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Submission + - A second Little Ice Age uncovered

An anonymous reader writes: New data, compiled from tree rings in Russia, suggests that a previously undetected little ice age occurred in the 6th and 7th centuries, caused by a combination of volcanoes and low sunspot counts.

This cold spell would have preceded the Medieval Warm Period centered around 1000 AD that was followed by the already known Little Ice Age centered around 1600 AD. Note that no fossil fuel regulations or carbon taxes were used in creating this cold period. Note also this description of the consequences of that cold period:

The poor climate may been one of many factors contributing to societal changes of the era, including widespread crop failures and famines in Central Asia that may have triggered migrations from the area to China and Eastern Europe, thus helping spread an episode of plague (depicted in this 15th century painting) that originated there.

Famine and plague, caused by extreme cold, illustrating starkly that cooling is a far greater threat to human survival than climate warming. Meanwhile, the Medieval Warm Period saw a flourishing of American Indian culture in the American southwest.

So why do our modern climate doom-sayers fear warming so much, when there is no data to justify that fear, and plenty of data to suggest otherwise.

Comment I might be getting old (Score 0, Redundant) 298

I might be getting old and grumpy, or it may be the effect of a sixpack or two, or it might be my NoScript allowing Slashdot only, but I came here to whine about "News for nerds, stuff that matters" asking myself why the filesystem-check does this matter for nerds.

To make a good whiney comment, with citations and all, I looked for the slogan on the front page, but... colour [I learned English from a Brit, sue me, Arbeit macht mich frei] me surprised!

At first I didn't see the connection with using a terrorist attack to push political agendas to whichever side. At second, I didn't see the connection of that attack with news for freaking "nerds". At last, I didn't see the mention of nerds anymore.

Should I walk to the east and board an Elven ship to Valinor, for my time has passed?

Comment Re:Worse than the space station? No. (Score 2) 684

"Yes, in an environment that can sustain life, heading to a place that might have something you want."

Early navigators didn't know that. Ridden by superstitions, doubts, inaccuracies. I've recently visited a -- they say -- size-accurate replica of Pedro Alvares Cabral's caravel. Official history say that he was the first to arrive in Brazil in 1500 A.D., a few years after Columbus's trip in 1492. It's about 100 ft in length (30 meters), and held about 150 men. Columbus's ship were about the same size. In that time, there was no GPS, no radio, no refrigerator, not even an engine. Maps were populated with "here be dragons", "end of the world" and such - today we know it - nonsense.

Today we know exactly what waits for us in Mars: cold; radiation; lack of atmosphere pressure; lack of breathable air; scant natural resources. We know exactly how to go there, and exactly how long it takes. So, is taking humans to Mars really as daunting a task as taking humans from Europe/Africa to the lands on the East?

Comment Re:Worse than the space station? No. (Score 1) 684

This, a thousand times over. Thanks for reminding us of such a basic trait of human nature. Why go to Mars? Why colonize such a wasteland? As wanderers, nomads, explorers, seekers of the unknown, if not for simple instinct or survival like migratory birds/locusts/mammals, then for plain bragging rights, for "glory", to inscribe our names in History, to extend our necks and fulfill our human nature, that so much separates us from the animals! Not because it is easy, said your president a few dacades ago, but because it is hard! Because we FUCKING CAN!

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