The weather in Jesus’ time

  1. a) Bathymetric map of the central-western Mediterranean Sea. Red triangle: location of SW104-ND11 core;
    red circles: marine records used for the comparison; (b) Bathymetric map of the Sicily Channel showing
    surface oceanographic circulation and core location. Black lines follow the path of surface
    water circulation. Major currents are illustrated [Credit: Margaritelli et al. 2020]

Re-blogged from the ‘Archaeology News Network’:

Mediterranean Sea Was 2 Degrees Hotter During Roman Empire

The greatest time of the Roman Empire coincided with the warmest period of the last 2,000 years in the Mediterranean, according to a study published in the journal Scientific Reports. The climate conditions derived progressively towards arid conditions and later colder ones coinciding with the historical fall of the empire, as stated in the new study, whose principal researchers are Isabel Cacho, Giulia Margaritelli and Albert Català, from the Faculty of Earth Sciences and the Consolidated Research Group on Marine Geosciences of the University of Barcelona. The study also counts on the participation of the experts from the Research Institute for Geo-hydrological Protection of the National Research Council (CNR-IRPI), the National Institute of Marine Sciences (CNR-ISMAR), the University of Campania Luigi Vanvitelli and the University of Perugia in Italy.

Previous studies had related the fall of the Roman Empire to some natural factors (climate change, volcanic eruptions, etc.). With a large-scale regional view, the study provides high resolution and precision data on how the temperatures evolved over the last 2,000 years in the Mediterranean area. “For the first time, we can state the roman period was the warmest period of time of the last 2,000 years, and these conditions lasted for 500 years”, notes Isabel Cacho, professor at the Department of Earth and Ocean Dynamics of the UB.

The Mediterranean Sea is a semi-closed sea –extremely vulnerable to modern and past climate changes – with a strategic location. Home to many civilizations over the years –with a tradition for historical and archaeological studies – Mare Nostrum is a model to study the periods of climate variation and climate potential influence in civilizations.

In particular, the Roman Empire period is hard to study, “since it coincided with important cultural changes that took place around the Mediterranean. The study of the climate of the past is now the only tool to analyze the dynamics of the climate System of the Earth in different conditions from the current ones, and it is essential to test the validity of the mid and long term prediction models”, note the experts Giulia Margaritelli (also member of the CNR-IRPI) and Fabrizio Lirer (CNR-ISMAR).

The study identifies for the first time a warming phase which is different during the Roman period in the Mediterranean area and is focused on the reconstruction of the sea surface temperature (SST) over the last 5,000 years.  These new records were correlated to data from other areas of the Mediterranean (Alboran Sea, Menorca basin and Aegean Sea) to show a regional signal of the basin to identify the Roman period (1-500 AD) as the warmest period of the last 2,000 years, 2ºC warmer than the average values at the end of the century. The experts also comment on the impact of the rainfall regime during this period –marked by a great regional variation of the most wet and arid phases- in the evolution of the Roman Empire.

Comparison of the Sea Surface Temperature (SST) records from Sicily Channel (thick dark blue line), Alboran Sea (thick light blue line), Minorca Basin (thick red line) and Aegean Sea (thick dark and light green lines) expressed as SST anomalies in relation with the reference period from 750 BCE to 1250 CE (the only period shared by all the records) in order to better compare the amplitude of the changes across the Mediterranean. Credit: Margaritelli et al. 2020]

According to the authors, this phase coincides with the development of the expansion of the Roman Empire, which suggests a potential relation between favoring climate conditions and the change into the great empire founded by Octavius Augustus in 27 BC. According to the hypotheses of the authors, a climate transition from wet to arid conditions could have marked its following decline. 
Framed within the study, experts analyzed the Mg / Ca relation of samples of the planktonic foraminifer Globigerinoides ruber, present in marine sediments, an indicator of sea water temperatures. These unicellular organisms, part of the marine zooplankton, have a specific habitat limited to the surface layers of the water column. “Therefore, the chemical analysis of its carbonated skeleton allows us to reconstruct the evolution of the temperature of the surface water mass over time”, notes Isabel Cacho. With the published results, the study provides new references for new studies on the resilience of Roman populations regarding climate variations using the analysis of social and cultural transformations that took place over the centuries.
“Our study highlights the relevance of the Roman Empire to better understand the behavior of the Mediterranean climate –specifically, the hydrological cycle– in warm conditions compared to the ones in the current climate change scene. This part of the research is essential to improve our ability to adapt to imminent changes”, concludes Professor Isabel Cacho.

Source: University of Barcelona [July 23, 2020]

Brrr…….it is getting colder!!

Looking at the results from a weather station where I live here in Pretoria, I find that winter here has been cooler than it was last year. The recorded temperatures in for May & June 2020 each are about 2 degrees lower than May and June last year (2019).

The oceans in the southern hemisphere are also getting cooler. See attached picture.

 You might be inclined to think that this is just a fluke, or a one year incidence, but if you go over my report here,

Submission by Henry Pool (2018)

(just click on the above link)

you will note that there is a long term trend (measured over 40 years) of minimum temperatures dropping in South Africa.

This flies in the face of the theory of man made warming due to more carbon dioxide which implies that minimum temperatures should be rising, pushing up the average temperatures.


What to do with Covid 19 (3)

As I informed you before [see “What to do with Covid 19 (1) & (2)], there have many people from all over the world  reporting to have been cured of Covid 19 due to taking the anti malaria drug HydroxyChloroquin (HCQ) taking in combination  with zinc and an anti-biotic. However, the use of the medicine became controversial when Lancet published this paper:

Essentially, it said:

In summary, this multinational, observational, real-world study of patients with COVID-19 requiring hospitalisation found that the use of a regimen containing hydroxychloroquine or chloroquine (with or without a macrolide) was associated with no evidence of benefit, but instead was associated with an increase in the risk of ventricular arrhythmias and a greater hazard for in-hospital death with COVID-19. These findings suggest that these drug regimens should not be used outside of clinical trials and urgent confirmation from randomised clinical trials is needed. End quote.

Note my surprise when I heard today that Lancet has retracted this paper, saying that it cannot vouch for their sources and data for its paper……

I think what this means is that the use of HCQ is now acknowledged officially as a possible cure for Covid-19!

More about this scandal and who is to blame for it, here, in ScienceMag:



What to do with Covid 19 (2)

As reported before – see also the above video, it seems that the malaria medicine HydroxyChloroquin is mentioned as a cure for Covid 19 if taken with zinc as soon as possible after diagnosis. Unfortunately, it was also mentioned by president Trump and then the matter became rather political. Not only that, but it seems that there is also a powerful lobby from the big pharmaceuticals to keep away from the medicine, presumably – I think –  because it is very old (no patents!) and would bring little or no profits to them. They are quoting dubious results – and totally misquoting good reports and also exaggerating the side effects. I became aware of this controversy a few weeks ago, so I stayed away from it to see what would happen next. However today’s report from a Brazilian physician made me decide to report on it on my blog as well. I am giving the link to the report and would ask you to draw your own conclusions. [remember this must have been translated from Portuguese]