Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Volcanic Eruption Of 1600 Caused Global Disruption

Date:
April 25, 2008
Source:
University of California - Davis
Summary:
The 1600 eruption of Huaynaputina in Peru had a global impact on human society, according to geologists. 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.

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.

 


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by University of California - Davis. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Cite This Page:

University of California - Davis. "Volcanic Eruption Of 1600 Caused Global Disruption." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 25 April 2008. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2008/04/080423135236.htm>.
University of California - Davis. (2008, April 25). Volcanic Eruption Of 1600 Caused Global Disruption. ScienceDaily. Retrieved April 24, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2008/04/080423135236.htm
University of California - Davis. "Volcanic Eruption Of 1600 Caused Global Disruption." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2008/04/080423135236.htm (accessed April 24, 2014).

Share This



More Earth & Climate News

Thursday, April 24, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

UN Joint Mission Starts Removing Landmines in Cyprus

UN Joint Mission Starts Removing Landmines in Cyprus

AFP (Apr. 23, 2014) — The UN mission in Cyprus (UNFICYP) led a mine clearance demonstration on Wednesday in the UN-controlled buffer zone where demining operations are being conducted near the Cypriot village of Mammari. Duration: 01:00 Video provided by AFP
Powered by NewsLook.com
California Drought Is Good News for Gold Prospectors

California Drought Is Good News for Gold Prospectors

AFP (Apr. 22, 2014) — For months California has suffered from a historic drought. The lack of water is worrying for farmers and ranchers, but for gold diggers it’s a stroke of good fortune. With water levels low, normally inaccessible areas are exposed. Duration: 01:57 Video provided by AFP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Raw: MN Lakes Still Frozen Before Fishing Opener

Raw: MN Lakes Still Frozen Before Fishing Opener

AP (Apr. 22, 2014) — With only three weeks until Minnesota's fishing opener, many are wondering if the ice will be gone. Some of the Northland lakes are still covered by up to three feet of ice, causing concern that just like last year, the lakes won't be ready. (April 22) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Scientists Warn Of Likely El Niño Event This Year

Scientists Warn Of Likely El Niño Event This Year

Newsy (Apr. 22, 2014) — With Pacific ocean water already showing signs of warming, the NOAA says there's about a 66 percent chance the event will begin before November. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com

Search ScienceDaily

Number of stories in archives: 140,361

Find with keyword(s):
 
Enter a keyword or phrase to search ScienceDaily for related topics and research stories.

Save/Print:
Share:  

Breaking News:
from the past week

In Other News

... from NewsDaily.com

Science News

Health News

Environment News

Technology News



Save/Print:
Share:  

Free Subscriptions


Get the latest science news with ScienceDaily's free email newsletters, updated daily and weekly. Or view hourly updated newsfeeds in your RSS reader:

Get Social & Mobile


Keep up to date with the latest news from ScienceDaily via social networks and mobile apps:

Have Feedback?


Tell us what you think of ScienceDaily -- we welcome both positive and negative comments. Have any problems using the site? Questions?
Mobile iPhone Android Web
Follow Facebook Twitter Google+
Subscribe RSS Feeds Email Newsletters
Latest Headlines Health & Medicine Mind & Brain Space & Time Matter & Energy Computers & Math Plants & Animals Earth & Climate Fossils & Ruins