Laki Crater Lake Region from above, Iceland

Today in climate history: June 10th, 1783

HT/ The CO2 Coalition

The death-dealing cold of the Little Ice Age (1250 – 1850 AD) was particularly brutal for the residents of North Atlantic lands. In 1783, the eruption of the Icelandic volcano Lakikagar (Laki) began in June and continued for 245 days, taking things from bad to worse for the Icelanders.

Laki was likely the most significant eruption of the last 1,000 years in terms of its effect on temperatures of the northern hemisphere. It was so impactful because it was a basaltic-type eruption (think Kilauea) that is prone to large emissions of solar dimming sulfur dioxide. This eruption emitted four times more SO2 than El Chichon and 80 times more than Mount St. Helens. The eruption led to hemisphere-wide climate impacts, including In the eastern United States, where the winter average temperature was 4.8 degrees C below the 225 year average.

It is estimated that as much as 50% of the population and nearly all of the livestock of Iceland perished due to the combination of climate and volcano calamities. The conditions were so dire that the Danish authorities who ruled the nation considered for a time that the entire island be abandoned.

Once again, we find that history tells us to fear the cold and welcome the warmth.

From the link above.

The climatic effects of the Laki eruption are impressive. In the eastern United States, the winter average temperature was 4.8 degrees C below the 225 year average. The estimate for the temperature decrease of the entire Northern Hemisphere is about 1 degree C. The top graph shows change in acidity in micro equivalents H+ per kg in the Greenland icecap. The bottom graph represents the winter temperature records in the eastern United States. From Sigurdsson (1982).

The Laki eruption illustrates that low energy, large volume, long duration basaltic eruptions can have climatic impacts greater than large volume explosive silica-rich eruptions. The sulfur contents of basaltic magmas are 10-100 times higher than silica-rich magmas (Palais and Sigurdsson, 1989)

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June 10, 2021 2:22 pm

And… what would you write about the Mt Samalas eruption on Lombok island in 1257?

That was a quite different guy…

J.-P. D.

Reply to  Bindidon
June 10, 2021 2:42 pm

JPD I’d say that it was a monster explosion and the Indonesian people wouldn’t want anything like that today, obviously.
But your point is……?

Reply to  Neville
June 10, 2021 3:01 pm


If, after having read carefully all information I presented, you aren’t even able to understand what my point was…


J.-P. D.

Ron Long
Reply to  Bindidon
June 10, 2021 3:13 pm

Neville, I read all three of your references, and the only two differences I see in the Loki vs. Samalas is Rift vs. Subduction-Island Arc, and then the pyroclastic versus cinders and flows (Samalas vs Loki). Both outgas substantial noxious chemicals, and the difference is detectable, but there is a lot of overlap. So I don’t understand your question “…what would you write about the Mt Samalas eruption…”.

Reply to  Ron Long
June 10, 2021 3:21 pm

Ron Long

Read the stuff again, and manage to come to the place where Samals is compared with Tambora.

J.-P. D.

Jeff Alberts
Reply to  Bindidon
June 10, 2021 5:20 pm

Why not just state your point, instead of insulting people for not being able to read your mind.

Reply to  Jeff Alberts
June 10, 2021 8:54 pm

he has read your mind and found it wanting

Jeff Alberts
Reply to  Duker
June 11, 2021 9:34 am

My mind certainly didn’t care to figure out his inane point.

Reply to  Jeff Alberts
June 11, 2021 12:29 am

This quote caught my attention:

“The eruption may have helped trigger the Little Ice Age, a centuries-long cold period during the last thousand years.”

Reply to  Ron Long
June 11, 2021 12:44 am

Craps on Loki. Ice cores in the northern and southern hemisphere display sulfate spikes associated with Samalas. The signal is the strongest in the southern hemisphere over the last 1000 years (Kokfelt et al. 2016) one reconstruction even considers it the strongest of the last 2500 years (Swingedouw et al. 2017)

Reply to  Bindidon
June 10, 2021 3:27 pm

Your point appears to be that the eruption of Mount Samalas CAUSED the little ice age, cooling the earth for 600 years and since the great Michael Mann has forewarned that when the fraud of global warming is shown by the COOLING soon to be upon us, his prescient book on volcanos being the cause, not natural cycles, will be proven correct, as long as there is some volcano to blame.

Did I get anything wrong about your obtuse post?

Just askin!

Reply to  Drake
June 10, 2021 3:42 pm


Obviously you suffer pathologically from the manic compulsion to suspect an ardent supporter of the “fraud of global warming” behind every comment that does not suit you as a “skeptic”.

