Sunday, June 18, 2006

The Coming Ice Age

Time magazine recently had a front page article on the end of the world due to global warming. A key piece of data on the article was that global co2 emmissions fossil fuels went from a modest 1 metric ton a year in 1950 to 7 metric tons a year in 2000. Other emission types have slightly risen to 2 or 3 metric tons.

However, from 1923 on, Time repeatedly contained stories from scientists and climatologists said that we were heading into an ice age. Can they make up their minds? Its actually funny.

Here are some highlights and excerpts of contradiction, as reported by Time Magazine.

MacMillan Heard From, Sep. 10, 1923
The discoveries of changes in the sun's heat ( TIME, issue from May 5) and the southward advance of glaciers in recent years have given rise to conjectures of the possible advent of a new ice age.

In the Arctic, Sep. 7, 1925
While learned British scientists expatiated at Southampton a new Ice Age that will drive civilization to the earth's poles for warmth...

Cold England? Aug. 20, 1928
From London's smart Mayfair to Scotland's dour Hebrides, every Britishman knows that the only thing which keeps him reasonably warm is the Gulf Stream. Alarming, therefore, was a report last week by two White Star Line skippers that, according to their observations, the Gulf Stream has recently changed its course ten points. Should it swerve away from the British Isles entirely, they would become semi-Arctic. Stern old duchesses and gouty earls would have to flee, pellmell, with cockneys and Irishmen before a new Ice Age. Cold England would have to be abandoned, and Britishmen would seek refuge in their Dominions.

Greenland Sunrise, Feb. 20, 1933
Feb. 3 required some jubilation at Peary Lodge, Polar Year station midway up Greenland's west coast. University of Michigan & Pan American Airways maintain the post: 1) to cooperate with European agencies in studying world-wide weather conditions, 2) to determine whether the northern hemisphere is recovering from the last Ice Age or is beginning another Ice cycle,...

Runaway Glacier, Mar. 1, 1937 (global warming before 1950? That don't make sense.)
- Alaska's glaciers are survivals of the ice age on the North American continent. Washburn believes that Alaska's glaciers are dwindling, will eventually disappear.
- When the impulse has expended itself, there follows a period of very rapid shrinkage at the foot of the glacier. Black Rapids Glacier may continue to move for six months to two years. Then it will recede. Five years hence it will have dwindled five miles back up its valley.

Warmer World, Jan. 2, 1939 (global warming before 1950, again?, before the increase of greenhouse gases, that don't make sense...)
- Weather men have no doubt that the world at least for the time being is growing warmer. A group of Soviet meteorologists, who have recorded Arctic temperatures for a decade, reported last fortnight that the Arctic is warmer.
- The continental ice sheet which once covered the northern United States still exists in Greenland where it is STILL retreating. Despite various speculations, the reason for such climate changes is obscure. (key word here, STILL)
- In 1932 the U. S. Weather Bureau assembled all available records covering a century or more, found that they showed a trend towards warmth. (warmth trend since 1832? global warming before 1950, say it with me now: that don't make sense...)

Adventuring, May 20, 1940
- Adventures of a Biologist. Famed problem child of British scientists, prolific science writer, expert on poison gas, big, bristly-tempered, 47-year-old Biologist John Burdon Sanderson Haldane...
- Besides essays on the biologist in relation to everything from town-planning to death, Biologist Haldane speculates on the effect of weather on history, on the possibility of a new ice age...

Reproduction, Rings, Rivers Sep. 30, 1940
- Geologists know that during the Ice Age, which began to recede some 20,000 years ago, the ocean level was lower than it is now, because great masses of water were locked up in the land glaciers. But the continents could hardly have stored water masses tremendous enough to have raised the sea level from one and a half to two miles.
- Geologist Roy Dickerson of Atlantic Refining Co. favors the sapping-spring theory, believes the Ice Age drainage to the sea was inconsiderable.
- So Dr. Dickerson concludes that the seas must have risen less than 300 ft. since the Ice Age

Greenland's Icy Mountains, Apr. 21, 1941
So little is known about the ice cap itself (almost two miles deep, spreading over more than 80% of the island, the birthplace of storms and icebergs) that scientists cannot agree whether it is a vanishing segment of the last Ice Age, or a forerunner of the next.

