Pat Shingleton: "The Biggest Eruption"
In April, 1815, Mount Tambora, on the island of Sumbawa, erupted. Historians report that this incident was the most explosive eruption in 10,000 years. At the end of the volcano's convulsions, 4,200 feet of its 13,000 foot height were gone as 25 cubic miles of ash was released into the atmosphere. Within an area of 200 miles from the eruption site there was total darkness for three days. Mariners reported a one-foot-thick layer of volcanic debris on the sea surface that lasted four years. The immediate fatalities from the eruption totaled 10,000 with an additional 82,000 deaths on Sumbawa and neighboring islands due to starvation. Today, we encounter numerous reports of global warming and in tomorrow's column we identify an example of global cooling and "The Year Without Summer."
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