The Earth has been in an
Ice Age Epoch for 2 million years already, called the Pleistocene Epoch, and
will likely remain so for a few more million years.
Since the Pleistocene
Epoch is interspersed periodically with pulses of nicely warm climates, the interglacial,
such as the one we enjoy right now that 'statistically' has run its course,
can one be certain that the end is near?
This is a critical
question, because the consequences are enormous
The difference between
the current interglacial pulse and the normal Pleistocene climate is truly
enormous according to what the ice core samples tell us that present us with
the only direct temperature measurements that we have available to us.
find in the Greenland ice core records is startling. We find the climate
difference is enormous, between the time prior to the current interglacial, the Younger
Dryas Period, and the Little Ice Age, the only major cold spell that has been experienced since the
dawn of civilization.
The Little Ice Age
resulted from the climate cooling of roughly half a degree Celsius. It had
large consequences at the time, but the cooling that gave us those
consequences was minuscule in the larger context. The cold that the Earth
experienced during the Younger Dryas Period, just prior to the interglacial
was 30 times colder (15 degrees colder) than the Little Ice Age, and the
Younger Dryas itself was still above the bottom of the normal Pleistocene
The Little Ice Age was
a hard period for European civilization.
in France 1693-94, Norway 1695-96 and Sweden 1696-97 claimed roughly 10% of
the population of each country. In Estonia and Finland in 1696-97, losses have
been estimated at a fifth and a third of the national populations,
disappeared from some northern regions. Violent storms caused massive flooding
and loss of life. Some of these resulted in permanent loss of large areas of
land from the Danish, German and Dutch coasts.
transition to a 30-times colder climate than the Little Ice Age, is nor
something to be taken lightly. Unfortunately, this is what is in store for the
future of humanity, for which preparation need to be made to assure the
survival of civilization and humanity with it. In this context the question
becomes paramount, how soon will the transition begin.
Answering the question
of the potential timing involves the recognition of what processes can cause
such an enormous cooling.
The earliest perception
was that the known variance-cycles of the Earth's orbit around the Sun would
cause the ice age cycles. However, the computed effects of these cycles didn't
match the historic pattern. Thus the theory was discarded, and probably also
for the simple fact that the year average total sunlight received on the Earth
was not affected by these cycles, which affected only the regional and
seasonal hemispheric distribution.
The next logical factor
that was recognized, which actually does have a major effect on the climate,
is the intensity of cloud formation, which has increased in recent years.
Since increased cloud formation reduces the density of water vapor in the
atmosphere, which is up the 97% the causative factor for the greenhouse
effect, the greenhouse effect becomes reduced with increased cloud formation.
The reduced moderating effect of the greenhouse gives us larger temperature
differentials between hot and cold weather. This is what is being observed
worldwide. The reduced density of water vapor also gives us generally drier
climates with more droughts and wildfires. This too, is being observed.
It is further known
through work by NASA's Ulysses Mission that cosmic-ray density has increased
by 20% since measurements were recorded, which coincides with observed
increased cloud formation. It is known and has been experimentally proved that
cloud formation is dramatically affected by cosmic-ray density. Increased
cloud formation, obviously also has the added effect that the white top of the
clouds reflect a portion of the incoming solar energy back into space, which
causes a substantial energy loss and the consequent cooling of the Earth.
The beginning of a
cooling trend in year average temperature has been measured, beginning in
1998, at the Solar Terrestrial Institute of Irkutsk.
Coincident with the
cooling trend, NASA's Ulysses satellite recorded 20% reduction in solar wind
pressure between its first polar orbit around the Sun prior to 1998, and its
last orbit in 2008. The reduction in solar wind pressure coincides with the
increase in cosmic radiation impacting the Earth, which is the resulting
effect of a weakening (shrinking) heliosphere.
wind looses power
However, the by now
proved interaction between cosmic radiation, cloud formation, and colder
climates on earth, is itself not sufficient to cause the enormous difference
between the Pleistocene (glacial) climate and the interglacial climate that
adds up to 30 times the cooling of the Little Ice Age. As NASA's Ulysses probe
has shown, the Sun itself is also a factor in the changing dynamics.
The Sun has long been
regarded as being internally powered by a nuclear fusion furnace, and has
therefore been regarded as an unchanging constant, the so-called solar
constant. However, it has also been known for probably even longer that the
Sun is electrically powered by dense electric plasma currents flowing into it,
which cause a double layer charge separation at the level of the chromosphere
causing an electric discharge action onto the Sun at the level of the
photosphere. A long string of evidence exists for this perception, which is
too large to be presented here. However one item applies directly to the Ice
Age Dynamics question, and this has been long known, namely that the Sun is
not a constant, that it is a variable factor.
