Topic: Volcanoes

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1808/1809 Mystery Eruption

Climate change Environment Volcanoes

The 1808 mystery eruption was a large volcanic eruption conjectured to have taken place in late 1808, possibly in the southwest Pacific. A VEI-6 eruption, comparable to the 1883 eruption of Krakatoa, is suspected of having contributed to a period of global cooling that lasted for years, analogous to how the 1815 eruption of Mount Tambora (VEI-7) led to the Year Without a Summer in 1816.

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Graham Island (Sicily)

Volcanoes Islands Sicily Seamounts

Graham Island (also Graham Bank or Graham Shoal; Italian: Isola Ferdinandea) is a submerged volcanic island in the Mediterranean Sea. It was discovered when it last appeared on 1 August 1831 by Humphrey Fleming Senhouse, the captain of the first rate Royal Navy ship of the line St Vincent and named after Sir James Graham, the First Lord of the Admiralty. It was claimed by the United Kingdom. It forms part of the underwater volcano Empedocles, 30 km (19 mi) south of Sicily, and which is one of a number of submarine volcanoes known as the Campi Flegrei del Mar di Sicilia. Seamount eruptions have raised it above sea level several times before erosion submerged it again.

When it last rose above sea level after erupting in 1831, a four-way dispute over its sovereignty began, which was still unresolved when it disappeared beneath the waves again in early 1832. During its brief life, French geologist Constant Prévost was on hand, accompanied by an artist, to witness it in July 1831; he named it Île Julia, for its July appearance, and reported in the Bulletin de la Société Géologique de France. Some observers at the time wondered if a chain of mountains would spring up, linking Sicily to Tunisia and thus upsetting the geopolitics of the region. It showed signs of volcanic activity in 2000 and 2002, forecasting a possible appearance; however, as of 2016 it remains 6 m (20 ft) under sea level.

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Toba catastrophe theory

Volcanoes Geology Indonesia

The Toba supereruption was a supervolcanic eruption that occurred about 75,000 years ago at the site of present-day Lake Toba in Sumatra, Indonesia. It is one of the Earth's largest known eruptions. The Toba catastrophe theory holds that this event caused a global volcanic winter of six to ten years and possibly a 1,000-year-long cooling episode.

In 1993, science journalist Ann Gibbons posited that a population bottleneck occurred in human evolution about 70,000 years ago, and she suggested that this was caused by the eruption. Geologist Michael R. Rampino of New York University and volcanologist Stephen Self of the University of Hawaii at Manoa support her suggestion. In 1998, the bottleneck theory was further developed by anthropologist Stanley H. Ambrose of the University of Illinois at Urbana–Champaign. Both the link and global winter theories are controversial. The Toba event is the most closely studied supereruption.

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Year Without a Summer

Volcanoes Meteorology

The year 1816 is known as the Year Without a Summer (also the Poverty Year and Eighteen Hundred and Froze To Death) because of severe climate abnormalities that caused average global temperatures to decrease by 0.4–0.7 °C (0.72–1.26 °F). This resulted in major food shortages across the Northern Hemisphere.

Evidence suggests that the anomaly was predominantly a volcanic winter event caused by the massive 1815 eruption of Mount Tambora in April in the Dutch East Indies (now Indonesia). This eruption was the largest eruption in at least 1,300 years (after the hypothesized eruption causing the extreme weather events of 535–536), and perhaps exacerbated by the 1814 eruption of Mayon in the Philippines.

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South Georgia and the South Sandwich Islands

Volcanoes Islands British Overseas Territories Argentina South America/South Georgia and the South Sandwich Islands South America

South Georgia and the South Sandwich Islands (SGSSI) is a British Overseas Territory in the southern Atlantic Ocean. It is a remote and inhospitable collection of islands, consisting of South Georgia Island and a chain of smaller islands known as the South Sandwich Islands. South Georgia is 165 kilometres (103 mi) long and 35 kilometres (22 mi) wide and is by far the largest island in the territory. The South Sandwich Islands lie about 700 kilometres (430 mi) southeast of South Georgia. The territory's total land area is 3,903 km2 (1,507 sq mi). The Falkland Islands are about 1,300 kilometres (810 mi) west from its nearest point.

No permanent native population lives in the South Sandwich Islands, and a very small non-permanent population resides on South Georgia. There are no scheduled passenger flights or ferries to or from the territory, although visits by cruise liners to South Georgia are increasingly popular, with several thousand visitors each summer.

The United Kingdom claimed sovereignty over South Georgia in 1775 and the South Sandwich Islands in 1908. The territory of "South Georgia and the South Sandwich Islands" was formed in 1985; previously, it had been governed as part of the Falkland Islands Dependencies. Argentina claimed South Georgia in 1927 and claimed the South Sandwich Islands in 1938.

Argentina maintained a naval station, Corbeta Uruguay, on Thule Island in the South Sandwich Islands from 1976 until 1982 when it was closed by the Royal Navy. The Argentine claim over South Georgia contributed to the 1982 Falklands War, during which Argentine forces briefly occupied the island. Argentina continues to claim sovereignty over South Georgia and the South Sandwich Islands.

Toothfish are vital to the islands' economy; as a result, Toothfish Day is celebrated on 4 September as a bank holiday in the territory.

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