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The Ice Age: 6-in-1 Flank
The Ice Age Earth is uninhabitable. It is near. The exploration takes us to the Sun, solar wind, Little Ice Age, ice cores, glaciation, NASA's Ulysses, and for living on an uninhabitable Ice Planet, to Infrastructures, Energy, Water, Climate, Economics, Politics, Cooperation
The near Ice Age opens up a weak flank in every one of these arenas of crisis that have been getting worse in recent years, because incremental solutions don't solve anything anymore. We got stuck in these areas, because fundamental transformations are required for advanced platforms to be established that lay outside the scope of a small-minded world.
The near Ice Age imposes a challenge for which grand solutions are required that are of a type and magnitude for which higher-level platforms are needed, because anything less offers no hope. In this context the near Ice Age becomes our salvation.
When the Challenge is recognized, it becomes a wakeup call for us, to become more fully human.
But will we wake up? That's the critical question. At the moment the answer is a resounding NO!
An ancient allegory comes to mind. It is the tale of two city-kingdoms that had been built atop of a major seismic fault line. In the tale, the region's patriarch, named Abraham, receives a message from God, about the dangers that the cities were in. Abraham had an interest in the region, because his nephew had a major livestock operation there.
The city-kingdoms had been located in a lush, green valley, well watered, ideal for grassing livestock.
God warns the patriarch, saying in essence, "When the fault line snaps below that area, those cities, and everything that you see today will be history as if it never existed." He may have added, "Somebody aught to talk to them, and inform them of the danger, and get them to relocate themselves onto safer ground."
In essence, the allegory reflects today's Ice Age Challenge. A phase shift in cosmic dynamics, in roughly 30 years time, promises to render almost all areas of our planet to become uninhabitable, virtually overnight.
The Patriarch might have laughed at God about the premonition, and the suggestion that the people should relocate before the predicted events occur. "That's not possible," he would have said. "Nobody would respond to such a message. There is nobody home with enough humanity in the heart to forsake a way of life for life itself."
"Are they then already dead, all of them?" the voices from God may have asked.
The Patriarch would have replied, "Let me illustrate how hopeless this thing is:
"Suppose I would find twenty people there who would listen. Then I might have a chance."
The voices from God would agree.
"But suppose that I would find only ten who would listen to me. I still might have a chance then. Even if I found only five, or two, or just one. One single person who is really alive and understands the situation, may inspire all the others to get the cities to relocate themselves,"
The voices from God would agree again that one single person would do.
"But where is that one who would actively support me in the task to save those cities?" the Patriarch would reply. "Do you see anyone standing in the hustings speaking for sanity? The hustings are as empty as if everyone was already dead."
And so it came to pass, in the allegory, that the cities Soddom and Ghmorah and their kingdoms vanished from the landscape as if they had never existed, No evidence for them has ever been found.
The allegory, of course, was written a long time ago, but as I said, we face it anew in modern times. In this, the old and the new come together. The Abraham legends have such a deep history that they emerge in some form in all the major western religions - Judaism, Christianity, and Islam, and their derivatives. This means that the challenge of avoiding known, or knowable cataclysmic consequences by intelligent responses, and the difficulties involved, and failures to do so, are already widely recognized in cultural history.
Only this time we face consequences on a vastly larger scale in the form of the Earth becoming essentially an Ice Planet in 30 years or less.
According to several types of corroborating physical evidence, our solar system will undergo a major phase shift in its operational dynamics, whereby the entire planet Earth will become uninhabitable from the 2050s onward and resemble an Ice Planet that we will have to learn to make livable for us for the next 90,000 years.
The Sun's radiated energy will diminish by 70%. All regions outside the tropics become reclaimed by the cold, ice, and snow, and all the lands inside the tropics will become mostly deserts as rainfall diminishes by 80%. All this is known.
It is possible for humanity to relocate itself into the tropics by building itself a new world there with technological infrastructures for meeting its need, such as that the ice age consequences cannot touch.
But is any nation ready to do this? Or is even a single one merely considering it, much less is preparing for it? The count is zero. The hustings are empty. There is no one home.
The consequences, without humanity building itself a new world on the global scale, will then be similar to those that had choked the human presence to such a minuscule density during the last Ice Age, that only 1 to 10 million people emerged from the glaciation times after the Younger Dryas period, and possibly far less from the Older Dryas period more than 15,000 years ago.
The world population was so low after the last Ice Age, and conditions so depressed, that it took humanity 8,000 years to recover itself to a major presence. That's what we are heading back to by facing the Ice Age with us being unprepared for it, such as by building 6,000 new cities in the tropics with new agricultures.
