Wednesday, November 19, 2003
Late Summer and Autumn Storms I'm not sure that very many people have realized that the late summer and autumn storms in the late 16th and through the 17th Century were caused by a "mini-ice age" (you might call it, "global cooling"). The following are examples:
the storm that destroyed approximately half of the Spanish Armada in 1588
the storm that scattered Lt-Admiral Tromp's fleet, in his voyage to the Shetlands in July 1652
the storm that heavily damaged Witte de With's fleet, upon returning from Norway in late October 1653
"The Great Storm" in November 1703 (we are coming up to the anniversary)
The damage caused by the storm in 1653 was worse than the worst of their defeats in battle. Perhaps, later in the day, I can list the lost ships.
It is worth noting that the general climatic trend, over the last 30,000 years, or so, has been to warming. We can only hope that it will continue, as moderate warmth is better than ice. We know that North Africa, about 10,000 years ago was green and lush. By 5,000 years ago, the land had become arid, similar to the present situation. We need to realize that the we are at the mercy of the Sun. The geological evidence is that the Sun warms and then cools, seemingly in cycles.
I had read that the mini-ice age had started about 900 AD, and continued to the early 1700's. The only thing that I have seen that contradicts that is that during the Middle Ages, grape growing records seem to indicate that the climate was warmer then, than it is now.