G'Day! Bon Giorno!
Gütten Tag! Bom Dia!
I have not resolved all the problems of placing TIME, SPACE, and Humanity into perspective within Earth's Long History, but I think that I have developed a novel means to make several important points. I have tried to provide some clear links, or at least Upstream - Downstream Pathways between important Climate and Seismic Events, Regional to Planetary Consequences, Natural Cycles, and their Subsequent Impacts on Regional Ecosystems, including Humans. Maps, and other spatial data have always been highly valued, and form the basis of temporal comparisons.
Milankovich thought that he had it resolved in the 1920-30s..
Earths orbital cycles controls solar insolation
Insolation at different latitudes force climate change
"Pacemaker of the ice ages"
Combination of cycles with different periodicities
Varies from 21.5° to 24.5°
Presently at 23.5°
41,000 yr cycle
Most important near the poles
Determines the season of perihelion
~22,000 yr cycle
A combination of 19 kyr and 23 kyr cycles
Most important near the equator
Eccentricity (how circular?)
100,000 yr cycle
A combination of 95 kyr and 123 kyr cycles
413,000 yr cycle
Effects all latitudes
Surprisingly strong influence
Quaternary glacial-interglacial cycles
Documented by oxygen isotopes
Spectral analysis yields important frequencies
Milankovitch cyclicity also found for:
Organic content of marine sediments
Windblown clay and silt (aridity)
Problems with Milankovitch forcing
Strength of the 100 kyr glacial/interglacial cycle
If not Milankovitch forcing...then what?
Tilting of orbital plane may intercept space dust
3He trapped in micrometeorites
Accumulates in ocean sediments
Shows 100 kyr cycles for last 800 kyr
But apparently out of phase with ice ages
Dynamic response to crustal loading by ice
Response of Ice sheets to internal dynamics
5-7,000yr lag time between forcing and climate change
Synchronous climate/glacial change both hemispheres
Similar magnitude temperature change both hemispheres
Solar influence on Climate is back as a legitimate topic, although many are unwilling to concede that it is the dominant issue. Sun Spots and other measures of solar activity are just becoming better understood, as part of our development of better observing systems.
For example, Timo Niroma, of Finland, suggests that the 200-year sunspot cycle is also a weather cycle. The quote that follows is from his own report:
"The other supercycle, besides the Gleissberg, that most often is referred to
in the present-day data, is a 200-year supercycle. The Gleissberg cycle is
usually cited with one of two values, accurately as 78 years, inaccurately
as 80 years, but the 200-year cycle has no agreed-upon value, mostly the
values referred to are from 180 to 220 years.
Explicitly there is no 200-year cycle in the Elatina data, but I have
interpreted that the 29.2 "sawtooth pattern" represents a cycle of 173
years, which means that it may be a variant of the 200-year cycle. In
addition, the longest of the remaining Elatina supercycles is 105 years.
There is also a 52-year cycle, which is not seen in today's data. One
interpretation could be that the corresponding cycles today are 105 (weak)
and 210 (strong) years. There are indications that the possible 200-year
cycle really oscillates today. Would this hint to limits of 170 and 210
years in Elatina data, corresponding to from 180 to 220 years in today's
data. That may mean a change in the Sun's cyclicity or in the Earth's
rotation rate or rather a mixup of these both factors.
The Gleissberg cycle has no obvious subcycles (other than the seven basic
cycles), but the 200-year cycle clearly consists of two parts of 100 years,
which oscillate between 80 and 120 years and is intertwined with the
Gleissberg cycle. It seems that the cycle 120/60/30 years or maybe more
accurately 26.5/53/106/212 years are also weather cycles. At least at the
moment (2001) the 200-year cycle seems to have a value of 211.4 years.
The following minima are minima smoothed by one sunspot cycle or 11 years
(actually they are low maxima per cycle). The minima between the Sporer
minimum in 1496+-1 and the Maunder minimum in 1695 is 198-200 years.
The minima between the Maunder minimum and the Dalton minimum in 1815
is 120 years.
There are indications of a warm spell beginning around 1755. Thus we
have here a 55-60-year weather cycle: around 1870 began a cold spell which
had its coldest phase around 1900, 1930's had a warm spell, in about 1985
became a very warm trend with a cold spell in 1960's. I predict that the Sun
is now going towards low intensity, and the warm spell ends in the 2010's.
"The disturbances of the early third century were nothing compared with what would follow the end of the Severan dynasty in 235 AD. The half century from
235 to 284 AD was a period of unparalleled crisis, during which the Roman
Enmpire nearly came to an end... This is a period for which comparatively
little documentation exists, but that in itself may be symptomatic...
Barbarian incursions were frequent and ruinous between 248 and 268... It was
Diocletian who, in a reign from 284 to his voluntary abdication in 305,
quelled the barbarians, defeated usurpers, and at the same time initiated
sweeping political and economic changes that transformed the nature of the
Empire, and ensured its survival for a while longer... In the mid fifth
century the West was gradually lost. Areas like Spain and Africa were
temporarily or permanently lost to the barbarians... In 439 Vandals took
Carthage... In the 20 years following the death of Valentinian III (455 AD),
the Roman Army proper dwindled to nothing." (Tainter 1988, pp. 137-148).
