Not by Fire but by Ice


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Discover What Killed the Dinosaurs . . . and Why it Could Soon Kill Us

BP oil spill driving us into an ice age?

 I don't buy it

(See comments from readers at end)


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5 Sep 10 - Okay, enough already.  People keep sending me stories saying that the BP oil spill is driving us into an ice age.

With the Gulf Stream and North Atlantic Current supposedly dying, and with the Gulf of Mexico loop current supposedly already dead, the stories insist that our planet is now experiencing a real life version of the movie "The Day After Tomorrow."

"Record breaking heat and drought in Russia," the stories say. "Heat and flooding in large parts of Asia. Killing cold temperatures in South America. All  brought on by the large amounts of oil discharged into the Gulf of Mexico by the BP Oil Disaster."

Why haven’t I posted those stories?

Because I think they are wrong. As much as I believe that we are in fact headed into an ice, I don’t believe the oil spill has anything to do with it.  

Gulf loop current collapse not unusual

The fact is that the Gulf loop current collapse is not all that unusual. "There is a well- known history of the gulf loop current 'collapsing'," says reader Dennis Waggener. "This happened three times in 1996. It is a common event and not at all unusual."

          Satellites show eddy movement - September 1996

"Satellite images in the past several weeks are showing that the Gulf Loop Current is broken and may cease to function entirely!" the stories yell. "This will result in massive climate change and possibly an ice age for Europe!"

The Loop Current begins in the Caribbean, flows around the Yucatan Peninsula and  into the Gulf of Mexico, then loops around the Gulf and exits on the east side and runs between Cuba and Florida into the Atlantic where it eventually contributes to the Gulf Stream.

One article from SOTT contains an audio with a very reasonable-sounding voice telling us that "I don't want to be a fearmonger, but..."

That's like when your wife says, "I don't mean to complain, but..." And then goes ahead and complains. She just doesn't want you to notice that she’s complaining.

The voice reminds us that this is "all hard-science data" and not from "conspiracy theorists," pointing out that the information comes from the Italian Institute for Nuclear Physics and the Colorado Center for Astrodynamic Research at the University of Colorado, Boulder.

The Loop Current keeps Europe relatively warm and livable, not buried beneath three miles of ice as happened to much of the American Midwest during the last ice age, says the voice.

"It is a fact is that ice ages have existed." the audio continues. Scientists suspect that the tipping point comes when the global conveyor belt (the Loop Current) stops functioning. The transition period is often very abrupt, within a couple of years. (I agree that the transition can be very abrupt.)

The loop current has broken, the audio continues. This is "unprecedented." It may be a temporary phenomenon, or it may be permanent. It may cause irreparable damage, and it may be caused by millions and millions of gallons of oil pouring into the gulf. It may generate a chain reaction of unpredictable critical phenomena and instabilities. It may have serious consequences." (Did you notice how many times they used the word "may"?)

"What it portends is ... in other words... ICE AGE !! No joke."

The stories are based on theories put forth by theoretical physicist, Dr. Gianluigi Zangari of the National Institute of Nuclear Physics (INFN) in Italy. Dr. Zangari thinks the massive amount of oil from the BP Oil Disaster has resulted in a dramatic weakening in the vorticity of the Gulf Stream and North Atlantic Current, and a reduction in North Atlantic water temperatures of 10C.

It is a university level physics experiment to use a tub of cool water and inject a colored stream of warm water into it, the stories say. You can see the boundary layers of the  stream. If you add oil to the tub it breaks down the boundary layers and effectively destroys the current vorticity. This is what is happening (supposedly) in the Gulf of Mexico and the Atlantic Ocean.

The entire 'river of warm water' that flows from the Caribbean to the edges of Western Europe is (supposedly) dying due to the approximately two million gallons of Corexit that BP used to hide the scale of oil spill. The Corexit, plus several million gallons of other dispersants, have (supposedly) caused the over two hundred million gallons of crude oil that gushed from the BP wellhead to mostly sink to the bottom of the ocean.

There are several names to the themoregulation 'river of warm water' that keeps the Northern Hemisphere from going into a new Ice Age.

Once the Loop Current leaves the Keys, it flows up the East Coast of America (Florida, Georgia, South Carolina, and part of North Carolina) to the Outer Banks. At the Outer Banks the current heads east into the North Atlantic where it is known as the Gulf Stream. Eventually the Gulf Stream becomes the North Atlantic Current, which itself eventually becomes the Norway Current and the Canary Current.

