The Effects of Warfare on Weather & Climate

Discussion in 'Notes & Queries' started by David Haylock, Aug 13, 2017 at 12:42 PM.

  1. David Haylock

    David Haylock New Member

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    Recent comments on cloud effects etc by searchlights and the like - The rainfall in France and Belguim in 1916 and 1917 was exceptional and was considered to be caused by the gunfire - Any evidence ?
     
  2. Mythopoeika

    Mythopoeika I am a meat popsicle

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    I doubt that there's any meteorological evidence of that. It's hardly likely that someone was doing detailed weather science in a war zone.
    However...I can see how persistent explosions may have led to some localised increase in rainfall. All you'd need is explosions that create a lot of smoke and fine particulate matter. This could cause moisture to precipitate onto the particles, forming clouds. Once the clouds become dense enough, they may turn into rain clouds...and voila!
     
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  3. EnolaGaia

    EnolaGaia I knew the job was dangerous when I took it ...

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    This 3-page article on WW!'s effect on weather / rainfall:

    Title: The War and the Weather
    Authors: Campbell, W. W.
    Journal: Publications of the Astronomical Society of the Pacific, Vol. 29, No. 171, p.200

    ... states that French Meteorological Service studies of the war years didn't indicate any connection between WWI war activities and increased precipitation - neither in terms of overall rainfall nor number of rainy days.

    It can be accessed as 3 webpages (1 per published page) at:

    http://adsabs.harvard.edu/full/1917PASP...29..200C

    You can access it as an all-in-one PDF at:

    http://articles.adsabs.harvard.edu/...age=200&epage=200&send=Send PDF&filetype=.pdf
     
  4. EnolaGaia

    EnolaGaia I knew the job was dangerous when I took it ...

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    On a related note, and in contrast ...

    This webpage on climatic effects around the British Isles during the two world wars:

    http://www.warchangesclimate.com/d/Weather_Comparison.html

    ... seems to argue for a demonstrable increase in precipitation in the UK, but focuses on sea surface temperature changes associated with naval operations churning up cooler water as the primary causal factor.
     
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  5. EnolaGaia

    EnolaGaia I knew the job was dangerous when I took it ...

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    A more data-filled review of WWI meteorological / climatic effects can be found at:

    http://www.climate-ocean.com/book 2005/05_11-Dateien/05_11.html

    This is one section within a web presentation on the two world wars and weather / climate. It is one of 5 sections addressing climate shifts in the WWI era.

    This study ends up focusing on naval operations and the British Isles, too.
     
  6. EnolaGaia

    EnolaGaia I knew the job was dangerous when I took it ...

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    A Harvard professor named Robert DeC. (sometimes De C.) Ward wrote multiple papers on the relationship between WWI combat and weather conditions back at the time. His publications are widely cited, but I haven't found any complete ones freely accessible online.

    He wrote a series of articles in the Journal of Geography entitled 'The Weather Factor in the Great War ...", as listed in this bibliographic search:

    http://www.tandfonline.com/action/d...ar factor weather&startPage=&SeriesKey=rjog20
     
  7. EnolaGaia

    EnolaGaia I knew the job was dangerous when I took it ...

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    The possible relationship(s) between weather and WWI on the Western Front seems to have drawn more scholarly interest than I originally expected.

    I wonder if attention to weather - particularly rainfall - was motivated by the miserable conditions it caused in the trenches and the high incidence of trench foot. Perhaps the prevalence of flooding / mud and associated miseries led folks to assume the rainfall was heavier than normal.
     
  8. Coal

    Coal Sure, we're all wrong. Makes complete sense.

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    Plus the stripping of vegetation in an area will cause more groundwater to remain for longer periods.
     
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