D.O. Ride My See-Saw, Mr. Bond

Florida has interesting things to say about Polar See-Saws. Heinrich, too.

There are three things (among others…) that interweave in climate history. (Real climate history, not the “30 year average of weather” that some folks think is history. We’re talking 100,000 year scale here.) These are Heinrich Events, Dansgaard-Oeschger Events, and Bond Events ( Bond Cycles ).

This paper ties together some of the Heinrich Event actions with some of the D.O. Events.

http://www.ncdc.noaa.gov/paleo/abrupt/data3.html and it lists some of the theories as to why they happen. (Folks don’t really know).

What are they? Sudden excursions in the temperature regime of the earth. Both hot and cold. I mostly find that link useful for this graph:

Heinrich D.O. Events data3-gisp2-icecore

Heinrich D.O. Events data3-gisp2-icecore

First off, notice that H. Events are much more rare. They are an ice rafted debris cycle, so you must have a lot of N. Hemisphere ice to do the rafting. Then it has to get broken up. So it’s possible that they are very special and rare, or that it just takes a bit more “oomph” in a faster cycle every so often to get one.

Key takeaway for Heinrich events is that they show a wobble in temperature. A rise and a fall.

This paper says it is due to the ocean circulation having a swap of ‘mode’:


Abrupt changes in climate, termed Dansgaard-Oeschger and Heinrich events, have punctuated the last glacial period (~100 – 10 kyr ago) but not the Holocene (the past 10 kyr). Here we use an intermediate-complexity climate model to investigate the stability of glacial climate, and we find that only one mode of Atlantic Ocean circulation is stable: a cold mode with deep water formation in the Atlantic Ocean south of Iceland. However, a `warm’ circulation mode similar to the present-day Atlantic Ocean is only marginally unstable, and temporary transitions to this warm mode can easily be triggered. This leads to abrupt warm events in the model which share many characteristics of the observed Dansgaard-Oeschger events. For a large freshwater input (such as a large release of icebergs), the model’s deep water formation is temporarily switched off, causing no strong cooling in Greenland but warming in Antarctica, as is observed for Heinrich events. Our stability analysis provides an explanation why glacial climate is much more variable than Holocene climate.

Of particular interest is that “warming in Antarctica”. During a Heinrich Event, the Antarctic gets very warm while Greenland is getting cold. Called a “Polar See-Saw” or my favorite, a “Bi-Polar See-Saw”. (Somehow the idea of a ‘bipolar arctic’ climate has a nice ring to it ;-) So in the run-of the mill D.O. event, the arctic gets colder but sometimes “something special” happens and we get a Bipolar See-Saw with a cool Greenland and a warmer Antarctic.

Two main types of abrupt climate changes have punctuated the last glacial period: Dansgaard-Oeschger (D/O) events and Heinrich events. D/O events typically start with an abrupt warming of Greenland by 5-10 °C over a few decades or less, followed by gradual cooling over several hundred or several thousand years. This cooling phase often ends with an abrupt final reduction of temperature back to cold (`stadial’) conditions.

Oddly like what we’ve had now. Warming, especially in Greenland and N. Canada, while the Antarctic gets more ice.

D/O climate change is centred on the North Atlantic and on regions with strong atmospheric response to changes in that area, and shows only a weak response in the Southern Ocean or Antarctica. The `waiting time’ between successive D/O events is most often around 1,500 years, or, with decreasing probability, near 3,000 or 4,500 years (ref. 9). This suggests the existence of an as-yet unexplained 1,500-year cycle which often (but not always) triggers a D/O event.

Here we again see that 1500 year ( 1,470 yr ) cycle that shows up in Bond Events. Whatever it is, it’s been fairly consistently present for 120,000 years with some indications it was present in the prior Ice Age Glacial period as well. This is a persistent cycle that can not be ignored. It’s real, and it’s not going away.

Sometimes it does not cause enough ‘mayhem’ to show up in the particular climate proxy records, but the period persists.

Sometimes, there’s added strength to the “bipolar seesaw” and we get an Antarctic surge in temperatures too. Typically in the opposite direction.

So what have we had “lately” (coming out of the Little Ice Age)? A surge in warmth in Europe and Greenland, and an increasing build up of ice lately in Antarctica.

The paper goes on to postulate that a slow down of the thermohaline circulation (in particular, the Gulf Stream) is an important factor, and runs some computer models that they claim show how the change happens with a shift from deep water formation to not. OK, a model is never proof, but it can be an interesting jumping off point for mental images.

We need to ponder “what can shut off the T.H. Circulation or cause the Gulf Stream to shift position. Oh, and recognize that it isn’t “Global Warming” that does it… During the Holocene, we’ve had much more stable temperatures in part due to the added warmth making the T.H. Circulation more reliable…

Once the system is in the `warm’ mode with convection in latitudes north of Iceland, it becomes insensitive to the applied, weak 1,500-year forcing cycle (this experiment was performed but is not detailed here). The freshwater budget of the Nordic Seas is then dominated by the vigorous circulation; anomalies in surface forcing cannot accumulate to create noticeable salinity anomalies as in the stratified `cold’ mode. For this reason, the Holocene climate in our model is stable with respect to the 1,500-year forcing cycle, while the glacial climate is not. We can thus explain the large fluctuations of Greenland temperature during the glacial climate in terms of ocean circulation instability, requiring only a weak trigger but not necessarily any major ice-sheet instability. In the Holocene, the 1,500-year cycle is still present but is not amplified by ocean circulation instability, so that its signature is only weak.

