April 09, 2015
200th Anniversary Of Tambora Volcanic Eruption
The April 10, 1815 eruption of Tambora in what is now a part of Indonesia caused 1816 to be known as "the year without summer". Crop failures due to freezing temperatures in New England caused migrations toward the midwest.. Migrations, civil unrest, hunger, and disease happened in Europe as well.
A volcanic eruption of this magnitude is rare but could happen again at any time. If it does expect very expensive food and freezing temperatures on some summer days.
Randall Parker, 2015 April 09 10:20 PM
So all it would take is for the Earth to rip a massive "shart" and AGW would be halted for decades?
Kinda makes me think the Earth's climate is influenced a LOT more by the Earth itself and the Sun than it is by most anything Man can do.
The United States has a pretty wide margin of safety when it comes to food. Now I'm not entirely sure what a bushel of corn is, that includes the cob, right? But whatever it is, the US uses more than a kilogram of corn per person per day to make ethanol. Clearly, electrifying ground transport will have a big effect on US agriculture. Anyway, it is urban poor in developing nations who will feel the real bite from world wide agricultural disruption. Just like the last time grain prices soared, very little effect will be felt in rich nations since the increase in food prices will be trivial for us, but deadly for the poorest of the poor if they receive no assistance.
Actually, according to the latest IPCC Report, the 1816 Year Without a Summer was caused by SUVs and coal powered electric plants. And 97% of all scientists agree with the IPCC.
Just finished reading Nate Silver's Signal and Noise (great book, btw). It has a chapter on earthquake forecasting. Earthquakes follow a power law - the frequency drops rapidly as the magnitude increases. We can use this relationship to forecast how often the Big Ones are likely to occur. It seems likely that mega-volcanoes follow a similar law. Just observe the frequency of the small ones, extrapolate to the frequency of big ones, and buy insurance accordingly. What else can you do?