Sensitivity Training Is Evil

We don’t need ‘Sensitivity Training’, we need insensitivity training. Deliberately creating increased sensitivities is an evil, especially when what ought to be done is ramping down sensitivities and lowering emotional responses.

So what brought on this observation?

Simple, really, I was falsely accused of a ‘racial slur’ in public.

Having pondered this (stewed over it, really) for a day or two, I’ve reached a few conclusions; including the one that ‘Sensitivity Training’ is an evil thing.

So what’s the ‘back story’ and how does it lead to that conclusion?

First off, the context:

Several folks from work were at a local bar / food place. Two folks were having birthdays that week, and this was an outing (after work on a Friday evening) to celebrate. We were all on a patio area out back enjoying some cheese platters, baked brie, a nice Cabernet and some very nice ‘fizzy Sangria’ made so with some kind of Champagne / Sparkling Wine.

A variety collection of about 15 people. Many of white European ancestry, but some of various other origins. At least one who’s Grandmother was still in Egypt. Some black, some brown. Don’t remember an Asian, but wasn’t watching for that (and sometimes hard to tell from Polynesian, Native American, Mexican-mix, etc.) In particular, I don’t remember anyone who was obviously Hispanic, though one lady was of that hard to place Italian-Hispanic-French look with dark hair and eyes.

Everybody just having a good time making small talk.

Conversation turned to one person who’s kid was getting married to a lady in the paint business, and where they were going to live.

The Not-A-Slur

One of the Birthday Boys opposite me says that there’s a lot of white fences there as it is horse country. (So a lot of paint sold). I just chime in “And Barns!”. Being from farm country, I know that barns and fences go together…

At that point, and with a couple of more comments from around the table about horse ownership traveling with money, Birthday Boy says “And Cattle. Cattle are the poor folks horses.”.

Now I get a visual image of a cow with a saddle on it ( I think Don Knotts rode a cow in some movie…) and at the same time start hearing echos of Firesign Theatre. A mild kind of synesthesia that Aspies get / do. In particular, a line from “How can you be in two places at once when you’re not anywhere at all?”.

A common line, used in many many places. As an example, here’s a sports score page:

http://hardballtalk.nbcsports.com/2012/05/31/and-that-happened-wednesdays-scores-and-highlights-67/

Marlins 5, Nationals 3: Johnson beats Wang. Wang didn’t go long in this one, but he allowed no home runs, so no one was hard on him. In other news: “That’s OK, I brought an erector set.” “Throw a towel over it!” “Do some pushups Pablo, Maybe it will go away!” If you get that — and if you’re anyone other than Old Gator — kudos.

So, an image of Don Knotts on a cow in a saddle, and “throw a towel over it”… And poor man’s horses…

I say “Throw a saddle on it, Pablo!” and pause to decide on a follow up of “And I’ll ride it into town” or “We’ll enter it into the race!”.

Innocent sysnesthesia of a couple of cultural referents to the image of cattle as poor folks horses.

Birthday Boy scowls, and I stop my pause wondering what’s up. He says: “Don’t have to make a racial slur out of it.”. Scowls some more, and decides he needs to go talk to the folks at the other end of the table. Leaving me a bit surprised and ‘nonplussed’

What The?…

Now Birthday Boy is a white European type. Somewhat wavy light brown hair. No Hispanic background that I can see, and his name doesn’t indicate it. No, this was not a personal response, his was a ‘trained to be paranoid / sensitive’ response. I watched him stop, think for two counts, then say his line. He had to decide that this fit some pattern or category. You could hear the gears turn, sand and all.

Near as I can figure it, he takes “poor” and “Pablo” and somehow concatenates that to mean some kind of demeaning “Hispanics are poor – and thus ignorant” implied “slur”. Nothing else really makes sense to me, given the behaviour.

He has been trained to be ‘sensitive’ to the use of Hispanic-sounding names in any potentially-negative context. He’s had his tolerance and curiosity trained out, replaced with suspicion, paranoia, and PC Sensitivities. And THAT is why “Sensitivity Training” is evil. It is training to MAKE people thin skinned, overly sensitized, and seeing ghosts and goblins of {Racism, Sexism, Hate Speech, Ism-Of-The-Day} where there is none.

About Me

I usually try to stress that “It isn’t about me” when I make some objective observation about how things work, or what exists in the real world. Sometimes that isn’t the case. Since this J’Accuse! is aimed directly AT me, by definition it is ‘about me’.

I’ve put up comments before referencing my Germanic, British, and Celtic heritage(s). I’ve also noted in a posting my roots in the Hispanic world:

https://chiefio.wordpress.com/2012/09/22/im-hispanic-who-knew/

Now, aside from the fact that my Celt ancestors originated from Hispania
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/M%C3%ADl_Esp%C3%A1ine
and aside from the fact that Irish fought with Spanish and there was free and easy swapping of who lived where well into the 1800s, with Spanish soldiers having surnames like O’Brien; and even in the Spanish Civil War there were Irish Socialists who went to Spain to fight; aside from a thousand+ years of free swapping of population and culture between Iberia and Ireland ( Hibernia is not accidentally similar to Iberia…) and aside from there being Celts in Hispania even today.

http://www.theirishstory.com/2013/03/11/general-michael-miguel-marmion-the-spanish-army-and-the-irish-wild-geese/

There’s also the small matter of the Irish and Spanish both being largely Catholic for large swathes of time. During which the Protestants like to lump them together. After all, they sat next to each other in church. And often intermarried.

http://killarney-ireland.info/genealogy/dark-irish-celt-genealogy.html

The Irish – more Spanish than Celtic?

December 29, 2006 · 75 comments

Scientists have concluded that the Celts did not invade Ireland en masse, nor did they replace an earlier group.

Despite the widely held belief that the Irish are descended from Celts who invaded Ireland about 2,500 years ago, a 2004 genetic research study at Trinity College, Dublin (TCD) appears to argue against it.

The Celtic cultural heritage in Ireland is prolific and informs the common perceptions and beliefs about the national identity and its origins. From traditional cultural sources in language, legend and literature the Celtic influence is strong and can also be found in contemporary culture such as Enya and the Afro Celt Sound System. The research however suggests that our blood if not also some (at least) of our culture can or should be attributed to wider origins: Spain, Portugal, Scandinavia and North Africa.
[...]
The scientists compared the DNA samples of 200 volunteers from around Ireland with a genetic database of 8,500 individuals from around Europe. (The Celts came from Central Europe stretching as far as Hungary).

They found that the Irish samples matched those around Britain and the Pyrenees in Spain. There were some matches in Scandinavia and parts of North Africa.

The scientists concluded that ‘the Irish’ genetic makeup stems from the onset of an ice-age around 15,000 years ago that forced prehistoric man back into Spain, Italy and Greece, which were still fairly temperate. When the ice started melting again around 12,000 years ago, people followed the retreating ice northwards as areas became hospitable again.

Getting Personal

But all that is ancient history. After all, only 1/4 of my ‘ancestry’ is directly Irish. And that was long ago in the Potato Famine Exodus. Mum was from England, after all, and maybe I’m more English than Irish… or so the theory would go. So what, personally, do I think I am?

Dad was a Catholic. My mother converted to Catholicism somewhat after my Dad died. My wife is going to be confirmed a Catholic at this Easter. I’m a bit more Agnostic / semi-Christian / Pegan / Druid synthesis (in that I love reading ALL the texts and learning from all of them what they have to provide). But at about 5 or 6 years of age (exact age is a bit fuzzy, it might have been a year or two earlier or later) I’d attend Mass sometimes. My Best Friend was doing Catechism classes and I’d attend Mass with him sometimes. His name? Miguel Enriquez.

We first met at about 3 1/2 or 4 years old. I went out into the alley behind my house and there was this other kid my age playing with a red truck in the dirt. I said “Nice red truck”. He said “La trucke roja”. ( I don’t know how to spell ‘trucke’ so it might be ‘trucky’ or ‘truckie’ or who knows what. California-Mexican does not use camión for a pickup truck. It’s just ‘truck-eh’)

That was the start of a tight friendship that ran until he joined the Navy and I went off to college. We’ve met some times since, but our life paths went far from each other for too long a time to keep things going. But the bottom line is that I ate about half my meals at his house, and he had about 1/2 of his at my house. This “Gringo” grew up on tacos con salsa verde, tamles, sopa de pollo, nopalitos, and so much more. I was making “gordito” tortillas at about 6 years old during preparations for festival. (And, incidentally, watching a lot of Spanish Language TV with the family.) Miguel grew up drinking tea with milk in it, pinky finger out, and with scones and fish & chips.

At his house, his nephew was Miguel too. Miguel Herrera. So he was “Miguelito” – Little Mike. Miguel was just Miguel. And I was “Miguel Grande” – Big Mike. Yes, for 14/18 ths of my life before college, I spent about 1/2 my “home time” as “Miguel Grande” immersed in a Hispanic home lifestyle, often speaking Spanish. We were that close. Until I was 12, I didn’t realize there was any difference between us.

The Watershed came when, at about 12, one of the many ‘Cousins’ who were always around came in an announced ‘La INS’ (pronounce La Eee Ennn Ess-eh ) ‘La trucke Verde!’ – The Green Truck. We all knew what that meant. The green truck of the INS was in the neighborhood and it was time to disappear, leaving only the parents with green cards at home. Cousins and Miquel (who was born here, but knew the neighborhood) headed for the back door. Being a bit bigger and slower, I started to bring up the rear… Mamma Celerina (who was about 4 1/2 foot tall and could bring down her 5 foot 11 son with a single word…) hollered at me: “Miguel Grande! What are you doing? You don’t need to run. Sit!” So I sat. It was the first time I felt “different”. Like I didn’t quite belong. I didn’t need to run. It hurt, somehow. The INS guys were polite. Saw a “white kid” and left.

I’ve been speaking Spanish (with various degrees of success ;-) since that first meeting at about 4 years old. One of the first things I learned was “Venga Aqui!” hollered by Mamma Celerina meant “Get the hell out of my roses!” ;-) (It actually means “Come Here!”… but at 4, you generalize a bit ;-)

Not Quite About Me

But there’s more.

My sisters married. My Nephew is an odd mix of “All that we are”, with some Hispanic and Native American. My other sister married a guy with Scandinavian ancestry, but her daughter has 1/2 Hispanic kids. What’s more, it looks like most likely my grandkids will be somewhere around 1/4 Hispanic extraction (if my guesses about who-is-a-what are right; and not counting ‘my side’ as having any Hispanic contribution). Simply put, me and my family and our posterity ARE or ARE BECOMING Hispanic. And we are quite comfortable with that. Frankly, none of us really notice, or care. We are “insensitive” on the whole thing.

