Max Rasmussen has it right, for those with the long view, ice ages are a serious threat to civilization. The cycles are poorly understood from a theoretical point of view [lots of theories, theorists sometimes in error, never in doubt], and well documented experimentally.
The real issue is not that the average temperature may be increasing, it may, but it may have little to do with fossil fuel burning or other gases. The possibility that such atmospheric additions may be delaying the next ice age should be considered. I attach a rant from the latest issue of my zine 'Another Premature Expostulation' issue 4.1. -Jay
Is global warming trendy pseudo science with a statist control eco- agenda?
Or is it a climatological fluctuation or man made effect saving us by
delaying the next ice age? The basic physics, of increased carbon dioxide
(CO2) and increased temperature is well known. The historical data for the
last few hundred thousand years seems to show this. But it is not clear, does
warming cause increased CO2, or does increased CO2 cause warming? In either
case, the CO2 levels go up and down naturally, thousands of years before
humans burned hydrocarbon fuel. Even more interesting are the cyclical
patterns of cooling and warming every few 10,000 years or so. There are
several frequencies of cycles in both the CO2 and temperature data. The cause
of these big cycles and little cycles is still unknown. Numerous theories
have linked some fluctuations to earth's orbit, or continental drift, but
subtle links to solar activity cycles has recently come forward. I am
currently placing my bets on a slightly brighter sun, as a major factor in the
current warming. Some models use a complex feedback between glaciation,
rocks being ground into rock dust, and plant growth to explain CO2
fluctuations. There are tiny climate fluctuations and patterns perhaps best
explained with fractal mathematics or chaos theory as applied to dynamical
systems. Rather than get whipped up into climatic speculation, let us look at
the data. Any prediction of future warming must be seen as a further blip
continuing on the graphs we have from paleo-meteorology. Lots of hard work
has been done figuring out the temperature history of the earth. Numerous
ice cores, ocean sediment cores, chemical analyses later, scientists have
charted the temperature over the past thousands even million years. Dates
and temperatures are correlated through historical records, tree rings, pollen
counts, and isotope ratios of oxygen in ice. The real data are usually not
shown in the newspapers, so the average citizen has no context to decide if a
next 100 years is significant. The media at the behest of government environmental scare mongers has no interest in displaying the facts. The facts are that the global climate fluctuates all of the time. Who is to say that the current climate is optimum? Examination of the data indicates it is certainly not stable. A “global warming investigator” 130,000 years ago, looking at the data, would come to the conclusion that the CO2 is increasing, and the climate is warming. “ Oh NO” Grok, “we had better stop burning those camp fires !” Why do we assume stability, when the data do not support our fond hopes.
Global warming proponents claim the earth will be warmer in the next century than ever before. Wrong, 130,000 years ago, the earth was much warmer than today. Carbon dioxide was also higher. You can check the data for your selves. The Vostok ice core data ia available on the web. Point your browser to http://ingrid.ldgo.columbia.edu. Go to their search engin, type Vostok, and follow the links. More recently, there was a warmer period called the medieval optimum. In the history this coincided with the age of the Vikings.
>From the year 900 to 1200 the climate in the northern hemisphere was warmer
than today.. Oats and barley were regularly grown in Iceland. There were wine vineyards in England. Canadian forests were tens of kilometers north of present lines and the Vikings inhabited Greenland. All totalled, climate estimates are 1.8 to 3.6F warmer than today. This warm spell did not last, by the 14th century, the Vikings abandoned their northern settlements, and the English vineyards declined. There was a mini-ice age after 1450AD to about 1650, where glaciers in Europe advanced, springs were delayed sufficiently to cause crop failures. Canals in Holland, normally ice free, were frozen over along with the Thames. This is associated with a sunspot minimum, known as the Maunder minimum, where solar activity was quite low. The current “interglacial period” is quite warm. This is good. If we slide back into an ice age (as scientists were predicting in the 1950 and 1960s), a 200 foot thick sheet of ice grinding over our houses and farms would be really a drag. I have also hear the argument that the , “yes there are climate fluctuations”, but humanity is changing things faster than previous cycles. Wrong, the warming after the “Younger Dryas cooling” 11,500 years ago was rapid. An estimated 7C rise in nearly 50 years. No man-made CO2emissions to blame there.
