Archive for the ‘History’ Category

Visualization of the Radcliffe Wave. The wave is marked by red dots. The Sun is represented by a yellow dot to show our proximity to this huge structure. Courtesy of Alyssa Goodman/Harvard University


Scientists have previously reported evidence for a 26-million-year cycle of extinction on Earth, but the idea has remained controversial and unexplained. Now the discovery of the Radcliffe Wave may offer an explanation, but has anyone so far said so?

The team also found the wave interacts with the Sun. It crossed our path about 13 million years ago and will again in another 13 million years. What happened during this encounter is also unknown.

“There was no obvious mass extinction event 13 million years ago, so although we were crossing a sort of minefield back then, it did not leave an obvious mark,” Alves said. “Still, with the advent of more sensitive mass spectrometers, it is likely we will find some sort of mark left on the planet.”

13+13 = 26 (million). Can such a mark be found?
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From the article, ‘Something Appears to Have Collided with the Milky Way and Created a Huge Wave in the Galactic Plane’:

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The researchers do admit that ‘Snowball Earth is just a hypothesis’, but that period seems to have been an era of the most extreme long-term cold spell(s) ever detected on Earth.

There is very little life in Arctic tundras and glaciers. However that was the situation in a big portion of the world during Ice Ages, says Technology.org.

How did life survive these difficult periods? How didn’t everything just die, being cut off from any kind of sources of nutrition and oxygen?

Scientists examined the chemistry of the iron formations in Australia, Namibia, and California to get a window into the environmental conditions during the ice age. They selected rocks left there by the ice age, because they are representative of the conditions during that difficult period for life.

By analysing these rocks scientists from the McGill University were able to estimate the amount of oxygen in the oceans around 700 million years ago.

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This extract from an article at Historic Mysteries looks at the demise of the city, linked to major climatic changes that happened centuries before the arrival of the modern industrial world. Cahokia Mounds is a UNESCO World Heritage site.
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In Southern Illinois, situated along the Mississippi River in Collinsville, an ancient settlement that we call Cahokia rose to great power between 800-1200 CE.

Nicknamed America’s Forgotten City or The City of the Sun, the massive complex once contained as many as 40,000 people and spread across nearly 4,000 acres.

The most notable features of the site are hand-made earthen mounds which held temples, political buildings, and burial pits.

Cahokia Mounds are a testament to the highly organized culture of the early Mississippian people who built the largest city in pre-Columbian North America.

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Ice core sample [image credit: Discovering Antarctica]


Of course they are pushing the usual doom and gloom messages based on dubious greenhouse gas theories, but a glimmer of light perhaps is that they accept the Earth has warmed and cooled in the past due to unknown factors. They in effect admit the obvious, namely that attribution of climate change to humans in some, or any, degree cannot be quantified at present. But the bluffing goes on.

As the pace of global warming outstrips our ability to adapt to it [Talkshop comment – allegedly], scientists are delving deep into the distant past, hoping that eons-old Antarctic ice, sediments and trees chart a path to navigate our climate future, says Phys.org.

“What interests us is to understand how the climate works,” says Didier Roche of France’s National Centre for Scientific Research (CNRS).

At the Laboratory for Climate and Environment Sciences (LSCE), just outside Paris, the aim is to establish a comprehensive record of climate change dating back hundreds of thousands of years, to chart the repeated warming and cooling cycles the Earth has gone through and to try to understand what drives them.

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This is considered to be one of the best preserved ancient stone monuments in Britain, although research into it seems to have been minimal. It can be found near Wigtown in the far south-west of Scotland.

Note the specific solar alignments of the three central stones, and the lunar significance of its circle of nineteen megaliths – thought to represent the lunar nodal cycle of 18.6 years, according to the commentary (or possibly the 19 year Metonic cycle – or both?).

The Metonic cycle is described as ‘a period of almost exactly 19 years that is nearly a common multiple of the solar year and the synodic (lunar) month.’

A reconstruction of the Anglian ice sheet in Precambrian North London (credit: BBC / The Natural History Museum, London)


This might rattle a few cages in climate-land.

An analysis of air up to 2 million years old, trapped in Antarctic ice, shows that a major shift in the periodicity of glacial cycles was probably not caused by a long-term decline in atmospheric levels of carbon dioxide, writes Eric W. Wolff in Nature.
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During the past 2.6 million years, Earth’s climate has alternated between warm periods known as interglacials, when conditions were similar to those of today, and cold glacials, when ice sheets spread across North America and northern Europe.

Before about 1 million years ago, the warm periods recurred every 40,000 years, but after that, the return period lengthened to an average of about 100,000 years.

It has often been suggested that a decline in the atmospheric concentration of carbon dioxide was responsible for this fundamental change.