First off, this is A Very Big Deal! It means that as long as we’re warm, we stay warm and relatively stable. Secondly, it says that once we start getting significantly cold, things become more unstable, and we can ‘latch up’ into a very cold configuration of water flow. The article also talks about a mode during transitions from generally warm / cold to the other where things are more prone to twitching back and forth. So, since we’re on the cusp of a new Glacial, in terms of Milankovich cycles and W/m^2 north of 60 degrees… at some point we get just a tiny bit too cold, then when we hit the 1500 year “bump” (whatever it is), we have the oceans switch to a cold phase circulation and Europe goes into the meat locker…. Southern Hemisphere not so much… ( I presume North America / Canada too, as that’s where the glacial ice sheet forms, but that could stand checking.)



The Little Ice Age, IMHO, almost shoved us over that hump. Glaciers were busy growing. Snow and cold winds were all over. Things were well on their way. Then the sun started being a bit warmer and the ice melted and we returned to the MWP kinds of temperatures. Barely. It would be really useful to know if there are any 1700s-1800s era ships logs showing the Gulf Stream as less strong then. We might well have been on the edge of a flip.

But what about now? Some postings back there was a Gulf Stream map showing it was weakening a bit. Not a lot, just enough to raise notice. A bit of web searching shows many “official” reports that it’s not slowing down, but some folks looking at the data movies think it is. The rather giant animation from here looks like it is to me:


(Found at a link here:

http://the-tap.blogspot.com/2011/09/gulf-stream-change-spells-big-freeze.html )

At the start, there’s a fairly straight line running right at Europe. Lots of steady red and yellow. Toward the 2012 end, it gets more twisted and broken, with less ‘color’ less often at the right side. Realistically, it would take a much longer and more mathematical view of the data to say for sure (and that this wasn’t just an average ‘wobble’). Yet it is ‘suspicious’ to me that it comes as the sun is quieted down. If it gets worse over the next few years, well, I think it will be a slightly early indicator for “issues” in Europe.

So, back at the Bipolar See-Saw…

I’d mentioned before that I’d seen hints of it in the GHCN data. At least it is nice to have it confirmed as existing. That the Antarctic is presently adding ice and quite cold, while the Arctic has been warming (largely from warm water ingress) does leave me wondering if we’ve just been living through the warm side of a “Bond Cycle”. (The “Bond Cycle” looks to be the entire 1470 year warm-then-cold process, that ends in the cold spike Bond Event.)

The wiki has nearly nothing. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Polar_see-saw

The polar see-saw is the phenomenon that temperature changes in the northern and southern hemispheres may be out of phase. This is usually studied in the context of ice-cores taken from Antarctica and Greenland.

That’s it. The whole thing. There’s three references down at the bottom and one not very good graph of Antarctic vs Greenland ice cores.

Sigh… Something potentially central to how the climate works, that has had frequent and dramatic involvement in major climate events, such as Heinrich and D.O. events, and it has less than a definition… and barely a description of it.

This one has a fascinating color graph of oxygen isotope distribution in the three ocean basins. Like a 3 dimensional Y with colored sides.


One likely mechanism for the climatic asynchronicity involves an interhemispheric imbalance in heat storage (Stocker and Johnsen, 2003). Surface ocean records from the South Atlantic Ocean (Barker et al., 2009) indeed show a climate change pattern opposed to that in Greenland ice cores supporting the view that asynchronous heat storage is instrumental in off-setting Northern and Southern Hemisphere climate change at the millennial-scale.

Gee… wonder how much of the “Global Warming” out of the Little Ice Age is just that we had nearly zero thermometers in the Southern Hemisphere then to notice the “See-Saw”…

They go on to look at a lot of things (like little microscopic shells and such) to support the view that formation of Antarctic Intermediate Water is the key. I’ve suggested that such changes in Antarctic water circulation would be driven by how the circumpolar current whacks into Drake Passage and that changes in the polar vortex winds and earth rotation (LOD) along with lunar tidal forces would be important to that process.

This one is paywalled, so only the excerpt is available:



Twentieth century bipolar seesaw of the Arctic and Antarctic surface air temperatures

Understanding the phase relationship between climate changes in the Arctic and Antarctic regions is essential for our understanding of the dynamics of the Earth’s climate system. In this paper we show that the 20th century de-trended Arctic and Antarctic temperatures vary in anti-phase seesaw pattern – when the Arctic warms the Antarctica cools and visa versa. This is the first time that a bi-polar seesaw pattern has been identified in the 20th century Arctic and Antarctic temperature records. The Arctic (Antarctic) de-trended temperatures are highly correlated (anti-correlated) with the Atlantic Multi-decadal Oscillation (AMO) index suggesting the Atlantic Ocean as a possible link between the climate variability of the Arctic and Antarctic regions. Recent accelerated warming of the Arctic results from a positive reinforcement of the linear warming trend (due to an increasing concentration of greenhouse gases and other possible forcings) by the warming phase of the multidecadal climate variability (due to fluctuations of the Atlantic Ocean circulation).

Which just leaves me wondering why, if this is well known, folks have their panties in a bunch about the Arctic having a bit of melt when the Antarctic is being particularly cold. Looks like that’s absolutely normal.

Then this paper finds evidence for the changes in water flow in Florida during the last glacial:


UPDATE: It looks like that prior link is now dead, but the paper looks to be this one:


Maybe the guy moved from ‘nodak.edu’ to ‘um.maine.edu’? and took his stuff with him?… End Update.

