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1808/1809 Mystery Eruption (wikipedia.org)
60 points by curtis on June 10, 2019 | hide | past | favorite | 9 comments

The mention of global cooling makes me wonder if we (as in the human kind) will start blowing stuff up when we get desperate about reversing the effects of climate change... Because the way things are going you know we'll blast through 2 degrees, 4 degrees, etc, before 2100.

Scientific American has had articles on this. For $20 billion we can put enough sulfur in the upper atmosphere to block enough sun rays to stop global warming. But this solution has many, many problems. For instance, the sulfur eventually comes down and adds to the acidification of the oceans, already bad. The strategy is like drinking alcohol to calm down after you’ve done too much cocaine.

Throw one trillion* one-meter styrofoam squares coated top and bottom with aluminum (both sides in case they flip over) into random spots in the ocean. They degrade over the next few years, so they clear themselves out.

* Plus or minus a few orders of magnitude... haven't actually calculated this.

I have encountered some who think climate change is no big deal because, so they say, we can just blow a few nukes and induce a controlled nuclear winter.

The VolcanoCafe blog has some detailed information on this period. https://www.volcanocafe.org/1809-the-missing-volcano/

I've not seen anyone suggest that this was an earlier, but less-violent (somewhat less emissive) Tambora eruption. The character of the gasses sounds similar. Seems there were few reliable eyewitnesses in the area.

I couldn't find how many core samples showed this event or how far away they were from each other.

Maybe there was a kind of ice sheet "earthquake", where one layer of ice slid underneath of another sheet, causing a double hit of the 1815 eruption when cored?

Wikipedia cites cores from both Greenland and Antarctica. That would be some earthquake.

No, the eruption happened for sure. We just don't know which volcano it was. In particular the southwest pacific has lots and lots of volcanism from comparatively low peaks in island regions that don't leave a lot of obvious geology around where we can see it.

What about an undersea volcano also? Tonga has had a few new islands appear and then disappear, although I'm unsure as to how that would work with the gas outputs detected.

This doesn’t explain the contemporary South American observations, or the dendrological or viticultural data showing global cooling during that period.

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