushing out, rather than the CO2.

    Trust the Gruniad to always get hold of the wrong end of the stick!

  43. Dave Wendt says:

    In re alternate travel choices during the grounding

    http://mjperry.blogspot.com/2010/04/markets-in-everything-5000-taxi-ride.html

    John Cleese of Monty Python fame took a $5100 cab ride from Oslo to Brussels. CO2 contribution not mentioned.

  44. Frank Kotler says:

    “Eyefull of yoghurt” – may not be correct, but it’ll give the Icelanders a laugh – which I suspect they need.

    Forget the plant-food! Fluorine? Been troublesome in the past, I understand.

    Best,
    Frank

  45. Veronica says:

    The petagrams diagram would be much more powerful if the boxes were sized in proportion to the numbers displayed.

    Nice post. And as you rightly pointed out, we now have the volcano AND the planes AND the extra ferries, so big fat raspberry to the innumerate Gurardian.

  46. Veronica says:

    To be fair to Plane Stupid, they do have a point about the incessant noise of aircraft. I lived in Windsor for 7 years. A lovely town but the constant screaming of jet engines (one every 90 seconds from 4.30am until midnight) drove me out.

  47. Rhys Jaggar says:

    Well, I opined on this site a few days ago that it was just possible that a green conspiracy was trying to keep the planes out of the air to bankrupt them.

    I note the EU is saying that all airlines must pay all expenses of stranded passengers, which will mean:
    i. Higher fares for all as airlines need to stockpile a cash chest for a future thing.
    ii. A number of airlines shifting toward Chapter 11 or the EU likewise.
    iii. A clear signal from the EU that it is looking to hound airlines.

    That measure was designed for the odd cancelled flight due to a plane going wrong and no spare being around at that time, inclement weather e.g. snow at a couple of airports grounding flights etc.

    It was not designed for things like this.

    And the fact the EU is saying it won’t change regulations is worrying.

    All I know is, within 24 hours of me saying it might be a green plot, Willie Walsh starting flying planes to England and got the media going.

    Well done Willie Walsh.

    Flying is a good thing.

    Cheap, safe flying has emancipated the people of Europe.

    Is that the single most dangerous threat to Eurocrats in the 21st century????

  48. Anna says:

    JAN, your translation is indeed correct. I found that Wikipedia has a link where you can listen to the Icelandic pronounciation too, try it!
    ( I’m not sure whether my link will work, but otherwise just search for Eyjafjallajokull.)

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Eyjafjallajökull

  49. Alan the Brit says:

    You forgot to add in all the CO2 expelled by politicians, journos, members of the public, with all the adrenalin pumping round their systems through the excitement of it all! Must run to Zillions of tons! On top of that you have to add in all the CO2 & hot air generated by the UK’s General Election campaigning!

  50. Squarebob Spongepants says:

    “ll” is pronounced “tl”, except at the end, where the final “l” gets lost, and “j” is “y”

    “AY-ah fiat-la YOH-khut”, all softly voiced, so it is almost like “[H]ey, ya fergot le yoghurt”

    Or so I heard.

    Island mountain glacier is the literal meaning, as a seafarer long ago might have named it as it appeared on approach from the south.

  51. Mike Haseler says:

    “Eyjafjallajokull,” on the other hand….gimme an abbreviation….something….anything….

    Eyva – from the same root as “is” in is-land (land of an island).
    Fjalla – from the same root as “fell”
    JÖKULL, diminutive of jaki, same root as Anglo Saxon. gecele which in its variant gicel was formed to give îs-gicel, whence English icicle. Note also: kul-víss, adjective: sensitive to cold.

    gecele an icicle relates to ge-célan (To make cold, to cool). ge- is common prefix so ge-célan is related to célan (to cool) from same root at céle,(A cold, coldness) from which we get the modern “chill” (c->ch)

    It’s also worth noting the “is” of island was spelt exactly the same as “eye” in Old English.

    From which I would suggest the ultimate Anglicised pronunciation would be:

    Eye-fell-You-cool

  52. Xi Chin says:

    Chocolate rations were increased today too.

