by Laurence Hecht
21st Century Science & Technology
January 14, 2009
from LaRouchePAC Website
Global warming fears aside, all students of climate science know that the Earth is presently in an Ice Age and has been for approximately the past 2 to 2.5 million years.
This Ice Age has been characterized by successive advances and retreats of a glacial ice sheet, originating in Greenland and extending across the northern portions of the North American and Eurasian continents. Just 12,000 years ago, the undisputed geological evidence shows that New York, Chicago, and all of North America up to the Arctic regions were under a sheet of ice, estimated to have been from 1 to 2 miles thick.
Mountain glaciers also extended downward
from the Rocky Mountains and the Appalachians in regions further to
the south than the main glacial mass. A similar situation prevailed
over most of Germany, northern France, the British Isles,
Scandinavia, Poland and other parts of eastern Europe, and Russia.
Before that, a short period known as an interglacial had allowed for a warm climate somewhat like the present, and before it another extended period of glacial advance. The thaw which produced our present geography - the Great Lakes, the southward flowing Ohio River, and much else we take for granted - was not completed until about 8,000 to 9,000 years ago, according to the best estimates of geologists and climatologists.
Not only were there changes in the internal geography, but the continental boundaries were also greatly changed during the glacial period. Calculations of the volume of water that must have been contained frozen in the continental glaciers, indicate that the global sea level, was lower by as much as 300 to 400 feet at times of glacial advance.
A glaciation does not mean sea level
rise, but a sharp fall in sea level exposing the continental
shelf for miles out to sea. Much of the coastal-dwelling
civilization of the past 100,000 or more years, thus lies buried
offshore beneath hundreds of feet of ocean.
The most plausible theory of the causes
of the ice ages, the theory of astronomical determination, suggests
that the time is ripe for it to happen sometime soon. A Jan. 11
article in the online edition of the Russian daily Pravda was
on the Brink of an Ice Age."
Here's what the Russians are talking
There are three major cycles of change in the Sun-Earth relationship, all of them related to the discovery of Johannes Kepler that the orbit of the Earth is not a circle, but an ellipse with a difference between nearest and farthest approach to the Sun of about 3 to 4 million miles.
The first of these cycles, known as the precession of the equinox, was known to the ancient Vedic astronomers. It is a cycle of approximately 26,000 years, produced by the wobble of the Earth's axis.
Corrected for another phenomenon known as the advance of the perihelion, it means that about every 21,000 years, the direction of the tilt of the Earth's axis is such that Summer in the northern hemisphere is occurring when Earth finds itself at the point in its orbit most distant from the Sun.
The two other important cycles are:
The suggestion of an astronomical climate driver was first advanced in 1830 by the English astronomer John Herschel, son of the German musician Wilhelm Herschel who emigrated to England in the 18th century and founded modern observational astronomy.
Studies of the advance and retreat of Alpine glaciers next prompted the Swiss-born American scientist Louis Agassiz to suggest that such changes might occur on a broader scale forming continental ice sheets which could account for many hitherto unexplained geological phenomena. Attempts at developing an astronomical causation for such large-scale glacial activity were tried by French mathematician Joseph Adhemar (1842) and later in the 19th Century by the Scottish autodidact James Croll.
The modern version of the theory originated with the astronomer-meteorologist Vladimir Köppen. Born in St. Petersburg and educated at Heidelberg, Köppen was employed at the German Marine Observatory at Hamburg when he first recognized that it was not an extremely cold Winter, but rather a cool Summer that was required for glacial advance.
If, during the short Summers in the high
northern latitudes, the amount of solar radiation was insufficient
to melt back the snow and ice that had formed over the Winter
period, there would be glacial advance. Allow this to continue for
year after year, and a sheet of ice might develop its own momentum,
utilizing its high reflectivity for sunlight as a protective shield
for maintaining cool surrounding airs.
In order to see how a glaciation might begin, conceive of the Earth-Sun relationship as such that while the ellipticity of the orbit is at a maximum (meaning that aphelion is occurring at the greatest possible distance from the Sun), the Earth's axis is so oriented in the precession cycle that northern hemisphere Summer is also occurring at aphelion.
This is the present orbital position of
the Earth with respect to the Sun. The resultant reduction in
insolation will then make it possible that the snow and ice
accumulation which occurred the previous Winter does not melt back
fully. Add to that the effect of a lessened axial tilt (obliquity),
which reduces the amount of Summer insolation, further
contributing to the growth of the ice sheet.
His results suggested that the
40,000-year cycle would be the dominant one.
Urey thought that a careful study of the oxygen isotope ratio in the shells of sea creatures, which build their calcium carbonate shells from oxygen available in the seawater, might serve to indicate the temperature of the water in which they formed. During warmer periods, it was thought, evaporation from the ocean surface would tend to enrich the sea surface water with the heavier isotope of oxygen.
Perhaps, Urey reasoned, the isotope
ratios found in the layers of discarded shells of sea organism which
form the ocean bottom could thus serve as a record for the past
temperatures of the ocean.
Emiliani identified certain species of small shell-forming sea organisms known as foraminifera, which he thought suitable for oxygen-isotope analysis to determine past climates. The conclusions he drew as to the dating of the ice ages were constantly challenged by leading oceanographers, who found them in contradiction with their studies of ocean bottom cores.