Was there something like the Sporer minimum in the 200's and Maunder minimum
in the 400's or rather vice versa as the following shows? What makes this a
relevant question is that according to Schove there was only 7 cycles from
192 AD to 302 AD. This means that there most probably was 7 Jovian years
plus a 27 year cessation. A real mother of all Maunders. Was this the reason
for the Barbarian invasions at that time? Did they escape the terrible cold?
And when the second cold spell came 200 years later, were also the Vandals
attacking for the reason of the cold weather? Did the mighty Roman Army
dwindle to nothing in just 20 years for this same reason?
There were 220 years between the Barbarian incursions from 230 to 270 AD
and demise of the Roman Army after the Vandals from 450 to 490 AD.
Was it the warming of the climate that gave Diocletian and his followers the
chance to revive The Roman Empire? There is one other historical moment
whose simultaneous appearance gives this thought some credence. "The
earliest inscriptions so far discovered in recognized Mayan lands are dated
AD 292 and 320, dates on the threshold of the splendid Classic Period... The
earliest date mentioned on inscriptions at Uaxactun is AD 328..." (Whitlock
1976). There is no known Columbus or other connector at that time between
The Roman Empire and the Mayans.
Now it seems like this 100/200-year Maunder-like cyclity continued. The
period of 200 years seems to oscillate between 180 and 220 years. The 220 is
best approximated by 100+120 years and the 180 years by 60+120 years.
120 years of warm period passed. Then in 608 AD Euphrates froze. After the
warm 700's, in 829 AD Nile froze (Cambridge CCNet 1998). The century of
800's belong to the dark ages. Again we have here 220 years.
"Another period of expansion [of the Mayas] extended from AD 731-90, when
three splendid new centres were founded... Soon afterwards decline set
in..." (Whitlock 1976)." "...the Maya of the Southern Lowlands, whose
society underwent a rapid, dramatic, and justly famous collapse between
about 790 and 890 AD." (Tainter 1988, pp. 152-153). "There is no trace of
the large-scale destruction and fires which would have marked an invasion or
an earth-quake." (Whitlock 1976, p. 26).
"The Norwegian farmer Folke Vilgerdson made the first attempt to settle in
Iceland in about 865 AD... He lost his cattle in a severe winter and
disappointed went back to Norway after having seen a fjord filled up by sea
ice. Therefore he called the country Iceland. Only a few years later, in
874, Ingolf Arnason succeeded. He was followed by many others, and
settlement was completed in 930 AD... In 982, Erik the Red discovered new
land West of Iceland. He called it Greenland; according to the Greenlander
Saga this was only to persuade people to follow him... But the O(18) curve
suggests that the name described a reality... So the drastic climatic change
[warming] late in the ninth century may be part of the reason why Iceland
and Greenland did not get the opposite names." (Dansgaard: Palaeo-Climatic
Studies on Ice Cores, in Oeschger, Messerli and Svilar, 1980).
"The beneficent times came to an end. Sea ice and stormier seas made the
passages between Norway, Iceland and Greenland more difficult after AD
1200... In mainland Europe, disastrous harvests were experienced in the
latter part of the thirteenth and in the early fourteenth century." (Grove
1988, pp. 1-2). The cold decades of 1680-1700 are very well documented, at
least in Europe. (See for example Rothlisberger 1986). The glaciers in Alps
increased, there was no good wine, harvests were a catastrophe and famine
killed like the black death centuries before. Cold was also the decade of
1810-1820, including "the summer that did not come" or a "year without
summer". The Tambora volcanic eruption has been blamed for the summerless
year 1816. Maybe it helped a little, but the cold spell had already begun
from the spotless year 1810, with which Tambora had nothing to do.
If we take the Schove estimates of the maximum magnitudes (R(M)) from the
period 1500-1750 and the measurements from 1750, we get (the rounding for
exact centuries done only to make the general picture clear):
1400-1500 ? cold (Sporer minimum)
1500-1620 107 warm
1620-1700 61 cold (Maunder minimum)
1700-1810 114 warm
1810-1930 95 cold (Dalton minimum)
1930-2010 151 warm
2010-2110 ? cold ?
So the supercyclic rise is a very long process, maybe a 1000- or a
2000-cycle or even longer. The Sun seems to be much more irregular than we
ever have imagined. The historical data seem to show that the 200-year
oscillation has been there at least since 200 AD. The even centuries seem to
be have been cold, odd ones warm, not to the accuracy of year, but in the
average anyway. If a spotless sun during the third century caused the
process of the Great Roman Empire demise to begin, we have to write the
history books anew.
