Forum for Science, Industry and Business

Sponsored by:     3M 
Search our Site:

 

1600 Eruption Caused Global Disruption

25.04.2008
The 1600 eruption of Huaynaputina in Peru had a global impact on human society, according to a new study of contemporary records by geologists at UC Davis.

The eruption is known to have put a large amount of sulfur into the atmosphere, and tree ring studies show that 1601 was a cold year, but no one had looked at the agricultural and social impacts, said Ken Verosub, professor of geology at UC Davis.

"We knew it was a big eruption, we knew it was a cold year, and that's all we knew," Verosub said.

Sulfur reacts with water in the air to form droplets of sulfuric acid, which cool the planet by reducing the amount of sunlight reaching the Earth's surface. But the droplets soon fall back to Earth, so the cooling effects last only a year or so.

Verosub and undergraduate student Jake Lippmann combed through records from the turn of the 17th century from Europe, China and Japan, as well as the Spanish and Portuguese colonies in South America and the Philippines, for information about changes in climate, agriculture and society.

In Russia, 1601-1603 brought the worst famine in the country's history, leading to the overthrow of the reigning tsar. Records from Switzerland, Latvia and Estonia record exceptionally cold winters in 1600-1602; in France, the 1601 wine harvest was late, and wine production collapsed in Germany and colonial Peru. In China, peach trees bloomed late, and Lake Suwa in Japan had one of its earliest freezing dates in 500 years.

"In one sense, we can't prove that the volcano was responsible for all this," Verosub said. "But we hope to show that 1601 was a consistently bad year, connected by this event."

The previous major eruption that might have affected global climate was in 1452-53, when records were much less complete: in Europe, people began to take more careful note of the natural world after the Renaissance. The 1815 Tambora eruption in Indonesia had a well-documented impact on global agriculture, so such eruptions may occur as often as every 200 years, Verosub noted.

Verosub hopes to expand the study by examining records kept by the Jesuit order in Seville, Spain, and from the Ming Dynasty in China.

The initial results are presented in an article in Eos, the transactions of the American Geophysical Union.

Andy Fell | EurekAlert!
Further information:
http://www.ucdavis.edu

More articles from Earth Sciences:

nachricht Water - as the underlying driver of the Earth’s carbon cycle
17.01.2017 | Max-Planck-Institut für Biogeochemie

nachricht Modeling magma to find copper
13.01.2017 | Université de Genève

All articles from Earth Sciences >>>

The most recent press releases about innovation >>>

Die letzten 5 Focus-News des innovations-reports im Überblick:

Im Focus: How gut bacteria can make us ill

HZI researchers decipher infection mechanisms of Yersinia and immune responses of the host

Yersiniae cause severe intestinal infections. Studies using Yersinia pseudotuberculosis as a model organism aim to elucidate the infection mechanisms of these...

Im Focus: Interfacial Superconductivity: Magnetic and superconducting order revealed simultaneously

Researchers from the University of Hamburg in Germany, in collaboration with colleagues from the University of Aarhus in Denmark, have synthesized a new superconducting material by growing a few layers of an antiferromagnetic transition-metal chalcogenide on a bismuth-based topological insulator, both being non-superconducting materials.

While superconductivity and magnetism are generally believed to be mutually exclusive, surprisingly, in this new material, superconducting correlations...

Im Focus: Studying fundamental particles in materials

Laser-driving of semimetals allows creating novel quasiparticle states within condensed matter systems and switching between different states on ultrafast time scales

Studying properties of fundamental particles in condensed matter systems is a promising approach to quantum field theory. Quasiparticles offer the opportunity...

Im Focus: Designing Architecture with Solar Building Envelopes

Among the general public, solar thermal energy is currently associated with dark blue, rectangular collectors on building roofs. Technologies are needed for aesthetically high quality architecture which offer the architect more room for manoeuvre when it comes to low- and plus-energy buildings. With the “ArKol” project, researchers at Fraunhofer ISE together with partners are currently developing two façade collectors for solar thermal energy generation, which permit a high degree of design flexibility: a strip collector for opaque façade sections and a solar thermal blind for transparent sections. The current state of the two developments will be presented at the BAU 2017 trade fair.

As part of the “ArKol – development of architecturally highly integrated façade collectors with heat pipes” project, Fraunhofer ISE together with its partners...

Im Focus: How to inflate a hardened concrete shell with a weight of 80 t

At TU Wien, an alternative for resource intensive formwork for the construction of concrete domes was developed. It is now used in a test dome for the Austrian Federal Railways Infrastructure (ÖBB Infrastruktur).

Concrete shells are efficient structures, but not very resource efficient. The formwork for the construction of concrete domes alone requires a high amount of...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

Event News

12V, 48V, high-voltage – trends in E/E automotive architecture

10.01.2017 | Event News

2nd Conference on Non-Textual Information on 10 and 11 May 2017 in Hannover

09.01.2017 | Event News

Nothing will happen without batteries making it happen!

05.01.2017 | Event News

 
Latest News

A big nano boost for solar cells

18.01.2017 | Power and Electrical Engineering

Glass's off-kilter harmonies

18.01.2017 | Materials Sciences

Toward a 'smart' patch that automatically delivers insulin when needed

18.01.2017 | Life Sciences

VideoLinks
B2B-VideoLinks
More VideoLinks >>>