The largest airspace shutdown since WWII: Volcanic ash prediction and its challenges.

Date: Wednesday 3 October 2018

Time: 19:00 - 21:00


University of Reading Sutcliffe Lecture Theatre Department of Meteorology Earley Gate, Whiteknights Reading RG6 7BE


The presence of widely dispersed volcanic ash clouds in the atmosphere can disrupt air travel, resulting in serious global economic consequences. For example, the eruption of Iceland's Eyjafjallajokull volcano in 2010 closed European airspace for six and a half days, grounding over 95,000 flights and affecting roughly 10 million passengers. The International Air Transport Association stated that the total loss for the airline industry was around £1.1. billion. The event highlighted an incomplete understanding of the impact of volcanic ash on aircraft engines, poor communication between scientists from different disciplines and deficiencies in the volcanic ash observing networks. Since 2010, progress has been made to address these issues with the ultimate aim of improving volcanic ash cloud predictions. In this seminar I will provide an overview of volcanic ash cloud prediction, discuss the challenges involved in making accurate volcanic ash predictions and present results comparing observations and model simulations of the Eyjafjallajokull volcanic ash cloud.

This meeting is part of the Royal Meteorological Society Meetings programme, open to all, from expert to enthusiast, for topical discussions on the latest advances in weather and climate.

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