What I find particularly interesting about this one is that it shows that even Florida is anti-phase to Greenland. Mostly it is based on water, rather than directly on cold, but that’s fine. It finds that during the glacial (when Florida was about twice as wide as it is today), the way rains were controlled by warm / cold was about the same. When it is cold, not much rain. When it’s warm, lots of rain. Now that happens between winter and summer, then it shows up as a climate shift.

So every Heinrich Event shows up as cold in Europe, but wet in Florida (so the pine trees grow and the pine pollen spikes up) as Florida gets wetter and warmer. When it’s warm in Europe, Florida is more cool, so dry, and you get oaks. There’s a lot more in the article. Grasses and some other plants too. GISP Ice cores.

The key takeaways for me were simple. That 1500 year cycle keeps on happening. Though sometimes with a partial skip (weak cycle). It is water mediated with the Gulf Stream taking a break for a while and both Arctic and Antarctic deep water formation being involved. Something outside natural ocean oscillations drives it as it stays on the same periodicity despite a variety of ocean changes and ice changes and even strength of event changes. The metronome doesn’t shift much (though the effects sometimes skip a beat).

Whatever “it” is, it effects ocean circulation on a very wide scale, and the ‘backing up’ of the Gulf stream in particular, and other places in general, will cause various shifts of wet / dry and warm / cold to happen.

But perhaps most comforting, for me, is just the realization that a D. O., or Heinrich or even Bond Event while a global event has different local impacts. So if, right now, a Bond Event happened and England were starting to freeze over: Florida would be getting a bit warmer and have plenty of rain to grow tropical food plants. (So all you folks in the UK, get your passports ready and “Come On Down!!” ;-)

A Magnetic Worry

What lead me to this whole exploration was a comment on WUWT. (So H/T William! even if his use of quotation marks make it bit hard to tell whats in AR-5 and what’s him talking.)

William says:
December 14, 2012 at 7:02 am

AR-5 really does scare the socks off. The fear is abrupt global cooling, however, rather than AGW.

For example;

• Observations of Antarctic sea ice extent show a small but significant increase by 1.4 [1.2 to 1.6] % per decade between 1979 and 2011. {4.2.3}

The reduction in Arctic sea ice and increase in Antarctic sea ice has happened before and is called the polar see-saw or polar anomaly. (See Svensmark’s attached paper.) The polar see-saw occurs during Dansgaard-Oscheger events (also called Bond events). It is now apparent the later 20th century warming was a Bond event. Gerald Bond found evidence of cosmogenic isotope changes at each of a long series of warming followed by cooling events (he has able to track 25 events through current interglacial Holocene and into the last glacial period, at which point he reached the limit of the range of the proxy analysis technique) which indicates a solar magnetic cycle change caused the warming followed by cooling cycle.

Roughly every 6000 years to 8000 years, the Bond event (warming followed by gradual cooling) is followed by an abrupt cooling event which is called a Heinrich event. We have experienced the most activity set of solar magnetic cycles and the longest continuous set of high activity solar magnetic cycles in 11,000 years. There has been an abrupt change from a set of very, very, high solar magnetic cycle activity to what will be apparent next year is a special Maunder minimum. The cosmogenic isotope record indicates that pattern correlates with a Heinrich event.

I think he’s got a Bond cycle swapped for Bond event in that the cycle is the whole package of warming and cooling while the Event is the cold spike, but I probably ought to verify the definitions, and it likely isn’t too important anyway. Just that we’ve not had the cold spike… yet…

But note that he mentions solar MAGNETIC. On the chart in that Florida paper, is an interesting intersection of magnetic and a Heinrich Event. The Laschamp Geomagnetic Excursion is rather near H5 and near a little black arrow denoting a Carbon 14 dating discontinuity… “Something happened”… Was it ‘earth only’ or was there a Solar “kicker”?

That, at present, we are having a magnetic reduction all over the Earth, and in particular an odd ‘excursion’ near Florida (the “Bermuda Triangle” area has sporadic ‘wrong way’ loops of magnetism accounting for the occasional compass behaviour) is, I think, worth noting.

There is also a “Mono Lake Geomagnetic Excursion” noted but not near a Heinrich event (though it does intersect one of the warm peaks in Florida and has a C14 excursion marker).


Notes that, unlike full on field reversals, these are more localized (though can be global) and limited in strength and duration.

A geomagnetic excursion, like a geomagnetic reversal, is a significant change in the Earth’s magnetic field. Unlike reversals however, an excursion does not permanently change the large-scale orientation of the field, but rather represents a dramatic, typically short-lived decrease in field intensity, with a variation in pole orientation of up to 45 degrees from the previous position. These events, which typically last a few thousand to a few tens of thousands of years, often involve declines in field strength to between 0 and 20% of normal. Excursions, unlike reversals, are generally not recorded across the entire globe. This is partially due to them not being recorded well within the sedimentary record, but also because they likely do not extend through the entire geomagnetic field. One of the first excursions to be studied was the Laschamp event, dated at around 40,000 years ago. Since this event has also been seen in sites across the globe, it is suggested as one of the few examples of a truly global excursion

It can be fairly short:


