Skip to comments.Global Warming and Global Cooling are as Old as the Black Plague
Posted on 02/22/2005 8:25:26 PM PST by Brian_Baldwin
In the 1200s in Europe something began to change. Most of the wealth of Europe came from the produce of land. Pollen evidence, as well as glacial evidence, prove that from 750 AD to 800 AD, and again two hundred years later from 1150 AD to 1200 AD, Europes weather suddenly starting warming, known as the Medieval Warm.
Pollen studies of the beech forests along the Fernau glacier and in the Ardenes region of Northern France prove that these forests started to expand their borders during the late Eight Century from their A.D. 200 borders, and we discover that Alpine glaciers began to retreat. Global Warming was in effect, with the glaciers retreating and the expansion of forest into this land.
In Germany, many deciduous species that had vanished after 200 AD had suddenly reappeared.
Cores of foraminifer appeared along the North Atlantic coast.
The temperature in Europe had warmed, noticeably warmer from the cold 300-400 AD period, and sustained this warming trend for hundreds of years. There were milder Winters. Drier Summers.
Suddenly there was a great increase in foodstuffs, from the Ninth Century into the Twelfth Century. This lasted for 400 years.
Economic trends and conditions of the peoples of Europe improved, and was known as the High Middle Ages. Because of this, there was also social and political change benefiting the lot of most Europeans.
Then things started to change.
After 1200 AD, and especially from 1300 AD to 1350 AD, things become wetter, and then colder.
The Alpine glaciers Fernau, Vernagt, Aletsch, and Grindelwald all advanced for the first time since the Eighth Century.
The tree lines began to retreat.
Radiocarbon data from the peat bogs of Aletsch show a maximum retreat in 1230 AD. The cold came quickly.
What was a major pasture area in Switzerland in the Twelfth Century and during the warming period, the Sasser Visp Valley, were advanced upon by the Allalin glacier, and the livestock farmers had to abandon their northern pastures which had been used and passed on to sons for hundreds of years.
During the Global Warming period of the 1200s, Scandinavia saw an increase in population, and the Viking era and the expansion of peoples who settled into Iceland and Greenland, which has warmer climates. There is a possibility these people also traveled to the Americas during the Global Warming period. But then, when the cooling came, ice floes drifted South, and blocked traditional North Atlantic shipping lanes. The direst westerly routes from Norway to Iceland and Greenland had to be abandoned. An increased and dangerous Bergen to Reykjavik route of an extra 400 miles had to be used. Then, it became so cold that Norwegian ships could not supply the Icelanders with food supplies, and these peoples had to turn to the British Isles for food. Things were worse in Greenland, West Coast fjords were blocked completely for all twelve months of a year during this cold spell. Greenland farmers abandoned their farms.
Then the Baltic Sea froze. This happened twice. In 1303 and 1306-07. The Thames River in England froze over twelve times between 1400 and 1480 AD.
Paleoclimatologist call this the Little Ice Age.
Again Europes weather was as forbidding as it was during the so-called Dark Ages.
There was bad harvest after bad harvest. First due to being too wet during the Summer. Too cold during the Winter. Social ills came. By 1250 AD the expansion of harvesting arable land had halted. Food supplies began to shrink.
Because wheat produced the highest yields per seed, and was better than many other crops in harsher weather, most of the farming turned away from animal husbandry and protein foods to growing wheat exclusively.
Europe began to enter a cycle of poverty typical of Asian societies. A monoculture of a grain or specific produce.
If and when the wheat harvest failed, the people would starve.
Living standards stagnated, and then started to drop.
Wheat monoculture led to over cultivation and soil exhaustion.
Wheat yields from the Estates of the Bishop of Winchester Southern England declined from yields to seed planted of 5 to 1 in the 13th Century to only 1 or 1 and half to 1 by 1330 AD.
The lot of labor worsened. Food became expensive, and Lords stopped taking cash payment in lieu of labor obligations, and labor had to provide drug work in kind for food, working for free under the Lords of Manors.
Conditions deteriorated between 1300 AD and 1347 AD. Europe went from the cold Dark Ages of pre-1200s, to the warm High Middle Ages of a more prosperous people of the late 1100s and early 1200s, and again back to a colder climatic period into the 1300s when conditions of the people stagnated and retreated to older, more darker times.
