Airlines Blame Flawed Computer Modelling For Up To $1.7 Billion Loss

Airlines Blame Flawed Computer Modelling For Up To $1.7 Billion Loss“. Anthony Watts rounds up some like-minded comments about the impact of the Eyjafjallajokull volcano eruption. Apparently gubmints are ruining everything and computer models are all flawed.

The IATA, a lobby group for the airline industry, would have preferred to roll the dice and keep flying through the ash clouds from the Eyjafjallajokull volcano in Iceland. The astroturf Global Warming Policy Foundation says ‘right on, them gubmits can’t tell us what to do!’

The GWFP is actually just co-opting this topic to declare that they want “to bring reason, integrity and balance to a climate debate that has become seriously unbalanced, irrationally alarmist, and all too often depressingly intolerant”. We have to “balance between risk and reward“, in this instance, the airline’s profits versus their passenger’s lives. Just like coal and oil company profits have to be ‘balanced’.

The dangers of flying through an ash cloud. Source: BBC News.

What’s happening in the air? The criticized Numerical Atmospheric-dispersion Modelling Environment (NAME) has been updated with new safety thresholds based on better detection and risk assessments. Commercial flight has resumed with much smaller “no-fly” zones.

Denialists are trying to paint this as another example of a computer modeling failure, but the system, which accurately modeled the ash dispersion, has simply been updated with better risk analysis.

2 thoughts on “Airlines Blame Flawed Computer Modelling For Up To $1.7 Billion Loss

  1. What a load of nonsense from Watts, yet again. There was no discrepancy between modeled ash dispersion and observations. The issue was that we knew so little about how dangerous ash was, that the relevent authorities held a no tolerance policy, and rightly so. After several test flights, the safe threshold has been raised to 2000mg m-3.

    Perhaps someone should notify Anthony about the pictures released last week of the engines of Finnish F-18’s?

    Or the cargo jet grounded in Belgium today?

    Or is he aware

  2. There is this as well of course…

    http://www.guardian.co.uk/world/2010/apr/21/airlines-flights-ban-airspace

    [The Guardian didn’t ‘bury the lede’ in this article. First sentence is:

    Last night’s reopening of the skies over the UK followed intense lobbying from an airline industry that for years has resisted efforts by regulators to set a “safe” level of volcanic ash at which it is considered that flights can continue, the Guardian can reveal.

    – Ben]

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