Video – 1783 Iceland eruption spewed out enough lava to engulf the city of Chicago

“I estimate that the influence of Bardarbunga eruption is nearly 1/4 to 1/3 of the similar eruption of Laki in 1783-84, says longtime reader DMH. My estimate is based on the total amount of lava of that eruption (~ 15 km3), and total duration (8 months).

It is also based on the 40,000 to 60,000 tons of SO2 per day pouring  out of the volcano. That is a large amount, says DMH, who thinks it is already affecting the climate, at least in the Northern Hemisphere.

One factor that we must consider, says DMH, is that the tropopause is closer to the ground at higher latitudes,

Laki killed more than six million people globally

It’s historically recognized that Laki’s eruption of the XVIII century, had important effects on world’s climate, especially the Northern Hemisphere:

Lava fountains - Credit - University of Iceland Ármann-Höskuldsson
Lava fountains – Credit – University of Iceland Ármann-Höskuldsson

The Laki eruption and its aftermath caused a drop in global temperatures, as sulfur dioxide was spewed into the Northern Hemisphere. This caused crop failures in Europe and may have caused droughts in India. The eruption has been estimated to have killed over six million people globally, making the eruption the deadliest in historical times. )

According to the above video,
Laki spewed out enough lava to engulf the city of Chicago

It hurled out millions of tons of ash and toxic gases,  poisoning the soil and crops, the video points out. Three-quarters of all of Iceland’s sheep, and more than half its livestock, died from starvation.

The people soon followed.

May have lead to the French Revolution

The cloud from Laki engulfed a vast part of the northern hemisphere, and sulfuric aerosols blocked the sun’s heat, causing global temperatures to plummet.

The ensuing food shortages caused French peasants to rise up, arguably leading to the French Revolution of 1789.

In northeastern North America, the winter of 1783-84 was the longest, and the most severe, on record. It was so cold that people saw ice floes on the river in Mississippi.

With widespread crop failure, up to a 6th of Egypt’s population, and many more across India and North Africa.

Therefore, says DMH, I believe we should expect the same from Bardarbunga, although at lower levels of “climate cooling” per month of eruption.

I think DMH makes some very good points.

7 thoughts on “Video – 1783 Iceland eruption spewed out enough lava to engulf the city of Chicago”

  1. Europe sent hundreds of thousands of convicts to the four corners of the globe due to the food crisis. The Dutch sent them to Indonesia, The British sent some 80,000 to America and founded Australia with 120,000 about %98 sentenced for stealing food.

  2. and the news media will not tell you about this eruption just in case it interferes with there global warming agenda

  3. What is the current count of erupting volcanoes? If 50-60 in a year is average, as of Dec 2013 there were 83, what is that number now?

  4. “Laki killed more than six million people globally.”
    That is a much abused number Robert.
    Try two million like the video says.

  5. The added SO2 will speed the cooling we are experiencing thanks to the “Sun’s 30-year Hibernation”.

    See: Why The Sun’s 30-year Hibernation From This Winter May Lead To Global Food Riots


    “Even as one of the severest winters sets in with its icy clutch on the northern hemisphere, the climatologist John L. Casey points out that the “weather pattern is here to stay for decades to come,” according to”

    “As the president of the Space and Science Research Corp., an Orlando, Florida, climate research firm, describes it, all the world has to do is “trust natural cycles and follow the facts.” The world will inevitably understand then that it is the sun that controls the climate, and a new cold era has started.”

    • I am just taking a guess that the 30 year hibernation of the sun that John Casey talks about is in fact a sub cycle with in a multi-century little ice age. The little ice age was a period from 1300 to 1850 with many Maunder and Dalton minimum like sub cycles of low sun spot activity, elevated volcanic activity and bad weather and growing conditions. If we are going to do a repeat of the little ice age then one should not expect long term salvation at the end of 30 years. If the pattern holds true the respite will be brief followed by another mini ice age and so on until the larger little ice age cycle ends. Then again this mini ice age could just be a precursor to a major glaciation and in that case you are either staying put or you are living.

  6. I’m not so sure about sulphuric aerosols overall effect.

    Sure they have been found to reflect some visible light but they are also found to have strong absorption in virtually all infra-red bands found in the solar radiation.

    This is the reason I find the simplistic claims about Venus “greenhouse effect” unbelievable.

    Why is it hypothesised that the Venus atmosphere absorbs much weaker terrestrial radiation causing a “greenhouse effect” when there is plenty of much more powerful UV and IR in the solar radiation absorbed by the atmosphere – sulphuric acid clouds and 95% CO2 – that never makes it to the surface to cause terrestrial radiation in the first place ?

    Venus atmosphere probably absorbs almost 50% of the solar radiation – UV and IR – directly and that is as much as the total solar constant at Earth’s orbit. The huge pressure and slow rotation explain the surface temperature – not a physically impossible “greenhouse effect”.

    Of all of the inner planets Venus is least likely to have a “greenhouse effect” – almost none of the solar radiation would make it to the ground.

    I think clouds are more important than any trace aerosols. Clouds reflect lots of visible light – they can be dazzling from a 747 – and they absorb a lot of IR thus significantly reducing the amount of solar radiation heating the surface.

    And the concentration of water vapour/clouds far exceeds any trace gases and ALL of the trace gases dissolve in water – clouds.

    I think the most important effect aerosols may have is to cause more cloud formation.

    Nothing breaks a heatwave like a week of cloudy weather.

    Wish I could find the link to the site discussing the effect of sulphuric acid aerosols and their almost complete absorption characteristics of certain wavelengths where other gases do not absorb strongly.

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