English Summer, 1816
Posted by Caroline on June 02, 1998 at 12:53:48:
In response to Yw/oaS, written by Ken on May 28, 1998 at 12:01:31
Jane Austen's letters for the summer of 1816 (all four ofthem...what a huge sample!) all mention the awfulness of the summer - cold, perpetual rain, no hay, no wheat and in September, no honey).Since she didn't usually dwell on the weather very much at all, I find this quite significant. She doesn't mention sunsets, however.
I was teaching in England in 1980, when Mt St Helens blew her side out, and I went looking for awful weather and magnificent sunsets. Well, the cold and wet summer was memorable for being, well, cold and wet (though not frosty) but I was disappointed in the sunsets. Those that were not obscured by ground cloud and drizzle were not at all spectacular.
I was in Southern Germany when Mt Pinutaubo (sp?) blew - and I didn't notice a great deal of change in that summer, which I put down (without really thinking about it) to the global wind pattern and the strength of the Doldrums. Sunsets were not any more impressive either.
I think what I'm saying here(apart from killing time in my lunch hour) is that the effect of volcanic activity on weather is as vague and unpredictable as any other distubance of the atmosphere, and that great care should be taken in linking the effects on one particular spot on the globe with those in another.
Caroline, firm believer in both Chaos Theory and Gaia .
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