Well, earlier we saw a broad sweep of history. 4000 years of it. In that posting, we saw that there is an oscillation of empires, with the Mediterranean (Egypt / Rome / EU) alternating with the Near East ( Assyria / Persia / Babylon / Byzantium & Greece – included as in ancient times it extended into Anatolia and Egypt during empire).
Along the way, there was a “sidebar” on China. We noticed that during “cold times” when Europe was having cold and wet (and often crop failures from too much wet, as in the Little Ice Age “Let them eat cake” moment…) China had a different problem. China would have a drought. One so large it was noted as “The Great Drought” on the history chart. Something has to be a pretty big event to be the most notable thing in a half century and the memory preserved for 2500 years. But there were other droughts after that, also often in cold periods. Even today there is a drought in China, started just as the weather cycles turned cold. (It would be interesting to see if it tracks the PDO, AO, AMO, … a little “dig here” that I’m sure folks in China will be looking into…)
Historically, drought in China led to famine and great deaths. To the extent it is cyclical with a 1400-1500 year cycle, we ought to be able to see that in the graveyards of China. There ought to be evidence in the bones. Yes, I’m going to say it: A big “Dig Here” for archaeologists! ;-) The bones ought to show the cause of death as starvation, and perhaps even some evidence in the isotopic ratios for the degree of drought. There are even some diseases from dust inhalation that ought to increase (if more of the body is intact to see it). China also has a long written history. A historian of China ought to have no difficulty matching up the timeline of detailed Chinese history against a timeline of cold periods (and the 1432-ish year planetary / solar motion cycle and the 1470 +/- 100 or so year Bond Event cycle).
I did a ‘first cut’ of a Cycle Timeline just for my own purposes. It’s not that hard. The basic pattern is a 1432 cycle for the series, with 716 years at the half cycle point and 358 at the 1/4 cycle point. 179 (ish) years being the basic cycle time. Yes, that could use a lot of “tuning”. The Bond Event cycle we’ve already seen, and marking 1/2 events on it is not hard. Much harder is answering the question: Is it ONLY 1/2 cycles that matter? Or harmonics of other scales? A minor third? A fifth? Oscillators uniformly put out “side lobes” and “harmonics” so it would be very bizarre to NOT have minor nodes, and they ought to have a pattern. An interesting place for an Electrical Engineer to use their signal enhancement and display skills (hint hint…)
But even with the discrepancy between a 1432 vs a 1470 year basic cycle (planetary-solar vs Bond Event sediments), the patterns show. The 40 year offset is not so great when compared to the 100 year duration of major events, and 3 cycles is almost ALL of recorded history (and then some, for many areas) 4300 years, give or take. That’s 2300 BC, just prior to Bond Event 3 at 2200 BC. So we have about 3 x 40 = 120 years of “error band” when many of the events of 2000 BC have hundreds of years of +/- on their believed dates. I’m not going to lose sleep over it. (But it does complicate finding minor power nodes of signal at things like a 179 or 358 period).
At any rate, on the assumption that “now” is the start of Bond Event Zero (c), though it ought to continue until at least 2040, I just backdated nodal points on the 1432 pattern from 2020 (as the presumed middle of this BE-0 period). This list starts at the “now” end of things at the top and works down to the BC end.
For reference, Bond Event 4 was roughly the moment in time when Egypt was formed as an empire near the Nile, as folks abandoned the center of the Sahara and headed to the river. 3708 BC This was followed by Intermediate Period 1, then Bond Event 3 comes along about 2200 BC and Egypt falls again. Intermediate period 2 happens. About 800-900 BC we have the Iron Age Cold Period and Bond Event 2. I note that 844 BC is one of the nodes on the chart. 588 AD is about the time of Bond Event 1, but the history of things during The Dark Ages is pretty messed up. It looks like it started getting colder a hundred years earlier, and in 535 AD or so there was an event that was likely a volcano blowing off that puts a spike in things.
