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Cold blips in Eemian

25 July 2018
Climate change

This could be classified as geology but is really about climate – palaeoclimate. At https://wattsupwiththat.com/2018/07/23/study-abrupt-shifts-occurred-in-t… … in a similar vein to the previous post, this concerns abrupt shifts in ancient European climate – courtesy of the University of Helsinki. Big cold snaps occurred right across the Eeemian interglacial (120,000 years ago). Major abrupt shifts in climate in the far northern zone of Europe lasting hundreds of years at a time, took place du8ring what is thought to be a warm period of climate – the last interglacial episode. Forests were replaced by tundra in northern Finland. Perhaps the Eemian should be redefined as not a warm period of climate (as a whole) but a period where average temperatures were warmer than the Ice Age which followed (which might also be redefined as a period when cooler average temperatures predominated). That of course makes a mockery of the Ice Ages concept – but it is already acknowledged that the Younger Dryas period was not universally cold and bleak but was on average colder than the climate prior to the period and the climate that followed. In other words, several very cold episodes in the last Ice Age may be all that occurred – and the Ice Age was certainly not wholly uninviting to humans and mammals as far as Europe was concerned (apart from the Late Glacial Maximum which peaked around 20,000 years ago). Logic already  says the last Ice Age was far from icy in nature – as a whole. 

The results were based on a geological deposit at Sokli in Finlandwhere thich geological layers have been preserved in a deep depression allowing them to survive the whole of the last Ice Age. Perhaps the same thing could be applied in other parts of Europe – an investigation of solifluction deposits and dipslopes. These also form depressions and the usual interpretation is they reflect Ice Age conditions – but do they also reflect earlier Ice Ages and the warm interludes intervening. Run off channels from chalk geology have yielded mammoth tusks and other animals such as hippopotamus (which belong to warm weather periods). Basically, the Ice Ages may not be as simple as they are portrayed in mainstream literature. See also www.nature.com/articles/S41467-018-05314-1 … as I was able to download the full article.

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