Wet Cold and Hot Dry Cycles

Convection Of Water Vapor Leads To Rain And Heat Loss At Altitude

Convection Of Water Vapor Leads To Rain And Heat Loss At Altitude

Original Image

I’ve been running off down the rat hole of web searches of various terms, looking for some detail on the Dark Ages Cold Period (and I’ve found a fair amount).

One of the first things I realized was that it was a few hundred years long. Yes, there is a probable volcano in the middle of it, but that’s well AFTER a lot of the cold is soaking in. One of the second things I realized is that weather then was much more volatile and much colder than now. (Well, than the last 40 years. The UK is presently experimenting with something more like the weather of several hundred years ago… so maybe:
“It’s BAAaack!”…

At any rate, along the way I ran into a site that looked to have a very well researched paper on the topic. Being completely unfamiliar with the site (as it was a google based stumble upon) I clicked up to the home page where it self describes as a “Conservative Think Tank” founded by a Senator. (1994 – US Senator Malcolm Wallop). It is named “Frontiers Of Freedom”. I think I’ll have to learn more about them.

(I’m generally a bit skeptical of “think tanks” set up by politicians, but the work looks to be well laid out and properly referenced. I don’t know any reputations of the authors, though, so can’t properly evaluate it.)

At any rate, I’m going to quote one of their papers and add a comment or two. Just bear in mind that this is a “think tank” document and of unknown motivation.

The Dark Ages Cold Period



This is a chronology of the weather and climate shifts of The Dark Ages Cold Period. What I find intriguing about it is that it once again confirms the idea that a cold half cycle is also wet (presumably as heat is dumped off planet) and a hot half cycle is dry (as less moisture carries heat to altitude, to condense and fall as rain).

Dark Ages Cold Period (North America) – Summary


Noting that “knowledge of natural climatic variability is essential for evaluating possible human impacts on recent and future climate changes,” Hu et al. (2001) “conducted multiproxy geochemical analyses of a sediment core from Farewell Lake in the northwestern foothills of the Alaska Range,” obtaining what they describe as “the first high-resolution quantitative record of Alaskan climate variations that spans the last two millennia.” The team of five scientists say their results “suggest that at Farewell Lake SWT [surface water temperature] was as warm as the present at AD 0-300 [during the Roman Warm Period], after which it decreased steadily by ~3.5¡C to reach a minimum at AD 600 [during the depths of the Dark Ages Cold Period].” From that point in time, they say “SWT increased by ~3.0¡C during the period AD 600-850 and then [during the Medieval Warm Period] exhibited fluctuations of 0.5-1.0¡C until AD 1200.” Completing their narrative, they say that “between AD 1200-1700, SWT decreased gradually by 1.25¡C [as the world descended into the depths of the Little Ice Age], and from AD 1700 to the present, SWT increased by 1.75C,” the latter portion of which warming initiated the Modern Warm Period.

First off, that link listed at the top is a dead link. Don’t know what it was, or what it was for. Each of the “Foo et.al” references is a similarly dead link to “co2science.org” which does still exist, so perhaps this is just an old copy of one of their papers and they’ve had a site map reorg. More things to check “someday”…

But it’s on the content level that I find this interesting. It reports research done on things like sediment cores, pollens, and soil carbon. Real science, not computer models and simulations. ( I’m a “computer guy” by profession, so my skepticism of the validity of “models” as predictors of reality comes from actual experience.) I like Real Science ™ done on the ground and in the lab.

So what do they find? A cyclical process with about a 600 year period (300 year half period). There are some non-trending times like 900-1200 A.D. and then a 500 year drop. So there are some quasi-cyclical influences to be worked out. But watching for things to change at the 300 year point from the last inflection ought to be ‘fruitful’ more often than not. (Yeah, too small a sample to say for sure, but the pattern is there.) And where are we now? Roughly 300 years into a ‘warming trend’. That would say to watch out for a reversal. And not just a 60 year PDO cycle reversal, a 600 year cycle reversal.

