Tuesday, January 19, 2016
Climate Change Through History (The Romans Used Fossil Fuels?)
From A View of the United States, Historical, Geographical, and Statistical (1828), 415-19:
"In A. D. 400, the Black sea was entirely frozen, as was the Rhone in all its length. Such a phenomenon indicated a temperature of at least 18° centigrade, °.4 Fahrenheit, below zero. When the Gulf of Venice was frozen in 1709, the thermometer in that city fell to 20° centigrade, 4° Fahrenheit, below zero.
"In A. D. 462, the army of Theodomer crossed the Danube on the ice. The Var, a small river of France and Italy, falling into the Mediterranean, between Nice and Monaco, was frozen, which effect demanded a temperature of 10° or 12° centrigrade, below zero.
"A. D. 763, the Black sea and Dardanelles were frozen.
"A. D. 822, loaded carriages traversed on the ice for upwards of a month, the Danube, the Elbe, and the Seine. The Rhone, the Po, and the Adriatic sea were frozen. See A. D. 400.
"A. D. 829, on the authority of Abd Allatif, translated by M. Silvestre de Sacy, when the Jacobite Patriarch of Antioch, Dionysius of Telmahre, attended the Khaliffe Mamoun into Egypt, they found the Nile frozen.
"A. D. 860, the Adriatic sea and the Rhone were frozen, demanding a temperature of 20° centigrade, 4° Fahrenheit, below zero.
"A. D. 1133, the Po was closed from Cremona to the sea, and the Rhone crossed on the ice. Wine froze in the cellars:—at least 18° centigrade, °.4 Fahrenheit, below zero.
"A. D. 1216, the Po and the Rhone frozen; and again in 1234, the same rivers were closed, and loaded carriages traversed the Adriatic sea on the ice near Venice. (20° centigrade, 4° Fahrenheit, below zero )
"A. D. 1236, the Danube closed for some considerable time.
"A. D. 1292, loaded carriages crossed the Rhine below Brisach, and the Categat sound completely closed.
"A. D. 1302, Rhone frozen (—18° cent., °.4 Fahrenheit below zero.)
"A. D. 1305, the Rhone, and all the other rivers of France were frozen.
"A. D. 1323, the Rhone frozen. Travellers oh foot and horseback passed on the ice from Denmark to Lubec and Dantzic.
"A. D. 1358, ten feet of snow at Bologna in Italy.
"A. D. 1364, the Rhone frozen to Aries; loaded carriages passed on the ice. —18° cent., —°.4 Faht.
"A. D. 1408, the Danube frozen in all its course; one sheet of ice from Norway to Denmark. Carriages crossed the Seine on the ice.
"A. D. 1434, frost commenced at Paris, the last of December, 1433, and continued during three months, less 9 days; recommenced towards the end of March and continued to the. 17th of April. The same year it snowed in Holland 40 consecutive days.
"A. D. 1460, the Danube and the Rhone frozen.
"A. D. 1493, the port of Genoa frozen.
"A. D. 1507, the port of Marseilles frozen in all its extent. (—18° cent., at least, —°.4 Faht.) On the day of Epiphany, 3 feet of snow fell at the same city.
"A. D. 1468, the wine had been reduced to ice and cut with an axe; and in 1544, a similar severity of cold in France.
"A. D. 1565, the Rhone was frozen to Aries. (—18° cent., — °.4 Faht.)
"A. D. 1568, from the 11th to the 21st of December, the Rhone passed on the ice. (—18° cent, at least.)
"The winter of 1570-1571, from the end of November to the end of February, was so severe, that all the rivers, even those of Languedoc and Provence, were so completely frozen that they were passed with loaded carriages. (Mezerai.)
"A. D. 1594, the sea at Marseilles and Venice frozen. (—20° cent., —4° Faht)
"A. D. 1603, loaded carriages passed the Rhone on the ice. (— 18° cent., —°.4 Faht.)
"The winter of 1621-1622, the Venitian fleet arrested by the ice in the lagoons of Venice; in 1638, a similar event with the French gallies at Marseilles; either event demanding a temperature of —20° cent, or — 4° Fahrenheit.
"(A. D. 1645, the Swedish army passed from Holstein into Zealand on the ice.)
"In the winter of 1655-1656, the Seine was closed from the 8th to the 18th of December. It was again frozen, without interruption, from the 29th of December to the 28th of January. A new frost recurred a few days after, and continued until in March. (Bouillaud.) The ensuing winter, 16571658, an uninterrupted frost from the 24th of December, 1657, to the 8th of February, 1658. Between the 24th of December and the 20th of January the cold was moderate, but afterwards acquired an extreme intensity. The Seine was entirely closed. A slight thaw took place on the 8th of February, but the frost again recurred and continued to the 18th. It was in 1658, that Charles X, king of Sweden, traversed the Little Belt with his army, artillery, caissons, baggage, &c.
"A. D. 1662-1663. Intense frost at Paris, from the 5th of December to the 8th of March.
"A.D. 1676-1677, continued and very intense frost from the 2d of December to the 13th of January; the Seine was closed 35 consecutive days.
"A. D. 1684, the Thames, at London, frozen 11 inches thick, and traversed by loaded wagons.
"A. D. 1709, (perhaps the most intense season which has ever occurred within the range of history,) the Adriatic sea, and the Mediterranean from Genoa by Marseilles to Cette, frozen. All the rivers and narrow seas of Europe frozen. (—20° cent., —4° Faht.)
"A. D. 1716, booths erected on the Thames at London.
"A. D. 1726, sledges passed from Copenhagen to Sweden.
"A. D. 1740, the Thames, at London, again frozen.
"From 1749 to 1781, (33 years,) the thermometer, in Provence, never fell below —9° cent. (20j°Faht). This period of 33 years, afforded no instance of a cold of from 15° to 18° below zero, as formerly; some persons already concluded that the climate had meliorated; but in 1789, this illusion was dissipated, because in that year, they experienced at Marseilles, a cold of—17° cent. 1°.4 Faht.
"From 1800 to 1819, the thermometer did not fall below —9° cent., 15°.8 Faht., in the department of the Mouths of the Rhone, but in 1820, as in some of the remarkable seasons we have noticed in this catalogue, they experienced a cold of —17J° cent, 2° Faht. above zero.
"Thus, whether we consider the intensity of cold, or we examine at what intervals of time extraordinary cold is reproduced, we see no reason to admit, that in a period of 1400 years, the climate of Provence has varied worthy notice."