Global Climate Changed for Your Ancestors

It is not just the 21st century that people have had to worry over global climates changes. Our ancestors within the last 200 years faced some major climate problems. Two major events happened, both in the island nation of Indonesia in the South Pacific that would affect the climate around the world.

First was Mount Tambora, also called Mount Tamboro, in Indonesia. A volcanic mountain on the northern coast of Sumbawa island, Indonesia, that in April 1815 exploded in the largest volcanic eruption in recorded history. Today it is 9,354 feet high, having lost much of its top during the 1815 eruption. It is still active with minor lava domes and flows that have extruded on the caldera floor during the 19th and 20th centuries. The last eruption was recorded in 1967.

The massive eruption of April 1815, starting on the 5th, reached a violet climax on April 10th with more steam and small eruption still occurring over the next 6 months. The ash from the eruption traveled with the winds around the world and lowered global temperatures into 1816. With a blanket of ash, there was no warm sun to growing crops. The explosions reduced the volcano’s height from 14,100 feet to 9,354 feet.

The deaths in Indonesia and surround areas was about 100,000. In 1816 with much cooler temperature and loss of crops, it is estimated that there were 90,000 deaths in other places around the world.

European nations and locations across the United States were affected, including your ancestors if they lived in America or Europe in 1815-1816. There was a dry fog in the sky and it did not disperse in wind storms or rainfall. It was identified as sulfate aerosol veil. This major climate change also produced many typhus epidemics in Europe and cholera disease in southeast Asia. With crops not growing, famine was a way of life.

It was cold and stormy and dark – not at all like typical summer weather in America and Europe. Consequently, 1816 became known in Europe and North America as “The Year Without a Summer.” In Europe, the nation of Switzerland suffered the worst. Many people did immigrate to other locations.

Sixty-eight years later, history would repeat itself. On Sunday, August 26, 1883 began the volcanic eruption of Krakatoa in Indonesia. It continued until August 27th with over 70% of the island of Krakatoa destroyed. In the islands and surround locations about 35,400 deaths occurred. There were earthquakes, tsunamis and ash blown into the sky., 50 miles high.

This produced record rainfall in California from September 1883 to June 1884. The eruption darkened the sky worldwide, causing also vivid red sunsets. True, not quite as bad as the eruption of 1815 but similar, something our ancestors did have to deal with for months. You might have ancestors who did deal with the 1815 eruption effects and again in 1883. This would be good to add to the family history if an ancestor was affected by either of these events.

Photos: 1816-lost of crops; 1883- Krakatoa in Indonesia and 1883 tsunamis destroyed villages.

Related Blogs:

Ancestral Weather

Major Weather and Other Disasters

Ancestors Surviving Summers

< Return To Blog Very interesting! Thank you!
Sara N Martin 11/10/20

You are welcome. Keep following the blogs - always something new.
alice 11/10/20

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