Mount Sinabung volcano spews thick smoke as seen from the Indonesian Tiga Pancur village in Karo, North Sumatra on October 17, 2017. AFP / IVAN DAMANIK
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Sun-choking debris cast off by volcanoes more than 2,000 years ago starved headwaters feeding the Nile River and hastened the downfall of ancient Egypt's last kingdom, researchers said Tuesday.In some years, the river failed to rise, and trouble followed.Drawing from climate models, Greenland ice cores, and ancient Egyptian writings, researchers led by Joseph Manning of Yale University pieced together a narrative that showed an unmistakable link with major volcanic eruptions around the world. Both periods of turmoil, the researchers found, coincided with major volcanic eruptions.From more recent records, scientists know that the tens of millions of tons of sulfur dioxide particles ejected into the upper atmosphere by a major eruption can prevent monsoon weather from moving far enough north of the equator to thoroughly soak the Ethiopian highlands, the headwaters of the Nile.
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