Skip to comments.Tracking down abrupt climate changes (Rapid natural climate change 12,700 years ago)
Posted on 08/01/2008 11:03:47 AM PDT by decimon
Rapid natural climate change 12,700 years ago
01.08.2008 | Potsdam: In an article in the scientific magazine Nature Geosciences, the geoscientists Achim Brauer, Peter Dulski and Jörg Negendank, (emeritus Professor) from the GFZ German Research Centre for Geosciences, Gerald Haug from the DFG-Leibniz Center for Surface Processes and Climate Studies at the University of Potsdam and the ETH in Zurich, and Daniel Sigman from the Princeton University prove, for the first time, an extremely fast climate change in Western Europe. This took place long before man-made changes in the atmosphere, and is causatively associated with a sudden change in the wind systems.
The proof of an extreme cooling within a short number of years 12 700 years ago was attained in sediments of the volcanic lake "Meerfelder Maar" in the Eifel, Germany. The seasonally layered deposits allow to precisely determine the rate of climate change. With a novel combination of microscopic research studies and modern geochemical scanner procedures the scientists were able to successfully reconstruct the climatic conditions even for individual seasons. And so it was particularly the changes in the wind force and direction during the winter half-year, which caused the climate to topple over into a completely different mode within one year after a short instable phase of a few decades.
Up to now one assumed that it was the attenuation of the Golf Stream alone that was responsible for the strong cooling in Western Europe.
The examined lake deposits show however that the atmospheric circulation, probably in connection with the spreading of sea-ice, probably played a very important role. At the same time, these new results also show that the climate system is long not understood, and that especially the mechanisms of short-term change and the time of occurrence still hold many puzzles. Micro-layered lake deposits represent particularly suitable geological archives, with which scientists want to track down climate change.
Scientists from the Helmholtz Centre Potsdam German Research Centre for Geosciences (GFZ) and other institutions are in search of such archives worldwide, so as to also, in the future, obtain area-wide information on the dynamics of climate and possible regional variations.
* "An abrupt wind shift in Western Europe at the onset of the Younger Dryas cold period", Achim BRAUER, Gerald H. HAUG, Peter DULSKI, Daniel M. SIGMAN, Jörg F.W. NEGENDANK, Nature Geoscience 8, 520 523 contact: Jörg Negendank, GFZ, +49-331-2881180, email@example.com
There are so many natural variables that it is insane to try to claim that Man is definitely behind the full 1 degree rise in average surface temperatures over the past 100 years.
I've always favored researching climate as I believe that knowledge will eventually be needed to cope with some eventual severe warming or cooling. But I don't believe we yet have any definitive knowledge.
From BBC News [yr: 2004]:
"A new  analysis shows that the Sun is more active now than it has been at anytime in the previous 1,000 years. Scientists based at the Institute for Astronomy in Zurich used ice cores from Greenland to construct a picture of our star's activity in the past. They say that over the last century the number of sunspots rose at the same time that the Earth's climate became steadily warmer."..."In particular, it has been noted that between about 1645 and 1715, few sunspots were seen on the Sun's surface. This period is called the Maunder Minimum after the English astronomer who studied it. It coincided with a spell of prolonged cold weather often referred to as the "Little Ice Age". Solar scientists strongly suspect there is a link between the two events - but the exact mechanism remains elusive."
It's really hard to imagine how this little ball of fire could have any impact on our climate at all.
