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Sandy Clues To Ancient Climate (Nebraska Dunes)
Science News ^ | 7-22-2006 | Sid Perkins

Posted on 07/23/2006 11:01:52 AM PDT by blam

Sandy clues to ancient climate

Sid Perkins

The orientation of these dunes in north-central Nebraska provide a clue that the climate there a millennium ago was much different than it is today. The Nebraska Sand Hills have been frozen in place by vegetation for 800 to 1,000 years, says David B. Loope, a geologist at the University of Nebraska in Lincoln.

Loope and J. Mason

The 12-to-15-meter-tall dunes, which run from west-northwest to east-southeast, couldn't have been formed by modern wind patterns, which bring plant-nurturing moisture to the region from the Gulf of Mexico in the springtime. Loope and his colleagues report in the July 21 Science that to build the dunes 1,000 years ago at the beginning of the so-called Medieval Warm Period, much drier spring winds must have blown in from the southwest.

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TOPICS: News/Current Events
KEYWORDS: ancient; climate; climatechange; clues; dunes; nebraska; sandy

1 posted on 07/23/2006 11:01:55 AM PDT by blam
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To: blam

Shifting Sands

(Dunes hold heaps of material—and climate clues, too)

2 posted on 07/23/2006 11:04:34 AM PDT by blam
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To: blam

Intersting article....I grew up in Minnesota and I had relatives in Neb....I never heard about these dunes.


3 posted on 07/23/2006 11:07:47 AM PDT by Kimmers
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To: blam

The climate changes...OK..no argument


Now, is it HUMAN CAUSED????

4 posted on 07/23/2006 11:16:07 AM PDT by Paloma_55 (I may be a hateful bigot, but I still love you)
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To: Kimmers
"Intersting article....I grew up in Minnesota and I had relatives in Neb....I never heard about these dunes."

I read about some ancient dunes in Australia, similar situation as this, and the researcher said the only way the dunes could have formed is from a continuous 200 mph wind. (?)

5 posted on 07/23/2006 11:21:06 AM PDT by blam
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To: franksolich

Is this your neck of the woods?


6 posted on 07/23/2006 11:32:30 AM PDT by bcsco ("He who is wedded to the spirit of the age is soon a widower" Anonymous)
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To: blam

I'm sure global warming had a lot to do with this.. tribes burning up firewood and such


7 posted on 07/23/2006 11:35:03 AM PDT by Cinnamon
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To: blam

I discovered the valley of the shifting, whispering sands
While prospecting for gold in one of our western States
I saw the silent windmills, the crumbling water tanks
The bones of cattle and burros, picked clean by buzzards
Bleached by the desert suns
I stumbled over a crumbling buckboard nearly covered by the sands
And stopping to rest, I heard a tinkling, whispering sound
Then suddenly realized that even though the wind was quiet
The sand did not lie still
I seemed to be surround by a mystery
So heavy and oppressive I could scarcely breath
For days and weeks I wandered aimlessly in this valley
Seeking answers to the many questions
That raced through my fevered mind
Where was everyone
Why the white bones
The dry wells
The barren valley where people must have lived and died
Finally I could go no farther
My food and water gone
I sat down and buried my face in my hands
And resting thus, I learned the secret
Of the Shifting, whispering sands
How I managed to escape from the valley I do not know
But now to pay my final debt for being spared
I must tell you what I learned out on the desert
So many years ago

When the day is awfully quiet
And the breeze seems not to blow
One would think the sand was resting
But you'll find this is not so
It is whispering, softly whispering
As it slowly moves along
And for those who stop and listen
It will sing this mournful song
Of sidewinders and the horn toads
Of the thorny chaparral
Endless sunny days and moonlit nights
The coyotes lonely yell
Of the stars seem you could tough them
As you lay and gaze on high
At the heavens where we're hoping
We'll be going when we die

Yes it always whispers to me
Of the days of long ago
When the settlers and the miners
Fought the crafty Navajo
How the cattle roamed the valley
Happy people worked the land
And now everything is covered
By the shifting, whispering sands

How the miner left his buckboards
Went to work his claims that day
And the burro's broke their halters
When they thought he'd gone to stay
Wandered far in search of water
On to old sidewinder's well
And there, their bones picked clean by buzzards
That were circling when they fell

How they found the ancient miner
Lying dead upon the sand
After months they could but wonder
If he died by human hand

So they dug his grave and laid him
On his back and crossed his hands
And his secret still is hidden
By the shifting, whispering sands

This is what they whispered to me
On the quiet desert air
Of the people and the cattle
And the miner lying there

If you want to learn their secret
Wander through this quiet land
And I'm sure you'll hear the story
Of the shifting, whispering sands

Shifting, whispering sands

Lyrics by Billy Vaughn


8 posted on 07/23/2006 11:37:22 AM PDT by Doctor Stochastic (Vegetabilisch = chaotisch ist der Charakter der Modernen. - Friedrich Schlegel)
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To: blam

The dunes were caused due to that area formerly being the bottom of a large sea (inland?)


