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Wed, 23 Sep 2020
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Igloo

Kelp genetics reveals Ice Age climate clues

Ice berg

Sea ice extended further north in the Southern Ocean during the last Ice Age than previously thought, a New Zealand research team has found in a study that could improve predictions of climate change.

The team from the University of Otago, led by PhD student Ceridwen Fraser, delved deep into the genetic code of modern-day bull kelp from samples taken from many sub-Antarctic islands, as well as New Zealand and Chile.

The findings showed that southern bull kelp, Durvillaea antarctica, had only recolonised the sub-Antarctic islands in the past 20,000 years after the retreat of sea ice.

Clock

Slippery Slope: Ice Age Cometh in Five Years

It's time for some straight talk. No more beating around the bush. I no longer want to evade an issue around whose edges I've been skirting for 12 years. So I'll come right and say it loud and clear: In all probability, we've come to the end of the line.
Unless I'm grievously mistaken, we are about to go extinct. Soon. In 1997 I warned that we are approaching the onset of a new ice age. I wrote that the record shows that ice ages are preceded by a period of about 20 years, and things get very unpleasant as the end of that period approaches.

Contrary to poor Al Gore's alarmist prediction that the planet is approaching the boiling point, it's getting colder - a lot colder. And it's going to get even colder. Spring and fall will disappear, summers will be short and winters longer and increasingly more frigid.

Telescope

Mature Arctic Ivory Gull spotted In Massachusetts for first time in over a century

The temperatures were in the single digits, but not low enough to keep the gawkers away. A celebrity was in town, behind the East Bay Grille, a visitor not seen in these parts in decades, if not longer.

But these weren't paparazzi, and this wasn't a Hollywood star. Rather, they were avid birdwatchers - about 20 in all - braving the frigid air as they scanned the bay and the edges of the breakwater with binoculars and spotting scopes.
Ivory Gull
© Greg Derr/The Patriot Ledger
An ivory gull, a native of the Arctic, has been attracting bird watchers from across New England to Plymouth Harbor.

Star

What's Happening to the Sun? Could its unusual behavior herald a new ice age?

For about 50 years from roughly 1650 to 1700, the Sun took a break from its typical sunspot activity. That phase of solar rest coincided with what we now refer to as "The Little Ice Age" -- a period of cooling on the Earth that resulted in bitterly cold winters, particularly in Europe and North America. Scientists attribute the Little Ice Age to two main causes: increased volcanic activity and reduced solar activity.

Could it happen again? And are we headed there now?
The Sun
© NOAA
The First Cycle 24 Sunspot

Comment: According to the late Rhodes Fairbridge, the alignment of the Jupiter and Saturn, along with the minor planets, control the climate on Earth.
The sun's own orbit, he found, has eight characteristic patterns, all determined by Jupiter's position relative to Saturn, with the other planets playing much lesser roles. Some of these eight have orderly orbits, smooth and near-circular. During such orbits, solar activity is high and Earth heats up. Some of the eight orbits are chaotic, taking a loop-the-loop path. These orbits correspond to quiet times for the sun, and cool periods on Earth. Every 179 years or so, the sun embarks on a new cycle of orbits. One of the cooler periods in recent centuries was the Little Ice Age of the 17th century, when the Thames River in London froze over each winter. The next cool period, if the pattern holds, began in 1996, with the effects to be felt starting in 2010. Some predict three decades of severe cold.
And according Richard Mackey, writing in the Journal of Coastal Research (Special Issue 50, 2007):
In 2007 Ulysses will send information about the solar poles. This could be decisive regarding the predictions about emergent Sunspot Cycle No 24, including the sim hypothesis. According to the sim [Solar Inertial Motion] hypothesis, this cycle should be like Sunspot Cycle No 14, and be followed by two that will create a brief ice age. During the 1920s and '30s Australia's Bureau of Meteorology published research about the sun/climate relationship, especially Sunspot Cycle No 14, showing that it probably caused the worst drought then on record.
...

Rhodes Fairbridge repeatedly emphasised that the entire field of planetary-lunar-solar dynamics, including gravitational dynamics, has to be studied so the dynamics of terrestrial climate can be understood. An improved understanding of the interaction effects of the sunspot cycles and the lunisolar tidal cycles on the earth's climate is necessary, as Rhodes emphasised. When the influence of solar variability is examined in its entirety (as Rhodes insisted it should be), it is clear that the influence of solar variability on the Earth's climate is strongly non-linear, stochastic and significant.
...

The solar inertial motion hypothesis predicts that the period from about 2010 to 2040 will be one of relatively severe cold throughout the world. The hypothesis predicts that the emergent Sunspot Cycle No 24 will be quieter than Sunspot Cycle No 23 and just like Sunspot Cycle No 14, the weakest cycle in the last 100 years, which began in February, 1902 and ended in August,1913.
Not only has Ulysses found that the sun has reduced its output of solar wind to the lowest levels since accurate readings became available, but it's magnetic field has dropped by 20%. At the same time, the solar system appears to be passing through a galactic dust storm.
One possibility is an increased number of sporadic meteors, those not associated with known showers like the summer Perseids or the November Leonids. Meteors are created when something vaporizes in Earth's atmosphere. Space rocks as big as peas and baseballs crash through now and then, but most shooting stars are made of mere dust.

