history

The huge caldera of Mount Tambora, Indonesia - still active today. Photo: Jialiang Gao, CC BY-SA.

The Tambora eruption and human history

Gillen D'Arcy Wood
| 18th June 2014
The greatest volcanic eruption in human history changed the 19th century as much as Napoleon, if not more, writes Gillen D'Arcy Wood. Yet how many of us know of Tambora, the climate havoc it unleashed, or the global cholera pandemic it spawned?

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Eocene fauna of North America, on a 1964 mural made for the US government-owned Smithsonian Museum. Photo: Jay Matternes / Wikimedia Commons.

Sudden global warming 55m years ago was much like today

David Bond
| 5th January 2014
The Earth's current warming is looking similar to what took place 55 million years ago, writes David Bond. And if it works out that way, the news is good: we may avoid a mass extinction. On the other hand, the poles will melt away completely, and it will take hundreds of thousands of years for Earth to get back to 'normal'.

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Humanity's worst invention: Agriculture

Clive Dennis
| 22nd September 2006
By radically changing the way we acquire our food, the development of agriculture has condemned us to live worse than ever before. Not only that, agriculture has led to the first significant instances of large-scale war, inequality, poverty, crime, famine and human induced climate change and mass extinction.
By Clive W. Dennis (winner of the Ecologist/Coady International Institute 2006 Essay Competition)

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