The only point, volcanoes are not nearly as important as we assume them to be.

Watts Up With That?

Guest Post by Willis Eschenbach

Well, we haven’t had a game of “Spot The Volcano” in a while, so I thought I’d take a look at what is likely the earliest volcanic eruption for which we have actual temperature records. This was the eruption of the Icelandic volcano Laki in June of 1783. It is claimed to have caused a very cold winter in 1783-1784. A study of the effects (see end notes) says:

… the 1783-1784 winter was extremely cold and snowy around the circum-North Atlantic. European temperatures were ~2°C below average for the late 1700s, and it was among the coldest winters in Central England …

Well dang … that sounds pretty scary. However, being a naturally suspicious fellow, I thought I’d take a look and see just what the temperatures actually said. I found eight records in the Berkeley Earth Surface Temperature dataset that went back that far, there…

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