Trivia

Hard

1816 Is Known As “The Year Without A Summer” Because Of Events Triggered By?

A Volcanic Eruption
Plague Outbreaks
Civil War
Locusts
A graphic of Western Europe showing the 1816 summer temperature anomaly.
Giorgiogp2/Wikimedia

Answer: A Volcanic Eruption

In the summer of 1816, the world experienced a significantly cooler summer than expected. The average global temperature that summer dropped 0.7-1.3 degrees Fahrenheit (0.4-0.7 degrees Celsius). When looking at the daily temperature and planning for an outing to the beach, a couple of degrees might not seem like a lot, but over an entire region and for an entire season, a temperature variation that significant can, and did, have catastrophic effects.

A significant portion of the Northern hemisphere, including Western Europe and North America, like Alberta, Canada and the New England area of the United States, experienced crop failures and food shortages. The situation is best described as an agricultural disaster where sinking summer temperatures decimated crops and triggered what is considered to be the last great subsistence crisis in the Western world.

Entire segments of the population in Wales were reduced to refugee status, traveling for food. Ireland experienced sweeping crop failures. Germany also experienced severe food shortages. The cold reached well beyond Europe, however, and as far away as China, the cold weather was severe enough to kill trees, crops, and livestock. Changes in ice formation and volume also led to the destruction of dams and flooding in many locations around the world.

So what caused “The Year Without a Summer” as the cool period was called? For centuries leading up to the event, the Earth had already been cooling, a period starting in the 14th century and dubbed “The Little Ice Age”. This slow cooling had already caused agricultural upset in Europe, but the real trigger for the “Year Without a Summer” was the enormous 1815 eruption of Mount Tambora in the Dutch East Indies (known today as Indonesia). It was the largest volcanic eruption that had occurred in at least 1,300 years and the ejected debris and dust was the trigger for the weather patterns and changes in heat absorption from the sun that caused the sudden global cooling.

Trivia

Hard

What Gas Has The Opposite Effect Of Helium On Your Voice?

Trivia

Hard

Which Nation’s Flag Includes A Nod To The United Nations?

Trivia

Very Hard

The Highest Grossing Entertainment Event In History Was A?

Trivia

Easy

The Sex Of Alligators Is Determined By?

Trivia

Very Hard

Which Second Generation Game Console Boasted The Most Titles?

Trivia

Hard

The Largest Artificial Reef In The World Is Made From?

Trivia

Hard

The Comet Lovejoy Is Notable For Leaving A Trail Of?

Trivia

Hard

Which Of These Countries Has The Safest Electrical Plug Design?

Trivia

Hard

Which Popular Convenience Food Carries A Fire Hazard Warning?

Trivia

Hard

Which Of These Video Games Delivers The Story Line As A Stage Play?