This 'river of warm water' is part of a much larger system that includes the Atlantic South Equatorial Current, which flows north along the coast of Brazil (the North Brazil Current), where it becomes the Caribbean Current, then is renamed the Yucatan Current as it flows north into the Yucatan Channel. This entire system is one of the main global themoregulation processes that regulates the planet's temperatures.

Many of the stories include a graphic from Wikipedia showing the thermohaline circulation, which is sometimes called the ocean conveyor belt, other times called the great ocean conveyor, or the global conveyor belt.

Conveyor belt

Now let me ask you. How can this current possibly stop? It is caused by the rotation of the earth. Unless the BP oil spill can make our planet stop turning on its axis (we’re rotating at the rate of 1,000 miles per hour), that current will continue to be generated.

Simply explained, the earth rotates counter-clockwise, pushing the water of the South Atlantic westward against Central and South America where it splits into two streams - the Brazil Current, flowing south, and the Gulf Stream, flowing north, the Gulf Stream being greater of the two.

I see no way that that current will cease moving. Intentionally or not, these oil-spill stories become just another way to blame humans for something that is not our fault.

And as I said, this has happened before.

George Born and Robert Leben of the University of Colorado used data from satellites TOPEX/POSEIDON and ERS-2 to track the location of the Loop Current, and to monitor the anticyclonic eddies that periodically separate from its northward intrusions into the eastern Gulf of Mexico.

They found that the Loop Current shed a series of three such anticyclonic eddies in 1996. (See

Shortly after the oil spill, Dr. Bill Deagle, MD, of The Nutrimedical Report interviewed Dr Zangari concerning the dissolution of the Loop Current, and over the next few weeks began voicing his concerns on

“A new Ice Age could kill 2/3 of the human race in the first year in a rapid onset,” says Dr. Deagle. “A slower onset would likely kill close to this number but simply take a handful of years.! Thank you BP; thank you President Obama, the lies and the dispersants were just great. Now if you could just direct all that hot air to the right places maybe we can avoid a icy hell in our near future.”

Dr. Deagle has interviewed me several times, and although I have the utmost respect for his brilliance, I just can’t agree with him on this subject. Regardless of how much oil is pumped into the seas, our planet is going to keep on turning.

So, to sum up. Are we headed into an ice age? Yes, I think we are.

But should we blame BP? Absolutely not.

Humans don’t cause global warming, and humans don’t cause ice ages. They're simply  parts of a naturally occurring cycle - three natural cycles actually - the sunspot cycle, the Milankovitch cycle, and a third cycle known as orbital stretch.

Instead of trying to "stop global warming," or "stop the ice age," we'd be a lot better off looking for ways to cope with the inevitable.

(And before you ask, no, I am not on any oil company’s payroll.)


Thanks to Dennis Waggener, Stephanie Relfe, Stephen C. Camidge, Craig Adkins, Steven Rowlandson, Willem Wolters, Jason Boughen, Victor E., Chad Olivent,  Dave Longenhagen, Steve F., Sheldon Day, Frank Chedester, Stephen Leiper, Ty Weston, Daniel in the UK, Charles Patrick, and many, many others for these links

See also:
Risk of Global Climate Change by BP Oil Spill by Gianluigi Zangari

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6 Sep 10
They don’t either! It’s a C.Y.A. move. It is becoming obvious we're not warming up and probably cooling down.  Lacking any sense of integrity, they will try everything they can to find a scapegoat to save their collective political, intellectual, scientific credibility and, if things go really bad, their lives. In short, the RATS are abandoning ship.        - Arnold R

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6 Sep 10

I read your posting and you are correct. Things are starting to get out of hand to the point of making the whole subject look ridiculous.

It is too soon to make predictions concerning the timing of an ice age even if the gulf stream is some what impaired.   The matter requires much more observation and study before freaking out the whole world over it.

I pretty well said as much to Lord Stirling this week end.  Its best to leave the dodgy science to the global warmers.  An ice age is a serious matter and I think we need solid evidence and data collected for a while by experts and interested persons before reaching conclusions that require action.

Science fiction and Hollywood is not science.  After the data is collected it needs to be examined by a group of experts before any kind of a prediction or conclusions can be made that could impact policy. 