But Wait, There’s More!

I could add a lot more, and if time permits, I may add a bit more here. But the key takeaway is that “Who is Hispanic?” is a very murky question. Some Anabaptists left Europe and came to North America. They are called Mennonites and Amish and Baptists and… Others went to places like Argentina. Are the Argentine Mennonites Hispanic? Well, yes. Some Irish and Scotts landed in South America too. Are they Hispanic? Well, yes. So just how different are MY Celtic Cousins in Argentina and MY Anabaptist Cousins in Argentina from my Celtic Cousins here in The South? From my Amish / Mennonite relatives in Pennsylvania and Ohio?
https://duckduckgo.com/?q=argentine+amish

https://chiefio.wordpress.com/2013/02/28/that-celtic-american-thread/

In Closing

I may add more ‘in a bit’, but my Starbucks time is running out, so I have to close this posting for now.

In the end, I’m left with wondering how you can call something “Racial” when Hispanics come in all races. Many, like me, with a Germanic look. British an Amish roots are common in Argentina and other Hispanic countries. Celtic / Hispanic connections run even deeper and are more common.

How do I put a day long education into one short ‘come back’ to a misplaced J’Accuse! ?

How do you say “Pablo is more common than Paul in my home town, in California that is majority Hispanic. It’s just a plain old name.”

How do I say “I wanted to emigrate to Argentina until the Socialists destroyed the economy?”.

How do you say “I’ve had a dozen ‘crushes’ on Hispanic girls.” when your spouse is sitting next to you and it was before you met…

In short: How does one fight the genuine evil brought about by Sensitivity Training creating ‘racial slurs’ where there are none?

How do you answer “Have you stopped hating Hispanics?” when you grew up 1/2 being one and with your family finishing the deal?

We need less stupidity and stupid ‘sensitivities’, and more ‘just get along’ and ‘assume the best’ and if you have nothing nice to say, say nothing.

In the end, I said nothing to the group (who undoubtedly now think me somehow ‘tainted goods’), but did take a moment when leaving to step over to Birthday Boy and quietly state my cousins ethnicity, and a bit on my growing up 1/2 in a Hispanic home.

Somehow I doubt it will do any good. The lie is done, said in public, and is half way around the campus by now; while the truth has hardly got it’s sneakers on, and 2 days late.

Sigh.

Well, time for my lunch and then a Siesta. A tradition I heartily endorse, BTW. Along with late dinners at 9 or 10 PM and a bit of promenade around the square.

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Posted in Human Interest, Political Current Events, Uncategorized | Tagged , , | 94 Comments

Tides, Vectors, Scalars, Arctic Flushing, and Resonance

Over at WUWT, Willis has a “proof” that there is no periodic cycle in tides. He does this via an analysis of the tidal force, and shows that the size of it does not change in any repeating periodic way that provides an 18.6 or ‘near 60′ year period. Substantially his argument is of the form “the force does not change enough to matter”. My assertion is that this conclusion is based on an error of ‘kind’ in his analysis.

He is looking at a vector quantity and only addressing the scalar portion of it. That is too narrow an analysis to find what, IMHO, matters. A scalar quantity has a size. That’s it. No direction. A vector quantity has both a size, and a direction.

I go 20 miles per hour. That’s a scalar.
I go 20 miles per hour due north.

That’s a vector. Both size “20″ and direction “north”.

My assertion is that while “size doesn’t matter” in the tidal force scalar, direction does matter as it is a tidal forcing vector. It is the “direction” portion that makes the difference, and that “direction” does in fact have periods of 18.6 (ish) years and about 3 times that ( or about 55.6 years, though other physics will modulate that somewhat once land and topology are added in).

First up, the prior postings: I have looked at other bits of lunar / tidal “stuff” in several postings.

This is the background:

https://chiefio.wordpress.com/2011/11/03/lunar-resonance-and-taurid-storms/ is the first time I pointed at the Keeling and Whorf paper here: http://www.pnas.org/content/97/8/3814.full

https://chiefio.wordpress.com/2014/01/24/the-moons-orbit-is-wrong-it-can-change-a-lot-and-tides-will-too/
https://chiefio.wordpress.com/2014/01/25/a-remarkable-lunar-paper-and-numbers-on-major-standstill/

Also, there’s a very nice readable page on all the ways folks get tides wrong (including the text books) here:
http://www.lhup.edu/~dsimanek/scenario/tides.htm

If you have any notion that centrifugal “force” is involved in the tides, or that rotation really is what matters, please read that link. All that really matters is the gravity vector and how it diminishes with distance.

Rotation does have an impact once continents are involved (in that the oceanic ‘tidal bulge’ can’t just run through them) but it does not have anything to do with generating the tidal force.

OK, with that preamble, on to the “why the vector part matters”.

Which Way The Tidal Force Points, Changes Over Time

Even in that excellent link on “misconceptions about tides”, they show a simplified picture of the tidal force on the planet. This is the net-net force acting on water after all the Earth gravity, Luna gravity, etc. etc. are netted out. This is what actually moves the water.

They show this image from the wiki:

Net tidal force

Net tidal force

The basic notion being presented is that gravity pulls the side closest to the satellite toward it, and as gravity falls off with distance, the net gravity is lower on the far side. There is also a ‘tractional’ force pulling sideways at the poles. This tractional force pulls water away from the poles, toward the two bulges. The one toward the satellite from more gravitational pull, and the one away from the satellite due to lower gravitational pull.

So far, so good. At least it avoids the mistaken notions that anything other than gravity is at work. (Be it “inertia” or “centrifugal force” or any other kind of red herring.) BUT, it ignores the fact that the satellite, in the case of the Earth / Moon system, is NOT stuck in the equatorial plane.

For almost all other systems of moons and large planets, the moons ARE stuck in the equatorial plane, and this simplification is just fine. For the Earth / Luna system, we are a binary planet and Luna orbits the Sun, not us. It has an orbit tilted about 5.5 degrees to our orbit around the Sun (ecliptic) and as our Earth axis is tilted, it has an added +/- 23.5 degrees of variation relative to our equator. (Even that is a bit of simplification, since as our axial tilt shifts, that range gets even larger or lesser, so over 41,000 or so years it has another modulation of a few degrees. Since we’re looking at cycles less than 5000 years, I think, it is OK to ignore that drift for now; though it likely matters to when interglacials happen.)

So, in reality, lunar tidal force wanders about 37 degrees back and forth on a N/S line at low times and up to 57 at times of large variation. (That is, 23.5 – 5 = 18.5, then 18.5 x 2 = 37 for the full range. Similarly, 23.5 + 5 = 28.5 when Lunar Declination to the ecliptic adds to our ’tilt’ for 57 degrees total range). This cycle of a 37 degree wobble happens each lunar month (one cycle of the moon ‘around’ the earth). Same thing for the 57 degree range when things align the other way. This change from 37 to 57 takes about one Earth year (as the Moon orbits the sun at the same pace we do, but goes above / below the ecliptic).

So on a yearly period, we have a “delta” of 20 degrees in the “alignment” of our moon with the Earth axis. In the following two images, I’ve taken that simple image above and tilted it by +/- 18.5 and then +/- 28.5 degrees. That’s what the Earth really sees in term of ‘tidal force’ on a monthly cycle during the two ranges of alignment of lunar ecliptic displacement and our polar axis alignment.

FWIW, I need to find another link at this point. I have it, just not sure where. That author asserts that as the various alignments change in terms of which season they are in, that is a key point. (He disparaged me for ‘not making that leap’ yet, or words to that effect; when I was simply not willing to endorse without more pondering). At any rate, having the 57 degree range arrive in winter vs summer likely has an effect. And, as we have our axial precession on a 26,000 ish range, that effect will shift which season has what tides. This, too, likely matters. Low range first, then high range:

Tidal Force at 18.5 degree lunar excursion, 37 degree total range.

Tidal Force at 18.5 degree lunar excursion, 37 degree total range.

Tidal force at 28.5 degree lunar excursion, 57 degree total range

Tidal force at 28.5 degree lunar excursion, 57 degree total range

At first blush, they don’t look all THAT different, but look a bit closer. For example, look at the North Pole. In the low range case, the vector points more ‘up and down’. Rising and falling. In the wider range, the vector goes to nearly tangential. Flushing water in and out. Think having more warm lower latitude water flushing into and out of the arctic might matter to ice melt? Think more lateral displacement might impact the Gulf Stream and just where it lands on Europe? That the wider displacement has more potential to disrupt such a flow into vortex whorls and less tendency to let it run straight? Tides in many cases drive currents (more on that later), so there ought to be wide spread changes in the size and location of currents, especially near continental shelves.

Going from yearly to 18.6 to 55.8

The cycle from minimal to maximal lunar range is an annual thing. But WHEN it happens shifts with lunar precession: It shifts with lunar apsidal precession

Precession is the rotation of a plane (or its associated perpendicular axis) with respect to a reference plane. The orbit of the Moon has two important such precessional motions. First, the long axis (line of the apsides: perigee and apogee) of the Moon’s elliptical orbit precesses eastward by one full cycle in just under 9 years. It is caused by the solar tide. This is the reason that an anomalistic month (the period of time that the Moon moves from the perigee to the apogee and to the perigee again) is longer than the sidereal month (the period of time when the Moon completes one revolution with respect to the fixed stars). This apsidal precession completes one rotation in the same time as the number of sidereal months exceeds the number of anomalistic months by exactly one, after about 3233 days (8.85 years).

Another precession is the turning of lunar orbit, the orientation of lunar orbit inclination. This motion determines the period of the lunar nodes; that is, the line along which the plane of the Moon’s orbit and that of Earth’s orbit intersect. This nodal period is about twice as long (about 18.6 years) as the apsidal precession period discussed above, and the direction of motion is Westward. This is the reason that a draconic month (the period of time that the Moon takes to return to the same node) is shorter than the sidereal month. After one nodal precession period, the number of draconic months exceeds the number of sidereal months by exactly one. This period is about 6793 days (18.60 years).

As a result of this nodal precession, the time for the Sun-Earth-Moon alignment to return to the same node, the eclipse year, is about 18.6377 days shorter than a sidereal year. The number of solar orbits during one turn of lunar orbit equals the period of orbit divided by this difference minus one.

