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Apocalypse & Armageddon

“Not One Inch of The Globe Will Be Free of Radiation”

  • The Facts:Acclaimed author and philosopher Jeremy Naydler, Ph.D. is our guide as we explore what a full-scale deployment of 5G may mean for humanity at this critical time. Published here with permission.
  • Reflect On:5G is gaining attention, and it might make us a little fearful of the effects, but we must observe this fear and bring things back to awareness of the issue so we can make better choices, but not be fearful. Check out our CE Protocol for this.

In November of 2018, the United States Federal Communications Commission (FCC) authorised the rocket company SpaceX, owned by the entrepreneur Elon Musk, to launch a fleet of 7,518 satellites to complete SpaceX’s ambitious scheme to provide global satellite broadband services to every corner of the Earth.

The satellites will operate at a height of approximately 210 miles, and irradiate the Earth with extremely high frequencies between 37.5 GHz and 42 GHz. This fleet will be in addition to a smaller SpaceX fleet of 4,425 satellites, already authorised earlier in the year by the FCC, which will orbit the Earth at a height of approximately 750 miles and is set to bathe us in frequencies between 12 GHz and 30 GHz. The grand total of SpaceX satellites is thus projected to reach just under 12,000.

There are at present approximately two thousand fully functioning satellites orbiting the Earth. Some beam down commercial GPS (or “SatNav”), some provide TV, some provide mobile phone services, and some bounce radar back and forth to produce images for meteorologists and military surveillance. The Earth is thus already comprehensively irradiated from outer space.

But the new SpaceX fleets will constitute a massive increase in the number of satellites in the skies above us, and a correspondingly massive increase in the radiation reaching the Earth from them. The SpaceX satellite fleet is, however, just one of several that are due to be launched in the next few years, all serving the same purpose of providing global broadband services. Other companies, including Boeing, One Web and Spire Global are each launching their own smaller fleets, bringing the total number of projected new broadband satellites to around 20,000 – every one of them dedicated to irradiating the Earth at similar frequencies (fig. 1). 1

… what is really driving it is the creation of the conditions within which electronic or “artificial” intelligence will be able to assume an ever greater presence in our lives.

Why is there this sudden flurry of activity? The new satellite fleets are contributing to a concerted global effort to “upgrade” the electromagnetic environment of the Earth. The upgrade is commonly referred to as 5G, or fifth generation wireless network. It has become customary in tech circles to talk about the introduction of 5G as involving the creation of a new global “electronic ecosystem”. It amounts to geo-engineering on a scale never before attempted. While this is being sold to the public as an enhancement of the quality of video streaming for media and entertainment, what is really driving it is the creation of the conditions within which electronic or “artificial” intelligence will be able to assume an ever greater presence in our lives.

In a previous article for New View(“Radiation, Robot Bees and 5G”, New View, 85, Autumn 2017), I described how the introduction of 5G will require hundreds of thousands of new mini mobile phone masts (also referred to as “base stations”) in urban centres throughout the UK, and literally millions of new masts in cities throughout the rest of the world, all emitting radiation at frequencies and at power levels far higher than those to which we are presently subjected.

These new masts are much smaller than the masts we currently see beside our motorways and on top of buildings. They will be discreetly attached to the side of shops and offices or secured to lampposts. The 20,000 satellites are a necessary supplement to this land-based effort, for they will guarantee that rural areas, lakes, mountains, forests, oceans and wildernesses, where there are neither buildings nor lampposts, will all be incorporated into the new electronic infrastructure. Not one inch of the globe will be free of radiation.

Given the scale of the project, it is surprising how few people are aware of the enormity of what is now just beginning to unfold all around us. Very few people have even heard about the 20,000 new satellites that are due to transform the planet into a so-called “smart planet”, irradiating us night and day. In the national media, we do not hear voices questioning the wisdom, let alone the ethics, of geo-engineering a new global electromagnetic environment.

But the question we should ask is whether we also want increasingly intense exposure of the natural environment and all living creatures, including ourselves, to more and more electromagnetic radiation.

Instead, there is a blithe acceptance that technology must continue to progress, and the presence in our lives of increasingly “smart” machines and gadgets that each year become cleverer and more capable is an inevitable part of this progress. And who doesn’t want progress? Almost everyone loves their sleek and seductively designed phones, pads and virtual assistants, and regards them as an indispensible part of their lives.

