Beware Global Cooling

File:Hendrick Avercamp - Frozen River with Skaters - Google Art Project.jpg

Hendrick Avercamp – Frozen River with Skaters

Andrew McKillop has a new article posted at The Market Oracle.

Global cooling began at the end of the so-called Medieval Warm Period, by or before the year 1300, and was preceded by at least 200 years, and as long as 350 years, of warming on the same variable and unpredictable basis. Measurement problems include the type of proxies used – ice cores, tree rings, corals and shells, others – but at least as important, the ideological bias of climate science leads to extreme variations in reconstructed climate data for the same region, same period. One flagrant example is IPCC treatment of Medieval Warming Period data – as published by the IPCC in different editions of its reports and studies. Before year 2000, IPCC studies include papers showing Warm Period temperatures in certain high latitude locations at certain dates around 950-1200 as several full degrees celsius above present day temperatures.

That is, despite 213 years of anthropogenic global warming if with the IPCC we use a start date of 1800 for human “carbon pollution of the atmosphere”, we have in no way matched this natural warming. Which needed zero assistance from human-source CO2.

This is the global cooling fear

Flooding in the low countries in Europe was a common feature which accompanied the global cooling which succeeded the Medieval Warm Period. The cooling period he writes, lasted 450 years.

For the Dutch, the Grote Mandrake is nothing to do with Linux software, but means “The Great Drowning” and is named for the epic and massive flooding that occurred, more and more frequently in the Low Countries of Europe’s North Sea region as Europe’s Little Ice Age intensified.

Normal or predictable spring and autumn flooding was increasingly replaced by large-area and intense flooding, sometimes outside spring and autumn from about 1300, in recurring crises which lasted into the 18th century. In the Low Countries and across Europe, but also elsewhere, the cooling trend starting in the late 13th century became more intense. It brought long cold winters, heavy storms and floods, loss of coastal farmlands, and huge summer sandstorms in coastal areas further damaging agriculture. Climate historians estimate that major flooding on an unpredictable but increasingly frequent basis started as early as 1250. Extreme events like the Grote Mandrake flood of 1362 which killed at least 100 000 people became darkly repetitive. 

Other giant floods in the region through the next 200 years probably killed a total of 400 000 persons in the coastlands of what is now Belgium, Germany and Holland. At the time, Europe’s population was at most a quarter of today’s, meaning that corrected for population size these were really catastrophic disasters. During this time, the Zuider Zee region of northern Holland was inundated and its former farmlands disappeared under water – for several centuries.

The basic reasons was that the weather was getting colder, as well as more unpredictable. As the climate cooled, it also became wetter. Combined with the cold, this caused more crop failures and famines spread as the northern limit of farming retreated south. The start of the cooling – called Europe’s Little Ice Age by glaciologist Francois Matthes in 1939 – in the 13th century was in fact the start of a long, sometimes steep dip in temperatures that held sway on an unpredictable, on-and-off basis until at least the first decade of the 19th century. Overall, the cooling lasted about 450 years. 

Making things worse, the cooling had been preceded by more than two centuries of much warmer and better, more predictable weather. Farming moved northwards, seasons were predictable, food supplies had expanded. Europe’s population also grew, in some regions tripling in 200 years. The colonization of Greenland, which failed when the cooling intensified, was a well-known historical spinoff from the previous warming, but by the 16th century there was no trace of Europeans in Greenland. Only ruins of their farms and homes could be found, but with few or no tombstones dated beyond the early 15th  century, leading to the theory that these early “Climate Refugees” packed their longboats and sailed south, to what is now the New England coast. Where they became easy prey for American Indian tribes along those coasts.

And as more evidence shows that the Medieval Warm Period was no isolated event in Europe but was a global phenomenon, McKillop’s analysis takes on more immediate relevance:

One argument used by leading lights of the IPCC such as Michael ‘Hockey Stick’ Mann is the claim that the Little Ice Age was not a “globally synchronous cold period”, but only a large-scale climate event marked by no more than modest cooling in most of the areas it affected on a variable basis, through the period claimed by the IPCC as about 1600-1800.

As we know, unpredictable and generally much colder weather is well known and historically documented in Europe starting in the 14th century.

The key factor of lowered weather predictability, and especially the increase in year-round rainfall and rainstorms – or “weather disruption” – were themselves enough to cause major economic and human losses.  The climate historian Hubert H. Lamb in his 2002 book ‘Climate History and the Modern World’ dates the cooling to two main phases. The first leg of this change he places at about 1200-1400, but his second phase of about 1500-1825 which for some climate historians is Europe’s Little Ice Age, was marked by much steeper drops in average temperatures. Indicators used by Lamb and other climate historians like Emmanuel Leroy Ladrie and Wolfgang Behringer include food price peaks as cold summers followed cold and wet springs, with increasing examples of “climate wars”, such as Louis X’s Flanders campaign where the climate chilling was a sure factor in play.

Read the whole article.



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