Archive for the ‘History’ Category

Credit: coolantarctica.com


Glaciers advance and retreat. Repeating cycles of natural climate variation exposed.
– – –
Receding glaciers in the northern Antarctic Peninsula are uncovering and reexposing black moss that provides radiocarbon kill dates for the vegetation, a key clue to understanding the timing of past glacier advances in that region, says Phys.org.

A University of Wyoming researcher led a study that determined the black moss kill dates coincide with evidence of glacier advances from other studies that found such events occurred 1,300, 800 and 200 calibrated years prior to 1950.

“We used radiocarbon ages, or kill dates, of previously ice-entombed dead black mosses to reveal that glaciers advanced during three distinct phases in the northern Antarctic Peninsula over the past 1,500 years,” says Dulcinea Groff, a postdoctoral research associate in the UW Department of Geology and Geophysics.

(more…)

Golden Gate Bridge from Fort Point, San Francisco


Such is the natural variability of weather and climate. So it’s all happened before, only worse back then before mass industrialisation and greenhouse gas theories.
– – –
San Francisco has experienced the wettest three-week period since Abraham Lincoln was president during the Great Flood of 1862, says Breitbart News (via Climate Change Dispatch).

The San Jose Mercury News reported Tuesday:

New rainfall totals show that no person alive has ever experienced a three-week period as wet as the past three weeks were in the Bay Area. The last time it happened, Abraham Lincoln was president.

(more…)

Ross Ice Shelf, Antarctica


Blinkered climate obsessives, from protesters to governments, need to wise up about their pet topic. Professor Ian Plimer offers some assistance to trace gas worriers.
– – –
For more than 80 percent of the time, Earth has been a warm wet greenhouse planet with no ice, says Ian Plimer at Spectator AU (via Climate Change Dispatch.

We live in unusual times when ice occurs on continents. This did not happen overnight.

The great southern continent, Gondwanaland, formed about 550 million years ago. It occupied 20 percent of the area of our planet and included Antarctica, South America, Australia, South Africa, and the Indian subcontinent.

Gondwanaland was covered by ice when it drifted across the South Pole 360-255 million years ago. Evidence for this ice age is in the black coal districts of Australia, South Africa, and India.

(more…)

Credit: alaskapublic.org


A researcher said: “Remarkably, the data suggest that the ice sheets can change in response to more than just global climate,” calling into question some long-held ideas. A professor connected to the study commented: “These findings appear to poke a hole in our current understanding of how past ice sheets interacted with the rest of the climate system, including the greenhouse effect.” Well, fancy that. The commentary notes that ‘global temperatures were relatively stable at the time of the fall in sea level, raising questions about the correlation between temperature, sea level and ice volume’. In short, the ice sheets grew faster than scientists had thought.
– – –
Princeton scientists found that the Bering Land Bridge, the strip of land that once connected Asia to Alaska, emerged far later during the last ice age than previously thought, says Eurekalert. 

The unexpected findings shorten the window of time that humans could have first migrated from Asia to the Americas across the Bering Land Bridge. 

The findings also indicate that there may be a less direct relationship between climate and global ice volume than scientists had thought, casting into doubt some explanations for the chain of events that causes ice age cycles.

The study was published on December 27 in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences.

“This result came totally out of left field,” said Jesse Farmer, postdoctoral researcher at Princeton University and co-lead author on the study. “As it turns out, our research into sediments from the bottom of the Arctic Ocean told us not only about past climate change but also one of the great migrations in human history.”

Insight into ice age cycles

During the periodic ice ages over Earth’s history, global sea levels drop as more and more of Earth’s water becomes locked up in massive ice sheets.

At the end of each ice age, as temperatures increase, ice sheets melt and sea levels rise. These ice age cycles repeat throughout the last 3 million years of Earth’s history, but their causes have been hard to pin down.

By reconstructing the history of the Arctic Ocean over the last 50,000 years, the researchers revealed that the growth of the ice sheets — and the resulting drop in sea level — occurred surprisingly quickly and much later in the last glacial cycle than previous studies had suggested.

