The global impact of Iceland’s volcano

By Laurie Bennett

April 21, 2010 at 10:20am

It’s the butterfly effect, but bigger and smokier.

The cloud of ash from Iceland’s Eyjafjallajokull volcano caused the cancellation of thousands of flights for travelers; shortened the guest list at the Polish president’s funeral; cost airlines at least $200 million a day; and shook the already fragile economies of countries across Europe.

The world was different when the volcano last blew, in 1821. Volcanic ash didn’t stop ships. Markets didn’t rely on same-day deliveries from exporters on the other side of the globe.

In the age of complex, high-speed networks, a remote volcano in the North Atlantic can halt travel and trade in urban centers thousands of miles away.

World leaders were prevented from attending the funeral of Polish President Lech Kaczynski. A fact-finding team had to abort its mission in the war crimes trial of former Liberian leader Charles Taylor. Kenyan farmers had to destroy tons of flowers and vegetables because they couldn’t ship them to Europe. British tourists failed to return home in time to register for the May 6 general election.

Here in the U.S., wedding planners scrambled to find alternatives to the Dutch tulips that didn’t arrive at the New York’s flower district. BMW, unable to get parts, cut production at its South Carolina plant. Runners stranded in their home countries missed the Boston Marathon.

European airlines, likening their losses to those suffered by U.S. airlines after 9-11, are seeking a government bailout. The European Commission has launched a study into the impact on the airlines and the broader economy.

The fallout will continue long after Eyjafjallajokull stops spewing smoke.

Sources consulted to assemble the volcano map include:

Follow Muckety on Twitter Tweet This! Share on Facebook

Click here to sign up for the Muckety Newsletter

 Read related stories: Networking · Recent Stories  


Leave a Comment

The relationship map to the left is interactive.
• Solid lines are current relations. Dotted lines are former relations.
• Expand items with + signs by double-clicking or by selecting multiple items in the map and pressing the "e" key.
• Move an item in the map by clicking and dragging.
• You can also delete items, separate boxes and save maps. Right-click on the map or select Map Tools for these options.
• Find out more about an item in the map by right-clicking on the item and choosing Information about...
• View map color key.
• This interactive map requires Flash player.

Become a fan of Muckety on Facebook

  • Search for stories
    Special Features

Follow Muckety on Twitter Follow Muckety on Twitter
Muckety has no direct connection to most of the people or organizations listed on these pages.
We are unable to forward personal messages or provide personal contact information.
We make every effort at Muckety to ensure that our data is correct and timely. However, relationships are in constant flux and we cannot guarantee accuracy. If you come across incorrect or outdated information, please let us know by email.
© 2017 Muckety LLC