So the season when that major vs minor tidal force arrives changes on about an 18 year cycle. That “where is the vector when?” will change what tides and currents happen, where and when. I think this matters.

More, or less, Arctic flushing in summer vs winter. Stronger, or weaker, currents in the summer vs winter taking heat toward the poles, or not.

Now notice the “bulge” part. The Earth is about 1/3 of a rotation off at each 18.6 year ‘repeat’ of the Lunar tidal force from the Saros cycle (alignments of the Sun, Moon, and Earth on the Ecliptic). That means that roughly each 55.8 years, that “bulge” arrives over the same patch of the Earth. That tidal bulge will have significantly different effects if it is over Asia than if it is over the Pacific Ocean. So that annual change might be more extreme when Asia is in winter, or when Australia is in winter, and it lands on top of them.

The 18.6 year cycle isn’t just eclipse alignments, it is also the alignment of apogee / perigee of the moon with the Earth / Sun line (just offset by part of an orbit). As that happens, both angular velocity of the moon changes, and actual tide force changes ( up to 40% per a below reference). So you can have that more / less tide force showing up over any 1/3 rotation displacement location as the 3 x cycle happens. (As it isn’t EXACTLY 1/3, even this will slowly drift as to exactly which land / sea is at the alignment over very long cycles. Yet another “dig here” to calculate; but it will be a very long cycle).

To recap, so far: There’s an annual change of lunar tidal force angle of significant size, that shifts as the seasons change and with lunar precession, and that drifts with precession of the equinoxes. There is an 18 ish year change of Sun / Moon / Earth alignment. There is a 3 x that phasing with Earth rotational position. The Keeling and Whorf paper looks at the variation in angular velocity of the moon:

“Varying strength in an estimate of the tide raising forces, derived from Wood (ref. 5, Table 16). Each event, shown by a vertical line, gives a measure of the forcing in terms of the angular velocity of the moon, γ, in arc degrees per day, at the time of the event. Arcs connect events of strong 18.03-year tidal sequences.”

(Note that they use 18.03 year period. I’ve not yet worked out why some folks use 18.03 while others use 18.6 though I do know why the two periods exist. They measure slightly different things. Until it can be sorted out which alignments really are driving things, I’m basically ignoring those decimal place variations.) So is it actual position? Or the change in angular velocity? I’m leaving that as a ‘dig here’. They both come about the same time period anyway, and the .03 vs .6 is down near the error band of what timing data we have on historical climate cycles; so rather than run down that rabbit hole right now, I’m leaving it for later.

So in their paper they look at angular velocity (how fast the moon runs from one place to another) and I’m looking at where the moon is and how far it goes in a month. Not that much difference, really. For the average 1470 year cycle (that has nodes at 1800 and 1200 year ranges so the 1470 is only an average) the monthly changes or even the 18 ish year changes are not as important. My belief is that on the very long ranges, it is a ‘beat’ of some shorter cycles, or the Keeling and Whorf folks have it right that the alignments of Sun and Moon at perigee with greatest angular velocity add even more tidal force to the action. But that longer cycle is not the topic right now. We still have the 18 ish year cycle of more / less “flushing” of the Arctic and more / less ocean current creation and disruption; but it gets a ‘size kicker’ from even faster angular velocity changes and even stronger gravitational forces at closest approach of the Sun and Moon to the earth.

So we have a ‘vector metronome’ that changes size by a net 20 degrees on the angle of the Luna gravity vector. We have 9 and 18 year drift of that effect relative to the seasons. We have a 3 x that beat frequency on the continental effects on currents and tides as land masses line up, or don’t, with the peak tide bulges when the moon and sun align (ecliptic crossing), and we have a longer term interaction based on perigee alignments of Sun and Moon changing the distance.

Take all those changes, shake and mix, and the resultant sloshing is the actual tide (modified by continent profiles…) I think that is more than ‘a trivial degree of change that can be dismissed’.

It is all those vector portions that matter, not the scalar of lunar gravity variation. Add in some resonance of sloshing oceans and ground profile and you get a range of tides from near zero to near 50 feet at the Bay of Fundy. All from the same “nearly constant” tidal gravity scalar of the Moon.

Some “Odd Bits” on Tides

The Bay of Fundy site has some nice descriptions of the tides there:
http://bayoffundytourism.com/tides/

100 billion tonnes of water daily interactive tide animation Try our interactive tide animations! Each day 100 billion tonnes of seawater flows in and out of the Bay of Fundy during one tide cycle — more than the combined flow of the world’s freshwater rivers!

That’s just ONE spot with tidal flow. Overall, the tides create a lot of tidal mixing (per the Keeling and Whorf paper, more than the winds) and creates many of the ocean currents. Change that, and weather will follow.

I’ve also given short shrift to the effects of the land masses on the tides. That “Misconceptions” link has this nice bit:

These bulges distort the shape of the solid Earth, and also distort the oceans. If the oceans covered the entire Earth uniformly, this would almost be the end of the story. But there are land masses, and ocean basins in which the water is mostly confined as the Earth rotates. This is where rotation does come into play, but not because of inertial effects, as textbooks would have you think. Without continents, the water in the ocean would lag behind the rotation of the Earth, due to frictional effects. But with continents the water is forced to move with them. However, the frictional drag is still important. Water in ocean basins is forced to “slosh around”, reflecting from continental shelves, setting up ocean currents and standing waves that cause water level variations to be superimposed on the tidal bulges, and in many places, these are of greater amplitude than the tidal bulge variations.

Note in particular the statement “in many places, these are of greater amplitude than the tidal bulge variations.”

Those alignments and geographical placement issues can cause reflections and standing waves that are “of greater amplitude than the tidal bulge”. Where the land is, relative to the location of the Tidal Bulge matters. That bulge can wander either 37 or 57 degrees N / S during a year and change their season of arrival of extremes with the 18 ish year cycle, and the alignment with the land surfaces at solar / lunar alignment repeats on a 3 x that cycle. That ought to have a significant modifying effect on the tides (and, in fact, we do see significant changes in tides over both short and long term cycles.)

This link: http://stevekluge.com/geoscience/images/tides.html has a very nice exposition on some of the changes of tides with changes in the axial tilt alignment of the Earth. I’m going to paste two images from it here:

Tidal bulge when in ecliptic alignment

Tidal bulge when in ecliptic alignment

Tidal bulge when in most tilt mode at the solstice:

Solstice tidal bulge

Solstice tidal bulge

The second picture has this description:

In the figure to the right, the Moon and Sun are both at maximum declination, as might occur on the summer solstice. Note that there is 1 tidal bulge north of the equator, and the other is south of the equator. A mid latitude observer would still experience 2 high tides (semidiurnal tides), but they would be assymetrical – the tide at X1 would be greater in both height and range than the tide 12h 25m later at X. Note also that at higher latitudes, there is only one relatively small high tide that day. “One high tide a day” tides are called diurnal tides

Now realize that the locations / seasons where those effects will show up will change on an 18 ish year cycle as the lunar ecliptic alignment changes. I think this matters. For those wanting a more in depth view, along with a load of math, read here:
http://faculty.ifmo.ru/butikov/Oceanic_Tides.pdf It is pretty deep sledding, and I’m still working my way through it. One quote, though:

XI. REAL-WORLD COMPLICATIONS

The pattern of tide-generating forces is coupled to the position of the moon ~and the sun! with respect to the earth. For any place on the earth’s surface, the relative position of the moon has an average periodicity of 24 h 50 min. The lunar tide-generating force experienced at any location has the same periodicity.

When the moon is in the plane of the equator, the force runs through two identical cycles within this time interval because of the quadrupole symmetry of the global pattern of tidal forces. Consequently, the tidal period is 12 h 25 min in this case ~the period of the semidiurnal lunar tide!. However, the lunar orbit doesn’t lie in the plane of the equator, and the moon is alternately to the north and to the south of the equator. The daily rotation of the earth about an axis inclined to the lunar orbital plane introduces an asymmetry in the tides. This asymmetry is apparent as an inequality of the two successive cycles within 24 h 50 min. Similarly, the sun causes a semidiurnal solar tide with a 12-h period, and a diurnal solar tide with a 24-h period.

In a complete description of the local variations of the tidal forces, still other partial tides play a role because of further inequalities in the orbital motions of the moon and the earth. In particular, the elliptical shape of the moon’s orbit produces a 40% difference between the lunar tidal forces at the perigee and apogee of the orbit. Also the inclination of the moon’s orbit varies periodically in the interval 18.3° – 28.6°, causing a partial tide with a period of 18.6 yr.

The interference of the sun-induced tidal forces with the moon-induced tidal forces ~the lunar forces are about 2.2 times as strong! causes the regular variation of the tidal range between spring tide, when the range has its maximum ~occurring at a new moon and at a full moon, when the sun and moon are in the same or in the opposite directions!, and neap tide, when the range has its minimum ~which occurs at intermediate phases of the moon!.

The amplitude of a spring tide may be 2.7 times the amplitude of a neap tide. Because the earth is not surrounded by an uninterrupted water envelope of equal depth, but rather has a very irregular geographic alternation of land and seas with complex floor geometry, the actual response of the oceans and seas to the tidal forces is extremely complex.

Note that he uses more precise numbers of 18.3 and 28.6 instead of my simplified 18 1/2 and 28 1/2. Also note that the apogee / perigee change of the lunar position accounts for a 40% variation in tidal force.

Exactly how lunar orbital eccentricity changes matters a great deal, and we don’t have a good handle on it, since Luna orbits the Sun, and not us. Eccentricity relative to us depends on Luna / Solar changes, stirred by the other planets. At any rate, the alignment of apogee / perigee with particular places on the Earth surface is going to mater to total tidal force, Arctic flushing activity, and current formation.

Weather depends on all of those far more than on a trace gas of questionable effect in the air.

To dismiss all these vector effects with a scalar wave of the hand is not the path to greater understanding. To assert that the effect is non-cyclical based on a particular transform on that scalar number is simplistic, at best.

To ignore folks who clearly “have clue” stating that there is an 18.6 year minor tide cycle is being a bit intemperate at well. Clearly there IS an 18 ish year cycle detected by others. I choose not to ignore them.

I have some more work to do to get a cleaner handle on all this tidal stuff, it is rather complicated. But for now, the sun is out, and the air is warm, and the pool is calling my name ;-)

Enjoy your day, a gift of the sun.
Then enjoy this evening with a nice full moon.
And ponder what they do to our oceans.