You are poorly off.

Thanks a lot!

J.-P. D.

Reply to  Bindidon
June 11, 2021 12:25 am

Ha! I LOVE that anonymous downvoting.
J.-P. D.

Reply to  Bindidon
June 11, 2021 7:49 am


So the answer then is NO. I didn’t get anything wrong about your obtuse post.

Thanks for your friendly, concise, thoughtful and prompt reply.

Yours truly in the advancement of SCIENCE,


Rud Istvan
Reply to  Drake
June 10, 2021 3:51 pm

B, your apparent hypothesis is easily falsifiable. See references in comments below.

Reply to  Rud Istvan
June 11, 2021 5:18 pm


You have replied to my post to Bindidon,

I was not stating the volcano caused the LIA, I was stating that was what he was implying in his obtuse post.

Of course that is easily falsifiable, that was my point.

If did not mean to reply to my post, OK.


Reply to  Rud Istvan
June 12, 2021 12:18 pm

Rud Istvan

Well, Sir: I confess that I didn’t read your eBook about the blown smoke. My bad!

But … should you mean something like this by my apparent hypothesis:

Abrupt onset of the Little Ice Age triggered by volcanism and sustained by sea-ice/ocean feedbacks
Gifford H. Miller, Áslaug Geirsdóttir, Yafang Zhong, Darren J. Larsen, Bette L. Otto-Bliesner & al. (2012)

then I can only say that when I search, using Google, for a visible, possibly valuable contradiction on your part to the above paper, I simply find absolutely nothing, as you can see:

Thanks, István R., for replying with something I can evaluate.
I love to study, even when I’m well over 70!

J.-P. D.

I hope to get at least 30 downvotes here, even if the knuckle-biter caravan is far away by now!

Nicholas McGinley
Reply to  Bindidon
June 11, 2021 10:08 am

You made no point!
Unless it was “That was quite a different guy.”

Which besides for being inane, is incredibly patriarchal and likely misogynistic.
Obviously it was different. A different volcano.
But it was also the same. Both were volcanoes.

And who said it was a guy?

Besides for all of that…you never “presented information”.
You posted links to various publications.

And why the hell should anyone “read carefully all” of some random links you posted? Because you posted some links without saying why or what is especially interesting and/or informative about those references for that event?

I will make an actual point: We do not have to worry even a little about past eruptions. Those are over with.
It is the one’s to come which will occasionally be highly problematic.

Looking back at the history of eruptions powerful enough to cause major disruptions or loss of life, there is not much in the way of any tendency for any particular volcano to repeatedly do so over any scale of time that includes a millennia or two, or even ten.

Chances are the bad ones to come will not be on the list of recent bad eruptions.
And chances are very high that one’s with local effects will predominate.
Things like Mt. Hood sending a lahar into Portland, which could conceivably happen so fast no one has time to do anything but get stuck and die in a sudden river of fast moving 50-500 foot deep cement-like mud.

Last edited 4 days ago by Nicholas McGinley
Reply to  Nicholas McGinley
June 12, 2021 12:40 pm

Nicholas McGinley

Which besides for being inane, is incredibly patriarchal and likely misogynistic.

Hmmmh. Lagavulin? Talisker?

If I hadn’t been pleased to see some good comments from you at Roy Spencer, I would respond to this silly post in a very different way.


” And chances are very high that one’s with local effects will predominate. ”

I hope for both of us that we will never experience any eruptions like the 1257 of Samalas, let alone an explosion of the magma chamber in Yellowstone or under the Campi Phlegrei.

Because both are pretty much due, Mr. McGinley.

J.-P. D.

Gregory Wrightstone
Reply to  Bindidon
June 10, 2021 2:50 pm

Bindidon: That was a completely different type of eruption. Explosive. Silica-dominated.

Reply to  Gregory Wrightstone
June 10, 2021 3:02 pm

Gregory Wrightstone

Why do you feel the need to explain that evidence?

J.-P. D.

John Dilks
Reply to  Bindidon
June 10, 2021 8:26 pm

Why are you looking for a fight? Did your favorite pet leave?

Rory Forbes
Reply to  Bindidon
June 10, 2021 8:19 pm

I get it; you don’t have a point. You’re merely trying to pretend you’re smarter than everyone else. You’ve had several opportunities to surprise everyone with your brilliance and insight and failed to provide an answer. Now no one cares, since your point was clearly a non sequitur and everyone just moved on … making a note to themselves about Bindidon the poster to ignore.

Reply to  Bindidon
June 11, 2021 12:32 am

I have NO problem with being ignored, especially by those who follow group-thinking, like… you, Mr Forbes.

