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Geology and Climate Change – Should We Have Entered a New Ice Age?

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I was reading someone saying that they believe we are supposed to be moving into a new ice age, but that the Industrial Revolution and man made global warming has halted this progress. Now, this is by no means a new idea, but it’s still a very interesting concept. The answer to this is basically “up in the air” and demands a considerable amount of careful thought, in order to even try to conceive of an answer. Since climatology is a heated topic in today’s media climate, it’s a topic very much worth discussing. However, there’s a crap-ton of geological data and knowledge to get through on this topic of whether we’re moving into a new ice age or not, which is more than what most people can fathom. Still, I think it would serve people well to try and understand climate from a geological perspective. Here’s a not-so-quick run-through of what I think I’ve understood from it all, as the humble Sociologist that I am, using some helpful non-geological terminology, in order to make sense of the material:

Let’s just skip the concept of global eras in Earth’s history, that span upwards to billion year length time scales. It makes more sense to jump straight into the Quaternary period, which is the current period on Earth that we live in (which has been going on for the past 2.588 million years), within which the great diversification of mammals has been going on.

Let’s call the Quaternary period a “super-macro level timespan” of climate. These “super-macro” periods switch between either warm and cool trends. Our current period is a cool one, as it’s been characterized by the constant growth and decay of continental ice sheets. This is actually called an ice age, and goes by the name “the current ice age”, and we’re in the middle of it. This is not what most people would call an ice age, which I believe are actually called glacial ages in geology. So let’s call this current ice age a cool period instead, to keep things consistent.

Within this cool period on a gigantic scale, we have a “macro level timespan” of climate that are called epochs. These epochs are also either trends of warming and cooling. Cool epochs are defined by the Earth being covered by big glaciers and constant ice, and these are called glacial epochs. Warm epochs are defined by receding glaciers and ice on Earth, and these are called interglacial epochs.

On a “meso level timespan”, these epochs are then divided further into warm and cool ages. A cool age is called a glacial age, where you have vast and/or expanding ice sheets covering parts of the Earth’s surface, while warm ages are called interglacial ages, where you have receding ice sheets, but still with some ice sheets covering some land. On a “micro level timespan”, you can also find strictly regional variations of cooling and warming, and this is where things become extra interesting, not to mention confusing to “climate change” models. Heck, there are even “nano level timespans”, where you have warming or cooling trends lasting a few decades. This would, for instance, be the global cooling trend in the 60s and 70s, and the global warming trend of the 80s and early 90s. I’m not gonna bother talking about them here, so let’s ignore the nano level.

To sum it up, we are talking in terms of four different timespans of climate, from longest to shortest:

  • Super-macro level: Periods. Cool or warm.
  • Macro level: Epochs. Glacial or interglacial.
  • Meso level: Ages. Glacial or interglacial.
  • Micro level: Err… something. Let’s call them trends! Cool or warm.

At the moment, we’re in an interglacial age on the “meso level”, which started about 11 000 years ago. This age is actually also the first age of a new epoch, called the Holocene epoch. Yes, we may indeed have “just” entered an interglacial epoch, because the last epoch, the Pleistocene epoch, which ended about 11 000 years ago, was a glacial epoch. In other words, the last epoch was characterized by what we would call ice ages, or glacial ages, to be consistent. I think it’s still unknown where our epoch fits into the whole mess. We’re still in the greater “super-macro level” cool period in general, because there are big areas which are still constantly covered by glaciers, yet, we’re not in a glacial age, since glaciers have receded and aren’t covering vast lands on the northern and southern hemisphere. We won’t know what our epoch contains for thousands of years still, but it’s natural to think it could be an interglacial epoch, since the generally warm data during the current epoch suggests as much.

It is however worth asking: Maybe our interglacial epoch is just an interglacial age within the continued glacial epoch that we supposedly left of? Or put differently: Our new epoch is a glacial epoch, but we’ve started it off with an interglacial age? Maybe. I don’t know why we can call our age a part of a new epoch yet. Our epoch, the Holocene epoch, translates to the “the wholly new/entirely recent”. I’m guessing it might be linked with the recent spread and great explosion of human life and civilization on Earth during this current warm age, beginning after the last ice age. In other words, what the future holds is left to be seen.

In any case, there are temperature swings within both glacial and interglacial epochs, and also within cool periods. Since we’ve been in a “meso level” interglacial age for the past 11 000 years, this means that glaciers are expected to be receding, yet still existent. This is exactly what we see today. Just as expected.

Within this current interglacial age on the “meso level”, however, you also have smaller intervals of warming and cooling trends on the “micro level”. These are often quite regional and not global. The last warm trend, at least in the West, was during the Ancient times and through the Middle Ages, up until a cooling trend happened during the “Little Ice Age”, from the 1200s up to the mid 1800s. The “Little Ice Age” was quite cold by interglacial standards, but not compared to glacial standards, where half of Europe etc would probably be covered in tundra and ice. Since we’re in an interglacial age and an interglacial epoch, we should not expect to see ice covering most of the northern or southern hemisphere, and we shouldn’t see substantially increasing ice sheets. We should see receding ice sheets, yet some areas still covered in ice. Again, this is what we see.

Question is, have we naturally moved out of the quite cool “Little Ice Age” and just begun a “micro level” trend of warming, within the “meso level” warm interglacial age, within the “macro level” warm interglacial epoch, within the “super-macro level” cool period on Earth? Or did we prematurely halt the “Little Ice Age” by the dawn of industrialization and pollution, and kicked off a warming trend by man made means, before a natural warming trend were going to begin?

These are the actual questions to the assumption made in the introduction, and while some might believe we should be heading into a new ice age, we just don’t know the answer to this. It’s the big seven-hundred-and-eighty-ounces-of-gold question!

