PSU still on schedule

The Iceland volcano Bardarbunga began showing signs of erupting Saturday, but the Penn State football team has not changed its travel plans to Ireland for next week’s season opener against Central Florida.

Even scientists disagree about what is happening with Bardarbunga, which was upgraded Saturday to the highest threat level for an eruption (red). If the volcano erupts and sends vast amounts of ash into the sky, air travel across parts of Europe could be impacted for several days.

Penn State released the following statement Saturday evening:

“Over the past several days we have been talking with officials from UCF, the GAA (Gaelic Athletic Association) and United Airlines, our charter provider. We continue to monitor the situation and maintain regular communication with all appropriate parties.

“The safety and welfare of our student-athletes, staff and fans will be at the forefront throughout our discussions. At this time, we are continuing our preparations for the game and for the team to depart Tuesday evening for Dublin.”

The volcano is buried beneath a glacier, and some scientists believe it began a subglacial eruption Saturday. Later in the day, however, the Icelandic Meteorological Office reported “there are no signs of ongoing volcanic activity,” according to published reports.

“The eruption is considered a minor event at this point. Because of a pressure from the glacier cap, it is uncertain whether the eruption will stay subglacial or not,” officials in Iceland said in a statement.

A 2010 volcano eruption in Iceland caused massive air travel delays across Europe. Since then, airline regulations have changed substantially, so even if Bardarbunga erupts, it is not expected to create as much havoc.

Still, any fans planning to visit Ireland next week could have their air travel affected depending on what happens with the volcano.