Climate change is taking its toll on Greek monuments, say scientists

From Reuters


Photo by Josiah Lewis from Pexels

(Scientists say)~ctm

Lefteris Papadimas, Idyli Tsakiri

ATHENS (Reuters) – Climate change is threatening ancient Greek monuments, among them the Acropolis, one of the most-visited archaeological sites in the world, scientists said.

Air pollution and acid rain are eroding marbles, while extreme weather phenomena such as droughts or torrential rains have led ancient walls and temples to develop structural problems.

Even though the Acropolis hill, where the Parthenon stands, is probably Greece’s best preserved archaeological site, there are signs that climate change has been increasingly affecting the monuments that stand on the hill.

“The walls of the (ancient) city have more erosion than in the past,” Maria Vlazaki, General Secretary in the Greek Culture Ministry, told Reuters.

Read the full article here.

Steve Milloy had this to say about this article on Twitter.

82 thoughts on “Climate change is taking its toll on Greek monuments, say scientists

  1. Extreme weather events and acid rain and air pollution have nothing to do with climate change

      • “The walls of the (ancient) city have more erosion than in the past,” Maria Vlazaki, General Secretary in the Greek Culture Ministry.

        No shyt Sherlock. Have you heard of entropy? My ma’s not as fit as she used to be either. That must be climate change as well I guess.

        In any case what are the Greek govt doing worrying about this? They don’t own it any more any way. The Germans made them sell it to bail out their banking system.

        • “The Germans made them sell it to bail out their banking system.”

          Your comment isn’t entirely clear: I assume you were referring to the Germans bailing out the German banking system, by forcing the Greeks into debt servitude for the next 3 generations. One of the greatest slight-of-hand thefts in all of history.

  2. nothing is forever and the climate will eventually erode every piece of rock on the planet even if humans disappear tomorrow.

    • Here’s Robinson Jeffers on that theme, in “To the Stone-Cutters”:

      Stone-cutters fighting time with marble, you fore defeated
      Challengers of oblivion
      Eat cynical earnings, knowing rock splits, records fall down
      The square-limbed Roman letters
      Scale in the thaws, wear in the rain.

      • My favorite:

        I met a traveller from an antique land,
        Who said—“Two vast and trunkless legs of stone
        Stand in the desert. . . . Near them, on the sand,
        Half sunk a shattered visage lies, whose frown,
        And wrinkled lip, and sneer of cold command,
        Tell that its sculptor well those passions read
        Which yet survive, stamped on these lifeless things,
        The hand that mocked them, and the heart that fed;
        And on the pedestal, these words appear:
        My name is Ozymandias, King of Kings;
        Look on my Works, ye Mighty, and despair!
        Nothing beside remains. Round the decay
        Of that colossal Wreck, boundless and bare
        The lone and level sands stretch far away.”

  3. Ancient monuments have been under stress from pollution for quite a while now. With regard to climate change …

    Brian Fagan, in his book “The Little Ice Age”, states that,”throughout Europe, the years 1560-1600 were cooler and stormier, with late wine harvests and considerably stronger winds than those of the 20th Century. Storm activity increased by 85% in the second half of the 16th Century and the incidence of severe storms rose by 400%.”.

    HH Lamb comes to similar conclusions, “there was a greater intensity, and a greater frequency, of intense storm development during the Little Ice Age”, in his book “Historic Storms of the North Sea, British Isles and Northwest Europe”. link

    Why do people believe that a warmer climate will be worse for the ancient monuments? The actual evidence strongly suggests otherwise.

    • Ancient marble statues were covered with Plaster of Paris (hydrated calcium sulfate) to make molds for replication. The plaster was rarely rinsed off, so it reacted with atmospheric water to produce sulfuric acid and hence the degradation became more pronounced in older statues because they were copied more often.

  4. “The walls of the (ancient) city have more erosion than in the past,” ….
    Uh, they do realize that erosion is cumulative. You will always have more erosion now than you did in the past.

