LIST: An Alien's Guide to Conquering the Earth Naturally
"It's clear that the scribes of the Irish Annals were diligent reporters of severe cold weather, most probably because of the negative impacts this had on society and the biosphere," Francis Ludlow of Harvard University said in a press release.
Ludlow was lead author of a study that paired Irish weather observations with volcanic eruptions. The scientists dated historic volcanic activity using info from the Greenland Ice Sheet Project about volcanic residues trapped in Greenland's glaciers. The study was published in Environmental Research Letters.
For example, Ludlow's team found that the eruption of the Peruvian volcano, Huaynaputina, in 1600 was associated with a few years of hard winter in Ireland. Chinese records also showed a cold winter after than eruption, according to a study published in the International Journal of Climatology.
"The possibility that tropical eruptions may result in severe winter cooling for Ireland highlights the considerable complexity of the volcano-climate system in terms of the regional expression of the response of climate to volcanic disturbances," said Ludlow.