“One implication is that ice sheets can change more rapidly than previously thought,” Farmer said.

During the last ice age’s peak of the last ice age, known as the Last Glacial Maximum, the low sea levels exposed a vast land area that extended between Siberia and Alaska known as Beringia, which included the Bering Land Bridge. In its place today is a passage of water known as the Bering Strait, which connects the Pacific and Arctic Oceans.

Based on records of estimated global temperature and sea level, scientists thought the Bering Land Bridge emerged around 70,000 years ago, long before the Last Glacial Maximum.

But the new data show that sea levels became low enough for the land bridge to appear only 35,700 years ago. This finding was particularly surprising because global temperatures were relatively stable at the time of the fall in sea level, raising questions about the correlation between temperature, sea level and ice volume.

“Remarkably, the data suggest that the ice sheets can change in response to more than just global climate,” Farmer said. For example, the change in ice volume may have been the direct result of changes in the intensity of sunlight that struck the ice surface over the summer.

“These findings appear to poke a hole in our current understanding of how past ice sheets interacted with the rest of the climate system, including the greenhouse effect,” said Daniel Sigman, Dusenbury Professor of Geological and Geophysical Sciences at Princeton University and Farmer’s postdoctoral advisor.

“Our next goal is to extend this record further back in time to see if the same tendencies apply to other major ice sheet changes. The scientific community will be hungry for confirmation.”

Full article here.
– – –
Study: The Bering Strait was flooded 10,000 years before the Last Glacial Maximum

Hurricane Dorian


If ‘evidence indicates that the Atlantic has experienced even stormier periods in the past than we’ve seen in recent years’, as stated below, then natural variation can easily account for whatever happened in those recent years. No need to invoke changes to the level of any minor trace gases to explain the data.
– – –
If you look back at the history of Atlantic hurricanes since the late 1800s, it might seem hurricane frequency is on the rise, says The Conversation (via Phys.org).

The year 2020 had the most tropical cyclones in the Atlantic, with 31, and 2021 had the third-highest, after 2005. The past decade saw five of the six most destructive Atlantic hurricanes in modern history. [Talkshop comment – define ‘destructive’, money-based comparisons tell us nothing]

Then a year like 2022 comes along, with no major hurricane landfalls until Fiona and Ian struck in late September.

(more…)

Ötztaler Alps, Austria [image credit: Kogo @ Wikipedia]


In this new version, the idea that the famous body was only found due to recent warming after being under ice continuously for over 5000 years gets buried, so to speak. The sting in the tail is this: ‘the researchers also found evidence suggesting that Ötzi had not died where he was found in the gully — instead, he had been transported down the mountain by natural environmental processes’. If, as they say, he ‘had melted out of the ice many times’, those times must have occurred at various higher levels, suggesting greater warming then than we (so far) see today. This poses an awkward question or two for prevalent climate theories.
– – –
A small team of researchers affiliated with institutions in Norway, Sweden and Austria, has found evidence that suggests a flaw in the original story of how Ötzi (the Iceman) remained preserved for so long, says Phys.org.

In their paper published in the journal The Holocene, the group details what they describe as a more plausible explanation.

In 1991, a couple of German hikers came upon the remains of a man frozen in the ice in the Ötztal Alps. Testing of the remains showed the man to be from approximately 5,300 years ago.

(more…)

Credit: douglal @ Wikipedia


Headline: ‘Derbyshire fossil study reveals insights into Peak District’s 12 million year-old climatic past’. Sounds plausible perhaps. But the article below contains a big blunder, or at least a propaganda trick. The relevant quote: ‘Today Derbyshire has a mean annual temperature of around 8°C with up to 1000mm of rain a year, 12 million years ago it was 12-18°C with 1200-1400mm of rain. This doubling of temperature was with atmospheric carbon dioxide levels similar to those predicted for 2060.’ Doubling? In Kelvin terms the increase is more like 3%, but maybe that wouldn’t sound startling enough. The expressed idea here turns out to be to promote ‘carbon capture’.
– – –
A decade-long study into unique rocks near a Derbyshire village has been uncovering the secrets of what the county and the Peak District might have looked like under a much warmer and wetter past, says Northumbria University (via Phys.org).

