Archive for the ‘History’ Category

Rinksglacier

Rinks Glacier, West Greenland [image credit: NSIDC]

Interesting, but as we’ve had a temperature rise of about 1.2ºC since 1880, according to one source at least, comparisons with much bigger historical increases in shorter timescales seem somewhat ambitious, to say the least.
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Throughout the last ice age, the climate changed repeatedly and rapidly during so-called Dansgaard-Oeschger events, where Greenland temperatures rose between 5 and 16 degrees Celsius in decades, says Phys.org.

When certain parts of the climate system changed, other parts of the climate system followed like a series of dominos toppling in succession.

This is the conclusion from an analysis of ice-core data by a group of researchers that included postdoc Emilie Capron and associate professor Sune Olander Rasmussen from the Section for the Physics of Ice, Climate and Earth at the Niels Bohr Institute, University of Copenhagen, in Denmark.

This discovery, just published in the journal Nature Communications, is concerning because the extent of sea ice in the Arctic played an important part in these dramatic climate shifts of the past.

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Image credit: livescience.com

The problem is, the ‘wrong’ side is warmer than the other one. Enter Rodinia.
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We’ve known for a long time that Earth’s fiery interior is destined to burn out in the distant future, although new research indicates that this process may be occurring faster on one side of the planet than the other, says IFL Science..

By analyzing the movement of continents and oceanic plates over the past 400 million years, researchers have determined that parts of the planet have remained more insulated than others, leading to an asymmetrical pattern of heat loss.

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Jakobshavn glacier, West Greenland [image credit: Wikipedia]


This article asserts that climate changes, namely warm periods that it tells us have happened many times before in recent history, can now be attributed to humans if they happen again.
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In 1966, US Army scientists drilled down through nearly a mile of ice in northwestern Greenland—and pulled up a fifteen-foot-long tube of dirt from the bottom, says the University of Vermont.

Then this frozen sediment was lost in a freezer for decades. It was accidentally rediscovered in 2017.

In 2019, University of Vermont scientist Andrew Christ looked at it through his microscope—and couldn’t believe what he was seeing: twigs and leaves instead of just sand and rock.

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Lava fields of the Reykjanes Peninsula [image credit: Vincent van Zeijst @ Wikipedia]


24th February: ‘Southwestern Iceland was rocked by a series of earthquakes’, reported DW.com. ‘Experts say shocks from the quake, which registered 5.7 in magnitude, sparked increased volcanic activity, triggering a number of aftershocks registering over 4.0 for hours after the initial quake hit.

“It’s an intense activity zone, we are all well aware of that but I’ve never experienced or felt so many strong earthquakes in such a short period of time. It’s unusual,” as the Icelandic Meteorological Office’s (IMO) earthquake hazards coordinator Kristin Jonsdottir told Icelandic public broadcaster RUV.’

The article below appeared five days ago.
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“If an eruption occurs, it would likely mark the beginning of such a [volcanic] period – lasting a few centuries, I believe,” states Magnús Á. Sigurgeirsson, geologist at ÍSOR Iceland GeoSurvey – a consulting and research institute in the field of geothermal sciences and utilization.

“That’s at least how it has been the past three times, and even dating further back, but we don’t have as exact data available on that,” he tells Iceland Monitor.

He is referring to the uncertainty regarding whether an eruption can be expected soon on the Reykjanes peninsula, Southwest Iceland.

Magnús assembled data on the past three volcanic periods in the area. These were 3,000-3,500 years ago, 1,900-2,400 years ago, and finally between the years 800 and 1240 AD.

His information is based on geological maps of the Reykjanes peninsula and on a comprehensive book on volcanic eruptions in Iceland called Nátt­úru­vá á Íslandi, eld­gos og jarðskjálft­ar.

Research reveals that during the latter part of Holocene – a term used to describe a period that began about 11,700 years ago – the volcanic systems on the Reykjanes peninsula have erupted every 900 to 1100 years.