Investigated sediment cores from the southeastern Black Sea provide a high-resolution record from mid latitudes of the Laschamp geomagnetic polarity excursion. Age constraints are provided by 16 AMS 14C ages, identification of the Campanian Ignimbrite tephra (39.28±0.11 ka), and by detailed tuning of sedimentologic parameters of the Black Sea sediments to the oxygen isotope record from the Greenland NGRIP ice core. According to the derived age model, virtual geomagnetic pole (VGP) positions during the Laschamp excursion persisted in Antarctica for an estimated 440 yr, making the Laschamp excursion a short-lived event with fully reversed polarity directions. The reversed phase, centred at 41.0 ka, is associated with a significant field intensity recovery to 20% of the preceding strong field maximum at ˜50 ka. Recorded field reversals of the Laschamp excursion, lasting only an estimated ˜250 yr, are characterized by low relative paleointensities (5% relative to 50 ka). The central, fully reversed phase of the Laschamp excursion is bracketed by VGP excursions to the Sargasso Sea (˜41.9 ka) and to the Labrador Sea (˜39.6 ka). Paleomagnetic results from the Black Sea are in excellent agreement with VGP data from the French type locality which facilitates the chronological ordering of the non-superposed lavas that crop out at Laschamp–Olby. In addition, VGPs between 34 and 35 ka reach low northerly to equatorial latitudes during a clockwise loop, inferred to be the Mono lake excursion.


We’re starting to get an annoying number of things all lining up. A warm event, the sun suddenly taking a nap and things turning oddly cooler, the Gulf Stream starting to get curly and wandering weakening, a Bipolar See-Saw, and the declining magnetic field with known sporadic compass irregularities near Florida and off of South America.

I note in passing that one of the articles cited is:

Valet, Jean-Pierre; Valladas, Hélène (2010). “The Laschamp-Mono lake geomagnetic events and the extinction of Neanderthal: a causal link or a coincidence?”. Quaternary Science Reviews 29 (27-28): 3887–3893. Bibcode 2010QSRv…29.3887V. doi:10.1016/j.quascirev.2010.09.010.

If not so coincidental, that could indicate cause for concern in the old stomping grounds of the Neanderthals – Western Europe…

http://johnhawks.net/node/16282 explores this a bit more.

No special attention has been given to the geomagnetic excursions of Laschamp and Mono Lake which are synchroneous with the extinction and were the most dramatic events encountered by the Neanderthals over the past 250 thousand years of their existence. During this period the geomagnetic field strength was considerably reduced and the shielding efficiency of the magnetosphere lowered, leaving energetic particles reach latitudes as low as 30°. The enhanced flux of high-energy protons (linked to solar activity) into the atmosphere yielded significant ozone depletion down to latitudes of 40–45°. A direct consequence was an increase of the UV-B radiations at the surface which might have reached at least 15–20% in Europe with significant impacts on health of human populations. We suggest that these conditions, added to some other factors, contributed to the demise of Neanderthal population.



The apparent duration of geomagnetic polarity events in Arctic Ocean sediments is much longer than in sediments from lower latitudes. In fact, while the remanence of Brunhes age sediment cores from the Yermak Plateau at 82 Degrees N is fully reversed for ~30% of their lengths the events often evade detection in many other continuously deposited sediments. For example, the Laschamp event is absent in an otherwise high-resolution record of secular variation from Lac du Bouchet which is located near the Laschamp volcanics, where the event was first detected. Very short event durations of a few hundred years at the most have been suggested before. Because sedimentation rates in the Arctic Ocean were increased during glaciations, the exaggerated proportion of reverse polarities in sediments from high latitudes suggests a link between glaciation and field reversals. This suggestion is supported by previous magnetostratigraphic results obtained from thick loessrpaleosol sequences in China. These demonstrate that all polarity boundaries separating chrons and subchrons since the Gauss–Matuyama field reversal have been recorded in loess, and thus during periods of cold climate, although conflicting evidence exists for some boundaries. Furthermore, the ages of 22 events and chron boundaries have been compared with the oxygen-isotope record thought to represent global ice volume. All events and reversals younger than 2.6 Ma may have occurred during periods of global cooling or during cold stages; however, some ages are still too poorly dated for a definite correlation. Climatic signals also exist in the two longest relative paleointensity records but these are suspected to be caused by climatically driven variations in the rock magnetic parameters. A mechanism for field reversals may be the acceleration of the Earth’s rotation, caused by lowering of the sea level during glaciations. The short duration of events also implies that the geomagnetic field can reverse an order of magnitude faster than commonly assumed.

So given that Wilson found a Length Of Day change (not a big one, but still, one was there) that correlated with ocean changes, and we’ve got ocean change connected to D.O. / Bond / Heinrich events… Well, lets just say that all those “odd” correlation graphs done by Vukcevic and the “Homopolar Motor” analogies tossed out by Adolfo are starting to look more like they may have a mechanism through which to work.

Interesting pictures of the ‘three poles’: http://www.vukcevic.talktalk.net/MF.htm

In Conclusion

I think I can now pull together the relationship of the three event types. They are all, really, variations on a theme. D.O. and Heinrich events differ in exactly how the ocean currents shift, and must happen during a cold ocean regime. They also differ in how cold it is near Greenland when they begin. Bond Events happen during a warm ocean regime (but still happen…)

They are all likely connected to a pause or redirection of the Gulf stream (and likely other major ocean currents, as the whole thing is connected).

They are driven by an external metronome, and likely one that causes / reflects a magnetic “excursion” flicker in the Earth magnetic field (at least for the larger ones).

We need to keep in mind that we’re expecting a Dalton or perhaps even a Maunder Minimum type event from the sun. But only because they are the examples we have seen. As this is a 1500 (1470) year cycle, it is quite possible that the Sun has a mode of oscillation for which we have no observational history at all. Since the last one would have been about 540 AD, and then a whole lot of civilization and history were lost; there is nothing at all to prevent our getting “something unexpected” that only comes round every 1500 years.