News Quiz, Jun. 19, 1950 - 85
On the question of whether the U.S. climate is getting warmer, U.S. meteorologists are:
1. Agreed that it is.
2. Agreed that there has been no change.
3. Agreed that it is getting colder.
4. No closer to agreement than their predecessors of a century ago.
5. Predicting another Ice Age.

Crystal Ball of Ice, Oct. 1, 1951
- They had completed one more season of probing Alaska's great ice mass, clocking its slow motions, and trying to use it as a vast crystal ball to predict the earth's future climate.
- Out of the huge field (700 sq. mi.) flow at least eleven glaciers, ten of which are slowly receding. The eleventh, which particularly intrigued the scientists, is the great Taku glacier, which has advanced more than 3½ miles in the last 50 years. (One glacier advancing despite global warming, that don't make sense)
- At present the earth is enjoying a warm spell, with the northern regions more hospitable than they have been in 200 years. But no one yet knows whether the ice is gathering again to creep down out of the north.

Ice-Free Arctic?, May 17, 1954
- Last week Edward L. Gorton Jr. of the U.S. Navy Hydrographic Office released the first results of a continuing analysis of the polar wasteland.
- Navy oceanographers found that one-tenth of the ice melts each summer, and the ice layer's thickness is reduced to two or three meters. At present, the pack contains only 6,500 cubic miles of ice (barely enough to cover the state of Texas with a 125-ft. layer), and it is steadily shrinking. Since 1900, the thickness of the polar icecap has decreased by three feet because of higher general temperatures.
- If the trend continues, predicts Gorton, the Arctic Ocean will eventually lose its permanent ice, freezing only in winter; at that point, none of the ice will reach the hard-core polar stage. The Navy's tentative long-range forecast: "Great changes in climate will take place. This change . . . may foreshadow the end of the current ice age, but no timetable is set for this development."

Glacial Thermostat, Jul. 9, 1956
If the Ewing-Donn theory is correct, human civilization may be headed for trouble in a few thousand years. At present there is pretty good communication between the Atlantic and Arctic oceans. Warm water is flowing northward at a steadily increasing clip. When the Arctic Ocean melts, the glaciers, well fed with snow, will start creeping south. The human species will have to move out of its favorite real estate−or try to set the glacial thermostat for another interglacial cycle.

Ocean Frontier, Jul. 6, 1959
New Ice Age? Oceanographers believe that man is approaching the point where he can try large-scale experiments on the ocean.

Mysteries of Antarctica, Dec. 1, 1961
In the present state of the world's evolution, Antarctica is the only continent that is overwhelmingly in the grip of an ice age....

The Galloping Glacier, Aug. 19, 1966
- Perhaps 20,000 years old, it looked much the same as any other glacier—until six weeks ago, when Upton gazed down and did a double take.
- Presently moving at what scientists described as a "spectacular" two feet an hour, the river of ice, 22 miles long and more than a mile wide, had traveled some five miles in "pulsating surges," shearing through adjacent mountains and destroying everything in its path. (perhaps this glacier didn't get the global warming memo...that don't make sense...)
- In any case, Steele hardly seemed to herald another Ice Age...

Losing Ground, Apr. 26, 1968
Ever since the end of the last ice age—when the grinding action of glaciers against rocks created much of the world's present sand—the oceans have been steadily rising. Fed by slowly melting ice, the level of the seas is now 300 ft. above what it was 18,000 years ago, and is still creeping up at something like 9 in. a century. (frightening, in a million years, the beach parking lot...will now be the beach!)