Less is known about the first part of Holocene.

Each eruption period appears to have lasted about 500 years, and during that time most of the volcanic systems appear to have been active, albeit generally not simultaneously. The volcanic activity is characterized by eruptions that each last a few decades. Lava flows from volcanic fissures that can be as long as 12 km (7.5 mi).

On the Reykjanes peninsula, there are six volcanic systems, lined up side by side, pointing from southwest to northeast. Farthest west is that of Reykjanes, then those of Svartsengi, Fagradalsfjall mountain, Krýsuvík, Brennisteinsfjöll mountains and, finally, Hengill mountain.

The last volcanic period began around the year 800 in Brennisteinsfjöll mountains and in the Krýsuvík system, creating the lava fields of Hvammahraun and Hrútafellshraun.

Full article here.
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Update: Lava eruption from long-dormant Icelandic volcano (MARCH 20, 2021) — close to Fagradalsfjall mountain

Coral reef [image credit: Toby Hudson / Wikipedia]


We can’t have effects preceding causes, so something seems to be amiss with the ‘human-caused warming’ dogma, if this study is correct.
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Studies of coral reefs in the Paracel Islands suggest that the South China Sea started warming up in 1825, at the start of the industrial revolution, according to a study by Chinese scientists.

That was the year the world’s first railway began operating in England and most ocean-going ships still used wind power, says The South China Morning Post.

Man-made carbon dioxide emissions could not fully explain such an early rise in the warming trend, they said in a peer-reviewed paper published in Quaternary Sciences on Friday.

The Paracel coral record “will fill in some important gaps in global high resolution marine environment records and help us better understand the history of environmental change in tropical waters”, said the researchers, led by Tao Shichen from the South China Sea Institute of Oceanology.

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Arctic Ocean


Something new for ice age theorists to consider, in particular the ‘sudden melting’. This sequence of three sketches illustrates the processes thought to be involved (see below for explanatory caption).
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The Arctic Ocean was covered by up to 900-meter-thick shelf ice and was filled entirely with freshwater at least twice in the last 150,000 years.

This surprising finding, reported in the latest issue of the journal Nature, is the result of long-term research by scientists from the Alfred Wegener Institute and the MARUM, says Phys.org.

With a detailed analysis of the composition of marine deposits, the scientists could demonstrate that the Arctic Ocean as well as the Nordic Seas did not contain sea-salt in at least two glacial periods.

Instead, these oceans were filled with large amounts of freshwater under a thick ice shield. This water could then be released into the North Atlantic in very short periods of time.

Such sudden freshwater inputs could explain rapid climate oscillations for which no satisfying explanation had been previously found.

Continued here.
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The caption to the sequence of three sketches says:

In glacial periods with low sea levels, exchange with the Pacific was halted and exchange with the North Atlantic was extremely reduced, while the Arctic basin was still receiving freshwater input. Exchange could only occur through narrow gateways in the Greenland-Scotland-Ridge. The sequence of three sketches shows (1) a period of freshening of the Arctic Ocean followed by (2) the release of freshwater to the North Atlantic, when saline water entered the Arctic Ocean and (3) sudden melting of the Arctic ice sheet upon contact with the relatively warm and salty Atlantic water. Credit: Alfred Wegener Institute/Martin Künsting


This quote from the report stood out: ‘there are long-lasting periods of strong and weak solar activity, which is also reflected in the climate on Earth.’ Worth noting as we proceed through a period of weak activity right now.
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An international team of researchers led by ETH Zurich has reconstructed solar activity back to the year 969 using measurements of radioactive carbon in tree rings, reports Phys.org.

Those results help scientists to better understand the dynamics of the sun and allow more precise dating of organic materials using the C14 method.

What goes on in the sun can only be observed indirectly. Sunspots, for instance, reveal the degree of solar activity—the more sunspots are visible on the surface of the sun, the more active is our central star deep inside.