Of the course the present course can still be changed with advanced science ant technology. Modern society became a 7 billion world population with the advance of science, technology, and energy intensive processes. Unfortunately, this is precisely the feature of humanity that is presently being squelched for the political of power, property, and profit. Without science, technology, and energy intensive processes preparing the way for building a new world, the coming Ice Age unfolds as a death trap instead of as a renaissance opportunity.
My point is that humanity has the potential to awake from its death-spiral slumber, and live again as an intelligent species, as it has amply demonstrated to be capable of. But what do we see? We see the hustings empty. The evidence of the Ice Age challenge is hugely around us, but society prefers to remain asleep, obediently and politically correct.
The Ice Age wakeup call began quietly at first, in the late 1990s, right at the height of the global warming scare. On the ground, soil temperature measurements at the Solar Terrestrial Institute in Irkutsk, had reported a sharp cooling trend beginning in 1998.
At the same time measurements by the NASA and ESO Ulysses space mission, reported that the solar wind was diminishing. It was virtually collapsing. It diminished at a rate of 30% in 10 years, which was measured right through to the end of the Ulysses mission in late 2008. The mission had also measured the corresponding solar cosmic-ray flux increasing at a rate of 20% over the same timeframe. These are enormously large changes occurring in such a short period on the cosmic scale.
During the same time we also saw the sunspot cycles diminishing at roughly the same rate as the collapse of the solar wind pressure. The diminishing sunspot numbers reflect diminishing solar activity, which is also reflected in the diminishing solar wind. We literally saw the Sun changing. We saw it diminishing. We have even measured the rate of its changing.
Actually, the diminishing of the Sun began much earlier. It began roughly 3,300 years ago. According to measurements in ice core samples drilled from the Greenland ice sheet, the Earth was getting gradually colder over the last 3,300 years.
That this diminishing trend reflects the Sun itself, is well evident when one compares the ice core climate record with measurable proxies that represent solar activity.
We have three such proxies. One is measured in ratios of the Carbon-14 isotope in historic samples.
The other proxy is measured in Beryllium-10 isotope ratios. And the third proxy is measured in sunspot numbers.
Each of these proxies reflect the intensity of solar activity in historic time.
The isotope ratios stand as proxies for solar activity, because when the Sun is strong, the Sun is surrounded by a dense sphere of plasma which absorbs a large portion of the cosmic rays emitted by the Sun. Since the carbon and beryllium isotopes are created by cosmic rays from the Sun, interacting with the atmosphere, the volume of their presence gives us a measurable value of the strength of the Sun at the specific historic time when the samples were formed.
For example, in the 1600s, when the Sun was so weak that no sunspots occurred at all for almost half a century, the isotope ratios were extremely high, because fewer cosmic rays from the Sun were then blocked by the less-dense corona. As a consequence, large volumes of cosmic rays had impacted the Earth, which results in large isotope ratios. This inverse relationship is correspondingly plotted inversely.
The proxy measurement tell us that the Sun was getting progressively weaker till the end of the 1600s. It is known that prolonged drought conditions, spanning several decades, occurred at this time. It is highly likely that if the weakening of the Sun had continued past the 1600s, into the 1700s, the phase shift for the Sun reverting back to its normal lower-energy state would likely have occurred at this stage, whereby the full Ice Age would have started up with consequences that no one was prepared for at the time, or could even imagine.
Luckily a rescue pulse intercepted the ever-deeper weakening of the Sun. It ramped the Sun back up. It gave us 250 years of solar global warming. But now that the pulse has spent its load, the solar system is fast collapsing back to the weak environment of the 1600s, and to the further diminished background, so that the phase shift to the full Ice Age will happen this time around, in the 2050s, with a high degree of certainty.
The up-ramping pulse that gave us a strong Sun back, with 250 years of global warming, appears to be an anomaly in the short-term context, but it wasn't in the long-term context.
In the long-term context the rescue pulse was a part of a phenomenon that has been discovered in ice core records from the last Ice Age. The same up-pulsing had occurred repeatedly throughout the glaciation period. The pulses occurred at 1470 years intervals.
These Dansgaard Oeschger Oscillations, as the have been called, are enormous events. While they were short-lived in duration, these climate oscillations took us from deep glacial conditions all the way back to near interglacial condition, almost instantly, as if the Sun had been brought back to life for a short period from its glacial default condition. One of these repetitive pulses may have rescued us in the 1700s.
If it was a Dangaard Oescger event that had rescued the Sun from the brink of its phase shift to a lower energy state, then this pulse has been spend.