But the question we should ask is whether we also want increasingly intense exposure of the natural environment and all living creatures, including ourselves, to more and more electromagnetic radiation. Is it likely that this does not entail any adverse health consequences, as both government and industry claim? If the electromagnetic waves that connect our smartphones to the Internet travel through brick, stone and cement, then what happens when these same waves encounter our bodies?

Be assured that they do not just bounce off us! They travel into the human body. The degree to which they are absorbed can be precisely measured in what is called the Specific Absorption Rate, expressed in Watts per kilogram of biological tissue. When we fill our houses with Wi Fi, we are irradiating our bodies continuously. When we hold a smartphone to our ear, electromagnetic waves irradiate our brains (fig.2). Do we really believe this could be completely harmless?

Waves and Frequencies

At present, mobile phones, smartphones, tablets, most Wi Fi and so on all operate at under 3 GHz in what is called the “microwave” region of the electromagnetic spectrum. If you could see and measure their wavelengths, you would find that they are many centimetres (or inches) long. A smartphone operating at 800 MHz, for example, sends and receives signals with wavelengths of 37.5 centimetres (just under 15 inches). Operating at 1.9 GHz, the wavelengths are 16 centimetres (just over 6 inches). Wi Fi uses the 2.4 GHz frequency band with 12 centimetre wavelengths (just under 5 inches long).

The introduction of 5G will entail the use of considerably higher frequencies than these, with correspondingly shorter wavelengths. Above 30 GHz, wavelengths are just millimetres rather than centimetres long. The millimetre waveband (from 30 GHz to 300 GHz) is referred to as Extremely High Frequency, and its wavelengths are between 10 millimetres and 1 millimetre in length.3 Up to the present time, Extremely High Frequency electromagnetic radiation has not been widely propagated, and its introduction marks a significant step change in the kind of electromagnetic energy that will become present in the natural environment (fig.3).

The reason why millimetre waves are to be used for 5G is that much larger bands of spectrum are available in the Extremely High Frequencies than at lower frequencies. This means that there can be much broader “bandwidth”. Broader bandwidth means that larger quantities of data can be transferred and the speed of transfer of the data will be significantly faster.

One of the effects of this is that it reduces what is called “latency”, or time-lag, in the system, so it improves the quality of video streaming. But in so doing, it also enables a greater seamlessness between the data accessible from virtual sources and our perceptions of objects in the real world, as is required, for example, in Augmented Reality applications. Greater seamlessness means that we more effortlessly inhabit the natural and the electronic worlds as if they were a single reality.

A single 5G transmitter/receiver will have a large number of tiny antennas, grouped together in one unit.

One of the technical problems of using frequencies in the millimetre region of the spectrum is that, because the waves carrying the data are so tiny, being only millimetres long, they are less able to pass through physical barriers, like walls and trees, than are the longer waves of lower frequencies. This is why it is necessary to have so many more new phone masts or “base stations”. They will need to be spaced at 100 metres apart in cities because beyond this distance their signals weaken and are therefore less able to penetrate buildings, and connect with the devices inside. As well as being more closely spaced, the 5G base stations will operate at much higher power than current phone masts, in order to ensure that the signals are sufficiently strong.

Because the wavelengths are so much smaller, the antennas transmitting and receiving them will also be much smaller than those of current phone masts and electronic devices. A single 5G transmitter/receiver will have a large number of tiny antennas, grouped together in one unit. An array of just over a thousand such antennas measures only four square inches, so will easily fit into a small base station on a lamppost, while the smartphone in your pocket will probably have sixteen (fig.4).

But it also means that any living creature that gets in the way of such a concentrated beam will be subjected to a powerful dose of extremely high frequency radiant electricity.

Both 5G satellites and 5G land-based masts will use a system called the “phased array”. In the phased array, groups of antennas are co-ordinated to radiate pulses in a specific direction and in a specified time sequence. This allows a concentrated beam of radio waves to be exactly aimed at designated targets, to enable signals to be sent or received. Because the beams are concentrated in this way, this adds to their power, which means they are able more easily to penetrate buildings.