While the Sun's energy
output varies little in the visible light band, it varies dramatically in the
x-ray band with the solar activity cycles. It varies by a factor of 20 over a
solar cycle. This dramatic cyclical variance has been well documented by the
the Yohkoh ("Sunshine") spacecraft, a Solar observatory spacecraft
of the Institute of Space and Astronautical Science in Japan, with its
The solar disk seen
in the x-ray band over the time period 1991–1995 (left to right), spanning the descending phase of cycle
What we see here is not
unexpected on the premise that the Sun is not a self-powered furnace, but an
externally powered catalyst that reflects variances of the density of the
electric plasma that powers it. Since the x-ray band is at the high-end of the
energy spectrum, we would see input power fluctuation happening there first,
then in the UV band, and eventually in the visible light band. In other words,
the Sun is not a constant factor, but a variable factor that corresponds to
changes in the external power density that is powering it.
Since this is the case
the potential for a 'dimmer' Sun is well established, and would likely be the
chief cause for the very large climate difference between the Pleistocene
climate and the interglacial climate. Indications are being recorded that the
Sun has begun a deep reaching variance. We don't know how far it will go, but
a trend has begun that is significant as a potential precursor. Here are some
of the highlights of the current trend as presented on Wikipedia.
The Sun is currently
behaving unexpectedly in a number of ways.
- It is in the midst
of an unusual sunspot minimum, lasting far longer and with a higher
percentage of spotless days than normal; since May 2008.
- It is measurably
dimming; its output has dropped 0.02% at visible wavelengths and 6% at EUV
wavelengths in comparison with the levels at the last solar minimum.
- Over the last two
decades, the solar
wind's speed has dropped by 3%, its temperature by 13%, and its
density by 20%.
- Its magnetic field
is at less than half strength compared to the minimum of 22 years ago.
The entire heliosphere,
which fills the Solar
System, has shrunk as a result, resulting in an increase in the
level of cosmic
radiation striking the Earth and its atmosphere.
If the current trend of
the 'dimming' of the Sun continues, it is totally possible that it will lead
to the long expected transition back to the Pleistocene climate that has been
for 85% of the last 2 million years the normal climate on earth. When
precisely the transition will happen is anybody's guess. If one considers the
pulse nature of the interglacial corresponding with the natural dynamics of an
electric discharge system, we should expected to see a rapid transition and
large fluctuation during the transition period. The dynamics of pulse-mode
systems are well known, such as the dump bucket in water parks that is
constantly being filled (charged) from a faucet, which eventually becomes
top-heavy, flips, and dumps its charge onto the waiting kids below with a big
splash, the discharge splash.
The dump bucket at Cedar Falls Aquatic Center
We may be at a point in
the interglacial electric discharge pulse that is comparable with the last 'drops' coming out of the
bucket down the ramp. After the current high-power splash is over in the solar
system, the Sun evidently gets colder,
dramatically enough so that the climate gets 30 times colder than the Little
Ice Age had been. This means that we don't want to get to this point unprepared.
All the countries that had their agriculture decimated during the Little Ice
Age should expect far worth an impact, 30 times worse, not instantly of
course, but potentially relatively quickly.
The Polish professor
Zbigniew Jaworowski, M.D., Ph.D., D.Sc., chairman of the Scientific
Council of the Central Laboratory for Radiological Protection in Warsaw, who
has personally excavating ice out of 17 glaciers on 6 continents in his
50-year career, writes in a paper, The
Ice Age is Coming, that the transition may be as short as a single
year, or be as long as 50 years, and may start without warning. He quotes
sources suggesting that the transition may occur between 50-150 years from
now, but he leaves the door open to the possibility that it has already
started. He also suggests that the onset of the next Ice Age is already
500 years overdue.
The Greenland ice core
data suggests that the real end of the interglacial pulse may have already
occurred as far back as 1,500 years ago. A qualitative change in the
interglacial appears to have occurred at this time.
A steep drop occurred
at this time, followed by a recovery (the Medieval warming) and by another
drop and another small warming that became the Little Ice Age, which
established a new low level, followed by the modern warming and the beginning
of another new steep down-turn that NASA's Ulysses mission saw the beginning
of. We see a 200-year oscillation pattern of cooling and recoveries to
consecutively lower energy states. The St. Petersburg geophysicist Eugen
Borisenkov recognized that the solar minimum cycles, like of the Maunder
Minimum, follow an approximately 200-year cycle.
(see: New U.S. Studies Confirm
Earlier Russian Reports of Weakening Sun, Possible New Ice Age)
down-turn comes at the end of a 200 year recovery cycle portending another
steep drop in solar power intensity. The fast pace with which the solar
activity is declining suggests that solar cycles without sunspots are on the
near horizon, and a lower energy level beyond that. If the pattern holds, we
may see a 50-year period of progressively larger energy drops, with
temperatures way below the level of the Little Ice Age. How far the decline
will take us depends on the residual energy in the electrodynamic system that
is changing state, which is unpredictable. While we are still far from the
Pleistocene level, we may experience climates several times colder than the
Little Ice Age. Where we will go from there is anybody's guess.