  53. Atomic Hairdryer says:

    Re: JAN (23:17:52) :

    “Eyjafjallajokull” – pronounced “eya-fialla-yoecull”

    I saw a couple of YT clips where locals were saying it, and they say it fast with some ‘ch’ sounds in it. Sounded a bit like “eya-fiatchla-yoeclutch”, but if/when Katla joins in, news readers will no doubt breath a sigh of relief.

  54. son of mulder says:

    And stranded passengers are travelling hundreds of miles in taxis, extra coaches, waiting for later flights, empty planes being sent out to pick up stranded passengers, waiting for aircraft carriers and navy ships, spending money that they wouldn’t have spent otherwise etc etc. All contributing directly or indirectly to additional CO2 emissions either now or delayed. So add all that to the volcanic emissions or subtract from the “saved CO2″ I don’t care which and it’s probably a zero sum game in the end.

  55. maz2 says:

    “Fire and Ice”

    [...]

    “In 1988, health minister Edwina Currie almost destroyed Britain’s egg industry when she said that salmonella in eggs might cause a human catastrophe – only for it to be later discovered that salmonella could not get into eggs.

    In 1996, Britain spent £7 billion killing millions of the nation’s cows in response to the alleged threat of CJD killing humans eating burgers made from cattle infected by BSE. We now know that the likelihood of this was almost infinitesimally slight.

    In 2009, the government spent £1 billion on unneeded vaccines against swine flu, which we were told might kill half a million people. The SARS virus, said some ‘experts’, could prove more devastating to humanity than Aids. It was once suggested that bird flu might kill 150 million people worldwide.

    University of Chicago Professor Frank Knight described the distinction between risk and uncertainty in these words. “Uncertainty must be taken in a sense radically distinct from the familiar notion of Risk, from which it has never been properly separated…. The essential fact is that ‘risk’ means in some cases a quantity susceptible of measurement, while at other times it is something distinctly not of this character … It will appear that a measurable uncertainty, or ‘risk’ proper, as we shall use the term, is so far different from an unmeasurable one that it is not in effect an uncertainty at all.” In other words, Knight wanted to differentiate between risks we could measure and those which we could not estimate. Donald Rumsfeld conveyed the same idea much more eloquently and comprehensively.

    As we know,
    There are known knowns.
    There are things we know we know.
    We also know
    There are known unknowns.
    That is to say
    We know there are some things
    We do not know.
    But there are also unknown unknowns,
    The ones we don’t know
    We don’t know.”

    http://pajamasmedia.com/richardfernandez/2010/04/22/fire-and-ice/#comments

  56. Joe says:

    Sensational Journalism will inspire more skepicism as more people start to dig deeper into new understanding and knowledge.
    This is why WUWT will be continually growing.
    There are many experts here as well as very good researchers that can find out if a story is accurate or full of it.

    Knowledge is only as good as it’s accuracy. Garbage science will spawn an idiotic society, not by their choosing but by the science that is taught to them and passed down to future generations. The old mans school of research scientists still rule the nest, but independant researchers (not funded by governments) will one day be the breaking edge to higher knowledge and understanding.

  57. Janne says:

    Re Gregg E: Surely Tigers Hole would fall under Tiger the Golfers prerogative, in whichever of its many connotations.

    The thing with Grauniad is that it is not, and was never intended to be, a beacon of truth and neutrality, however much it strives to purport itself that way. It is a commercial paper that is owned and sponsored by someone and that someone has their own angle and agenda to push. I would very much like there to be an office of a media ombudsman who would dish out fines for grossly yet consistently inaccurate claims made in the public domain, very much like in Grauniad’s case. It goes without saying however that such an office would soon be abused, likely for the same purpose this blog is fighting against. Unless lies printed therein can be assaulted using the otherwise much abused UK libel laws, the paper can spread disinformation all they like. Such is the price of the freedom of expression.

  58. Stacey says:

    Eyjafjallajokull

    In English (UK) the best way to say this is as follows:-

    Hi Jeff Jet Late

    Repeat it a few times and you will soon impress your friends ;-)

  59. PaulH says:

    “Eyjafjallajokull,” on the other hand….gimme an abbreviation….something….anything….

