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Solar proton event seen in paleo records (Carbon 14 in Tree Rings)
Watts Up With That? ^ | March 12, 2013 | Anthony Watts

Posted on 03/15/2013 7:37:13 AM PDT by Ernest_at_the_Beach

From the AGU weekly highlights:

Large solar proton event explains 774-775 CE carbon-14 increase

Tree ring records indicate that in 774-775 CE, atmospheric carbon-14 levels increased substantially. Researchers suggest that a solar proton event may have been the cause. In solar proton events, large numbers of high-energy protons are emitted from the Sun, along with other particles. If these particles reach Earth’s atmosphere, they ionize the atmosphere and induce nuclear reactions that produce higher levels of carbon-14; the particles also cause chemical reactions that result in depletion of ozone in the ozone layer, allowing harmful ultraviolet radiation to reach the ground.

A previous group of researchers suggested that to cause the observed eighth century carbon-14 increase, a solar proton event would have had to be thousands of times larger than any that has been observed from the Sun. However, Thomas et al. believe that group’s calculations were incorrect. They modeled the atmospheric and biologic effects of three solar proton events with different energy spectra and fluences (number of protons per area). They find that an event with about 7 or more times greater fluence (depending on the spectrum) than an observed October 1989 solar flare event could explain the 774-775 CE carbon-14 enhancement. With a hard (high-energy) spectrum, an event with this fluence would result in moderately damaging effects on life but would not cause a mass extinction. They rule out an event with a softer spectrum because such an event would cause severe ozone depletion and mass extinction, which were not observed in the eighth century. The authors estimate that solar proton events of this magnitude occur on average once in a thousand years, and more often if the estimate is based on astronomical observations of flares on Sun-like stars. They note that although that may seem low, such an event would have severely damaging effects on the technology on which society relies.

Source:
Geophysical Research Letters, doi:10.1002/grl.50222, 2013 http://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/10.1002/grl.50222/abstract

Title:
Terrestrial effects of possible astrophysical sources of an AD 774-775 increase in carbon-14 production

Abstract:

We examine possible sources of a substantial increase in tree ring14C measurements for the years AD 774-775. Contrary to claims regarding a coronal mass ejection (CME), the required CME energy is not several orders of magnitude greater than known solar events. We consider solar proton events (SPEs) with three different fluences and two different spectra. The data may be explained byan event with fluenceabout one order of magnitude beyond the October 1989 SPE.Two hard spectrum cases considered here result in moderate ozone depletion, so no mass extinction is implied, though we do predict increases in erythema and damage to plants from enhanced solar UV.We are able to rule out an event with a very soft spectrum that causes severe ozone depletion and subsequent biological impacts.Nitrate enhancements are consistent with their apparent absence in ice core data. The modern technological implications of such an eventmay beextreme, and considering recent confirmation of superflares on solar-type stars, this issue merits attention.

Authors:
Brian C. Thomas, Keith R. Arkenberg and Brock R. Snyder II: Department of Physics and Astronomy, Washburn University, Topeka, Kansas, United States;

Adrian L. Melott: Department of Physics and Astronomy, University of Kansas, Lawrence, Kansas, United States.

###


TOPICS: Astronomy; Science
KEYWORDS: 774ad; 775ad; ad774; ad775; anglosaxonchronicle; carbon14; catastrophism; charlemagne; charlemagneevent; cme; coronalmassejection; dendrochronology; godsgravesglyphs; protonevent; protonstorm; solar; solarflares
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1 posted on 03/15/2013 7:37:13 AM PDT by Ernest_at_the_Beach
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To: Ernest_at_the_Beach

I don’t recall hearing if anything similar was noted about the Carrington flare.


2 posted on 03/15/2013 7:41:32 AM PDT by Darksheare (Try my coffee, first one's free.....)
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To: Ernest_at_the_Beach

That explains all the crazyness that erupted at that time.


3 posted on 03/15/2013 7:59:29 AM PDT by Deathtomarxists (collapse death heartburn heartache dingdongs diaherea)
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To: Ernest_at_the_Beach

What is CE?


4 posted on 03/15/2013 8:33:37 AM PDT by EEGator
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To: Ernest_at_the_Beach

Doesn’t most Carbon-14 dating depend on the assumption of a constant level of production of Carbon-14 in the atmosphere. It also depends on no groundwater leaching of carbon-14 into or out of the sample.


5 posted on 03/15/2013 8:34:14 AM PDT by DannyTN
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To: EEGator
Coronal Ejection or maybe Coronal Explosion.

