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The Year Without Summer: 1816 and the Volcano That Darkened the World and Changed History

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  • Posted February 21, 2014

    Global warming or climate variability?

    Anyone who is interested in climate change whether caused by man or nature will find this an interesting book that deals with the implications of major impacts to Earth's biosphere because of changes to our atmosphere. A companion book, if one ignores the socialist rhetoric in the first third of the book, is Late Victorian Holocausts: El Niño Famines and the Making of the Third World.

    The book is well written and brings home how dependent we are on the vagracies of weather or changes in the expected climate. Understanding how these major events and oscillations in the global wind patterns affect us locally will give us a better appreciation of the implications of climate change.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted May 23, 2013

    I am impressed with the amount of documentation from contemporar

    I am impressed with the amount of documentation from contemporary sources - both in Europe and northeastern United States and Canada. How widespread the impact of this "volcanic air pollution" was both in Europe and in North America. I had never heard of this volcano nor the aftermath on the climate in Europe/North America before I started doing my own demographic study on a town in Italy. Most of the references that I pieced together to get a sense of what was happening in my town during this period were from volcanology journals, physical geography journals, and a nutrition journal. This is really fascinating.

    The one problem I see with this book is that there are times in the writing that the author writes a section of text and then it ends abrubtly and I'm not sure how the event ties to the volcanic eruption, the climate issues or how people are coping with everything else - for example the text about James Madison receiving a message from the Dey of Algiers written in Turkish, translated into Arabic, but no one in James Madison's cabinet read/understood either language, so the message wasn't responded to for 2 months until a translator could be found. Then the text stops and changes direction to talk about Madison reaching Montpelier just in time for another cold wave. I'd like to know what the message was about and how it connects to the Tambora or the volcanic air pollution it spread across the globe, i.e., what is the connection with the darkening of the world and changing of history.

    Otherwise, an amazing read.

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