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Why? Because they could.
In a U.S. morning show first, “GMA’s” Ginger Zee narrated the live images alongside a drone pilot and Bjorn Oddsson, a geophysicist with Icelandic Civil Protection. “Once the drones let us all in to that mesmerizing moment, I felt proud that we were there, excited for science and technology,” Zee told TVNewser as she arrived back in Reykjavik. “Our purpose was to update the world on the progress of this lava field while seeing it, live, in a way we’ve not been able to before.”
As Zee described “the bubbling wall of fire,” George Stephanopoulos asked what we could learn from all this:
“What is important is to monitor the area and see the change with time so if you take images from drones or other equipment, we can compare from time to time what’s happening,” said Oddsson.
Zee and her crew stayed about 3/4 of a mile away from the Bardarbunga volcano which became active in August, erupted in September and now has a lava field the size of Manhattan. As news organizations embrace the new technology that drones offer, Zee says it’s more than gee whiz TV: “There will be applications to the science of volcanoes. There have already been studies in Hawaii and Costa Rica using drones.”