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Climate and Solar Activity

Evidence for climatic change is everywhere. Severe drought also came to the Colorado Plateau between 565 and 614. A humid period beginning about 688 is noted in western North America and the Yucatan Peninsula in Mexico. In California, bogs were drying up while droughts on plateaus cluster around the early 600s, and Walker Lake would later come out of its dry spell. From about 550, and for 500 years thereafter (until the next cycle), the American southwest would be hit with frequent droughts.100 Records of frosts recorded in tree rings from the White Mountains indicate frost events in 601, 628, and 687, about the same time as major volcanic eruptions. A warming climate encouraged the Norse to voyage to the extreme north of North America and Iceland, indicating the ice cap was much smaller than today.

Asia’s dry period ended, and afterward, a wet period began. China’s droughts and occasional floods of the 6th and 7th Centuries transformed into a more or less uniform raininess in the 8th Century. In addition, the number of severe winters in China went from a minimum to a maximum.

Between 459 and 484 the “Red Wall” was built to keep the Huns out, but at this point in time it was beginning to be submerged under the waves of the Caspian Sea; today it runs are more than eleven kilometers (18 miles) from the shore. There, in the Caspian Sea, one can also see the sunken port of Aboskum, and a number of houses and towns can be seen in their watery abyss in different parts of the basin. It seems the sea stood at least five meters (15 feet) below its present level prior to this cycle, after which its waters rose.

For the Mediterranean as a whole, the prevailing dry climate came to an end with the close of the cycle. However, the eastern Mediterranean had drought between 591 and 640, as indicated by some writings during that time. In Germany the dry climate continued into the mid-11th Century, but this was interrupted with rains that rose lake levels in the 8th Century. Alpine passes were once again opened with heavy traffic for the first time since 1100 BC. The ruins of Olympia were discovered beneath a three-meter (15-foot) accumulation of silt. Could this be evidence of torrential rains washing away topsoil? One expert thinks so.

Still an unsolved mystery is the alluvial (water-carved) deposits found throughout the Mediterranean Basin, temperate Europe, and western Asia. How were they created? Could they be one sign of what so weakened civilizations around 600?

Solar activity and auroral displays bring the solar linkage of FEM into the picture at this time. For example, during the birth of Saint Columba (521-522) a very intense and bright aurora with every color of the rainbow was observed. A few months later, Halley’s Comet appeared, and for about one and a half years following, “stars fell like rain” (28 August 532). Auroras and “blood rains” were observed in Europe between the years 582 and 587, and for two of those years (583-584) the auroras were so strong that it looked like dawn during the night.

Strong sunspot activity occurred in 567 and 745, particularly, along with a number of other maximums (555, 556, 577, 585, 643, 654, 655, 664, 667, 714, 722). Years for an above-normal number of auroras were 565 to 586, 620, 651 to 682 and 743 to 772. There was a solar maximum in the 6th Century known as the Byzantine Maximum, and a later minimum known as the Dark Age Minimum from 660 to 740. More information may exist, but many sources were lost or are nonexistent, particularly for the 6th Century.