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Drought in Europe


Climate alarmists would love to ‘get rid of the Medieval Warm Period’ (to quote a certain email), but it refuses to go away. Interestingly, the period under discussion here (1302-2018, or ~716 years) equates to four José cycles.
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The transition from the Medieval Warm Period to the Little Ice Age was apparently accompanied by severe droughts between 1302 and 1307 in Europe; this preceded the wet and cold phase of the 1310s and the resulting great famine of 1315-21, says Eurasia Review.

In the journal Climate of the Past, researchers from the Leibniz Institutes for the History and Culture of Eastern Europe (GWZO) and Tropospheric Research (TROPOS) write that the 1302-07 weather patterns display similarities to the 2018 weather anomaly, in which continental Europe experienced exceptional heat and drought.

Both the medieval and recent weather patterns resemble the stable weather patterns that have occurred more frequently since the 1980s due to the increased warming of the Arctic.

According to the Leibniz researchers’ hypothesis based on their comparison of the 1302-07 and 2018 droughts, transitional phases in the climate are always characterized by periods of low variability, in which weather patterns remain stable for a long time.

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Hypothetical map of Doggerland [image credit: ancient-origins.net]


This seems semi-topical on the day Britain signs off on its new deal with the EU countries. Going back into history, but not all that far back, the river Thames flowed into the Rhine. North Sea trawlers still find bones of mammoths and other such fossils in their nets today.
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For a long time, scientists believed that a powerful tsunami destroyed Doggerland 8,200 years ago, says DW.com.

Sediment analysis now suggests that the land once connecting Great Britain with the rest of Europe had a later demise.

Around 10,000 years ago, at the end of the last ice age, the sea level in northern Europe was still about 60 meters (197 feet) below what it is today.

The British Isles and the European mainland formed a continuous landmass.

Relatively large rivers crossed this landmass, but in a different way than we know today.

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Model dinosaur


The lead author of the study puts the blame on “the largest cataclysmic impacts and massive volcanism, perhaps sometimes working in concert.” The study says: ‘The correlations and similar cycles in marine and non-marine extinction episodes suggest a common cause’. Note: this is a follow-up to a 2015 study with the same lead author, also featured at the Talkshop.
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Mass extinctions of land-dwelling animals—including amphibians, reptiles, mammals, and birds—follow a cycle of about 27 million years, coinciding with previously reported mass extinctions of ocean life, according to a new analysis published in the journal Historical Biology.

The study also finds that these mass extinctions align with major asteroid impacts and devastating volcanic outpourings of lava called flood-basalt eruptions—providing potential causes for why the extinctions occurred, reports Phys.org.

“It seems that large-body impacts and the pulses of internal Earth activity that create flood-basalt volcanism may be marching to the same 27-million-year drumbeat as the extinctions, perhaps paced by our orbit in the Galaxy,” said Michael Rampino, a professor in New York University’s Department of Biology and the study’s lead author.

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Guest post by Russell Cook, who for a long time has been setting the record straight on the lies propagated by climate alarmists about the oil and gas industry. Check out his website at http://gelbspanfiles.com/

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And in doing so, they inadvertently dug a deeper hole for themselves.

The longer backstory to this situation is in my July 31, 2020 “BBC Radio 4 vs Rush Limbaugh” blog post, and in my August 5 followup, concerning unsupportable claims in a BBC podcast report about Limbaugh’s alleged involvement with a fossil fuel industry-orchestrated disinformation campaign that supposedly targeted a specific ethnic group, and Limbaugh’s outrage over the false accusation and the silliness of the ‘targeted people’ line.

Reducing the root problem to one paragraph: back in the late 1990s, the otherwise long-forgotten environmentalist group Ozone Action gained fame for its ‘bombshell report’ about a so-called leaked memo set which were alleged guidelines for an industry conspiracy to “reposition global warming as theory rather than fact” through an informational campaign targeting “older, less-educated males” and “younger, lower-income women.” Kert Davies, formerly at Ozone Action and Greenpeace who’s currently heading Climate Investigations Center / Climate Files, has been telling and retelling the narrative of how that memo set proves the fossil fuel industry ran disinformation campaigns. He did so in an obscure podcast back in late 2018, and he did so again in this two month-old BBC podcast report.