And Neville, who wrote:

” JPD I’d say that it was a monster explosion and the Indonesian people wouldn’t want anything like that today, obviously. ”

should really reconsider his meaning about Samalas having had only a local effect around Indonesia.

Maybe Neville looks for archive data about mass graves in London in… 1258, if I correctly recall.

J.-P. D.

June 10, 2021 2:23 pm

Not particularly exceptional in the CET’s 350 year long record

Reply to  Vuk
June 10, 2021 2:46 pm

Interestingly, July 1783 was up to that point the warmest July on record, and still the 4th warmest. But the winter was cold, 15th coldest on record, and the following summer was amongst the coldest 10% of summers.

Reply to  Bellman
June 10, 2021 6:25 pm

And today it was hot and last week cold 😉

Last edited 5 days ago by Derg
Rud Istvan
Reply to  Vuk
June 10, 2021 2:56 pm

Vuk, the SO2 effect in the Iceland paper was mainly ‘local’. Unless the aerosols reach the stratosphere, they wash out of the troposphere in just a few weeks. And if in the stratosphere, it’s still only 2-3 years. Most basaltic volcanoes do not have a high enough VEI (>4) for stratosphere to be significant. Kilauea is a good example. SO2 induced ‘acid’ fog is damaging downwind to Hawaii, but doesn’t much impact California. See also my following comment providing references.

Christopher Hanley
Reply to  Vuk
June 10, 2021 3:20 pm
Last edited 5 days ago by Christopher Hanley
Reply to  Christopher Hanley
June 10, 2021 3:31 pm

Christopher Hanley

Excellent info, thank you.

Do I see right? Tambora seems to have left a heavier fingerprint in 1815, right?

And now we could compare Tambora 1815 with Samalas 1257:

comment image

J.-P. D.

Smart Rock
Reply to  Vuk
June 10, 2021 6:38 pm

Thanks Vuk,

I haven’t looked at the CET for a long time, but I’ve been reading lately about famines in northern Europe in the 1690s. Seven failed harvests in a single decade in Scotland, the same in Sweden, and the Baltic states. Not quite as bad in England, France and Italy though but still bad. It was at least a continent-wide climate crisis. Millions died of starvation and related disease throughout Europe. 15% of the population of Scotland died, and probably 30% of Finns.

And there it is in the CET. That’s what 1 degree of cooling did. Good job we’ve got a degree or more of leeway before we see that kind of crisis again

Rud Istvan
June 10, 2021 2:40 pm

The relationship between atmosphere and volcanos is complex because both lcanos are complex: there are two basic geological types, basaltic hot spot upwellings (Hawaii and Iceland), and andesic (silica rich produced from plate tectonic subduction zones). Andesics produce mainly atmospheric CO2 and ash, with lesser SO2. Basaltics produce mainly SO2, with lesser CO2 and sometimes little ash. Transient Effects such as described here are fairly well documented, for example from andesic Pinatubo.

Some years back there was a peer reviewed paper (2013) ‘explaining’ the then 13 year long ‘pause’ as caused by volcanos. I shredded its ridiculous premises (providing along the way a lot of referenced vulcanology 101) in essay Blowing Smoke in eponymous ebook Blowing Smoke.

Gregory Wrightstone
June 10, 2021 2:48 pm

Along with the SO2, there was a large volume of fluorine emitted. Fluorine has the effect of ozone destruction, which allows MORE direct IV to hit the Earth and warm it. The SO2 emissions were much larger than the fluorine, so the cooling effect won out in the warming/cooling battle for this, and most other effusive volcanoes.

Ulric Lyons
Reply to  Gregory Wrightstone
June 10, 2021 7:13 pm

The low altitude haze exacerbated the summer heat in west Europe, like with the forest fire smoke in the 2010 Moscow heatwave.

Gregory Wrightstone
June 10, 2021 2:55 pm

Of interest, the fluorine haze that blanketed Iceland poisoned the vegetation and led mainly to the demise of the livestock.

June 10, 2021 3:14 pm

Here are some stronger volcano eruptions which happened less than 1,000 years ago:

– 1257 Samalas, Indonesia, VEI 7/7+
– 1280 Quilotoa, Ecuador, VEI 6
– 1452/3 Kuwae, Vanuatu, VEI 6+
– 1477 Bárðarbunga, Iceland, VEI 6
– 1563 Agua de Pau, Açores, VEI 5
– 1580 Billy Mitchell, Solomon Island, VEI 6
– 1586 Kelut, Iceland, VEI 5
– 1600, Huaynaputina, Peru, VEI 6
– 1641, Mount Melibengoy, Phillipines VEI 6
– 1650, Kolumbo, Greece, VEI 6
– 1660, Long Island, Papua New Guinea, VEI 6

The difference between Laki and all others in fact is that it was not a single eruption; Laki consisted of a line of about 130 craters.

