The 1815 Tambora eruption: Impact on people, environment and climate

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The Geologists’ Association South Wales Group (SWGA) is to hold the next in its series of lectures hosted by the Geography Department at Swansea University.

Title: The 1815 Tambora eruption: Impact on people, environment and climate

Speaker: Jessica Kandlbauer (University of Bristol)

Date: Saturday 23rd March 2013

Time: 10.30 am

Venue: Wallace Building, Swansea University

Admission: The lecture is free and all are welcome.

The lecture focuses on the eruption of the Tambora volcano on the island of Sumbawa in Indonesia on April 5, 1815. The initial eruption could be heard 1,400 km away, but five days later the volcano erupted further, in what would become the largest volcanic eruption in recorded history.

Over 100 km3 of pulverized rock was ejected into the atmosphere in an explosion 52,000 times more powerful than the Hiroshima bombing and releasing so much CO2 into the atmosphere that it impacted the climate on a global scale.

More than 60,000 people lost their lives during the eruption, mostly due to the consequent famine and epidemics as the ash fall destroyed crop harvests and contaminated water supply. The ash and gases released cooled the atmosphere by more than 1°C and the year of 1816 became known as ‘the year without summer’, leading to high food prices and serious famine even in Europe and North America.

This lecture discusses what would happen if this eruption would take place today in the modern world, combining the evaluation of the volcanic hazard, climate response and vulnerability to assess the environmental any socio-economic impacts.

The lecture will be preceded by the Annual General Meeting of the SWGA which take about 15 minutes.

The SWGA holds talks, field meetings and other activities aimed at anyone who has an interest in the Earth and its history.

Membership is open to all in the South Wales area but non-members are welcome to attend events.

For more details, see the web site:

For further information about the event please contact Dr Geraint Owen or 01792 295141.