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Not our fault
[image credit: Justin Sullivan/Getty Images]


The solution suggests a potential metric for measuring natural climate change in certain regions of the world.
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Almost 100 years ago, there was a strange, slow-motion takeover of the Great Plains, says Phys.org.

During the Dust Bowl of the 1930s, as a historic heatwave and drought swept the middle of the United States, there was a dramatic shift in the types of plants occupying the region.

Grasses more common in the cooler north began taking over the unusually hot and dry southern plains states that were usually occupied by other native grasses.

At the time, of course, this shift in plant cover was not the top concern during a disaster that displaced some 2.5 million people and caused at least $1.9 billion in agricultural losses alone.

And, in fact, it didn’t seem all that strange—until scientists started learning more about these types of plants.

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It may not even have been the biggest one in recent centuries, and the Quebec Blackout of 1989 wasn’t far behind in intensity.

Spaceweather.com

Sept. 1, 2020: On Sept. 1st, 1859, the most ferocious solar storm in recorded history engulfed our planet. Named “the Carrington event” after British scientist Richard Carrington, who witnessed the flare that started it, the storm rocked Earth’s magnetic field, sparked auroras over Cuba, the Bahamas and Hawaii, set fire to telegraph stations in North America, and wrote itself into history books as the Biggest. Solar. Storm. Ever.

But sometimes what you read in history books is wrong. Modern researchers looking into the Carrington Event are coming to new and different conclusions.

“The Carrington Event was not unique,” says Hisashi Hayakawa of Japan’s Nagoya University, whose recent study of solar storms has uncovered at least two other events of comparable intensity (in 1872 and 1921). “While the Carrington Event has long been considered a once‐in‐a‐century catastrophe, historical observations warn us that this may be something that occurs much more frequently.”

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World climate classification map [credit: Beck, H.E., Zimmermann, N. E., McVicar, T. R., Vergopolan, N., Berg, A., & Wood, E. F. @ Wikipedia]


The Homeric seems to have started about 2400 years before the Spörer (or Maunder?) Minimum, which may be its more recent equivalent. Researchers have found evidence of a ‘2400-year cycle in atmospheric radiocarbon concentration’ – for example, see here.

Much of the article below appears to have come from Wikipedia, but there it also says:
“Variations in the solar output have effects on climate, less through the usually quite small effects on insolation and more through the relatively large changes of UV radiation and potentially also indirectly through modulation of cosmic ray radiation. The 11-year solar cycle measurably alters the behaviour of weather and atmosphere, but decadal and centennial climate cycles are also attributed to solar variation.”

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The Homeric Minimum is a grand solar minimum that took place between 2,800 and 2,550 years before present, says the Grand Solar Minimum website.

It appears to coincide with, and have been the cause of, a phase of climate change at that time, which involved a wetter western and drier eastern Europe.

This had far-reaching effects on human civilization, some of which may be recorded in Greek mythology and the Old Testament.

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Position of the Storegga Slide (west of Norway). The yellow numbers give the height of the tsunami wave as tsunamites recently studied by researchers [credit: Lamiot @ Wikipedia] – Mer du Nord = North Sea


The report states: ‘It is thought the tsunami, the largest to hit Northern Europe since the end of the last ice age, happened following a period of global climate change.’
We can only speculate as to the cause(s) of such climate happenings.

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Scientists have found new evidence of a massive tsunami that devastated ancient Britain in the year 6200 BC on the east coast of England, reports the Daily Mail.

The giant tsunami event, known as the Storegga Slide, was caused when an area of seabed the size of Scotland – around 30,000 square miles – under the Norwegian Sea suddenly shifted.