    • The Appalachian mountains continue to show more effects from erosion also. Oh, the horror.

    • The very same weather forces applied over time erode mountains down to sand… and then create sandstone.

  5. “Acid rain” would be caused by direct interaction of H2O with CO2 in the atmosphere to form a weak carbonic acid (H2CO3). It would not be “climate change” in any sense of the words, i.e., caused by long-term changes in regional weather patterns.

    Still, one has to love the attributions in the article: “A professor said…” “Speaking on the sidelines…”

    There’s Science for ya!

    • Has there ever been such a thing as rain with a Ph below 7. Im not a scientist but ive seen how the alarmists play loose and fast with carbon dioxide and water ,when they make the claim that more co2 absorbed by the oceans will make them more acidic. To my way of thinking lowering the Ph from 8.2 to 8.1 does not make it more acidic but slightly less alkaline, Am I wrong?

      • Has there ever been such a thing as rain with a Ph below 7.

        Rainwater is given as pH 5.3 – 5.8 naturally, due to carbon dioxide. Been this way since the Earth got it’s current atmosphere.

        Ocean pH going from 8.2 to 8.1:
        Often quoted but bogus. The value of 8.2 is probably OK, but is based on really sparse data when used for a planetary average. The “acidified” value of 8.1 is a modeled result. People will claim that it is based on measurement data but there is nowhere near enough historical data to make any such claims. This is another bogus model output taken as factual data. Total garbage.

        • Yes, Tony, I recently did a search on online data, and that’s exactly what I found. 8.1 is modelled, and besides they really have no idea what the pH of the entire “ocean” is now or was in the distant past.

          • I believe in field work and empirical data so have always carried a portable pH meter with me in the field. My informal testing of coastal waters in both NH and SH have always been in the neighborhood of 8-8.3. I have never gotten a result lower than 8, certainly NOT acidic.

          • And then there’s the Amazon0 River(s) that dump a bazillion gallons a day into the Atlantic. “The pH values of the waters also vary, with the Lake Negro(blackwater) having a pH value of 4.43 and the Solimoes(whitewater) river having a fairly neutral, value of 7.10. While the blackwater rivers have low pH, the clearwaters tend to have slightly higher(but still in the acidic region) pH values. The whitewaters have slightly acidic to slightly alkaline pH. ”

            That must be devastating on ocean life in the Atlantic at the mouth of the Amazon (sarc), which makes you wonder why the greatest fishing area in the world is that exact area.

      • Rain water has always been acidic, about pH = 5. Acid rain usually meant that rain which was impacted by SOx and NOx emissions from coal-fired power plants without emission controls, like many in India and China.

        Ocean water is different, it has an alkaline pH and is greatly buffered by other ions.

        • Acid rains you refer to come from trees not coal plants. That is why the acid rain meme has died down. More “acid” rain downwind of forests then factories

      • Yes you are.

        It is like going from Minneapolis MN to Houston TX, you are going south but you are still in the northern hemisphere. You say you go south even though you have not crossed the equator.

      • do you imagine it rains sea water? Try again. Look up acid rain and find out about pH.

        Rain has been acidic since before the damned thing was built.

        The fuss about acid rain was related to sulphur emissions in from coal power stations in the 70s , all EU coal have scrubbers now. She has no idea what she is talking about , just reading a laundry list of eco-crap.

  6. Those shonky Greek builders. It’s still hard to get good trades in a democracy but I guess we should be grudgingly grateful for the latter.

  7. I should care, why?
    I have more pressing needs such as travelling to see elderly relatives, heating my home in the winter, and having a reliable food supply network to the local grocery store.

  8. Everything is being victimized by climate change, don’t deny it! Send money now to alleviate suffering, and encourage us to invent more victim groups out of thin air, oh but that air is thick with climate change…a never ending cycle. WOLF! WOLF!