    How about “Volcano E15″? Simple yet technical sounding, the E15 indicates the first letter in the name, followed by 15 more letters. ;-)

  60. Geoff Sherrington says:

    Maybe not the best place to post this, but this collection of images is doing the Internet rounds. If I knew the details better, I would insert acknowledgements. I simply have to assume that they have been put into public domain with permission.

    http://www.boston.com/bigpicture/2010/04/more_from_eyjafjallajokull.html

  61. JJB says:

    The left wing British press believe it is acceptable to lie if it serves the ‘greater good’ (or ensures their flatulent Hackney-centric eco-pundits keep getting invited to trendy dinner parties). In the case of AGW it is not even seen as necessary to print a retraction when lies are exposed (I stopped buying the Independent after their ‘Northwest Passage open for the first time’ BS). The right wing British press believe it is acceptable to lie in order to sell more newspapers. AGW gives them infinitely extendible scare copy to terrorise readers over morning tea – fits in nicely beside the ‘*insert item* causes / cures cancer’ garbage.

    If everything the British press claimed in the past were true, the entire UK population would be dead by now from brain-eating Creutzfeldt–Jakob disease caused by our taste for hamburgers. We’d be dead again from catastrophic outbreaks of Bird Flu, SARS, Ebola and Swine Flu. Our children would be suffering an autism epidemic brought on by the MMR vaccine. Planes would have fallen out of the sky on January 1st 2000 surrounded by atomic mushroom clouds as the millennium bug ravaged our computer systems. If all that didn’t get us, Saddam Hussain’s supposed WMDs would have wiped us out in 45 minutes (the press, not just the Government were complicit in that claim). And of course, by 2006, Winter snowfalls would have been a thing of the past.

    UK national newspapers are facing financial ruin (the Guardian is currently on its deathbed). Editors and proprietors wring their hands and blame the internet for usurping traditional journalism, but the real reason for dwindling sales is the disappearance of journalistic standards. The British public are getting tired of speculation reported as fact by pundits with an axe to grind and lazy hacks filling column inches from blogs, TV news feeds and their own imagination, and they are voting with their feet.

    The CAGW fixation is the final death rattle of the British national press, and I can’t say I’ll miss it when it’s gone.

  62. Steve in SC says:

    AEGeneral (21:23:55) :

    Math can be so simplistic in its brilliance.

    “Eyjafjallajokull,” on the other hand….gimme an abbreviation….something….anything….

    Lets go with an abbreviation for the printed word.

    Eyjljlkl or perhaps Eyjkl

  63. David Middleton says:

    They failed to consider Anthony’s point that people stranded by grounded aircraft seek other means of transportation, including cars, trains and battleships, etc. The BBC estimated that these other modes of transport generate as much CO2 as the planes would have.

    Not to be “picky”… But… All of the world’s remaining “battleships” are now either mothballed or have been converted into museums and/or memorials.

  64. Veronica (02:41:45) :

    I made a Google Earth image of the location of Windsor relative to Heathrow.

    http://docs.google.com/View?id=ddw82wws_614chnjdhgt

    It is about two runway lengths west of Heathrow, and most of the flights take off to the west. I used to run a business out of Wokingham – another 10 miles west – and the airport noise wasn’t really memorable there.

    On a climate note, I remember from ten years ago flying into Heathrow during the winter, it was normal to see the grass green and not uncommon to see people water skiing on those two lakes between Windsor and Heathrow. The winter climate in England has cooled dramatically since those warm days of the late 1990s and early 2000s.

  65. The Long Valley Caldera in California emits enough CO2 to kill trees on Mammoth Mountain.

    http://volcanoes.usgs.gov/lvo/activity/monitoring/co2.php

    The volcano is not erupting, but still emits over 30,000 tons of CO2 per year.

  66. OceanTwo says:

    The time when newspapers reported news from real reporters is long gone. The advent of the Internet, I believe, has driven newspapers to be more of an opinion outlet to be able to compete for readership. While newspapers have always tilted one way or another, now the bias is not just relegated to ‘opinion’ columns, but every article.

