The year without summer- 19th century climate change.

eruption-of-Tambora

I am not saying there is no climate change, I am actually saying the opposite. In fact there have been several climate changes in this planet’s history.

The year 1816 is known as the Year Without a Summer (also the Poverty Year, the Summer that Never Was, Year There Was No Summer, and Eighteen Hundred and Froze to Death) because of severe climate abnormalities that caused average global temperatures to decrease by 0.4–0.7 °C (0.7–1.3 °F).This resulted in major food shortages across the Northern Hemisphere.

early-settlers

The year 1816 was known as the year without a summer because of the eruption of Mount Tambora, a volcano in Indonesia. In 1815 it threw billions of cubic yards of dust over 15 miles into the atmosphere. Because the dust penetrated the stratosphere, wind currents spread it throughout the world. As a consequence of this volcanic activity, in 1816 normal weather patterns were greatly altered. Some parts of Europe and the British Isles experienced average temperatures 2.9F to 5.8F (1.6C to 3.2C) below normal. In New England heavy snow fell between June 6 and June 11 and frost occurred every month of 1816. Crop failures were experienced in Western Europe and Canada as well as in New England. In 1817, the excess dust had settled and the climate returned to more normal conditions.

A-depiction-of-the-Mount-Tambora-eruption

 

High levels of tephra in the atmosphere led to unusually spectacular sunsets during this period, a feature celebrated in the paintings of J. M. W. Turner.This may have given rise to the yellow tinge predominant in his paintings such as Chichester Canal circa 1828.

Chichester_Canal_(1828)

The lack of oats to feed horses may have inspired the German inventor Karl Drais to research new ways of horseless transportation, which led to the invention of the velocipede.

800px-Velocipedes

This was the ancestor of the modern bicycle and a step toward mechanized personal transport.

The crop failures of the “Year without a Summer” may have helped shape the settling of the “American Heartland”, as many thousands of people (particularly farm families who were wiped out by the event) left New England for what is now western and central New York and the Midwest (then the Northwest Territory) in search of a more hospitable climate, richer soil, and better growing conditions. Indiana became a state in December 1816 and Illinois two years later.

According to historian L. D. Stillwell, Vermont alone experienced a decrease in population of between 10,000 and 15,000, erasing seven previous years of population growth. Among those who left Vermont were the family of Joseph Smith, who moved from Norwich, Vermont (though he was born in Sharon, Vermont) to Palmyra, New York.

Joseph_Smith,_Jr._portrait_owned_by_Joseph_Smith_III

This move precipitated the series of events that culminated in the publication of the Book of Mormon and the founding of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.

The_Book_of_Mormon-_An_Account_Written_by_the_Hand_of_Mormon_upon_Plates_Taken_from_the_Plates_of_Nephi

 

In June 1816, “incessant rainfall” during that “wet, ungenial summer” forced Mary Shelley, John William Polidori, and their friends to stay indoors at Villa Diodati overlooking Lake Geneva for much of their Swiss holiday. They decided to have a contest to see who could write the scariest story, leading Shelley to write Frankenstein, or The Modern Prometheus and Lord Byron to write “A Fragment”, which Polidori later used as inspiration for The Vampyre a precursor to Dracula. In addition, Lord Byron was inspired to write the poem “Darkness”, by a single day when “the fowls all went to roost at noon and candles had to be lit as at midnight”.

Justus von Liebig, a chemist who had experienced the famine as a child in Darmstadt, later studied plant nutrition and introduced mineral fertilizers.

In addition to food shortages, the natural climate change caused disease outbreaks, widespread migration of people looking for a better home and religious revivals as people tried to make sense of it all.

Cool temperatures and heavy rains resulted in failed harvests in Britain and Ireland. Families in Wales travelled long distances as refugees, begging for food. Famine was prevalent in north and southwest Ireland, following the failure of wheat, oats, and potato harvests. In Germany, the crisis was severe; food prices rose sharply. With the cause of the problems unknown, people demonstrated in front of grain markets and bakeries, and later riots, arson, and looting took place in many European cities. It was the worst famine of 19th-century Europe.

The effects were widespread and lasted beyond the winter. In western Switzerland, the summers of 1816 and 1817 were so cool that an ice dam formed below a tongue of the Giétro Glacier high in the Val de Bagnes.

800px-Glacier_du_Giétro

Despite engineer Ignaz Venetz’s efforts to drain the growing lake, the ice dam collapsed catastrophically in June 1818.

In China, the cold weather killed trees, rice crops, and even water buffalo, especially in the north. Floods destroyed many remaining crops. Mount Tambora’s eruption disrupted China’s monsoon season, resulting in overwhelming floods in the Yangtze Valley. In India, the delayed summer monsoon caused late torrential rains that aggravated the spread of cholera from a region near the River Ganges in Bengal to as far as Moscow.

WeatherJune1816RepublicanFarmer

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