When Weather Changed History (266)

Joel Myers, AccuWeather, State College, PA



The American Revolution, the Napoleonic Wars, and World War II are among the major wars whose winners may have been determined by weather events.

The creation of Stradivarius violins, the painting The Scream, and the novel Frankenstein are among the cultural and artistic events that may have been inspired or made possible by weather events.

The Salem Witch Trials, the invention of the bicycle, and the development of Houston as a major city may have been caused by weather events.

And, Bubonic Plague epidemics that may have killed half the people of some European and African empires, the decline and disappearance of the Mayan Empire, and the three centuries of dominance of the British Empire may have been caused by weather events.

Many weather and short-term climate events have transformed history - changing the results of wars, elections, culture, and human advancement. In this presentation I will examine about two dozen of the most important of these events - briefly discussing each and the impact they have had.