A 1500 Year Perspective in Carbon

Dropping down to the central part of the conterminous United States, Follett et al. (2004) “used 13C:12C ratio (δ13C) and 14C dating to evaluate relationships and changes in warm (C4) versus cool season (C3) plant signatures with age of soil organic carbon” across “three soil temperature regimes and three soil moisture regimes within the historic grasslands [of the] US Great Plains and Western Corn Belt” for the entire period of the current interglacial or Holocene. They report that their data “indicate a change from C4 plants to increasing C3 plant dominance (as a surrogate of cooler temperature) at ~1,500 yr BP.” More specifically, they say that “the yr BP when δ13C was least negative was 1560,” and that “δ13C was more negative before or after that time,” which puts this significantly colder interval of time right in the middle of the Dark Ages Cold Period, as delineated by the results of the 30-plus other reports of this cold phase of earth’s millennial-scale oscillation of climate that we have reviewed and archived in the various Dark Ages Cold Period subsections of our Subject Index.

OK, I’ve seen that 1500 +/- number before. That’s the Bond Event period. So we’ve got an inflection 1560 years ago. (The period is 1470 +/- 100 or two, so it’s in the error band). This inflection comes just BEFORE the volcano of about 540 AD, as it comes in about 440 AD. Well… Kind of makes that whole ‘blame it all on the volcano’ a bit hard to swallow. Looks more like the volcano is the icing on the cake after a 100 year cooling trend into the inflection in the 1500 year cycle.

Sigma C13 / C12

Here we have an interesting study using C12 vs C13 as a temperature marker. The thesis being that C3 plants (that make a 3 carbon intermediate on the way to sugar as a first step) have a different affinity for C13 when compared to C4 plants (that make a 4 carbon starter unit). Hmmm…. So perhaps part of the C12 vs C13 signature in the CO2 today has to do with our dramatic cutting down of wild C3 plants and farming the area with loads of things like corn (maize) that’s a C4 plant which is more happy to pull C13 out of the air. (BTW, there are also C4 diatoms discussed at the C4 link above and some plants can swap from C3 to C4 as needed. So if they can change the C12 / C13 ratio they use, that will have interesting implications for attributing C12 / C13 ratio changes to people.)

This paper: http://www.plantphysiol.org/cgi/reprint/36/2/133.pdf talks about how that ratio changes with different plants and different parts of plants.

Notably, it also has a table in it that shows “ocean carbonate” with a very positive sigma C13 / C12 along with the values (as ranges) for various oils, coal, and plants. I find it intriguing that this implies either the ratio was very different in the past, or the formation of marine limestone or ocean carbonate will preferentially use C13, thus leaving more C12 behind. Oddly, while the chart shows “marine limestone’ as a positive sigma C13/C12 compared to air, the text says that “limestone” (unqualified) is about the same as air. Something different seems to be happening with ocean limestone. (Which implies we need to know more about limestone creation and destruction and the types of limestone – or the chart is wrong…) The creation of marine carbonate would imply it removes C13, giving the same signature as people burning fossil fuels… It looks to me like we need a very good understanding of ocean carbonate and limestone creation and destruction (and on an isotopic basis…) or we are clueless about what changes in atmospheric C13 / C12 ratios might mean. (It’s also possible that the Marine Limestone is made at, for example, mid-ocean ridges and that source of CO2 is enriched in C13. In that case it implies we can’t know much about our impact on C13 / C12 ratios as we don’t now how mid-ocean ridge CO2 production changes over time. It all just looks to me like a big “we don’t know” on where the two isotopes come from and go to. But the paper does show how plants use them. Further, the chart implies that cutting down a load of forest (as we’ve done world wide) has the same signature as burning fossil fuels…

Wet Pollen and Dinoflagellates in the Water

Meanwhile, back at the first link / paper:

Moving to the east coast of the United States, Willard et al. (2003) “examine[d] the late Holocene (2300 yr BP to present) record of Chesapeake Bay and the adjacent terrestrial ecosystem in its watershed through the study of fossil dinoflagellate cysts and pollen from sediment cores.” They report that “several dry periods ranging from decades to centuries in duration are evident in Chesapeake Bay records.” The first of these periods of lower-than-average precipitation, which spanned the period 200 BC-AD 300, occurred during the Roman Warm Period. The next such period (~AD 800-1200) “corresponds to the ‘Medieval Warm Period’, which has been documented as drier than average by tree-ring (Stahle and Cleaveland, 1994) and pollen (Willard et al., 2001) records from the southeastern USA.” In addition, they note that “mid-Atlantic dry periods generally correspond to central and southwestern USA ‘megadroughts’, described by Woodhouse and Overpeck (1998). Hence, it would appear that the intervening Dark Ages Cold Period was a time of relatively greater wetness throughout much of the United States.