Current international pressure, UN stuff, with Al Gore (acts like Gort sounds like Gort) cheerfully making impassioned pleas for governmental controls on green house emissions. Gore is quoted as saying that the threat of global warming is the greatest threat the country faces. Really, more than poverty, more than declining wages for the workers, more than an uneducated population? But when Gore heard that Dr. Fred Singer was going to be on Larry King, he cancelled his appearance, saying he could not come under those circumstances. Dr. Singer, Professor of Atmospheric physics, member of the Geophysical Union, former official at NASA and the EPA, challenges the government global warming proponents to a debate on the scientific evidence for the hypothetical warming. No global warming advocates are forthcoming to debate the validity of the evidence. The Kyoto conference was a sham, treating the global warming/CO2 link as a given. No debate, just reductions of 7% below the 1990 emission levels for the US. Based on what? All this is policy based upon software models, complex computer simulations, where the outcomes involve major economic impacts. The state of current climate models is rather crude, as can be seen in the accuracy of rudimentary weather prediction. The warming partisans cannot predict the weather accurately two days or weeks ahead, but blithely assert predictions based on simulations 20 and 200 years ahead. The warming propagandists and government activists frequently fail to mention the green house gas with the largest impact . What is it? Water vapor ! Many uncertainties exist in the models, such as the many feed back processes, involving the oceans, or the way to model clouds. One of the big feed back mechanisms is the reflection of solar energy (heat) by clouds back into space. When the earth heats up, more clouds form, reflecting more energy back into space, causing a cooling effect. Clouds are subtle, their fractal variety is still beyond a computer simulations plugging s
reflectivity coefficient or formula into the computer code. There are problems with the models prediction of regional warming. One recent model that predicted an average warming due to CO2 emissions, showed areas as big as western Canada warming, when actually a cooling was observed. Antarctica is getting cooler. One model predicts this , many others do not describe this empirical finding.
And much recent data, empirical temperature measurements, shows a cooling.
The earth may show a small warming at the surface, but satellite measurements
show the atmosphere cooling slightly. While some may say, these issues are
complex, so we defer to the preponderance of scientific opinion on global
warming. But the consensus of scientists is not nearly so monolithic as the
main stream press would have us believe. Dr. Singer has a statement opposing
the global warming hysteria, signed by over 100 PhDs, top professors of
meterology (U of I , MIT U of Arizona...), weather service directors etc.
Check the URL www.his.com/~sepp . The decision is too important to leave to
speculation. The computer models are not that accurate ! On shaky grounds
for science, and possessing powerful rhetoric, why does the
enviroestablishment want a reduction of economic activity? Their vision is
that of zero population growth, less industry, returning to a totally
unrealistic idyllic rural ecotopia. Instead of viewing more people as a
valuable resource, they view more people as a burden. This is the misrabilist
view point. The more people we have, the more ideas, the more crafty
inventiveness, and problem solving we also have. Implicit in this is the
rate of solving problems is greater than the rate of creating problems. This
assumes that people are educated and skillful in technical methods.
Or the misguided policy might be a plan to stabilize the gap between wealthy
Americans or countries and the poorer citizens or developing countries. The
earth’s rotation is slowing down also. Do we expect a massive government
effort to speed up the rotation? The bureaucrats want to create an atmosphere
where the government will solve all of our problems. It is the old
centralized control model, which proved too slow for the communist
bureaucracies to prepare for the 21st century. For the centralized
bureaucrats, a global warming control agenda is a wonderful exercise in self
William Calvin, in his wonderful book, The Ascent of Mind, (source for some of the temperature graphs in this expostulation) has made an excellent case that the warming and cooling associated with the ice age cycle has been a major influence for the increase of human intelligence and evolution. Will the current temperature changes spur further gain in intelligence? Or, will the natural changes, be a used as a weapon for the benighted forces of stupidity and regression? Instead, the world should realize that the earth is a fragile spaceship. We should be preparing a life boat. Humanity needs to exercise the ultimate manifest destiny, and look towards space migration. Or perhaps we should spend billions on a climate control system. Some have proposed large attenuators, placed in space , adjusted to damp out fluctuations in the sun’s output. Only great geniuses like Freeman Dyson think on such grand terms!
Max M Rasmussen wrote...
"...As far as i remember it's been about 20.000 years since the last Ice age,
and before that there were ice ages about every 2000 years. The research
also showed that the weather pattern could change in as little as 25 years.
That is 25 years from "normal" weather to a new ice age.
It therefore seems logical that we will have another ice age again.
Furthermore it can be here in 25 years. Nobody knows.
If our "friend" nature can do this, and almost absolutely certainly. Why
then care that much about heating. Naturally we cannot just treat the
ecosphere as we please, but I find that it would be better to find some long
term solutions to the problem.
You know what I mean. "The human race is to important a species to keep all
of it's eggs in one basket" (Don't remember the exact quote but it should be
(The global heating will probably solve itself as we run out of energy
resources ;-) )..."