Somehow I missed this paper:
Nature Geoscience | Letter
Regional atmospheric circulation shifts induced by a grand solar minimum
& Bas van Geel
Received 24 January 2012
Accepted 02 April 2012
Published online 06 May 2012
Large changes in solar ultraviolet radiation can indirectly affect climate 1 by inducing atmospheric changes. Specifically, it has been suggested that centennial-scale climate variability during the Holocene epoch was controlled by the Sun 2, 3. However, the amplitude of solar forcing is small when compared with the climatic effects and, without reliable data sets, it is unclear which feedback mechanisms could have amplified the forcing. Here we analyse annually laminated sediments of Lake Meerfelder Maar, Germany, to derive variations in wind strength and the rate of 10Be accumulation, a proxy for solar activity, from 3,300 to 2,000 years before present. We find a sharp increase in windiness and cosmogenic 10Be deposition 2,759 ± 39 varve years before present and a reduction in both entities 199 ± 9 annual layers later. We infer that the atmospheric circulation reacted abruptly and in phase with the solar minimum. A shift in atmospheric circulation in response to changes in solar activity is broadly consistent with atmospheric circulation patterns in long-term climate model simulations, and in reanalysis data that assimilate observations from recent solar minima into a climate model. We conclude that changes in atmospheric circulation amplified the solar signal and caused abrupt climate change about 2,800 years ago, coincident with a grand solar minimum.
Unfortunately, they want $32 to read the whole article. So I’ve quoted the entire “blurb” they give out for free here.
Doing a quick check on the title, I found several other blogs that had already posted about it. Yet I’d not seen it. So on the off chance that anyone here missed it, I’ve put it here.
I got there via a search on grand solar minimum and aurora, that in early results looked like it was saying the aurora reduced (but then I got side tracked into this article.) The place where I ran into it was:
that has a nice write up and correlates it with planetary positions. “Homeric Minimum” has an nice ring to it… That article has a very interesting graph of Be10 vs C14 vs Solar Angular Momentum. So hit the link and take a look… (It would have been nice if they had extended that graph to the present, but I suspect the Be10 and C14 are not available. After nuclear testing began C14 became dodgy anyway…) This article:
has the present AM graph in it, which does not have the second “step” in 2040, so there’s some hope this Grand Minimum will be a Baby Grand ;-) I’m needing to take some time to look over a longer chart series and see what prior weather history was like when we had a ‘step and shallow slope’ instead of the old Solar Two Step.
Of note is that this research has identified both solar output and climate data from a single core for the first time. With both datasets coming from a single source the reliability of the data is obviously enhanced. The team believe one strong mechanism causing the solar/climate link is UV light which fluctuates at much higher levels over the solar cycle compared with TSI output (heat) that is often promoted by IPCC friendly scientists that only varies 0.1% (there is some doubt over this figure).
There is also a link to WUWT:
Which just leaves me wondering what I was doing in May that I missed it all…
UPDATE: Here’s the press release from the Helmholtz Association of German Research Centres.
Climatic effects of a solar minimum
A grand solar minimum and the climate response recorded for the first time in the same climate archive highlights the need for a more differentiated approach to solar radiation
An abrupt cooling in Europe together with an increase in humidity and particularly in windiness coincided with a sustained reduction in solar activity 2800 years ago. Scientists from the German Research Centre for Geosciences GFZ in collaboration with Swedish and Dutch colleagues provide evidence for a direct solar-climate linkage on centennial timescales. Using the most modern methodological approach, they analysed sediments from Lake Meerfelder Maar, a maar lake in the Eifel/Germany, to determine annual variations in climate proxies and solar activity.
The study published online this week in Nature Geosience (06/05/2012) reports the climatic change that occurred at the beginning of the pre-Roman Iron Age and demonstrates that especially the so-called Grand Minima of solar activity can affect climate conditions in western Europe through changes in regional atmospheric circulation pattern. Around 2800 years ago, one of these Grand Solar Minima, the Homeric Minimum, caused a distinct climatic change in less than a decade in Western Europe.
The exceptional seasonally laminated sediments from the studied maar lake allow a precise dating even of short-term climate changes. The results show for a 200 year long period strongly increased springtime winds during a period of cool and wet climate in Europe. In combination with model studies they suggest a mechanism that can explain the relation between a weak sun and climate change. “The change and strengthening of the tropospheric wind systems likely is related to stratospheric processes which in turn are affected by the ultraviolet radiation” explains Achim Brauer (GFZ), the initiator of the study. “This complex chain of processes thus acts as a positive feedback mechanism that could explain why assumingly too small variations in solar activity have caused regional climate changes.”
