Not by Fire but by Ice


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


Milankovitch Cycle

Pacemaker of the Ice Ages

Look where we are today!


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E-mail from a winemaker in New Zealand

Hi Robert,

Don't know whether you've seen this graphic or not, I can't remember where I first encountered it, it may even have been from your site. It tallies well with sudden cooling.

Source: Graphic based on a slide created by Andrei Illarionov, Adviser to the President of Russia. The slide was part of a PowerPoint presentation given by Illarionov in 2004 (which is also worth viewing)*

I'm a winemaker in real life, now working in irrigation, and as far as climate shifts are concerned, I can report that during the ten years up until 2007 during which I worked in the wine industry in Central Otago, we retrofitted more and more frost-fighting systems to vineyards which hadn't needed them ten and twenty years earlier. Climatic cooling has meant that previously frost-free sites now have a frost problem during the growing season, and in other areas, there are more frosts every year, both earlier and later. The growing season is shrinking as well, with budburst occurring about a day later than the previous year with every passing season.

I'm now in Canterbury, which is about 300 miles north of Central Otago. Yesterday several farmers around Methven and as close to the coast as Ashburton reported ground frosts, and this on the fifth day of our summer.


Richard Prosser
North Canterbury, NZ

Richard sent this to me in January 2010, but I didn't get around to opening his email until now. Wish I had posted it right then.

This graphic compares rather well with the Pacemaker of the ice ages chart in my book "Not by Fire but by Ice." (But is much more pleasing to look at.)                          - Robert


* Illarionov's source appears to have been: Salamatin, Andrey N., Volodia Y. Lipenkov, Narcisse I. Barkov, Jean Jouzel, Jean-Robert Petit and Dominique Raynaud, Ice core age dating and paleothermometer calibration based on isotope and temperature profiles from deep boreholes at Vostok Station (East Antarctica). Journal of Geophysical Research, 103, (D8) 8963-8977, 1998.

Or it could also have been: Petit J.R., Jouzel J., Raynaud D., Barkov N.I., Barnola J.M., Basile I., Bender M., Chappellaz J., Davis M., Delague G., Delmotte M., Kotlyakov V.M., Legrand M., Lipenkov V.Ya., Lorius C., Pepin L., Ritz C., Saltzman E., Stievenard M., "Climate and atmospheric history of the past 420,000 years from the Vostok ice core, Antarctica." Nature, Vol. 399, N 6735, 3 June 1999, pp. 429-436.

Thanks to Alan Siddons, Hans Schreuder, John McCann, Richard Savage, Robert Bissett and Bill Daily for letting me know who created this graph.   



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