I think a change in tactics by Dr. Deagle  and Lord Stirling is in order not bring the issue in to disrepute.  I believe Lord Stirling got the message.

The question of BPs involvement requires more than a mere assertion , it requires scientific investigation to see how crude oil, natural gas and corexit effect the properties of sea water and its movement .  If it is disrupting the thermohaline circulation system it is important to show how and why with good supporting evidence.

Dire predictions and alarmism is no substitute for the scientific method.

What prompted me to urge Lord Stirling to exercise restraint is the reference to the Day after tomorrow movie.

After seeing such a reference I soon got the gut feeling that what ought to be some thing that is seriously investigated is starting to become an example of alarmism instead of scientific inquiry and revelation.

As for Dr Deagle he needs to settle down and think and remember the scientific method and try not to make statements that are not supported by rock solid evidence.  He needs to avoid sounding like an alarmist and more like a scientist.  Otherwise he is at risk of losing credibility.  I have not yet communicated with Dr. Deagle as I expect those who know him better to bring him up to speed on the issue of cliamate change and the need to follow the scientific method and avoid alarmism.  I guess a good dose of sanity and common sense is needed in dealing with the issue of a ice age. 

If I see anything interesting I'll continue to send it your way.

Steven Rowlandson

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7 Sep 10

Your response to the controversy stirred up by Professor Gianluigi Zangari is brilliant. Zangari by his own admission has only been looking at the subject for the past ten years and thus might have not known about the figures from 1996 that you mention. Zangari is thinking [in error] that temperature is the mechanism that is driving the ocean currents, where as you say [correctly] that the rotation of the Earth on its axis, is the force that is driving the ocean currents.

Is it or is it not a fact that the east side of the North Atlantic is now 10*C cooler than usual ? I looked at the NOAA satellite data web site and indeed it does appear to be true that the North Atlantic is colder than usual. The Oil Spill in the Gulf of Mexico probably has nothing to do with this development, since the Oil Spill happened far too soon 20 April 2010, for it to be the cause. The cooling of the North Atlantic waters is a manifestation of a natural cycle. Like as you have said in the article on your web site, the Milankovitch Cycle together with the Sun Spot Cycle Minimum, are the causes for the very wide spread cooling that is taking place all around the world.

Based on your predictions I am slowly getting my self geared up to survive the deterioration in the weather. Here in Norwich of Norfolk County in the UK the autumn [fall] is arriving several weeks in advance of normal. It is not yet cold, but already the trees are showing signs of the autumn approaching early. Once permafrost starts to get to the sewage system and freezes the water pipes that is going to get interesting. Plus if temperatures get to below minus 40*C then the motor transportation systems fail. Plus not just the cold, but more so the snow, upon snow, upon snow ! All roads blocked !

Last time this coldness and snow of a "Siberian Cold Snap" happened in the winter of 1980 through 1981 entire villages along the northern side of the Norfolk County had to be rescued from drifting snow by emergency Royal Navy helicopters.

Up to an unbelievable huge 100 feet high wave of powdery snow was building up to bury the towns and villages. Apparently the temperature was minus 55*C which if I am correct means that much of that power dry snow was in fact "Carbon Dioxide Snow" ? I lived through it personally so I can testify that it really did happen. All the children born since 1980 will know nothing about it and no doubt are thinking that I am crazy ? I was born in 1957.    

Obviously I cannot emphasis enough how important it is that everyone start to wise up a little bit. So many of the idiotic youth are floating around in a state of psychotic dementia. Obviously they are going to be the first to die from dehydration and lack of sanitation. Then the hypothermia will wipe away another percentage of the idiotic as all the electricity [frost induced metal fatigue in the pylons and cables] and gas systems [ruptured pipes] go down.

Once the snow starts to fall then the International Airport just up the road from me will shut down like as it had to last time we had a severe winter. Without the warming effect of the North Atlantic Gulf Stream, there is the serious possibility that the shallow waters around the British Isles will begin the freeze over, causing problems for shipping to enter or leave harbourage.  

One thing which worries me greatly is that the farmers are not in possession of the means by which to shelter their animals from such severe conditions. We might lose millions of cattle like as they did in Mongolia during last years winter of 2009 through 2010 ? Our government seem to be oblivious as regard to what is coming. During permafrost conditions sewage disposal and water supply is going to be a major difficulty. But the politicians are living in Cookooland ?  

Sincere regards,  
Neil Love




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