Steve Campbell November 2015
The Earth’s Natural History is a rich and complex chronicle of Geology, Astronomy, Chemistry and Biology. These Sciences and others tell us of times of massive volcanism, relentless bombardment from space and frigid periods where almost all the water on the surface of the Earth became frozen out. I want to focus on the most recent era, the time that has nurtured our particular species to the extent that we became able to explore and study the world around us.
It is a little-known fact that we live in a Grand Ice Age, which began about 40 million years ago. Between Grand Ice Ages are times when there is no ice on Earth, except perhaps on artic mountaintops. Those periods last from 50 to 150 million years. The Grand Ice Ages are periods in the Earth’s History when there are actually ice caps at the poles. These ages last for 60 to 200 million years. During those Grand Ice Ages there are short-period fluctuations.
There are cold periods, called “Glaciations” lasting about 80 to 100 thousand years. The last one of those is what is now called “The Ice Age” – as if there were no others. This is when glaciers grew down from the North to cover what is now about the Northern third of the United States. The Great Lakes, along with the 10,000 lakes of Minnesota and the 100,000 of Saskatchewan are artifacts of that era, being scoured basins made by glaciers. The Glaciations are in turn, separated by warm periods (Inter-glacials) that last about 10 thousand years. The last of these warm periods is called the Holocene. And its Climate is referred to as a Climate Optimum.
The Holocene Climate Optimum
For the last 11,300 years the Climate was relatively stable, while there were warm and cool ages, the trend was mostly flat. It is for that reason that it is called the “Climate Optimum”. Now, however temperatures are departing from that trend and taking another direction. If you think you enthusiastically agree with me, please wait until after you read the next paragraph.
The flat trend I am speaking of is one of warm temperatures. With very few exceptions the entire Holocene was warmer than it is today. The departure from that trend of which I speak is a general cooling that began about 3500 years ago and has, with fluctuations, continued to this very day.
And, how do I know this? Well, there was a great scientific endeavor called the Greenland Ice Sheet Project (GISP) that core-drilled the continental ice sheet to produce a sequence of cylindrical chunks of ice that were sampled for oxygen isotope ratios which are dependent on the temperatures when that ice was first deposited as snow. Later, of course the snow was compressed into ice. Those readings indicated a clear record of temperature changes over many millennia. This is what is called a proxy and it is an accurate one. (1)
There were three upward fluctuations that peaked at (roughly) 1000, 2000 and 3300 years ago that today are called the Medieval, Roman and Minoan Warm Periods, respectively. There were two major downward fluctuations, one after the Roman Warm Period and one after the Medieval. The latter is referred to as the Little Ice Age. In all of the 10,300 years of the Holocene there were cold fluctuations but never such an extended cold period as the Little Ice Age. Today we live in another warm fluctuation that is cooler than the Medieval warm period. It is cooler than the Roman Warm period by about another degree Celsius. The Minoan Warm period was warmer yet. Please see figure A.
Figure A: GISP temperature calculations during the entirety of the Holocene, with proxy estimates of atmospheric CO2 concentrations from Antarctica.
The alert reader will notice that the CO2 proxy measurements from Antarctica indicate that the temperatures were declining while the CO2 levels were decreasing. This is in direct contradiction to the Global Warming narrative that rising CO2 levels mean constantly rising temperatures.
What Will the Future Bring?
There are clear indications in Solar activity that cold periods like the Little Ice Age are a glimpse of what is to come. It is not clear if the next century or so will be just another Little Ice Age or if this is truly the end of the Holocene and the beginning of a new Glaciation. That a new Glaciation will come is not in question, only its timeframe is.
What is clear is that the Holocene is near an end and that it is not the Global Warming Hell-Hole that we have all been told to expect. Global temperatures have been in a flat trend for 19 years. The Global Warming Alarmists have predicted uniformly rising temperatures from 1985. They have been proven wrong, beyond a shadow of a doubt.
And, yet we are bombarded daily by calls to give up our freedom and our personal wealth for the sake of Global Warming. Those who call for such sacrifice are – to say the least – dishonest.