Archive for the ‘History’ Category

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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Siberian permafrost [image credit: Julian Murton / BBC]


Since viruses – and not much else – are in the news these days, here’s a reminder that they’re nothing new. If anything they’re less scary than in the distant past, judging by this story.
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Giant viruses known as “Girus”, frozen in the permafrost from the remote landscapes of Siberia and the Antarctic are being studied by Michigan State University, reports HeritageDaily – Archaeology News.

The researchers have shed light on these enigmatic, yet captivating giant microbes and key aspects of the process by which they infect cells.

“Giant viruses are gargantuan in size and complexity,” said principal investigator Kristin Parent, associate professor of Biochemistry and Molecular Biology at MSU.

“The giant viruses recently discovered in Siberia retained the ability to infect after 30,000 years in permafrost.”

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Innlandet county, Norway [credit: NordNordWest @ Wikipedia]


H/T The GWPF

The headline is a strong indication that modern climatic conditions have occurred before within the last two millennia at least. Any claims that today’s conditions can’t be natural have to be weighed against such evidence.

The retreating mountain glaciers of Norway have revealed a host of rare archaeological finds and uncovered a lost mountain pass at Lendbreen in Innlandet County, report archaelogists from Cambridge University.

The finds tell a remarkable story of high-altitude travel and long distance exchange c. 300 – 1500 AD with a peak in usage c. 1000 AD during the Viking Age.

A team of archaeologists from Norway and Cambridge have published details of these artefacts today in the journal Antiquity.

“A lost mountain pass melting out of the ice is a dream discovery for glacial archaeologists,” says Lars Pilø, first author of the study and co-director for the Glacier Archaeology Program. “In such passes, past travellers left behind lots of artefacts, frozen in time by the ice. These incredibly well-preserved artefacts of organic materials have great historical value.”

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H/T The GWPF

Dr David Whitehouse reviews the history of solar cycle predictions in a new paper by the Global Warming Policy Foundation which is published today. The paper, entitled The Next Solar Cycle, And Why It Matters For Climate, can be downloaded here.
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London, 6 April: A former BBC science correspondent says that there remains a real possibility that unusual solar behaviour could influence the Earth’s climate, bringing cooler temperatures for the next decade.

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The researchers estimate that carbon dioxide levels in the atmosphere were well over 1000 parts per million in those days, compared to 400+ ppm today. Antarctica and Australia were much closer together.

Antarctica was covered in rainforest in the time of the dinosaurs, according to a new study, Metro News reports.

Researchers have found evidence the South Pole had a climate and forests similar to New Zealand today in a startling discovery. The team discovered soil from an ancient rainforest from the Cretaceous period within 900 km of the South Pole.

The analysis carried out by an international team of researchers of roots, pollen and spores shows the world was a lot warmer than previously thought.

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Earth
New laser technology delves into Earth’s history.
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Earth turned faster at the end of the time of the dinosaurs than it does today, reports Phys.org, rotating 372 times a year compared to the current 365, according to a new study of fossil mollusk shells from the late Cretaceous.

This means a day lasted only 23 and a half hours, according to the new study in AGU’s journal Paleoceanography and Paleoclimatology.

The ancient mollusk, from an extinct and wildly diverse group known as rudist clams, grew fast, laying down daily growth rings. The new study used lasers to sample minute slices of shell and count the growth rings more accurately than human researchers with microscopes.

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Image credit: theonlinefisherman.com


A rare chance to brush up on your *vesicle paleobarometry* — or to put it another way, learn that air pressure at sea level has not always been around the 1 bar (1000 mb) that we expect to find nowadays. According to the ideal gas law, pressure and temperature are closely related, implying historic climate variability, but results so far seem inconclusive.

NASA says:
Researchers supported in part by the NASA Astrobiology Program have attempted to better understand global barometric pressure on Earth during the Archaean by studying vesicle sizes in 2.9 billion year-old lavas that erupted near sea level.

Today, Earth’s global barometric pressure is 1 bar at sea level. However, barometric pressure has changed throughout the planet’s history.

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Well this is a disappointment.

After the fiasco in 2018 when I revealed the data-shifting technique the MET-Office were using to never be wrong about their ‘decadal’ forecast, and the late update in 2019 , the MET-O have now disappeared the ‘decadal’ forecast altogether. This after they promised to update it in January 2020.

EDIT: The forecast has been found! See comments below.

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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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