Tuesday, May 22, 2007

A Toasty Train of Thought

Toasty warm day today, though now concerned weather people are nattering about a rain deficit. I guess I should be worried. If this evolves into a drought, hundreds of thousands in the Midwest might starve to death this winter.

Wait, wrong continent, or wrong century. Though I have read that the last time the West faced a serious food shortfall was 1816 -- the "year without a summer." Much vulcanism around then, it seems -- especially Tamboro in Java, which blowed up real good in the summer of '15. Count on the Java neighborhood to provide some kick-ass volcano blasts. This is an essay by Dan the Weather Man (I like that moniker) about the Year without a Summer.

I remember seeing a comparison chart of volcanic eruptions in historic times when I was a kid, and Tamboro was king -- dwarfing the much more famous Krakatau (Krakatoa), maybe in terms of material ejected by the blast. Yet no more information was available, at least to me, about that intriguing fact. Something bigger than Krakatoa? How come Krakatoa got a movie (which I've never seen) and an episode of The Time Tunnel, which was probably the first time I'd ever heard of the volcano. Fame is like that, even for natural disasters.


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