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Laki 1783 Eruption And Entries From Janet Burnet's Diary

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Here are some interesting entries from Janet Burnet's diary from June, July and August 1783 referring to "fogg" in her description of weather conditions experienced in the Aberdeenshire region.

Laki in Iceland erupted in June 1783 and reference to "foggs" could be referring to volcanic aerosols.

17th June 1783: thick fogg and small rain, the air a good deal warmer from this to the 22nd the Air heavey with foggs most of the day

From 22 June to the end exceding warm soft air with foggs.

3rd-7th July......high wind and warm air and thick fogg

10th July the same weather fogg most of the day

12th July vastly warm the foggs still continow....a continouance of thick fogg is uncommon in this country

The leavs of the corn and bear is yellowed and the tops of potatoes blackened form what caus we know not as nobody will alow of any frost having been.

12th-18th: Exceeding hit, close air and constant foggs.

Fogg still continuing all day and night

25th July: fogg and hot

2nd August..thick fogg all day

3rd a great deal of rain and thick fogg all day

8th August: the Moon had such a firey appearance and Shap throw the fogg we thought her a Larg Muir Burn

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Yes, thanks for that Mr data, interesting and awful event.

I was reading this below .. seems the 18thC eruption may have even caused

famine in Egypt and other worldwide consequences.

My link

Just over 200 years ago an Icelandic volcano erupted with catastrophic consequences for weather, agriculture and transport across the northern hemisphere – and helped trigger the French revolution.

The Laki volcanic fissure in southern Iceland erupted over an eight-month period from 8 June 1783 to February 1784, spewing lava and poisonous gases that devastated the island's agriculture, killing much of the livestock. It is estimated that perhapsa quarter of Iceland's population died through the ensuing famine.

Then, as now, there were more wide-ranging impacts. In Norway, the Netherlands, the British Isles, France, Germany, Italy, Spain, in North America and even Egypt, the Laki eruption had its consequences, as the haze of dust and sulphur particles thrown up by the volcano was carried over much of the northern hemisphere.

Ships moored up in many ports, effectively fogbound. Crops were affected as the fall-out from the continuing eruption coincided with an abnormally hot summer. A clergyman, the Rev Sir John Cullum, wrote to the Royal Society that barley crops "became brown and withered … as did the leaves of the oats; the rye had the appearance of being mildewed".

The British naturalist Gilbert White described that summer in his classic Natural History of Selborne as "an amazing and portentous one … the peculiar haze, or smokey fog, that prevailed for many weeks in this island, and in every part of Europe, and even beyond its limits, was a most extraordinary appearance, unlike anything known within the memory of man.

"The sun, at noon, looked as blank as a clouded moon, and shed a rust-coloured ferruginous light on the ground, and floors of rooms; but was particularly lurid and blood-coloured at rising and setting. At the same time the heat was so intense that butchers' meat could hardly be eaten on the day after it was killed; and the flies swarmed so in the lanes and hedges that they rendered the horses half frantic … the country people began to look with a superstitious awe, at the red, louring aspect of the sun."

Across the Atlantic, Benjamin Franklin wrote of "a constant fog over all Europe, and a great part of North America".

The disruption to weather patterns meant the ensuing winter was unusually harsh, with consequent spring flooding claiming more lives. In America the Mississippi reportedly froze at New Orleans.

The eruption is now thought to have disrupted the Asian monsoon cycle, prompting famine in Egypt. Environmental historians have also pointed to the disruption caused to the economies of northern Europe, where food poverty was a major factor in the build-up to the French revolution of 1789.

Volcanologists at the Open University's department of earth sciences say the impact of the Laki eruptions had profound consequences.

Dr John Murray said: "Volcanic eruptions can have significant effects on weather patterns for from two to four years, which in turn have social and economic consequences. We shouldn't discount their possible political impacts." Greg Neale is founding editor of BBC History Magazine

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Interesting to note that July 1783 was the hottest month ever recorded in the CET until July 1983 exactly 200 years later. An unusually strong Azores High is believed to have been in place as far north as Iceland (dragging the sulphur dioxide emissions southeastwards towards the UK and the rest of Europe), which would help to explain the high temperatures.

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