But the main arguments being made for a solar-climate connection is not so much to do with the heat of the Sun but rather with its magnetic cycles. When the Sun is more magnetically active (typically around the peak of the 11 year sunspot cycle --we are a few yrs away at the moment), the Sun's magnetic field is better able to deflect away incoming galactic cosmic rays (highly energetic charged particles coming from outside the solar system). The GCRs are thought to help in the formation of low-level cumulus clouds -the type of clouds that BLOCK sunlight and help cool the Earth. So when the Sun's MF is acting up (not like now), less GCRs reach the Earth's atmosphere, less low level sunlight-blocking clouds form, and more sunlight gets through to warm the Earth's surface...naturally. Clouds are basically made up of tiny water droplets. When minute particles in the atmosphere become ionized by incoming GCRs they become very 'attractive' to water molecules, in a purely chemical sense of the word. The process by which the Sun's increased magnetic field would deflect incoming cosmic rays is very similar to the way magnetic fields steer electrons in a cathode ray tube or electrons and other charged particles around the ring of a subatomic particle accelerator.-ETL
There's a relatively new book out on the subject titled The Chilling Stars. It's written by one of the top scientists advancing the theory (Henrik Svensmark).
And here is the website for the place where he does his research:
2008: "The Center for Sun-Climate Research at the DNSC investigates the connection between variations in the intensity of cosmic rays and climatic changes on Earth. This field of research has been given the name 'cosmoclimatology'"..."Cosmic ray intensities and therefore cloudiness keep changing because the Sun's magnetic field varies in its ability to repel cosmic rays coming from the Galaxy, before they can reach the Earth." :
100,000-Year Climate Pattern Linked To Sun's Magnetic Cycles:
ScienceDaily (Jun. 7, 2002) HANOVER, N.H.
Thanks to new calculations by a Dartmouth geochemist, scientists are now looking at the earth's climate history in a new light. Mukul Sharma, Assistant Professor of Earth Sciences at Dartmouth, examined existing sets of geophysical data and noticed something remarkable: the sun's magnetic activity is varying in 100,000-year cycles, a much longer time span than previously thought, and this solar activity, in turn, may likely cause the 100,000-year climate cycles on earth. This research helps scientists understand past climate trends and prepare for future ones.
From a well-referenced wikipedia.com column (see wiki link for ref 14):
"Sunspot numbers over the past 11,400 years have been reconstructed using dendrochronologically dated radiocarbon concentrations. The level of solar activity during the past 70 years is exceptional the last period of similar magnitude occurred over 8,000 years ago. The Sun was at a similarly high level of magnetic activity for only ~10% of the past 11,400 years, and almost all of the earlier high-activity periods were shorter than the present episode."
 ^Solanki, Sami K.; Usoskin, Ilya G.; Kromer, Bernd; Schüssler, Manfred & Beer, Jürg (2004), Unusual activity of the Sun during recent decades compared to the previous 11,000 years, Nature 431: 10841087, doi:10.1038/nature02995, . Retrieved on 17 April 2007 , "11,000 Year Sunspot Number Reconstruction". Global Change Master Directory. Retrieved on 2005-03-11.
"Reconstruction of solar activity over 11,400 years. Period of equally high activity over 8,000 years ago marked.
Present period is on [the right]. Values since 1900 not shown."
“Up to now one assumed that it was the attenuation of the Golf Stream alone that was responsible for the strong cooling in Western Europe.”
According to Plato Atlantis a large island in the middle of the Atlantic Ocean disappeared around 11,000 BC after a large volcanic eruption followed by massive earthquakes. Just a coincidence, who knows.
A web search indicates that gulf = der golf
If those guys are right, it would’ve been one heck of an explosion.
Supposedly Atlantis was bigger than Libya and disappeared in less than a day. That would qualify as a pretty big explosion.
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Oooh, nice post.
Absolutely, climate is a terribly complex system. They just don't know what they don't know.
Maybe not related - just posting it here for the record and because I LOVE IT!
April 28, 1975
There are ominous signs that the Earths weather patterns have begun to change dramatically and that these changes may portend a drastic decline in food production with serious political implications for just about every nation on Earth. The drop in food output could begin quite soon, perhaps only 10 years from now. The regions destined to feel its impact are the great wheat-producing lands of Canada and the U.S.S.R. in the North, along with a number of marginally self-sufficient tropical areas parts of India, Pakistan, Bangladesh, Indochina and Indonesia where the growing season is dependent upon the rains brought by the monsoon
The evidence in support of these predictions has now begun to accumulate so massively that meteorologists are hard-pressed to keep up with it. In England, farmers have seen their growing season decline by about two weeks since 1950, with a resultant overall loss in grain production estimated at up to 100,000 tons annually. During the same time, the average temperature around the equator has risen by a fraction of a degree a fraction that in some areas can mean drought and desolation. Last April, in the most devastating outbreak of tornadoes ever recorded, 148 twisters killed more than 300 people and caused half a billion dollars’ worth of damage in 13 U.S. states.
