Not by Fire but by Ice
THE NEXT ICE AGE - NOW!
Discover What Killed the Dinosaurs . . . and Why it Could Soon Kill Us
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Earth could plunge into sudden ice age
‘Big Freeze’ about 12,800 years ago happened
2 Dec 09 - There is no reason why such a freeze shouldn't happen again, says this article by Charles Q. Choi. Ironically, says Choi, "it could be precipitated if ongoing changes in climate force the
Greenland ice sheet to suddenly melt."
I love the headline, and I agree with the subtitle. I also agree
that such a freeze could - or rather, will - happen again. It's all
part of the ice-age cycle.
However, the words "ongoing changes in climate" are a sneaky
way of trying to blame humans. That's wrong. Humans have
nothing to do with it. Climate always changes. That's what
(Actually it's not sneaky, it's blatant,
because if you click on
the link underlying those words you'll find an article that
explicitly blames humans.)
"Starting roughly 12,800 years ago," the article continues, "the Northern Hemisphere was gripped by a chill that lasted some 1,300 years. Known by scientists as the Younger Dryas and nicknamed the "Big Freeze," geological evidence suggests it was brought on when a vast pulse of fresh water — a greater volume than all of North America's Great Lakes combined — poured into the Atlantic and Arctic Oceans."
Did humans cause the Younger Dryas? No. Did humans
all of the other ice ages? No. But let's blame them anyway.
Temperatures go up? Blame humans. Temperatures go down?
The article goes on to describe how temperatures plummeted "over the course of a few months, or a year or two at most," as North America's glacial Lake Agassiz burst its banks, diluting warmer water in the North Atlantic. (I discuss this giant flood in Not by Fire but by Ice; chapter 15, "Noah's Deluge".)
"It would be like taking Ireland today and moving it up to above the Arctic Circle, creating icy conditions in a very short period of time," says isotope biogeochemist William Patterson at the University of Saskatchewan, who, along with his colleagues, made the startling discovery while studying mud cores from an ancient lake in Ireland.
There is no reason why a big freeze shouldn't happen again, says Patterson. "If the Greenland ice sheet melted suddenly it would be catastrophic."
Sure, IF that should
happen. But there's no reason to expect
the Greenland ice sheet to suddenly melt. Temperatures have
been declining since 1998, and we've had record snowfall
around the world. If anything, we should expect the
Greenland ice sheet to grow.
"This kind of scenario would not discount evidence pointing toward global warming," says the article. "After all, it leans on the Greenland ice sheet melting."
"We could say that global warming could lead to a dramatic cooling," said Patterson in an interview with LiveScience. (Maybe they should take away the "v'" and call it LieScience.)
"People assume that we're political, that we're either pro-global-warming or anti-global-warming, when it's really neither," Patterson added. "Our goal is just to understand climate."
If their goal is "just to understand climate," then
why don't they,
and other climate scientists, include the known climate cycles in
their models? These cycles have been known and acknowledged
since the 1970s.
In 1976, scientists at Lamont-Doherty Earth
spearheaded a project called CLIMAP (Climate: Long-range
Investigation Mapping and Prediction) to map the history of
the oceans and climate.
They discovered that ice ages begin or end, almost like clockwork,
every 11,500 years. It's a dependable, predictable, natural cycle.
Pacemaker of the Ice Ages, they called it.
They drew up a chart of the cycle (below).
Changes in global ice volume during the last 500,000
as determined from CLIMAP isotopic measurements.
Chart is from John and Katherine Imbrie's book
Ice Ages: Solving the Mystery, by permission of Enslow Publishers.
Data from J. D. Hays et al., 1976, by permission J. D. Hays.
(Chart is also published in Not by Fire but by Ice, page 211.)
See entire article:
Thanks to Jason Spies, Craig Adkins, Tim Spence and Chuck Clancy for this link
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