But it also means that any living creature that gets in the way of such a concentrated beam will be subjected to a powerful dose of extremely high frequency radiant electricity. A study published earlier this year demonstrated that certain insects, because of their small body-size, are particularly vulnerable to the millimetre waves of the higher frequencies to be utilised by 5G (fig. 5).5 Other studies have shown that bacteria and plants are also vulnerable, and so also (as one might expect) are the skin and the eyes of animals including, of course, human beings.6

As well as its ability to concentrate power in focused beams, phased array technology has a further complicating factor. Either side of the main beam, the time intervals between the pulses are different from the time intervals between those of the main beam, but they may overlap each other in such a way as to produce extremely rapid changes in the electromagnetic field. This can have a particularly detrimental effect on living organisms, because instead of the radiation decaying when it is absorbed into living tissue, it can be re-radiated within the body.

The moving charges streaming into the body effectively become antennas that re-radiate the electromagnetic field and send it deeper into the organism. These re-radiated waves are known as Brillouin precursors, named after the French physicist Leon Brillouin, who first described them in 1914. Research suggests that they can have a significant and highly detrimental impact on living cells.8

The Un-reassuring Assurances of Government and Industry

The Government body charged with protecting public health, Public Health England, advises us that there is no convincing evidence that Radio Frequency radiation (which radio, television, mobile phones, smartphones and 5G all use) has any adverse health effects on either adults or children.

It was like giving a blank cheque to the telecommunications industry to move on into the higher frequencies, without any heed for the consequences.

This advice is based on the recommendations of a supposedly independent body called AGNIR (Advisory Group on Non-Ionising Radiation), which produced a report in 2012 on the safety of Radio Frequency radiation. The report stated that there was a lack of “convincing” and “conclusive” evidence for any adverse health effects.9 It was like giving a blank cheque to the telecommunications industry to move on into the higher frequencies, without any heed for the consequences.

It turns out that far from being independent, AGNIR has a high proportion of members with blatant conflicts of interests, and their report distorted or simply left out of account evidence that should have compelled them to reach the opposite conclusion to the one they arrived at. In a forensic analysis of the report, the environmental health researcher, Sarah Starkey, makes it clear that only a wilful disregard of the available scientific evidence could explain its internal contradictions and apparent incompetence.10

Health and safety simply do not feature in Government thinking, despite a veritable mountain of literally thousands of research papers demonstrating adverse health effects …

And yet it is the basis of current UK Government policy, allowing government to roll out 5G without so much as even a nod towards the need for prior health and safety assessment.11Health and safety simply do not feature in Government thinking, despite a veritable mountain of literally thousands of research papers demonstrating adverse health effects, which continues to grow at the rate of roughly 350 per year, on average practically one every day.12

One of the reasons for ignoring this evidence in the hell-for-leather dash to create the 5G electronic ecosystem is the conviction in government circles that, unless we introduce it immediately, we will be “left behind” and our economic growth and competitiveness will be put at risk. There is simply no time to consider the possible health consequences.

The National Infrastructure Commission, whose 2016 report, Connected Future, forms the basis of current Government policy, pushed this panicky vision of the UK falling behind other nations and urged the government to ensure that the new digital infrastructure is fully in place by 2025.13The NIC report repeatedly points out that the rewards of the “connected future” are to be measured in billions of pounds worth of revenue.

The irony that the “connected” future is one in which dizzying profits stand to be made from technologies that disconnect us more and more from the real world is entirely missed.

The mind-boggling amounts involved are well exemplified in a recent estimate that the global media industry alone stands to gain $1.3 trillion from 5G by 2025, not least because 5G will “unlock the potential of augmented reality (AR) and virtual reality (VR)”.14 The irony that the “connected” future is one in which dizzying profits stand to be made from technologies that disconnect us more and more from the real world is entirely missed.

The sums involved are sufficient to explain why the telecoms industry has for the last twenty-five years done its utmost to ensure that research into the health effects of wireless technologies produce negative or inconclusive results. Since 1993, the industry has financed a large number of studies, saving governments a great deal of expense and at the same time preserving the convenient illusion that the jury is still out on whether exposure to Radio Frequency radiation causes harm.

