Saturday, April 19, 2014

The Shocking Stunning Weather Event of 1816!!

I couldn't believe it! It couldn't be true! I checked other sources and to my great amazement discovered it was! There was snow on the ground,  in my region of southern Ontario, Canada in the summer months of July and August in the year of 1816! I was doing some research into the history of my city from the book, "Oshawa, The Crossing Between the Waters" published by 'The Alger Press Limited' and came across this,

The summer of 1816 was a particularly trying one for the settlement as there was frost in every month of that year. The story of that tragic year is told in W. L. Smith's book "Pioneers of Old Ontario", as related by Benjamin D. Wallbrook, son of an early settler, who recorded it in these words:
'"The spring of 1816 opened with as fair prospects as have ever been seen at the same season. But the sunshine of the year's morn was followed by a long night of dark despair. 

Snow commenced falling in June, and until next spring came again the ground was continuously covered by a wintry blanket. Practically nothing was gathered by way of a crop. Everything rotted in the ground. There was no flour and there were no vegetables. People lived for 12 months of the year on meat and fish---venison, porcupine and groundhog varied with the thin meat of cattle slaughtered; because there was no vegetation to sustain them.......The country was full of stories of the horrors endured during the winter of a years duration."
The winter of a year's duration? Keep in mind we're not just talking about a relatively cool summer. We've always had those periodically. We're talking about snow on the ground in summer and never melting away until the following year! Doesn't happen folks! If something similar happened today
I think I can safely say the citizens would be in a state of absolute shock. To be quite honest I'm actually surprised this strange unusual occurrence isn't common knowledge or that it hasn't been referred to as an item of interest for every generation to know. The year when SUMMER never came!

 As I stated prior I had to stretch my thinking to even consider that such a report was credible. Surely there had to be more on historical records about such an event, and lo and behold there is. Quite a lot actually. I went to the first place I'm sure most would go--you're right...Wikipedia. What I read there astounded me further and raised many questions I wonder if we should ask in the present day.

Here's the link which I'm sure you'll find the info interesting!
Allow me to sum up the information you'd read and if you would go back and study it out more fully later. Yes it was called around the world as the 'Year Without a Summer' 'The Summer that Never Was' or how about 'Eighteen Hundred and Froze to Death'. It's suggested it was caused by a historic low in solar activity and a volcanic eruption taking place from Mount Tambora in the Dutch East Indies. It effected much of the world creating an agricultural disaster.

In North America there appeared a dry fog which reddened and dimmed the sunlight. Wind and rain wouldn't cause it to dissipate. New England and New York saw it's crops destroyed by frost in May of that year and on June 4th frost was experienced in northern Connecticut. One wrote from upstate New York In May 1816 that "all was froze" and the hills were "barren like winter". On June 6th snow fell in New York and Maine probably the same storm which effected my region of Southern Ontario. How about early June 12 inches [30 cm] of snow fell in Quebec City! On July 7th temperatures had dropped so low that everything stopped growing. Frost came again on August 23, with MA, NH, VT, ME, upstate New York experiencing the same. In July and August, lake and river ice were observed as far south as Pennsylvania.
So what about the rest of the world? Below than normal temperatures destroyed crops in Britain and Ireland. People in Wales were in a desperate state for food and all throughout Europe riots broke out and it was deemed the worst famine in the 19th century. In Ireland between the years of 1816 and 1819 a typhus epidemic occurred believed to have been caused by The Year Without a Summer. 100,000 are said to have died. European death rates were twice that of average years with a fatality total of 200,000!
 Now for some serious questions. This was caused by what? All indication the culprit was volcanic activity taking place on the globe particularly one Mount Tambora releasing an over amount of dust and ash being released into the atmosphere. But what about today? Couldn't such an eruption create the same likewise effect? Isn't it true that if this particular event took place today climate change experts would be banging the drum for a complete and immediate change with no delay? The urgency would be such that the troops would be brought out for obviously the world as we know it would be considered coming to an end. And yet consider this. What I've described took place in 1816! I think I'm safe to say not one could subscribe to the possibility that mankind had a hand in the catastrophe that occurred in that horrible year.

Let's press in one more we not have the real potential another such volcanic event could occur once again? If not, why not? And consider...could a certain degree of what climate change proponents are potentially concerned about...GLOBAL WARMING...might it even be considered somewhat of a good thing let's call it for insurance purposes for think this through...if there is a mechanism whereby the climate has moved up a degree or so might that very well prevent us and protect us from a drastic global cooling due to a repeat of what happened in 1816? I wonder if maybe it could. Let's hope we never arrive at the place where we actually wish we did have a warming mechanism in place which we had fought so hard to get removed. Heaven only knows what the people of that time would think of us!

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  1. pretty nice blog, following :)

    1. Sorry for the delay in commenting. Thanks very much! :)