Climate, Pollution and Economic Growth in Human History: New results from the Historical Ice Core Project

Date: 

Wednesday, November 14, 2018, 5:30pm to 7:00pm

Location: 

Tsai Auditorium, CGIS South, 1730 Cambridge Street, Cambridge, MA

SoHP-CCI
Stunning, recent results from our collaboration with the Climate Change Institute of the University of Maine, reveal new evidence about our human past sealed within the Colle Gnifetti ice core. A groundbreaking new, open-access article in Antiquity, sheds new light on the foundations of the European economy and the devastating volcanic eruption of 536AD. 

This project is generously supported by:
Arcadia

Press coverage:
"Plague, eruptions and pollution — welcome to life in the 6th century" The Times of London
Ann Gibbons, "Why 536AD was the Worst Year to Be Alive," Science 11/14/18
"The Worst Year to Be a Human Has Been Revealed by Researchers," CNN
"Scientists Have Identified the Worst Year in History," Time Magazine
"Climat: l'humanité a-t-elle vécu sa pire année en 536?" Le Figaro
"AD536: The Year That Winter Never Ended," New Scientist
"Study Looks for Location of Medieval Volcanic Eruption," Archaeology Magazine
"Harvard historian pinpoints the worst year ever to be alive," Times of Israel
"Laser technology uncovers medieval secrets locked in Alpine ice core" Phys.org
Matthew Garbiele, "How a Volcano (sort of) Caused the Middle Ages," Forbes 11/15/18
"Researchers Identify 536 A.D. as The Absolute Worst Year Ever" Popular Mechanics
"536 nach Christus war schlimmstes Jahr der Geschichte" Süddeutsche Zeitung
"L’anno peggiore della storia dell’umanità? Il 536 d. C." Corriere della Sera
"Quale è stato l'anno peggiore della Storia?" Focus
"Eruzioni e carestie, il 536 d.C. è stato l'anno peggiore della storia" Ansa Science & Technology
"What Was The Worst Time To Be Alive In Human History?" IFLScience
"Waarom het jaar 536 ‘het ergste jaar ooit’ was" Algemeen Dagblad
"What a Year to be Alive: How Darkness Famine and Disease Made 536 the Worst Year to Be Alive," The Sun
"Why 536 AD was ‘the worst year to be alive’" The Times of India
"Why 536 AD was the worst year to be alive" Daily Mail
"Scientists Have Determined The Worst Year to Be Alive in Human History" Science Alert
"L'anno più terribile nella storia dell'umanità? Secondo la scienza è il 536" Quotidiano.net
"Ледниковые керны рассказали подробности о сильном похолодании в 536 году" N+1
"War 536 das schlimmste Jahr der Geschichte?" Der Standard
"Eruzioni e carestie, il 536 D.C. è stato l'anno peggiore della storia" Il Mattino
"Harvard Researcher Determines That 536 A.D. Was History’s Worst Year — Here’s Why" All That's Interesting
"536 Was a Garbage Year for Mankind" LiveScience
"536, el peor año de la historia: vivir era más difícil que durante la peste negra" El Español
"What a Year to Be Alive: How Darkness, Famine and Disease Made 536AD the Worst Year in Human History," Scottish Sun
"What was the worst year to be alive, ever? AD536, when winter came — for real," News Australia
"¿Per què el 536 va ser el pitjor any de la història de la humanitat?" El Periodico de Catalunya
"Les scientifiques ont déterminé quelle a été la pire année de l’histoire de l’humanité" Trust My Science
"La pire année de l'Histoire de l'humanité n'est pas 1918 ou 1349 : c'est l'an 536 et voici pourquoi" Atlantico
"Imagine que puede viajar en el tiempo: éste es el año al que NO debe ir, el peor año de la Historia" Telemundo
"You think 2018 is the worst year ever? Try the real dark age: 536" The Guardian
"公元536年,或是人类史上灾难最严重的一年!" Tencent
"Najhujše leto v zgodovini človeštva: 536" Primorske Novice
"The Worst Year to Be Alive – 536 AD…Harvard Scientist Concludes…Mysterious Fog to Blame" Mystic Post
"AD536: the worst year to be alive - ever" News.com
"The Worst Time in History to Be Alive, According to Science" History
"'Scientists' Determine That the Worst Year in Human History Was… 536 AD." Watts Up With That
"Scientists claim A.D. 536 was the worst year to be alive" Daily Caller
"How darkness, famine and disease made 536 AD 'the worst year in human history'" Best World News
"Why 536 AD was the worst year to be alive" Celebrity Best News
"Un estudio determina el peor año para estar vivo en la historia humana, y no es ninguno de los que estás pensando" Gizmodo
"Dünya 536 yılı ve takip eden yıllarda çok korkutucu bir yermiş" BasNews
"Why is 536 years the worst year in human history?" KodKey
"Laser Technology Uncovers Medieval Secrets Locked in Alpine Ice Core" Science & Technology Research News
"Il peggior anno in cui essere vivi" Il Post
"Science ID’s 536 A.D. As the Worst Year To Be Alive" UK RemoNews
"Cataclysmic eruption may have kicked off ‘worst year' in history for humans - study" RT News
"Identify the year 536 A.D. as the worst in history" Tech2
"536 Dopo Cristo: Annus Horribilis per L'Europa!" Daniele Mancini Archeologia
"The worst year to be human was A.D. 536, researchers say" ViralEar
"El peor año para vivir de la historia de la humanidad fue el 536 d.C." Terrae Antiquae
"¿Por qué el 536 fue el peor año en la historia de la humanidad?" Vanguardia
"This is why 536 AD was the worst year in human history" BitMarkNews
"Scientists figure out the worst year ever to be alive on Earth" New York Post
"Iceland Possibly To Blame For “Worst Year To Be Alive” In World History" Reykjavik Grapevine
"Icelandic Volcano Accused of Causing the Worst Year in History" Guide to Iceland Now
"The worst year in human history was 536, historian claims" Newshub
"Researchers Determine 536 A.D. The 'Worst Year To Be Alive'" Mysterious Universe
"Des chercheurs ont déterminé la pire année de l’histoire de l’humanité" SciencePost
"Des scientifiques ont déterminé la pire année de l'histoire de l'humanité" MaxiSciences
"Mystérieux brouillard, été glacial : l’an 536 a été la pire année climatique de l’humanité" Numerama
"L’an 536, la pire année de l’histoire de l’humanité" L'Edition du Soir
"Selon Harvard, L'Année 536 Était La Pire Dans L'Histoire de L'Humanité" FZN
"Une carotte glaciaire révèle que 536 fut la pire année de l'histoire de l'humanité" Sciences et Avenir
"Quelle a été la pire année de tous les temps pour l’humanité ?" Futura Sciences
"L'an 536 : la pire année de l'histoire humaine" LeVif
"El peor año de nuestra Historia, por una erupción volcánica" Ideal
"Por qué el 536 fue el peor año en la historia de la humanidad" Infobae
"¿Por qué el 536 fue el peor año de la historia para ‘estar vivo’?" Eslang
"El peor año de la historia de la humanidad" La Vanguardia
"Por qué el año 536 fue el peor en la Historia de la humanidad" Clarin Mundo
"A névoa misteriosa que tornou 536 o pior ano da história para se estar na Terra" Globo
"Cientistas cravam qual foi o pior ano para estar vivo na história" Super Interessante
"Cientistas identificam o pior ano da História" DN
"Ciência elege o 'pior ano da história para estar vivo'" Itapema
"Forskare: Då var det värsta året att leva för människan" Aftonbladet
"Eldgos á Íslandi knésetti Evrópu og Asíu við upphaf miðalda" Kvennabladid