Earlier this year, The Guardian published an article citing research which showed that while 67% of independently funded studies found a biological effect of exposure to Radio Frequency radiation, only 28% of industry-funded studies did. Industry-funded studies are almost two and a half times less likely than independent studies to find health effects.15 The authors of the Guardian article explain that the telecoms industry doesn’t need to win the scientific argument about safety, but simply keep the argument running indefinitely by producing studies with results that fail to verify, or even better contradict, the research that does find adverse health effects.

One of the most notorious is the mammoth, industry-funded “Interphone Study”, which managed to conclude that holding a mobile phone to the head actually protects the user from brain tumours!

One of the most notorious is the mammoth, industry-funded “Interphone Study”, which managed to conclude that holding a mobile phone to the head actually protects the user from brain tumours! This study, which is full of contradictions and suffers from grievous design flaws, is often quoted as the most authoritative to date, while it has in fact been thoroughly discredited.16

Nevertheless, the impression is maintained that there is no scientific consensus, and so there are not sufficient grounds for action to be taken. Needless to say, this suits Government just as much as it suits industry.

Beyond the health effects there is another level altogether of what the roll out of 5G actually entails. Read Dr. Naydler’s full article.

NOTES

1 One of the best sources for this information is the website of the Global Union Against Radiation Deployment from Space (GUARDS) at www.stopglobalwifi.org, and the related Cellular Phone Task Force website at www.cellphonetaskforce.org. Both organisations are informed and inspired by the tireless research and campaigning of Arthur Firstenberg, to whom this article is greatly indebted.

2 Source: ISEE/ISEA Conference: Environmental Epidemiology and Exposure. Paris, 5/9/2006.

3 The rule is: the higher the frequency at which the wave oscillates, the shorter the wavelength will be.

4 Source: Qualcomm. July, 2018.

5 Arno Thielens et al., “Exposure of Insects to Radio-Frequency Electromagnetic Fields from 2 to 120 GHz”, Nature, 8: 3924 (2018):
“The insects show a maximum in absorbed radio frequency power at wavelengths that are comparable to their body size… The studied insects that are smaller than 1cm show a peak in absorption at frequencies (above 6 GHz), which are currently not often used for telecommunication, but are planned to be used in the next generation of wireless communication systems.”

6 Cindy Russell, “A 5G Wireless Future”, The Bulletin (January/February, 2017, pp.20-23 reviews the research, and lists a large number of adverse health effects of millimetre wave electromagnetic radiation including arrythmia, antibiotic resistance, cataracts, compromised immune system, etc.

7 Source: Arno Thielens et al., “Exposure of Insects to Radio-Frequency Electromagnetic Fields from 2 to 120 GHz”, Nature, 8: 3924 (2018), fig.4.

8 Kurt Oughstun, interview on “Brillouin Precursors”, Microwave News, 22, 2 (2002), p.10. According to Oughstun, a professor of electrical engineering and mathematics at the University of Vermont,
“A single Brillouin precursor can open small channels through the cell membrane because, as it passes through the membrane, it can induce a significant change in electrostatic potential across that membrane.”
See also Arthur Firstenberg “5G – From Blankets to Bullets” January 17th, 2018), at www.cellphonetaskforce.org.

9 Report of the Advisory Group on Non-Ionising Radiation, Health Effects from Radiofrequency Electromagnetic Fields (2012).

10 Sarah J. Starkey, “Inaccurate official assessment of radiofrequency safety by the Advisory Group on Non-ionising Radiation”, Review of Environmental Health, 31:4 (2016), pp.493-503.

11 The Department for Culture, Media and Sport and H. M. Treasury, Next Generation Mobile Technologies: A 5G Strategy for the UK, March, 2017, which sets out the government’s strategy for the roll out of 5G, does not mention health and safety precautions.

12 One of the best sources for this mountain of research is The BioInitiative Report (2012), which helpfully gathers it into manageable sections, and is regularly updated. It can be accessed online at http://www.bioinitiative.org. According to the Report, between 2007 and 2012, approximately 1800 new studies demonstrated adverse health effects, i.e. on average 350 per year.

13 National Infrastructure Report, Connected Future (December, 2016), p.11. The authors argue that only by so doing could the UK “take full advantage of technologies such as artificial intelligence and augmented reality.” The report is available at www. nic.org.

