Edinburgh in Scotland getting high levels of SO2 from the eruption in Iceland

Pollution from the eruption is being felt in Edinburgh, Scotland.

Pollution from the eruption is being felt in Edinburgh, Scotland. mbl.is/Kristinn Magnússon

An unprecedented increase in SO2 has been detected in Edinburgh, Scotland. The volcanic eruption at Sundhnúkagígar crater row is believed to be responsible. BBC reports.

Scientists believe that strong winds carried the pollution from the eruption to the city.

SO2 has not been detected in the atmosphere in the Scottish capital since the 80s, when heavy industry dominated the city.



2.322 times more SO2 in the air

Two days after the eruption, 1,161 micrograms of sulfur dioxide per cubic meter of air were detected in St. Leon's Street in the south of the city.

On a typical day in the city, about 0.5 micrograms of SO2 are detected in the air. This means that the air is 2.322 times more SO2 than usual.

Researchers at the Centre for Ecology and Hydrology in the UK (UKCEH) say there is no danger to the public from the pollution.

BBC quotes UKCEH’s senior air pollution modeller, Dr Massimo Vieno : “We basically had a large explosion in Iceland, which combined with exactly the right configuration of wind to bring the plume from the Reykjanes Peninsula to Scotland and to Edinburgh specifically. However, he adds that the incident is “extremely unusual”.

To give a better idea of how far the pollution has travelled, it can be mentioned that Ed­in­burgh is almost 1368 kilometres from the Reykjanes peninsula.




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