Tambora: The Eruption That Changed the World

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Princeton University Press, Apr 27, 2014 - Science - 312 pages
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A global history of the climate catastrophe caused by the Tambora eruption

When Indonesia's Mount Tambora erupted in 1815, it unleashed the most destructive wave of extreme weather the world has witnessed in thousands of years. The volcano’s massive sulfate dust cloud enveloped the Earth, cooling temperatures and disrupting major weather systems for more than three years. Communities worldwide endured famine, disease, and civil unrest on a catastrophic scale.

Here, Gillen D’Arcy Wood traces Tambora’s global and historical reach: how the volcano’s three-year climate change regime initiated the first worldwide cholera pandemic, expanded opium markets in China, and plunged the United States into its first economic depression. Bringing the history of this planetary emergency to life, Tambora sheds light on the fragile interdependence of climate and human societies to offer a cautionary tale about the potential tragic impacts of drastic climate change in our own century.

 

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User Review  - Steve_Walker - LibraryThing

A thoughtful look at the volcano eruption that lead to the "year without a summer". the author takes the reader around the world to chart the impact of Tamora's eruption on weather and food production. Read full review

LibraryThing Review

User Review  - applemcg - LibraryThing

This is the one you never heard of, and should have. Set close to our club's reading "The Invention of Nature: .. Humboldt ..", Wulf, this book brings us back to the early 19th Century. These two show ... Read full review

Contents

Frankensteins Weather
1
The Pompeii of the East
12
The Little Volcanic Ice Age
33
This End of the World Weather
45
Blue Death in Bengal
72
The Seven Sorrows of Yunnan
97
The Polar Garden
121
Ice Tsunami in the Alps
150
The Other Irish Famine
171
Hard Times at Monticello
199
Et in Extremis Ego
229
Acknowledgments
235
Notes
237
Bibliography
259
Index
281
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About the author (2014)

Gillen D'Arcy Wood is professor of English at the University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign, where he directs the Sustainability Studies Initiative in the Humanities.

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