Saturday, March 8, 2014

1816 - the year without a summer

Back in 1815 a eruption of Mount Tambora in the Dutch East Indies (now, Indonesia) caused a huge amount of ash, 19 cubic miles big, to circle the globe.  As a result the northern hemisphere was darkened from lack of sunlight in 1816.  The year with out a summer.
Here in Northern New England there were killing frosts in eleven months, August the lone exception, so no crops, not even hay, were grown.  Snow came as late as June and in Quebec there was 30 inches of snow in June.  It was not a fun time.
Now in 2014 we haven't seen much evidence of warmer weather, yet.  Today is promised to reach 40 degrees, it did reach 34 yesterday with a cold NW wind.  I haven't heard of any volcanos going off so maybe we're safe.
Examples of the amount of ash from Tambora
I think this year will have a very short summer.  When spring leaves finally appear they will be orange and red because there won't be enough time for the green stuff anyway.  Here is what early spring will look like.
Kenduskeag Stream, Bangor
Photo: Linda Grant

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