As there IS an Antarctic Bi-Polar see-saw involved, the entire Southern Hemisphere is likely to do “OK” through this event, whatever it is. It would likely be a good idea to find out what historical climate was like in any of the prior periods, just to be sure, and, just to be prepared. 900 BC to about 700 BC. 400 AD to about 700 AD. The Maya peaked at about 800 AD after a long rise, so my speculation would be that all of South America could do rather well.

IMHO (and here’s where I take that leap off the pier…) this is a largely solar driven event, but with lunar tidal involvement. The sun “goes sleepy”, and perhaps very sleepy, right at the time when the lunar tidal and angular momentum transfers make the ocean sensitive to current shifts. Similar shifts happen in the moving conductive fluids that make up the ‘dynamo’ giving us our magnetic field. Depending on the particular states of all those things, and likely some particulars of variation in the driving force, we get different strength events.

It happens every 1500 years. You can’t stop it. You can’t change it. You can’t even accurately predict it. (In particular, was the Little Ice Age THIS 1500 year “one”? Or was that The Dark Ages starting in 535 AD?)

Earlier we saw my speculation about 1/2 Period Bond Events.

I think that makes the Little Ice Age a 1/2 period event. The Iron Age Cold Period was Bond Event 2 and had onset at 900 BC. Add 3000 to that you get 2100 AD. Yet it’s really 1470 not 1500 per cycle… Now it becomes 2040 AD. Remarkably close to the 2030-2040 AD range of some of the current estimates for deep cold (especially Habibullo I. Abdussamatov out of Russia whom I had the great pleasure of meeting once…). Add 1470 AD to 900 BC, you get 570 AD. Rather close to that Dark Ages beginning date.

And take the 535 AD known start, add 1470, you end up at 2005. Just about the time this solar funk started. Make it even one or two solar cycles of ‘jitter’ off, and we’re at 535+1500 = 2035 AD (or 2025 AD ). In all cases, the error bands on a 1500 ish year estimate make it “about now” and not “about 1800 AD”.

But at least now we have a better idea what “indicators” to look for. Changes in the Gulf Stream. Extra cold in England and northern Western Europe. Ongoing magnetic field decay, and increasing sporadic field reversal / abnormal areas. Length Of Day changes (of small degree, but out of the ordinary for recent times). We can also speculate that the “backing up” of the Gulf Stream and added warmth in the Gulf of Mexico will result in a hotter middle of the USA. (Golly, haven’t we been seeing that lately?…) and a set of very nice weather in Florida.

This, too, lets us know “how to cope”.

Move to Florida…

So, with that, I offer an invitation to Habibullo and TonyB that if things get too cold in Russia and the UK, I’ll sponsor them for a US residency as long as they rent a house in Florida where I can stay ;-)

As much as it could be a very cold disaster to have a Little Ice Age right now, the reality is that knowing there are some places that pick up warmth and moisture means that there are coping options available. That’s a really big deal.

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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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20 Responses to D.O. Ride My See-Saw, Mr. Bond

  1. DirkH says:

    IPCC says the warming was a Bond event?

    Well, one good thing: By now I don’t own land here in Europe. So I’m mobile enough. This could get creepy.

  2. Ralph B says:

    As for the LOD change I recall reading that the Boxing day quake was strong enough that changed the rotation some amount. Didn’t read anything that the Japanese quake did the same thing. But it does appear earthquakes could play a hand.

    EM, come on down to SWFL I got a load of rabbits for you to play with (brown wild type).

  3. jim2 says:

    So, maybe if ice starts growing, we can nuke it out of existence? Or equip plane with black carbon generators and spray it? It’s a good time to plan, IMO.

  4. DirkH says:

    jim2 says:
    15 December 2012 at 3:39 pm
    “So, maybe if ice starts growing, we can nuke it out of existence?”

    Maybe warm it with microwaves.

  5. E.M.Smith says:

    @DirkH & Jim2:

    I think you will find that the quantity of energy needed for a direct “attack on the ice” is beyond our ability to create. Remember that the energy moved in one hurricane is measured in hundreds of nuclear bombs worth…

    Putting black dust on snow works to help melt it IF there is sunshine on it… and more isn’t falling…

    I think it comes down to where the ocean flows and how much heat it is picking up in the tropics. I don’t see how we can change that (but it’s worth looking… that during a glacial there are times when the ocean enters some mode and Florida has ‘interglacial like’ climate (pine trees, like now) is encouraging for there being nice places, even during a glacial. That the interglacial can have some “bad blips” is a bother, but we already knew that (just not as much about why and indicators).

    IMHO it comes down to: What will the sun and the oceans do?

    Followed by: How can we rapidly adapt?

    As I have no faith that our governments can adapt (and the bigger they are, the worse they are, with the UN, EU, USA lousy in about that top down order) it looks to me like individuals being ready to cope on their own is likely the best option.

    Oh, and remember that the “Migration Era Pessimum” was called that due to the large number of folks in Europe “voting with their feet” heading South and West…


    I think ONE author in an IPCC draft chapter asserts it is part of a Bond cycle according to one person making a comment about it. I need to read that section of AR5 myself to see what’s wrapped around it.

    It does fit the known data, though. Which would imply that the “drop” is coming “soon”.