Muted Gaudeamus, Apr. 18, 1969
A scientist last week dispelled fears that a new Ice Age is about to engulf the world

Fighting to Save the Earth from Man, Feb. 2, 1970
- A few scientists feel that the outpouring of carbon dioxide, mainly from industry, is forming an invisible global filter in the atmosphere. This filter may act like a greenhouse: transparent to sunlight but opaque to heat radiation bouncing off the earth. In theory, the planet will warm up. (oh boy! the first sign of global warming, mark your calendars!)
- Other scientists argue the exact opposite: they point out that the earth's average temperature has dropped by .2° C. since 1945, though the carbon dioxide content of the air keeps increasing every year. To explain this phenomenon, many ecologists think that various particles in the atmosphere are reflecting sunlight away from the earth, thus cooling the planet. Since about 31% of the world's surface is covered by low clouds, increasing this cover to 36% through pollution would drop the temperature about 4° C.—enough to start a return to the ice age.

Another Ice Age?, Nov. 13, 1972
- If the earth's recent history is any clue, says Marine Geologist Cesare Emiliani of the University of Miami, a new ice age could become a reality. (how's that possible with all those co2 emissions floating around....? chuckle)
- We may soon be confronted with either a runaway glaciation or a runaway deglaciation, both of which would generate unacceptable environmental stresses."

Another Ice Age?, Jun. 24, 1974
- As they review the bizarre and unpredictable weather pattern of the past several years, a growing number of scientists are beginning to suspect that many seemingly contradictory meteorological fluctuations are actually part of a global climatic upheaval.
- Climatological Cassandras are becoming increasingly apprehensive, for the weather aberrations they are studying may be the harbinger of another ice age.
- Telltale signs are everywhere —from the unexpected persistence and thickness of pack ice in the waters around Iceland to the southward migration of a warmth-loving creature like the armadillo from the Midwest.Since the 1940s the mean global temperature has dropped about 2.7° F. Although that figure is at best an estimate, it is supported by other convincing data.
(but Al Gore, the weather expert, says that the temps were rising during the 70's, that don't make sense....)

- more and more scientists are raising storm warnings for the future. At the very least, they foresee troublesome changes in global temperature and rainfall patterns that could seriously jeopardize the earth's ability to feed itself.
- From his studies of weather history, British Climatologist Hubert H. Lamb concludes that climate runs in roughly 200-year-long cycles, and that the earth is now entering one of its chilly phases. Perhaps the gloomiest of the weather prophets, Bryson speculates that the earth may be reverting to a frigid interlude comparable to what some scientists call the "little ice age" that cooled Europe from the 16th through 19th centuries. (entering a chilly phase???)

Forecast: Famine?, May 17, 1976
The CIA's forecast is largely based on studies conducted over the past several years by climatologists at the University of Wisconsin. They project that the world's climate, which for several decades had been ideal for agriculture, is returning to the conditions that existed from 1600 to 1850. That period was a "Little Ice Age" characterized by lower temperatures, shorter growing seasons and periods of famine.

The World's Climate: Unpredictable, Aug. 9, 1976
- Climatologists still disagree on whether earth's long-range outlook is another ice age, which could bring mass starvation and fuel shortages, or a warming trend, which could melt the polar icecaps and flood coastal cities.
- Cooling Trend. Do all of these abnormalities mean that something is happening to the world's climate? There is some evidence that the earth had cooled down—at least temporarily—in the 1950s and 1960s. In 1972, according to German Climatologist Horst Dronia, the atmosphere in the Northern Hemisphere was one full degree centigrade colder than in 1949.

The Big Freeze, Jan. 31, 1977
Alltime low temperatures were recorded last week in Cincinnati (—25), Miami Beach ( + 32), Palm Beach ( + 27). Single-day records for the date were set in New York City (—1); Dayton (—21); and Lynchburg, Va. ( — 8). At —19, Chicago experienced its coldest day in this century. Peoria, Ill. ( — 25), had not been so cold since 1884.

