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Global Warming (Geophysics)
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DPCrisp


In: Bedfordshire
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Why was Venice built in a marsh?

London was, too. Access to the sea is always at sea level.

What is uniquely strategic about that exact location?

Yes, seems odd to be in control from the very end of the cul-de-sac... but praps Mick'll tell us about the Ljubliana Gap.

I wonder if Venice was drier when it was founded.

Can you find (and post) an aerial view of Venice? If memory serves, the meander of the river is still there, so they must have been building there when conditions were normal, I'da thought.

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Speaking of which, the enduring signs of civilisation seem to start in the deserts: because they needed protection from the elements, control of every drop of water and stuff like that.

But flood might be an equally valid driver of technology. Did the Romans happen to discover quick-setting, even-under-water concrete? Or did they go there to exploit the volcanic sand in order to maintain Venice? (Or somewhere else like it. Is there anywhere else like Venice? Were there places like Venice, but all gone for want of under-water concrete? Is Venice especially Graecophilic, hence Rome's Graecophilia? Are the Romans therefore more Phoenician than Italian...?)
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Mick Harper
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In: London
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Why was Venice built in a marsh?

London was, too. Access to the sea is always at sea level.

A good point. Nonetheless Venice is unusually inconvenient. By the by, I read/heard lately that London is unusual in having tides so far upriver. Are there other ports similar?.

What is uniquely strategic about that exact location? Isn't there somewhere near Venice they could have built Venice that was drier? It's expensive and distracting to maintain a city built in a lagoon.

The Roman capital at the time was Ravenna which is (the only other?) Italian city protected on the landward side by marshes. So it is reasonable to agree with orthodoxy to the extent that protection from barbarian invaders was fairly vital.

I know I'm not supposed to believe in global warming, but I wonder if Venice was drier when it was founded

No, I think the evidence is fairly clear that nothing much has changed (even now?). We have to discount the fact that nowadays we have the engineering nous and resources to worry about things that Medieval Venetians shrugged off.

Yes, seems odd to be in control from the very end of the cul-de-sac... but praps Mick'll tell us about the Ljubliana Gap.

The very ancient link is that Venice is the nearest bit of southern sea to the German stonehenge in Saxony-Anhalt and is reached via the easy route through the mountains provided by the Ljubliana Gap. But this would put Venice back several thousand years before orthodoxy does.

I don't much care for Dan's hydrological-developmental theory since while the desert link is pretty much established, I don't know of many Venice-type sites. And while the Romans did (it would seem) invent a cement that was harder underwater, I don't think it is used in Venice. In any case Venice isn't really a 'Roman' creation but came, certainly flourished, after Rome.

However, I have just read (via Hatty's maunderings about Roman canals in Eastern England) that the Romans were big in flood defences in the Low Countries. But generally speaking the Dutch were always the Big Wheels in this area way into pre-history. And not notably developmentally minded until way, way into the future.
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Hatty
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In: Berkshire
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Why was Venice built in a marsh?

Carthage was marshy I think and across the way, in southern Spain, the Phoenician trading cities on the Guadalquivir and coast were on flat marshy ground. Paris was a muddy kind of place to build a city too. I was wondering about islands-in-marshes in connection with the Somerset Levels and whether, contrary to our current views on marshes being unhealthy, it was a particularly fertile area, suitable for both fishing and farming. The Po delta was exceptionally fertile wasn't it and a source of copper and or gold?

{Interesting that the Dutch have come up. A very close publishing link existed between Venice and Holland in the sixteenth century which extended to England. Seems an unnecessarily long and difficult link to maintain, I wonder if it was based on an earlier, mutually advantageous tradition, perhaps exchanging goods for (drainage?) expertise.}
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DPCrisp


In: Bedfordshire
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Carthage was marshy I think

There are salt marshes and non salt marshes, so this might re-open the question of salting the fields/ruins of Carthage to kill or reinvent the Carthaginian economy.

But Cat's Eyes Cunningham comes to mind: an oft-repeated, popular explanation (carrots help you see in the dark) for something else entirely (night fighters equipped with radar).

The Po delta was exceptionally fertile wasn't it and a source of copper and or gold?

Notice that the Adriatic is a drowned river valley, rather as the North Sea is a drowned plain. The Po drains the Alps, so there is plenty to build a delta with. London is just a mature, flat river, with a wide estuary. (Nothing to build a delta with.) The Severn is the only other thing comparable -- big enough for multiple ports -- and it's famous for how far the tide goes. The Baltic is the same again, even more even more so.

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Re. Venice: does anyone (really) know where the Sea People came from?

Maybe Venice was chased all the way up the Adriatic Po valley as the sea level rose... and finally met up with the right geographical and political landscapes to have its heyday when it did.
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Grant



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Re. Venice: does anyone (really) know where the Sea People came from?