    For Europe the “where to go” is pretty easily answered by prior history. South and West (and somewhat into North Africa) Though IIRC there tends to be some drought in Greece and the Levant, so not Syria / Jodan / Iraq… Again, that needs checking. I need to try aligning the Egyptian / Levant drought histories with Bond Events again and getting the match right. There was a 100 year long “megadrought” that brought down an Egyptian Dynasty series that I think landed on one Bond Event. That also implies the duration. About 100 years (out of 1500); but that may also be a bit variable.

    Most spooky to consider is the written history of the start of the Dark Ages. There isn’t much. It just suddenly has the Roman chronicles come to a crashing end. What we do have are a few sentences talking about it being so dark that the sun, at noon, looked more like the moon… and that there were blood red skies.

    Taking those at face value, there are only 2 reasonable interpretations. The most ‘wild’ is that the sun really did go to very dark. I strongly doubt that as I can’t see any mechanism. At all. The more likely is that Iceland (and maybe some others too?) went into a major eruption. That’s most likely. So, if that is true, don’t expect to fly out of N. Europe or the UK to Florida “after the event”… OTOH, it implies that a short drive to Southern Spain might be all it takes…


    I kind of stayed away from the geologic aspects in this posting (as it’s hard to fit every consideration into something small enough to read…) but I suspect the LOD impacts will not be quake mediated. Those tend to be very small. More likely would be something related to a rotational “wobble” (like a change in the Chandler Wobble… I ran into one – rather flaky looking – page that asserted the Chandler Wobble had dropped to an abnormally low level in the early 2000s. On my ‘todo’ list is to verify that from better sources and learn more about the causes of the Ch.Wobble. I could see a case for ‘Warmer when it minimizes, cold when it’s larger’ and with a ‘big event’ at a rapid swing to larger wobble during a transition from ‘near 0’ to near full.

    But that is all just speculative. Nothing at all to back any of it up, yet.

    But it would be fairly easy for a large shift of ‘wobble’ to stir up the planetary fluids, including the oceans and magma, and cause “interesting things” to happen to both and to the magnetic field. That would make the earthquakes the result of wobble and LOD changes and only minor contributors to it. (The “hard bit” is usually working out which way the arrow of causality flies..)

    But yes, I suspect we are going to be living “in interesting times”…

    I need to look more closely at the historical weather of California, but I suspect we come out OK. There was a “megadrought” near one of those dates. ( 900 something…) where I just don’t remember if it was AD or BC :-} so I need to look it up again. But other than some water wobbles, we’re likely OK. Then again, if it turns out bad, I might take you up on that SW Florida offer! Then again, you are likely to be overrun with folks from Canada and England waving MasterCards and looking for a decent cup of tea ;-)


    Do remember that, looking at the graphs in those papers: Every event is DIFFERENT. Some get nearly skipped altogether. It’s always possible that we, say, get a bit of axis wobble, a few years of bad rain and cold, the ocean doesn’t shift much and Iceland barely burps, and things then go on their merry way. At least, that is possible and what I’m hoping for.

  6. DirkH says:

    E.M.Smith says:
    15 December 2012 at 6:08 pm
    “For Europe the “where to go” is pretty easily answered by prior history.”

    Yeah, I was thinking about Singapore as well. ;-)

  7. John F. Hultquist says:

    Sometimes, E. M., you scare the whatsit out of me.
    Anyway, I wonder how half way between Austin and Houston compares with S. FL. if the trends continue as outlined in the post. Bastrop is listed as having an elevation of 112 meters so a good site selection seems advisable. Not that FL doesn’t have attractions.
    Up here in the Great State of Washington we are having a “Snow Event.”
    In its all caps notation, the Seattle office of the NWS:

    Please note the ‘will continue’ in that first line.

  8. sabretoothed says:

    http://www.ouramazingplanet.com/3679-earth-magnetic-field-reversal.html Earth’s magnetic field reversed extremely rapidly soon after modern humans first arrived in Europe, completely flip-flopping in less than a thousand years, new research suggests.

    These findings, detailed Oct. 15 in the journal Earth and Planetary Science Letters,could shed light on how and why magnetic field reversals happen, and how they leave Earth vulnerable to solar and space radiation, the study scientists said.

    The 100,000-year problem is a discrepancy between past temperatures and the amount of incoming solar radiation, or insolation. The former rises and falls according to the strength of radiation from the sun, the distance from the earth to the sun, and the tilt of the Earth’s poles. However, the ice-age cycle, which grows and shrinks periodically on a 100,000-year (100 ka) timescale, does not correlate well with any of these factors.

    Due to variations in the Earth’s orbit, the amount of insolation varies with periods of around 21,000, 40,000, 100,000, and 400,000 years. Variations in the amount of solar heating drive changes in the climate of the Earth, and are recognised as a key factor in the timing of initiation and termination of ice ages. Spectral analysis shows that the most powerful climate response is at 100,000-year period, but the orbital forcing at this period is small.

  9. E.M.Smith says:

    @John F. Hultquist:

    If my use of the Florida Paper is valid (as a model for the future) the backing up of the Gulf Stream ought to result in a warmer Gulf of Mexico, and a nice warm Texas. Only ‘open issue’ would be direction of winds. Off the Gulf, you have enough rain. Over Mexico, you have persistent drought.