To scientists, these seemingly disparate incidents represent the advance signs of fundamental changes in the world’s weather. Meteorologists disagree about the cause and extent of the trend, as well as over its specific impact on local weather conditions. But they are almost unanimous in the view that the trend will reduce agricultural productivity for the rest of the century. If the climatic change is as profound as some of the pessimists fear, the resulting famines could be catastrophic. A major climatic change would force economic and social adjustments on a worldwide scale, warns a recent report by the National Academy of Sciences, because the global patterns of food production and population that have evolved are implicitly dependent on the climate of the present century.
A survey completed last year by Dr. Murray Mitchell of the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration reveals a drop of half a degree in average ground temperatures in the Northern Hemisphere between 1945 and 1968. According to George Kukla of Columbia University, satellite photos indicated a sudden, large increase in Northern Hemisphere snow cover in the winter of 1971-72. And a study released last month by two NOAA scientists notes that the amount of sunshine reaching the ground in the continental U.S. diminished by 1.3% between 1964 and 1972.
To the layman, the relatively small changes in temperature and sunshine can be highly misleading. Reid Bryson of the University of Wisconsin points out that the Earths average temperature during the great Ice Ages was only about seven degrees lower than during its warmest eras and that the present decline has taken the planet about a sixth of the way toward the Ice Age average. Others regard the cooling as a reversion to the little ice age conditions that brought bitter winters to much of Europe and northern America between 1600 and 1900 years when the Thames used to freeze so solidly that Londoners roasted oxen on the ice and when iceboats sailed the Hudson River almost as far south as New York City.
Just what causes the onset of major and minor ice ages remains a mystery. Our knowledge of the mechanisms of climatic change is at least as fragmentary as our data, concedes the National Academy of Sciences report. Not only are the basic scientific questions largely unanswered, but in many cases we do not yet know enough to pose the key questions.
Meteorologists think that they can forecast the short-term results of the return to the norm of the last century. They begin by noting the slight drop in overall temperature that produces large numbers of pressure centers in the upper atmosphere. These break up the smooth flow of westerly winds over temperate areas. The stagnant air produced in this way causes an increase in extremes of local weather such as droughts, floods, extended dry spells, long freezes, delayed monsoons and even local temperature increases all of which have a direct impact on food supplies.
The worlds food-producing system, warns Dr. James D. McQuigg of NOAAs Center for Climatic and Environmental Assessment, is much more sensitive to the weather variable than it was even five years ago. Furthermore, the growth of world population and creation of new national boundaries make it impossible for starving peoples to migrate from their devastated fields, as they did during past famines.
Climatologists are pessimistic that political leaders will take any positive action to compensate for the climatic change, or even to allay its effects. They concede that some of the more spectacular solutions proposed, such as melting the Arctic ice cap by covering it with black soot or diverting arctic rivers, might create problems far greater than those they solve. But the scientists see few signs that government leaders anywhere are even prepared to take the simple measures of stockpiling food or of introducing the variables of climatic uncertainty into economic projections of future food supplies. The longer the planners delay, the more difficult will they find it to cope with climatic change once the results become grim reality.
Scientists are to sail to the mid-Atlantic to examine a massive “open wound” on the Earth’s surface. Dr Chris MacLeod, from Cardiff University, said the Earth’s crust appeared to be missing across an area of several thousand square kilometres.
The hole in the crust is midway between the Cape Verde Islands and the Caribbean, on the Mid-Atlantic Ridge...
I didn’t look at it much, but I think that’s the “ice age is coming” article?
Plato may have been right.