The 1816 ‘year without a summer’ in an atmospheric reanalysis
Philip Brohan1, Gilbert P. Compo2,3, Stefan Brönnimann4, Robert J. Allan1, Renate Auchmann4, Yuri Brugnara4, Prashant D. Sardeshmukh2,3, and Jeffrey S. Whitaker31Met Office Hadley Centre, Exeter, EX1 3PB, UK 2CIRES/University of Colorado, Boulder, 80309-0216, USA 3NOAA Earth System Research Laboratory/PSD 4Oeschger Centre, University of Bern, Bern, Switzerland
Abstract. Two hundred years ago a very cold and wet summer devastated agriculture in Europe and North America, causing widespread food shortages, unrest and suffering – the "year without a summer". This is usually blamed on the eruption of Mount Tambora, in Indonesia, the previous April, but making a link between these two events has proven difficult, as the major impacts were at smaller space and time-scales than we can reconstruct with tree-ring observations and climate model simulations. Here we show that the very limited network of station barometer observations for the period is nevertheless enough to enable a dynamical atmospheric reanalysis to reconstruct the daily weather of summer 1816, over much of Europe. Adding stratospheric aerosol from the Tambora eruption to the reanalysis improves its reconstruction, explicitly linking the volcano to the weather impacts.
Brohan, P., Compo, G. P., Brönnimann, S., Allan, R. J., Auchmann, R., Brugnara, Y., Sardeshmukh, P. D., and Whitaker, J. S.: The 1816 ‘year without a summer’ in an atmospheric reanalysis, Clim. Past Discuss., doi:10.5194/cp-2016-78, 2016.