Common Era (CE) events; CE replacing AD in most calendar events.
An asteroid or a comet is believed to have detonated well above the earth's surface in Siberia; the event went off with the power of several nuclear weapons, splaying out trees and laying them down for a considerable area. Some believe that the impact was caused by a Beta Taurid comet fragment. Because the region was never really mapped before-hand, and was so isolated, remote, and unpopulated, the event wasn't even discovered until the 1920s. Lake Cheko is believed to be the impact basin that has long eluded researchers.
The north Atlantic region exits a brief cooling period immediately after the Medieval Warm Period (MWP). This ends a long period of increasingly cold winters and increased stress on human food sourcing in the region.
Mount Tambora in Indonesia blows, causing the 'year without a summer'. Recent evidence suggests that a previously unknown volcano with perhaps half the eruptive power of Tambora, blew in 1809; the 1809 and 1815 eruptions together caused the coolest decade on record in the last 500 years.
Ben Franklin thought that the Laki Eruption in Iceland caused the coldest winter seen in hundreds of years – but it may have been the same North Atlantic Oscillation that caused the winter of 2009-2010 to be so rough.
The Lisbon Earthquake kills anywhere from 60,000 to 100,000 people, and is estimated to be a Magnitude 9 disaster. The event inspires theodicity, a philosophical belief that attempts to reconcile a benevolent God with Evil in the world.
Recent evidence suggests that the earthquake could be a prelude to the formation of a subduction zone in the western European and eastern Atlantic region.
A prolonged minimum of sunspots plunges earth into a miniature ice age. The plummeting global temperatures affect a myriad of events, from more northern European colonists in the Americas to the reign of Louis the XIV (the Sun King). The lingering effects of the minimum may have allowed Washington's win over the British and Napoleon's defeat in Russia.
A VEI 6 eruption north of Tongoa in the Shepherd Islands turned one larger island into two smaller ones, and local folklore recorded that.
The Cook Islands took a beating from a tsunami 30m high, leaving embedded bits of shell in tree tops and halting the advance of the Polynesians throughout the Pacific. The cataclysmic collapse of volcano near Vanuatu is the likely culprit.
Witze, Alexandra. February 25, 2012. Making waves: Japanese quake gave scientists an unprecedented look at a big tsunami. Science News, Vol 181, No 4.
The north Atlantic region enters a brief cooling period immediately after the Medieval Warm Period (MWP), causing intense stress on the human population that grew during the MWP. This made humans in the region more susceptible to plagues that would have ordinarily done us less damage.
Global cooling event occurred in 1258, and most suspected a Latin or South American eruption. 'New' evidence points towards an Indonesian culprit known as Rinjani, but conclusive proof finally came in 2013 that it was the Indonesian volcano Samalas. This eruption, followed by successive eruptions in 1268, 1275, and 1284, are thought to have triggered the Little Ice Age.
Alexandra Witze. 2012. “Mystery volcano site pinned down: Indonesian crater implicated in mid-13th century eruption.” Science News. Vol 182, No 1, p12.
Devin Powell. 2012. “Little Ice Age began with bang: Frozen moss suggests eruptions kicked off cold era.” Science News. Vol 181, No5.
Earth exits a brief period of warmth after the Ice Ages, a period in which populations of humans flourished across the globe.
The 'Great Drought' of 1250-1299 was severe enough to force the Pueble Indians of Chaco Canyon, Arizona, to disperse from their localized areas. The timing of these events tie in closely to the 1500 year cycles, known as “Bond Events”.
(Brian M Fagan. 2006. “Archaeology: A Brief History”, 9th ed. p241-242. Pearson / Prentice Hall, NJ.)
Baekdu-san, Korean for 'white-headed mountain', lies on the border between North Korea and China. It's eruption was detailed in histories as far away as Japan.
Earth enters a brief period of warmth after the Ice Ages.
An unknown cosmic event ups the production of carbon-14 from nitrogen by over a percentage point. Solar flares? Supernovae? The cause is as yet unknown, but most indicators point to a gamma ray event within 3,000 to 14,000 light years from earth. Either way, this alters carbon-14 dating – and points to flaws in using carbon-14 as an absolute dating method.
The Moche of the Andes suffered a small drought from 534-540, but suffered a 30-year drought from 563-594 – collapsing their civilization, which relied on mountain run-off to irrigate the crops.
Brian M Fagan. 2006. “Archaeology: A Brief History”, 9th ed. p238-239. Pearson / Prentice Hall, NJ.
An equatorial volcano blows, causing a global chill, and plenty of war. The exact location of the volcano is unknown, though believed to be in the tropics; it's existence is known of through ice core samples in Greenland. Evidence suggest it was a larger even than Mount Tambora. Some speculate that Krakatoa was actually the unknown volcano, while others suspect Rabaul volcano. The timing of the event leads some to believe it may have had a powerful influence on the Dark Ages after the fall of the Roman Empire.
Larsen et al, Geophysical Research Letters, 29FEB2008
National Geographic News, 19MAR2008.
The fall of the Roman Empire may be tied to global shifts in climate identified as Bond Events, which have a roughly 1500 year periodicity. A short period of global aridification would have caused a collapse of agriculture and the governments that sustained them.
Evidence indicates that the remains of a comet that broke up 40,000 years ago struck the earth during this time frame. Seemingly random destruction of city-state-sized regions and the resultant meteorological impacts would have changed the world – and perhaps set up Rome to fall.
The Hatepe (or Taupo) eruption in New Zealand rates a VEI 7, turning the sky red over both Rome and China.