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Civilisations and the sun

This section of my website is not yet ready, although there are several files available.

The central theme is that astronomy, geology, and evolutionary biology (including psychology), have a surprising influence on many processes even today, and history is one of these affected proceses. Although it may seem odd to say that the sun could affect the course of modern civilisations, an extreme example would be the effect of a solar event on the same scale as some other stars similar to our own, which could easily terminate our existence.

27Sep09 The Sun and civilisations - Echos of the 2012 end of the Mayan calendar Great Cycle of 5,126 years? - Here is a revised, high-detail chart relating the sun-barycenter hypothesis for solar activity to the rise and fall of civilisations. Radioisotopes carbon 14 (C14) and berylium 10 (Be10) are used as proxies for solar activity.

It is interesting to note that the Mayan Great Cycle period of roughly 5,126 years is one-quarter of the Mayan Grand Cycle of 25,630 years, which is approximately the precessional cycle of the Earth's axis, which is one of three cycles commonly associated with Milankovic cycles (Earth orbit eccentricity (~100 ky and 400 ky), Earth axis obliquity (40+ ky) and precession (26 ky)).

Donna, Neil, Irene and Bill Howell "Mega Life, Mega Death, and the invisible hand of the sun: Towards a quasi-predictive model for the rise and fall of civilisations"
This key starting refeence document is still in rough outline form, but it will help to explain what we are thinking of. A higher-quality historical timeline is in the separate file:
Howell - Solar insolation for civilisations.pdf

"Climate and Food Production"
A very specialised presentation was prepared for the Alberta Potato Growers Association in November 2007. A brief, mostly solar-centric view of climate change is provided, along with a quick summary of the catastrophic failures of the key scientific points that have been used to sell the Kyoto Premise to the public. But the main theme is that of climate models for the Canadian prairies, and how that affects various aspects of crop production.

Anthony Peratt's theme of Petroglyphs and Auroral phenomena
Here's an interesting hypothesis regarding high-energy auroral phenomena as an explanation of petroglyphs (rock drawings)around the world. The attached scanned file is large - 60 Mbyte!

It would also be useful to review material on separate web-pages and reports...

References: selected articles, mostly related to solar and climate as related to history
This does not include pandemics-related references.
  1. Michael D. Coe "The Maya" original 1966, seventh edition 2005, Thames & Hudson, New Yark USA 272pp
  2. Patrick S. Daniels, Stephen G. Hyslop "Almanac of world history" National Geographic, Washington DC, 2003, 384pp
  3. Reida Bryson, Thomas Murray "Climate of hunger" University of Wisconsin Press, Madison WI, 1997 171pp
  4. Jared Diamond "Guns, germs, and steel: The fates of human societies" New 2005 edition, W.W. Norton Publishing, 512pp
  5. Jared Diamond "Collapse: How societies choose to fail or succeed" Penguin Group, New York USA, 2005 575pp
  6. Brian Fagan "Floods, Famins and Empires: El Nino and the fate of civilizations" Basic Books, New York USA, 1999 284pp
  7. Feynman, J. 2007. Has solar variability caused climate change that affected human culture? Advances in Space Research. Accepted manuscript.
  8. Donna Rae Howell "MA thesis ?Mayan civilisation or something?" Trent University, Peterborough ?date? unfinished
  9. Douglas V. Hoyt, Kenneth H. Schatten "The role of the sun in climate change" Oxford University Press, Oxford UK, 1997, 279pp – superb background book
  10. Neil Morris, Neil Grant, Lisa Isenman, Hazel Martell, Lynn McRae, John Malam, Michael Pollard "The illustrated history of the world: From the big bang to the third millenium" Mercury Books, London, UK, 2004 288pp
  11. Patrick O'Brien, general editor "Oxford atlas of world history" Oxford University Press, New York, 2002 312pp www.oup-usa.org/atlas
  12. William F. Ruddiman "The anthropogenic greenhouse era began thousands of years ago" Climatic Change 61: 261–293, 2003
  13. Sami K. Solanki, Ilya G. Usoskin, Bernd Kromer, Manfred Schüssler, Jürg Beer "Unusual activity of the Sun during recent decades compared to the previous 11,000 years" Nature, 28 October 2004
  14. Solanki & Schüssler 2004 - The Sun is More Active Now than Over the Last 8000 Years http://www.mpg.de/english/illustrationsDocumentation/documentation/pressReleases/2004/pressRelease20041028/genPDF.pdf
  15. Willie W-H Soon, S.H. Yaskell "The Maunder Minimum and the variable sun-earth connection" World Scientific Publ, Signapore, 2003 278pp
  16. Joseph Tainter "The collapse of complex societies" ?publisher, dates etc?
  17. K.F. Tapping, D. Boteler, A. Crouch, P. Charbonneau, A. Manson, H. Paquette "Solar magnetic activity and total irradiance since the Maunder minimum" ?Journal vol/n/pp? Springer Science & Business Media. Printed in the USA 2006 27pp
  18. John Teeple "Time lines of world history" D.K. Publishing Inc., New York, USA 2002 656pp
  19. D. J. Thomson 1990 "Time Series Analysis of Holocene Climate Data" Philosophical Transactions of the Royal Society of London, Series A, Mathematical and Physical Sciences, V330 i1615 p601-616
  20. Arnold J. Toynbee "A study of history" ?Publisher etc etc?
  21. I.G. Usoskin, M. Schu¨ssler, S.K. Solanki, K. Mursula "Solar activity, cosmic rays, and Earth’s temperature: A millennium-scale comparison" Journal of Geophysical Research, vol 110, A10102, doi:10.1029/2004JA010946, 2005
  22. Julio Valdes, Graham Bonham-Carter "Time dependent neural network models for detecting changes of state in Earth and planetary processes" Proceedings of IJCNN 2005, International Joint Conference on Neural Networks. Montreal, paper #1439, pp????-????, 31 July – 4 August 2005.
  23. Spencer Weart "The Discovery of Global Warming" http://www.aip.org/history/climate/index.html also published by Harvard University Press, Sep 2003
  24. Zhen-Shan, L. and Xian, S. 2007. Multi-scale analysis of global temperature changes and trend of a drop in temperature in the next 20 years. Meteorology and Atmospheric Physics 95: 115-121.

Directory of available files for this webpage: including earlier versions of papers.

11Dec07 - added "climate and food production"
23Oct07 - minor updates
03May07 - original