It's also possible, Landgraf said, that the eerie Zodiacal Light -- a "false dawn" caused by sunlight reflecting off space dust -- will be enhanced.

And in general, more material might rain down to Earth from space every year.
Indeed.

And we also know that during the previous ice age the depositional flux of cosmic dust was much higher than during the Holocene.

Gabrielli's paper shows that it was not the sun alone that caused the last ice age:

Depositional Fluxes
©Nature

It bears repeating astronomer Victor Clube's comment:
You first take the modern sky accessible to science, especially during the Space Age, and you look at its' darker debris with a view to relating its behavior to the more accessible human history which we can, in principle, really understand. And by this approach you discover from the dynamics of the material in space which I'm talking about that a huge comet must have settled in a Taurid orbit some 20,000 years ago, whose dense meteor stream for 10,000 years almost certainly produced the last Ice Age.



Better Earth

New Ice Age Maps Point to Climate Change Patterns

Ice Age Map
© Dr Timothy Barrows/Elsevier
New Ice Age maps point to climate change patterns.
New climate maps of the Earth's surface during the height of the last Ice Age support predictions that northern Australia will become wetter and southern Australia drier due to climate change.

An international consortium of scientists from 11 countries has produced the maps, which appear in this week's issue of Nature Geoscience.

Dr Timothy Barrows of the Research School of Earth Sciences at The Australian National University was responsible for the Australian sector of the reconstruction.

"During the last Ice Age - around 20,000 years ago - sea surface temperature was as much as 10 degrees colder than present and icebergs would have been regular visitors to the southern coastline of Australia," Dr Barrows said.

The temperature was estimated by measuring changes in abundance of tiny plankton fossils preserved on the sea floor, together with chemical analyses of the sediment itself.

Igloo

On the Brink of Climatic Disaster: the Coming Ice Age

Politicians can't talk enough of carbon taxes and credits and cleaner technologies, but are they just fiddling while Rome freezes?

If the climate were a sentient adversary with a will, he might be laughing right now. Because while mankind is doing a Chicken Little worrying about anthropogenic global warming (AGW), nature just might be preparing an attack we least expect: another ice age.

For sure, many Americans feel like we're already in one. While last winter's frigid temperatures - with record cold in many parts of the world (South America experienced its coldest winter in 90 years) - might seem a tough act to follow, Old Man Winter has risen to the occasion. Parts of Alaska have experienced temperatures reaching 78 degrees below zero, North Dakota had record December snow, a Minnesota sled-dog race was actually canceled due to heavy snow, and Ohio ski resorts have called a recent winter storm "a stimulus package for their industry." Yet, critics may point out that this is anecdotal evidence and thus not scientifically significant. This would be true, only, in this case the science happens to coincide with the anecdotes. As Gregory F. Fegel at Pravda.ru tells us:

Question

UK: Crab riddle on Thanet beaches

Velvet crabs
© Unknown
Velvet swimming crabs
Mysterious circumstances surround the beaching of thousands upon thousands of crabs on the isles beaches.

Last week the bodies of velvet swimming crabs were washed up on shores all around the Thanet coast but no definitive reason can be found.

Some think the sudden death of the velvet swimming crabs could be due to the cold weather.

Tony Child of the Thanet Coast project said: "It does seem to be linked to the weather, as it's been particularly cold.

It is something which happened three or four years ago. It's very strange."

However, he added that some crabs have been taken away to test for disease and "it was odd that no other species had been affected" by the cold.

Crab numbers had just started to recover from the last wave of deaths.

Binoculars

Hundreds of birdwatchers turn out to see rare snowy owl

Hundreds of birdwatchers have gathered in a Cornish village to catch a glimpse of a rare snowy owl.
british snowy owl
© SWNS
The owl was first spotted in Cornwall on Dec 21

The bird, which is a native of the Arctic Circle, and is usually found in Greenland, Canada and Russia, has been seen at Zennor, near St Ives.

It is the first time in 60 years one has been seen in Cornwall.

In Britain, the snowy owl is usually only a rare winter visitor to Shetland, the Outer Hebrides and the Cairngorms. On average there are between one and four seen each year in the United Kingdom.

The young owl was believed to appeared in Cornwall after being blown off course by storms. Birdwatchers said it appeared to be content, and at home in the freezing temperatures.

Bizarro Earth

Greenhouse gases could have caused an ice age, claim scientists

Filling the atmosphere with Greenhouse gases associated with global warming could push the planet into a new ice age, scientists have warned.

Researchers at the University of Birmingham found that 630 million years ago the earth had a warm atmosphere full of carbon dioxide but was completely covered with ice.

The scientists studied limestone rocks and found evidence that large amounts of greenhouse gas coincided with a prolonged period of freezing temperatures.

Such glaciation could happen again if global warming is not curbed, the university's school of geography, earth and environmental sciences warned.

Network

Sunspots, Global Warming, And An Ice Age

The Earth has been warming ever since the end of the Little Ice Age. But guess what: Researchers say mankind is to blame for that, too.

As we've noted, 2008 has been a year of records for cold and snowfall and may indeed be the coldest year of the 21st century thus far. In the U.S., the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration registered 63 local snowfall records and 115 lowest-ever temperatures for the month of October.