So this gives us confirmation of the thesis that precipitation is a pretty good proxy for heat gain vs loss with warming periods being a time of low precipitation and cooing periods times of high precipitation.

Given that right now we’re getting drenched everywhere AND the talk was all of droughts up until 1998, I think this holds up in our present regime. Further, this implies that we’re headed to cold “right quick”. This also implies that the Salt Lake proxy for hot / cold cycling ought to work just fine. OK, time to start collecting that list of salt lakes and periodic lakes from the comments on the Great Salt Lake Barometer posting and gather data. If Lake Chad starts coming back, I think we’ll have a poster child for cooling… I’d also be wary of buying property near the Great Salt Lake ;-)

Sand Grains and Water Flow

A similar pattern of alternating multi-century wet and dry regimes was found by Campbell (2002), who analyzed the grain sizes of sediment cores obtained from Pine Lake, Alberta, Canada to provide a high-resolution record of climate variability for this part of North America over the past 4000 years. Periods of both increasing and decreasing grain size (moisture availability) were noted throughout the 4000-year record at decadal, centennial and millennial time scales. The most prominent of the major dry periods once again occurred during the Roman Warm Period (abut 900-100 BC) and Medieval Warm Period (about AD 700 to 1300), while the major wet periods occurred during the Dark Ages Cold Period (about 100 BC to AD 700) and Little Ice Age (about AD 1500 to 1900).

In conclusion, throughout many parts of the United States and some of Canada, it would appear that the Dark Ages Cold Period was a time of both relative coolness and wetness, much like the Little Ice Age was in this part of the world.

And following that are a bunch of references that look like peer reviewed journals to me.

So this part finds. from looking at grain sizes in cores. that there are decadal, centennial, and millennial scale events. Well, we know there’s a 11 year sun spot cycle. We know there is a 176-208 year solar quasi cycle (and three of them would be a 600 year quasi cycle). And we know there are 1500 year Bond Events.

Again the conclusion that “warm is dry” and “cold is wet”. Makes that 1930’s Dust Bowl and the 1934 record hot look more like a matched set…

Also note that this is in North America, so confirms that the Dark Ages Cold Period was at least hemispheric and probably global in scope as was the Little Ice Age.

All very nicely done.

Somehow I get the feeling I’m going to be spending a while digging through those 2 sites to see what else they have squirreled away.

In Conclusion

It’s time to start a big “dig here” into global precipitation data looking for a confirmation with temperatures (and if it diverges in, oh, 1990, we’ve got a major issue with the thermometer station changes then).

It’s time to start a tracking system for various selected cyclical lakes globally. And if they diverge from the instrumental record about 1990, well, that’s going to be a problem too.

If you cook the temperature record (or re-cook it in “adjustments”) you are going to have to cook the precipitation records and the lake levels as well. And, I suspect, retroactively… Oh, and don’t forget the pollen and dinoflagellates too ;-)

It also looks like we are not only at a cold inflection of the 60 year PDO cycle, but also a cold inflection of the 600 year quasi cycle AND a cold inflection of the 1500 year cycle. If that’s in fact the case, we’ve got a big problem. It would explain the high peak in 1998 as all three reached a high roughly together, but it also implies a big plunge right after it. Very “Not Good”.

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About E.M.Smith

A technical managerial sort interested in things from Stonehenge to computer science. My present "hot buttons' are the mythology of Climate Change and ancient metrology; but things change...
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28 Responses to Wet Cold and Hot Dry Cycles

  1. R. de Haan says:

    Bristlecone pine tree rings and volcanic eruptions over the last 5000 yr
    Matthew W. Salzer ⁎, Malcolm K. Hughes
    Laboratory of Tree-Ring Research, The University of Arizona, Tucson, Arizona 85721, USA
    Received 26 September 2005
    Available online 7 September 2006

    Click to access Salzer_Hughes_2007.pdf

  2. pyromancer76 says:

    Just asked this question of Willis at WUWT; thanks for your probing research. There seems to be enough wet during cold periods to create glaciers/ice sheets the size of continents. In the Holocene western U.S., the climate seems to be exactly as you describe in my quick reading. Hot means dry, sometimes very, very, very dry. No time to read closer because I am discharging my American citizen duty — serving on a jury. Fascinating experience.

