MW&A

Hydroclimatology and Solar Explorations

Climate & Weather Representations, Polar Hydroclimatology

The Littlest Ice Age

The Little Ice Age (LIA) seems all over the map to me, whether I examine historical texts, Beryllium isotopic signatures, Sunspot nummbers (SSNs), publications either peer or informal, and other lines of thought including informal calculations and Lattice-Boltzmann simulations I have performed.  I have seen time span estimates of the LIA which vary from 1000 years to only a few decades.  Those arm-waves are more than matched by the lack of any identification of the LIA’s meridional advances in either hemisphere.

I was trained to think of the great Ice Ages as truly meridional (north and south) advances of sub-continental scaled masses of season-proof ice.  Even the lesser advances and retreats fit into this profile.   All but the LIA.  As far as a reader of scientific literature may find, there are no persistent reports of any season-proof surface ice over the customary time span of the LIA, to be found nearly anywhere within our customary incubators of civilization.

Needless to say, the advances and retreats of everyday centennial-persistent,  higher-latitude and higher-altitude ice are not the same thing as seasonally-resistant massive bodies of ice that reach into lower latitudes where currently millions of humans and other species reside.  I’m exploring a notion of the great and small ice ages, and that requires for proof and/or a paper, that the garden variety of ice advancement and retreat be understood at least as well as, or better than the next hydrologist.

Maybe I’ll have an edge because for one thing, I may be the first nanohydrologist, if you limit the definition to degrees.  By practice, most geoscientists would fit the bill.  This is only a blog, but my specialties are easily discriminated from most others because I am the only climate scientist who currently publicly recognizes and relies upon, common physical laws regarding spinning geostrophic hydroplanets like Earth, spinning colloids in a surficial water host, and spinning and uplifted aerosols in our atmosphere.

By applying those notions with some discipline, I was able to ultimately publish a peer-reviewed paper which premiered  useful applications of correlations between Solar Forcing and our hydroclimate [1].

From these perspectives, I think that geostrophic circulation should be the primary foundation for many resulting models and interpretations of the circulation of any ice or liquid or vapor states of water, as well as any other common atmospheric gas, as well as any aerosol and/or colloid within our atmosphere and/or surface waters.  This geostrophic principle to me at least also extends within our molten mantle and I have a post queued up on that notion to come.  To many the geostrophic principles may simply mean that the Coriolis effect is a significant driver.  That’s even good enough for me for most purposes.  But it also means that the atmosphere is by and large best treated as a single flowing layer with two components, dry air and water (in all of its states).  One can learn almost anything from this type of conceptual and data based view alone in my view, so long as the bottom and top and the Sun are included in the calculations.

Before any climate expert can begin to earn confidence from a gargantuan science media enterprise like abeqas, their climate simulations must capture the obvious geostrophic richness of Earth’s Boltzmann-defined fluidic streams.  They can most-transparently accomplish this through a skilled and traceable product which easily produces a clear and visually-compelling match to full atmospheric thickness integrations of our satellite coverages on a monthly basis, as well as satisfactory predictive skill.

But I digressed, if only to share some context regarding how I look at the global ice questions.  I started from geostrophic, and as documented in several posts, I already think I see some alignments of glacier advance and retreats to changes in geostrophic moisture circulation.  I may be an advancing ice sage myself, but the LIA must be the littlest Ice Age one can imagine.  It must be a nano ice age.

References

[1] Wallace, M.G., 2019, Application of lagged correlations between solar cycles and hydrosphere components towards sub-decadal forecasts of streamflows in the Western US.   Hydrological Sciences Journal, Oxford UK  Volume 64 Issue 2.   doi: 10.1080/02626667.2019

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1 Comment

  1. Bernard McCune

    February 10, 2020 at 8:42 am

    If you look at Bond cycles (approximately every 1000 years) during our present interglacial period, these brief and modest warming and cooling periods seem to be occurring like clockwork. They tend to vary on average only a few degrees C through a couple of cycles and 5 or 6 degrees through a max-min series in the complete interglacial cycle. On average the “Little” ice age was probably the coldest of all the cold series.
    Now a real ice age (these occur about every 100,000 years) will drop probably 10 to 20 degrees C. For cold that will be something else. The claim is that Chicago would have been under a mile of ice at the end of the last glacial period. And we are probably due for the beginning of one of those in the next several hundred or a thousand years. Apparently the tail end of the last one (before our present interglacial) got very cold 10 or 12 thousand years ago just before it drastically started to warm up into this interglacial.

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