  9. For God’s sake then, let’s do something about this.
    Build nuclear power plants.
    Boycott any country building coal fired power plants.

    Let’s raise taxes, lower the std of living in Western countries, and give money to third world nations!
    We have a winner!!

    • I am a Third World Nation, but I do have a bank account.
      Therefore, I will accept cheques.

  10. Temperature changes and rain will inevitably erode rocks, so unless there is some place with constant temperature and no rain ever, old monuments will deteriorate over time.

    Incidentally the Nazca/Atacama desert comes pretty close on both accounts, which is why the Nazca lines have endured.

  11. The pH of rainwater is naturally acidic at 5.3 and will dissolve Calcium based rock surfaces over a few thousand years.

  12. Since when is local air pollution anything to do with climate change? Try banning diseasels from Athens….

  13. If the Elgin marbles had stayed in Athens on temple of the Parthenon on the acropolis and had not been moved to London, then there would be no Elgin Marbles. That has nothing at all to do with climate, but instead is due to REAL air pollution from vehicles which has been occurring since motor vehicles first came into use – and before that from coal fires.

    But the actual biggest actual threat to ancient buildings in Greece, are earthquakes.

  14. You mean they’re still there??? I was told in no uncertain terms 40+ years ago that acid rain was going to melt all those old ruins within my lifetime. Oh well, as I’ve discovered, one advantage of a long life is the entertainment value of watching the Left conjure up a different disaster du jour every decade or two.

  15. Then it’s even more ironic that Europe encouraged mass adoption of corrosive pollution emitting diesel passenger automobiles in the name of reducing CO2 that itself is harmless to these structures.

  16. They are just trying to generate more “justified cultural victim” Greeks screaming for reparations.

  17. Survived the Roman Warm Period and the Medieval Warm Period! I would be more inclined to blame a long succession of utterly incompetent and often corrupt governments.

  18. Of course they can’t actually document that weather is any more extreme than it was in the past.
    However the models say that weather will get more extreme, therefor it is, even if we can’t prove it.
    Science in the age of Aquarius.

  19. Look at the picture again.
    Notice the crane in the background?????????
    It is not falling down, they are building it up!!!
    At the end of this article, there is a link to a tweet from Steve Milloy. Go ahead and follow the link to the tweet. In the tweet, Steve Milloy links to a number of really good photos of the reconstruction effort spanning several years.
    Well worth a few moments of your time.
    Apparently, the reconstruction is a major effort, spanning two decades or more. Interesting that Maria Vlazaki, General Secretary in the Greek Culture Ministry, would seem to be unaware of the activity.

  20. Crumbling public trust and agenda science are the main problems in the “modern” era of the Eloi.

  21. Weather and time always take their toll on everything, either man-made or in nature.

  22. They are just lucky the Persians didn’t level the site earlier.

    Also, where are the decorative facade parts that were confiscated by others over the centuries?

    • Helios shone brightly on Hellada causing beautiful Aphrodite to fall in love with Persian princess Leukothea (hmmm…, LGBT) and from then on things went all way downhill …
      Currently Helios is having a siesta hence
      Not much of a Solar activity in June : The ‘classic’ sunspot count (Wolf SSN) is just above zero at 0.8 points while the new SIDC reconstructed number is at 1.2
      Composite graph is here
      SC24 has entered what might be a prolong minimum with a late start of SC25 .
      What about SC25?
      If my calculations are any good (the last time gave ‘incredibly’ accurate result, see the link above) requires an estimate for the peak time of the next cycle. Assuming it occurs some time in 2025/26 the SC25 annual smoothed max will be in the low 50s in the old (Wolf) numbers while Dr. Svalgaard predicts much higher peak, about double strength possibly around 100, or in the new corrected numbers somewhere in 140-150 region.

      • “causing beautiful Aphrodite to fall in love with Persian princess Leukothea (hmmm…, LGBT)”

        Guess where the island of Lesbos is? Not an accidental pun.

