Oysters, MWP and the Romans

21 Apr 2010

At http://wattsupwiththat.com April 20th ... we have a report from 'C02 Science' of a paper on temperature reconstruction from plankton shells in a sea bed core off Sulawesi in Indonesia - and the Medieval Warm Period (MWP) is clearly distinguishable, as well as the Little Ice Age (drop in global temperatures). For years, climate scientists in Europe and North America have been insisting the MWP and LIA were regional and local phenomenons of not much consequence. This new paper suggests it was global.

At http://johnosullivan.livejournal.com April 20th ... a study of oyster shells proves Hudson Bay was warmer during the Roman era, as well as the MWP, than it is now (see also Suite One).

At http://bishophills.squarespace.com April 20th 'Understanding Oxburgh' is an interesting post in which Andrew Mountford speculates on why Oxburgh was chosen for the Royal Society enquiry, even though he willingly admitted having vested interests. Was he somebody that could be leaned on?

Meanwhile, over at www.rogerhelmer.com/greenland.asp we are back to the MWP and Viking colonisation of Greenland. Present temperatures on Greenland (near the remains of settlement) are 7 degrees in summer and -9 in winter, too cold to grow grain successfully (it will not ripen in the short summer). Yet, we are supposed to be living at a time of unprecedented global temperatures. Sheep and cattle are not very fond of cold weather either but archaeologists have found a log (Greenland is currently above the tree line) as well as frozen sheep droppings, a cow barn, bones from pigs, sheep and goats, and the remains of rye, barley and wheat. All these things appear to suggest the Vikings had proper farms with animals and pasture as well as fields of grain. There are also 400 known stone ruins of farmsteads and outbuildings and it has been estimated there was at one time 5,000 Scandinavian settlers. In addition, there were churches, and graveyards. The graves are now below permafrost but the soil must have been soft at the time in order to dig the graves.

At www.physorg.com/print190990917.html 'Are winters in Europe becoming colder?' ... this apparently came about as a result of the snow we had recently. The paper has the temerity to suggest that in spite of the 'trend' towards global warming people in the UK and Central Europe will 'possibly' experience cold winters more often in the next few years - as a result of low sun spot activity. Researchers claim to have found a link (found earlier by others but never mind) between low solar activity and unusually low 'winter' temperatures in these two parts of Europe (no mystery, the research involved universities in the UK and Germany). What is enigmatic about the research is that the results do not apparently 'contradict' AGW theory - and this is still causing global temperatures to rise. Low sun spot activity apparently affects the wind system in the troposphere - the lowest part of the atmosphere. They assume that when the stratosphere above it heats up only weakly the mild strong winds from the Atlantic break off - which leaves the UK and Germany exposed to the influence of cold winds from the NE. However, the research cannot forecast how cold it might be next year as their result is statistical - and delineates a trend they have found during periods of low solar activity.

Meanwhile, at www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2010/04/100414125142.htm we are told 'space storms' threaten the UK power grid system - another old tale redressed with some computer twigging. Predictably, it involves a computer model that has been created to provide a background on how the solar wind might impact in the future - the idea being to prevent black-outs. Magnetic field measurements from all over the UK were combined with the BGSs 3D model of 'how the ground beneath the UK conducts electricity' which sounds quite intriguing but the idea is to estimate the currents induced at over 250 locations along the National Grid. Scientists and engineers are convinced that a major disturbance, such as a severe magnetic storm that followed a solar flare in 1859 might interrupt worldwide electricity supply networks by disabling their transformers.