In this context the
current period is the most critical, because even while the currently ongoing
climate transition towards colder conditions worldwide has barely begun, we
already see devastating consequences. For example the 2011 wheat harvest in
Canada is expected to be 20% less than the year before due to wet weather in
the spring. The USA is similarly affected, with the addition of losses due to
flooding, drought, tornadoes, and hurricanes, which are all lawful systemic
consequences of the weakening power-environment in the solar system.
With the experienced
consequences being just the beginning of the tren, the years ahead promise to
be increasingly catastrophic. While some aspects of the catastrophes can be
prevented in the USA with the building of large-scale water management
infrastructures, Canada has fewer such options. Changing climate conditions
are most immediately reflected in changing jet-stream patterns that control
the rainfall distribution in the northern hemisphere. In this context the
modern agriculture in the northern hemisphere remains nearly as vulnerable has
agriculture had been in Europe during the Little Ice Age when the resulting
famines wiped out 10% of the population, up to 30% is some areas. In this
context, too, Canada and Russia are extremely vulnerable, and so is the whole
of humanity when the major food exporting countries are in trouble. Thus, the
rapid implementation of floating agriculture on the equatorial seas becomes
increasing necessary to avert a food crisis in the near future that promises
to be apocalyptic in scale if this option is prevented.
For details, see:
New World Development Project
The failure to respond
in this manner portents not a pleasant prospect for the world, considering the effects of
the curent trend that has barely begun. With
the greenhouse effect reduced by reduced water vapor in the atmosphere, we
already see the cold/warm differentials increasing, giving us increased
occurrences of tornadoes and hurricanes. With increased cloudiness, the
increasing moisture-lean atmosphere is giving us also expanding drought
conditions and reduced rainfall. The end result of this trend going on and
getting stronger for another 50 years is hard to imagine. Major
water-management infrastructure developments will likely become necessary in
the USA throughout the Mississippi basin to absorb the increased flooding, and
to irrigate large areas to compensate for increasing droughts. The NAWAPA
principle will be needed for that for the efficient utilization of the local
water resources. These types of emergency response requirements will no doubt
obsolete the original NAWAPA plan for the diversion of rivers from Alaska to
the southern deserts. And while this protective work of the current
agricultural resources goes on, a new platform for agriculture needs to be
developed to take over when the local agriculture fails completely. For the
northern nations, like Canada, Russia, and parts of Europe, the relocation of
their agriculture may be needed sooner than anyone may realize.
could be on line in a decade from the time the decision is made for it to be
build. The required industrial infrastructures need to be built first. In the
mean time the existing global agriculture around the world needs to be built
up in a modernization crash program, together with immediate cancellation of
the mass-burning of food in the biofuels processes, and the eradication of the
predatory speculative marketing system that is already massively killing
people by making food unaffordable for countless million in the quest for
profits. These games need to stop.
All of the above
measures are required now, long before we get anywhere near the normal
Pleistocene climate. The world's development capacity needs to be focused in
the critical direction here stated, while the capacity still exists to
implement this development. Towards this end monetarism must end, predatory
profiteering must end, or else none of what is necessary, becomes possible. If
no actions are forthcoming on this front the currently ruling oligarchy in the
world that controls the global policy structure will see its goal realized,
which is the often stated goal to have nine tenth of the human population eradicated
from the planet by
all possible means, to protect its feudal power and looting practice.
If the Ice Age
Challenge is taken up seriously we can win the fight for the survival of
civilization. Otherwise we fight ourselves to death over a stream of inconsequential
single-issue compromises while nothing gets done and time is running out.
The bottom line is that
nobody really knows or can know when the final deep Ice Age transition occurs
that takes us back to the deep freeze of the normal Pleistocene climate. But do we really need to
know this? We know that we
presently have a chance to meet the challenge that the return of the Ice Age
poses that is already critical as the transition unfolds in its descending
steps, by creating alternate platforms for agriculture across the equatorial
seas. We know that this is possible. The technologies for it exist, and so do
the materials and the needed energy resources, though none of them are
presently used for political reasons. We also know that the utilization of
these technologies, materials and energy resources would create a new basis
for an industrial revolution right across the world, and with it a new
renaissance. We know that we can meet the Ice Age Challenge that way, and at the
same time create a new and vastly richer world for the whole of humanity.
With this in mind, do
we really need to know at which day, year, decade, or century the ultimate Ice Age
Transition begins. A New World lies before us if we respond to the challenge.
We also know that if we
fail in making the required preparations before the transition begins, very
few of humanity will survive, if any, for by then it will be too late to
start, especially in the face of potential food wars.
Not responding to the
Ice Age Challenge, considering how unpredictable its dynamics are, is
suicidal. But this doesn't need to happen. Suicidal gambling is not an aspect
of civilization, nor is it a native element of our humanity. And so, the
chance is great that a new renaissance, building a New World, will happen.