In June 1783, Iceland's Laki volcano began a series of eruptions. These are believed to have been the largest high-latitude eruptions in the last 1,000 years. Laki expelled three cubic miles of lava and more than 100 million tons of SO2 and toxic gases.
The summer of 1783 was the coldest in 500 years in some parts of the northern hemisphere. Northern Africa received a particularly harsh blow. Drought gripped northern Africa and restricted the flow of the Nile. The unusually cold weather also weakened the monsoon season in southern Asia and northern Africa. In 1783 and 1784, the Nile did not fully flood its banks. No rain, no floods, no crops, no food.
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