    Interesting your mentioning 1990 as the possible “start” of tampering with thermometers. ArndB on WUWT Moncton’s Missive #4 (12:50 am) said that the IPCC Report 1990 came to the conclusion that CO2 was altering the climate — “a worthy banner under which the nations of the world can unite” — WGI, p. 328). In my reading the MWP was left alone (to be accurate historically) until after the 1995 report. Maybe “their” fascist coup attempt was not getting enough press, so they had to work harder to change “history” for the masses (and buy scientific journals and the “mass” media and Secretary of State positions in the U.S.)?

    Keep digging. Always enjoy the read; seems like you en-joy the research. Discovery of truths always pure joy — even if unwelcome.

  3. Adrian Vance says:

    Sorry, but cold periods are drier and warm is wetter for the very simple reason that air can carry more water vapor if it is warmer. However…

    In the change from a warm cycle to a cold one there will be a period of great rains as the atmosphere releases a greater than normal quantity of water having less capacity at a lower ambient temperature.

    The Medieval Warming, for example, was warmer and wetter. Europe was awash with grain and the Vikings were herding sheep in Greenland instead of pillaging Europe. This period has physical circumstances exactly like those the Extreme Greens warn us of today as they promote fear so we’ll pay higher taxes and give more grants for their “science.”

    For more conservative ideas, science and politics please see http://adrianvance.blogspot.com “The Two Minute Conservative” produced for radio and TV talk hosts, opinion page editors and dinner table conversationalists who like to “throw virtual gasoline on the candelabra.” If you have a liberal hostess friend we can see to it you will never be invited back or have to reciprocate with a few of our more muscular 300 word, two minute pieces.

  4. RuhRoh says:

    Dark Ages Cold Period collection; see


    Nice of you to ‘unearth’ documented cyclic trendy thingies unrelated to OCO.


  5. E.M.Smith says:


    The process is always welcome, ’tis the answers that sometimes are not…

    @Adrian Vance:

    The data are what they are. What we have here are “whole period” answers. What we need are “precipitation vs temperature curve offsets”. As of now I don’t have a way to say if the offset is as I would expect it to be. But on a 300 year time scale, these folks found cold periods were wetter. (yet we know that on 100,000 year time scales, the very cold glacials are very dry).

    My thesis would be that the transition from a cold LAND SURFACE AIR temperature to a warm one would result in less rain. Simply because the still cold ocean would NOT be evaporating as much and warm doesn’t condense as much. On the flip side, a change from a warm LAND SURFACE AIR temperature to a cold one would make more rain as the ocean would still be warmer and putting more water into the ocean air, to then cool and condense more over land. The different warming and cooling time periods lengths of the two domains makes a dynamic system possible with rainfall not as expected from just land air temps.

    The “open bits” would be:

    1) What is the time lag? I.e. does the ocean cool off in 20 years or 200 years; and then you go very dry even before the cycle of land temps changes?

    2) How does this vary by region? For example, does the Western USA have one pattern (cold is wet) while Europe has another (hot is wet) due to some local peculiarity such as the Gulf Stream switch.

    As I’m IN the USA West, I’m more interested at the moment in this data for the USA West that shows a “cold is wet” pattern. That this cross connects with the Great Salt Lake level issue is all gravy.

    But yeah, not a ‘done deal’ at all for a different region such as Europe as those two issues above are not addressed and need some more work. It will take some time, but will get done.

    For now, though, it’s very clear that the Western USA, including it’s lakes and watershed data (that are well recorded) can be used as a cross check on the thermometer “Record Hot Ever” claims based on the “cold is wet” pattern. The fact that other lakes change in sync suggests a larger application is possible too (though needs verification by data from those places..