J.-P. D.

Last edited 5 days ago by Bindidon
June 10, 2021 4:47 pm

Today happens to be my birthday, and there is no truth to the rumor that this volcanic eruption was my chocolate birthday lava cake gone terribly wrong. 🙂

Jeff Alberts
June 10, 2021 5:11 pm
June 10, 2021 5:12 pm

When the greentards wail about reversing climate change, just ask the morons, “How fracking far back do we go?”

Because 1975 was obviously too far back in time…

Last edited 5 days ago by David Middleton
Reply to  David Middleton
June 10, 2021 6:14 pm

David is 1810 or 1910 or 1970 too far back? Here’s Dr Rosling’s BBC video of 200 countries over 200 years if they have 5 minutes.
It starts at 1810 and ends in 2010 and just shows how fossil fuels have made the ENTIRE WORLD a lot HEALTHIER and WEALTHIER in just 200 years . And GREENING since 1990 see NASA + CSIRO etc. IOW a WIN, WIN.
When will they WAKE UP to their very obvious BS and fra-d?

Reply to  David Middleton
June 10, 2021 11:16 pm

Video unavailable

This video contains content from A+E Networks, who has blocked it on copyright grounds.

Interesting since the video is still available on youtube

Reply to  Redge
June 11, 2021 2:06 am

A classic… Particularly Stephen Schneider’s bit.

Ulric Lyons
June 10, 2021 6:59 pm

Fumes and dust from the eruption at low altitude exacerbated summer heat in the UK. But the very cold winter of 1783-84 was not caused by the eruption, it was discretely solar driven, just like major heatwaves are. It has heliocentric analogues in 830 and 1010 when the River Nile froze, in 1601, and in 1963. The pertinent Jovian geometry is Saturn in superior conjunction with Uranus and in quadrature with Neptune, and the relative positions of the inner bodies order which months the cold anomalies occur in.

These are the rules for the Jovian configurations, it’s a triple cold T-square:

January 1784:
comment image

Reply to  Ulric Lyons
June 11, 2021 2:10 am

I have become very interested in this aspect, that weather is a solar-system phenomenon. I would love an animation that compares the solar system to the weather, for as far back as we dare go.
I expect to see a definite correlation between planetary position/s and weather.
I also expect to see a major disruption, a “change of rules” ten to thirty thousand years ago, and another for when Venus came by.
All this, of course, will be severely limited in use by the (in)accuracy of estimated past weather, but I think it worth a try, it may explain some of the “exceptional” events. Unless Venus-type upsets are more common than we currently think, in which case it would just end in shambles. But shambles may yet be cyclic…

Peta of Newark
June 10, 2021 9:24 pm

Did anyone measure the Global Greening in the following years/decade?

Reason: “”The sulfur contents of basaltic magmas are 10-100 times higher than silica-rich magmas””

For local people in the local timeframe, maybe a bit messy and inconvenient but:
Sulfur is right up there equal with Nitrogen as the limiting nutrient for all land-based plant and bacterial life

If there had been a Sputnik watching the greenery spring up from under all that volcanic smut, how different ‘things’ would be today

The evidence is all out there – go visit folks who live on the sides of volcanoes, ask them about the crops they grow, the yields they get, the artificial fert they use/don’t use, how much irrigation water they need…..

Ask them if they’d consider moving somewhere anywhere else
Research how healthy they are

really boring trivial stuff like that
go there. do that. be amazed

Last edited 5 days ago by Peta of Newark
June 10, 2021 10:50 pm

Solar dimming due to SO2 causing colder climate.
Solar brightening due to less SO2 causing warming climate.
We used to have man-made SO2 to the air but we have cleaned the combustion today.
Sky is clear and we get more inflow from the sun.
Bill Gates want us to dim the sun by more SO2 in the air-do not !

June 11, 2021 4:18 am

Okay, well, the current ongoing eruption of Geldingaldafir seems to be similar to Laki and shows no signs of quitting so far. Building a long. long highway of lava out to the Atlantic from where that row of new craters sits. Fascinating to watch it, and the current main blowhole is busy day and night.

I haven’t seen anything on the gas emissions type and/or volume, but there is plenty of that up there in Iceland and likely more to come.

Any way to guesstimate what effect this may have on our weather down here in the hinterlands?

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