Some Historical Perspective
So “a bit late to the party” but still, nice to have documented. We’ve also seen increasing “wet” along with more wind during this minimum, so things are proceeding according to expectations. While the Larger Grand Minimums with a ‘2 Step” lasted nearly 200 years, this one is likely to be much shorter (and one hopes less deep). I’m sticking with Habibulo and his prediction that it’s at the bottom in 2040 and pretty much exiting in 2060. That would make it less than 50 years. I would speculate that looking at weather changes 30 to 40 years into the larger ones would be ‘about right’. Probably not too bad then.
Still, wet, windy and cold are not my favorite things… But at least I’m not in Europe, so I can hope that doesn’t apply to me. Unfortunately, California often goes for “slightly cool and hard drought”… So I might be less windy and wet, but very thirsty.
Perhaps a bit more like the Dalton Minimum as described in this very nice write up by Joe D’Aleo (from 2009):
If your idea of Christmas is mince pies, sleigh- bells in the snow, and a family feast round a roaring fire, then you’re dreaming of a Dickensian Christmas. For all the elements of what we now think of a traditional Old English Yuletide were largely the invention of that greatest of English writers, Charles Dickens, in his 1847 masterpiece A Christmas Carol. Well the Climate is now moving into a new regime that may bring us back to the climate of the Dickens era, the so called Dalton Minimum (1790-1830). Last winter, London had its first October snow in 70 years and more snow in December, January and February. Bitter cold weather accompanied the snow for weeks at a time.
Has nice pictures in it too ;-)
Time to dig out the weather atlas and see what the weather was like in those years.
puts the Homeric Minimum as being from 950 BC to 800 BC.
It puts the Spörer Minimum as being from 1450 to 1550 AD.
The Iron Age Cold Epoch (also referred to as Iron Age climate pessimum or Iron Age neoglaciation) was a period of unusually cold climate in the North Atlantic region, lasting from about 900 BC to about 300 BC, with an especially cold wave in 450 BC during the expansion of ancient Greece. It was followed by the Roman Warm Period (250 BC – 400 AD).
Looks like the Warmista Langoliers have been busy pruning the Iron Age Cold Period. Now it only happened in Europe and limited to the North Atlantic part of even that area. Gee…
An interesting tidbit was picked up here:
Mesopotamia is utterly devastated by a long drought which leads to an almost complete breakdown of civil authority.
Earth Cooling! 850
An abrupt cooling of earth-climate begins.
So we’ve got drought in Syria / Iraq. Wonder how the Muslims will handle that…
On the later dates, near 1450, we have:
• March 15: Earthquake located in Amer, Catalonia, Spain, with intensity estimated between 8 and 9 on the Richter scale, destroys the town.
• May 15: Earthquake epicenter located in Olot, Catalonia, Spain, with intensity estimated at 9.
• December 5: Earthquake strikes Naples, Italy, killing about 35,000.
• September 20: An earthquake and tsunami hit the port in Wakayama, Japan. Between 30-40 thousand deaths are estimated. The building around great Buddha of Kamakura (7m above sea-level) is swept away by the tsunami.
• England experiences foul weather, a poor harvest, and high mortality from ‘sweating sickness’ (profuse sweat, foul smell, thirst, delirium, death within a few hours of onset).
• An earthquake destroys San Salvador, capital of El Salvador, Central America.
• February 26: Over 200,000 people are killed in an earthquake in Lisbon, Portugal.
Again not looking so good…
How about looking at what happened in China?
Historians divide the Zhou era into Western Zhou from late 10th century BC to late 9th century up until 771 BC and Eastern Zhou from 770 up to 221 BC . The beginning year of Western Zhou has been disputed – 1122 BC, 1027 BC and other years within the hundred years from late 12th century BC to late 11th century BC have been proposed. Chinese historians take 841 BC as the first year of consecutive annual dating of the history of China, based on the Records of the Grand Historian by Sima Qian. From the beginning of the Eastern Zhou Dynasty to the unification by Qin , China was marked by disunity and continuous conflicts. Historically, this is recorded as two periods: the Spring and Autumn Period and the Warring States Period.
So it starts off with building of empire. The “Western Zhou”. Then toward the middle, things get muddled. Toward the end we have an early “spring and autumn” period then it breaks down into the “warring states period”… Oh Dear!
