August 22, 2023•170 words
Think the 2020s is a bad time to live? Let me introduce you to the 6th century AD. I think you'll feel a lot better about the times we live in by comparison.
In 536, three simultaneous volcano eruptions covered Europe and much of the rest of the world in sulfate aerosols, which caused temperatures to drop by 5 degrees F along with massive crop failures and starvation. The sun was reportedly obscured for 18 months, like the "long winter" in Game of Thrones. This was noticed as far as Constantipotle. A few years later it happened again, resulting in more famine. Global temperatures dropped everywhere, and some think this had effects as far as precolombian Mexico.
In Europe the climate effects coincided with the Plague of Justinian starting in 541, the same disease that caused the Black Death. Up to 25% of the eastern empire is thought to have died, and nearly half of the population of Constantinople.
Please now go back to enjoying your iPhone and lattes. 🙂