    I’d guess you get reasonable rains (as you get drought when things are like in 1930… and the world is hot…) Not sure what hurricanes would be like. OTOneH, you have warmer gulf and colder “up north”. OTOH, you have a cooler Africa and less conducive conditions of seed formation in the Atlantic…

    I’d figure you could look up some local lake sediments and find out what happens ;-)

    Nearest I could find in a quick scan is this one:

    Click to access holliday1989b.pdf

    It’s focused on showing there was an “Altithermal” warm period in Texas in the middle of the Holocene. Looks like there was. But a couple of pages into it are a bunch of (crude B&W) sedement cores for various places in Texas. Not seeing much of pattern in the last 3000 years (i.e. the last couple of Bond Events don’t leap out at me…) But once back at 4000 years, looks like y’all had a mighty drouth…

    So “way hot” you get a drought, otherwise, not so much. Well, that’s good news. I don’t have to drive all the way to Florida to “escape” if California goes wonky … oh, wait, we already have… goes “weather wonky” ;-) But this one:


    Shows California having that same mid-Holocene drought then more stable the last 3000 years… except… we have periodic droughts on a shorter scale:

    Continuous, high-resolution d18O records from cored sediments of Pyramid Lake, Nevada, indicate that oscillations in the hydrologic balance occurred, on average, about every 150 years (yr) during the past 7630 calendar years (cal yr). The records are not stationary; during the past 2740 yr, drought durations ranged from 20 to 100 yr and intervals between droughts ranged from 80 to 230 yr. Comparison of tree-ring-based reconstructions of climate change for the past 1200 yr from the Sierra Nevada and the El Malpais region of northwest New Mexico indicates that severe droughts associated with Anasazi withdrawal from Chaco Canyon at 820 cal yr BP (calendar years before present) and final abandonment of Chaco Canyon, Mesa Verde, and the Kayenta area at 650 cal yr BP may have impacted much of the western United States

    Wonder what orbital things match 80 and 230 years… 180 +60 is 240, which is close… Looks kind of like a 60 + 20 pattern on the boundaries. PDO + 1 solar or a 19 year Lunar? Who knows…

    Oh, and sorry if things are scary some times. I just go where things lead… then look back and go “Oh My!”…

    Um, the “will continue” is almost as eye opening as the “near sea level”… So you folks growing your own edge of the Polar Ice Cap? Just pray you don’t get “multi-year ice” ;-)

  10. Jeff Alberts says:

    I’m only here because of the Moody Blues reference ;)

  11. E.M.Smith says:

    @Jeff Alberts:

    I love Moody Blues… Only have them on vinyl though… Then again, they are on youtube…

    Glad you caught the reference… sometimes I wonder how many of my inside jokes and references are just too inside…

    Or this one that has the lead in ‘lost chord’ stuff…

    Though this version has more interesting visuals:

    Now see what you’ve done? I’ll be back in a day or two after I’ve run through ALL M.B. on Youtube ;-)

  12. Sera says:

    As a Floridian (past), we had always considered the “gulf stream” to be the current running between the straights of Florida- in and out of the gulf. And a very strong and fast current it can be. The current running up the east coast was considered the AMOC. But that’s old school.

    For the AMOC, the heat engine is in the south, so I just can’t see it turning off during a glacial. But when the glaciers start to melt, the Gulf of Mexico will fill up before atlantic sea levels- so cold water flowing through the Straights of Florida into the heat engine, from both sides, would probably be enough to shut down the AMOC.

    And the Moody Blues reference.

  13. Jeff Alberts says:


    I originally had them on vinyl, back when I was in High School and then in the Army in the early 80s. Got most of them on CD, and on my phone.

    “Breathe deep, the gathering gloom…” Epic lyrics.

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  15. Adam Gallon says:

    Probably the reason why certain people are getting so het-up about arctic ice, is that they’ve nothing else to “demonstrate” CAGW with. The hurricane/typhoon energy levels are down, fewer tornados, sea level really doing nothing unusual, no extraordinary heatwaves, floods, plagues of frogs etc, etc.

  16. crosspatch says:

    Oh, I completely agree with the fact that we have two stable states, a warm state and a cold state. I also agree that the “cold” state is the more stable of the two as things are currently configured as far as continental placement, ocean currents, etc. I *also* agree that in systems that have two stable states, noise can cause a system to “flip” between states but if the noise rides on a bias signal that is below the hysteresis level of the “latch” the system will flip back to the other stable state once that noise signal abates. For example: say you have a comparator with hysteresis. Lets say that the reference input is 2.5v and it has a hysteresis of 0.5v. Now lets say the sense input is at 1v. The comparator will be latched at the “low” value until for some reason the sense input rises over 2.5v or until the reference input drops below the sense input. So now we rise to on the sense input 2.6v and the system “flips”. It will remain flipped until the sense input falls below 2.0v. But once the system is flipped to the “high” state, any additional positive noise on the sense input will have no impact because it is already saturated high.

    Look at what we saw in the LIA: We had a series of successive solar minima. It started with the Wolf Minimum at about the time of the Great Famine. It warmed briefly after that period but not quite as warm as it was before until we went into the Spörer Minimum. This period is when we see the demise of the Mississippian culture, drought and famine on the Iberian peninsula, plague in England (The Great Plague), and the “English Sweating Sickness” that often caused death within hours of onset and its cause remains unknown to this day. We again started coming out of that but again not quite as much as after the Wolf and then we go into the Maunder Minimum. And just as we are coming out of that one, we have the Dalton at the very end for good measure before we have a long string of strong cycles in the “Modern Maximum”.