At any rate, here’s the general timeline. 1/2 Bond Event times are noted with “1/2 BE”. The unmarked dates are at 1/4 Bond Event intervals (or 2 x the 179 year ‘alignment’ cycle). It would be very interesting to match a history chart against the actual plentary / solar motion calculated patterns, but I’m “not up for it” at the moment. A bit more work that I can take on. Perhaps a “Dig Here!” for the Barycenter folks? For me, I’ll be using this “first cut” as my basic timeline for mapping things in future cogitations (but knowing it may be off a solar cycle or three…)
2020 AD - You Are Entering Now 1662 AD 1304 AD - 1/2 BE 946 AD 588 AD - Bond Event 1, The Dark Ages 230 AD 128 BC - 1/2 BE - Alexander the Great 486 BC 844 BC - Bond Event 2, Iron Age Cold Period 1202 BC 1560 BC - 1/2 BE 1918 BC 2276 BC - Bond Event 3 2634 BC 2992 BC - 1/2 BE 3350 BC 3708 BC - Bond Event 4 4066 BC 4424 BC - 1/2 BE
So now the question becomes: Are there any patterns in history that match that timeline?
Do remember that the historical record can be fuzzy, that Bond Events are based on physical changes seen in the dirt and sediments that may manifest at the end of a period rather than the start, and that this cycle is imposed on top of a long term 25,000 year precessional cycle and 120,000 year Milankovitch cycles, so things like the “out of Africa pump” theory have the Sahara being wet and green very early on, but those longer cycles slowly dry it out until it becomes a desert in “God Awful Early BC” and folks run to the Nile; and then begin the Egypt Empire. That happens sometime “way back” in that 4,000-5,000 BC time; but with dates in history only really clearing up a little in about 3700 BC (all dates approximate!)
So as you move over thousands of years, don’t expect a repeat, expect a rhyme…
Back To China
OK, so what does this have to do with China?
has an article about what China is doing now:
China to spend $1 billion to alleviate drought
TINI TRAN | February 10, 2011 01:59 AM EST |
BEIJING — China will spend $1 billion to alleviate its worst drought in six decades – a long dry spell in the world’s largest wheat-growing region that threatens further jumps in the commodity’s global price.
Got that? Worst in 60 years? We’ve barely entered this long cycle event, and we’ve already exceeded everything seen in the 60 year PDO cycle. That tends to argue for this not being just your garden variety 60 year pattern. No, not a strong bit yet, but when coupled to the solar state and the reasonable prediction that it’s going to stay in a funk for 20 more years, and in the context of the timeline above… Well, lets just say I’d not bet on a large rebound in Chinese Wheat next season.
Note also that world wheat production largely stays INSIDE individual countries. Very little of it really enters global trade. So that point “world’s largest wheat-growing region” matters. China has $1 Trillion or so of US obligations. We’ve got wheat. AS this drought continues and Chinese wheat fails “who you gonna call?” especially if you hold their IOU? Shoving that much more demand on the global wheat markets will have a price impact…
The funding announced late Wednesday is part of a government plan to boost grain production, divert water, build emergency wells and take other steps in the affected areas in central and northern China.
All of which is fine. They will ‘mine the ground water’ with added wells, but that will not do much for thousands of hectare sized expanses of wheat. Good for small villages and gardens, though. I also hope that “boost grain production” includes “do it where the rain IS falling”… and “divert water” depends on the water falling somewhere. Somewhere not too far away. Given tha the “affected areas” include “central and northern China” that looks pretty big to me…
Snow fell Thursday in some of the driest areas, but it was minimal and has not eased worries about the winter wheat crop. The main wheat belt, including Shandong, Henan, Hebei, Anhui, Shanxi, Shaanxi, Gansu and Jiangsu provinces, has gotten virtually no precipitation since October.
The crisis prompted Premier Wen Jiabao to hold an executive meeting Wednesday of the State Council, China’s Cabinet, to discuss drought measures. At least 6.7 billion yuan ($1.02 billion) would be spent to boost grain production by raising minimum purchase prices of grain, subsidizing the purchase of anti-drought technologies and adding funding for farm irrigation.
Somehow I think raising minimum purchase prices will be the least of their worries…
The State Council warned that rainfall across northern China would remain “persistently below normal levels and major rivers will continue to be generally dry,” the official China Daily reported Thursday.
The first snowfall of the year to hit the capital and northern provinces brought 1 to 3 millimeters (less than a half inch) of precipitation, the National Meteorological Center said.
China has claimed success with cloud seeding techniques. Silver iodide fired from canons and missiles caused a light smattering of snow in Henan and Shandong provinces, state broadcaster CCTV reported.