14 Ovum, “5G Economics of Entertainment Report” (October, 2018). The report was commissioned by Intel, and a summary is available at www.newsroom.intel.com.

15 Mark Hertsgaard and Mark Dowie, “The inconvenient truth about cancer and mobile phones”, TheGuardian, 14th July, 2018. The blatant funding bias was first exposed in 2006 by Louis Slesin, “’Radiation Research’ and the Cult of Negative Results”, Microwave News, 26.4 (July, 2006), pp.1-5. A good summary of the problem is given in “Bias and Confounding in EMF Science”, on the Powerwatch website: www.powerwatch.org.uk/science/bias.asp.

16 The Interphone Study is devastatingly critiqued in L. Lloyd Morgan et al., Cellphones and Brain Tumors: 15 Reasons for Concern (2009), available online at www. electromagnetichealth.org.

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Apocalypse & Armageddon

“World War III will begin in 2020 and will last 16 years,” says military mathematician

Ingo Piepers served as a Marine Corps officer, but after retiring, he subsequently achieved success in the academic world. In particular, four years ago he received a doctorate at the UvA in the field of war dynamics, and in 2016 Peepers published a monograph, which he called “ 2020 Warning ”. Now all dominoes seem to fall as he predicted.

Over the past 400 years, about 500 major wars have occurred in the world, and only four serious wars: the Thirty Years War (1618-1648), the French Napoleonic Wars (1792-1815), and then two “World Wars”.

Each major conflict is preceded by a series of small ones, which, for some time, occur on an increasing basis, reach a peak and, ultimately, come to naught. But at this moment a certain incident occurs, after which what is described by the concept of “world war” begins:

According to Piepers’s calculations, we are now in the fifth cycle. The turning point in the series of minor conflicts preceding WW3 (or the Great Fifth War) occurred in 2011, after which, by 2020, almost all of the current minor wars were nullified. Therefore, based on the model, the next big war will happen in 2020, plus or minus two years. It will last 16 years. 

In an interview with De Telegraaf, Piepers says: 

“ I myself survived the war in Sarajevo. As a soldier, I was interested in this phenomenon. We always have an explanation for every war, but how correct is it? Therefore, approximately 20 years ago, I began a “search. I began to analyze the databases: the start date of the war, the end date, the number of victims, and so on.

In the end, I identified 4 cycles that proceeded according to the same pattern. At first you have a stable period with small wars, but it’s becoming more and more difficult for states to adhere to the structure that has developed after the last war. The tension is growing. At some point, there is a major war in which everyone is involved. Then the cards shuffle again, but with a new world order. 

Of course, I myself was shocked when I discovered these patterns. I checked and double-checked them. And it’s true – we are at the end of the fifth cycle. Moreover – domino bones have already flown, as I predicted. Now, the Third World War begins, which, according to calculations, will last 16 years. ” 

Piepers is already a little scared by the assassination by the Americans of the important Iranian general Qassem Soleimani. He says:

“I fought in the Balkans and I know the history of local wars well. Before World War I, there were amazingly many of them. But at some point, an important world player was murdered – Franz Ferdinand, heir to the Habsburg empire. This caused all kinds of actions and led to war. And now another high-ranking military official has been killed. Serious tensions arose. A chain reaction begins. And this chain reaction will inevitably lead to war. ”

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Apocalypse & Armageddon

The apocalypse is in doubt: the current climate change was milder than the previous

In the last two millennia, there have been two periods of global cooling, which led to rapid fluctuations in sea level – up to 4.23 millimeters a year. This is noticeably stronger than today. It turns out that the current climate change is not unprecedented in the history of mankind. And past sea retreats could cause as many as two civilizational crises. Let’s try to understand why this is important for us now.

Volcanic eruptions, along with other factors, could cause a couple of severe cooling, during one of which the Roman Empire collapsed. Traces of them were found on a distant Maldivian atoll / © Wikimedia Commons

Volcanic eruptions, along with other factors, could cause a couple of severe cooling, during one of which the Roman Empire collapsed. Traces of them were found on a distant Maldivian atoll / © Wikimedia Commons

Sea level: different everywhere, despite the law of communicating vessels

Usually we imagine the sea level as something unshakable and the same throughout the planet. This is not so: the sea level in Ireland is more than 150 meters higher than that of the Maldives, and even its current rise in some places is faster, but in some exactly the opposite: there the average sea level “sinks”.