    That Lake Chad has dried during this past warm phase implies it will return during the coming cold phase due to rain in central Africa being like rain the the western USA. Perhaps the snows of Kilimanjaro too.

    It would be very interesting, too , to look at places like Australia where there is flooding in the East and drought in the West at this inflection point. Does that imply that the Eastern part has a “cold is wet” pattern while the Western part has a “cold is dry”? Not enough data at present to say… but clearly we can use the Eastern pattern (where we’ve had regular “drought doom” reports during the warm phase and now have floods in the cold turn) as a cross check on the thesis even as we find more water data for the Western part.

    A final note:

    It’s very clear that there can be changes in precipitation of opposite sign for THE SAME cooling or warming event. Just look at the Sahara Pump theory. Movement of the rain band N / S over time. Sometimes the Sahara is wet and lush, often it’s dry and a desert. And when it is a lush, the dry band has moved somewhere else that got dryer instead of wetter with the temperature change.

    So I don’t think you can make a blanket for all time and all places (and certainly not for all latitudes) statement that “cold is wet” or “cold is dry”. But I expect it will be mostly latitude band correlated and perhaps continental east / west correlated But that does not in any way prevent me from have a usable “gauge” made of it in a region, like the Western USA and using our lakes here as a guide…

    BTW, to the extent we can show differential correlations by region (cold wet in the western USA with cold dry in Europe) it implies many of the dendrochronology studies may need a revisit. Both water and warm stimulate growth, so places where they correlate vs those where they anti-correlate could give wildly different ring growth results for the same temperature change…

    But I can’t put all that detail in each article or they become a Russian Novel each ;-)

  6. Tim Clark says:

    That’s an interesting paper EM. Has The Team rebutted this yet.

    For example, coals of all geological ages
    have about the same C13/C12 ratios as present day

    A possible explanation for the C12 enrichment
    in petroleum hydrocarbons is that plants produce a C12
    enriched fraction which is selectively preserved during
    sedimentation and petroleum formation while the remainder of the plant is oxidized.

  7. George says:

    I have been watching this:


    I notice for the first time in the few years I have been watching it that the ice pack off Greenland is getting very close to Iceland. Also, from looking at those water temperatures to the Northeast of Iceland, we could see a very rapid increase in ice around the Northern side of the island.

  8. E.M.Smith says:

    @Tim Clark: Not that I know of. Don’t see how you could. It’s just measurements and reporting, mostly.

    @George: Yeah, interesting times…

    I suspect we’ll be able to have a ‘walking to Iceland’ story Real Soon Now ;-)

    Maybe a polar bear or two can try it and we can get headlines like “Murderous Icelanders Kill Innocent Polar Bear Escaping Global Warming Induced Ice” ;-)

  9. Remember that it only rains after clouds discharge its electricity, in a visible (lightning) or in an invisible ( dark mode).
    …and this is “EX-CATHEDRA” :-)
    How, in the world, can you explain all those zillions of tons of water hanging and floating over our heads defying the Most Sacred Saint Newton’s Holy Law of Gravity?
    The mentioned Saint saw the apple falling down but forgot the tree growing upward.

  10. Tim Clark says:

    As I’m IN the USA West, I’m more interested at the moment in this data for the USA West that shows a “cold is wet” pattern. That this cross connects with the Great Salt Lake level issue is all gravy.

    It is definitely a regional phenomena. Here in Kansas, cold is dry. La Nina’s usually mean mild temps with dry conditions, and sure enough, we got it (and usually do).
    What I’ve determined (in my mind-no error bars) is that the data needs to be reanalyzed based on absolute temperature differences between annuallar seasons and rate of change, not on diviations from smeared and homogenized anomalies of min/max. In other words, some type of rate of temp change regressed to precip (I’m not a statistician). For example, the lower trop. sat data in the tropics shows greater “recent” cooling and they are getting abundant rainfall because the cooler tropo. (relative to 6 mos ago in that area only) can’t hold as much water. Whereas, the central usa south of the tier states still have warmer lower trop temps, which holds more water and we are very dry.
    I once had a paper from the agronomy Journal where someone determined that climate has 4 cycles it follows over a 120 year period. Hot-dry, cold-wet, hot-wet, cold dry. Can’t find it now, it was college era vintage. It applied to the central usa, author was from Neb.

