Weather Notes

1816 - The Year Without a Summer (Part 1)

Very high volcanic activity in the 6 years of 1812-1817 caused unusually high amounts of dust and gas to be ejected into the atmosphere during this period, resulting in a general temporary cooling of the Earth's climate that reached a minimum in the year of 1816. The eruption of Mount Tambora in Indonesia that took place in April 1815 was thought to be the most explosive one during the previous 10.000 years. It is estimated that 150 million tons of dust was emitted emitted by the volcano, and this formed a layer of material over the Earth that reflected the Sun's radiation back into space. This caused a temporary cooling of the climate and a profound change in global weather patterns, particularly in the northern hemisphere. This disruption of normal weather conditions can last up to 3 years or more depending on the severity of the volcanic eruption, and eruptions of other volcanoes during the same period. In the case of the massive 1815 Tambora eruption the weather conditions following the explosion and resulting global cooling in the year 1816 produced a situation often referred to as "the year without summer."