Monday, April 19, 2010

Iceland's Volcanos

The Year Without an Arctic Summer
"Old Willie" told the legend of the year that summer did not come" Eskimos living in tiny villages along the coast of the Seward Peninsula (Nome, Alaska) were unable to collect the food they needed for the next winter. He told the story of a sudden change in the weather one June, as the Eskimos were ready to collect the fish, berries and meat they needed to survive winter. Just as they were getting ready to hunt the weather changed. The north wind came bringing weather so bitter that the hunting season ended before it began.
Only 10 people in the area survived including an old woman and her granddaughter who ate a seal-skin boat.

Tree Rings Record the Climate.
Gordon Jacoby of Columbia University heard the story and found in his collection of tree rings one from an area near the Kauwerak villages on the Seward Peninsula.
"It was unique" Jacoby says. "The growth for the first part of the year 1783 appeared normal, but it came to an abrupt end just as summer should have begun. The record was clear 1783 was the coldest growing season in more than 900 years.
A little research and he discovered that June 8, 1783 the Skaptar Jokull volcano in Iceland suddenly erupted and continued to erupt for the next 6 months. It was among the most disastrous in history. In Iceland it killed 20% of the population. It sent up a dense cloud of gas and the prevailing winds carried the cloud over Canada and Alaska and across to Japan where it initiated a severe famine.
The sulfurous gasses in the volcanic clouds combined with water forming crystals that reflected the solar radiation back into space. Jacoby's tree ring analysis demonstrated that the northern most areas of Alaska had no growing season, and southern Alaska experienced significant cooling.

18th Century Sun Spots
Sun Spot activity from 1770-1773 was recorded as the high for the 18th Century. Saturn had just passed the exact opposition to Uranus and from the heliocentric point of view. Also from the helio point of view Jupiter had just left the conjunction to Saturn.
September 1, 2009 the opposition of Saturn and Uranus were also exact and Jupiter was moving to a conjunction with Neptune from the helio point of view. This date marked the end of a long 704 day Solar minimum. From the geocentric point of view the current opposition of Saturn and Uranus will be exact April 26 and July 26. Planetary dynamics predicts that volcanic activity in Iceland will continue. Wind direction indicates the areas most vulnerable.

Solar Spots and Flares
The Llewellyn Sun Sign Annual 2010 contains an article I wrote "Sun Spot Explosion 2010."
In the article I tell some of the legends in the Arctic that explain the appearance of the Northern Lights. I read the folk legends carefully looking for stories that contain weather warnings handed down through the generations. Often they prove to be accurate historic accounts of weather disasters.


  1. Hi Kaye

    Do you have the time when the Iceland volcano erupted Thursday I think it was...I still hope that I will get do Denmark, before my ticket from DK to China expire :-)

  2. First explosion March 21, 2010 12:10 am. This one is April 14 2:00 am

    I think the tickets can be exchanged easily when the problem is weather. You might consider flying to China, now and wait for a visit to DK. This volcano can turn on and off. You know how the protect delicate mechanical equipment in Alaska from volcanic ash. Wrap them up in Pantyhose.

  3. Anonymous, a student, is on her way to Denmark. Then it is off to China.


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