  11. @E.M.Smith:
    You, economists, have your Unified Field Equation too, as electrical engineers have their own in their eq.. for power; yours is the Laffer’s curve: Everything works like it, just think it applied to this phenomenon of rain. :-)
    I will eagerly await your discussion on it.

  12. Tim Clark says:

    BTW, those 4 cycles are in order of succession. You can see that individual variables are the same for 60 years, ie. wet-wet. And I believe we are entering the cold dry 30 year epoch. To be followed by hot-dry.

    Incidently, the cycles he determined coincided with the timing of the Anazazi leaving Mesa Verde. I was an undergraduate at CSU at the time and thought that was fascinating.

  13. @Tim Clark
    The earth goes round and round from west to east (this is why we see the Sun rising from the east). If its LOD length of the day would be much slower then you could get some water from the east. This is why the Sahara desert it is a deserted area while the Amazon basin, in front of it, it is what ii is.
    See graph on page 50:
    Easy…isn’t it?

  14. bruce says:

    now for something completely different, …

    A question for another day, do we attempt to alter the climate? Lets say it does get unfashionably cold, do we try warming the planet?

    Tort lawyers be damned?

    It would be enlightening to see how the various communities line up.

  15. pyromancer76 says:

    After early morning work, then jury duty, and finally (thank god) the evening wine comforter, don’t know if I will be lucid, but…

    “on December 10, 2010 at 4:42 pm bruce
    now for something completely different, …

    A question for another day, do we attempt to alter the climate? Let’s say it does get unfashionably cold, do we try warming the planet?”

    Water. Everything starts and ends with water on this planet, not warmth, per se. Forget that silly CO2. It is the amazing little H2O molecule in the ocean or the atmosphere, or in our bodies. We need to move that water around. Melt it where it is accumulating as ice; channel it where floods are expectable; turn it into drinkable stuff where it is too saline, dredge the “catch basins” when they become silted in; and transport it so that Earth becomes one beautiful garden, even if most of us must move to lower latitudes at different historical periods. (Won’t that be a crowd!)

    Water it all. Then we don’t have to worry about warm-wet, warm-dry, cold-wet, or cold-dry as I do now in Southern California. I hate drought, and I hate those lawmakers who decide just what is a drought and what we must do with our water. Water this day or that. Use a hose just so (water only with an instant turn-off nozzle at this time on this day). And the agricultural people are having apoplexy at the idiocy of California affluence-haters (lawmakers, of course).

    I want a world where we do the real research (as opposed to that of IPCC, NASA, GISS. CRU, etc), anticipate the outcomes over hundreds, if not thousands, of years, and “adapt” through innovation. What better purposes for all those grand schemes with our tax dollars.

    E.M. Smith, keep diggin in, and thanks. You will find us some of those answers.

  16. BlueIce2HotSea says:


    Nice post. Thank you.

    “I find it intriguing that this implies either the ratio was very different in the past, or the formation of marine limestone or ocean carbonate will preferentially use C13, thus leaving more C12 behind.”

    Svensmark says you are right and that the varying ratios are caused by, you guessed it, cosmic rays. He says the resultant varying cloud cover impacts the growth rate of algae and bacteria which preferentially select C-12, leaving C-13 saturated oceans for shell-making creatures.

    (Ocean depth and acidity also affects rates of CaCO3 precipitation and certain bacteria, etc..)

    One more thing, I recommend substituting ‘precipitation’ for ‘wetness’. In the northern plains, winter absolute humidity can be 20% that of the Arizona desert in summer. Even if colder means snowier, wetter is delayed until the melt.

  17. Mike Jonas says:

    EMS – In your last para you speculate about where temperatures are headed. In Bulletin #338 of the Royal Society of NSW [their website appears to be down at the moment but I presume you can access it there : http://nsw.royalsoc.org.au/%5D, says “he [Dr Ken McCracken] will speculate that the Sun will remain relatively inactive (and cool) for the next 20 years, and it will then resume a steadily increasing state of activity until it reaches a peak of the Hallstatt (2300 year) cycle ~200 years in the future.“.
    Bulletin #330 might also have something on this but I don’t have it in front of me.

