The earth is now on the brink of entering
another Ice Age, according to a large and compelling body of
evidence from within the field of climate science. Many sources
of data which provide our knowledge base of long-term climate
change indicate that the warm, twelve thousand year-long Holocene
period will soon be coming to an end, and then the earth will
return to Ice Age conditions for the next 100,000 years.
Ice cores, ocean sediment cores, the geologic
record, and studies of ancient plant and animal populations
all demonstrate a regular cyclic pattern of Ice Age glacial
maximums which each last about 100,000 years, separated by intervening
warm interglacials, each lasting about 12,000 years.
Most of the long-term climate data collected
from various sources also shows a strong correlation with the
three astronomical cycles which are together known as the Milankovich
cycles. The three Milankovich cycles include the tilt of the
earth, which varies over a 41,000 year period; the shape of
the earth's orbit, which changes over a period of 100,000 years;
and the Precession of the Equinoxes, also known as the earth's
'wobble', which gradually rotates the direction of the earth's
axis over a period of 26,000 years. According to the Milankovich
theory of Ice Age causation, these three astronomical cycles,
each of which effects the amount of solar radiation which reaches
the earth, act together to produce the cycle of cold Ice Age
maximums and warm interglacials.
Elements of the astronomical theory of Ice
Age causation were first presented by the French mathematician
Joseph Adhemar in 1842, it was developed further by the English
prodigy Joseph Croll in 1875, and the theory was established
in its present form by the Czech mathematician Milutin Milankovich
in the 1920s and 30s. In 1976 the prestigious journal "Science"
published a landmark paper by John Imbrie, James Hays, and Nicholas
Shackleton entitled "Variations in the Earth's orbit: Pacemaker
of the Ice Ages," which described the correlation which the
trio of scientist/authors had found between the climate data
obtained from ocean sediment cores and the patterns of the astronomical
Milankovich cycles. Since the late 1970s, the Milankovich theory
has remained the predominant theory to account for Ice Age causation
among climate scientists, and hence the Milankovich theory is
always described in textbooks of climatology and in encyclopaedia
articles about the Ice Ages.
In their 1976 paper Imbrie, Hays, and Shackleton wrote that
their own climate forecasts, which were based on sea-sediment
cores and the Milankovich cycles, ". must be qualified
in two ways. First, they apply only to the natural component
of future climatic trends - and not to anthropogenic effects
such as those due to the burning of fossil fuels. Second, they
describe only the long-term trends, because they are linked
to orbital variations with periods of 20,000 years and longer.
Climatic oscillations at higher frequencies are not predicted...
the results indicate that the long-term trend over the next
20,000 years is towards extensive Northern Hemisphere glaciation
and cooler climate."
During the 1970s the famous American astronomer
Carl Sagan and other scientists began promoting the theory that
'greenhouse gasses' such as carbon dioxide, or CO2, produced
by human industries could lead to catastrophic global warming.
Since the 1970s the theory of 'anthropogenic global warming'
(AGW) has gradually become accepted as fact by most of the academic
establishment, and their acceptance of AGW has inspired a global
movement to encourage governments to make pivotal changes to
prevent the worsening of AGW.
The central piece of evidence that is cited
in support of the AGW theory is the famous 'hockey stick' graph
which was presented by Al Gore in his 2006 film "An Inconvenient
Truth." The 'hockey stick' graph shows an acute upward spike
in global temperatures which began during the 1970s and continued
through the winter of 2006/07. However, this warming trend was
interrupted when the winter of 2007/8 delivered the deepest
snow cover to the Northern Hemisphere since 1966 and the coldest
temperatures since 2001. It now appears that the current Northern
Hemisphere winter of 2008/09 will probably equal or surpass
the winter of 2007/08 for both snow depth and cold temperatures.
The main flaw in the AGW theory is that its
proponents focus on evidence from only the past one thousand
years at most, while ignoring the evidence from the past million
years -- evidence which is essential for a true understanding
of climatology. The data from paleoclimatology provides us with
an alternative and more credible explanation for the recent
global temperature spike, based on the natural cycle of Ice
Age maximums and interglacials.
In 1999 the British journal "Nature" published
the results of data derived from glacial ice cores collected
at the Russia 's Vostok station in Antarctica during the 1990s.
The Vostok ice core data includes a record of global atmospheric
temperatures, atmospheric CO2 and other greenhouse gases, and
airborne particulates starting from 420,000 years ago and continuing
through history up to our present time.
of the Vostok ice core data shows that the Ice Age maximums
and the warm interglacials occur within a regular cyclic pattern,
the graph-line of which is similar to the rhythm of a heartbeat
on an electrocardiogram tracing. The Vostok data graph also
shows that changes in global CO2 levels lag behind global temperature
changes by about eight hundred years. What that indicates is
that global temperatures precede or cause global CO2 changes,
and not the reverse. In other words, increasing atmospheric
CO2 is not causing global temperature to rise; instead the natural
cyclic increase in global temperature is causing global CO2
The reason that global CO2 levels rise and
fall in response to the global temperature is because cold water
is capable of retaining more CO2 than warm water. That is why
carbonated beverages loose their carbonation, or CO2, when stored
in a warm environment. We store our carbonated soft drinks,
wine, and beer in a cool place to prevent them from loosing
their 'fizz', which is a feature of their carbonation, or CO2
content. The earth is currently warming as a result of the natural
Ice Age cycle, and as the oceans get warmer, they release increasing
amounts of CO2 into the atmosphere.
Because the release of CO2 by the warming oceans
lags behind the changes in the earth's temperature, we should
expect to see global CO2 levels continue to rise for another
eight hundred years after the end of the earth's current Interglacial
warm period. We should already be eight hundred years into the
coming Ice Age before global CO2 levels begin to drop in response
to the increased chilling of the world's oceans.
The Vostok ice core data graph reveals that
global CO2 levels regularly rose and fell in a direct response
to the natural cycle of Ice Age minimums and maximums during
the past four hundred and twenty thousand years. Within that
natural cycle, about every 110,000 years global temperatures,
followed by global CO2 levels, have peaked at approximately
the same levels which they are at today.
About 325,000 years ago, at the peak of a warm
interglacial, global temperature and CO2 levels were higher
than they are today. Today we are again at the peak, and near
to the end, of a warm interglacial, and the earth is now due
to enter the next Ice Age. If we are lucky, we may have a few
years to prepare for it. The Ice Age will return, as it always
has, in its regular and natural cycle, with or without any influence
from the effects of AGW.
The AGW theory is based on data that is drawn
from a ridiculously narrow span of time and it demonstrates
a wanton disregard for the 'big picture' of long-term climate
change. The data from paleoclimatology, including ice cores,
sea sediments, geology, paleobotany and zoology, indicate that
we are on the verge of entering another Ice Age, and the data
also shows that severe and lasting climate change can occur
within only a few years. While concern over the dubious threat
of Anthropogenic Global Warming continues to distract the attention
of people throughout the world, the very real threat of the
approaching and inevitable Ice Age, which will render large
parts of the Northern Hemisphere uninhabitable, is being foolishly