        • Lesbos is a birthplace of the ancient Greek poet Sappho. If you are trying to romantically pursue a partner and you are short of inspirations than steal and adapt some from Poetry of Sappho

  23. In Italian you would say “the discover of warm water”, for realising obvious things. So they just basically discover that…water (rain/snow/ice), temperature (up/down), wind and other weather phenomena that affect buildings since the first mud walls were erected many thousands of years ago, are actually affecting buildings that are more than 2,000 years old? Is that a joke or are they seriously discovering what any engineer from ancient Egypt to current era very well know? I said engineer: I could say any men who ever looked and walked out of his house.

    P.S. Anyway in more than 2,000 years, worst damage to Parthenon was the bombing from Venetian artillery in one of the last Venice-Turkish wars. So I am pretty confident that it can withstand meteorological phenomena for a long while.

  24. Since “Climate Change” is only taking place inside of the broken computer models, why don’t they just use Adobe Photoshop to touch up the pictures? The cheapest way to fix the problem?

  25. the climate is a statistical analysis of the PAST weather it is not some force, has no power and has NEVER done any harm to anything…..the weather of course is a force has power and does cause damage at times.

  26. Hmmm, no medtion of the Turkish navy using ancient buildings for gunnery practice.

  27. Climate change probably is taking a toll, but is it anthropogenic, global, catastrophic? Is it caused by anthropogenic carbon dioxide emissions? So-called “scientists” would do well to stop conflating logical domains and allowing inference and liberal license to rule their judgment.

  28. Tourism is THE most nonessential carbon footprint producing activity there is. Probably best if these attractions simply dissolve before the children of the future are tempted to go see them.

  29. The Parthenon was in excellent condition until 26 September 1687, when the Turkish Powder Magazine that had been stored within it blew up after bombardment by the Venetians. The Greeks are still working to restore the damage done to the Parthenon. All buildings are eventually damaged by weather. That is the nature of buildings which are constructed to shelter us and sacrifice themselves. You do not need ‘Climate Change’ to damage buildings.

    • Finally somebody said it! Throughout the entire article, I kept wanting to shout “hey, you know what was harder on the Parthenon than “climate change”??? How about packing the entire building full of gunpowder and then blowing it up???”

  30. So much rubbish has emanated from the “Scientists Say” file over the last decade that I now tend to switch off.
    The only thing of interest now being trying to locate the errors, false assumptions and manipulations leading to the boring old implicit conclusion that CO2 did it all. This now being the only way to get published in the MSM these days.

    • True indeed, I preferred “Scientists baffled”. It just never seemed so dangerous as “Scientists say” …..

  31. I think it is worth digitally recording the exact shape of every architectural element on the Acropolis using laser ranging, so that exact replicas can be made to replace eroded sections. Replicas were made of the statues on the Porch of the Caryatids which are now in place instead of the originals, one of which is in the British Museum, the other five are in the Acropolis Museum.

  32. Regarding climate change, this is merely more evidence that the Greeks are losing their marbles. Geoff S

  33. I recall in the 1960’s that this was a going concern then, so this isn’t anything new. I think it was National Geographic who did a pictorial essay/story on the air pollution of the day causing havoc with all the limestone architecture from Egypt to Rome. It may have been actually worse in the 1970’s when raw air pollution was even worse. I thought there was also a clear coat liquid solution of some type (derivative of olive oil) that could be applied that temporarily arrested the dissolving from the sulphur dioxide and carbonic acid that came with every rain, and even from the morning dew. It had to be reapplied every few years because it wore off too.

    • It’s like the Forth Bridge. If you stop painting it for long enough, it will disappear.
      If you keep painting it, it will survive until the ice comes back.

  34. I’ve been to the Acropolis. The whole area is full of crumbling old buildings. The Greeks should knock them all down, and redevelop with blocks of luxury flats.

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