By 1314 AD, famines started, for the townspeople of Netherlands, Southern Germany, Northern Italy, in England, Holland, France, into Central Germany, widespread hunger spread. In 1310 AD, wheat at the London Cheap sold at 5 shillings for 8 bushels. By 1316 AD, it sold for 40 shillings.
From 1316 AD to 1322 AD, human population, in fact world wide, was reduced noticeably, a decline perhaps of about 25 % in the civilized world.
But in the Gobi Desert, where the Mongols roamed, east into some parts of China, in the regions of the Empire of Genghis Khan which begun in the late 12th Century and powerful until the 14th Century, weather took a different turn.
We do not understand Global Warming, nor Global Cooling. We know it happens, over and over again, cyclical in nature. Exactly why, we do not know.
It is not due to the automobile. There were not automobiles in the 12th and 13th Centuries.
That is especially true for the Mongols of the Gobi. However, they did ride ponies.
We do not understand everything about Mother Earth. And strangely, while Europe went from Global Cooling to Global Warming, and again to Global Cooling during the Middle Ages, the Mongols had the opposite.
By the 1300s, Europe became colder, wetter, dominated by Atlantic breezes.
But prevailing Eurasian wind patterns far away in a different world changed, and in other areas of the world as well.
Winds in the Sahara blew hotter. And then a dry air came into central parts of Asia, to areas already dry.
This happened in the mid-13th Century and into the 14th Century. Mongol and Turk nomads had to move their flocks out of their custom ranges, out to greener pastures, heading both East and West.
Central Asian wild rodents also began a mass exodus, a movement.
The nomads had very strict rules about these rodents, which they learned from hundreds of years of nomadic life. It was forbidden to trap and hold any such rodents they could be killed, which is good, but only from a distance. There were taboos against the rodents. Never approach one that is not moving or moving slowly. They are untouchable. It is the law of the Khan.
After the nomads began their exodus, something happened in the greener pastures, around 1320 AD. News of these events in far away Asia came back to Europe by the 1330s. There was a giant earthquake. This was followed by a drought and a horrible famine in the far away land. Then in 1334 AD, Europe heard of a horrible flood that happened in Eurasia. The Chinese also had records. In the 1340s people were dying in the land of Ghengis Khan.
Italian merchants were up on the news of the far away land. Primarily Genoese, they traded out in the Black Sea. The Genoese were bringing in goods from the far away land, around the Straits of Gibraltar, into the North Sea ports of the Netherlands. The routes were quick and efficient.
In 1339 AD, the Nestorian Christian community near Lake Issyk Kul in the Tien Shan region of Central Asia, all died.
The Genoese merchants had a settlement if Caffa, where the dirham coins of the Golden Horde could be found, on the Eastern coast of the Crimea where the Eurasian steppe touches into the Black Sea, today an old wasteland of decay that was once part of the Soviet Union. It was sort of the NAFTA of its day, and there were many arrangements and agreements with the peoples, pontiffs and despots of the far away lands, to facilitate the trade.
We know from the translations of the de Mussi manuscript and many other 14th-century accounts of scholarly literature, of a street brawl in September of 1345 AD in Caffa between the Christian merchants from Europe, and local Muslim residents, urged on by the Islamic clerics, skirmishes which degenerated into open war. The merchants, however, held their own against the Muslims, so the Muslims sought the aid of the Tatar Lord of the Kipchak Khan named Janibeg, who raised a large army and attacked the Christians.
The Christians held their own even still, fortifying their quarters in the town. The Muslims were checked, and then disaster stuck the Khan army.
The soldiers of the Tartar army were trying to besiege Caffa which was fortified by the Christian merchants, and the Muslims were not making well of it. Then the besiegers starting to all die a horrible death. Janibeg saw the men of his army dying all around him, of something horrible.
He knew it was over. But before death, he would have the last of it.
He ordered the few surviving troops to lad up the rotting bodies of the soldiers who died of some horrible pestilence, they rigged these dead bodies onto the catapults, and shot them over the walls of fortified Caffa and into the Christian citadel.
Rotting bodies of the dead Muslims fell into the streets of Caffa, and lay all over the town.
After time, the Genoese found they were stricken by something horrible.
They fled to their ships, and sailed back to Italy, and into the Messina harbor in Sicily, back home they went. Neither side won the war.