It can be clearly seen that in the region of New Guinea, the sea is more than 80 meters above the average planetary level, and in the Maldives – more than 100 meters lower / © Wikimedia Commons

At first it seems that this contradicts the law of communicating vessels: after all, the oceans are one, and water from a higher place should flow to a lower one, leveling the surface. In fact, there is no contradiction. Our planet is not a sphere, but a geoid, and those parts of it where the sphere is slightly “hewn” have a different surface shape. Limitations from gravity and the shape of the Earth create a huge, up to a couple of hundred meters, difference in sea level in different places.

The red places of the greatest convexity of the geoid, the blue - the places of its greatest concavity / © Wikimedia Commons
The red places of the greatest convexity of the geoid, the blue – the places of its greatest concavity / © Wikimedia Commons

In order not to get confused and understand what is happening on the planet as a whole, they use the concept of global sea level. All the irregularities of the geoid are averaged in it, which makes it possible to obtain a single measure of the change in the “average” sea level.

So, until the 1980s it grew by 1.8 millimeters a year, and since the 1980s – by 3.2 millimeters a year (now 3.3 millimeters). The value itself is small, but there are places where, due to the local specifics, the sea comes especially fast: say, in the Pacific Ocean.

Specifically, this has not affected badly on the islands of the Pacific Ocean: on the contrary, the area of ​​Tuvalu and Kiribati, recorded by satellite images, has grown. But, definitely, in the future somewhere on the Earth a situation may come when the rise of the sea will force the shore to be strengthened by pouring sand on it.

However, it should be remembered that the sea is able not only to advance, but also to retreat. And such processes can be even more dangerous.

Ancient Crisis: First Cooling

One of the most important properties of changes in sea level is that it clearly reflects what is happening with the climate. If it changes, the sea changes with it. Due to global warming, the sea has risen to 21 centimeters since 1900 . Mainly due to the expansion of sea water from heating. Additional factors were the melting of parts of the ice of Greenland and other areas. Sea level rise is one of the key evidence of global warming.

The question arises: did the sea level change before that? Previous measurements on the Atlantic Ocean gave different data: somewhere, changes over the past two thousand years were recorded, somewhere not, and it seemed that all these fluctuations in any direction did not exceed 0.25 meters. Not very much, but still more than the current rise of the sea due to global warming.

The problem with these numbers is that they were calculated according to the level of salt water in coastal swamps. This is not a direct measurement of sea level, and it may contain significant errors. The data on the Pacific Ocean are scattered, not always clearly dated, and therefore a number of researchers consider them to be speculative.

An international team of scientists recently published a work in Nature Geoscience , where they studied the coral atolls of the Maldives – islands in the Indian Ocean close to the equator. The advantages of this research point are that there is no noticeable tectonics; lowering and raising land for geological reasons are extremely slow. Coral atolls are rigidly connected to sea level: when it drops noticeably, corals at low tide are in the open air and die.

Maldives Atoll, on which samples of dated corals were collected / © Paul S. Kench et al.
Maldives Atoll, on which samples of dated corals were collected / © Paul S. Kench et al.

In addition, the authors used the exact uranium-thorium dating of ancient corals. It is based on the fact of the decay of uranium with the formation of thorium atoms: and, since the rate of such decay is known, it allows you to accurately calculate the chronological framework of sea level changes (more precisely than in most previous work on the topic).

One of the sampling points for coral samples at the measurement stage / © Paul S. Kench et al.
One of the sampling points for coral samples at the measurement stage / © Paul S. Kench et al.

It turned out that in 2000-100 BC, the sea level in the Maldives was 0.5 meters above the average in our era, which also means a fairly warm climate. In the years 234-605 AD, the level began to fall sharply, at a minimum it was 1.34 meters below the current average sea level. Two samples even indicated a level 1.45 meters lower than the current one.

