Tuesday, August 25, 2009

E pur si muove!

It is said that when the Inquisition made Galileo recant the Heliocentric theory (that the Earth revolves around the Sun, and not vice versa), he muttered at the end, And yet it moves. Scientists have sometimes faced powerful, entrenched interests that have had the power to make the scientists uncomfortable.

Of course, that would never happen today:
Abstract: Paleoclimatic studies indicate four epochs of global cooling during the last 4 000 years, i. e. during the few centuries before and after 2000 BC, 800 BC, 400 AD, and 1 600 AD; the quasiperiodicity corresponds to cyclic variation of solar activity. Global temperature changes influenced regional precipitation patterns: Northern Europe was wetter while the middle- and low-latitude lands were more arid during colder epochs. Both sets of cold climatical conditions were unfavorable for agricultural production. Historical records show that large demographic movements in history took place because of crop failures and mass starvation, rather than escaping from war zones. The “wandering” of the Germanic tribes during the first two or three centuries of the Christian Era is one example. Whereas the accelerated release of carbon dioxide from the burning of fossil fuels is ultimately to cause global warming, historical evidence indicates, however, that global warming has been on the whole a blessing to mankind. Global cooling, on the other hand, has curtailed agricultural production and has led to famines and mass migrations of people. Perhaps the most important task at the present is not so much computer-modelling of greenhouse effect on global climate, but water-management and agricultural researches to insure food-supply for an ever increasing world population.
Emphasis mine. You can almost smell the fear - the article discusses a series of climate changes over the centuries (not a surprise to either of my regular readers), strongly correlated with changes in Solar activity. But the author feels the need to add a non sequitur about Carbon Dioxide. E pur si muove, indeed.

In other news from the Late Holocene, James Aber has a quite interesting history of climate from the early Middle Ages. For those of you who didn't spend many hours in University history classes, Le Roy Ladurie is a big gun in the History biz. His Montaillou is a fascinating view into the workings of the Inquisition in late Middle Ages France. Abner is short on the Inquisition, but long on tidbits like this:
800-1000s: Aletsch and Grindelwald glaciers (Switzerland) were much smaller than today.


880-1140: Radiocarbon dates on trees that grew in Canada far north of modern timberline.


1215: Oberriederin (irrigation canal) overrun by advance of Aletsch glacier; radiocarbon dates on buried larch; canal head still covered by modern Aletsch glacier.
The historical record is filled with examples of times when the world was colder than now, or warmer.

But the Science is settled! Hey you deniers - get the heck off of my lawn!


ASM826 said...

It won't matter if it's true after Cap'n Trade takes over. It will be settled. The ice could spread across North America as far as the Poconos and no one will care.

NotClauswitz said...

The village we excavated in South Dakota was 2,000 years old and indicated strongly for a 80+ year period during which much wetter weather allowed for crop (beans mainly) irrigation, and a migration up from lower Missouri into areas previously un-cultivated - which was followed by collapse as things heated up and dried out.
Also strongly indicated was "friction" between planter/villagers and other local arboreal types: hunter/gatherers - who probably burnt the *stockaded* village down a couple times. Why the big stockade if there was an easy relationship? Fencers and free-rangers have always fought over resources.

TOTWTYTR said...

Cold weather is a killer of humans and the animals and plants we need to survive. The "Global Warming" activists have latched on to a sliver of a slice of piece of time and decided that this should represent homeostasis. That says a lot more about them than it does about climate change or the environment.