Climate change has become a contentious issue over the years and there is a lot of speculation and interpretation of data that has taken place. When trying to explain issues using science it is important to leave politics and agendas out of the equation for the sake of arriving at the truth. There are many that will dispute conclusions based on the best available facts and arrive at their own conclusions based on little or no fact. People are free to think whatever they like but the truth will always be the truth.
According to a large and compelling body of evidence, the earth is now on the brink of another ice age. The many sources of data that provide our knowledge base of long term climate change, which includes ice cores, ocean sediment cores, the geologic record and studies of ancient plant and animal populations indicate the 12,000 year long Holocene period will soon be coming to an end. All records indicate a regular cyclic pattern of ice age glacial maximums which last about 100,000 years separated by interglacial periods lasting about 12,000 years. Part of this cyclic pattern are the three Milankovich cycles.
The three Milankovich cycles include
1) The tilt of the earth that varies over a 41,000 year period. The tilt varies from 22.1 to 24.5 degrees. Our current 23.45 degree tilt is right in the middle.
2) The shape of the earths orbit, changes over a period of about 100,000 years. Currently our planets orbit is almost a perfect circle. It will change from a circle to an ellipse (oval) then back again. In an elliptical orbit the solar energy received would make the perihelion a much warmer time of the year than the aphelion.
3) The procession of the Equinoxes, which gradually rotates the direction of the earths axis over a period of 22,000 years. In about 11,000 years the axis of the Earth will be pointing at Vega from its current alignment with Polaris which will give the Northern Hemisphere summer in December and winter in June.
According to the Milankovich theory of ice age causation, the three cycles each of which affects the solar radiation reaching earth, act together producing the cycle of cold ice age maximums and warm interglacial periods. The combination of the 41,000 year tilt cycle and the 22,000 year precession cycle combined with the smaller eccentricity affect the severity of summer and winter and are thought to control the growth and retreat of ice sheets.
Theory suggests that the primary driver of ice ages is the total summer radiation received in northern latitude zones where major ice sheets have formed in the past near 65N degrees north. Astronomical calculations show that 65N summer insolation should increase gradually over the next 25,000 years and no ice age is expected in the next 50,000 – 100,000 years.
While some believe total solar irradiance is a driver of climate, some research has singled out solar UV radiation as a major driver of climate from the upper atmosphere down to the earths surface. It could be the cause of a sudden climate shift 2,800 years ago during a solar minimum.
In the 1970’s Carl Sagon and other scientists began promoting the theory that greenhouse gasses like CO2 produced by human industries could lead to global warming. The central piece of evidence cited is the hockey stick graph cited by Al Gore and shows an upward spike in global temperatures beginning in the 1970’s continuing through the winter of 2006-07. This warming trend was interrupted by the deepest snow cover in the Northern Hemisphere since 1966 and the coldest temperatures since 2001.
The major flaw in the AGW theory is that its proponents focus on evidence from the last 1,000 years and ignore evidence from the past 1 million years which is necessary for a true understanding of climatology. The data from paleoclimatology provides a more credible explanation for the recent temperature spikes, based on the natural cycle of ice ages.
During the 1990s, ice cores from Russias Vostok station in Antarctica provided a record of global atmospheric temperatures, CO2 and other greenhouse gasses and airborne particulates from 420,000 years ago until the present time.
The graph of the Vostok ice core data indicate that ice age maximums and warm interglacials occur at regular cyclic patterns. It also shows changes in global CO2 lag behind global temperature change by about 800 years. This indicates global temperatures precede or cause global CO2 changes. The natural cyclic rise of global temperature is causing global CO2 to rise, not the reverse.
The reason CO2 levels rise and fall in response to global temperatures is because cold water is capable of retaining more CO2 than warm water. The earth is currently warming as a result of the natural ice age cycle, and as the oceans warm they release increasing amounts of CO2 into the atmosphere. When the oceans begin to cool in response to lower global temperatures they will begin to absorb CO2 from the atmosphere. Because CO2 levels lag global temperatures by 800 years, we will be 800 years into the next ice age before CO2 levels begin to decrease.
Within the natural cycle, about every 110,000 years, global temperatures followed by global CO2 levels have peaked at approximately the same levels which they are today. This indicates we are now near the peak of the interglacial period and it is about to change. The data from paleoclimatology including ice cores, sea sediments, geology, paleobotany and zoology indicate we are now on the brink of another ice age and the data also shows severe and lasting climate change can occur within a few years.
The change could be gradual or it could be very sudden. Whether we want to acknowledge it or not, we need to pay attention to the historical record and prepare ourselves for any contingency. Instead of worry over the dubious threat of AGW, we need to focus on the real threat that could potentially render large portions of the Northern Hemisphere uninhabitable.
When could we see the shift? When dealing with time spans of this magnitude it is difficult to give exact dates but Habibullo Abdussamatov, head of space research at Pulkovo Astronomical Observatory in St. Petersburg, Russia has stated that he believes we will enter a little ice age in 2018 following this solar maximum. If he is correct the people will need to be given an honest assessment of the situation so they can determine what if any preparations they need to begin making. When it comes to Earth changes that affect billions of people, politics and agendas need to be set aside because the truth has no agenda. Either way this climate change goes, it should be apparent by 2019.