Volcanism, history and the climate of the medieval world are the topic of a lecture hosted by Sigma Xi
(February 17, 2004) GENEVA, N.Y.–Apparently heat is not the only thing generated by volcanoes. Studies have shown that certain kinds of volcanic eruptions can cool global temperatures in what has been called “one of the most significant short-term changes imposed by nature.”
Professor William Atwell further examines this phenomenon at 7:30 p.m. on Tuesday, March 2, in Coxe Hall, Room 8, on the campus of Hobart and William Smith Colleges. In “The Little Ice Age Before the Little Ice Age,” Atwell discusses the impact of volcanoes on climate, which in turn has significant consequences for the development of human history.
The Geneva chapter of the national scientific research society Sigma Xi sponsors the lecture, which is free and open to the public.
Atwell is the Asian languages and cultures chair at HWS, as well as professor of history. He has an M.A. in Chinese history from the University of Hawaii and a Ph.D. in East Asian studies from Princeton University. Although his professional work has been focused largely on the history and culture of the Far East, he also has pursued an interest in the impact of natural phenomena on world history.
The local chapter of Sigma Xi draws its membership from scientists and social scientists at Hobart and William Smith Colleges and the New York State Agricultural Experiment Station.