The last time the deadliest volcano in the planet exploded it was 1815. It killed more than 71,000 people on the spot and it was responsible for a volcanic winter that caused the worst worldwide famine of the 19th century.
Now it may explode again.
This is the intro to a good piece over on Gizmodo about Mount Tambora on the island of Sumbawa in Indonesia.
If you didn’t gather it from the title and the staggering figures above, Mount Tambora’s 1815 eruption killed more people in total than any other known volcanic eruption in history.
Climate Change from Mount Tambora
After the 1815 eruption, the world temperatue dropped a lot, as the volcanic ash rose all the way up to the stratosphere (140,000 feet or 43 kilometers, in total) and spread — ” a stratospheric sulfate aerosol veil remained for years, dimming the sunlight everywhere.” The global temperature the next summer was 0.5 degrees Celsius lower than average (if you believe climate scientists, of course — and why wouldn’t you). For anyone who doesn’t follow climate science discussions, a change in the climate of 0.5 degress Celsius is significant.
As we are already seeing now due to global warming, but perhaps more sudden and dramatic, this climate change resulted in massive crop failures, livestock deaths, extreme weather, and world famine. New diseases also spread widely.
Mount Tambora Today
So, what’s going on today?
According to experts, Tambora is on the verge of another eruption. No one knows how big it would be, but the signs are: “watch out.”
Going from about 5 earthquakes in the Spring to over 200 now, the Earth is rumbling on this Indonesian island.
Of course, the local authorities are warning residents of this and have set a 2-mile danger perimeter. The residents are well aware of what happened in 1815 and most are fleeing. Even some outside of the 2-mile perimeter are fleeing (I think I would, too).