The method was also attacked on the
grounds that it wasn't clear that the creatures formed their shells,
known as tests, near enough to the surface to reflect changes in
These might be detected in the foraminifera layers found in the ocean bottom cores. Again there are many ifs, but Shackleton examined isotopic ratios of snows in Alpine and Arctic regions as well as many other factors to bolster his hypothesis. In the 1970s a National Science Foundation-funded program of oceanographic studies, known as CLIMAP, collected a large number of sediment cores from different parts of the world ocean.
The program, known as the Decade of the Oceans, was run in conjunction with some flawed statistical approaches to modeling of global atmospheric circulation that had originated in efforts of John von Neumann to use computer modeling for studies of weather modification. However, analysis of the oxygen isotopic ratios of foraminifera found in the undersea cores suggested to a team working at the Lamont-Doherty Geological Laboratory that there was a definite signal of 100,000 year cyclicity.
Dr. John Imbrie, who ran the
computer programs analyzing the data, was the first to hypothesize
that the periodicities were caused by the Milankovitch orbital
By the theory of the orbital cycles, the evidence from the undersea cores explained that a major glaciation would be set off about every 100,000 years, followed by a short period known as an interglacial, a melt back lasting about 10,000 to 12,000 years. By the calculations of astronomers, the present interglacial, which has lasted about 11,000 years, is due to end any time. Indeed we have been in a period of long-term cooling for more than 6,000 years.
The maximum summer temperature experienced in Europe over the last 10,000 years occurred about 6000 B.C. Over North America, where the process of glacial retreat lagged somewhat, the maximum was reached by about 4000 B.C.
These estimates based on a vast array of
evidence from geology, botany, and many other fields are consistent
with the orbital theory of climate, for the northern hemisphere
Summer would have been occurring at a point in Earth's orbit much
nearer to the Sun than presently.
And for a short time in the 1970s, we did. However, other forces were at work. The intent of the shapers of global policy grouped around the banner of Anglo-Dutch financial oligarchy, was to use the thaw in U.S.-Soviet relations that had been signaled by the limited nuclear Test Ban Treaty of 1963 to accomplish the phased destruction of the scientific research capabilities of the leading powers, especially the United States.
The manipulation of popular opinion
against science, first by the Bertrand Russell-led nuclear
weapons test scare, then by a succession of environmental hoaxes
originating with the widespread circulation of Rachel Carson's
1962 Silent Spring, was to be the leading weapon in this
assault on the idea of scientific progress itself.
Scares about a new ice age were all very well, but to really channel popular opinion against scientific development, it was much more effective to blame modern industrial activity—the carbon dioxide produced from burning of fossil fuels—for the danger.
Titled "The Atmosphere - Endangered and Endangering," the conference theme was that scientists must not worry so much about accuracy and complex ideas, but streamline, simplify, and if necessary distort their results in order to more effectively mobilize policy makers and public opinion against the alleged dangers of greenhouse gases.
It was a naked attempt to misuse science to drive the real agenda of reducing population by stopping the spread of scientific and industrial progress. Among the leading participants were three top students of Malthusian Paul Ehrlich.
One of them Stanford University climatologist and global warming scaremonger Stephen Schneider, later became notorious by carrying the spirit of the conference into a 1989 interview with Discover magazine:
This was the origin of Al Gore's campaign.
Prior to that, the theory of anthropogenic global warming was no more than an also-ran. Although the notion that the carbon dioxide output of human industry might affect global climate had been proposed in the 1890s, repeated attempts to measure its effects had shown no significant influence. To generate a global warming scare required a mobilization of resources and funding to universities and institutions on an unprecedented scale.
By the early 1990s expenditures to aid
the were reaching into the billions of dollars a year; from 2001 to
2007 annual government funding for to the global warming scare
industry had reached $5 billion.
That is now over. In the decade since 1998, the averaged global temperature has fallen about 0.6 degrees C, canceling the entire increase in average temperature that had been claimed for the prior century, based on microwave sensor satellite data from the Marshall Spaceflight Center analyzed by Drs. John Christie and Roy Spencer at the University of Alabama in Huntsville.
Recently, the index of sunspot activity, a measure which correlates with the output of heat radiation from the Sun, has fallen to lows not seen since 1913. Apart from changes in the orbital configuration, the output of the Sun itself affects climate, both directly as heat and through indirect means. For example, the solar wind, the output of charged particles form the Sun, affects the influx of cosmic rays.
Cosmic rays, it has recently been demonstrated, may play a crucial part in generating the seed crystals around which clouds form. More cosmic radiation entering the Earth's atmosphere, because of a weaker Sun, may mean more cloud cover and more global cooling. The Sun is known to go through 11-year cycles of increase and decrease in its output.
But the recent cycle has been so weak that some specialists fear we are entering another Dalton Minimum, the period from 1790 to 1830—in the midst of the Little Ice Age—when sunspot activity was at a similar low. Astronomer Khabibullo Abdusamatov of Russia's Pulkovo Observatory predicted in 2005 that solar activity was about to decline, and a new cooling would ensue.
Last year, Russian Academician Dr.
Oleg Sorokhtin advised the world to "stock up on fur coats."
Sorokhtin predicted the occurrence of a solar minimum by the year
2040, and a prolonged period of glaciation following.
Isn't it time to stop being a sucker for
the fear-mongering of people with another agenda - a very evil
agenda whose end result will be the
reduction of world population from its current
level of 5 to 6 billion to less than 2 billion souls,
with the concomitant dissolution into perpetual war, famine and
human misery that such a plan must entail?