Archive for the ‘History’ Category

drought-CA-july-2021

La Niña pending

Natural climate change has always been around, as this study indicates. Attempts at attribution of weather-related conditions like droughts to recent (in historical terms) fuel-burning activities are full of pitfalls and uncertainties.
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A team of researchers at Columbia University has shown that long-term droughts in southwestern parts of North America and in southwestern parts of South America have occurred at the same time on multiple occasions over the past 1,000 years coinciding with La Niña events, reports Phys.org.

In their paper published in the journal Nature Geoscience, the group describes how they used archival data and paleoclimate proxies (materials preserved in the geologic record that can be used to estimate climate conditions) to create climate models.

La Niña events are climatic occurrences that are kicked off when trade winds in the Pacific Ocean are pushed toward Asia. This results in a cooling effect in the waters off the coasts of North and South America. It pushes the jet stream northward just enough to create drier conditions across parts of both continents.

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Hurricane_Season

Image credit: sanibelrealestateguide.com

Quote: ‘No evidence’. Not more intense either. Reports claiming otherwise were greatly exaggerated or at least ill-informed, it seems (as well as being frequent, and intensely irritating). Climate alarmists will not be amused.
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Researchers affiliated with several institutions in the United States have determined that the increase in the number of hurricanes forming in the Atlantic over the past several years is not related to global warming, says The Conversation (via Phys.org).

They suggest instead, in their paper published in the journal Nature Communications, that it is simply reflective of natural variable weather patterns.

Over the past several decades, scientists studying satellite data have found that the number of hurricanes forming in the Atlantic Ocean has been increasing.

Many in the field have suggested that this is due to the impact of global warming.

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solarflare

Solar flare erupting from a sunspot [image credit: space.com]

Using trees as solar cycle and cosmic ray detectors here. The researchers say: ‘Notably, other evidence suggests that the sun was also undergoing a decades-long period of increasing activity.’ We may ask, with a view to the current era: how often does that happen, and why?
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The sun constantly emits a stream of energetic particles, some of which reach Earth, says Phys.org.

The density and energy of this stream form the basis of space weather, which can interfere with the operation of satellites and other spacecraft.

A key unresolved question in the field is the frequency with which the sun emits bursts of energetic particles strong enough to disable or destroy space-based electronics.

One promising avenue for determining the rate of such events is the dendrochronological record. This approach relies on the process by which a solar energetic particle (SEP) strikes the atmosphere, causing a chain reaction that results in the production of an atom of carbon-14.

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EarthspaceScientists previously proposed 26 million year cycles of mass extinctions, but this appears to correct the period. They suggest ‘cycles of activity in the Earth’s interior’ could be behind their new period, but then say: ‘However, similar cycles in the Earth’s orbit in space might also be pacing these events.’ Their study also says ‘a strong secondary signal occurs at a period 8.9 Myr’.
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Geologic activity on Earth appears to follow a 27.5-million-year cycle, giving the planet a ‘pulse,’ according to a new study published in the journal Geoscience Frontiers. Phys.org reporting.

“Many geologists believe that geological events are random over time. But our study provides statistical evidence for a common cycle, suggesting that these geologic events are correlated and not random,” said Michael Rampino, a geologist and professor in New York University’s Department of Biology, as well as the study’s lead author.

Over the past five decades, researchers have proposed cycles of major geological events—including volcanic activity and mass extinctions on land and sea—ranging from roughly 26 to 36 million years.

But early work on these correlations in the geological record was hampered by limitations in the age-dating of geologic events, which prevented scientists from conducting quantitative investigations.

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Walker_neutral

Generalized Walker Circulation (December-February) during ENSO-neutral conditions. Convection associated with rising branches of the Walker Circulation is found over the Maritime continent, northern South America, and eastern Africa. [Credit: NOAA Climate.gov — drawing by Fiona Martin]

El Niño and 100,000 year glaciation/climate cycles feature prominently in this research. The Walker circulation has been described as ENSO’s atmospheric buddy.
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While it is widely accepted that climate change drove the evolution of our species in Africa, the exact character of that climate change and its impacts are not well understood, says Phys.org.

Glacial-interglacial cycles strongly impact patterns of climate change in many parts of the world, and were also assumed to regulate environmental changes in Africa during the critical period of human evolution over the last ~1 million years.

The ecosystem changes driven by these glacial cycles are thought to have stimulated the evolution and dispersal of early humans.

A paper published in Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences (PNAS) this week challenges this view.

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Hindenburg

The LZ-129 Hindenburg, the famous Zeppelin, at Lakehurst Naval Air Station in 1936 [image credit: CIVIS TURDETANI / U.S. Department of the Navy, Bureau of Aeronautics]

As hydrogen is in the news these days as a potential ‘alternative’ fuel, heavily promoted by climate obsessives and others, this look back in history is vaguely topical and offers a fresh technical analysis based on experiments.
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On the evening of May 6, 1937, the largest aircraft ever built by mankind, a towering example of technological prowess, slipped through the stormy skies of New Jersey and prepared to land, says TechXplore.

The airship Hindenburg was nearing the end of a three-day voyage across the Atlantic Ocean from Frankfurt, Germany. It was a spectacle and a news event.

Onlookers and news crews gathered to watch the 800-foot-long behemoth touch down.

And then, in one horrifying half minute, it was all over. Flames erupted from the airship’s skin, fed by the flammable hydrogen gas that kept it aloft, and consumed the entire structure, ending 36 lives.

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speleothems

Six most common speleothems [image credit: Dave Bunnell / Under Earth Images @ Wikipedia]

The MIT research article this report is based on includes the phrase ‘carbon cycle conundrums’ in its title. In the discussion section we find this: ‘However, atmospheric CO2 and CH4 concentrations did not exceed Holocene levels during MIS 11, seemingly indicating that widespread ground thaw did not initiate a permafrost carbon feedback where increased atmospheric greenhouse gases and subsequent warming thaw permafrost that releases more greenhouse gases.’ If no ‘carbon feedback’, what does that say about the theories behind current climate paranoia?
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Nearly one quarter of the land in the Northern Hemisphere, amounting to some 9 million square miles, is layered with permafrost—soil, sediment, and rocks that are frozen solid for years at a time, says Phys.org.

Vast stretches of permafrost can be found in Alaska, Siberia, and the Canadian Arctic, where persistently freezing temperatures have kept carbon, in the form of decayed bits of plants and animals, locked in the ground.

Scientists estimate that more than 1,400 gigatons of carbon is trapped in the Earth’s permafrost.

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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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