The Browning Newsletter, Covering Climate, Behavior and Commodities
Comment of the Day

November 14 2014

Commentary by David Fuller

The Browning Newsletter, Covering Climate, Behavior and Commodities

My thanks to Alex Seagle of Browning Newsletter for the latest issue of this impressive letter, by Evelyn Browning Garriss.  Here is a brief sample:

The Wild Card

There is one major wild card in this scenario – the giant eruption in Iceland’s Holuhraun lava field.

Not all volcanic eruptions are explosive. In Hawaii, for example, volcano eruptions are usually relatively quiet lava flows. (There is currently one that is threatening the Pahoa subdivision. Ironically the greatest damage the community is enduring is from looters, not lava.) Similarly, the Holuhraun eruption is a low-lying eruption, with relatively small explosions (about the size of the Statue of Liberty) and lots of oozing lava and gas.

The volcano has been erupting since Au­gust and emitted between 20,000 -- 60,000 tons of SO2 per day (compared to all of Europe which emits 14,000 tons per day). Scientists are reporting that this is not high enough to affect climate, but this much low-lying acidic fog is affecting the daily weather. No one has died, but the Icelandic air is blue with an eye-stinging haze.

Scientists report that, given the amount of debris this volcano has emitted, it is the largest Icelandic eruption in centuries. His­torically, eruptions like this add to cooling and acid rain as far south as Great Britain and Central Europe. This is one more sign that Europe has a very high probability of a cold winter this year. If the cold affects the jet stream, then the ripple would allow colder air to penetrate downstream as well, in Siberia and portions of Northern China.

Of course, if the explosion grows more violent, penetrating the stratosphere, then it would affect the Icelandic Low semi-per­manent air pressure region and the impact would be huge. No one expects this to hap­pen.

However, stay tuned. There is a wild card in Iceland.

David Fuller's view

Here is the Browning Newsletter.

Last winter was unusually mild in the UK, and I did not experience freezing temperatures in London.  A cold winter in Europe and the UK would increase the risk of energy shortages, largely due to the inadequate energy policies of most governments. 

The Browning Newsletter forecasts warm winter conditions for the US Pacific Coast, which would reduce drought problems from California to Texas.  In contrast, she says the Southern and East Coast regions are likely to be colder.  

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