Tree Rings Reveal Largest Photo voltaic Storm EVAH! Watts Up With That?

Guest “Well, the largest yet identified,” by David Middleton


Researchers identify largest ever solar storm in ancient 14,300-year-old tree rings

Peer-Reviewed Publication


An international team of scientists have discovered a huge spike in radiocarbon levels 14,300 years ago by analysing ancient tree-rings found in the French Alps.   

The radiocarbon spike was caused by a massive solar storm, the biggest ever identified.  

A similar solar storm today would be catastrophic for modern technological society – potentially wiping out telecommunications and satellite systems, causing massive electricity grid blackouts, and costing us billions of pounds.  

The academics are warning of the importance of understanding such storms to protect our global communications and energy infrastructure for the future.          

The collaborative research, which was carried out by an international team of scientists, is published today (Oct 9) in The Royal Society’s Philosophical Transactions A: Mathematical, Physical and Engineering Sciences and reveals new insights into the Sun’s extreme behaviour and the risks it poses to Earth.   


Eureka Alert

The paper (Bard et al., 2023) is worth reading.

Myake Events

Such massive solar storms, are known as Myake Events and were unknown to science before 2012. As many as eight additional such solar storms have been identified over the past 15,000 years. The 14.3 kya event would be the most powerful yet identified. 

The discovery of the 774 CE spike fostered new 14C measurement programmes on tree ring series from the Holocene at annual resolution. This is an enormous task since, before this discovery, tree-ring calibration had mainly been based on 14C ages measured on decadal wood sections. So far, four SEP spikes have been evidenced with multiple cosmogenic isotopes, 774 CE (1176 Cal BP), 993 CE (957 Cal BP), 2610 Cal BP, 9125 Cal BP) and a few others have been proposed based solely on 14C, 1052 CE (898 Cal BP), 1279 CE (672 Cal BP), 7210 Cal BP, 7360 Cal BP [17].

Bard et al., 2023

The 1859 Carrington Event

The largest, directly-observed, solar storm occurred in 1859 and is known as the Carrington Event. It caused massive disruption on Earth – destroying telegraph machines and creating a night-time aurora so bright that birds began to sing, believing the Sun had begun to rise. However, the Miyake Events (including the newly discovered 14,300-yr-old storm) would have been a staggering entire order-of-magnitude greater in size.  

Eureka Alert

As disruptive as the Carrington Event was, Myake Events are an order of magnitude larger than the 1859 Carrington Event.

Greenhouse Gas Emissions vs Solar Storms

A repeat of the Carrington Event would be truly catastrophic to our modern, technology-dependent, society. A Myake Event might actually be an existential threat to life as we know it…. Yet…

Bard, a climate scientist at Collège de France and CEREGE, said learning about the sun’s past behavior is important for forecasting future solar storms, but also for understanding the sun’s impact on Earth’s climate. The sun’s effect on Earth’s climate is not as large as warming from greenhouse gas emissions, but it is a factor to consider in climate models.

The Washington Post

  • Myake Events were only first identified in 2012.
  • As many as nine have been identified over the past decade.
  • The timing appears to be random, with an average interval of ~1,200 years.
  • Scientists have no idea if or how they affected the Late Pleistocene to Holocene climates.
  • The cause is unknown.
  • The frequency is unknown.
  • The Carrington Event, an order of magnitude weaker, would wreak havoc on modern society.

Yet… The “scientists” know that greenhouse gas emissions are more important to Earth’s climate than the Sun. The greenhouse effect depends on the Sun. Greenhouse gasses can’t “trap” heat that never reaches the surface of the Earth.

Myake Events and Neoglaciation?

Five Myake Events occurred during the Mid-Holocene Neoglaciation, with four clustered around the maximum glacial advance.

McKay et al., 2020 CPS with historical climate periods and Neoglaciation (Grosjean et al., 2007), with Myake Events.

Bard did note the 14.3 kya appears to have been followed by a 14 kya grand solar minimum that was coincident with the Older Dryas cooling between the Bølling and Allerød interstadials. Maybe, the Myake Event cluster was related to Neoglaciation?

Green New Deal = Anthropogenic Myake Event?

Let’s assume arguendo that “business as usual” will lead to an additional 1 °C of warming and 11 inches of sea level rise over the next 80 years. Most people won’t notice, because they didn’t notice the previous 1 °C of warming and 11 inches of sea level rise. Time is a serious low-pass filter.