New geological evidence reveals three successive waves tore across an ancient land bridge connecting Britain with the rest of Europe, known as Doggerland, now submerged beneath the North Sea.

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There are two faces of the Earth: study

Posted: July 2, 2020 by oldbrew in Geology, History, research

Pacific ‘ring of fire’


Recent research has also found why changes to Earth’s magnetic field are weaker over the Pacific.
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Earth’s mantle is currently classified into two main domains, African and Pacific.

However, little is known about their formation and history, and they are commonly assumed to be chemically the same, says Tech Explorist.

In a new study by Curtin University, scientists studied chemical and isotopic “make-up” of rocks sourced from thousands of kilometers below the surface.

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Nabta Playa


An inventory of Egyptian archaeo-astronomical sites for the UNESCO World Heritage Convention evaluated Nabta Playa as having “hypothetical solar and stellar alignments.” – Wikipedia.
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This 7,000-year-old stone circle tracked the summer solstice and the arrival of the annual monsoon season. It’s the oldest known astronomical site on Earth, says Discover magazine.

For thousands of years, ancient societies all around the world erected massive stone circles, aligning them with the sun and stars to mark the seasons.

These early calendars foretold the coming of spring, summer, fall and winter, helping civilizations track when to plant and harvest crops.

They also served as ceremonial sites, both for celebration and sacrifice.

These megaliths — large, prehistoric monuments made of stone — may seem mysterious in our modern era, when many people lack a connection with, or even view of, the stars.

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Credit: Wikipedia


Time for another Tunguska meteor theory.
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When a meteor zooms toward Earth at 45,000 mph with the strength 10-15 megatons of TNT—185 times more energy than the Hiroshima atomic bomb—it could possibly take out the entire planet, says Syfy.

If something like that doesn’t scream total annihilation, it’s hard to say what does, except this time it just missed.

Scorched earth and flattened trees were all that was left of the mysterious object after it passed dangerously close to the Tunguska region of Siberia in 1908.

Theories have ranged from a black hole colliding with Earth to a clash of matter and antimatter to an alien spaceship crash-landing. An eyewitness even swore the sky was being ripped in two. But why no crater? No debris?

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Honghe Hani Rice Terraces in Yunnan Province, China [image credit: Wikipedia]


A look back to an earlier era of dramatic climate change, long before anyone had time to obsess about atmospheric trace gases.
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A major global cooling event that occurred 4,200 years ago may have led to the evolution of new rice varieties and the spread of rice into both northern and southern Asia, an international team of researchers has found.

Their study, published in Nature Plants and led by the NYU Center for Genomics and Systems Biology, uses a multidisciplinary approach to reconstruct the history of rice and trace its migration throughout Asia, says Phys.org.

Rice is one of the most important crops worldwide, a staple for more than half of the global population.

It was first cultivated 9,000 years ago in the Yangtze Valley in China and later spread across East, Southeast, and South Asia, followed by the Middle East, Africa, Europe, and the Americas.

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Now believed to be of similar intensity to the more famous Carrington event of 1859.

Spaceweather.com

May 12, 2020: 99 years ago this week, people around the world woke up to some unusual headlines.

“Telegraph Service Prostrated, Comet Not to Blame” — declared the Los Angeles Times on May 15, 1921. “Electrical Disturbance is ‘Worst Ever Known'” — reported the Chicago Daily Tribune. “Sunspot credited with Rail Tie-up” — deadpanned the New York Times.

newspapers2

They didn’t know it at the time, but those newspapers were covering the biggest solar storm of the 20th Century. Nothing quite like it has happened since.

It began on May 12, 1921 when giant sunspot AR1842, crossing the sun during the declining phase of Solar Cycle 15, began to flare. One explosion after another hurled coronal mass ejections (CMEs) directly toward Earth. For the next 3 days, CMEs rocked Earth’s magnetic field. Scientists around the world were surprised when their magnetometers suddenly went offscale, pens in strip chart recorders pegged uselessly…

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