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FG News

1816 MACKEREL YEAR AND TODAY’S CLIMATE CHANGE

02 Feb 17

In 1815, at Mt.Tambora, Indonesia, the world’s largest recorded volcanic eruption occurred. A team of New England-based researchers conducted a multi-layered, multi-disciplinary study on its catastrophic effects on commercial fisheries and coastal fishes in the Gulf of Maine. This may convey lessons for those tangled human-natural systems which are facing climatic change in today’s world.

The 1815 eruption resulted in a long extreme volcanic winter in 1816 referred to as the “year without a summer”. As a result, livestock died, crops failed and famine set in. The researchers found that 1816 was also called as “the mackerel year”. They examined other influences like historical events, fish habitat obstruction, fish export, human population growth, etc to know what might have affected fisheries then.

They found that in the early 1800s alewives had commercial export value and also served as chicken feed. This fish population decreased abruptly in the 1816’s cold winter. People immediately replaced it with mackerel, which was abundantly available then.

"When the resources are available locally, they can help societies cope with change” says Ardian Jordaan, a co-author. Human resilience can be advanced by strengthening the natural world’s resilience, concludes the paper. 

Contemt Source:  https://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2017/01/170119143356.htm

Image: http://www.amnh.org/explore/ology/climate-change


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