International Conference on Volcanoes, Climate, and Society

“Bicentenary of the great Tambora eruption”

International Conference on Volcanoes, Climate, and Society

7 – 11 April 2015, University of Bern, Switzerland


Two hundred years after the eruption of the Tambora volcano in April 1815, an event that changed global climate, the University of Bern and the Oeschger Centre for Climate Change Research (OCCR) organize the international conference ‘Volcanoes, Climate, and Society’.



The April 1815 eruption of Tambora changed global climate, it caused a “Year Without a Summer” which affected societies, and it changed science. Two hundred years later, we want to look back at this event, and look forward. What is the state of knowledge on the 1815 eruption and its aftermath? What has science learned from the event, and what more can we learn from it?


In the conference, we will revisit the 1815 eruption from a volcanologists perspective, we will approach the eruption from the point of view of climate proxies, we will search its traces in historical climate reconstructions and we will re-enact the event in model simulations. The conference will also explore how our ancestors managed the crisis that followed the eruption.



The conference will cover the following topics:

* Volcanic eruptions, atmospheric processes, and aerosols: models and observations

* Volcanic eruptions recorded in paleo-environmental archives

* Historical climatology and documentary data

* Impacts and societal responses

* Arts and culture

We plan to have about 20 invited lectures covering the key themes listed above. In addition, there will be ample time for contributed talks and poster sessions.



Hans Graf (U. Cambridge, UK), Alan Robock (Rutgers U., USA), Susan Solomon (MIT, USA), Markus Rex (AWI, Potsdam, DE), Tom Crowley (U. Edinburgh, UK), Phil Jones (CRU, U. East Anglia, UK), Jürg Luterbacher (U. Giessen, DE), Dennis Wheeler (Emeritus, UK), Eduardo Zorita (HZG, Geesthacht, DE), Claudia Timmreck (MPI Hamburg, DE), Rudolf Brazdil (U. Brno, CZ), Matthias Dörries (Univ. Strasbourg, FR), Gillen D’Arcy Wood (U. Illinois Urbana-Champaign, USA), John Thornes (U. Birmingham, UK)



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We are looking forward to seeing you in Bern!


Stefan Brönnimann, Christian Rohr, Martin Grosjean, Fortunat Joos, Willy Tinner, Thomas Peter

on behalf of the Organizing Committee