Are Times a-Changing?

What soil type is your house sitting on? Clay, loam, sand? What does that tell you about the likely location? By a river, inland? You don't know what soil type? Don't feel bad. Most Americans probably don't know anymore. A century ago, and longer, a lot of people lived on the farm and they certainly knew! Beyond our American heritage, think about what the British found coming to America. Going south of Virginia they found marshes, pretty well unknown in England. Those marshes needed to be drained, vegetation cut down, making it usable for farming. That mentality is still deeply ingrained in American society. Maybe not farming, but land should be put to good economical use.

 The deepening of the St. John's River in Jacksonville Florida, will allow bigger vessels to enter. Hopefully an economic boon, but environmentally? Salt water will get deeper into the river, changing the environment. It is not only about whether it is good or bad, but more about: have we adequately considered the consequences? Who will pay for these? Our tax dollar, or the shipping industry? In the same vein, what about the elaborate homes built along the Pacific Ocean by people who can afford it? Should our tax dollars pay for the break-off of a cliff in front of their house?

Hurricanes, earthquakes, and tornadoes are all short-term challenges that have been around for ages. For the last 450 years, the temperature has been very steady, making it possible to build up an economy as we know it today. 

About the year 1000, it shows a similar rise in temperature as we see today. The Medieval Climate Anomaly, also known as the Medieval Warm Period, was a significant climatic event that occurred roughly between the 9th and 14th centuries. This period was characterized by relatively warmer temperatures in various regions around the globe, leading to notable impacts on ecosystems and human societies. Several factors contributed to the warming observed during the Medieval Climate Anomaly. One prominent driver was natural climate variability, including fluctuations in solar radiation and volcanic activity. Changes in solar output, such as increased solar irradiance, could have played a role in driving warmer temperatures during this period. Additionally, reduced volcanic activity, which tends to have a cooling effect on the climate by releasing ash and aerosols into the atmosphere, may have contributed to the relative warmth experienced during the Medieval Warm Period. 

The effects of the Medieval Climate Anomaly were diverse and varied across different regions. In Europe, for example, the warmer temperatures led to an extension of the growing season, allowing for increased agricultural productivity in some areas. This period saw the expansion of vineyards into regions that were previously too cool for grape cultivation, indicating the favorable conditions for agriculture during this time.

Conversely, other regions experienced different impacts. For instance, parts of North America saw shifts in precipitation patterns, with some areas becoming drier while others received more rainfall. These changes in moisture availability could have influenced ecosystems and affected the livelihoods of indigenous populations in those areas.  

The warmer climate during the Medieval Climate Anomaly influenced human societies in various ways. In Europe, the agricultural boom resulting from the extended growing season led to increased food production and population growth. This period also coincided with the rise of medieval civilizations and the flourishing of trade networks, contributing to cultural and economic developments.

Moreover, the warmer temperatures likely influenced exploration and migration patterns. The Norse colonization of Greenland and the discovery of Vinland (believed to be part of North America) by the Vikings are examples of how climatic conditions may have facilitated or incentivized exploration during the Medieval Warm Period.

When examining the Medieval Climate Anomaly in the context of modern climate trends, it is essential to note the differences and similarities. While both periods have experienced warming temperatures, the drivers of climate change today, such as anthropogenic greenhouse gas emissions, differ significantly from the natural factors that influenced the Medieval Warm Period. Really? Or is this conclusion based on more recently constructed computer simulations? Do we see more impact because the world is more populated and consequences affect more people after a hurricane or tornado?