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Guest Blog: Earth On The Brink Of An Ice Age

A guest blog by writer and researcher Gregory Fegel (gregoryfegel AT hevanet DOT com). Provided “as-is” in order to enrich the debate, whatever my opinions on the topic are.

Surely everybody believing in using the Precautionary Principle will agree with these words?

the very real threat of the approaching and inevitable Ice Age, which will render large parts of the Northern Hemisphere uninhabitable, is being foolishly ignored.

Earth on the Brink of an Ice Age

The Vostok ice core data graph

The Vostok ice core data graph

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 rather 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.

The graph 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 to rise.

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 ignored.

— Gregory F. Fegel

  1. nanodrv7
    2009/04/05 at 00:42

    Good Gawd. I have only been looking at the subject for about two months, but I ran into Theodor Landscheidt, I tell you I am scared Landscheidtless. Teddy died in 2004 (1927-2004). He tied in sunspot activity with the orbit of the sun around the center of mass due to the planet Jupiter. He predicted ENSO (el nino sothern oscillation events) before they happenened. He predicted that solar cycle 24 and 25 would be weak. Cycle 24 is having a tough time getting started. Last time I checked we had 78 days without a spot. If his name becomes a household word, we are in for some cold, hard times. River Thames frozen, ice skating on the canals of Holland, the Hudson river in New York frozen.

  2. Alan Craig
    2009/02/17 at 14:20

    The Milankovitch Theory was rubbished, as is any form of cooling in the world right now. I studied Geography – Palaeclimates in particular at Glasgow University. So I laugh at the fact none of these IPCC scientists have never looked at ice core samples like these or other methods or data retrieval in the bottom of lakes where sediments cover up minerals and leaves of trees which show what the climate was like as it was sealed off from any air. I have a great book by Willam Ruddiman – Earths Climate Past and Future, you just need to look at the graphs and see how violent the Earth has been for most of its life to know were in the gentle inter stadial phase which is rare. I’d say were lucky right now. 500 Million years ago in the Cretacious I believe “Snowball Earth” hypothesis showed the world nearly froze over.

    Alex has a great point which ties in Milankovitch Theory, 2012 and the 3 different astronomical events which I learned about and are featured in this article. On 21st Dec 2012, we will complete some of these phases the wooble, the 26,000 year cycle and precession which all adds up to well for me a HUGE neon sign saying “ice age this way” —>
    We will also pass through the galactic centre and lets just say this hasn’t happened in 26,000 years or 100,000 don’t quote me on that. Aswell as that Pole Shift which I have studied aswell, shows that the South Pole is only 4000 years old and shifts.
    So as we pass through these cycles the Earth could hypothetically rotate in the opposite direction, yet still orbit in the same fashion it does, but again this could have catastrophic effects.
    All I am saying is watch out for these dates, by no means am I fear mongering it’s just the data and cycles come without fail…and that is alarming.

    • 2009/02/19 at 01:11

      Alan – please double-check your references as there are several points in your message that do not appear exactly spot-on.

  3. 2009/01/20 at 13:07

    Hopefully the current cooling will be as mild and transient as the recent warming was. If it isn’t, there’s an anniversary coming up that might prove apt – 2012, when an allegedly unsinkable ship met a very inconvenient iceberg.

  4. 2009/01/19 at 15:00

    Very nice summary…

  5. geoff chambers
    2009/01/16 at 13:19

    They’re already bailing, but not as fast as the vessel is springing leaks. And small laboratory animals are leaving in droves, while we stand on the pier reviewing the disaster. (sorry)

  6. geoff chambers
    2009/01/16 at 00:55

    The big question posed by this article is: “What is the probability of a (seemingly inevitable) steep temperature drop happening this century? If it’s 1% – leave it to future generations. If it’s 10%, then the same energies currently being expended on tackling global warming will have to be turned round 180° and devoted to doing all the suicidal things we’ve been brainwashed not to do. Won’t that be fun, when the simple act of consuming energy will seem like an illicit pleasure! By turning on the electric fire, you’ll not only be keeping yourself warm, but also staving off the next ice age!
    The big problem will be absorbing the cognitive dissonance of the current political/ scientific consensus. (Is it soluble in seawater?) You can’t sack an entire scientific establishment, any more than you can let the whole banking system go bust. The wisest (as opposed to most just) way of resolving an intellectual disaster of this magnitude is probably to let those responsible retire to some virtual St Helena, from where they can declare, to anyone who wants to listen, that at least they alerted the planet to the importance of measuring global mean temperature anomalies.

    • 2009/01/16 at 07:30

      Can’t wait to hear about the IPCC Bailout 8)

  1. 2009/01/18 at 11:52

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