Saturday, October 1, 2016
Contact us    |    Advertise    |   Help   RSS icon Twitter icon Facebook icon
    Home  ·  News  ·  Forum  ·  Stories  ·  Image Gallery  ·  Columns  ·  Encyclopedia  ·  Videos
Find: in

Paintings shed light on Earth's atmosphere


Posted on Tuesday, 25 March, 2014 | Comment icon 7 comments

Sunset Glow on Mt. Tamalpais ( 1896 ) Image Credit: William Keith
Researchers have been able to piece together clues about the environment by looking at old paintings.
While to the untrained eye a sunset in an old painting might seem like little more than a fascinating work of art, to scientists these images from the past can also carry important clues indicating the state of the environment at the time they were painted.

Some of the best known examples of this concern the combination of colors used by artists in paintings with sunsets. In times associated with a known volcanic eruption for instance, sunsets in paintings appeared more red due to the ash and dust ejected in to the atmosphere.

"Nature speaks to the hearts and souls of great artists," said atmospheric physicist Christos Zerefos who co-authored the study. "But we have found that, when colouring sunsets, it is the way their brains perceive greens and reds that contains important environmental information."

By analyzing hundreds of paintings created within the last 500 years, researchers have been able to determine the state of the environment at those times as well as the quantity of volcanic aerosols present in the atmosphere.

"We wanted to provide alternative ways of exploiting the environmental information in the past atmosphere in places where, and in centuries when, instrumental measurements were not available," said Zerefos.

Source: Phys.org | Comments (7)

Tags: Paintings, Climate Change, Weather


 
Recent comments on this story
Comment icon #1 Posted by SkeptcByMindBelievrByHeart on 25 March, 2014, 18:00
with so much pollution in the air for the last 200 years or so our brains perceive greens and reds has changed dramatically
Comment icon #2 Posted by Leonardo on 25 March, 2014, 21:49
Paintings are not photographs, and there is this little thing called "artistic license", which might suggest the colours used in paintings are designed to be evocative, rather than true-to-life. Using art in such a manner seems to me to be inherently unscientific and unreliable.
Comment icon #3 Posted by Dezmond on 26 March, 2014, 9:33
My thoughts exactly. But if many different artist from different places start painting more red in their skies in between a certain time period you've found a pattern. Which does tell us some information about the skies in those times. Although you can question the accuracy because most painting from different time periods are often romanticized.
Comment icon #4 Posted by thewild on 26 March, 2014, 12:29
All other scientifics aside this is a BEAUTY of a picture. Wish that I had the time and view to paint like this!
Comment icon #5 Posted by maximusnow on 27 March, 2014, 13:59
What if we used Pablo Picasso, to explian human evolution. AHH, Yes, look how we have evloved!
Comment icon #6 Posted by Sir Smoke aLot on 28 March, 2014, 13:11
I cry I mean, all them colors are just artist's way of expressing his feelings, or feelings about that environment... Ilogical.
Comment icon #7 Posted by Doug1o29 on 28 March, 2014, 15:06
If I were deciding which climate change studies to fund, I would probably not choose this one. One has to wonder if the things they learned were worth the investment. We still get atmospheric conditions that are as clear as some of those in the paintings, but they are under exceptional conditions. The exceptional ones are the ones people (and artists) remember and paint. So I'm wondering about sample bias. The other question is change over time: how much was there? Did they make any attempt to determine variation? So many questions. Doug


Please Login or Register to post a comment.


  On the forums
Forum posts:
Forum topics:
Members:

5776286
261849
162711

 
Rosetta is destroyed in comet crash-landing
9-30-2016
ESA's Rosetta spacecraft has gone out in a blaze of glory by deliberately colliding with comet 67P.
Woman is able to smell Parkinson's disease
9-30-2016
Joy Milne from Perth, Australia has developed the unique ability to sniff out the debilitating condition.
Tech giants team up to form AI ethics board
9-29-2016
Several major technology companies have joined forces in an effort to prevent an AI-fuelled apocalypse.
Catholic Church: 'exorcists in urgent demand'
9-29-2016
A rise in occult and superstitious practices has allegedly brought about a major exorcist shortage.
Featured book
 
By Guy Lyon Playfair
A look at the story of Peggy Hodgson and her four children who, between 1977 and 1979, were at the center of one of the most terrifying poltergeist cases ever documented.
Featured Videos
Gallery icon 
Fixed points
Posted 9-30-2016 | 0 comments
Michael explores the idea of fixed points in this new Vsauce video.
 
World's largest rock band
Posted 9-29-2016 | 3 comments
This Chinese rock band has 953 members including 349 singers and 154 guitarists.
 
Alaska's bubbling lakes
Posted 9-28-2016 | 1 comment
Many lakes in the boreal regions of Alaska are emitting copious amounts of methane gas.
 
 View: More videos
Stories & Experiences
Black magic
9-27-2016 | Mineral Wells, Texas
 
Crying mother
9-27-2016 | Centrol Mexico
 
Red-faced monster
9-14-2016 | Lox Florida
 
Locked door
9-14-2016 | Ho Chi Minh city/Vietnam
 
The visit
9-9-2016 | West Palm Beach, Fl
 
Translucent silent UFO
9-9-2016 | Brisbane/Australia
 
Sleep paralysis and strange activity
9-1-2016 | Tarpon Springs, FL
 
Blackout? Possession?
9-1-2016 | Canada
 
Golden ring eyes
8-29-2016 | USA
 
Shared grief experience
8-29-2016 | Scotland, UK
 

         More stories | Send us your story
 
Top   |  Home   |   Forum   |   News   |   Image Gallery   |  Columns   |   Encyclopedia   |   Videos   |   Polls
UM-X 10.7 Unexplained-Mysteries.com 2001-2015
Privacy Policy and Disclaimer   |   Cookies   |   Advertise   |   Contact   |   Help/FAQ