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Gee, siting problems and intrument error in sea level gauges

This is a familiar story. Gauge history, calibration, and movement / change are all contributory to unusable sea level data records. Averaging it all together doesn’t fix it, either. Sounds rather like the temperature data…

The paper is well written, an easy read, and helps get a good understanding of the issues involved with sea level measurement. The author does lead off with the obligatory “Kiss The Ring” of Global Warming, then proceeds to do some good science anyway… Looks like we can add surveyors to the list of folks prone to precision and careful work who “find issues” in how the data is handled. (Along with chemists, engineers, aviators and aviation tech, farmers, …) The paper:

http://www.fig.net/pub/monthly_articles/july_2010/july_2010_hannah.html

International Federation of Surveyors

Article of the Month
July 2010

The Difficulties in Using Tide Gauges to Monitor Long-Term Sea Level Change
John HANNAH, New Zealand

They also have a pdf available for download:

http://www.fig.net/pub/monthly_articles/july_2010/july_2010_hannah.pdf

SUMMARY

Climate change has a variety of important impacts, one of which is reflected in sea levels. Indeed, long term rising trends in global sea levels are often used to corroborate the assertion of long term climate change. When tide gauge records are examined in order to determine the long-term trends in sea level it is typical for a single number representing the derived trend, to be quoted. However, the problems in deriving such numbers are rarely, if ever, discussed. Indeed, there appears to be a widespread ignorance as to the fragility of tide gauge records and hence the accuracy of derived long-term sea level trends. This paper uses specific examples from New Zealand to illustrate and explain the problems that exist in deriving an accurate figure for the eustatic changes in sea-level at a tide gauge site. It highlights the importance of assessing accurately the influence of anthropological factors, changes in tide gauge datums, and geophysical effects. These factors, which can compromise or even completely invalidate a record, must be able to be assessed over the entire history of the tide gauge record (often 100+ years). This paper, after exploring these factors and their potential influence, concludes by making recommendations on procedures to be followed if we are to leave future generations better quality sea level data than is often available at present.

So after the catechism practice in the Church Of Global Warming, he moves on to actual “ground truths”. There’s a bit of a “blow by blow” on some individual tide gauges, some example description of how the machines worked in the past vs now, and how things go wrong. Worth reading all of it, and it’s too long to quote the whole thing here. But I’ll pick out some samples for comment. Just remember these quotes are a little bit out of context and selectively chosen. First off, the introduction, in whole. I’ve bolded a couple of lines. Again, it leads off with the “Please let me publish – I’ll Kiss The Ring”…

1. INTRODUCTION

Sea level change is an important climate-related signal, studies of which have featured in all recent International Panel for Climate Change (IPCC) scientific assessments (e.g., IPCC, 2001; IPCC, 2007). In undertaking sea level change analyses, the data is typically drawn from the Permanent Service for Mean sea Level (PSMSL) database at the Proudman Oceanographic Laboratory. For each tide gauge this data is used to derive a figure for sea level rise. In order to correct the derived figure so that it reflects the eustatic component of sea level rise, a great deal of attention has been given to the task of separating the motion of the land and wharf structures (to which the tide gauge is attached), from the observed sea level rise signal. This has resulted in the increasingly widespread collocation of GPS receivers with tide gauges (c.f., Woppelman, 2007). In addition to these land based studies, satellite altimetry has advanced to the point whereby TOPEX and JASON 1 time series are now being used to assess long term sea level changes over the open oceans. Such studies, while separate from the land based tide gauge studies, are not independent in that the data from certain coastal tide gauges have been used for altimeter calibration purposes (e.g., Chambers et al, 1998; Nerem and Mitchum, 2001).

In nearly all of these studies, the tide gauge data is typically assumed to be high quality and not subject to question. This important assumption is rarely, if ever challenged.
However, if such a high quality record is to be obtained it is essential that issues such as the datum history of the tide gauge and local wharf movements be well documented and verified. Given that many gauges are located in port facilities where wharf removal, development, and/or extensions occur, this is easier said than done. Indeed, New Zealand experience indicates that some primary gauges have been renewed, replaced or changed at least five or six times in their 100 year history. In addition, it is not uncommon for tide gauges to malfunction for significant periods of time thus offering the possibility of a (potentially) biased tidal record. This study, then, attempts to highlight the importance of the above factors, giving specific examples of how the analyses of New Zealand’s long term sea level trends have been influenced by them and illustrating how a record can be invalidated by poor information. While the examples have been drawn from New Zealand experience, they illustrate problems that are generic in nature to much of the available tide gauge data.

Other issues that arise in long-term sea level change analyses include the influence of geophysical effects and the length of the tide gauge record, Douglas (1997) pointing out that a gauge record needs to be at least 60 years in length if incorrect estimates of sea level change are to be avoided.

The paper concludes by making some practical recommendations on procedures to be followed if future generations of investigators are to be left higher quality, long term data sets than are currently available.

Gee… anything shorter than 60 years has issues due to the ocean cycles… Kind of supports the notion that temperature records ought to be over 60 years to be usable too (since air temps are largely just ocean changes at a distance…) The paper then proceeds to a nice description of how a recording tide gauge works, and some of the errors. Remarkably similar issues to those of the temperature history / recording devices.

Sediment collecting in the bottom of the stilling well. This was often evidenced by a flattened low water tidal curve – the float would sit on the sediment at or near low water and fail to delineate the change in the low water tide. Due to the biases likely to be introduced, data demonstrating this behavior needs to be rejected from any subsequent sea level trend analysis.

Silting up of all sorts of things is a common problem in harbors. Alviso (near San Jose) has turned from a marina into a marsh headed for mud flat in the few years I’ve known it, for example. Seems that some of the silt gets into the gauges too. Now if you take “mean” sea level, and the bottom excursions are clipped… instant “rise” out of a non-rise. Rather like the “bottom clipping” of low temperature excursions seen in the recent temperature records. Here the recommendation is to reject records with such clipping. Were that applied to temperature data, whole swathes of thermometer records would be rejected. (See the Hair Graphs posted here in various categories including dT/dt).

Skipping over a few:

Gauge setting errors. The traditional mechanism for calibrating a float activated tide gauge was to observe the water level on the tide pole adjacent to the gauge and then to ensure that this reading was reflected on the chart record. Some old gauges (e.g., Foxboro gauges) could be set to little better than 0.2 ft. Setting errors of 0.2 ft – 0.3 ft (0.06 m – 0.09 m) appear to have been reasonably common. Such settings would typically occur when the paper tide graphs (rolls) were changed (i.e., anywhere between every two weeks and two months). Assuming a standard deviation for the gauge setting of 0.25 ft, (0.076 m) and a setting interval of one month, then the contribution of this error to the standard deviation associated with an annual MSL could be expected to be in the order of 0.022 m.

So 1/4 foot error in setting are “common”… and happen every few weeks to months.

He then goes on to look at modern gauges, and ways they depended on some of the prior art:

However, even with electronic gauges, the calibration problem (equivalent to the gauge setting error) remains. In addition some, such as the quartz crystal pressure gauges, can drift severely with time. Indeed, New Zealand experience with one such pressure gauge at Cape Roberts in the Antarctic has shown that a calibration interval of two to three years is inappropriate – the data being so contaminated with drift errors as to be essentially unusable. While a calibration period of at least six months is preferred, logistical constraints have limited the calibration of the Cape Roberts gauge to 12 monthly intervals.

Looks to me rather like some of the MMTS transition bias and errors in the temperature record. It also is the same class of “splice error” problem; as different instrumental records get spliced.

New Zealand experience further indicates that the most important issue in obtaining high quality monthly or annual MSL data is the care and maintenance of the gauge. Poor maintenance is often indicated by long periods of gauge outage, frequent breaks in the tidal record, timing errors and poor curve definition at high and/or low water. Where a gauge has been well maintained (such as with the Auckland and Wellington gauges), a posteriori error analysis undertaken on the full sets of digital data collected over 100 years indicate that an annual sea level means should be able to be given a standard deviation of between 0.020 m and 0.025 m (Hannah, 2004).

IFF you have done everything really really well, you MIGHT be able to get a 1 inch standard deviation. (2 cm to 2.5 cm above).

The next major section is about Datum Errors:

2.2 Datum Errors

In attempting to derive a long-term sea level trend, datum errors, generally arising from anthropological factors, are by far the most important to resolve. Unlike gauge errors that are greatly reduced by the quantity of data collected and the resulting meaning process, datum errors can be subtle, tend to be systematic and, if not correctly resolved, will completely invalidate a sea level record. Such errors can arise from the following sources.

IMHO, that is analogous to the “adjustments” made to the temperature data. Trying to figure out where to set the past starting point…

When tide gauges are shifted from one wharf structure to another and the new gauge zero differs by some unknown (or unrecorded) quantity from the previous gauge zero. In recent attempts to reconstruct the tidal record at New Plymouth it has become apparent that the tide gauge had been moved from one wharf to another at least four times since 1918. In the case of the Wellington gauge, written records indicate that the gauge was moved between 1944 and 1945, but there is no record of a datum shift.
[...]
When a tide pole is replaced and the new pole is set at a different level than the previous one. When it remembered that the tide pole is the means by which tide gauges have historically been calibrated, then it becomes clear that any unrecorded shift in the tide pole will immediately translate into an unrecorded datum change. Tide poles, which are attached to wharf structures, can easily be damaged by vessels and are often obliterated by oil and other port debris. It is likely that even a well built tide pole will require replacement on a 20 year cycle. A recent detailed analysis of the records relating to the well maintained Lyttelton gauge, indicates unrecorded variations in the position of the tide pole of 0.08 ft (0.024 m) over a 40-year period. The dates when specific changes occurred are not known. In reality the tide pole is the fragile link that holds a tidal record together. If the position of the tide pole has not been monitored throughout the history of the tidal record then the record must be subject to question as must the accuracy of any subsequent long-term sea level analysis.

So one “well maintained” pole has a 2.4 cm or about an inch variation over a 40 year period. From this we get high precision on mm ocean “sea level rise”?

The simple truth is that tide gauges were intended for ships where the level of concern was feet, not mm, and are very ‘fit for purpose’ for that. Much like thermometers at airports were for the purpose of telling pilots when it was hot over the black tarmac and those at post offices were for telling folks it was a hot, or frozen, day. Precision and accuracy in whole degrees was “good enough”. For tide gauges, when I was sailing, I just wanted them to give me roughly how many feet I had below the keel. Inches was too fine a measure to trust. If I needed 4 feet, and it said 4.2 feet, it was NOT something to trust. 5 feet on the gauge was good…

This, IMHO, is a generic problem for “Climate Science”. Their attempt to use instruments intended for a “rough cut / good enough” for super precision long duration trend analysis. The instruments, data collection, and data record are just not fit for that purpose. No matter how much statistical manipulation you provide.