Once such a pulse is spent, like a dump bucket is spent in water parks when the bucket trips and empties, then it will take some time to fill it back up again. This means that we can't count on a replay of what had rescued us in the 1700s, because the next such occurrence is still more than a thousand years away.
If one considers the enormously fast rate at which the Sun is currently weakening, after the rescue pulse has been spent, the solar wind will diminish to zero in the 2030s, according to the rate of decline measured by the Ulysses spacecraft.
With the solar wind diminished to zero, the first phase ends, and the second phase begins. During the second phase the solar-surface temperature diminishes towards the threshold conditions. At some point in this second collapse phase, one of the plasma primer fields that focus plasma onto the Sun, will likely collapse and vanish.
The primer fields are electromagnetic structures that form at node points in interstellar plasma streams.
These primer fields that form at the node points require a minimal rate of flow and density to operate, below which they cannot form.
When the minimal threshold is not met, the nodes become less pronounced, the plasma less focused, whereby the Sun operates in a less-dense plasma environment, with a surface temperature at around 4,000 degrees Kelvin. This low temperature appears to be a widely evident default temperature for low-powered stars, as most stars in the galaxy presently are. The illustration shown here is highly simplified, of course. We are not at this stage yet, but are getting closer
We are still at the high-powered state, but at the current rate of solar weakening, the phase shift to the low-powered state will likely occur in the 2050s or possibly sooner, and with enormous consequences for us living on the Earth..
When it happens the entire world becomes transformed. The sunlight will be 70% weaker, and the climate correspondingly colder. All areas outside the tropics will thereby become uninhabitable. The cooling will be dramatic.
The famous Little Ice Age of the 1600s gave us a half-a-degree of average cooling, contained in ice core samples, The full Ice Age registered a 20 degrees cooling, or 40 times the cooling that we saw during the little Ice Age. That's what an Ice Planet Earth looks like. That's what we have to prepare for.
In addition, with the weaker sunlight, less water vapor is evaporated from the oceans. Precipitation will diminish accordingly. Ice core samples from Greenland contain 80% less precipitation during glacial conditions. With that much less rain, most land areas of our planet become deserts.
In other words, the entire Earth becomes largely uninhabitable at this point in time when the phase shift to glaciation happens. While the massive climate change doesn't spell doom for humanity, it does impose a strong imperative, urging humanity everywhere, to create itself the required technological infrastructures that enable human living to continue, and civilization to prosper, in an Ice Planet environment.
Sadly, there is no response happening. Society everywhere goes on its marry way, as if our interglacial warm holiday would drag on forever,
The interglacial holiday -
epoch of our civilization
The non-response is not surprising, because the interglacial holiday is all that we've ever known. Too few people had survived the glaciation period that had preceded our holiday from the cold, as if the cold period never existed; and those who had survived had left no record.
Much less does anyone 'remember' the previous interglacial and the evidently chaotic plunge into the deep cold glacial climate, of 120,000 years ago.
The previous interglacial at roughly 135,000 years ago, to 120,000 years ago, had been significantly warmer than the current one. It was likely during this period, that the human presence had developed strongly on all continents.
Prior to this previous interglacial, during the deep glacial period from roughly 160,000 years ago, the human presence had dwindled from tens of thousands to just a few hundred in numbers existing at the southern tip of Africa, in a complex of caves at Pinnacle Point, according to archeological research. The previous Ice Age had evidently a hugely devastating effect.
It is also possible that the numbers dwindled as the result of migration. With Antarctic winter sea ice extending to South Africa, a path may have opened up for migration onto the ice, for the purpose of harvesting sea life. It may have been by the result of this migration that humanity came to Australia and South America. It is highly likely that humanity flourished in all of these areas during the previous interglacial period.
That's speculation of course, but modern sea surface oxygen concentration measurement, which reflect sea surface temperature, suggest that winter sea ice may have extended all the way to South Africa along the blue line.
The startup of the last Ice Age occurred steeply 120,000 years ago that no one was prepared for. How much of humanity was decimated by it will likely never been known. Actually, it hadn't been known until 2004 that this near free-fall collapse had occurred, of the climate, from the previous interglacial period.
The data didn't exist until the results from the North Greenland Ice Coring Project had been collected, and been analyzed. The project had drilled into the ice sheet for 4 seasons, cutting through 3085 meters of ice, till rock-bottom was reached in 2004.
It wasn't until 4 years after that, in 2008, that another set of measurements, this time collected in space by the Ulysses satellite orbiting the Sun in a polar orbit - revealed its own related surprise. It revealed that the same type of solar collapse that we saw evident in the ice was also measured in space in terms of the diminishing solar-wind pressure.