    Two totally non-relevant comments:
    1. I see later in the same article it speaks of “US astronauts loosing their virility en route to the Moon“. The mind boggles (I hope they turn off the cameras).
    2. In a criticism of Dr Ken McCracken, Dr David Jones [head of climate analysis for the Bureau of Meteorology’s National Climate Centre] says “I have never seen a credible paper published using a climate model that shows this“. Again, the mind boggles.

  18. Adrian Vance says:

    A cold period will be wetter at the onset and drier over time as the atmosphere changes from a system that can carry more water with warm air from over the oceans to one that can carry less with cold air.

  19. BlueIce2HotSea says:

    @Adrian Vance

    Good point about the transitional periods. Chiefio has this very nice post about the possible end-point of such a transition: Cold Dry Sahara, Hot Wet Savanna

  20. Adrian Vance says:

    The mechanism is very simple. The only reason for all the complexities noted here is obfuscation. Make the issue so difficult the reader gives up, cries “Uncle,” and says OK, you get the grant!

    James Hansen’s CO2 responsibility hypothesis is a case in point. He now claims that even though water vapor is much better absorber of IR than CO2 that the CO2 has to heat air first so it will carry more water vapor. This requires a hierarchy of molecules that can only exist with intelligent or intelligently controlled molecules, i.e. with tiny pilots, Divine or Satanic intervention: Take your pick.

    Such ideas of “vitalism” died in 1832 with the Wohler Synthesis showing that all molecules are the same and not under some kind of spiritual control.

  21. BlueIce2HotSea says:

    @Adrian Vance

    OT – your clone recipe for Campbell’s Cream of One (1) Mushroom Soup was both hilarious and delicious. Thank you. (i used a large portabello)

    It is clear that Dr. Hansen is at times unable to suppress his political-activist compulsions. What is unknown is the extent to which he is able to maintain cold, clear thinking in his science, which he has at times certainly displayed an admirable capability in that regard.

  22. Adrian Vance says:

    I will update that recipe soon I have had several people ask about making the concentrate and I have since perfected that. And, developed a system for making gourmet soups from rather mundane ingredients thus most appropriate for my “Live Cheap, But Good” book project.

    Jim Hansen is a skunk who could play Homer Simpson without makeup and should be hanged on the steps of the capital the old-fashioned, slow death way for his crimes on science.

    What really throws me is that all these guys have to know that some time this whole thing was going to collapse. The day would come when even the elected ruling class would get it and give up, but they continued anyway.

    For more conservative thought, science and humor see: http://adrianvance.blogspot. com The Two Minute Conservative for 300 word pieces guaranteed to drive liberals nuts.

  23. E.M.Smith says:

    OK, I couldn’t stand the suspense, so here’s a link directly to the soup:


    @Mike Jonas:

    After it was loosed, they they lasso the critter and get it back in the barn? Inquiring minds are afraid to ask ….

    And THE NERVE of some folks. Doing things that are not properly supported by Model Proof!

  24. Sandy Rham says:


    An occasional lake for your collection.

  25. Adrian Vance says:

    What you are pointing to is a special case, but then every case in weather can be a special case. Certainly the hot air over the Sahara will have little water in it, but the areas of north Africa that are near water are quite moist. Panama and all of Central America are special hot air wet areas, but North Dakota is a desert as is northern China with winds making a long reach from water and losing their moisture as they chill to arrive in these areas bone dry.

    Western Washington and Oregon are literally “rain forests,” but have dry years when the North Pacific is cold. Eastern Washington and Oregon are deserts regardless the year thanks to the mountains. Again, every case has to be analyzed.

  26. W^L+ says:


    From watching NOAA’s satellite site (to monitor prospects for work), it seems that weather in N. Africa comes from the East. S. of the Sahara, there are the storms that head out over the Atlantic and sometimes become hurricanes.

    This isn’t at a long-term observation at all, but if it holds, increased Sahara precipitation would be a result of the storm band moving N. or expanding in width.

    That would also imply that the Amazon’s high water content may be because the mountains are in a N-S configuration near the W coast of S. America, vs. the E-W configuration along the N. African coast.

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