    Wolf: 1280 to 1350 (70 years duration)
    Spörer: 1460 1550 (90 years duration starting 110 years from end of Wolf)
    Maunder: 1645 to 1715 (70 years duration, 95 years from end of Spörer)
    Dalton: 1790 to 1820 ( 30 years duration, 75 years from end of Maunder)
    Total from start of Wolf to end of Dalton: 540 years duration. 260 years in a solar minimum.
    Duration of Medieval Maximum, 150 years.
    Today: 190 years since end of Dalton.
    Oort Minimum was 40 years duration before Medieval Maximum, seems to be similar to Dalton. Medieval Maximum seems similar to Modern Maximum.

    It LOOKS to me like periods of solar minimum are a fairly frequent occurrence as are periods of strong cycles. Prior to about 4000(+/-) years ago, Northern Hemisphere solar insolation was probably great enough that these solar minima didn’t have as great an impact. There is also some evidence that Earth has experienced flares possible 10x-20x larger than the Carrington event ( as possibly in 774: http://earthchangesmedia.wordpress.com/2012/12/03/breaking-news-774-ad-solar-blast-20xs-larger-than-carrington-event/ )

    A huge flare that large could do enormous damage to the ozone layer and increase UV reaching the surface. One impact this might have, particularly if it happens in winter in temperate regions is to blind people and animals. Were the Mammoth/Neanderthal blinded by UV on a snow covered landscape? Time between 774 event and Carrington event: 1085 years. Who knows? Point is, we haven’t been studying things long enough to even know what “normal” is. We know what things have been like for the past few hundred years but is that “normal”? I don’t think so. “Normal” is, I believe, the glacial period punctuated with various interstadials of still unknown origin. Probably due, in my speculative opinion, to large solar maximum events that clear the skies of enough cloud cover to “kick” the system in the opposite state for a relatively short period of time during periods of lower solar insolation.

    Ok, so going back to the comparator model: Northern Hemisphere Solar insolation is the reference input and total energy reaching the surface is the sense input. When we have low NH insolation, a brief period of relatively less cloud cover is enough to “tip” the state. Once we have a period of high solar insolation, those periods do not have much impact. As we begin to transition to less NH insolation, the solar minima/maxima cause the system to “chatter” a bit between states. In other words, as you transition into glacial, the system chatters between the two states for a bit and you have a period of unstable climate until the NH solar insolation is low enough that only the largest of solar maxima make a difference.

    What ultimately determines when you go into the stable warm state is, again in my speculative opinion, is when the Arctic Ocean becomes ice free in summer. This can happen thousands of years before the land area AROUND the Arctic Ocean becomes ice free in summer and it probably did in this interglacial. The 8.2ky event was probably when the last ice dam broke holding the last of the huge melt lakes back and dumped a load of fresh water into the Arctic Ocean briefly increasing summer ice content by freshening the water (increasing albedo) and disrupting circulation patterns but the impact was relatively brief.

  17. crosspatch says:

    Also, it is Northern Hemisphere insolation that drives everything because Southern Hemisphere albedo is constant in both glacial and interglacial periods. The ice is fixed on land. The Arctic ice is on water. In a period of high NH insolation that ocean becomes ice free in summer and absorbs energy into the ocean warming the entire planet in the process. The South Pole doesn’t do that. It remains covered with ice. In fact, when we reach greatest SH insolation, we are reflecting maximum sunlight to space. During maximum NH insolation we are absorbing maximum energy in NH summer because the pole is ice free in summer.

  18. Gail Combs says:

    I do not know if anyone else mentioned it yet but the ocean over turn or Thermohaline Circulation is something like 1600 years for the Pacific and 350 for the Atlantic (Little Ice Age?) Given the ‘error bars’ that is pretty darn close to 1500 yrs of a Bond Cycle. link

    Bob Tissdale has already shown how the ENSO cycle works.

    Millennium Cycles: New Paper Reveals Clear Solar Impact On The Climate 9000 – 6000 Years Ago By P Gosselin on 15. August 2012

    On a paper by Dr. Sebastian Lüning (includes link to paper)
    The American scientists also performed a frequency analysis of the climatic fluctuations and found the characteristic cycles with periods of 1500, 90 and 60 years (Figure 3). Schmidt and his colleagues interpreted the 1500 year cycle as those that Gerard Bond described earlier. The data set also contained the 60-year cycle, which likely mirrored the Atlantic Decadal Cycle.

    And another new study

    December 06, 2012 A team of scientists supported by the National Science Foundation (NSF) has identified for the first time a clear 1,500-year cycle in the far North’s surface atmosphere pressure pattern.

    ….When the Arctic Oscillation (AO) index is positive, surface pressure is low in the polar region. This helps the mid-latitude jet stream blow strongly and consistently from west to east, thus keeping cold Arctic air locked in the polar region. When the Arctic Oscillation (AO) index is negative, there tends to be high pressure in the polar region, weaker zonal winds and greater movement of frigid polar air into the populated areas of the middle latitudes….

    There is Stephen Wilde’s zonal vs meridional jet stream. If you have paid attention you will notice we have switched from zonal to meridional in the last few years with the blocking high causing drought/high temperatures in Russia a few years ago and then in the USA this summer with frigid winters in between.

    A Centennial-Scale Climate Cycles (Solar Influence) — Summary

    One wonders if what you are seeing is an ocean circulation on the same timing as the solar variation with the increase/decrease in solar energy, especially at different wavelengths ‘recharges the capacitor’ or even adding increments of energy to an already ‘charged system’ Sort of like a kid being pushed on a swing where once the oscillation is started not much energy is needed to keep it going or to increase the amplitude.

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