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Credit: JS Pailly


What a time to be alive says ScienceAlert.
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For the first time in centuries, compasses in Greenwich are about to point directly at true north: an epic coincidence of time and magnetism that hasn’t taken place for some 360 years.

This serendipitous occurrence – which is set to occur within the next fortnight – serves as a startling reminder of how Earth’s magnetic north pole is constantly wandering, unlike the fixed ‘true north’ of Earth’s geographic north pole.

The angular difference between those two different points is called magnetic declination, and while the gap might not be something ordinary people spend a great deal of time thinking about, it’s a disparity that can last for centuries at a time.

For hundreds of years now in the UK, due to Earth’s shifting magnetic north pole, declination has been negative, meaning compass needles have been pointing west of true north.

But nothing lasts forever.

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Where is Iceberg Alley?

Posted: August 6, 2019 by oldbrew in History, Natural Variation, sea ice
Tags:

Iceberg alley [credit: U.S. Coast Guard]


On the day Belfast’s Harland & Wolff – famously the builders of the Titanic – goes bust (it seems), let’s look at a question posed by the U.S. Coast Guard…

WHERE IS ICEBERG ALLEY?

The area we call “Iceberg Alley” is located about 250 miles east and southeast of the island of Newfoundland, Canada. Iceberg Alley is usually considered to be that portion of the Labrador Current, that flows southward from Flemish Pass, along the eastern edge of the Grand Banks of Newfoundland, to the Tail of the Banks. This area extends approximately from 48 to 43 degrees North Latitude at 48 degrees West longitude. Icebergs and sea ice flowing south from Iceberg Alley created the Titanic disaster of 1912. This is the area of the ocean we patrol and monitor most carefully. [bold added]

https://www.navcen.uscg.gov/?pageName=iipWhereIsIcebergAlley

What is the latitude and longitude for the Titanic?
Latitude: 41° 46′ North
Longitude: 50° 14′ West
Was Titanic’s last reported position when it sank.

https://www.answers.com/Q/What_is_the_latitude_and_longitude_for_the_Titanic

(For a perhaps surprising comparison, the latitude of Italy’s capital Rome is almost the same.)

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Climate mythologists trying to re-write history again.

PA Pundits - International

From the team at CFACT ~

A May 31 article in New Scientist, titled “Ancient Roman air pollution caused climate change in Europe,”  is resuscitating the myth that “climate change” brought down the Roman Empire. To the extent global climate forces impacted the health of the empire, it was not generic climate change that harmed the empire. Instead, warming temperatures assisted the rise of the empire and subsequent cooling temperatures weakened it. By and large, climate change only weakens civilization when that change takes the form of cooling temperatures.

The Roman Empire rose and prospered during a time of beneficial global warming. The New Scientist article asserts that the empire played a role in bringing about subsequent cooling temperatures that ultimately contributed to the empire’s downfall. According to the article, soot from Roman fires blocked sunlight and cooled Europe. Deforestation as the empire expanded also cooled temperatures, according to…

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An Impression of Winter by Claude Monet


Is the Earth still recovering from the Little Ice Age, a time when many glaciers advanced and recorded sea levels were falling?

The Little Ice Age was a period from about 1300 to 1870 when Europe and North America experienced much colder winters than we do today, says 5 Minute History.

Paintings from the Little Ice Age show us what it was like.

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Credit: British Antarctic Survey


The EPICA ice cores clearly showed CO2 lagging behind temperature increases – probably by centuries. But observed effects aren’t supposed to precede alleged causes.

European scientists from 10 countries have spent years scouring the Antarctic ice sheet with one ambition in mind: to drill for the oldest-ever ice core.

Now, they have zeroed in on just the spot says IFL Science.

The team have chosen Little Dome C – one of the coldest, most barren places on Earth. For the next five years, they will drill for a 1.5-million-year-old ice core – a frozen timepiece of Earth’s climatic past.

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The 50 core marchers strode through London with thousands of people from all over the country behind them and joined the throng in Parliament Square on March 29th. After great speeches from leavers left and right, the man himself topped the bill with a short but inspiring message to all democrats.

It took us 14 days to march from Sunderland to Westminster. This bloke has given 25 years of his life to the cause of regaining independence for the UK. Spare him 8 minutes of your time.

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Credit: NASA – GISS


Showing once again that significant warming and cooling are normal features of the global climate over thousands of years and longer. We could speculate whether this particular research might be linked to the de Vries cycle.

The warm waters of the Gulf Stream flow up along the east coast of North America, moderating the climate of vast areas of northern and western Europe, says Phys.org.

Once the Gulf Stream gets far enough north, the warm waters cool.

As they cool, they sink and start flowing south, forming what scientists call the North Atlantic Deep Water.

Nick Balascio explained that the Gulf Stream/Deep Water system is known as the AMOC, or Atlantic Meridional Overturning Circulation.