Ulysses measured a near-free-fall rate of collapse in solar activity towards the next Ice Age startup in the 2050s.
We have learned tremendously in the years since the 1700s when the Little Ice age was interrupted. We have learned how the Sun operates, contrary to prevailing myths about it, and have learned how vulnerable it is, and how immensely it affects our climate.
The only thing that we have not yet accomplished, is to acknowledge the numerous, physically measured, scientific discoveries that we have already made that are all by themselves immensely imperative.
The Ulysses mission that gave us the critical measurements of the collapsing solar wind pressure, was a scientific project that took 36 years to complete.
And what's the near worldwide response to what the mission accomplished? The response was to bury the data.
Society is saying to itself in essence, in the sciences as in politics, 'we don't do evidence' - 'we have opinion, we have our feelings, and we have strong confidence in them.'
Society says, that what doesn't harmonize with the Global Warming song simply won't be heard. What doesn't mesh with the described 'correct' opinions becomes buried and is labeled, absurd.
We are back at the stage of Abraham arguing with the voices of God about what it would take for the kingdoms of Soddom and Ghomorrah to be saved.
The current task in our world is to come up with an answer that will work this time.
Three Facts Worth Considering:
The glaciation phase begins in the 2050s.
The entire planet becomes rapidly uninhabitable.
We can avoid the doom with technological infrastructures.
But will we do it? That's key to survival.
There is no need to let things slip so tragically, that it will be said of our civilization by future historians, as in the case of those cities, that they vanished as if they never existed, because they failed to assure their future. We have the capacity today to assure our future. We are not as blind anymore to the forces that shape the world than we had been in ancient times. Maybe this is what the allegory of the vanished cities had been indented to inspire.
The Dead Sea
The deepest salt lake - 997 feed deep,
salinity: 9.6 times as salty as seawater,
its surface is 1,412 feet below sea level,
the main inflow source is the Jordan River
Those cities that supposedly vanished here probably never existed outside the realm of stories designed to explore the principles of civilization. The allegory was most likely a tragic story by design to illustrate that civilization rests on the principle of progress. Cataclysmic stories are of a type that tear society's 'house' down without first building a better house to move into. That's why the rescue of the cities in the story had failed, and why we in our modern time will not fail to meet the Ice Age Challenge.
Our remarkable scientific development in recent time has enabled us to see the future unfolding decades before it happens. We see the future unfolding in space and have measured its progression towards the next glaciation phase.
We also see the future unfolding in historic ice samples projected forward, excavated with great effort from the Antarctic ice domes.
And we can see the future unfolding in on-the-ground measurements, as in Irkutsk, as I had noted before.
There we see the cosmic transition that is already in progress, progressing with evermore and ever-larger fringe effects, such as global cooling.
We also see the future unfolding in the form of increased flooding, larger hurricanes, and deeper and expanding droughts. We see all these fringe effects increasing with increasing ferocity, which we know will continue for the next 30 years. This gives us the time and opportunity build the needed 'new house' before the 'old house' crumbles, and to build a 'better house' than ever before.
We are already awake enough to know, for example, that in 30 years time Canada, Europe, and Russia will cease to exist as livable territories as they become reclaimed by the cold, snow, and ice, and that most of the remaining areas of the world become unlivable likewise, for the lack of water. But we can compensate for all that.
We know that we have the potential to create us a new world in the tropics, with brighter prospects for easier living, which we can bring about as steps of progress.
A new renaissance will then unfold with it in which 6,000 new cities will be constructed in the tropics afloat on the equatorial seas, together with new agricultures that operate in scientifically optimized indoor environments, supplied with unlimited freshwater supplied directly from the sea by deep-ocean-reverse-osmosis desalination, and so on.
Of course a completely new economic, financial, and cultural platform will be required for all this to happen, which needs to happen, and which needs to be orders of magnitude more efficient than the current circus of small-minded pursuits.
Humanity stands at the breakout-point on this path, departing from the doldrums, especially those in the West, where nothing works anymore and poverty and war destroys what had been built.
Our potential for civilization is somewhat comparable to a rock on a beach that has remained buried for eons. But now that a new wind is finally blowing, the sand is blowing away with it, so that what had remained long dormant, suddenly comes to light. As this unfolds, contentment with the past will no longer be seen as a valid stepping stone of progress.
The steps of progress will then be defined by our sciences, our technologies, and by our love for our humanity as we are reaching for the sky with the needed efforts to win.
Our science, and our love for one-another, will ultimately assure that this will happen, by which we will have a future.
Science, Technology, Love, and the Future, is One.