Hat Napoleon die Schlacht in Waterloo wegen eines indonesischen Vulkanausbruchs verloren?

Am 16. August 2018 starb die Soul-Sängerin Aretha Franklin an Krebs. Ihr Künstlerkollege Stevie Wonder geht davon aus, dass letztendlich der Klimawandel die Krebskrankheit von Aretha Franklin hervorgerufen hat. Noise 11 berichtete am 19. August 2018:

Wonder drew a line between the increase of cancer and the ignorance of global warming. “I just feel that all these various diseases that we have and all that is happening in the world in part is because there are those who don’t believe in global warming, don’t believe that what we do affects the world,” he said. “Heat affects the world and affects us. I just hope that people will grow up out of the foolishness and know that we all, by how we think, how we view, how we treat others, we will never unlock the key until we truly let go of the hatred, the bigotry, the evilness, the selfishness. We do that and we can unlock some of those things that keep us in this place”.

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Einmal mehr haben die Klimamodelle versagt. Diesmal haben sie ein großes Eisloch in der Arktis übersehen, wie Spiegel Online am 24. August 2018 meldete:

Polarforschung Was ist los in der “Region des letzten Eises”?
Laut Klimamodellen gilt der Ozean nördlich von Grönland als Rückzugsort des letzten Arktiseises. Doch derzeit klafft dort ein großes Loch. Forscher sind irritiert.

Weiterlesen auf Spiegel Online

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Im Sommer 1815 erlebte Napoleon sein Waterloo. Seine Armee blieb im Schlamm stecken. Klimaforscher des Imperial College London wollen jetzt herausbekommen haben, wehalb es damals so regnerisch war: Schuld soll der indonesische Vulkan Tambora haben, der damals ausbrach. Das College gab am 22. August 2018 per Pressemitteilung die aufsehenerregnden Forschungsergebnisse bekannt:

Napoleon’s defeat at Waterloo caused in part by Indonesian volcanic eruption

Electrically charged volcanic ash short-circuited Earth’s atmosphere in 1815, causing global poor weather and Napoleon’s defeat, says new research.

Historians know that rainy and muddy conditions helped the Allied army defeat the French Emperor Napoleon Bonaparte at the Battle of Waterloo. The June 1815 event changed the course of European history. Two months prior, a volcano named Mount Tambora erupted on the Indonesian island of Sumbawa, killing 100,000 people and plunging the Earth into a ‘year without a summer’ in 1816. Now, Dr Matthew Genge from Imperial College London has discovered that electrified volcanic ash from eruptions can ‘short-circuit’ the electrical current of the ionosphere — the upper level of the atmosphere that is responsible for cloud formation.

The findings, published today in Geology, could confirm the suggested link between the eruption and Napoleon’s defeat. Dr Genge, from Imperial’s Department of Earth Science and Engineering, suggests that the Tambora eruption short-circuited the ionosphere, ultimately leading to a pulse of cloud formation. This brought heavy rain across Europe that contributed to Napoleon Bonaparte’s defeat. The paper shows that eruptions can hurl ash much higher than previously thought into the atmosphere — up to 100 kilometres above ground.

Dr Genge said: “Previously, geologists thought that volcanic ash gets trapped in the lower atmosphere, because volcanic plumes rise buoyantly. My research, however, shows that ash can be shot into the upper atmosphere by electrical forces.” A series of experiments showed that that electrostatic forces could lift ash far higher than by buoyancy alone. Dr Genge created a model to calculate how far charged volcanic ash could levitate, and found that particles smaller than 0.2 millionths of a metre in diameter could reach the ionosphere during large eruptions.

He said: “Volcanic plumes and ash both can have negative electrical charges and thus the plume repels the ash, propelling it high in the atmosphere. The effect works very much like the way two magnets are pushed away from each other if their poles match.” The experimental results are consistent with historical records from other eruptions.

Weather records are sparse for 1815, so to test his theory, Dr Genge examined weather records following the 1883 eruption of another Indonesian volcano, Krakatau. The data showed lower average temperatures and reduced rainfall almost immediately after the eruption began, and global rainfall was lower during the eruption than either period before or after. He also found reports of ionosphere disturbance after the 1991 eruption of Mount Pinatubo, Philippines, which could have been caused by charged ash in the ionosphere from the volcano plume.

In addition, a special cloud type appeared more frequently than usual following the Krakatau eruption. Noctilucent clouds are rare and luminous, and form in the ionosphere. Dr Genge suggests these clouds therefore provide evidence for the electrostatic levitation of ash from large volcanic eruptions. Dr Genge said: “Victor Hugo in the novel Les Miserables said of the Battle of Waterloo: ‘an unseasonably clouded sky sufficed to bring about the collapse of a World.’ Now we are a step closer to understanding Tambora’s part in the Battle from half a world away.”