Image: Gustav Caillebotte

In today’s climate emergency, the world faces ever-rising temperatures which threaten to disrupt human existence in increasingly frightening ways. But back in 1816, people faced a very different danger. In fact, the change to the planet’s climate went in the opposite direction and many regions suffered through a summer that was positively wintry.

Image: migstock/Getty Images

That year, the winter was, by all reports, fairly usual – dry and not particularly cold. But spring was slow to arrive, and the summer simply didn’t happen. Waves of cold struck again and again. And to make matters worse, later that year, crops failed, bringing the specter of hunger, even starvation, to people across the globe.

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