- Among scientists who fear that significant worldwide climatic changes have already begun, there are those who believe that another Ice Age is not far ahead—as well as others who predict that a potentially devastating warming trend may occur. Ice Age doomsayers note evidence that average temperatures in the Northern Hemisphere dropped 1° Celsius during the 1950s and 1960s. Kukla found that the average snow and ice cover in the Northern Hemisphere increased sharply in 1971 compared with the years between 1967 and '70
- Global cooling might be explained by a link between ice ages and changes both in the earth's attitude and in its orbit around the sun. That concept was championed by Germany's Alfred Wegener (best known for his ideas about continental drift) and later refined by Yugoslav Mathematician Milutin Milankovitch, for whom the theory is now named.

Weather: Prediction and Control, Feb. 21, 1977
Krafft Ehricke, a German-born rocket engineer, has revived an earlier suggestion that huge orbiting mirrors be used to reflect sunlight onto the dark side of the earth, preventing crop freezes and perhaps raising average temperatures enough to forestall the new ice age that some climatologists believe lies ahead (TIME, Jan. 31).

Warming Earth?, Sep. 18, 1978
There is another wrinkle in these climatological complications. For about two decades ending in the early 1970s, the earth was in what seemed to be a cooling phase. Some climatologists suggested that the chill marked the beginning of a "little ice age," like the one that persisted in Europe from about 1550 to 1850. If they are right, then the cooling forces—which could be attributable to anything from increased atmospheric dust to subtle changes in the amount of heat received from the sun—will be pitted against the warming force of the so-called greenhouse effect. For a while, at least, these two opposites might balance each other neatly. ( how convenient)

The Deluge of Disastermania, Mar. 5, 1979
In an avalanche of recent books, polar caps melt, a new ice age begins,...

The Winter That Refused to Die, Apr. 19, 1982
The sudden plunge back into the ice age sent statisticians to the record books. According to the National Weather Service, temperatures for April plummeted to new lows in seven U.S. cities, including 6°F in Flint, Mich., and 26° in Augusta, Ga...

Pardon El Chichon's Dust, Jul. 5, 1982
Some scientists believe a very large amount of volcanic dust in the atmosphere could send the earth tumbling into another ice age. Fury on The Sun Jul. 3, 1989 Even small changes in solar-energy output could have a profound influence on the planet. A long-term variation in global temperatures of only a few degrees could melt the ice caps, inundating coastal cities -- or bringing on a new ice age.

The Ice Age Cometh?, Jan. 31, 1994
- Temperatures in dozens of cities dropped to all-time lows: -22 degreesF in Pittsburgh; -25 degrees in Akron, Ohio, and Clarksburg, West Virginia; -27 degrees in Indianapolis, Indiana. Chicago schools closed because of cold weather for the first time in history
- What ever happened to global warming?
- But if last week is any indication of winters to come, it might be more to the point to start worrying about the next Ice Age instead. After all, human-induced warming is still largely theoretical, while ice ages are an established part of the planet's history. In short, while there is no reason to think the next full-fledged Ice Age is upon us, a shorter episode of frigid conditions could happen at any time. The last interglacial period was warmer than this one and also, arguably, more unstable.

And Then How Cold?
Warming may affect sea currents, triggering an ice age, Nov. 8, 1999
There's a chance that global warming could plunge us into, of all things, an ice age...

It appears that an ice age is coming, not global warming. Don't throw out those winter cloths and skis!

you may be entertaining Angels unaware


Anonymous Kristiapplesauce said...

No wonder I am always cold...I mean hot.

2:23 PM  
Anonymous camanintx said...

I also hear that before they thought the world was round, they thought it was flat. I wish they would make up their mind! And does the Earth circle the Sun or the other way around? I keep forgetting.

Comparing what scientists believed before to what they believe now is really lame. Even as late as 1970, the data indicated we were approaching another ice age. The difference is today we have much more data to work with, so naturally our conclusions may be different. If you are going to try to discredit global warming, you need to come up with a better arguement.

12:09 PM  
Blogger The Scribe said...

Camanintx, thanks for the comment. Seems like your comment was generated by a cursory look at the post. You missed the conflicting points (glaring actually...) that co2 emissions dramatically increased after the 50s, and yet some predicted ice age in the 70s.

