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Climate see-saw

6 March 2014
Climate change

At http://phys.org/print312636171.html … a team at University of Cambridge has demonstrated that the event around 2300BC involved a movement of the summer monsoon rains which resulted in drought – and this led to decline of the Indus civilisation. The research is published in the journal Geology (Feb 25th, 2014) and the inference is that climate change is responsible. Be that as it may – what caused the shift in the monsoon?

The finding goes further, noting that climate change was also responsible for a decline in Egypt at the end of the Old Kingdom, and elsewhere in the ancient world, including the Aegean. A spokesman asserts, 'we think we may have a really strong indicator of a major climate event …' and jolly hockeysticks as well, no doubt. Pity they don't read SIS journals as Moe Mandelkehr provided a raft of articles on this period, including lots of information on climate change towards the end of the third millennium BC. Not only that, his analysis did not stick to just climate – he explored a whole lot of other data.

However, as the academics still have some way to catch up on what went on, we can view the shift in the monsoon in quite a different manner. Likewise, the shift in the tropical rain belt, the Intertropical Convergence Zone, that caused the Maya problems (as in a severe drought) in more recent years – and they still have no way of explaining that. Simply by stating the obvious, as in this paper, is miles away from understanding what went on – but that's climate change for you.

At http://phys.org/print312541694.html … Witts University in South Africa has also done a bit of research. The blurb starts off nicely but it is clearly a device to attract peoples attention as the mix in the stew is not a lot different from much else that flies around – much of a sameness, a result of all looking down a similar tunnel of vision. We are informed that tropical storms are not increasing in numbers – but we must stay afraid (or those in that part of the world) as South Africa faces an increase in such storms. Strangely, and this is a bit of a giggle, they say global warming is causing less frost – but late frost is becoming more common. This is the scary bit designed for the appetites of the 'little people' as late frosts affect crop production (nipping blossoming fruit at the bud, so to say). One wonders why intelligent people can write nonsense – but we all have to earn a living I suppose. Global warming was increasing in the 1980s and 1990s and this had the effect of affecting winter weather – making them more generally mild. So, frosts declined. However, since 2005 we have been in a cooling phase and so late frosts are becoming more commons. Simples really – don't understand why they mix data from 20 to 30 years ago with data from the last 5 years – but at least they are beginning to look at recent years. Until now the climate scientists have conveniently kept the more recent data at bay – hoping beyond reason that we are not in a natural solar cycle and it really all has to do with co2 levels. 

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