Although first studied over 10 years ago, the most recent investigation into geological deposits near Brassington was initiated in 2019, with an international team of researchers from Northumbria University, the British Geological Survey, Morehead State University in the U.S. and CONICET in Argentina now assessing their latest findings.

The complex techniques used can analyze the fossil pollen of plants and spores of fungi captured within the rock layer, helping to form a picture of past habitats and reconstruct likely climatic conditions far beyond our most recent understanding of the Peak District.

(more…)


Some like to call it the Doomsday Glacier. The research results are probably open to a variety of interpretations, in terms of predictions. But we’re told that whatever is being observed at present is by no means exceptional, making attempts at attribution of its ever-changing condition to human activity even more problematic. Volcanic activity is an obvious confounding factor here.
– – –
The Thwaites Glacier in West Antarctica — about the size of Florida — has been an elephant in the room for scientists trying to make global sea level rise predictions, says Science Daily.

This massive ice stream is already in a phase of fast retreat (a “collapse” when viewed on geological timescales) leading to widespread concern about exactly how much, or how fast, it may give up its ice to the ocean.

The potential impact of Thwaites’ retreat is spine-chilling: a total loss of the glacier and surrounding icy basins could raise sea level from three to 10 feet.

(more…)

Drought in Europe


Another alarmist nothingburger not fit for human consumption. Next!
– – –
A story published by Business Insider among other media outlets today cites the reappearance of “hunger stones” in dry European creek beds and riverbeds as evidence that climate change is responsible for the current drought in Europe.

This is false, says Climate Change Dispatch.

If anything, the fact that these stones have “reappeared” and have been uncovered multiple times in the past shows severe droughts have been common throughout European history.

(more…)

Frost fair


Natural climate variation has always been, and still is, a fact of life, regardless of minor changes to trace gases in the atmosphere.
– – –
Extreme weather not just a modern phenomenon as study reveals how British towns experienced drastic climate during ‘Little Ice Age’
* * *
Extreme weather caused by global warming is one of the biggest threats facing the world today, claims the Daily Telegraph.

However, a research project has thrown light on the catastrophic climate shift endured by England just a few centuries ago, which brought snowstorms that lasted weeks, flooding which washed away entire villages and winds that sank flotillas of ships.

From the 1500s to the 1700s, England went through an unusually cold and stormy period, nicknamed the Little Ice Age, which was possibly caused either by reduced activity from the sun, volcanic eruptions or atmospheric changes.

(more…)


Unravelling the assumptions and the strange cause/effect logic suggested by the article is a challenge here. They say they’re looking for “clues on how sensitive El Niño is to changes in climate”, but “if there’s another big El Niño, it’s going to be very hard to attribute it to a warming climate or to El Niño’s own internal variations.”
Why invent such a conundrum at all?

– – –
The climate pattern El Niño varies over time to such a degree that scientists will have difficulty detecting signs that it is getting stronger with global warming, says Phys.org.

That’s the conclusion of a study led by scientists at The University of Texas at Austin that analyzed 9,000 years of Earth’s history.

The scientists drew on climate data contained within ancient corals and used one of the world’s most powerful supercomputers to conduct their research.

(more…)

Credit: Uwe Dedering @ Wikipedia


Another crater controversy ends as two different dating methods produced the same result.
– – –
Danish and Swedish researchers have dated the enormous Hiawatha impact crater, a 31 km-wide asteroid crater buried under a kilometer of Greenlandic ice, says the University of Copenhagen.

The dating ends speculation that the asteroid impacted after the appearance of humans and opens up a new understanding of Earth’s evolution in the post-dinosaur era.