The fact that since 1923 climatologists have stated that a new ice is coming and now say the opposite is noteworthy. Also, global warming is still a theory and in many circles is considered junk science.

So there is no concensus on the future climate with the data we have today.

9:20 PM  
Anonymous camanintx said...

The fact that you point to predictions of a comming ice age as proof that global warming is a hoax shows that you don't understand the problem. While CO2 emissions have been dramatically increasing since the 50's, we didn't have enough data to compare it to until the 80's.

As for cooler temperatures disproving the theory of global warming, just look at the last article you referenced. While the the Earth's mean surface temperature has been increasing (ie, gloabal warming), specific local effects could be just the opposite. Most of Europe is warmed by energy carried north by the gulf stream. Warming in the Artic could shut off this heat pump, causing temperatures across Europe to plummet. In this case, decreasing temperatures would actually support the global warming theory.

If you are looking for concensus, I suggest you look at peer-reviewed scientific journals. Science Magazine reviewed 928 papers published between 1993 and 2003 and not one disputed the theory. If there is so much dissention, where is the conflicting research?

8:25 AM  
Blogger The Scribe said...

Camanintx, I never said it was proof of a coming ice age, I just used the data to highlight the fact that scientific opinions on global warming are diverse. Some think it is a disaster in the making. Others think that, even if it is does prove to be true, it will be a moderate change in weather patterns. Some even think an ice age is coming.

The point is there is no hard data, no smoking gun, no particular reason to believe this "theory."

Science tells us that the greenhouse gases in our atmosphere are 97% water vapor, 1.7% co2 and 1.3% a variety of other stuff. When then so much attention on the 1.7% co2? Can you smell agenda? The scaremongers true agenda is to stop mankind from producing crude oil, and burning oil and gas.

So until we have proof, global warming is junk science thrust upon the rest of us by an agenda driven far left wing.

Question for you: How come these record highs date back to 100 years ago and so forth. Was that generation also experiencing global warming.

Come on....

1:12 PM  
Anonymous camanintx said...

Answer: Global warming is not a local event, that's why it starts with the word "global". Look hard enough and you will find may places around the world where temperatures are lower now than they were 10, 50 or even 100 years ago. But for each of these, you will find several places where the temperature is higher. That is why you have to look at the global mean surface temperature to see what is going on.

When you look at temperatures over the last 160,000 years, there is a distinct pattern of warming and cooling. Scientists have even correlated these changes with Earth's orbit around the sun. If you compare this data to atmospheric CO2 levels, there is a strong correlation. This is not the smoking gun you may be looking for but it is strong evidence that there is a connection.

The question you have to ask yourself is can we afford to wait until we have proof positive before we begin to do something. Your comment about scaremongers makes is sound like reducing our consumption of oil and gas is a bad thing. With crude oil at $70 a barrel and population projected to double in the next 50 years, shouldn't we be thinking about alternate energy sources now?

American's have always prided themselves on leaving the world a better place for their children. If we do something now and the global warming theory is false, then what harm have we done? But if we do nothing and the theory proves out, our descendants could suffer for generations.

7:27 PM  
Blogger The Scribe said...

Camanintx, good commentary. But what happens if global warming is indeed occurring and man's activity has nothing to do with it? Will that be enough to make you get down on your knees and join us in calling upon the name of the Lord?

When I shut up the heavens so that there is no rain, or command locusts to devour the land or send a plague among my people, if my people, who are called by my name, will humble themselves and pray and seek my face and turn from their wicked ways, then will I hear from heaven and will forgive their sin and will heal their land.
2 Chronicles 7:13-14

9:35 PM  
Anonymous camanintx said...

If global warming is indeed occurring and man's activity has nothing to do with it, what makes you think the lord will listen to us? Wouldn't that make global warming part of some larger plan that we just don't understand?

Whether global warming is caused by man or not, experts agree that there are many things we can do about it, besides praying. The only question is are we willing to do it. After all, doesn't God help those who help themselves?

1:20 PM  

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