The other thing that seems apparent is that the general warming trend has
been going on at least 1,800 years so that the third century AD may be the
coldest century for at least 2000 years. So much more dramatical appear the
cold periods to have been during the first millennium AD than during the
second one. On the other hand we may now live in the mildest climate Anno
Domini. This may even have greater implications to the whole Holocene
climate study and possibly to ice age theories also. Considering the
evidence it looks like a megalomaniac idea that the recent rise of half a
degree would have been caused by man. So great are the natural variations.
But man has always wanted to be in the center of the world.
One solar-based climate change may have a period of about 1050 years. There
are many reports of a cold period beginning about 850BC (Geel et al.: Solar
Forcing of Abrupt Climate Change around 850 Calendar Years BC), beginning
around 200 AD a period of low cycles which transforms into a cold period
around 230 AD (see above), consisting of a maximum length Gleissberg cycle
and lastly the low periods beginning in 1250 AD (Schove) leading to the
rapid deterioration of the climate beginning about 1270-1280 AD, which led
to the end for the Medieval Maximum and for example to the demise of the
Greenland habitat and forced Europeans to invent the warming system for
their houses. The cold period lasted in all cases about 80 years beginning
an oscillating period of 660 years. So there are intervening some 400 years
of a warm period (for example the medieval maximum)."
For the full story from Timo Niroma's own site check in here:
Perhaps another set of insights to ponder on a similar time scale are those that show the documented ENSO Warm Event frequency since the early 1500s from William Quinn's studies :
Dr. Theodore Landscheidt, of the Schroeter Institute for Research in Cycles of Solar Activity, Nova Scotia, Canada, has used information about solar emissions and their relations to global climate events to develop a forecast for ENSO Warm Events. This approach, which is usually denied by government agency staff who are reluctant to use any references to solar activity for social reasons, provides a new avenue for reintroducing the role and influence of the sun in the earth's regional climate, ecology, and societal decision-making. A few more willing heroes in the field will discuss their insights at PACLIM 2002, at Asilomar in Pacific Grove, California, next March.
What is the Message Here?
We human beings simply have not been around for much of the real dynamic historical action ... and we have only begun organized measurements within the recent few centuries. We are also in some cases just "seeing" events that took place long before we came into existence, as we resolve light that has been millennia in transit from its source. The launch, poor-vision, and revision of the Hubble Telescope will long be remembered, as will the recent Mars landing of our first Robot exporer. Unique streams of information about past and present of the grander Universe and our companion planet - Mars - will pour in, to be unraveled into useful information by yet another, even more ancient community comprising scientific visionaries, physicists, and astronomers...
Throughout this website I have tried to lighten up the often "heavy" messages by providing a few
"Signs of the Times"
To Enjoy - and Ponder - along the way.
It is also difficult to create a Sharable Sense of Time, unless there is a direct connection to day to day life. As I worked my way through many volumes of records, and manuscripts in gathering the "factoids" that are arrayed in the various linked Chronologies, it was obvious that placing certain innovations into perspective would help others see the linkages between Climate, Tectonic and Seismic Events, Natural Ecosystem Responses, and Human Endeavor(s).
Diagrams in popular magazines, Atlases, and even text books still portray earth's path around the sun as a simple ellipsoid - which is sheer nonsense ... better known as literary license... on even the most cursory examination.
The now well known principles and observations have yet to be assimilated into our visual aids - and our basic knowledge bases. This is not a new problem. Similar laxity begat the persistent differences between astrologers, and astronomers, which at first glance, appears to be mostly philosophical.The differences, however, "revolve" around a common sets of observations, and what is then produced upon synthesis of that information - and its credibility in forecasts...
The initial natural philosopher's dilemma about whether the earth moves, or not, is one clear example where it was not until humans brought back pictures of the "pale blue marble" from orbit, that the truth struck home for many people...
We are alone, together, on a planet - hurtling through space...
the clarity of that insight is truly PROGRESS.
lets see what else we need to know...
The encoding of human knowledge is the legacy of civilization. Alexander the Great's empirious gathering together of all the written knowledge from Mesopotamia and Persia, and his installation of that encoded material in one place at the Great Library of Alexandria was a monumental act of future-thinking. The patterns and processes that eventually emerged were critical to western science, and modern civilization. This one act of foresight - and autocracy - can be identified as one of the more important seed caches in human history. One has to wonder where civilization would be today if this one event had not taken place.
As one learns more about historical events, complex, interactive - or living systems, the concepts of averages, and mean behaviors becomes less likely to be useful in decision making. Living is about changes...
Maybe that is why it is so hard to define good experiments in the social sciences, that give hard, and fast answers...
I don't want to start any rumors, but living out a full, long life is a near miracle, particularly if you start out as a small fertilized spheroid in an uncertain environment...
as many living organisms do.
Whose Cow is this ANYWAY?
Of course, the various threats and "Dread Factors" scale upward...
As an anonymous street philosopher in the late 1980s once said...
(maybe more than once...)
So... There is a obviously a lot more to population and ecosystem modeling than listing constants and applying quasi-linear logic to dynamic systems. Temporal scales and spatial dynamics need as careful consideration as do the species interactions...