Illinois Sustainable Technology Center - University of Illinois

Tambora 1815: How Climate Change Shaped the Nineteenth-Century World

Presented by Gillen Wood, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign English Dept. and Director of the Sustainabililty Studies Initiative in the Humanities

April 20, 2011

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What happens when the world's climate reaches a sudden tipping point?

The devastating two-year aftermath of the eruption of Mt. Tambora in Indonesia in 1815 is the nearest historical case-study we have for better understanding the social, environmental, and economic impacts of abrupt climate change, as predicted by the 2007 IPCC Report for this century.

Approaching the 200th anniversary of the massive eruption of Tambora, The Tambora Project reconstructs on a global scale, and in multimedia formats, the most destructive episode of worldwide climate change in modern history.

The project is a comprehensive investigation of the climate emergency of 1815-17 and will provide important lessons not only for historians, but also scientists, economists and policymakers tasked with responding to today's climate crisis.

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