A couple of millimeters of dry sky rain is not going to grow fields of wheat over whole provinces. Though you might watch for the price of silver to rise…
For me, I smell a crisis in the making. The Chinese are a very creative and resourceful people, but dry is dry. So I’d figure on about 20 years of generally rising grain prices and increasing sales to China. Given that North Africa (i.e. Egypt) tended to famine during these events too, expect them to be in the market “in size” (even more than they are now, they are net importers).
I’d also watch for failures of crops where it’s “too wet”. Historically the European grain crops were damaged by too much rain during these parts of the cycle. Similarly, Northern Australia has been drenched along with Sri Lanka. I also note that the northern half of South America is having floods and landslides (while Chile is having a bit of a drought… but doesn’t it always? ;-)
I’m going to fill in a bit of the historical droughts in China after another cup of tea. I got side tracked into the below rant on search engine changes (Google is now broken, IMHO) and need to re-think my search method to find what I’m looking for. Similarly, I’ve a theory that the Hadley Cells being squashed is the cause, but want a pause before running down that path. So for now, this ‘marker text’ is here, but by this evening, it ought to be replaced. The idea being to match up China historical droughts and famines to the timeline above. But with my search engine method of finding that history “in doublt”, I need a pause before building this part of the posting.
Well, I don’t know if it’s just hard to find a simple history of droughts of significant size in China, or if the change of search engines now focuses so much on recent trendy news that historical searches are hampered. At any rate, I’ve had “no joy” in search engine land. There is a link in comments I need to look at, but for now, I’m putting the China History on the slow boat… to… later ;-)
Sidebar on Search Engines
Recently Google has changed something in their search engine. They have added a “quality” metric of some kind. There is some speculation that it collects data from Chrome users who can flag a result as ‘uninteresting’ and that this is used to bias the search results. One thing I’ve noticed is that “global warming” no longer returns WUWT in the top pages (as it almost universally did before) and even “Global Warming Skeptic” puts is way off in the dozens of pages. IMHO, Google is now a somewhat broken search engine that gives PC Weighted results.
In this case, the Google search for “China Drought” gave a Huffington Post article (quoted above) as very high ranking. Using Bing! gives
News: china drought
China Drought-Affected Area ‘Limited,’ Farm Adviser Chen Says
March 6 (Bloomberg) — The total area in China affected by drought is “limited” and grain prices will remain “basically stable,” said Chen Xiwen, the State Council’s deputy director of agricultural affairs. Winter wheat…BusinessWeek · 14 hours ago
Rain and snow dispel worries of drought in China Reuters India
Today’s top stories · Related blogs · Related tweets
2010 China drought and dust storms – Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Causes · Water shortages · Dust storms · Relief
The 2010 China drought and dust storms were a series of severe droughts during the spring of 2010 that affected Yunnan, Guizhou, Guangxi, Sichuan, Shanxi, Henan, Shaanxi, …
U.N. Food Agency Issues Warning on China Drought
Feb 08, 2011 · HONG KONG — The United Nations ’ food agency issued an alert on Tuesday warning that a severe drought was threatening the wheat crop in China, the …
China drought leaves millions short of water
Millions of people face drinking water shortages in southwestern China because of a once-a-century drought that has dried up rivers and threatens vast farmlands …
China’s Drought-Hit Wheat Has Widespread Rain; Prices Drop
Feb 28, 2011 · Feb. 28 (Bloomberg) — China, the biggest wheat grower, had widespread rain in drought-hit crop areas in the past three days, according to the weather …
China official says drought impact on grain limited …12 hours ago
BEIJING, March 6 (Xinhua) — Drought in China’s major winter wheat producing areas has limited impact on grain output and prices are expected to remain stable, a …
A less “politically” aligned set of links. Still has an overweight of New York Times and Businessweek (though the BizWeak article is just quoting a Bloombu\erg story), along with the Wiki (but that could just be as they are all very large circulation). Reuters has a link near the top. Rapidly you end up at things like “physorg.com” that look more balanced. (Their story even notes that “China is prone to extreme weather, and severe droughts are a regular occurrence throughout the country. However, the current water shortages reported in the southwest have been particularly acute.”) And after another BizWeak copy of a Boomberg report, we even get some local news that may have a clue what is really going on; and will at least give the “official” government spin.