The incubation period from the time of infection to the appearance of the first symptoms is generally about six days. First there is commonly a blackish, gangrene ustule, then the lymph nodes in the armpits, groin or neck swell up, the swellings called Bubos.
The rats came with the ships and the sickly men.
Sickness clinging to their bones, it had come to Europe.
From 1347 AD to 1351 AD, bubonic, pneumonic, and septicaemic plage, the Black Death, would kill one quarter to over half of all the people of, a cold, Europe. And a warm Eurasia. And it went into China, India, Egypt, everywhere, around it went.
It went to Mecca. By 1349 AD the entire Islamic World was dying of the Black Plague, 50% of all those who dwelled in towns, a third of the overall general Muslim population died. One of the first acts of biological warfare had backfired. From Egypt to Palestine the Death then spread throughout the Arabian Peninsula, and then reached Mecca, the holiest City of Islam.
The death toll in Mecca was one of the highest.
The Prophet Mohammed said, that quote, deadly diseases would never reach the Holy City of Mecca.
When the Death did come, the Mullahs and clerics had to explain. They said, it was because non-believers were allowed in Mecca.
Of course, no no-believers, that is Christians and Jews, were allowed in Mecca at all. But this explanation seemed to be enough for the believers. The true believers of Jihad. Who mostly died.
And the wheel turns.
Whadda ya think yer doin bringin logic to a debate on climate change ? That'll never work........
The liberals Europeans, and Americans would like to call it "Climate Change"! This way if the scientists said that the earth is cooling, it is because human activities. If another group of scientists said the earth is warming, it is because of the human activities! One way or another, they will regulate something, it does not matter, what it is!
The Global Warming crowd have been attempting to elliminate the "Medieval Optimum" by selective dendrochronology and ice cores... and ignoring the "anecdotal" reports of Wine Grapes growing in Northern climes... and Greenland actually being GREEN. Strangely, when you look at the graphs they came up with that eliminate the "medieval optimum" they also had to eliminate the "little ice age" the extended to the 17th Century...
Certain ancients believed that the sun was a chariot that was pulled across the sky. In the future, people will look back out the "greenhouse effect" and
global warming" in the same way we see ancient beliefs...
The one thing that should be obvious is that the Earth got here before us, and doesn't seem to care about human creature comforts. And it's bigger and meaner than we are...
Well, of course, there was global warming then.
That period was known as the Dark Ages, so people all over Europe lit candles so they could see. All those candles heated the planet. And, with all those candles glowing, Europe came out of the Dark Ages and entered into the Age of Enlightenment.
Apropos of nothing in particular, but it's the truth - in the 13th century there was only one Plague reservoir - Central Asia, where the rats and the fleas had come to a stasis that remains today. Today we have two Plague reservoirs. The second one was created in the 19th century - it's the Southwestern United States.
Sleep tight, kiddies...
Very well written. A little more editing and you could have it published.
Does this mean that Muslims invented biological warfare? Or were there earlier instances.
I also recommend "A Distant Mirror" by Barbara Tuchman.
Actually global climate change are as old as this planet.
110,000 years ago, at the end of the last interglacial (global warming) period, hippopotami frolicked in the Thames, elephants in Trafalger Square and lions at Charing Cross.
The Venetians aided Janibeg in seiging the Genoese, so it could have been one, the other or both.
Wasn't that when they cut down the Sahara Forrest and burned it???
Now the closed society of Mecca and Medina, and little "kingdoms" surrounding, are dying from AIDS, a fitting disease for what some old "scriptures" the Sunni muslims have which call the Wahabbi Muslims from the Arab lands "those who are addicted to the anus".
It also seems the gene which causes fanatics was never completely wiped out by any plague thus far.
It's also interesting to note that "Greenland" at one time lived up to it's name, and other records point to the sea ice in the Hudson Strait having been absent, allowing the passage of Vikings in early times to establish colonies in Canada's north, into central Canada via the Nelson river, as artifacts prove to be pre-dating the Indian.
Right! It was after they froze the evil dinosaurs who were hogging all the food and everything, then they needed to cut down the forests and burn them to warm everything back up!
Disclaimer: Opinions posted on Free Republic are those of the individual posters and do not necessarily represent the opinion of Free Republic or its management. All materials posted herein are protected by copyright law and the exemption for fair use of copyrighted works.