This would leave a mark:

A Carrington class storm (see below) could inflict damage and disruption estimated at between $0.6-$2.6 trillion in the United States alone — 20 times the cost of Hurricane Katrina! Major transformer damage/failure and permanent loss of generator step ups nationwide would take 4-10 years to recover from. The loss of electricity would ripple across the social infrastructure with water distribution affected within several hours, perishable foods and medications lost in 12-24 hours, loss of heating/air conditioning, sewage disposal, phone service, fuel re-supply and so on. At this point, that sounds apocalyptic, but one would be mistaken to assume that this is a rare occurrence.


Costs trillions and destroys our energy infrastructure? Sounds a lot like the Green New Deal. The Green New Deal might even be an anthropogenic version of a Myake Event. The main differences are that a Carrington/Myake Event would happen over a matter of days, and that the Green New Deal can be prevented.

The Flip Side

Hat tip to Yooper for this Daily Caller article:

Stunning New Discovery Is Going To Make Progressives Hate Science, And Should Terrify Conservatives



A study published Monday detailed how a horrifying solar storm bombarded the Earth right around the end of our last major ice age.


So, why will progressives hate this research? Well, it’s complicated. But the simplest way to explain it is the data contributes to a much larger body of research that is starting to dispel the origin narrative on climate change, and may mean we’ve spent the last thirty years trying to fight the wrong battle. (RELATED: Dear Kay: I Watched ‘Ancient Apocalypse’ And Now I’m Scared We’re Going To Die Before 2025)

Some of you may have been forced to watch former Vice President Al Gore’s documentary “An Inconvenient Truth” back in the early part of this millennium. The premise of the film was this idea that roughly 12,900 to 11,600 years ago, a mini ice age occurred. And it’ll happen again because of man-made climate change.

What Gore failed to explain was the planet was in the thick of an ice age some 2.6 million years prior. For some unknown reason, around 14,000 years ago, ice sheets started to disappear in some parts of the world, as discussed by the Oak Ridge National Laboratory.

Then, around 12,900 to 11,600 years ago, things got really cold again. This time period is called the Younger Dryas. And just as suddenly as it showed up, the Younger Dryas disappeared, likely because of an asteroid impact.


And conservatives: be scared. These same people have convinced you that climate change is not a threat. But it is. Just not in the way you’ve been told. We are now threatened by our ignorance toward the power of our cosmos, and the only thing that can change that is you.

Daily Caller


“That’s all I have to say about that.”

That unsaid, the “Dear Kay” link was worse, citing Graham Hancock as a scientific source. Although, I do agree with her advice for weathering a Carrington-style event:

Under this type of cataclysm, all of the technology on Earth will fail within about an hour. We won’t be thrown back to the dark ages, but all of our electrical infrastructure might be. We’d be back to subsistence living, dependent on Mother Nature while societal chaos erupts… until it eases. You can easily prepare for such a calamity by working hard, buying land, working that land, storing water, growing essential medicines and foods.

In a recent conversation with researcher Jimmy Corsetti, he and I both agreed that the most important things you can do to survive any type of event like this is to ensure you live amongst a good, supportive community of neighbors, and to own a gun.

(RELATED: Dear Kay: I Watched ‘Ancient Apocalypse’ And Now I’m Scared We’re Going To Die Before 2025)


Bard Edouard, Miramont Cécile, Capano Manuela, Guibal Frédéric, Marschal Christian, Rostek Frauke, Tuna Thibaut, Fagault Yoann and Heaton Timothy J. 2023. A radiocarbon spike at 14 300 cal yr BP in subfossil trees provides the impulse response function of the global carbon cycle during the Late Glacial. Phil. Trans. R. Soc. A.3812022020620220206.

Grosjean, Martin, Suter, Peter, Trachsel, Mathias & Wanner, Heinz. (2007). “Ice‐borne prehistoric finds in the Swiss Alps reflect Holocene glacier fluctuations”. Journal of Quaternary Science. 22. 203 – 207. 10.1002/jqs.1111.

Kaufman, D., McKay, N., Routson, C. et al. Holocene global mean surface temperature, a multi-method reconstruction approach. Sci Data 7, 201 (2020).

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