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Did American volcanoes trigger fall of Roman Empire?

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Krystal Coenen
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« on: July 14, 2015, 01:06:40 am »

Volcanoes hastened fall of the Roman Empire
Posted on Thursday, 9 July, 2015


A volcanic winter brought widespread famine to Europe. Image Credit: Johan Christian Dahl
A series of volcanic eruptions in North America once triggered widespread disaster across Europe.
In the year 536 AD early historians recorded how the sky had become veiled by clouds of thick dust and ash that blocked out the light from the sun for a period of several months.

During this time the sun shone no brighter than the moon and freak weather conditions including snow showers and frost in the middle of the summer lay waste to vast swathes of food crops.

The disaster resulted in plague and famine which ultimately wiped out one third of the entire population of Europe and brought what was left of the Roman Empire crashing to its knees.

Now thanks to a new study of ice cores and historical records scientists have been able to determine that this catastrophic series of events had been caused by a chain of volcanic eruptions in the Americas followed up by further eruptions in the tropics only a few years later.

"Our new dating allowed us to clarify long-standing debates concerning the origin and consequences of the severe and global climate anomalies which began with the mystery cloud in 536AD observed in the Mediterranean basin," said study author Dr Michael Sigl.

"These cooler temperatures were caused by large amounts of volcanic sulphate particles injected into the upper atmosphere shielding the Earth's surface from incoming solar radiation."

The study also showed that 15 of the 16 coldest summers between the 6th and 11th centuries had followed significant volcanic eruptions - some of which being the largest ever recorded.

http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/science/science-news/11726459/Did-American-volcanoes-trigger-fall-of-Roman-Empire.html
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Krystal Coenen
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« Reply #1 on: July 14, 2015, 01:07:39 am »


Did American volcanoes trigger fall of Roman Empire?

American volcanoes sparked a huge dust cloud triggering catastrophic climate change which could have dealt the final blow to the Roman Empire
         
   

Thomas Cole's 'The Fall of Rome'
Thomas Cole's 'The Fall of Rome'
Sarah Knapton

By Sarah Knapton, Science Editor

6:00PM BST 08 Jul 2015

Comments155 Comments

On March 24 536AD the sky suddenly darkened across continental Europe as a thick dust cloud rolled in and stayed put for 18 months.

Historians such as Prokopios record that the Sun shone as dimly as the Moon, sparking summer frosts and snow showers and providing too little light to ripen crops and fruit. Three years later a similar dust veil blocked out sunlight for several months.

The natural catastrophes led to widespread famine and was responsible for the Great Justinian Plague which wiped out one third of Europeans and probably dealt the fatal blow to the struggling Roman Empire.

Now scientists have determined that the cause was probably a series of North American volcanoes which shot huge amounts of sulphate and ash into the atmosphere, followed by further eruptions in the Tropics.

New studies of ice cores and historical records by the British Antarctic Survey, Nottingham University and 17 other international universities and institutions, show that there was a huge volcanic eruption in 535AD or early 536AD in North America. A second eruption occurred in 539AD.

The volcanic activity was ruinous for Mediterannean communities. Cassiodorus, a praetorian prefect in Italy wrote that the country had ‘a winter without storms, spring without mildness, summer without heat".

The climatic effects of the dust veil brought plummeting temperatures, drought and food shortages throughout the affected regions and in Europe two years later sparked the Justinian Plague of 541AD to 543AD, which killed one third of the continent’s population.

The plague was seen by many historians as the final blow for the flailing Roman Empire which had already lost much of its power and influence.

“Our new dating allowed us to clarify long-standing debates concerning the origin and consequences of the severe and global climate anomalies which began with the mystery cloud in 536AD observed in the Mediterranean basin, “said the study author Dr Michael Sigl, assistant research professor at Desert Research Institute in Reno and the Paul Scherrer Institute in Switzerland.

"We found at least two large volcanic eruptions around this period.

"These cooler temperatures were caused by large amounts of volcanic sulphate particles injected into the upper atmosphere shielding the Earth's surface from incoming solar radiation.

“This provides notable environmental context to widespread famine and the great Justinian Plague of 541-543A that was responsible for decimation populations in the Mediterranean.”
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Krystal Coenen
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« Reply #2 on: July 14, 2015, 01:08:31 am »




 Volcanoes triggered a huge dust cloud which blocked out the Sun for 18 months in the 6th century

The study shows that 15 of the 16 coldest summers recorded between 500 BC and 1,000 AD followed large volcanic eruptions - with four of the coldest occurring shortly after the largest volcanic events found in record.

The new reconstructions is derived from more than 20 individual ice cores extracted from ice sheets in Greenland and Antarctica and analysed for volcanic sulphate.

"Ice-core timescales had been misdated previously by five to ten years during the first millennium leading to inconsistencies in the proposed timing of volcanic eruptions relative to written documentary and tree-ring evidence recording the climatic responses to the same eruptions," said Dr Francis Ludlow, of the Yale Climate & Energy Institute.

Together with Dr Conor Kostick from the University of Nottingham, Ludlow translated and interpreted ancient and medieval documentary records from China, Iraq and Europe that described unusual atmospheric observations as early as 254 years before Common Era (BCE).

These phenomena included diminished sunlight, discoloration of the Sun the presence of solar haloes, and deeply red twilight skies.

The research was published in the journal Nature.


http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/science/science-news/11726459/Did-American-volcanoes-trigger-fall-of-Roman-Empire.html
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Helmut
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« Reply #3 on: July 14, 2015, 01:11:36 am »

If that happened today there would be countries falling. We are all just one giant natural, or man made, disaster away from crumbling.
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freetoroam
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« Reply #4 on: July 14, 2015, 01:15:18 am »

Yes, when we will have less food, the most powerful country will sell their souls and start wars over the remaining food production on Earth.
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Gremlin
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« Reply #5 on: July 14, 2015, 01:20:35 am »

And can you blame then?
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She-ra, Princess of Power
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« Reply #6 on: July 14, 2015, 01:22:11 am »

the Roman Empire got "too big to fail" . So it did.
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Dark Goddess
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« Reply #7 on: July 14, 2015, 01:23:25 am »

Once they switched their official religion to Christianity it was only a matter of time before one of the old gods got revenge, in this case Vulcan, the god of fire.
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The Creeper
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« Reply #8 on: July 14, 2015, 01:24:51 am »

In 407 AD, the ruling council in Britain asked Emperor Honorius for aid in repelling attacks by the Picts and Scots. Honorius replied that there was no help to send, effectively acknowledging that Britain was no longer part of the empire (The last legion left in 383 AD, intending to return, which it never did.). Rome fell to Alaric in 410 AD. In 476, Odoacer deemed the title of Emperor to be more trouble than it was worth and sent the Roman standards to Constantinople. By 536, the Roman Empire had been dead and gone for 60 years. Rome was a long way down the road to its own destruction
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Iron Lotus
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« Reply #9 on: July 14, 2015, 01:26:06 am »

I don't doubt that heavy vulcanism could bring a strong civilization to its knees, but claiming that vulcans destroyed the Roman Empire almost 1 century after the fall of Rome seems just plain stupid to me... Depends on definition, but the fall of the Western Roman Empire (and Rome) is usually considerd to have happened between 405 and 480, with the notorious "sack of Rome" taking place alrady in 410 as Doug1o29 mentioned above. Anyway, the empire had been crumbling on its own since the late 4th century AD. As for the Eastern Roman Empire (Constantinople), it only fell in the 140.
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