Articles | Volume 18, issue 9
Research article
 | Highlight paper
09 Sep 2022
Research article | Highlight paper |  | 09 Sep 2022

Recession or resilience? Long-range socioeconomic consequences of the 17th century volcanic eruptions in northern Fennoscandia

Heli Huhtamaa, Markus Stoffel, and Christophe Corona

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Cited articles

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Büntgen, U., Arseneault, D., Boucher, É., Churakova, O. V., Gennaretti, F., Crivellaro, A., Hughes, M. K., Kirdyanov, A. V., Klippel, L., Krusic, P. J., Linderholm, H. W., Ljungqvist, F. C., Ludescher, J., McCormick, M., Myglan, V. S., Nicolussi, K., Piermattei, A., Oppenheimer, C., Reinig, F., Sigl, M., Vaganov, E. A., and Esper, J.: Prominent role of volcanism in Common Era climate variability and human history, Dendrochronologia, 64, 125757,, 2020. a
Huhtamaa et al. assess the socioeconomic consequences of 17th century volcanic eruptions in Fennoscandia. They find that while all the eruptions led to poor grain harvest in the region through their climatic impact, the socioeconomic response varied. They suggest that the micro-regional socioeconomic system modulated the socioeconomic response to each eruption. Such a framework should be used to further our understanding of the impact of volcanic eruptions on societal crises.
Short summary
Tree-ring data and written sources from northern Fennoscandia reveal that large 17th century eruptions had considerable climatic, agricultural, and socioeconomic impacts far away from the eruption locations. Yet, micro-regional investigation shows that the human consequences were commonly indirect, as various factors, like agro-ecosystems, resource availability, institutions, and personal networks, dictated how the volcanic cold pulses and related crop failures materialized on a societal level.