Ever since 2015, when researchers at the University of Copenhagen’s GLOBE Institute discovered the Hiawatha impact crater in northwestern Greenland, uncertainty about the crater’s age has been the subject of considerable speculation.

Could the asteroid have slammed into Earth as recently as 13,000 years ago, when humans had long populated the planet? Could its impact have catalyzed a nearly 1,000-year period of global cooling known as the Younger Dryas?

(more…)

Frost fair


The key phrases in this article could be: ‘Whatever its causes’ and ‘Average temperatures in the British Isles cooled by 2°C’. Climate science is unable to offer a specific explanation, although theories abound, but natural variation for whatever reasons is built-in and always will be. Quantifying it remains out of reach, but computer models are still supposed to be the answer to everything climate.
– – –
Just as the UK was recovering from storms Eunice and Franklin, scientists of UN’s Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) released a landmark report warning of a future with spiraling weather extremes, fiercer storms, flash flooding, and wildfires, says The Conversation (via Singularity Hub).

This isn’t the first time that Britain has experienced drastic climate change, however. By the 16th and 17th centuries, northern Europe had left its medieval warm period and was languishing in what is sometimes called the little ice age.

Starting in the early 14th century, average temperatures in the British Isles cooled by 2°C, with similar anomalies recorded across Europe.

(more…)

The Endurance


After the search vessel nearly suffered the same fate, what was one of the world’s greatest undiscovered shipwrecks is identified on the Antarctic seafloor.
– – –
Scientists have found and filmed one of the greatest ever undiscovered shipwrecks 107 years after it sank, reports BBC News.

The Endurance, the lost vessel of Antarctic explorer Sir Ernest Shackleton, was found at the weekend at the bottom of the Weddell Sea.

The ship was crushed by sea-ice and sank in 1915, forcing Shackleton and his men to make an astonishing escape on foot and in small boats.

Video of the remains show Endurance to be in remarkable condition.

(more…)

Antarctica


The article says ‘The satellite measurements start in 1979’, but the USGS Landsat satellite project has been ‘imaging the Earth since 1972’. The researchers say in the abstract of their paper: ‘In stark contrast to the Arctic, there have been statistically significant positive trends in total Antarctic sea ice extent since 1979. However, the short and highly variable nature of observed Antarctic sea ice extent limits the ability to fully understand the historical context of these recent changes.’ The UK Met Office reported in October 2021: ‘Antarctic sea ice reached a maximum extent (to date) of 18.75 million sq km on 1st September 2021 (Figure 7), which is very close to the 1981-2010 average maximum extent of 18.70 million sq km.’
– – –
A study led by Ohio University researchers shows that the increase of sea ice surrounding Antarctica since 1979 is a unique feature of Antarctic climate since 1905—an observation that paints a dramatic first-ever picture for weather and climate implications on the world’s southernmost continent, says Phys.org.

Dr. Ryan Fogt’s study, published today in Nature Climate Change, is the first to detail sea ice extent surrounding the entire continent though all four seasons over the last century.

Weather, especially winds and temperatures, contribute to sea ice changes. Fogt is professor of Geography in OHIO’s College of Arts and Sciences.

(more…)

Drought in Europe


Climate attribution i.e. supposed detection of human-caused factors, is in the eye of the beholder. This article concludes: ‘At the recent GWPF annual lecture Professor Steven Koonin of New York University said climate attribution studies were the scientific equivalent of being told you had won the lottery, after you had won the lottery.’
– – –
A new study concludes that when placed into a long-term context recent drought events in Europe are within the range of natural variability and are not unprecedented over the last millennium, says Net Zero Watch.

The 2003 European heatwave and drought has a special place in the history of the study of our changing climate.

It was the first event that scientists attributed to human-induced climate change.

A paper by Stott et al published in Nature concluded, “Human influence has at least doubled the risk of a regional heatwave like the European Summer of 2003.”

This was later strengthened and the event was said to be directly caused by humans.