Terminology used by Solar Scientists.

See:

Coronal mass ejection

6 posted on 03/15/2013 8:44:20 AM PDT by Ernest_at_the_Beach ((The Global Warming Hoax was a Criminal Act....where is Al Gore?))
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To: EEGator
"What is CE?"

That's "A.D." for athiests.
(CE = "Childish Enlightenment")
They can't bring themselves to admit that Jesus Christ is the center of human history.

7 posted on 03/15/2013 8:46:00 AM PDT by Psalm 73 ("Gentlemen, you can't fight in here - this is the War Room".)
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To: Psalm 73

Sure - I know EC stands for “Common Era”, as BCE stands for “Before the Common Era”


8 posted on 03/15/2013 8:47:26 AM PDT by Psalm 73 ("Gentlemen, you can't fight in here - this is the War Room".)
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To: EEGator
Maybe Coronal Event....

Another ref:

Large solar proton event explains 774-775 CE carbon-14 increase

9 posted on 03/15/2013 8:48:05 AM PDT by Ernest_at_the_Beach ((The Global Warming Hoax was a Criminal Act....where is Al Gore?))
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To: EEGator

Could be Carbon Enhancement.....


10 posted on 03/15/2013 8:50:53 AM PDT by Ernest_at_the_Beach ((The Global Warming Hoax was a Criminal Act....where is Al Gore?))
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To: Ernest_at_the_Beach
"such an event would have severely damaging effects on the technology on which society relies."

Oh Noes! This means we'll have to give up SUVs and increase taxes and the size of government, and give up on gasoline.

11 posted on 03/15/2013 8:54:10 AM PDT by norwaypinesavage (Galileo: In science, the authority of a thousand is not worth the humble reasoning of one individual)
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To: EEGator
From the link at #9:

could explain the 774-775 CE carbon-14 enhancement.

12 posted on 03/15/2013 8:54:13 AM PDT by Ernest_at_the_Beach ((The Global Warming Hoax was a Criminal Act....where is Al Gore?))
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To: norwaypinesavage

Leftie politicians will be right on that very soon.


13 posted on 03/15/2013 8:56:29 AM PDT by Ernest_at_the_Beach ((The Global Warming Hoax was a Criminal Act....where is Al Gore?))
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To: All

Thank you everyone.


14 posted on 03/15/2013 8:58:52 AM PDT by EEGator
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To: EEGator

CE = Christ Era
BCE = Before Christ Era


15 posted on 03/15/2013 9:10:30 AM PDT by winodog
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To: All
ScienceShot: What Struck Earth in 775?

**********************************************************

by Ken Croswell on 3 June 2012, 1:00 PM |

sn-treerings.jpg

Credit: Adrian Pingstone/Wikimedia Commons

In 775 C.E., while Charlemagne was ruling his Frankish kingdom, something mysterious struck Earth. An analysis of the rings of two Japanese cedar trees (typical tree rings shown above), reported online today in Nature, reveals that from 774 to 775 C.E., the atmospheric level of radioactive carbon-14 jumped by 1.2%. This indicates that cosmic rays—high-speed, charged particles from space—bombarded our planet and converted some atmospheric nitrogen-14 into carbon-14. Earlier work had found a rise in radioactive carbon during the same decade; the new discovery means that scientists have been able to narrow down the date of impact to within just 1 year. The scientists argue against two logical suspects: solar flares are too weak to do the job, and no supernova explosion was seen at the time, nor do any nearby supernova remnants date back to Charlemagne's time. There's also nothing unusual in the history books. So the cause remains a mystery, but whatever it was, something similar could presumably strike again.

16 posted on 03/15/2013 9:11:07 AM PDT by Ernest_at_the_Beach ((The Global Warming Hoax was a Criminal Act....where is Al Gore?))
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To: winodog

I should have read the rest of the thread before posting.
There are many answers : )


17 posted on 03/15/2013 9:11:35 AM PDT by winodog
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To: Psalm 73

I call it “Christian Era.”


18 posted on 03/15/2013 9:15:35 AM PDT by ModelBreaker
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To: Charles Martel

ping to 16. historical xref


19 posted on 03/15/2013 9:18:02 AM PDT by NonValueAdded (If you can keep your head when all about you are losing theirs, you've likely misread the situation.)
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To: winodog

You were being helpful, that’s good by me. :)


20 posted on 03/15/2013 9:18:44 AM PDT by EEGator
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