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Impact [image credit: karbalion.com]


This time, unusually, the new Younger Dryas evidence is from way below the equator, which they believe shows that ‘the Younger Dryas climatic onset was an extreme global event’.

When UC Santa Barbara geology professor emeritus James Kennett and colleagues set out years ago to examine signs of a major cosmic impact that occurred toward the end of the Pleistocene epoch, little did they know just how far-reaching the projected climatic effect would be, says Phys.org.

“It’s much more extreme than I ever thought when I started this work,” Kennett noted. “The more work that has been done, the more extreme it seems.”

He’s talking about the Younger Dryas Impact Hypothesis, which postulates that a fragmented comet slammed into the Earth close to 12,800 years ago, causing rapid climatic changes, megafaunal extinctions, sudden human population decrease and cultural shifts and widespread wildfires (biomass burning).

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Theorists take another look at the mechanisms that may or may not be important regulators of Earth’s ice ages.

Climate Etc.

by Donald Rapp, Ralf Ellis and Clive Best

A review of the relationship between the solar input to high latitudes and the global ice volume over the past 2.7 million years.

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Queensland, Australia


The cause(s) of the Little Ice Age is (are) uncertain, but Wikipedia puts forward some ideas with varying degrees of plausibility, including ‘inherent variability in global climate’ (indeed), and ‘decreases in the human population’ (what?). Now some interesting evidence of it has been found in Australia.

A study by University of Adelaide researchers and Queensland Government scientists has revealed what south-east Queensland’s rainfall was like over the last 7000 years – including several severe droughts worse and longer lasting than the 12-year Millennium Drought, reports Phys.org.

The study – published in Scientific Reports—used preserved paper-bark tea tree leaves from North Stradbroke Island’s Swallow Lagoon that have been collecting in the sediment for the past 7700 years.

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Image credit: howstuffworks.com


The ancients may even have recorded the supposed ‘Younger Dryas’ comet strike.

Some of the world’s oldest cave paintings have revealed how ancient people had relatively advanced knowledge of astronomy, says Phys.org.

The artworks, at sites across Europe, are not simply depictions of wild animals, as was previously thought. Instead, the animal symbols represent star constellations in the night sky, and are used to represent dates and mark events such as comet strikes, analysis suggests.

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Topographic map of Greenland


Something creating a 19-mile wide dent in the Earth’s surface would clearly have been a major strike. If confirmed it would be the most northerly impact crater on Earth.

What looks to be a large impact crater has been identified beneath the Greenland ice sheet, reports BBC News.

The 31km-wide depression came to light when scientists examined radar images of the island’s bedrock.

Investigations suggest the feature was probably dug out by a 1.5km-wide iron asteroid sometime between about 12,000 and three million years ago.

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This glacier is one of the largest in the Himalayas and has been retreating since well before the Industrial Revolution, suggesting purely natural causes must be at work.

MalagaBay

If you’ve come to recognise that the future projections of modern climate science are alarmist pseudo-science then it should come as no surprise that the historical hindcasts conjured up by climate science are also pitiful pseudo-science.

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Credit: solen.info


The storm was so strong that the change in magnetic direction could be easily measured on a compass, as this 2013 article explains.

Ghosts and goblins, candle-lit jack o’lanterns and dark haunted houses, ominous screeching and maniacal laughter – these are some of the frightening fantasies we associate with Halloween.

But ten years ago during the Halloween of 2003, while children in costumes paraded door-to-door for treats, the Sun was playing its own tricks with planet Earth, says Directions Magazine.

The consequence: a solar-terrestrial nightmare became a scary reality.

The Halloween Storm

In mid-October 2003, a bundle of concentrated magnetic energy emerged from the Sun’s interior, forming a large sunspot, a site of seething activity. Enormous solar flares soon followed. Then, on October 28, the sunspot abruptly ejected a concentrated mass of electrically conducting solar wind, flinging it out into interplanetary space toward the Earth. Less than a day later, on October 29, a geomagnetic storm was initiated as the solar wind disrupted the Earth’s protective magnetosphere.

Over the next three days, the “Halloween magnetic storm” would evolve and grow to become one of the largest such storms in half a century.

Magnetic storms are global phenomena, and their effects can be easily seen around the world. During the Halloween storm, for example, magnetic direction in Alaska quickly changed by more than 20 degrees. In other words, the storm was so large that it could be measured with a simple compass.

The Halloween magnetic storm also produced spectacular aurora, with green phantom “northern lights” seen as far south as Texas and Florida.

The Impacts of this Storm

The USGS network of magnetic observatories monitored activity from the Halloween storm in collaboration with international partners. The storm played tricks on technological systems around the world, which scientists continue to analyze even today.

Continued here.

See also: The Halloween Storms: When Solar Events Spooked the Skies | GPS World