  67. ScientistForTruth (01:31:51)

    Now that they have Google, journalists can publish the first numbers that pop up on their screen and attribute them to experts.

    I remember in the early 1970s The Guardian published a well researched piece describing the “first atomic bomb blast at Los Alamos.” I wondered at the time if any of the scientist’s spouses were annoyed at their husband for blowing up nukes in the backyard.

  68. Pascvaks says:

    “Shame on the Guardian for this.. for that.. don’t they have.. this is terrible..” It’s obvious that many here have the impression that freedom of the press somehow includes some wierd idea of truth or integrity or.. whatever. To the pure of heart, I ask that you turn your eyes away for a moment and ‘page down’ a bit.

    Pssst… The Guardian, like the other tabloids people have been reading for the past 500 years, DO NOT CARE ABOUT ANYTHING EXCEPT SELLING NEWSPAPERS! As with the spectrum, there are many colors of light (truth) and most of these we can’t even see. Whos’ to say that night isn’t day, that green isn’t red, that hot isn’t cold? We don’t know everything!

    Publishers, editors, and journalists are not the slightest bit concerned about anything except selling their newspaper. And people on the Tube don’t even care about that;-)

    The more we “talk” about The Guardian here, the more publicity they get, the more people are curious about what the “truth” of the story is, the more newspapers The Gurardian sells. If you want to sell newspapers you have to be imaginative and flexable with everything. It’s a lot like Chicago-style politics at the national and international level.

  69. Pascvaks says:

    Ref – JAN (23:17:52) :
    AEGeneral (21:23:55) :
    ““Eyjafjallajokull,” on the other hand….gimme an abbreviation….something….anything….”
    _____________________________
    “Eyekull”

  70. Pamela Gray says:

    AEGeneral, if that is the name of a volcano, wonder what the longest word in their dictionary looks like. Yikes! You would run out of breath, spit, and need a drink of water before you get to the last syllable! I would imagine people die from lack of oxygen trying to have a conversation in that language. Wonder what the word is for “help”.

  71. Gail Combs says:

    JJB (05:23:09) :

    The left wing British press believe it is acceptable to lie if it serves the ‘greater good’

    UK national newspapers are facing financial ruin (the Guardian is currently on its deathbed). Editors and proprietors wring their hands and blame the internet for usurping traditional journalism, but the real reason for dwindling sales is the disappearance of journalistic standards….

    The CAGW fixation is the final death rattle of the British national press, and I can’t say I’ll miss it when it’s gone.
    _________________________________________________________________________________

    Very few newspapers now a days pay anymore attention to the truth than the “National Enquirer” and they are not half as entertaining. My Father-in-law, owner of a small newspaper, commented the only thing you can believe in a newspaper is the sports scores. He also said the only newspapers here in the USA that stay close to the truth are the Wall Street Journal and the Christian Science Monitor.

  72. Jud says:

    Post normal journalism?

  73. janama says:

    That USGS page on volcanoes has some spurious links – no one can track down the Gerlach paper as the link links back on itself and it was 1991 anyway.

    The other evening on the late night ABC radio they had a leading volcanologist from Leicester University – Dr Mike Branney discussing the eruption and answering questions on volcanoes. One of the listeners asked him how much CO2 did a volcano emit. His reply was – we don’t know, no one has managed to accurately measure it. He’s currently leading a team researching Yellowstone.

  74. Mike Haseler says:

    Atomic Hairdryer (03:50:43) :

    “Eyjafjallajokull” – pronounced “eya-fialla-yoecull”

    I saw a couple of YT clips where locals were saying it, and they say it fast with some ‘ch’ sounds in it. Sounded a bit like “eya-fiatchla-yoeclutch”,

    Danish, Swedish and to a less extent Norwegian and pronounced roughly in line with how they are written. But from what little Icelandic I’ve heard it seems to be very much a insular Norse dialect were there is very little resemblance between what is spoken and what is written.

  75. John Phillips says:

    It’s so often the case that superficial or inaccurate information is beautiful, but the in-depth accurate information is ugly, at least from an idealogical point of view.