This has always fascinated me. The official story is that the Venetian lagoon was inhabited only by fishermen and hunters until the "Dark Ages." Then, the local Italians became so fed up with the periodic raids by the Goths and various other barbarians that they decided it would be better to go and live on a mudflat.

Although there is no evidence that this story is true, it has been established as orthodoxy because it sounds plausible. But if it was true it would surely have been incorporated into Venetian myth. I'm not aware of any such legends.
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Chad


In: Ramsbottom
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Half watching the Andrew Marr show this morning, my ears pricked when he was discussing the forthcoming summit on climate change with a representative of the Green Party (an MEP I think). She was coming out with all the usual guff about needing to get agreement on substantial reduction of carbon emissions blah, blah.

Marr then pointed out that the latest scientific evidence actually showed there had been no overall increase in global temperatures over the past decade and there was some suggestion of a cover-up. Her response almost made me choke on my cup of tea.

"It's not global warming we're concerned about, it's climate change". (Marr left this unchallenged.)

Hang on... this all started because of a supposed correlation between atmospheric carbon and global temperature... how are carbon emissions to be held responsible for climate change, if not via their supposed effect on global temperature?

Notice how there has been a general shift away from using the term 'Global Warming' towards using the term 'Climate Change' (and I don't mean just by this Green Party representative) even though there is no correlation between carbon and climate... without temperature as an intermediary.

I think we need to look further afield for the causes of both. (About 93 million miles further afield!)
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Ishmael


In: Toronto
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My position has been consistent regarding climate change: It's not happening and...most amazingly... it never has. Well... not since the Earth attained its present position in space and...

...we lost our other moon.

:-)
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Mick Harper
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In: London
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It's happened in my lifetime, in my country...or is that anecdotal evidence?
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Ishmael


In: Toronto
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Mick Harper wrote:
It's happened in my lifetime, in my country...or is that anecdotal evidence?


Yes and it happens each season.

Any given year is sure to be slightly warmer or slightly cooler than the one previous and the one to follow. The question concerns whether that variation is significant or ever represents a trend.

I say that variation is insignificant and never represents a trend.
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Grant



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What amazes me is that no-one makes the point that we are actually living in an ice-age now, more precisely in an inter-glacial.

When you take that on board it really isn't surprising that the temperature is always either on a slightly upward trend or a slightly downward one.

The main engine of the climate change hysteria is:

- people like "end of the world" stories
- politicians like raising taxes
- green people like to believe they are superior to the rest of us
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Ishmael


In: Toronto
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Grant wrote:
What amazes me is that no-one makes the point that we are actually living in an ice-age now, more precisely in an inter-glacial.


We are?
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Grant



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To quote the gospel according to Wiki:

The general term "ice age" or, more precisely, "glacial age" denotes a geological period of long-term reduction in the temperature of the Earth's surface and atmosphere, resulting in an expansion of continental ice sheets, polar ice sheets and alpine glaciers. An ice age is a natural system. Within a long-term ice age, individual pulses of extra cold climate are termed "glaciations". Glaciologically, ice age implies the presence of extensive ice sheets in the northern and southern hemispheres;by this definition we are still in an ice age (because the Greenland and Antarctic ice sheets still exist).

Throughout most of the world's geological history there has been no ice at the poles. So even if the temperature is increasing, it's not surprising. We are just heading back to the long term average.
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Ishmael


In: Toronto
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So they say.
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Chad


In: Ramsbottom
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Grant wrote:
Throughout most of the world's geological history there has been no ice at the poles.


One man's glacial max, is another man's glacial min.

It may be that there has always been ice at the poles... it just depends where the poles happen to be in any given epoch.

Mick's palaeogeography stuff gives (in my opinion) a much better explanation of why Antarctica hasn't always been ice covered. And though he may not be 100% correct, I'm certainly not going to take the orthodox account as gospel.
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Mick Harper
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In: London
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Surely "What is is what was" applies. Left to nature, the situation at the poles will always be (and it cannot be an accident, can it?) the cusp position whereby

a) if it gets any warmer then the large ice sheets which have arisen where there is sufficient land (eg at the present south pole) will melt with runaway water level effects

b) if it gets any warmer then the seasonal/polynya-ish ice-water mix where there is insufficient land (eg at the present north pole) will disappear leading to runaway temperature effects

c) if it gets any colder then the permanent ice-sheets will spread with runaway temperature and water level effects

c) if it gets any colder then the seasonal/polynya ice-water mix will become permanent ice-sheets leading to runaway temperature and water level effects.

The fact that this is naturally an equilibrium position is why AE-ists have to take notice of the Climate Change debate even though we regularly recognise that both sides are gilding various lillies. One would add that the orthodox error re The Hydrological Cycle is probably even more important than the errors re the Glaciation Cycle.
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