Ball’s Pyramid

A Clive special from 2015, re-published because it is worth re-reading. Ever since I saw my first pictures of Ball’s Pyramid, I wanted to know more about this isolated and amazing structure. The pyramid is named after Lieutenant Henry Lidgbird Ball, who discovered it in 1788. On the same voyage, Ball also discovered Lord Howe…

The Rumble in the Jungle

Africa in general is a place that is easy to fall in love with, in particular Tanzania is easy to become deeply enamoured with. Sometimes I think that there is a deep DNA-memory remnant in all of us that is telling us that this is our ancestral home. When most people think about Tanzania, they…

Strong tremor signal detected at Grimsvötn

At 19.03 local time the automatic SIL-system in Iceland picked up a strong tremor signal. When this type of tremor signal is visible in Iceland it is normally associated with either a large jökulhlaup (rapid glacial melt outflow) that can become larger than the output of the Amazon River, or it is associated with an…

Tambora, the lost summer and the hobby horse

Morn came and went – and came, and brought no day Lord Byron, Darkness, 1816 The world has changed. It is not something we normally notice – change is slow and memory surprisingly selective. Nothing has altered but everything’s changed, as the song says, paraphrasing Jean-Paul Sartre. We have little idea of how our parents…

London VAAC Calling

Lately there has been a bit of discussion about Flight Level Ash Advisories and how people interpret them visavi actual columnal height. Some have been disappointed when it has turned out that the advisories have been up to 3 times as high as the confirmed numbers released by the various agencies at a later stage.…