Ice core analyses continue revision of European history

January 21, 2016

New analytical techniques that allow ice cores to be sampled continuously for more chemical species continue to re-write the history of volcanism. The latest publication from YCEI postdoctoral fellow Francis Ludlow (Sigl et al, December 2015) finds new dates and magnitudes for historic eruptions dating back 2000 years, and concludes that they were the main driver of abrupt summer cooling in Europe. The new record alters what we know, and thought we knew, about European history, and will improve efforts to develop better climate models, which require knowledge of historic volcanic forcings.

A team of 23 researchers, including Ludlow and lead author Michael Sigl (University of Bern, Switzerland), had previously reported on a new timeline for the history of volcanic eruptions in an article in the journal Nature (Sigl et al, July 2015).

Ludlow discusses his specialty, which is the study of records of violence and strife in medieval Irish texts and establishing links to more traditional climate proxies such as tree ring and ice core records here.