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By Murray, Thomas J.; Bryson, Reid A.

Weather has consistently had profound results upon human background, assisting either to construct and to smash nice civilizations. earlier, we haven't had the data to react intelligently to the symptoms of transferring weather. this present day, although we stay primarily powerless to impact weather purposefully, we're able to realize the indicators of switch and we're slightly greater capable of expect the consequences of these changes.

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The question was: what general circulation change around the hemisphere-what particular pattern of the westerlieswould cause the winter mildness about 11 SO or 1200? The Case of the Missing Farmers 27 Westerlies, wet and dry The westerlies, which contain the jet stream, and are part of the general circulation of the atmosphere (all those names are used), consist basically of a flow of air circling the earth's poles-a flow strongest at an altitude of 30,000 to 35,000 feet. As the westerlies sweep around the hemisphere, they do not take a smooth, even, west-to-east path, but rather make north-south waves, or loops, in their course.

The shaded area is the southernmost part of the westerlies, the region where they are strongest. mate, according to Lamb's data, was a marked shift toward mild winters, beginning about 1150 and lasting a couple of centuries or more. At this point, we began to see that the outbreak ofSt. Anthony's fire was not an essential clue in our case. The disease, in fact, appeared from time to time over many centuries. D. 1000 and it did not pinpoint the major climatic change we thought it might. A false clue, in a sense, and yet one without which we might never have examined the case of the missing farmers.

For many civilizations, pottery sequences and levels of occupation can provide reasonably accurate comparative dating, but for absolute dates these sequences must be linked to objects that come from a time or a civilization that can be precisely dated. Tree-ring counts can provide very accurate dates. It is sometimes possible to count back, one year per ring, beyond the age of any tree now living, by finding remains of long-dead trees and matching up the ring patterns of successively older trees.

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