A Year without Summer

June 16, 2018
1816 is known as the year without summer when average global temperatures dropped by 0.4-0.7 degree C. This year is sometimes called “Eighteen Hundred and Nearly Frozen to Death.” A variety of almanacs and magazines have published their thoughts: 

“What would happen if the Sun should become tired of illuminating this gloomy planet?” –North American Review, 1816

“The Sun’s rays seemed to be destitute of heat throughout the summer; all nature was clad in a sable hue.” –Albany (N.Y.) Almanac, 1852

Like seriously, how is it possible?

A volcanic eruption of Mount Tambora  in April 1815 that lasted for nearly two weeks released tons of gases and debris into the atmosphere. This resulted in the blotting of the sun for months. This has made it the possibility of having a year without summer.

What caused a Volcanic winter?

What happens in Green house effect is that the gases emitted from the earth causes temperatures to rise.  But volcanic eruptions causes the opposite.  The particulars ejected from the eruptions acts to reflect the sunlight and thus allows less solar radiation to reach the earth.  Sulphur dioxide forms into sulphuric acid that causes to form aerosols high up in the atmosphere and  this can block solar radiation for several years.

Adverse effects

Due to the sudden drop in the temperature agriculture suffered. Crops were destroyed in the United States, Europe and Asia. Disease flourished like cholera which was a big blow to man in the 19th century.

Rise in drug trade

Due to crop failures, the economic condition of people got affected. This led to the cultivation of Opium in places like China.

Frankenstein and Bicycle

Percy Shelley, Mary Shelley, Lord Byron, John Polidori took a trip to Geneva Lake. Due to the adverse weather conditions they wound up indoors and so Mary Shelley came up with Frankenstein or The Modern Prometheus. The shortage of food triggered extreme price rise also on horse's food.  This made it quite expensive to keep horses. Karl Drais invented ' Laufmaschine ' or a 'running machine' which was almost similar to a bicycle, however instead of pedals you had to use your feet ( Fred Flintstones Vehicle)

Crazy Natural Phenomena

Dust and Volcanic ash made the sunlight refracting through moisture in the atmosphere all the more vivid and splendid. This in turn inspired wondrous paintings like the 1828 Turner painting  Chichester Canal.  The Artic faced the opposite weather as nature's way of making a balance in the atmosphere.  It warmed up enough to clear the sea ice for the British explorers to map out an area and hunt for Northwest Passage.

Post Written by -  Adap Immanuel Teron

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