The Spring and Autumn Period occurred from about 770-476 B.C. During this period, power became decentralized. This period was filled with battles and annexation of some 170 smaller states. The slow crumbling of nobility resulted in widespread literacy; increasing literacy encouraged freedom of thought and technological advancement.
This time period of the Warring States is considered the classical age, it was a time of great philosophers.
Looks to me like China was a growing empire in the time before 900 BC, then breaks down into warring factions during the “downturn” in solar conditions. Maybe not just a Europe cold period after all…
See, the interesting thing about these ‘history bits’ is that the Data Diddlers can’t erase them all. They can neuter the wiki. They can cook the temperature series. But you just can’t go back and erase all the “facts in the ground” and ALL the historical records globally. Sorry…
Dateline May 29, 1453
1453 The ‘fall’ of Constantinople preceded by heavenly wonders
Did a Pacific volcano change Western history?
On a Tuesday, Constantinople (now Istanbul) fell to the Turks, or, so it is said in the Muslim world, Constantinople was liberated, after a siege, ending the Byzantine Empire.
During the preceding weeks, the city had suffered many heavy rains and hailstorms. Being medieval men, the leaders believed that the Christian city would not fall to the siege of the Ottoman armies under Sultan Mehmed II Fatih unless there was a mysterious sign in the moon. Unfortunately for them, the moon went into a long and dark eclipse on May 22, displaying a thin crescent – the image of the Turkish standard flying over Mehmed’s camp.
On the 26th, an unseasonable, thick fog fell upon Constantinople. By nightfall, the fog lifted and the Christians were appalled by what they saw: the buildings of the city glowed in ominous shades of red. Even the enormous copper dome of the imposing cathedral, the Hagia Sophia (which has been a mosque ever since) appeared to be engulfed in flames, but it never burned. Phrantzes, a friend of the emperor, wrote that the light remained over the city for an entire night.
Loads of links in that article.
Then there are the broad sweep things. Like the fact that the Iron Age takes a ‘hit’ right in the middle:
IRON AGE (1200 – 550 B.C.E.)
HISTORICAL AND ARCHAEOLOGICAL OVERVIEW
The Iron Age is divided into two subsections, Iron I and Iron II. Iron I (1200-1000) illustrates both continuity and discontinuity with the previous Late Bronze Age. There is no definitive cultural break between the thirteenth and twelfth century throughout the entire region, although certain new features in the hill country, Transjordan and coastal region may suggest the appearance of the Aramaean and Sea People groups. There is evidence, however, that shows strong continuity with Bronze Age culture, although as one moves later into Iron I the culture begins to diverge more significantly from that of the late second millennium.
Iron II (1000-550) witnessed the rise of the states of Judah and Israel in the tenth-ninth century. These small principalities exercise considerable control over their particular regions due in part to the decline of the great powers, Assyria and Egypt, from about 1200 to 900. Beginning in the eighth century and certainly in the seventh century, Assyria reestablishes its authority over the eastern Mediterranean area and exercises almost complete control. The northern state of Israel is obliterated in 722/721 by King Sargon and its inhabitants taken into exile. Judah, left alone, gradually accommodates to Assyrian control, but towards the end of the seventh century it does revolt as the Assyrian empire disintegrated. Judah’s freedom was short-lived, however, and eventually snuffed out by the Chaldean kings who conquered Jerusalem and took some of the ruling class into exile to Babylon. During the period of exile in Babylon, the area, particularly from Jerusalem south, shows a mark decline. Other areas just north of Jerusalem are almost unaffected by the catastrophe that befell Judah.
So things are progressing nicely. New High Tech comes along as Iron to replace bronze. Lots of cultural continuity. Then a break happens. Just about 950 BC. The regional “great power” empires have issues (being dependent on trade and stability to run an empire can be a real bitch when things go cold and unstable with hungry populations). The minor states start to break away and get uppity. Then a few hundred years later the Great Powers start to come back, crushing Israel in the process. One really does hope that “This time is different!”…
The point? History is recorded all over the place now. Finding an interesting match to a point in time lets us see what happened then, and ‘have clue’ about what is likely now.
So was it a volcano? Or do we get more volcanoes when we have the ‘gravity jerk’ of orbits of a Grand Solar Minimum? Does it really matter? We can hope that this time will be different. Fewer and less strong volcanoes. Perhaps a shorter cycle on the cold and wet weather in Europe.
The simple fact is that during those times when the Solar Angular momentum is ‘choppy’ we have cold periods, wet and rain in Europe, droughts down toward Iraq / Syria, and empires fall ( in China and in Europe).
For some reason, I have the silly idea this time will be more like the last times, than different…