...chain reactions like earthquakes, tsunamis, lahars and devastating climate changes. It’s these completely unpredictable climate changes that take the greatest toll on human life months, even years after an eruption.
There are over fifteen hundred active volcanoes the world over. Half of which can greatly disrupt weather patterns. Mount Tambora (Sumbawa, Indonesia) unleashed her fury on April 12, 1815. It was the largest eruption in the last 10,000 years. Over a period of five days she launched 150 million tons of ash and rock into the tropical sky by way of a 28 mile high eruption plume. Only about 1/3 of the debris fell back to earth. Over the next year the resulting ash “blanket” acted as a reflective barrier between the earth and the sun. Without the vital cosmic warmth cooling trends wreaked havoc on the surface affecting millions of people.
The year 1816 became known as “the year without a summer.” Bizarre cold weather cavorted across the Northern Hemisphere. New England received sixteen inches of snow in mid-June and frosts in August. Hungry and Italy recorded unseasonable snowfall that was brown. Switzerland experienced red snow and torrential rains. In Southwest China crippling frosts devastated rice crops. Worldwide millions of acres of corn, wheat, and rice were lost. Famine was unavoidable. Riots broke out in London, France, and Munich. In America people began butchering the oxen and horses that hadn’t already starved themselves. The eruption of Mount Tambora has the largest mortality rate of any other to date. An estimated 92,000 people died, the majority being victims of starvation due to the volcanic winter.
Seventy-five thousand years ago Lake Toba (Sumatra, Indonesia) was the home of Mount Toba before her eruption. Ice and soil samples were traced back to this particular volcano on a molecular level. For ash deposits to be found in such an expanse of regions the mega eruption would have blanketed the earth for a significant period of time theoretically starting a cooling trend that escalated into an ice age.
In 1883 Krakatoa had one of the most destructive eruptions known; obliterating a chain of three connected volcanic islands. In the preceding decade the global temperature dropped 5 ° F. With the eruption of Mt. Pinnatubo in 1990 global temperatures again lowered by 3 ° F. Just one super eruption could start a chain of events with greater modern consequences. Food sources would diminish and westernized infrastructures would flounder. The fact that life thrives on Earth is due to volcanoes. Eruptions are the nature of a breathing and ever changing planet. Volcanic weather is responsible for the rise and falls of species, the rise and fall of human population, and the rise and fall of existence.