Found this amazing essay published on National geographic
Colossal volcano behind ‘mystery’ global cooling finally found
The eruption devastated local Maya settlements and caused crop failures around the world
The ices of Greenland and Antarctica bear the fingerprints of a monster: a gigantic volcanic eruption in 539 or 540 A.D. that killed tens of thousands and helped trigger one of the worst periods of global cooling in the last 2,000 years. Now, after years of searching, a team of scientists has finally tracked down the source of the eruption.
The team’s work, published in Quaternary Science Reviews, lays out new evidence that ties the natural disaster to Ilopango, a now-dormant volcano in El Salvador. Researchers estimate that in its sixth-century eruption, Ilopango expelled the equivalent of 10.5 cubic miles of dense rock, making it one of the biggest volcanic events on Earth in the last 7,000 years. The blast was more than a hundred times bigger than the 1980 Mount St. Helens eruption and several times larger than the 1991 eruption of Mount Pinatubo. It dealt the local Maya settlements a blow that forever altered their trajector……
Ice cores from Greenland and Antarctica show spikes of sulfate, a byproduct of large volcanic eruptions, at 536 and either 539 or 540. The two volcanoes were so large and so violent, they launched sulfur gases and particles miles into the sky. Since this material reflected sunlight away from Earth’s surface, it triggered severe global cooling: One 2016 study found that the volcanoes decreased average global temperatures by as much as 3.6 degrees Fahrenheit……
geologists published new evidence that the historical “dust veil” of 536 was caused by a volcano. In the other, researchers announced that the Tierra Blanca Joven extended into marine sediments off the coast of El Salvador. The Tierra Blanca Joven eruption was even bigger than Dull and others thought.…….
Dull’s team also revised their estimate of Ilopango’s size, taking into account the thickness and spread of Tierra Blanca Joven deposits. They say that Ilopango may have even dwarfed the 1815 Tambora eruption, a huge volcanic event that ushered in “a year without a summer” because of the global cooling it caused. Ilopango likely launched up to a million tons of sulfur miles into the sky, high enough for stratospheric winds to spread the aerosols worldwide and trigger global cooling.…..
The actual Research paper
Radiocarbon and geologic evidence reveal Ilopango volcano as source of the colossal ‘mystery’ eruption of 539/40 CE