July 11, 2014

The Vanished Corn Farmers and a Cooler, Drier Future?

There is a lot of Apocalypse Porn going around, like in the closing of this article on the flooded shopping mall in Bangkok. Coastal inhabitants will be living in shacks on the roofs of flooded office buildings, etc. etc.

We have been telling the story of the Great Flood for at least 4,000 years, after all.

On the other hand, some researchers of solar-output cycles still see a better chance of a coming period that is cooler — and drier. Let's start with the story of some corn-growing prehistoric villages in what is now Iowa:
There were possibly over one thousand Indian villages on the Great Plains from Iowa to Colorado during the Medieval Warm Period. In the early 19th century when the explorers who spearheaded the European invasion of the American heartland crossed the plains, they found no corn-farming villages. They left behind the last of the agricultural tribes as they moved out onto the grasslands – the Akira and Mandan on the Missouri and the Pawnee in eastern Kansas – not to find corn fields again until reaching the Pueblos in the southern Rockies. Remnants of the villages were uncovered in the early 20th century as layers of debris covered by wind-blown soil.
In other words, the subsequent Little Ice Age made maize farming more and more difficult except in favored locations, and no one was doing it (except maybe at El Cuartelejo) much west of present-day Wichita.

The phrase "lower solar activity, and thus a posited colder climate" produced a lot of heat in the comments section, at least.

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