  76. Scott says:

    I don’t think anyone’s commented this yet, which is surprising:

    What about the idea that a volcanic eruption(s) will be lowering temperatures a bit due to aerosol scattering?…My thought is that the media is trying to get it into people’s heads that the volcano has lowered carbon emissions (dramatically). Then, when temperatures drop a bit, they’ll say it’s due to the lower CO2 emissions.

    I know this seems silly to scientific-minded people, but to the everyday (uninformed) voter, it could be very persuasive – “See! We told you carbon emissions lowered and now the temperature dropped by 0.4 C!”

    Anyone else think there’s a chance of this?

    -Scott

  77. Mike Haseler (08:00:37) : “Danish, Swedish and to a less extent Norwegian and pronounced roughly in line with how they are written. But from what little Icelandic I’ve heard it seems to be very much a insular Norse dialect were there is very little resemblance between what is spoken and what is written.”

    I would say that Danish is the Scandinavian language whose pronunciation has departed the most from the written language.

    Anyway, yes, Icelandic orthography is roughly the same as it was 800 years ago, while the pronunciation has changed quite a bit. It’s kind of like if English had kept its orthography from before the great vowel shift. Oh, wait…

  78. Paul Clark says:

    Regarding volcano cooling they used to think that volcanoes make it colder by ash blocking sunlight. But ash should warm the air as much as the ground is cooled because it absorbs sunlight. So, the updated theory is that sulphur released as SO2 etc forms sulphuric acid clouds in the stratosphere reflecting sunlight.

    If so, how can Venus be so warm when its ground is permanently shrouded in such thick sulphuric acid clouds?

    AGW theory says that Venus is warmer than Mercury because of the greenhouse effect of its carbon dioxide atmosphere. Being closer to the Sun at 0.72 AU Venus gets about 1.9 times the E-M energy as Earth. And it is actually about twice as hot in Kelvin as Earth. But due to these sulphuric acid clouds Venus’ Albedo is listed at 0.65 — twice that of Earth’s 0.367. By that reasoning shouldn’t it wind up about the same temperature as Earth?

  79. Paul Clark (12:40:04) :

    Venus has a very dense, high pressure atmosphere. PV = nRT

    High pressure means high temperature. Just like on earth, where surface temperatures are as much as 90C warmer than temperatures at 35,000 feet.

  80. Stop Global Dumbing Now says:

    Random question.
    If Branson believes these reports that his planes put out more CO2 than the volcano, where should he stick his CO2 filters?

  81. Pascvaks says:

    Pictures (graphics) worth a thousand words?

    Here are some links to “Eykull” (pronounced ‘Eye-kull’) that you may not have seen yet and that will keep you up to date on what is happening, at least graphically.

    Main with all links at –

    http://hraun.vedur.is/ja/Katla2009/

    Tremor Activity –

    http://hraun.vedur.is/ja/Katla2009/gosplott.html

    Seismic Activity –

    http://hraun.vedur.is/ja/Katla2009/eyja_uppsafn.html

    PS: Secret to Icelandic pronunciation for anyone not from Iceland or the Great Northwest of Europa: Take the first 2 or 3 letters in the local name and add these to the last 4 letters (“Eyjafjallajokull” = “Ey” + “kull” {pronounced ‘eye-kull’}).

  82. Ric Werme says:

    Pamela Gray (06:59:43) :

    AEGeneral, if that is the name of a volcano, wonder what the longest word in their dictionary looks like. Yikes! You would run out of breath, spit, and need a drink of water before you get to the last syllable! I would imagine people die from lack of oxygen trying to have a conversation in that language. Wonder what the word is for “help”.

    Check out http://www.llanfairpwllgwyngyllgogerychwyrndrobwllllantysiliogogogoch.com/ which refers to other places, like Tetaumatawhakatangihangakoauaotamateaurehaeaturipukapihimaungahoronukupokaiwhenuaakitanarahu and a volcanic affliction, Pneumonoultramicroscopicsilicovolcanokoniosis.

