Much of the commerce in Europe is conducted via air freight, and I read in a news article today that collectively, passenger airlines are losing >$200M/day as long as European air-space is closed by volcanic ash. With all the ripple-effects that can result from this disruption of travel and commerce, will European economies be badly damaged? Europe has rail systems far superior to what we have in the US, but do they have the capacity and infrastructure to pick up all the slack? Italian producers of buffalo mozzarella (a highly perishable product) are scrambling. Do they dump the milk or attempt to find alternative means to distribute their product? There is no way of knowing how long the current eruption will last and at what rate. Even more sobering was finding out that the 1821 eruption of this same volcano lasted over a year.