When there is no consistent history of leveling from stable benchmarks to the tide pole. Any local subsidence in a wharf structure (and thus in the attached tide pole or tide gauge) will only be detected if there has been a consistent history of leveling to stable local benchmarks. For example, for many years, and in earlier sea level analyses the Wellington gauge was assumed stable (Hannah, 1990). However, by 2003, a sufficiently long time series of local leveling data had been collected so as to indicate an apparent long-term subsidence in the wharf structures of about 0.15 mm/yr (Hannah, 2004). Conversely, at Dunedin, it has only become clear recently that certain local bench marks are subsiding while the wharf structures remain stable. The 2004 analysis of long-term sea level change, which assumed both were subsiding, gave a result of a sea level rise of 0.94 mm/yr (Hannah, 2004). The most recent analysis (with this erroneous assumption corrected), now shows a sea level rise of 1.3 mm/yr – a very significant difference.

So we have about a 38% variation in the “sea level rise” based on a correction for a more stable benchmark. And what is the error band on the rest of the stations in the world?

Changes in the setting of the gauge datum. It is altogether possible that a gauge may exhibit none of the above three problems but yet still exhibit obvious datum shifts. This typically happens when some new (or different) figure is adopted for a gauge datum and when the tidal recording device is reset accordingly. At New Plymouth, for example, it is clear that changes in the gauge setting of 1.0 ft (0.305 m), 1.5 ft (0.457 m), 2.0 ft (0.610 m) and 3.0 ft (0.914 m) all occurred in the space of 10 years. In two such cases there was no clear record of exactly why or when this had happened. Indeed, it appears that there was some confusion between the Port Authority (the owner and operator of the gauge) and the national surveying and mapping organization (responsible for the tidal predictions), as to what datum offset should have been set.

So exactly which datum ought to be used for what, when? Oh, nobody really knows… Rather like the constantly changing thermometers that get adjusted by guess and by golly and then diced and spliced together. “Hash” is not generally known as a high quality way to make meat, or, IMHO, data food product…

There’s more, but I’m going to give them short coverage. Do read the paper.

Next category is:

2.3 Analysis Errors

However, there is real danger in seeking to resolve accurately long-term sea level changes from data sets of less than 60 years in length. Douglas (2001), for example, summarises research showing that large variations in the estimates of sea level rise can be explained in nearly all cases by the selection criteria used by a particular investigator – short records being one of the most important. It is vital that the periodic effects from such signals as inter-decadal variability be eliminated
[...]

A second analysis problem that can arise relates to the influence of unmodelled hydrological effects. The Hunter River, for example, has had an influence on the data produced by the Newcastle tide gauge on the East Coast of Australia. Equally, one of New Zealand’s longest tidal records (Westport) was compromised by similar effects. The Westport gauge sits at the mouth of the Buller River. If climate change brings with it changes in rainfall patterns (as is expected to happen), then the prospect exists for apparent sea level change to be masked or exacerbated by changes in river flow.

Gee… precipitation changes masking sea level data… Shades of clouds, precipitation, and temperature data. And short records not to be trusted due to the bias it introduces in a system with long cycle variations.

2.4 Geophysical Effects

Early sea-level change analyses showed wide variation in result (e.g., Gornitz, 1995). However, much of this variation was subsequently able to be explained by ensuring that the tide gauge records used met five criteria. These were: (1) that the records be at least 60 years in length, (2) that they not be from sites at collisional tectonic plate boundaries, (3) that they be 80% complete or better, (4) that at low frequencies they be in reasonable agreement with nearby gauges sampling the same water mass, and (5) that they not be from areas deeply covered by ice during the last glacial maximum (Douglas, 1997). Reasons (2) and (5) are the issues addressed in this section.

2.4.1 Tectonic Motion at Plate Boundaries
[...]

2.4.2 Glacial Isostatic Adjustment
The second geophysical effect to be considered in the interpretation of any tide gauge record is that of glacial isostatic adjustment (GIA). Vertical motions from this effect are estimated by using a geophysical model (e.g., Peltier, 2001), the size of the motion varying according to the model adopted. For example, GIA estimates for Auckland range from 0.1 mm/yr (from the ICE4G (VM2) model to 0. 55 mm/yr (from the JM120,1,3 model). Similar levels of variability in estimate are found at other New Zealand tide gauges.

So think Canada and North Europe might have even more rebound than New Zealand? So a model can range from 0.1 to 0.55 mm / year. Or about a 450% range. Oh Dear. They attached GPS devices to some gauges and now the reality looks more like the lower number. Think having .45 mm/year less “adjustment” (to more sea level rise as you add in the rising land) makes much difference to a 0.94 mm/yr (or even the 1.3 mm/yr) sea level rise computed above?

The paper goes on from there to praise some of the new methods and paint a positive view of the future data quality.

In Conclusion

It looks to me like any statements about “Sea Level Rise” based on the instrumental record are pretty darned dodgy. Personally, I think we have more useful information from things like the ancient ports all around the world that are now a ways inland.

https://chiefio.wordpress.com/2010/12/06/ostia-antica-and-sea-level/

By that measure, any “rise” now is really just a recovery from a drop during the Little Ice Age.

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Some notes on Geopolymer, cement, clay bricks unfired, and DIY

Some time back I took a bit of a look at what are being called Geopolymers. Liquid stone mixes. New kinds of cement.
https://chiefio.wordpress.com/2011/12/22/liquid-stone/

Even noted in passing some other “odd bits” related to it.

https://chiefio.wordpress.com/2012/05/03/dinosaurs-liquid-stone-and-radioactivity/

https://chiefio.wordpress.com/2012/04/17/beer-bones-silicon-and-kidney-stone/

All of which implies that a silicate sand, treated with highly alkaline solution, ought to form some soluble silicon compounds; then ‘polymerize’ some silicate back between the sand grains when allowed to dry and neutralize the pH.

Well, some times, some ‘muses’ rest a long time between efforts to move them another step down the road. I’ve been thinking of making an attempt at Liquid Stone all on my own for some time now. At least a couple of years. So about a week ago I started to plot. What materials? Which approach? But then decided another bit of ‘prior art’ research ought to be done. Just in case things had moved forward any, or something I’d missed might show up. Good thing, too. A lot did show up.

But first, a digression on shopping.

I spend several hours on the weekend trying to buy:

A) Strong Base. Lye (NaOH), or even KOH. Lime – CaO or hydrated lime Ca(OH)2 or heck, even Natron – aka Sodium Carbonate Na2CO3

B) Kaolin Clay. Mostly an Aluminum Silicate clay of fairly pure sort.

C) Pure Silicate – some SiO2 based stuff.

The idea being to do “mix and match” on the various stuffs and find out what worked and what was not so good.

Well, seems that the days of my youth when I could regularly buy most of that stuff at the grocery store and hardware store in my little farm town are now far gone. Lowes had “Lime”, but reading the package showed it to be some kind of “Garden Lime” bastard mix of CaO, MgO, CaCO3, MgCO3, and a few other things (some hydrated lime and some other hydrates). Basically, half (assed?) roasted dolomite / limestone. Not lime at all, really. Similarly, lye is essentially gone. There was some Drano, with a load of other stuff in the mix too. Clay? Not on your life. So it goes.

After pondering how many specialty shops and what kind of flags would go up trying to order lye on the internet… I went home to sulk. Pondering a bit more, I started looking for more papers. That’s when I found most of the stuff I’m going to link here.

But today is another day. Some small chips started to fall into place.

First off, I picked up an (expensive) bag of Diatomaceous Earth. It claims 85% Silicate. No idea what the other 15% will be. Then again, the Ancients seemed to work with whatever natural dirt was laying around, so maybe a bit of unknown crap isn’t all that important. Then I stumbled on an article complaining about clumping cat litter and how it was Bentonite Clay. Not quite the Kaolinite most of the research papers talked about, but still, it ought to work OK. At least, if my understanding of what happens is right.

No I’ve not bought the cat litter yet… but I do have a nice bag of diatomaceous earth.

So the basic “recipe” is an alkali of some sort as a catalyst, some clay with Aluminum and Silicate in it (and I hypothesize that most any other metal ions ought to be OK too, so clay with Fe or Mg content ought to work. It came from feldspars or feldspathoid minerals in the first place, so it ought to be willing to return to them…)

Then another paper gave some actual pH values. Looks like many different alkaline / basic materials might “work”. Not just lye, but things like bleach and roasted bicarbonate of soda too. (Roasting bicarb of soda turns it into sodium carbonate. That Natron referenced above. I did this when I was about 10 years old, but had hoped to just buy the stuff.) I can also try some of the drain cleaning liquids, if any of the hydroxide types are still around. Oh, and a web search showed Tractor Supply to have 50 lb bags of hydrated lime for about $3 too; so a car trip can ‘bag’ a bag.

Next weekend I’m planning to pick up the hydrated lime, some drain opener, a box of “washing soda” (sodium carbonate) or maybe a big box of bicarb if I need to roast my own, and maybe even some of that “garden lime” that isn’t quite lime… A stop at the grocery will get me some bentonite clay (that promises to ‘clump’ if I pee on it). All in all, that ought to be enough for a good start. If I see any promising quartz sand, I’ll likely get a bit of it, too.

At that point I figure I have enough “options” to find at least one “mix” that sets up.

Paper Chase

Then tonight I did some more paper chase. Found a very nice paper from India where some guys did basically that very thing. Not as many variations on the catalytic base. (One guesses that lye is still used and available in India. Odd to think that folks in India are less constrained and have more awareness of what to do with materials than folks here in the USA… At any rate, they use lye NaOH for the alkaline basic catalyst.) More importantly, they do a very nice matrix of Bentonite clay (it being cheaper and more available than Kaolin one presumes) with various mixes of fly ash and Silica Fume that is basically a waste product from making raw silicon for semiconductors and metallurgy. I can likely use diatomaceous earth as a substitute for silica fume (both mostly SiO2 very finely divided) and maybe some of that “garden lime” in place of their fly ash and / or cement components. Finally, my varieties of base in place of NaOH. Heck, as aluminum gets used in making feldspars, I could likely even use the Drano that has bits of aluminum in it.

