“The sun, without radiance, shone throughout the year just like the moon and gave the impression, as if it had almost darkened completely.” The early Byzantine historian Procopius, expressed in the 6. Century after Christ. In front of around 1500 years, large parts of Europe, the middle East and parts of Asia were wrapped in about 18 months by a mysterious fog. For months, the people were in these regions, no sun to see.

The absence of the sun was a result of a massive climate change, however, just the other way, as we experience it today: in The decade was dominated by long periods of cold weather and average temperatures in the summer months only at 1.5 to 2.5 degrees Celsius. Crop failures, droughts and related famines were the result. Overall, it is in the decade after 536 until today, the coldest of the last 2300 years.

American historians and archaeologist Michael McCormick of Harvard University refers to this time as compared to the magazine Science now as the worst, were forced to live in the people ever, and new research findings and insights to the so far controversial.

Gigantic volcanic eruption as the cause

in the year 2015, the assumed researchers Michael Sigl from the Paul-Scherrer-Institute, that a huge volcanic eruption must have been the cause of the weather phenomenon. The ash, sulphur and other substances, which had been spitting out of the volcano at the time of an Eruption, formed a kind of veil, the sun light reflected back into space.

So the earth was covered about 18 months, so almost completely in darkness, and the Planet cooled in the sequence. The scientists from the University of Bern found that almost every one of the unusually cold summer went ahead in the last 2500 years, such a volcanic eruption. The Eruption from the year 536 localized with relatively high probability in North America.

New Details contradict the previous findings

The new findings of the US scientists disclose now for more Details. The researchers examined a 72-Meter-long hole in a Swiss glacier, which led to new results: The volcanic eruption in 536 it should have not taken place in North America, but in Iceland, what to confirm the characteristic of the rock particles. Two other outbreaks in the years 540 and 547 followed and worsened the climatic conditions.

But also on the economic consequences of the bore, conclusions can be drawn: With special measuring methods, the researchers analyzed the ice, canned air, could this be classified limited in time, and their lead content. This is relevant in so far as its determination suggests, whether to reduce the time a lot or a little silver. Because the lead content fell in the year 536, and in the year 640 rise again, so not only the climatic, but also the economic consequences of the outbreak: in addition to the field work, also the mining of iron ore suffered so under the weather conditions.

Similar changes in the lead content were also evident in the investigation of ice from the years 1349 to 1353. In this time, the plague spread, and brought the economy to a Standstill.

The British archaeologist Christopher Loveluck referred to this modern method to connect environmental records with the historical data, as the start of a new Era for science.

FOCUS Online/Wochit Etna-eruption makes the earth quake now a 2 km long gap has opened up psch


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