Volcanic ash from Iceland forces cancellation of flights, disrupts travel for thousands
Watching Iceland's Eyjafjallajokull volcano shutdown air traffic over Northern Europe is sobering. Especially as Eyjafjallajokull often precedes large eruptions at nearby Katla, which has been rumbling for some time now. The thought of Europe not having air traffic for several months or a year is scary.
I'm wishing that I could have gotten "Ashfall" published earlier than this as it addresses the effects of large-scale volcanic activity on industrial and post-industrial society and possible means of coping with it. At sometime in the future a volcano will turn a significant portion of the Earth's surface into a lunar landscape, as has happened many times before. While that prospect is somewhat distant or at least unlikely in a given life time, major regional disasters in industrialized countries and planet-wide climactic effects are very real probabilities.