The paper in question is here:

http://www.arpnjournals.com/jeas/research_papers/rp_2012/jeas_1112_810.pdf

Nice “meat and potatoes” research paper. State the goal ( making strong bricks that they call cubes, with geopolymer instead of traditional cement ) state the materials to try, try all the combinations, document the strength, time to set, etc. Graph and write it all up. Nicely done and likely has saved me a few weekends. I now know what has a shot at working best.

NOVEMBER 2012 ISSN 1819-6608
ARPN Journal of Engineering and Applied Sciences
©2006-2012 Asian Research Publishing Network (ARPN). All rights reserved.
http://www.arpnjournals.com
1436
STRENGTH PROPERTIES OF GEOPOLYMER MORTAR CONTAINING
BINARY AND TERNARY BLENDS OF BENTONITE
K. Srinivasan and A. Sivakumar
Structural Engineering Division, VIT University, Vellore, Tamil Nadu, India
E-Mail: sivakumara@vit.ac.in

ABSTRACT
Geopolymer based cementitious binder is one of the recent findings in the emerging concrete technology. The
present study investigates the setting and strength properties of geopolymer mixtures containing binary combinations of
bentonite-flyash, bentonite-cement, bentonite-silica-fume and ternary blends of bentonite-flyash-lime. The effect of lime
and alkali activator (sodium hydroxide) on the geopolymerisation of bentonite was studied systematically. The
experimental results showed that the initial and final setting time of binary mixtures containing bentonite and silica fume
(5%) with alkali activator (NaOH) showed early setting time of 30 minutes compared to other geopolymer mixtures. It was
also noted that compressive strength of ternary mixtures containing 40% bentonite, 30% flyash and 30% lime (M16)
attained the maximum strength of 24.74 MPa at 28 days. The highest rate of strength gain was observed at early curing
period (7 days) for the ternary mixtures (M14) consisting of 80% bentonite, 10% flyash and 10% lime compared to other
mixtures. It can be realized from the experimental study that, geopolymerisation reaction was effective for the specimens
cured at 100°C hot air oven.
Keywords: bentonite, fly ash, silica fume, geopolymer, cement, lime, alkali activators.

AND, the whole paper is there, not just some lame abstract and a demand for $40 to get into the peep show and see if you have been ‘had’ or not…

So now I’m pretty darned sure that some kitty litter with a 5-10% diatomaceous earth and 5-10% “garden lime” when mixed with some added drain cleaner or hydrated lime has a pretty good chance of turning into something about like cement.

There are some other papers also worth reading. Each one with some different points of view. But that one has a down to earth practical bent to it that I found refreshing. No lab grade kaolin for these guys, and no fancy additives. Just things like fly ash that are very cheap waste products. The ideal stuff to turn into a resource. Dirt and chimney sweepings, mixed with some lye; and presto! Very strong usable bricks. Nice. Very nice.

One of the papers indicates that a pH of about 10 or so is enough to catalyze things. Here’s a nice pH scale with some common things on it:

pH scale

pH scale

From: http://staff.jccc.net/pdecell/chemistry/phscale.html

The implication here being that for some class of geopolymerizing reactions, things like ammonia water might even be enough, or oven cleaner, or bleach. (though not ammonia and bleach together as that releases chlorine gas).

The other papers:

http://www.geopolymery.eu/aitom/upload/documents/final_version_ICCC2003.pdf

It basically finds that you can use fly ash to make something stronger than (or strong as) regular cement via an alkali catalyzed geopolymer process with pH 12 or so. It is one of those PDFs that doesn’t want to let you cut / past bits and I’m feeling a bit rushed so not going to bother breaking their “copy protection”. (Screen cap would do it, but it’s late…) They get some 150 MPa (or about 21,000 psi) strength mixes. Most cement is about 5 MPa to 30 MPa. Has a nice bibliography too.

They, too, have nice graphs and help point you toward what works and what doesn’t. Czech folks and source, so I’d trust it. Those folks generally have their head on straight.

http://www.geopolymers.com.au/science/geopolymerization

Some folks from Down Under. Short and nice introduction.

The Geopolymerization Process

Geopolymers

Geopolymers are a class of inorganic polymer formed by the reaction between an alkaline solution and an aluminosilicate source or feedstock. The hardened material has an amorphous 3-dimensional structure similar to that of an aluminosilicate glass. However unlike a glass these materials are formed at low temperature and as a result can incorporate an aggregate skeleton and a reinforcing system if required, during the forming process.
Reactants

The reactants are an alkali metal hydroxide/silicate solution (often referred to as the chemical activator) and an aluminosilicate fine binder (typically with a median particle size in the range 1 micron to 30 microns). The binder or feedstock needs to have a significant proportion of the silicon and aluminium ions held in amorphous phases.

The most common activator is a mixture of water, sodium hydroxide and sodium silicate but other alkali metal systems or mixtures of different alkalis can be used, as can any waste source of concentrated alkali. The solution needs to be concentrated or the end product will be a crystalline zeolite rather than a geopolymer.

Commonly used binders include class F flyash, ground granulated slags or metakaolin, but any fine amorphous aluminosilicate material can be used.

Process

As with conventional organic polymerization, the process involves forming monomers in solution then thermally triggering them to polymerize to form a solid polymer.

The geopolymerization process involves three separate but inter-related stages.

During initial mixing the alkaline solution DISSOLVES silicon and aluminium ions from the amorphous phases of the feedstock. The binder is the primary feedstock but any amorphous phases in the aggregate skeleton (stone or sand particles) will also react during this stage.

In the sol so formed, neighbouring silicon or aluminium hydroxide molecules then undergo a CONDENSATION reaction where adjacent hydroxyl ions from these near neighbours condense to form an oxygen bond linking the molecules, and a free molecule of water; OH- + OH- -> O2- + H2O

(Ref : Hench L L, “Sol-Gel Silica. Properties, Processing and Technology Transfer”, Noyes Publications, 1998)

The “monomers” so formed in solution can be represented in 2-dimensions by;-

– Si – O – Al – O – (poly[silalate]),

or, – Si – O – Al – O – Si – O – (poly[silalate-siloxi]),

etc,

where each oxygen bond, formed as a result of a condensation reaction, bonds the neighbouring Si or Al tetrahedra.

The application of mild heat (typically ambient or up to 90 degrees C) causes these “monomers” and other silicon and aluminium hydroxide molecules to POLY-CONDENSE or polymerize, to form rigid chains or nets of oxygen bonded tetrahedra.

Higher “curing” temperatures produce stronger geopolymers. As each hydroxyl ion in the tetrahedral is capable of condensing with one from a neighbouring molecule it is theoretically possible for any one silicon ion to be bonded via an oxygen bond to 4 neighbouring silicon or aluminium ions, so forming a very rigid polymer network. Aluminium ions in such a network require an associated alkali metal ion (usually Na) for charge balance.
Hardened Material

The resultant products are;-

a rigid chain or net of geopolymer

a pore solution composed of water (from the catalytic water initially incorporated in the mix recipe plus water generated as a result of the condensation reactions), excess alkali metal ions and unreacted silicon hydroxide. In the case of sodium based activators this pore solution can be considered as a weak solution of sodium metasilicate, with a pH of about 12. It forms a continuous nano or meso porosity throughout the geopolymer unless removed during poly-condensation.

The physical properties of the hardened geopolymer are influenced by the Si/Al ratio of the geopolymer network. Below a Si/Al ratio of 3:1, the resultant 3D nets are rigid, suitable as a concrete, cement or waste encapsulating medium. As the Si/Al ratio increases above 3, the resultant geopolymer becomes less rigid and more flexible or “polymer-like”. With higher Si/Al ratios, up to 35:1, the resultant crosslinked 2D chains are more suited as an adhesive or sealant, or as an impregnating resin for forming fibre mat composites.

http://www.researchgate.net/post/What_is_the_best_ratio_for_Alkaline_Activator_Fly_Ash_in_Geopolymer_Materials

What looks like an interesting discussion board.

Pradeep Rana · Group of Institutions, GUNUPUR
It depends on type of Fly ash you are using, but mostly, 7.5-13.4 (Na2O) : 25-29.6 (SiO2) in sodium silicate is recommended.
Aug 1, 2013

Sanjay Kumar · Council of Scientific and Industrial Research (CSIR), New Delhi
In our understanding, only amorphous fraction of fly ash participates in reaction during early geopolymerisation and remaining acts as an aggregate. If there are free alkali available then the crystalline part participate in reaction which is very slow. Thus deciding a geopolymerisation reaction based on total Al2O3 and SiO2 is misleading sometimes.
Aug 2, 2013

Radhakrishna Krishna · Rashtreeya Vidyalaya College of Engineering
0.35 – 0.4 is the best ratio

A couple of papers give a H/T to Davidovits, then an homage to someone they say figured this out in 1950. A Mr. Chelokovski. Doing a web search doesn’t turn up much on him, so I figure it will need a native language search (or a better transliteration into what is used by more of the English language papers). An interesting “Dig Here!”. Generally, I think this process has been turned up from time to time throughout history. Build a wood fire on a clay riverbank. You get lye over clay. Water it out… maybe someone noticed the ground get hard… Also they were from Iran, so likely closer to the Russian work (and maybe using a variant spelling).

http://www.claisse.info/2013%20papers/data/e011.pdf

From the “Overkill On The Computer” department (but with some good info in it) comes:

THE USE OF ARTIFICIAL NEURAL NETWORK
TO PREDICT COMPRESSIVE STRENGTH OF
GEOPOLYMERS
Dali Bondar
Faculty member of Ministry of Energy, Iran
E-mail: dlbondar@gmail.com

Yes, neural nets…

This, and several other papers, concentrate on the alumina-silicates (and want kaolin clay that is pure in that regard). I suspect that the various other clays with things like Fe and Mg and such in them will also make fine liquid stone, perhaps even make things that look like diorite and granite. Things with more feldspars in them. (Or feldspathoids that have more hydration).

At any rate, the paper claims to find that you can predict a variety of properties based on various ratios of components. Looks well written and generally does a nice job.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/QAPF_diagram

A long time ago I had to learn this little graph / chart in a geology class. (Back when I was on a “become a geologist” kick). It’s very informative and not at all as hard as it looks.

QAPF Diagram

QAPF Diagram

Attribution and full sized diagram

The basic idea of this thing is that you get different rocks depending on how much of just a few elements are in the mix / melt. My belief is that you ought to be able to get similar geopolymer rocks with similar element ratios.