  83. Ric Werme says:

    Paul Clark (12:40:04) :

    AGW theory says that Venus is warmer than Mercury because of the greenhouse effect of its carbon dioxide atmosphere. Being closer to the Sun at 0.72 AU Venus gets about 1.9 times the E-M energy as Earth. And it is actually about twice as hot in Kelvin as Earth. But due to these sulphuric acid clouds Venus’ Albedo is listed at 0.65 — twice that of Earth’s 0.367. By that reasoning shouldn’t it wind up about the same temperature as Earth?

    It is – if you sample the part of the atmosphere where the air pressure is close to the surface pressure on Earth (1 bar). As you go further down, assuming the atmosphere is mixing well, then the temperature increases with the “lapse rate”.

  84. http://www.guardian.co.uk/business/2010/apr/23/stranded-britons-british-airways-seat-prices

    Ryanair said today it was likely to have cleared the backlog of disrupted passengers by tomorrow and scheduled three extra flights from Spain to London and Dublin. The Civil Aviation Authority said the operational situation now appears to be stabilising following Met Office advice the volcanic ash cloud is moving north. Extra easyJet flights from Corfu and Gran Canaria were due to land in the UK tonight. The airline said it had leased several extra planes and trebled the size of its call centre to cope with the backlog.

  85. Airlines are running extra flights as fast as they can to catch up with the backlog. All that extra CO2……..

    http://business.timesonline.co.uk/tol/business/industry_sectors/transport/article7107033.ece

  86. Just a small point I’d like to make. The last Battleship was decommissioned in the early 90s. Carriers, Amphibs and the like, while large ain’t no gun toting battlewagon!

  87. kwik says:

    Here you can see how this story is spread to MSM in the western world;

    This is in VG, the biggest tabloid in Norway;

    http://translate.google.no/translate?js=y&prev=_t&hl=no&ie=UTF-8&layout=1&eotf=1&u=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.vg.no%2Fnyheter%2Fvaer%2Fartikkel.php%3Fartid%3D10004233&sl=no&tl=en

    They dont dare to give the name of the journalist. They only say its from “NTB” (Norwegian Telegram Bureau) which can be compared to Reuters.

    They are hammering in the AGW message. No logic, no data. They just have a “feeling” its so. Therefore it is possibly so. And later in the minds of the reader, it IS so.

    Goebbels tactics.

  88. Ari Tai says:

    Who has the calculations that document the claimed ~440K tonnes (metric tons) per day of CO2 from EU air traffic? Looks at least a power of 2 too large(?) (or the numbers below are low by the same amount – or some split).

    From http://www.bts.gov/xml/air_traffic/src/index.xml

    The site documents that U.S. airlines are currently flying around 1000 billion (1 trillion, 1e12) seat miles per year. Using 5 cents per seat mile for JP4 fuel (occupied or not) and $3 a gallon for JP4 we can estimate ~130,000 tonnes of fuel use per day * 3.2 tonnes CO2 per tonne of JP4 is ~450K tonnes per day for U.S. carriers. The U.S. has a much more dispersed population and travels by air 3-4x the number of times an equivalent 3-4x the distance that those do on the continent. To say nothing of the EC having a fast system of trains dedicated to moving people cross-continent (at almost the speed of air given airport processing issues).

    Also omitted from the impact statement is the “new water” being outgassed from the mantle/subduction layer into the atmosphere by the volcano (doesn’t this have a much larger greenhouse impact per tonne than CO2?).

  89. Paul Clark says:

    stevengoddard and Ric Werme thanks for the replies. I agree the temperature on Venus appears to be related to pressure. Like on Earth average temperature and pressure decreases with altitude for some kilometres up. Yet, it doesn’t explain that thermal gradient with altitude.

    PV = nRT is useful for changes such as a gas container that doubles in size. But, in nearer-equilibrium situations such as the Earth’s atmosphere pressure needn’t have anything to do with temperature.

    Put it this way: shouldn’t the high temperature and pressure of the Venusian atmosphere repel itself thus expanding its volume? And shouldn’t the air below eventually warm the air above? Why doesn’t gravity determine the amount of air a planet gets? I have heard the theory that rock absorbs the extra air pressure on Earth compared to Venus, but 92 atm difference?! That’s a lot!

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