200 Years of Volcanic Legacy

How Tambora changed our planet.

How Tambora changed our planet.

I am rather pleased when my favourite non-science journal explains a bit of science – and gets it right! I’ve been reading The Economist ever since I discovered the world, and the magazine has seldom let me down. Here is a great little video from The Economist’s science and nature folks. It shows how volcanoes rule. Or at least can briefly interrupt the climate’s intentions. Their model is the 1815 Indonesian Tambora eruption which indirectly inspired Mary Shelley to write Frankenstein and Joseph Smith’s family to leave freezing Vermont’s Year without a Summer and settle in New York where young Smith soon found the golden plates that started the Latter Day Saints on their march to salvation and Utah.

Today marks the 200th anniversary of the April 10, 1815 Tambora explosion that killed hundreds of thousands. Except for Young Frankenstein and some nice buildings in Salt Lake City, there really isn’t much left to remind us of that infamous volcano. But if you’d like to know more about Tambora, I wrote a blog a few months ago which details this connection. Meanwhile,  here’s The Economist video.

About Ron Miksha

Ron Miksha is a bee ecologist working at the University of Calgary. He is also a geophysicist and does a bit of science writing and blogging. Ron has worked as a radio broadcaster, a beekeeper, and Earth scientist. (Ask him about seismic waves.) He's based in Calgary, Alberta, Canada.
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