A QAPF diagram is a double triangle diagram which is used to classify igneous rocks based on mineralogic composition. The acronym, QAPF, stands for “Quartz, Alkali feldspar, Plagioclase, Feldspathoid (Foid)”. These are the mineral groups used for classification in QAPF diagram. Q, A, P and F percentages are normalized (recalculated so that their sum is 100%).

So Quartz is SiO2. More diatomaceous earth or Silica Fume, you head toward the Q end, less you move away from it. Alkali Feldspar have more potassium and sodium in their formulas. Use more lye or sodium silicate, you move more that way. Feldspars make up most of the rocks in the world, so it’s worth getting to know them.

Feldspars (KAlSi3O8 – NaAlSi3O8 – CaAl2Si2O8) are a group of rock-forming tectosilicate minerals that make up as much as 60% of the Earth’s crust.

But it isn’t just sodium, potassium, and calcium. You can have other metals in those positions. (Oh, as a sidebar: Notice that most of the rocks of the world have aluminum in them? That’s part of why I’m not excited about aluminum cookware… You are soaked in water that has spent millions of years in contact with aluminum compounds. It’s pretty inert and you are well adapted anyway…) But back at the main point: You can find things like Barium Feldspars too. It’s more a concept than a fixed list…

Then there are the feldspathoids. Almost a feldspar, but some of the ratios are a bit wonky… so it’s “close to a feldspar”, sort of. Nature and rocks are not always precise and orderly… From the wiki: “The feldspathoids are a group of tectosilicate minerals which resemble feldspars but have a different structure and much lower silica content. They occur in rare and unusual types of igneous rocks.” so if your melt was low on silica, you get a feldspathoid instead of a feldspar.

So my assertion would just be that as you mix your “stuff”, you can shift the product around on the QAPF diagram (well, not exactly… it is for igneous rocks and we are making a polymer at lower temps of SiO2 and AlO2, so some bits will vary… but my guess is that things will be rather alike in some ways too.) So too little diatomaceous earth or Silica Fume, your rock will be more feldspathoid like. Put in some extra, more toward the Quartz end of the diagram. And so on.

All purely speculative, but a framework for conceptual investigation.

Oh, and “Cement Chemists” get tired of writing all the O2 and O3 and what all, so they made up their own confusing notation where S isn’t Sulphur, it’s Silicon and so on. As this shows up in some of the papers, here’s a guide to it:

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Cement_chemist_notation

You will see things like C-A-S-H ratios that stands for Ca Oxide, Aluminum Oxide, Silicon Di-Oxide, Water ratios.

C CaO Calcium oxide, or lime
S SiO2 Silicon dioxide, or silica
A Al2O3 Aluminium oxide, or alumina
F Fe2O3 Iron oxide, or rust
T TiO2 Titanium dioxide, or titania
M MgO Magnesium oxide, or Periclase
K K2O Potassium oxide
N Na2O Sodium oxide
H H2O Water
C CO2 Carbon dioxide
S SO3 Sulfur trioxide
P P2O5 Phosphorus hemi-pentoxide

And, on the topic of “been found before”, this tidbit: Seems that in the 1800s a guy figured out how to use this kind of reaction to make silicate mineral paint

While lime-based binders carbonate under influence of carbon dioxide and water silicate-based binders (usually potassium silicate resp. potassium water glass) solidify under influence of CO2 and in contact with mineral reactive partners form calcium silicate hydrates.[1]

As lime paints (aside of Fresco-technique) are only moderately weather resistant these today find application primarily in the field of monument preservation. When mineral colors are mentioned nowadays these are commonly understood to be silicate paints. These are paints using potassium water glass as binder. They are also called water glass paints or Keimfarben (after the inventor).

The special composition of silicate paints grant special properties and qualities. Mineral silicate paint coats are considered very durable and weather resistant. Lifetimes exceeding a hundred years are possible. An example for this is the city hall in Schwyz(Switzerland) which received its coat of mineral paint in the 19th century.
[...]
Mineral paint contains aside of inorganic colorants potassium-based alkali silicate (water glass), also known as potassium silicate, liquid potassium silicate or LIQVOR SILICIVM. A coat with mineral colors does not form a layer but instead permanently bonds to the substrate material (silicification).

The result is a highly durable connection between paint coat and substrate. Above that the binding agent water glass is highly resistant against UV light. While organic binders such as dispersions based on acrylate or silicone resin under UV over the years tend to grow brittle, chalky and develop cracks which finally result in damage to paint coats, the inorganic binder water glass remains stable. The chemical fusion with the substrate and the UV stability of the binder are the fundamental reasons for the extraordinarily high lifetime of silicate paints.

Silicate paints require siliceous substrate for setting For this reason they are highly suitable for mineral substrates such as mineral plasters and concrete. They are only of limited use for application on wood and metal, though. The permeability for water vapor of silicate paints is equivalent to that of the substrate. This effectively means that silicate paints do not inhibit the diffusion of water vapor. Moisture contained in parts of a structure or in the plaster may diffuse outward without resistance. This keeps walls dry and prevents structural damage. This addition helps avoid condensation water on the surface of building materials. This reduces the risk of infestation by algae and fungi. The high alkalinity of the binding agent water glass adds to the inhibitive effect against infestation by microorganisms and completely eliminates the need for additional preservatives.

So if you have some rocks to paint, you can paint them with a silicate paint… This gives me some ideas for how to make that permanent library of wisdom. Some nice silicate rock tiles then just silk screen the suckers with silicate paint…

http://www.sid.ir/En/VEWSSID/J_pdf/856201002A03.pdf

This is another of the Iranian papers. Again well written. Similar to the other one.

MODELING OF COMPRESSIVE STRENGTH OF METAKAOLIN
BASED GEOPOLYMERS BY THE USE OF ARTIFICIAL
NEURAL NETWORK
Amir Kamalloo, Yadolah Ganjkhanlou, Seyed Hamed Aboutalebi and Hossein Nouranian*
Materials and Energy Research Center, P.O. Box 14155-4777, Tehran, Iran
amirkamalloo@yahoo.com,yadolah1@gmail.com, hamed.Aboutalebi@gmail.com,h_nouranian@yahoo.com
*Corresponding Author
(Received: December 19, 2009 – Accepted: July 15, 2010)
[...]
The results showed that
optimized condition of SiO2/Al2O3, R2O/Al2O3, Na2O/K2O and H2O/R2O ratios to achieve high CS
should be 3.6-3.8, 1.0-1.2, 0.6-1 and 10-11, respectively. These results are in agreement with probable
mechanism of geopolymerization.
Keywords Artificial Neural Network, Overfitting, Geopolymer, Compressive Strength, Metakaolin

http://www.galleries.com/Silicates

Points out just how much silicate chemistry matters to the earth surface

The Silicates are the largest, the most interesting, and the most complicated class of minerals by far. Approximately 30% of all minerals are silicates and some geologists estimate that 90% of the Earth’s crust is made up of silicates. With oxygen and silicon the two most abundant elements in the earth’s crust, the abundance of silicates is no real surprise.

So when you add in the other odd silicates, it jumps up to 90% of the crust… The list of minerals is nice to look over. It has things like more of the Iron silicates and things like zinc and zirconium silicates (zircon). I think this points out that in theory you could use all sorts of odd clays and still get some kind of rock out of it.

http://www.azom.com/article.aspx?ArticleID=6035

These folks are looking to use geopolymers to make biomedical bits. Think things like teeth and bones and such. It also lists particular formulas.

Abstract

In this study three different geopolymer compositions have been investigated and characterized as potential biomaterials. The first two geopolymer formulations are mainly composed of metakaolin, with some silica additions in order to achieve a Si/Al molar of 2.10 while the third one contains a reduced amount of metakaolin and comprises mainly of silica gel with composition: H24AlK7Si31O79 with Si/Al = 31. Further, NaOH pellets and sodium silicate (Na2SiO3) were added in the first two formulations in different concentrations as activator and ligand, respectively, while KOH additions were made to the third geopolymer formulation (separately or jointly with potassium silicate solution). Room temperature consolidation was followed by thermal activation of composition with Si/Al=31 at 60 °C for 150 min and at 500 °C for 180 min.

http://www.ceramics-silikaty.cz/2013/pdf/2013_01_033.pdf

These folks look at adding “phosphorus slag”. I don’t know why you would have that laying around, but if you do, it can be made into synthetic rocks too…

In this study, metakaolin plus different weight percent of phosphorus slag (10-100 wt. %) were used in preparation of
geopolymer. The compressive strength, phase analysis and microstructure changes were compared with a metakaolin based
geopolymer control sample. Results showed that the substitution of slag up to 40 wt. % instead of metakaolin increase the
28 days compressive strength (14.5 %) compared with control sample. This enhancement of strength is related to coexistence
of geopolymeric gel and C‒S‒H gel or C‒A‒S‒H phase by XRD and FTIR study.

http://repository.tamu.edu/bitstream/handle/1969.1/ETD-TAMU-2010-08-8506/KIM-THESIS.pdf?sequence=3

This is someone’s thesis. Looks at both sodium and potassium activated formation. Has a nice bit of historical review, some methods, and the usual bibliography of a Masters Thesis. We also get a couple of more ideas how to find earlier work (but after the Egyptians and Roman Pozzolan methods… we do seem doomed to keep forgetting and reinventing this one.)

Geopolymers recently emerged as a new class of inorganic aluminosilicate polymeric materials. These materials were synthesized for the first time in 1940 by A. O. Purdon [1] and again in the late 1950‘s by Glukhovsky [2]. The term geopolymer was introduced by Davidovits [3] in the early 70‘s to denote their inorganic nature (“geo”) and structural similarity to organic polymers (“polymers”), and is commonly used nowadays

We also get a bit of confirmation of the flexibility and that the speculation about Ammonia might even be viable:

The activating solutions are based on aqueous solutions of alkali hydroxides and the most commonly used metal alkaline activators are Na and K [5]. However, other metals from group I and II of the periodic table as well as NH4+, and H3O+ may also be utilized for synthesis [6, 7]. The silicon content of the final product can be manipulated by the addition of SiO2 to the alkaline aqueous solution.

This guy finds that adding sand makes it stronger. Plenty of room here to play with quartz sand vs feldspar sand too…

http://torusdome.com/?page_id=808

The effect of adding sand (40 wt%) on their mechanical properties was also determined. The K1c values increased upto 65% and E values increased upto 80%compared to samples free of sand. However, CCS and MORvalues did not change much and gave mixed results.

And, of course, the one we started with:

http://www.geopolymer.org/fichiers_pdf/pyramid_chapt1.pdf

That still has some wonderful images in it. I also like the way his recreation of the Egyptian method is so simple:

Lime, Clay, Natron.

