What New England's 1816 Mackerel Year Can Tell Us About Climate Change

Posted: Jan 23 2017, 9:04am CST | by , Updated: Jan 23 2017, 9:12am CST, in News | Latest Science News

How Mackerel Year Driven Climate Change
Penobscot Bay fishermen cleaning mackerel near their saltwater farm. The shore mackerel fishery documented in Alexander and colleagues' paper lasted for over 100 years. Credit: NOAA Library, Silver Spring, Md.
  • The Mackerel-Volcano Link with Present-Day Climate Change

The 1816 mackerel-volcano link with present-day climate change is something which is very obvious.

Hundreds of articles have been written regarding the biggest volcanic eruption which took place in Indonesia. This was in Mt. Tambora and took place over 200 years ago on the historic timeline.

One of the effects of this natural explosion on the surrounding climate and ecosystem is extant even now and needs to be brought into the awareness of the public. A few distinguished environmentalists and scientists managed to offer a study on the matter which got published in a journal recently.

The eruption of Mt. Tambora led to the fish and fisheries in the surrounding waters to undergo a high degree of disturbance. The study which took place regarding this was almost a forensic one.

The eruption had effects on New England, Europe, China and many other places for almost a year and a half. Proof of this devastation and destruction was searched for on home ground.

Such data as was forthcoming from fish exports, weather reports, dam development and town planning was collated and tabulated in complex patterns to get to the bottom of the anomaly that had taken place due to a natural process.

The eruption led to a full 365 days without any summer. As these conditions remained extant for the year, crops withered away due to lack of sunlight, livestock wasted away and death stalked much of the Northern Hemisphere.

In New England alone, crop harvests fell by a whopping 90%. The consequences of the eruption of Mt. Tambora were evident on the Gulf of Maine and the marine activities linked to it.

The year of 1816 was also known as the “Mackerel Year”. The War of 1812 was a precursor to these conditions. The fisheries were turned topsy turvy thanks to the events that would transpire later on.

There were temperature swings that took place in a wild and uncontrolled manner. The entire Gulf of Maine fell under the influence of this winter of depression.

Most of the species of fish reacted in a manner that was to be expected from such marine animals. The spawning seasons and life cycles of the fish were turned on their heads.

The only fish that was available in sufficient quantities was mackerel. The past when gauged from today’s times of plenty seems to have been complex enough. It was like an experiment in a lab.

What this shows us is that all of Nature including human beings are a part of an ecosystem that is very delicate. To tamper with it is like playing with fire.

The findings of this study got published in the journal Science Advances.

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The Author

<a href="/latest_stories/all/all/20" rel="author">Sumayah Aamir</a>
Sumayah Aamir (Google+) has deep experience in analyzing the latest trends.




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