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The Daily Flash -Eco, Space, Tech (6/14)

"The Year Without Summer" - What Caused the Mini 'Ice Age' of the Early 1800's?


Global warming is our current focus, but from 1810 to 1819, people worried because the planet was far colder than usual, with the planet cooling almost a full degree Fahrenheit. 1816 according to climate historians was known as "the year without a summer."

The chill of 1816 has long been blamed on an Indonesian volcano called Tambora, which erupted the year before. But why the years before Tambora's eruption were also colder than usual was a mystery. Recently uncovered evidence in the ice of Antarctica and Greenland suggests that another volcanic eruption may have contributed to the worldwide dip in temperatures.

Jihong Cole-Dai, a chemistry professor at South Dakota State University, led the expeditions to Antarctica and Greenland, told NPR's Guy Raz in an interview that volcanoes dump large quantities of ash and sulfur dioxide into the atmosphere, which acts "like a giant window shade, reflecting sunlight and lowering temperatures on the ground for years afterward."

But Cole-Dai empasizes that one eruption isn't enough to freeze an entire decade. He knew something else had to have been going on which turned out to be layers of sulfur buried in ice cores from Greenland and Antarctica that showed another volcano had erupted some time in 1809, triggering  a mini ice age.

Cole-Dai said his research team isn't sure exactly where the mystery volcano is, but they suspect that it was somewhere near the equator and that it had to be large enough to blanket the planet in ash.

Casey Kazan



The Greek legend of Persephone seems to describe a 'year without a summer' event. Perhaps the bronze age eruption of Santorini could be the source of this myth. Anyone considered this before? As far as I can tell, I'm the only person who has made this link. Look up PERSEPHONE and SANTORINI and see what you think.

Intriguing topic. Thanks for introducing Cole-Dai's research. It is definitely something to look into.

Great information thanks for sharing your blog post..

@Peter. Try googling Persephone and Thera instead. Santorini is the modern name for the island/volcano. Your thought is an impressive one but you aren't the first to connect the myth and the eruption.


Yeah or rename it the MONTHLY Galaxy...

possibly the indonesian supervolcano? there was also much activity in south america at this time, later massive earthquakes witnessed by many and recorded by Darwin in his "voyage of the beagle" published in 1837.

Actually Tambora was the result of the Dalton solar Minimum. The sun goes dormant every 206 years which produces colder/more severe weather, major volcanic eruptions and major earthquakes. The Dalton Minimum occurred between 1793 and 1830. In 1811 - 1812 the New Madrid Fault ruptured causing the Mississippi River to run Northward for 3 days, changed its course, created the Reel Foot Lakes and drained many other lakes. The population was sparse but today there are millions of Americans living in this seismic zone. The current solar minimum (Eddy Minimum) started in 2008 and will run until about 2038. Major earthquakes in the US are a 80% certainty in the next 4 to 6 years if the minimum progresses as before. By the way thousands of Americans died of starvation and freezing during the year without a summer. They planted their crops several times but each crop was destroyed by bitter cold/snow/ice during June, July, August and September of 1815. If you want to know what to expect you should read "Upheaval" by John L. Casey. Tough times are a cummin.

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