But the most interesting point is that this chemical reaction creates pure limestone as well as
hydrosodalite (a mineral of the feldspathoids or zeolites family). [6]

Chemical reaction1:
Si2O5,Al2(OH)4 + 2NaOH = > Na2O.2SiO2Al2O3.nH2O
kaolinite clay + soda = > hydrosodalite

Chemical reaction 2:
Na2CO3 + Ca(OH)2 = > 2NaOH + CaCO3
Sodium carbonate (Egyptian natron) + lime = > soda + limestone
Summary of the re-agglomerated stone binder chemical formula:

clay + natron + lime = > feldspathoids + limestone (i.e. a natural stone)

Now I doubt those old Egyptians were hunting all over for pure Kaolin Clay, and I’d bet their lime and natron were simple burned limestone and burned sodium carbonate. All in all, a pretty simple approach. It also gives a mix of silicate and CaCO3 “gel” as the binder. One of the papers above found having some added calcium around increased strength.

So I’m pretty sure that “old way” ought to work reasonably well. In theory, just a mix of “garden lime”, with some “washing soda” and a bit of “clay kitty litter” ought to work. I’m certainly going to give it a try and find out. Note that reaction 2 makes lye as an intermediary of the overall process. Precipitate some limestone ‘gel’ and get some free lye to catalyze the silicate step. Likely a bit of heat to help it along too. I’ll likely hunt up some nice iron rich red clay and see how it does too. Supposed to be widely sold for dressing baseball diamonds…

Never thought I’d find a way to tie baseball field maintenance to cat latrines to ancient Egyptians and modern waste disposal / recycle… and even making pots for plants on up to bridges and buildings; but it looks like those things are all bound by a common thread. One made of silicates and alkali.

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Nordic Bronze Age Warm Period

Just a short “preservation posting”. Yet Another Wiki Page that will likely be obliterated. IMHO, due to saying it was warmer in the past…

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Nordic_Bronze_Age

This article has multiple issues. Please help improve it or discuss these issues on the talk page.
This article may need to be rewritten entirely to comply with Wikipedia’s quality standards. (July 2010)
This article needs additional citations for verification. (July 2010)

Now it is a short article, but there isn’t a whole lot of obvious issue to me. I’ll be quoting the article in full, and putting a bit of bold on the part that I suspect is the real “issue”… that it says it was warmer then…

The Nordic Bronze Age (also Northern Bronze Age) is the name given by Oscar Montelius to a period and a Bronze Age culture in Scandinavian prehistory, c. 1700–500 BC, with sites that reached as far east as Estonia. Succeeding the Late Neolithic culture, its ethnic and linguistic affinities are unknown in the absence of written sources. It is followed by the Pre-Roman Iron Age.

General characteristics

Even though Scandinavians joined the European Bronze Age cultures fairly late through trade, Scandinavian sites present rich and well-preserved objects made of wool, wood, and imported Central European bronze and gold.

Many rock carvings depict ships, and the large stone burial monuments known as stone ships suggest that shipping played an important role. Thousands of rock carvings depict ships, most probably representing sewn plank built canoes for warfare, fishing, and trade. These may have a history as far back as the neolithic period and continue into the Pre-Roman Iron Age, as shown by the Hjortspring boat.[1]

There are many mounds and rock carving sites from the period. Numerous artifacts of bronze and gold are found. No written language existed in the Nordic countries during the Bronze Age. The rock carvings have been dated through comparison with depicted artifacts, for example bronze axes and swords. (There are also numerous Nordic Stone Age rock carvings in the north of Scandinavia, mostly portraying elk.)
Sub-periodization

Oscar Montelius, who coined the term used for the period, divided it into six distinct sub-periods in his piece Om tidsbestämning inom bronsåldern med särskilt avseende på Skandinavien ("On Bronze Age dating with particular focus on Scandinavia") published in 1885, which is still in wide use. His absolute chronology has held up well against radiocarbon dating, with the exception that the period's start is closer to 1700 BC than 1800 BC, as Montelius suggested. For Central Europe a different system developed by Paul Reinecke is commonly used, as each area has its own artifact types and archaeological periods.

A broader subdivision is the Early Bronze Age, between 1700 BC and 1100 BC, and the Late Bronze Age, 1100 BC to 550 BC. These divisions and periods are followed by the Pre-Roman Iron Age.
Climate

The Nordic Bronze Age was characterized first by a warm climate that began with a climate change around 2700 BC (comparable to that of present-day central Germany and northern France). The warm climate permitted a relatively dense population and good farming; for example, grapes were grown in Scandinavia at this time. A wetter, colder climate prevailed after a minor change in climate between 850 BC and 760 BC, and a more radical one around 650 BC.

Religion

Not much is known about the Nordic Bronze Age religion, since written sources are lacking. Archaeological finds draw a vague picture of what the religion might have been, but only some possible sects of it and only certain possible tribes. Some of the best clues to the religion of this period come from the rock carvings scattered through Northern Europe.

A pair of twin gods are believed to have been worshipped, and is reflected in a duality in all things sacred: where sacrificial artifacts have been buried they are often found in pairs. A female or mother goddess is believed to have been widely worshipped (see Nerthus). Sacrifices (animals, weapons, jewelry, and men) have been connected to water, and small lakes or ponds were often used as holy places for sacrifice and many artifacts have been found in such locations. Hieros gamos rites may have been common. Ritual instruments such as bronze lurs have been found sacrificed and are believed to have been used in ceremonies.

Bronze Age rock carvings may contain some of the earliest depictions of well-known gods from later Norse mythology. A common figure in these rock carvings is that of a male figure carrying what appears to be an axe or hammer. This may have been an early representation of Thor. Other male figures are shown holding a spear. Whether this is a representation of Odin or Týr is not known. It is possible the figure may have been a representation of Tyr, as one example of a Bronze Age rock carving appears to show a figure missing a hand. A figure holding a bow may be an early representation of Ullr. Or it is possible that these figures were not gods at all, but men brandishing the weapons of their culture.

Remnants of the Bronze Age religion and mythology are believed to exist in Germanic mythology and Norse mythology; e.g., Skinfaxi and Hrímfaxi and Nerthus, and it is believed to itself be descended from an older Indo-European prototype.

So looks to me like a bit of a ‘dig here’ for more supportive evidence for this historical warm period.

See also

Bronze Age Europe
Bronze Age sword
Egtved Girl
The King’s Grave
Stone ships
Tanumshede
Pomeranian culture

Notes

Jump up ^ Ling 2008. Elevated Rock Art. GOTARC Serie B. Gothenburg Archaeological Thesis 49. Department of Archaeology and Ancient History, University of Gothenburg, Goumlteborg, 2008. ISBN 978-91-85245-34-5.
Jump up ^ . The carvings have been painted in recent times. It is unknown whether they were painted originally. Composite image. Nordic Bronze Age.

Bibliography

Dabrowski, J. (1989) Nordische Kreis un Kulturen Polnischer Gebiete. Die Bronzezeit im Ostseegebiet. Ein Rapport der Kgl. Schwedischen Akademie der Literatur Geschichte und Alter unt Altertumsforschung über das Julita-Symposium 1986. Ed Ambrosiani, B. Kungl. Vitterhets Historie och Antikvitets Akademien. Konferenser 22. Stockholm.
Davidson, H. R. Ellis and Gelling, Peter: The Chariot of the Sun and other Rites and Symbols of the Northern European Bronze Age.
K. Demakopoulou (ed.), Gods and Heroes of the European Bronze Age, published on the occasion of the exhibition “Gods and Heroes of the Bronze Age. Europe at the Time of Ulysses”, from December 19, 1998, to April 5, 1999, at the National Museum of Denmark, Copenhagen, London (1999), ISBN 0-500-01915-0.
Demougeot, E. La formation de l’Europe et les invasions barbares, Paris: Editions Montaigne, 1969-1974.
Kaliff, Anders. 2001. Gothic Connections. Contacts between eastern Scandinavia and the southern Baltic coast 1000 BC – 500 AD.
Montelius, Oscar, 1885. Om tidsbestämning inom bronsåldern med särskilt avseende på Skandinavien.
Musset, L. Les invasions: les vagues germanique, Paris: Presses universitaires de France, 1965.

This link seems to have much of the same text and images (some even larger):
http://forum.christogenea.org/viewtopic.php?f=3&t=2339

Page 178 of this Google Book entry The Well Spring of the Goths: About the Gothic peoples in the Nordic Countries and on the Continent by Ingemar Nordgren (Nov 19, 2004) is at Amazon:

http://www.amazon.com/gp/search?index=books&linkCode=qs&keywords=0595336485

The Nordic Bronze Age Society was in many ways a flourishing culture. There was a warm climate making it possible to have a relatively extensive agriculture and the nature was overwhelmingly rich. The houses did not have to be as heat insulated as later on and the cattle could be out around the year.

So we have a bit of confirmation on the warmth.

This link has a similar warm then cold cycle documentation:

http://www.calimaine.com/gg_vikings.html

Below, although no written language yet existed, petroglyphs from Scandinavia (images incised in rock that were a form of pre-writing symbols used in communication have been dated as belonging to the Nordic Bronze Age by comparing depicted artifacts with archaeological finds. For example, bronze axes were portrayed in petroglyphs. Petroglyphs depicting ships tell us that shipping played an important role in Scandinavian life. During this period, a warm climate permitted the growth of a relatively dense population and provided conditions for good farming, including that of grapes, until a deteriorating climate in Scandinavia of colder, wetter weather (600 BC to 300 BC) pushed tribes southward into continental Europe.

So there ought to be a fair amount of history to document that warmer Viking time.

It’s also indirectly an indication that “My People” have been hanging around grapes and wine longer than I’d thought ;-)

Mum raised me with the Viking Legends and I was told that my family history of several generations of sailors reached back to the Vikings arriving in England long long ago. That, and the family tendency to blonds, redheads, and blue eyes; all tended to support the oral history… So looks like we ‘hung out’ with grapes in Scandinavia, then moved down to the UK for a bit of wine during the Roman Warm Period. Eventually to land in California for a while. Now off to Florida; where I’ve found a local winery ;-)

At any rate, I’ve preserved the bit of wiki-heresy about historical warmth, and documented a couple of other references.

It was warm in the Bronze Age, colder in the Iron Age, and we warmed up again in the Roman Warm Period, but only enough to get grape growing into the middle of the UK. Looks like a long period cycle to me.

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