Climate Change and Millenarianism, 1816 style

The Dark Days of Georgian Britain

The Bologna Prophecy 1816
The mood was so depressing in 1816 that the end of the world was prophesied and believed by some. The original rumour  apparently came from an Italian astronomer, from which it gets its name of the “Bologna prediction”. The anonymous Italian said  that there world would end on July 18th 1816. The sun would be extinguished and all life would be destroyed. This made a fair amount of sense to some Europeans, for whom the weather was much worse than the normal variability of the climate . It was clear by June that summer would not arrive. Sunsets had a yellow sulphurous look. Spots were clearly visible on the face of the Sun. On June 24th the sunspots were almost frighteningly clear to the naked eye. It made sense that the rapid increase in sunspots was responsible for the fall in summer temperatures. To some it…

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