(more…)

Diagram showing solid-body rotation of the Earth with respect to a stationary spin axis due to true polar wander. [Credit: Wikipedia]

The researchers say their finding ‘challenges the notion that the spin axis has been largely stable over the past 100 million years.’
– – –
We know that true polar wander (TPW) can occasionally tilt whole planets and moons relative to their axes, but it’s not entirely clear just how often this has happened to Earth, says ScienceAlert.

Now a new study presents evidence of one such tilting event that occurred around 84 million years ago – when dinosaurs still walked the Earth.

Researchers analyzed limestone samples from Italy, dating back to the Late Cretaceous period (100.5 to 65.5 million years ago), looking for evidence of shifts in the magnetic record that would point towards an occurrence of TPW.

Bacteria fossils trapped in the rock, forming chains of the mineral magnetite, offer some of the most convincing evidence yet of true polar wander in the Late Cretaceous – and it may help settle a scientific debate that’s been going on for decades.

(more…)

Looking ahead to the days when children won’t know what central heating was? Probably not, although there’s a nod towards such scenarios here. Their 64x CO2 ‘experiment’ seems way over the top, but it’s only a model.
– – –
The distant past of Earth and potentially its future include extremely warm ‘hothouse’ climate states, but little is known about how the atmosphere of our planet behaves in such states, says Sci-News.

“If you were to look at a large patch of the deep tropics today, it’s always raining somewhere,” said Dr. Jacob Seeley, a postdoctoral researcher at Harvard University.

“But we found that in extremely warm climates, there could be multiple days with no rain anywhere over a huge part of the ocean.”

“Then, suddenly, a massive rainstorm would erupt over almost the entire domain, dumping a tremendous amount of rain. Then it would be quiet for a couple of days and repeat.”

(more…)

Fine summer weather [image credit: BBC]

How many millions of years might that be then? Two, apparently: CO2 level ‘is greater than at any time in at least the past 2 million years’. What about earlier times? The caption to the first photo in the article reads: ‘The near future may be similar to the mid-Pliocene warm period a few million years ago.’ So natural variation is confined to history, and/or dependent on volcanoes? The article asserts: ‘the last warm period between ice ages peaked about 125,000 years ago—in contrast to today, warmth at that time was driven not by CO₂, but by changes in Earth’s orbit and spin axis.’ Now orbital factors have also switched themselves off? And so it goes on: our climate models say…
– – –
Many numbers are swirling around the climate negotiations at the UN climate summit in Glasgow, COP26, says Phys.org.

These include global warming targets of 1.5℃ and 2.0℃, recent warming of 1.1℃, remaining CO₂ budget of 400 billion tons, or current atmospheric CO₂ of 415 parts per million.

It’s often hard to grasp the significance of these numbers. But the study of ancient climates can give us an appreciation of their scale compared to what has occurred naturally in the past.

Our knowledge of ancient climate change also allows scientists to calibrate their models and therefore improve predictions of what the future may hold.

(more…)

.
.
The next year or two may give us a better idea of how solar cycle 25 is going to turn out, compared to other cycles.

Spaceweather.com

Oct. 21, 2021: Paolo Bardelli will never forget Oct. 21, 2001. “The sky over my hometown in Italy suddenly filled with intense red auroras,” he recalls. “This happened exactly 20 years ago today.”

Above: Red auroras over Tradate, Italy (latitude +45N), on Oct. 21, 2001. Photo credit: Cesare Guaita

A trip down memory lane: In 2001, Solar Cycle 23 was peaking and solar activity was very high. Strong flares were a daily occurance. On Oct. 19th, giant sunspot AR9661 erupted twice in quick succession, producing almost identical X1.6-class solar flares. The double blast hurled two bright CMEs toward Earth: CME #1, CME #2.

This is what the sun looked like that day:

The first CME took only two days to reach Earth. It was fast and potent. The storm cloud’s arrival on Oct. 21, 2001, ignited a severe geomagnetic storm (Kp=8). Solar wind speeds in the CME’s wake…

View original post 212 more words