Broadcasts
"¿Por qué el año 536 fue el peor de la historia para estar vivo?" BBC News Mundo
"Researchers identify worst year to be alive on Earth" Sky News
"What was the worst year in history? Scientists determine the answer" Euronews
"Here's the 'Worst Year to Be Alive,' as Determined by Historians and Scientists" Weather Channel
"Des historiens ont identifié la pire année pour l'humanité" BFM TV
"Eruzioni e carestie, il 536 d.C è l’anno peggiore della storia" SkyTV24
"L'anno peggiore della storia? Fu il 536 d.C. quando una fitta nebbia oscurò per mesi il Sole" RaiNews
"Historiens verste år å være i live" ABC Nyheter
"Por qué el año 536 fue el peor de la Historia" ABC Ciencia
"År 536 var et af de værste år at leve i, og nu ved forskerne hvorfor" TV2 (Denmark)
"¿Podría la humanidad volver a vivir el peor año de su historia?" Sputnik Mundo
"Cientistas descobrem que pior ano da história foi 536 d.C" Época Negócios
"Vuosi 536 oli ihmiskunnan kauhein vuosi – ennenäkemätön katastrofi teki elinoloista karmeita" Iltamakasiini
"Telur litlar líkur á að hamfaragosið sem olli versta ári sögunnar hafi verið á Íslandi" Vísir

Radio
"Les pires années de l’Histoire sont-elles liées aux extrêmes climatiques?" France Inter Radio (at 3:54)
"Soyez heureux de ne pas avoir vécu en l’an 536" Radio-Canada
"Científicos establecieron cuál fue el peor año para el ser humano" ADN Radio

The new findings were presented by the team at Harvard University:

Michael McCormick (Chair of SoHP and Goelet Professor of Medieval History) with Christopher Loveluck (Professor of Medieval Archaeology, University of Nottingham):
"From Roman Gold to Merovingian "Pale Gold," to Medieval Silver."

Paul A. Mayewski (Director of the Climate Change Institute, and Distinguished Professor, University of Maine):
"Extending the Climate Record into the Pre-Instrumental Era, Decades to Millennia."

Andrei V. Kurbatov (Associate Professor, Climate Change Institute, University of Maine):
"Tephra Evidence of the 536AD Volcanic Eruption."

Heather Clifford (MSc Candidate, Climate Change Institute, University of Maine):
"Insights from the Colle Gnifetti Ice Core."

Alexander More (Assistant Research Professor & Postdoctoral Research Associate CCI-Harvard):
"The Impact of Extreme Weather on WWI and Spanish Flu Pandemic Mortality 100 years ago."

Full reference article: C. P. Loveluck, M. McCormick, N. Spaulding, H. Clifford, M.J. Handley, L. Hartman, H. Hoffmann, E.V. Koroktikh, A.V. Kurbatov, A. F. More, S.B. Sneed, P. A. Mayewski, "Alpine ice-core evidence for the transformation of the European monetary system, AD 640–670," Antiquity 2018 https://doi.org/10.15184/aqy.2018.110

 

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