From: Leroy Ellenberger <>
To: cambridge-conference <>
Copies to: "b.j.peiser" <>, cle <>,
gans <>,
"tim.thompson" <>, jacker <>,
hhbauer <>, df736 <>,
DLeveson <>, rheinberg <>
Subject: Re: "Is the Sky Falling?", Pt. 2
Date sent: Sat, 14 Jun 1997 09:49:39 -0500


I misspoke myself in the subject message's penultimate
paragraph when I referred to "the explosive eruption of
Rabaul in New Britain" in A.D. 1453 in conjunction with
the red skies that influenced the timing of the surrender
of the Christians beseiged at Constantinople.

The correct reference should be to "the explosive eruption
that produced the Kuwae caldera in the New Hebrides Arc";
see K.D. Pang, "Climatic Impact of the Mid-Fifteenth Century
Kuwae Caldera Formation, as Reconstructed from
Historical and Proxy Data" in the issue of EOS containing
the abstracts for the 1993 Fall AGU Meeting, p. 106. "A
Tongoan legend states that a cataclysmic eruption broke up
a big island in the New Hebrides Arc into Tongoa and Epi,
separated by Kuwae....The 32-39 km^3 of rock excavated
makes the event Minoan to Tamboran class. C^14 dates of
organic remains, e.g., those of Chief Ti Tongoa Liseiriki, a
survivor, fall mainly in 1420-75....Such a powerful eruption
must have left unmistakeable marks in world climate records.
A search shows that this is indeed the case:" [then recounts
the evidence discovered] "I conclude that Kuwae erupted in
early 1453 [and affected the seige of Constantinople in May
1453]. The residual volcanic cloud could have made the
apocalyptic June, 1456 apparition of Halley's Comet look
'red' with a 'golden' tail...; and the moon 'lightly veiled' at
the siege of Belgarde...."

The Rabaul eruption in A.D. sixth century was originally
associated with the climate plunge at 530--550, but
subsequent ice core data revealed no sulfuric acid signal
in that range, making Rabaul a non-agent for that event,
which, I now understand, M.G.L. Baillie views as a credible
candidate for a Taurid interaction-induced episode in recent
world history, consistent with Clube & Napier's model. I regret
having mis-recalled the correct eruption when typing
extemporaneously with no benefit of notes last weekend.
I hope this faux pas has not degraded my credibility

Cheers, Leroy

--C. Leroy Ellenberger, "vivere est vincere"; 9 cle-files

CCCMENU CCC for 1997