John Jaksich

Credit: WikipediaSun in Ultraviolet

Credit: Wikipedia
Sun in Ultraviolet

Current climate problems are, in part, our own doing; however, for most of us the weather is seen as either a major inconvenience or time to play. Nevertheless, during the last 650 years, there have been notable disruptions and setbacks to human endeavors when adverse weather has either decimated large farming communities or contributed to widespread pandemics. Climatologists, scientists, and astrophysicists have attempted to understand the if adverse conditions occur in cycles, and their conclusions may illuminate and confound us further.

Prior to the industrial revolution, many current scientists will tell you tales of the miniature ice age that befell the world in 1600-1670 AD. This period of time is well-recorded since it coincided with the first Thanksgiving. (Also, artists, novelists, “newspapers” of the time period bear an imprint testifying of the conditions.) Many history lessons surround the first Thanksgiving, but not enough people understand the significance of the weather. Some may recall from history lessons that the “pilgrims” were starving at the Plymouth colony; their crops failed. At that time, throughout much of the world, farming collectives failed. (This vaunted time is also known as the Maunder Minimum.)

Credit: NASA

Credit: NASA

Two possible reasons may be in play: volcanic ash dimming the sunlight and a fifty-year lull in sun-spot activity. (In 1600, Peruvian volcano Huaynaputina erupted for a full month.) The scientific community has spent the last 100 years attempting to understand correlations between sun-spots and anomalous weather. Dating from China 1000 BCE to start of the Scientific Revolution, many have observed sun-spots. Nominally, sun-spots ebb and flow in approximate 11 year cycles. But, the start of the Scientific Revolution is a crucial point due to the “rigorous” study in which nature had garnished for itself. Since that crucial juncture in humanity’s existence—scientists have correlated the ebb and flow of sun-spots with anomalous weather patterns. Although climatology is a true, complex (and possibly) chaos-driven science, the recorded data prior to the industrial revolution should prove to be crucial in the coming years.

Although correlating sun-spot activity to weather patterns of the past times seems out-of-place, that serves as a baseline from which to understand how our current deposition of “carbon” may exacerbate possible climate changes.

Credit WikipediaCarbon14 levels

Credit Wikipedia
Carbon14 levels

The final figure details how temperature minima during certain epoch correlate with carbon 14 levels.


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