Skip to comments.A Year Without A Summer? (We might have one of the coolest summers on record)
Posted on 07/18/2009 6:26:00 AM PDT by SeekAndFind
1816 was the "year without a summer." There were several causes of the abnormally cold weather that year, as this source recounts:
The year 1816 is still known to scientists and historians as "eighteen hundred and froze to death" or the "year without a summer." It was the locus of a period of natural ecological destruction not soon to be forgotten. During that year, the Northern Hemisphere was slammed with the effects of at least two abnormal but natural phenomena. These events were mysterious at the time, and even today they are not well understood.
First, 1816 marked the midpoint of one of the Sun's extended periods of low magnetic activity, called the Dalton Minimum. This particular minimum lasted from about 1795 to the 1820s. It resembled the earlier Maunder Minimum (about 1645-1715) that was responsible for at least 70 years of abnormally cold weather in the Northern Hemisphere. The Maunder Minimum interval is sandwiched within an even better known cool period known as the Little Ice Age, which lasted from about the 14th through 19th centuries.
But the event that most severely shaped 1816's cold phenomena was the cata-strophic eruption the previous year of Tambora on the island of Sumbawa, in modern-day Indonesia. The ash clouds and sulfur aerosols spewed by this volcano were widespread, chilling the climate of the Northern Hemisphere by blocking sunlight with gases and particles.
If this account is correct, the "year without a summer" played a role in the development of the American Midwest:
In 1816, it snowed in June in the United States and Europe. Crops failed, there was starvation, people lost their farms, and it touched off the wave of emigration that led to the settlement of what is now the American Midwest. In the meantime, hundreds of thousands more starved around the world.
New England and Europe were hit exceptionally hard. Snowfalls and frost occurred in June, July and August and all but the hardiest grains were destroyed. Destruction of the corn crop forced farmers to slaughter their animals. Soup kitchens were opened to feed the hungry. Sea ice migrated across Atlantic shipping lanes, and alpine glaciers advanced down mountain slopes to exceptionally low elevations.
I don't think things are quite so bad this year, but if something doesn't change pretty soon 2009 may go down in history, in some parts of the U.S. at least, as another year with barely any summer. Here in Minnesota and across the Midwest, temperatures are abnormally cold. I don't know whether the phenomenon is world-wide--data that will answer this question have probably not been assembled, and may not be honestly reported--but the current low level of solar activity suggests that the cooling trend could indeed be universal.
Here in Minneapolis, the temperature never reached 70 degrees today--rather astonishing for the middle of July, our hottest month. Most days recently, it hasn't been comfortable to be outdoors in the evening without a fire and a sweatshirt. It feels more like October than July. Thankfully, and unlike 1816, it hasn't snowed; the worst consequence we fear is not getting any ripe tomatoes.
Today, walking down the street in downtown Minneapolis at 5:30, en route from my office to my parking ramp, I saw something I've never seen before: a man wearing a winter coat in July. Well, maybe not quite a winter coat, but definitely a fall/winter semi-parka with an unzipped, faux-fur lined hood. He was carrying a briefcase and looked like a businessman who was tired of being cold every time he went outdoors. In the summer.
I personally don't think that we (all of humankind, let alone we Americans) can control the weather, but for those who do think we possess that Godlike power, here's a request: can we turn the thermostat up a little?
Same here in Michigan. Al Gore can kiss my freezing, white booty.
55 in Arkansas this AM. IN JULY! I like it a lot!—JM
Notice the cap and raiders have stopped even talked about climate change. It’s a jobs bill now.
Well, over 100+ every day last month in Texas. :(
Seems like we got an extended late spring here in Michigan.
It’s been in the 90’s here, just a little wetter
Not here in northern Louisiana. It’s been brutally hot and dry since May. I don’t know if we had one drop of rain in June, and that is usually one of, if not the, wettest months of the year. The 100+ temps don’t usually start here until July, but June had plenty of them, in addition to 99 degree days.
We finally had some rain the other night and temps are supposed to moderate into the lower 90s for a while, but this May and June were the hottest anyone here can remember.
Hope it doesn't wipe out the home-grown tomato crop I've been waiting for with drooling anticipation. The crop should be arriving at the produce stand down the highway within a week or two.....but I'm getting nervous due to the constant cold and lack of sustained sunshine.
The NOAA and Jim Hansen will just make up whatever numbers they need to in order to keep the whole scam going.
Isn't it funny how there's always massive heat waves in Siberia and Africa where there are no whether stations?
Beautiful morning in Atlanta. Blue sky and low humidity.
Felt a little chilled at the beginning of my morning run. This is the coolest July I remember in Atlanta and I’ve lived here for 40 yrs.
That's why I moved from Phoenix back to Minneapolis.
Rochester, NY....Coldest July on record.
It's working then!
Algore has saved us by making us cut down on man made solar flares.
Cold front coming down from Canada and you guys in the Northeast and further south are going to have more cool weather. As for CA, it was cooler than normal for most of June but now we are having our normal “hotter than he**” July weather, not hotter than normal but not cooler either. We did have the coolest June weather I’ve seen for many years.
Great camping/fishing weather.
62 this morning with a low last night of 57. Predicted the same tonight here in Kansas.
Time to switch to the coming ‘Ice Age must be prevented by instituting Socialism now’ theme.
Supposed to be 118 here today in Palm Springs. (over 120 closer to the mountains.)
Usually it never gets over 124 here.
Next week, a cold wave will bring it down to 108 (almost time to break out the sweaters).
“can we turn the thermostat up a little?”
We can, but it’s gonna COST us now. After all, our president says we have to answer to the rest of the world - why we have to be comfortable in our homes...
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