Ice Age for Beer and Hard Liquor
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Fact of the Day
From some point in the Middle Ages to a time when the Eastern United States made up the 13 Colonies of America, there was a minor Ice Age. This was not like the glaciers in Paris and New York City you may be picturing. It was a general decrease in temperatures in places not used to things like snow and ice in months like June and July.
The History Channel states that people in Manhattan were actually able to traverse New York Harbor and walk to Staten Island. This was during the year with no summer (1816). This freak weather was caused by a volcanic eruption a year before; in Indonesia [source]. The ash/sulfur released into the sky reflected sunlight back towards the sun. Insane phenomena including black and red snow in Europe led many to believe it the work of something supernatural and inspired many to write (at least in their diaries).
In Europe, wine production diminished especially in the newfound wine country of Great Britain due to the warm before the storm (the late Middle Ages). On a side note, some of global warming may be history repeating itself (aside from what we carelessly emit into the air). Regardless, the reason America is a more beer-and-liquor rather than wine-and-cheese is because the cold not only made it hard to farm, it drove people to the New World. On this note, we can now understand the significance of George Washington being the largest distiller of rye whiskey in America during his life.
Without a volcanic eruption we can still experience these effects today. Industry might just be our modern equivalent to the 1815 Tombora volcano in Indonesia. Supporting this some [more classical] scientists believe that global warming will result in glacier melting; glacier melting can lead to colder currents; colder currents leads to colder water; colder water will no longer regulate winter temperatures; and lastly unregulated winters may lead to another year without summer.
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