We do know, however, that we’ve earlier gone through much warmer trends than what we’re currently experiencing, without man made causes possibly affecting the climate, so it’s natural to think that what we’re experiencing are completely natural variations of the Earth’s climate, within this interglacial age and epoch that we’re in. Heck, we also know that the former glacial epoch, namely the Pleistocene epoch, lasting for over 2 million years and ending 11 000 years ago, and covering big parts of the northern hemisphere with constant ice for most of the time, had several quite warm interglacial ages within it. In fact, the last interglacial age, which was within the Pleistocene glacial epoch, reached temperatures that are much warmer than our current temperatures.

Indeed, many interglacial ages have existed before ours. We have only been in the current interglacial epoch, namely the Holocene epoch, for 11 000 years, where we’ve started off with an interglacial age. In other words, there’s no reason to believe that we should be moving back into a glacial trend as of now. If anything, we should probably see further warming! At this very moment in time, we’re also below the Holocene mean temperature. What we’re experiencing today is actually quite cold temperatures, relative to what we should expect from the geological age we’re in. If the last interglacial age, during the Pleistocene glacial epoch, is any benchmark for what we should expect, we’ve yet to reach out peak temperatures.

And the peak temperature is key. This defines the high point of temperatures during an age. Some suspect the peak temperature during our current age was a couple of thousand years BC. This is at least assumed to be the case, and it’s sits in the middle of the current timeline of our current age too. That could be true. But it’s equally conceivable that we’ve yet to see the peak temperatures, and that the “Little Ice Age” was more of a low point before a greater warming period. Not to mention, our interglacial age could go on for thousands of years still. Again, during this current global warming trend, since the last 1800s, we’ve yet to reach the mean temperatures of the Holocene epoch as a whole. We’re not experiencing hot temperatures by any means.

So where does this leave us? Well, global warming calculations depend on data that begin right AFTER the Little Ace Age, which was a very cold trend within our current warm age and epoch. The global warming calculations also cannot control for variations spanning a few decades, which has lead them on to pre-mature conclusions, like “global cooling” and “global warming”, having now settled on the impenetrable “climate change” brand. The important question today is, is it “man made” or not?

Considering we should easily be experiencing a warmer climate than what we’re currently doing, seeing as we’re under mean temperature that we should expect, and seeing as climate change models depend on a false low as their starting point, which means they are measuring a completely expected and fairly rapid warming trend, with or without man made CO2 release, one can begin to wonder what the HELL “man made climate change” is all about.

So, finally! Should we have entered a new ice age by now? I think the answer is no, we’re not supposed to be heading into a new ice age. There’s no reason to believe so, at least. We are currently seeing stuff that we should expect to see, since we’re in an interglacial age, where we could expect warmer temperatures still. No surprises here. We might move into a new glacial age soon, but it will take a long time to see temperature move decidedly in that direction. We’re talking time spans of thousands of years here. As of now, we’re simply moving through a warmer trend after a cold trend. These are natural fluctuations. No worries.

But let’s not stop there. I’ll take you one further: The Industrial Revolution didn’t stall anything. It hasn’t affected the temperatures once single bit. How so? Well, let’s address more issues linked with this, like the theories of “man made climate change” and CO2 models. Cause last, but not least, all of the temperature data, both current measurements and historical ice core data, show that spikes in CO2 only follow rises in temperatures. While historical ice core data could show a lag in CO2 storage, meaning CO2 could have spiked long before it got stored in the ice core samples, current direct measurements cannot be analyzed in the same way, and current data show the same as historical ice core data, namely that temperature rose first. This means that CO2 does not drive temperature levels, but rather it’s entirely plausible to say that temperature drives CO2 levels! Yes, there’s a correlation here, but an opposite correlation of what the “man made climate change” models predict. THIS explains why they were lead down a mistaken road. THIS is why they predicted a rise in temperatures for the past 15-18 years, which didn’t happen, simply because they had their models backwards. THIS is why CO2 levels continue to rise now, after temperatures have leveled out, because they could be rising as a product of the last period of warming, which happened during the 80s and early 90s. This is a plausible, competing theory to the absurdity of man made climate change. Whatever we as humans contribute to it seem not to matter at all.

Gosh. Does this mean that geology contradicts the claims of current climatology? It most certainly could look that way. Does this mean that climatology is not consistent with geological data? Well, not quite. “Man made climate change” theories could indeed coexist with the geological theories that depict the info I’ve gone through here. I have not debunked “man made climate change” as such, but my point is, the current “man made climate change” theories are simply not convincing at all, and there’s no reason to think that geological data support what the “man made climate change” theories claim. You can equally say that geological data support theories that say the current warming trends are natural fluctuations to be expected. The “man made climate change” theories are simply riddled with mistakes and a lack of prediction power, even when we talk about decades! Yes, not years, but decades! How the hell can we then trust them to say ANYTHING worthwhile about what will happen in 2050, let alone about year 2500, if they can’t even explain the past 50 or 100 years? The real world applications of these models are extremely poor. They haven’t helped us one single bit.

Now, should we stop modelling the climate? No! Absolutely not. We should continue to try and improve on our ability to model the climate! But should we stick to the whole CO2 story? No, it’s time we threw it out and started to look for other variables and causalities, and maybe we should begin to consider that humanity does not drive climate change at all.

To be able to do so, we need to get governments and politics out of climate science, because it corrupts the scientific debate and destroys real science, turning it into bad science and garbage pseudo-science. Climate change has become a religion; a cause for socialist activism! These activists are suffering from so much cognitive dissonance, that it has become sickening, and at this current rate, they’ll destroy all of us and every ounce of prosperity that we have. Climate change fundamentalists are evil and need to be fought, tooth and nail.

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Written by Morten Rolland

January 31, 2015 at 6:05 am