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Volcanic Eruption in 1600 may have caused global cooling

A new study has suggested that a volcanic eruption that happened in 1600 in the Andes mountains may have plunged the world into cold climate chaos. The eruption of the volcano, known as Huaynaputina, blanketed nearby villages with glowing rock and ash, killing some 1,500 people. But it may also have had a far wider effect, by injecting sulphur particles high into the atmosphere and disrupting the climate worldwide. The year 1601 featured several climate discrepancies. Tree-ring records show that it was the coldest year in six centuries in the Northern Hemisphere - possibly due to the cooling caused by the sulphur particles spewed from the volcano. The effect was felt on the other side of the globe, where a severe winter caused famine in Russia. Snow blanketed Sweden, leading to record flooding and a poor harvest. Wine harvests were late in France. In Japan, Lake Suwa froze far earlier than usual. Galleons travelling from Mexico to the Philippines made the trip significantly faster than normal, perhaps because of altered wind patterns. “What we find is that 1601 was among the coldest or wettest or worst years, in many cases. Some of these events have previously been attributed to the centuries-long cooling trend known as the Little Ice Age - but they may more properly be ascribed to Huayaputina.”

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