The event lasted 371 years and can not be explained by anything other than a noticeable drop in temperature in the equatorial regions of the Indian Ocean. Equatorial waters are often more sensitive to warming, since the water in them rises faster, expanding and leading to the onset of the sea – but the same pattern works in the opposite direction.

It turns out that in the years 234-605 the planet could have been noticeably colder than today. Interestingly, this period coincides with the decline and collapse of the Roman Empire and the Great Migration of Peoples.

The decline of the Roman Empire is associated by historians with systematic crop failures, which often lasted several years in a row / © Wikimedia Commons
The decline of the Roman Empire is associated by historians with systematic crop failures, which often lasted several years in a row / © Wikimedia Commons

Previously, on the basis of narrow tree rings (the norm during cooling), other scientific groups have already put forward the hypothesis of the “Late Antique Small Ice Age”. However, then it was about the 500-600s, and there was no data for an earlier time. Now it becomes clear that the cooling could begin in the III century, coinciding in time with the crisis of ancient civilization.

The authors of the study note that it is on these 371 years that the 13 coldest decades of the last two thousand years are accounted for. Since colder periods normally coincide with a decrease in rainfall, they should have had catastrophic consequences for agriculture in the form of droughts and crop failures.

After the 7th century, corals in this zone do not grow until the 15th century: the authors believe that sea levels have risen at least to the present or even higher, not giving the local coral reefs enough light to grow.

New time: the second wave of cooling

In the years 1481-1807, the Maldives experienced a second period of low sea level: on average, at that time it was 0.71 meters lower than today. By 1807, the level reached a minimum – 0.89 meters below the modern average. It should be emphasized that the fall of the sea in the Maldives both in modern times and in antiquity is noticeably stronger than its rise during modern global warming.

Illustration of February from the French watch book of 1412-1416. Light clothes, thin snow, and all this in the midst of winter. In the illustrations of the remaining, less severe months, there is no snow at all. It seems that as early as the beginning of the 15th century, the climate in Europe was quite warm / © Wikinedia Commons
Illustration of February from the French watch book of 1412-1416. Light clothes, thin snow, and all this in the midst of winter. In the illustrations of the remaining, less severe months, there is no snow at all. It seems that as early as the beginning of the 15th century, the climate in Europe was quite warm / © Wikinedia Commons

Only in 2017, the sea level in the Maldives rose by 0.89 meters, that is, it reached the present. Over 210 years of anthropogenic global warming, the sea has grown by the same amount by which it retreated for much shorter periods of time in the III-VII and XV-XIX centuries.

The peak sea retreat recorded in the work for the last two thousand years is 2.8 millimeters per year. The peak rate of sea level rise today is 3.4 millimeters per year (this is the limit, usually called 3.3 millimeters per year). From this it is clear that the current offensive of the sea in speed is comparable to its retreat in the last thousand years.

In addition, after the retreat of the sea in late Antiquity, its rapid offensive followed – and by the beginning of the 700s, according to work, the rate of offensive of the sea was 4.23 millimeters per year, that is, significantly more than today.

It is no less interesting that specifically in the case of the Maldives, the current sea level is still significantly below the level of the heyday of the ancient world – 2000-100 BC (a difference of half a meter).

Canals of Holland, XVII century. Clothing is noticeably warmer than in the Middle Ages. In Western Europe, the use of sleds has become normal / © Wikinedia Commons
Canals of Holland, XVII century. Clothing is noticeably warmer than in the Middle Ages. In Western Europe, the use of sleds has become normal / © Wikinedia Commons

The events of the New Age – this period is also called the “Little Ice Age” – included a series of wars and famine years. The most cruel of them belong to the first half of the 17th century, when a series of several hungry years led to the Time of Troubles in Russia, and the German population fell from 50 to 70% from a combination of wars and starvation.

Definitely, this is also very similar to the civilizational crisis. Key countries of 1481, such as Spain, Portugal, leading Italian republics such as Venice, Florence and Genoa, by 1807 became only a pale shadow of themselves, and China was so weak that it experienced the conquest of another wave of barbarians.

Nevertheless, a number of other states have noticeably strengthened their positions during this time. England, France and Russia by 1807 became significantly larger, had more population and opportunities. True, in all three cases, this coincided with the active territorial expansion of these states, which allowed them to obtain resources that were not there in 1481.