A much more diverse set of information and much more usable (as “compare and contrast” yields more understanding than “echo echo echo ech…” )
I’ve not done a survey of Ask.com or Yahoo! or… but clearly there is a major opportunity here. My bias is clear: I Despise Microsoft for most things. They are in many ways an Evil Monopoly Empire (even the EU found them guilty). So here I am endorsing their Bing! product as a superior and less Evil search engine than Google. What can I say? “The Facts just ARE. – E.M.Smith” and I go where they lead.
So, through gritted teeth, I’m swapping over to using Bing! until I can find something that gives better results. For now at least, Google is being (deliberately or as an accident of method) PC Muzzled on the results it gives, IMHO.
The Google results, for comparison, start with the lefty New York Times, then does have a decent Businessweek article, but I have to note that Businessweek has been “in line” on the whole Global Warming End OF THE WORLD!!! thing… We move on to the BBC (need I say more? As hard core AGW as you can get with a smidge of left lean to it too) and then we get a repeat of more BBC and Businessweek. OK, next up is Straights Times (whose reputation I don’t know) but then “Treehugger”? THEY qualify as “Page One Above The Fold”? ReallY? followed by “Climateprogress” and the Washington Post? Hello?
Only after that do you start to get to folks like Reuters and THEY are immediately followed by a Nature article that highlights global risk from “climate threats”…
China Drought Prompts U.N. to Issue Warning – NYTimes.com
Feb 8, 2011 … China’s wheat crop is threatened, and some people face shortages of drinking water, the agency warned.
www.nytimes.com/2011/02/09/business/…/09food.html – Add to iGoogle
China Wheat Drought May Last to Spring, Minister Says – Businessweek
Feb 10, 2011 … China, the largest wheat consumer, says the drought in the country’s main growing region may be prolonged, said Minister of Agriculture Han …
www.businessweek.com/…/china-wheat-drought-may-last-to-spring-minister- says.html – Cached
BBC News – Crop warning over China drought
Jan 24, 2011 … A prolonged dry spell in parts of northern, central and eastern China is threatening both crops and water supplies, Chinese state media …
www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-asia-pacific-12266435 – Cached – Add to iGoogle
BBC News – China drought worsens in parched north
Mar 1, 2011 … Parts of northern China are experiencing their most serious …
www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-asia-pacific-12606326 – Cached
Show more results from bbc.co.uk
News for china drought China Drought-Affected Area ‘Limited,’ Farm Adviser Chen Says – 14 hours ago
By Bloomberg News March 6 (Bloomberg) — The total area in China affected by drought is “limited” and grain prices will remain “basically stable,” said Chen …
BusinessWeek – 16 related articles
China says drought eased after snow, rain – Straits Times – 34 related articles
China’s Wheat Shortage Could Affect World Prices – Treehugger – 21 related articles – Shared by 20+
China’s droughts nears worst in 200 years, adding pressure to …
Feb 24, 2011 … I reported two weeks ago that if China’s drought continued through the month it would be the worst in 200 years (see “UN food agency warns …
http://climateprogress.org/2011/02/24/china-drought-worst-in-200-years-food-prices/ – Cached
China drought could pressure wheat prices
Feb 8, 2011 … A record drought in China’s major wheat-producing areas threatens to push world food prices beyond their current high level, the United …
www.washingtonpost.com › Business
China drought likely to last, threatening winter wheat | Reuters
Feb 17, 2011 … BEIJING (Reuters) – China’s ongoing drought in northern wheat areas is likely to continue, threatening the winter crop, the Ministry of …
www.reuters.com/…/us-china-wheat-idUSTRE71G20U20110217 – Cached
China drought highlights future climate threats : Nature News
May 11, 2010 … Throughout southwestern China, where 2000 drought-relief workers are drilling wells around the clock, the location of groundwater remains …
So I don’t know what’s broken at Google, but something is.
It could just be an artifact of creating a feedback loop from the subset of folks who use Chrome or of the inherent bias of their sample group of those folks Rabid enough on the topic to click “I hate you” on anything that drifts from the catechism of Global Warming Doom. I don’t know, and I don’t care. One drop down / click and my browser uses Bing! instead. I’ll give them a few months and see what changes.