9 posted on 07/23/2006 11:39:29 AM PDT by Smber (The smallest minority is the individual. Get the government off my back.)
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To: Paloma_55

Nice chart: seems to clearly show CO2 as a lagging indicator of climate wramth-- the wramer it is, the moister it is, and the more stuff rots.


10 posted on 07/23/2006 12:19:28 PM PDT by pierrem15
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To: Kimmers
The sand hills are one of the best kept secrets in the US. There's only a few highways that cross them. You can drive for hours meeting only a few cars, see nothing but ranches, and an occasional very small town.

I personally rank them among the most beautiful places I've ever been.

11 posted on 07/23/2006 12:28:56 PM PDT by joshhiggins (O you who believe! do not take the MUSLIMS for friends; ...surely Allah does not guide the unjust...)
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To: blam

bttt


12 posted on 07/23/2006 12:33:35 PM PDT by Fiddlstix (Warning! This Is A Subliminal Tagline! Read it at your own risk!(Presented by TagLines R US))
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To: joshhiggins

Whenever I head to the Colorado Rockies from NW Iowa, travelling through the Sandhills is an option I often take. They have a unique beauty and one finds a place where you really feel apart from the world. This week, the Nebraska Star Party is going on in the Sandhills. The skys are claimed to be some of the darkest to be found for astronomy. Those who love to camp should check out the Nebraska National forest -- all man-planted at Halsey. Also, some wonderful canoeing on various rivers.


13 posted on 07/23/2006 12:44:51 PM PDT by Paraclete
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To: blam

Mark


14 posted on 07/23/2006 1:11:55 PM PDT by Finny (God continue to Bless President G.W. Bush with wisdom, popularity, safety and success.)
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To: pierrem15

I found this chart on a website, but if you go to N.O.A.A you can actually find the raw data which is useful for evaluating later trends.

Yes, there has been an increase in C02 since humanity arrived on the scene, but there is nothing to say that increasing C02 at the current global temperature, will cause an increase in temperature.

If anything, one might think it would cause temperature to drop since every time the temperature reached this level, and the CO2 reached this level or higher, the global temperature started to drop.


15 posted on 07/23/2006 1:28:27 PM PDT by Paloma_55 (I may be a hateful bigot, but I still love you)
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To: Paloma_55
Yes. It appears that interglacials are short periods of unstable equilibrium between long periods of more stable ice ages. The graph seems to illustrate that point and also suggests that one of the triggering mechanisms for the end of an interglacial is a rise in global temperatures. This may cause a significant decline in the salinity of the Arctic Ocean primarily due to an large increase in high-latitude precipitation (warmer air carries much more moisture) and partially through some melting of the Greenland ice cap.

The end result is a relatively thicker layer of fresher water in the Arctic Ocean and North Atlantic that then begins to reverse the warming cycle by freezing more extensively in the winter and melting less in the summer. In the meantime, due to lagging changes in wind patterns and air temperature in the tropics and temperate zones, more moisture continues to get dumped at high latitudes even as those latitudes cool, leading to reglaciation of Labrador and northern Scandanavia. This leads to further cooling and a restablishment of the Ice Age norm for climate.

This theory is also supported by the Ice Ages that began occurring during the Ordovician when Pangea broke up and you had continental masses covering much of both the northern and southern high latitudes: a frozen Arctic Ocean simulates roughly the same effects found in the Southern Hemisphere due to Antarctica.

Of course, this is all speculation, but at least it's free, unlike the enviro-babblers who dispense advice at the cost forcing you to give up your SUV and endure the despotism and poverty of socialism.

16 posted on 07/23/2006 1:44:48 PM PDT by pierrem15
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To: joshhiggins

I hope to see them someday.....


17 posted on 07/23/2006 2:13:05 PM PDT by Kimmers
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To: Kimmers

You are probably a youngster and missed "Operation Haylift"
http://movies2.nytimes.com/gst/movies/movie.html?v_id=36540
Nebraska had a bunch of snow in the winter of 1948 - 49 (mostly 49 out west)and many cattle were starving. Hay delivery by plane was a big story in the media. As I recall, the Berlin Airlift was going on at the same time.


18 posted on 07/23/2006 2:28:08 PM PDT by Western Phil
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