Droughts during a little ice age

“There will be many over the next 30 years.” J.H. Walker

Droughts during a little ice age

By J.H. Walker

I refer you to the French peasants during the Little Ice Age – wouldn’t give up their wheat to save their lives.

The French revolution was based on town and city dwellers, who depended on a single food stuff that was easily transported and stored even by horse-drawn cart or barge. That food stuff was wheat, a cereal readily affected by drought. It still grows during a drought, but its head yield is stunted and poor.

One of the major features of the Little Ice Age wasn’t the cold and frost, although it was there in massive quantities, but strong easterly air flows. These strong easterly air flows reversed the normal European air from the wet Westerlies to dry Easterlies; bitterly cold in winter and dry-warm to hot in spring, summer and mid-summer.

All of the European reversals of air circulation happen during periods of SAW events (Sudden Atmospheric Warming), caused during periods of very low EUV, low values of solar wind and massive coronial holes in the medium latitudes of the sun’s atmosphere.

SAWs are tracked in the historic record since the 10th century, and they are simple to find: Intense cold throughout the European winters, bone-hard frosty winters with massive snowfalls in the UK and hot springs and summers.

Drought is a long-term event in the UK, it starts in the autumn and lasts until the start of the belated summer July monsoon in the UK. The winter period of 75 and the early summer of 76 is a prime example of a long-lasting SAW event. This spring in the UK is an example of a late spring /summer drought-inducing SAW event.

There will be many over the next 30 years.

24 thoughts on “Droughts during a little ice age”

    • “A cold climate is a dry climate” Not over the entire globe. During cooling of the climate the climate belts shift closer to the equator, resulting in higher north-south gradients, which explains extreme weather (this is described by HH Lamb for the period after the medieval warming period, and has been experienced this century). While rainfall decreases in some regions, there will be the opposite effect in others, as the climate belts shift towards the equator.

  1. What might appear to be counter-intuitive to some, the fact remains that extended periods of extreme cold weather, which in turn leads to substantial increases of ICE – directly connects with desertification, for the reasons that not only does the excessive cold climate hinder plant growth, in addition – any evaporation of water necessary for rain clouding diminishes because water is now locked up as a growing surface of ICE – which in turn further contributes to the stoppage of plant growth.

      • Climate is average of weather over several decades. In South Africa there was a higher rainfall period peaking in 2006. Here in the Bushmanland region the grass is growing again after recent rainfall. My backyard weather records show a minimum rainfall two years ago, with an uptrend of rainfall over the last two years. With a few days left this May, the average temperature for May, as well as the progressive average since 1st January, are approaching the lowest since 2012.

    • Desert in Africa comes from extreme heat, you prat. It also comes from poor land management, poor water management and idiotic human beings.

      Desert in California comes from heat.

  2. this is interesting, because I watch weather ever since I snowboard and windsurf, about 20 years around Europe, and I remember very well how rare eastern winds had been – I mean we never got eastern winds at all, and if we did it was a rare occasion, like one day a year. But in last few years the eastern winds became commonplace, and especially this spring they sometimes had been blowing from the east for days and weeks, unending… The dry cold winters are also a thing in central europe. Temperatures down to -20C, but no snow, and that makes the ground freeze and hurt all plants.

    • Temperatures down to minus 20C was entirely normal in Europe 30-40 years ago, 1977-1998 mini warming changed that for your generation. Stop saying this is unusual say ‘I am too you young to remember the last time it was normal’.

      We all survived 1975/6….

  3. downunder this yr the antarctic winds rose higher n pushed OUR normal rain from the nth coming down right back up n away from the areas it normally landed on;-(
    our southerlys are damned icy and often carry snows for higher areas as has happened some few times already this yr.
    so far less than 2 inches(50mm) rain ;-(

  4. Thank you for your response to my comment about the French peasants. While the rest of Europe had embraced the potato, the French clung to their wheat and starved as a result.
    In this modern age, surely we can find better solutions to climate changes, unless human intractability prevents it. For Pete’s sake, wild rice grows at the arctic circle. Cactus and aloe thrive in drought.
    Adapt or perish has always been Earth’s mantra.