Why is it important

The sea cannot recede either by 89 centimeters (peak value from work), or by 0.7 meters (average value for two cold periods), if there is no cooling. Today, the Maldives atolls are the most accurate measured at sea level over the past thousand years.

And from measurements on local corals, it follows that during this time there were two rather strong cooling, in amplitude similar to the current warming. In terms of speed – judging by the record sharp retreat of the sea by 2.8 millimeters per year – these cooling could even come faster than the current warming.

Meanwhile, a work was published earlier in 2019 that generally denied the very reality of the small ice age of the New Time, as well as of the Late Antique small ice age. Its authors argued that the most reliable signs of cold weather in the small ice age for different regions occurred at different times, therefore, as a whole, the temperature on Earth as if did not change.

Fluctuations in sea level of up to 0.89 meters indicate the extreme doubtfulness of this conclusion, often made on the basis of historical records or indirect temperature indicators. Sea level is a more reliable measure of global temperatures than indirect evidence.

The authors of the new article note that their predecessors could not get accurate data on sea level changes in other places, mainly because coral reefs have been actively growing over the past 200 years after rising sea levels. In the process of secondary growth, they often destroyed or mixed strongly the materials of older reefs, which were preserved only in a limited number of places with exceptionally favorable conditions such as the Maldives. That is, the method used in their work allows a deeper and more realistic assessment of changes in the climate of past centuries.

Unprecedented climate change? Does not look like

Researchers conclude with the conclusion: “The magnitude and speed of sea level changes in the present Indian Ocean are not unprecedented over the past 2000 years.” These words look dry and mean – in fact, this is a scientific journal, what else can its text be in style?

But there is a lot to them. If the sea in the last 20 centuries receded at a speed of up to 2.8 millimeters per year, and came at a speed of 4.23 millimeters per year, then it turns out that its current growth of 3.3 millimeters per year is not only not unprecedented, but also quite moderate. The authors believe that the antique period of sea level for the Maldives (half a meter higher than the present) will be achieved only in the 21st century.

More importantly, temperature changes in the pre-anthropogenic era, when people could not influence the climate as they are today, are comparable in scale to the current ones. This is a very unpleasant sign. Accidental climate fluctuations such as the Late Antique or Small Ice Age can lead to alarming consequences in the form of high cold mortality (and it is much higher than mortality from heat), crop failures and droughts.

It would be nice to sort out and find out the exact culprit of the events of those years – in order to try to avoid repeating them. Or at least not to be taken by surprise.

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Apocalypse & Armageddon

1,200-year-old Viking rune stone warned of climate change prior to the end of the world

Credit: Florent Llamas / University of Gothenburg

An international team of researchers has produced a new translation of the Rök monument, a stone carved with runes and erected in southern Sweden around 800 A.D.

According to a study published by the Swedish university of Uppsala, the stone of Rök, a granite block on which the Vikings inscribed towards the ninth century the longest runic text known, could have been erected to warn future generations about a climate crisis.

Earlier, experts thought the inscription described a series of battles, but a new interpretation suggests that the text consists of nine riddles that show the sun and Odin, the king of Asgard and his warriors.

Strange events

Before the Rök stone was erected, a series of strange events took place, archaeologist Bo Gräslund of Uppsala University explained in a press release.

“A powerful solar storm burned the sky with spectacular red dyes, the crops suffered from an extremely cold summer and then a solar eclipse occurred just before dawn,” said the archaeologist.

It is believed that the crisis of the 6th century was caused by a series of volcanic eruptions that dramatically affected the climate and led to lower average temperatures, destroyed crops and the resulting famine and mass extinction. It is estimated that the population of the Scandinavian Peninsula decreased by at least 50% at the time.

Gräslund adds that these phenomena were probably interpreted by the Vikings as the arrival of what is known as Fimbulvetr in the Norse mythology. This means a winter that lasts three years and is a prelude to the dreaded Ragnarök, the end of the world, “the conflict between light and darkness, heat and cold, life and death.”

FIMBULVETR (Great Winter): the end of the world is announced with natural catastrophes and a winter that lasts three years.

The granite rock lies near Lake Vättern, in southern Sweden. It also has more than 700 perfectly readable runes, on all five sides.

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