From Iceland — Gas From Eruptions Reaching Reykjavík Area Today

Gas From Eruptions Reaching Reykjavík Area Today

Published April 14, 2021

Photo by
Art Bicnick

Gas pollution from the eruptions in Reykjanes will flow over the greater capital area today. Those with pre-existing respiratory conditions, the elderly, and small children should avoid being outside during peak times, and it would be a good idea to keep your windows closed as well.

Helpfully, the Icelandic Met Office has an interactive map which shows the path and concentration of SO2 and SO4 coming from the eruption. The slide at the bottom left of the site can show you where the gas is forecast to be flowing, at what times, and in what concentrations.

As can be seen, these gases will be flowing over the greater Reykjavík area throughout the day today, at concentrations from 100 to 600μg/m3. Shifting winds will begin to carry the gases to the west at around 17:00 today.

A new report from Nature, co-authored by numerous scientists in Iceland, shows that exposure to these gases can lead to respiratory problems, and that “[a]bsence of public advisories is associated with increases in visits to primary care medical doctors and to the hospital emergency department.”

That being the case, you would do well to check the volcanic gas pollution site regularly, and plan accordingly.

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