  5. I think you misunderstood or have not taken into account the political, or climate facts of the time.
    Continental Europe is far drier than people take into account and the UK as a whole far wetter with the exception of the South East, which shares the same climate as the North West of France.
    Potatoes grow well in the maritime climate of the British Isles.
    Cereals such as Wheat grow far better in the East and South East of England and the further North and West the variety of cereals change to hardier versions of wheat to Rye and Oats
    The key is rain fall, cereals like wet and warm weather during the root growing and seed head production phases, then dry Sunny weather to ripen the crop, ready for harvest. The French climate is ideal for cereal production and vines which has similar climate needs.
    Whereas the potato need continuous periods of water and warmth to grow the water laden tubers to full size by late summer, they are also very frost tender.
    In nutrition values potatoes are 80% water and therefor are heavy to transport, 25Kgm sack of potatoes has far less nutritional value than the same 25Kgm sack filled with dry wheat. Dry Wheat will last the winter season in cold conditions, whereas potatoes will spoil if frosted.
    I suggest the farmers in both countries have chosen the best crops for the land and climate, what they didn’t know was that massive series of GSMs would play havoc with their climate and cause a series of drought due to a series of SAW events.
    Farmers have been practising GM modification by the old and slow methods of growing sport seeds and seeing what works and produces a profit. You have to remember that farmers are the world’s first capitalists as well as the world’s gardeners.
    The AGW alarmists with their hate campaign against energy production using carbon as a fuel source don’t want to adapt, they want to go backwards to a previous golden age of living in tune with nature. They little realise those Golden ages can only happened in benign solar induced warm periods like the Minoan, Roman, and the 200 years period of time from 850 AD to the start of the Oort Grand Solar minimum, otherwise called the Medieval Warm Period, the period of time both Iceland and Greenland became green and sufficiently warm to support Viking colonies, the same Warm period that has been MANNipulated out of existence to create the propaganda hockey stick and the Carbon Credit fraud.

    • Agricultural productivity maxima will oscillate northward and southward through climate regimes. Adaptation means maintaining soil fertility when crop production relocates temporarily elsewhere.

      What were Texas and Florida like during an Ice Age? Like Pennsylvania now? There will not be crop failures there, although crops grown may change.

      You seriously think the Arabian peninsula will be covered in glaciers? Grow up. It will be cooler, maybe a bit wette, maybe more fertile.

      Australian outback too cold? Get real, it will become more fertile, not less.

      Just because the self-absorbed Anglo-Americans think only they matter, vast tracts of the world will become more agreeable, not less agreeable….

      • Humans are resourceful, and will adapt to circumstances, provided the governmental and corporate circumlocutionists don’t get in the way. Tibetans grow barley in the Himalayas. Indigenous folks grow potatoes and other locally adapted crops high up in the Andes.

        The British government did a lot of stupid stuff during WWII. Ordered farmers to greatly reduce livestock and grow more grains. Had them plow under wet meadows to plant wheat. That land was excellent for grazing, but terrible for wheat production. I wonder if they consulted any farmers before making these bureaucratic decisions?

  6. A brave prediction those droughts. During a famine peasants hold onto a sack of wheat to use as seed for the next years crop. They will defend it with their lives.

    • It isnt a prediction but a statement of fact.
      Even Gliessberg period events cause famine but not with the same magnitude as a full on GSM. 1870 to 1945
      Dalton GSM 1790 to 1830 cold wet and windy as is this Modern GSM, But drought during the same GSM killed millions in the Sub Continent and in China.
      Similar events have taken place on the rise to the Holocene Maximum and on the way down from around 3500 years ago when the glaciation period restarted.
      It is only in the last 5 to 6K years or half of this current Interglacial that humans have a semi written history to record events like these, but recorded they are.

  7. Geologic evidence shows a much drier climate overall globally, during the last ice age. Wasn’t good for life.

  8. DESERTS ARE SANDY DESERTS and are HOT DURING THE DAY – primarily because of a LACK OF WATER… When the SUN SHINES UPON THE SANDY SURFACE OF A DESERT all of the absorbed sunlight goes into raising the ground’s temperature.



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