The Ice Age Cometh! Forget Global Warming!


FOTCM Member
Climate change: A sea change
By Quirin Schiermeier, a Nature's German correspondent.


News Feature, Nature 439, 256-260 (19 January 2006) | doi:10.1038/439256a

A collapse in ocean currents triggered by global warming could be catastrophic, but only now is the Atlantic circulation being properly monitored. Quirin Schiermeier investigates.

Henry Ellis, captain of the British slave-trader Earl of Halifax, had a scientific bent. While sailing the subtropical Atlantic in 1751, he measured water temperatures at different depths, using a thermometer, a long rope and a bucket fitted with flaps that sealed water inside the vessel when it was raised. Ellis was surprised to find the coldest water in a mid-ocean layer around 1,200 metres below the surface. The Sun, he concluded, did not warm the ocean in proportion to depth.

The discovery proved useful for Ellis's crew: "By its means we supplied our cold bath, and cooled our wines or water at pleasure," he wrote in his notes. But the global significance of the Atlantic's cold depths escaped Ellis and pretty much everyone else for the next two centuries.

He had stumbled upon the generator of a world-girdling system of currents — an enormous flow of water known as the 'global conveyor belt'1, which transports warm surface water towards the poles and cold deep water back to the tropics. Driven by differences in temperature and salinity, this 'thermohaline' circulation has in recent years become infamous as the possible cause of major climatic upheaval. But only in the past year have much-needed automated systems been installed to monitor this circulation almost constantly. "There's a crying need for these data," says Gavin Schmidt, a leading climate modeller at the NASA Goddard Institute for Space Studies in New York. "For the first time we'll be able to observe the ocean 'weather' in all its complexity."

The cold water Ellis had found in the Atlantic's depths comes from two regions at the ocean's north end, in the Greenland and Labrador seas. Here, saltier water coming northwards cools and sinks, before reversing south. This great submarine U-turn is peculiar to the waters of the North Atlantic, whose extreme cold temperatures and saltiness give it a higher density than is found in the Indian and Pacific oceans.

Evidence from the ice ages suggests that shifts in the thermohaline circulation have dramatic effects on the temperature in western Europe and beyond; past shutdowns of the conveyor drastically cooled the climate all around the North Atlantic in a matter of years by stalling the currents that bring warm water northwards2. And computer models suggest that, in a seeming paradox, intense regional cooling could be triggered by global warming3. By the beginning of this century, the apparent fragility of the thermohaline circulation had made it by far the best-known exemplar of the surprising, non-linear and potentially catastrophic shifts in climate that makes the prospect of a greenhouse world so scary.

Current affairs

But the flows themselves remain surprisingly unmeasured. Until this year, almost all attempts to monitor what is happening in the Atlantic's depths have relied on some form of Captain Ellis's method — roaming along the surface and dredging up water from various depths as one goes. This year, scientists will have access to continuous measurements collected by 22 moored 'profilers' — sensors that travel up and down wires from buoys to moorings on the sea floor taking measurements as they go. The profilers were set up last year by a UK programme called Rapid Climate Change (RAPID), a £20-million (US$35 million), six-year programme of the Natural Environment Research Council which has installed these profilers as part of a wider scheme to quantify the likelihood and magnitude of rapid climate change in the future.

Climatologists worldwide are anxious to get hold of these data. The most recent shipboard study, published in Nature last year, suggested that the circulation might be yet more fragile than had been thought4. But at the same time, other research suggests that its potential to do harm may be much subtler than images of a Europe thrown into a mini ice age suppose.

The idea that changes in ocean circulation might be a key determinant of climate change dates back to the early twentieth century and to the great American geologist Thomas Chamberlin. In the 1950s, the oceanographer Henry Stommel pioneered scientific understanding of the three-dimensional structure of the Earth's oceans, and of the currents that flow one way on the surface and another way at depth. But the theorizing that brought the North Atlantic branch of the great conveyor to its present fame dates back only to 1984, when Wallace Broecker, a geochemist at Lamont Doherty Geophysical Observatory at Columbia University in New York, attended a talk in Bern by Hans Oeschger, a Swiss climatologist. While Oeschger outlined his latest findings about climate instabilities and large oscillations of atmospheric carbon dioxide during the most recent ice age, it occurred to Broecker that a switching on and off of the thermohaline circulation in the North Atlantic could be the missing link. Temporary failure of the Atlantic conveyor could have wreaked havoc on climate, he thought.

Although the carbon dioxide fluctuations Oeschger wanted to explain later proved to be artefacts, the idea that the conveyor could stop and start with planet-juddering effects took off. In 1985, Broecker and his colleagues published a landmark paper5 drawing on early computer models of the ocean's flow. They proposed that the Atlantic circulation had two distinct stable modes — one with the conveyor on and one with it off — and that it was relatively easy for it to move from one mode to the other. The distinction between the two modes, they suggested, might explain the difference in climate between ice ages and warmer interglacials. Soon thereafter, computer models began to show that an increase of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere might, by increasing the temperature and thus the supply of fresh water to the North Atlantic, cause just such a shutdown.

The idea of a threshold that, if passed, could cause calamity, or as Broecker termed it, "a nasty surprise in the greenhouse", has played an increasingly important role in predicting the consequences of a greenhouse effect. In the late 1990s, William Calvin brought the idea to a wider audience with his article entitled 'The great climate flip flop,' which graced the cover of The Atlantic — as a neurophysiologist, Calvin had been interested in whether rapid climate change had been a decisive factor in human evolution. A few years later, a 2003 report for the Pentagon, 'Imagining the unthinkable', described how rapid climate change caused by such a shutdown could pose threats to whole societies and the peaceful coexistence of nations. Shortly thereafter, a film called The Day after Tomorrow pictured the citizenry of the United states chased over the Mexican border by an instant ice age; again, the North Atlantic was to blame.

Given the thermohaline circulation's pivotal role in discussions of climate change, there was much excitement when, last November, Nature published evidence suggesting that the system could have slowed down dramatically4. The evidence had been gathered by Harry Bryden, an oceanographer at the University of Southampton, UK, and his team, while on a research cruise that also put the finishing touches to the deployment of RAPID.

Comparing their 2004 measurements with data from 1957, 1981, 1992 and 1998, Bryden and his colleagues found that some of the warm surface water that used to flow northwards now seemed to remain trapped in the subtropical Atlantic, looping east and then returning south rather than heading north. Altogether, the 'overturning' circulation at 25° N — the latitude where Ellis had first probed the ocean 250 years before — seemed to have decreased by about 30%.

In too deep

The result came as a surprise to those in the field. Few scientists had thought that such dramatic slowing of the thermohaline circulation could happen so soon. Models suggest6 that the increase in fresh water needed for a conveyor shutdown would not be expected without a global warming of 4–5°C; warming in the twentieth century is currently put at 0.6°C (ref. 3). The most complex computer models of the climate and oceans, the sort used to make climate predictions for the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), suggest that the flow might be expected to slow by an average of 25% by the end of the twenty-first century, but not to shut down completely3.

Running complex models long enough to simulate some sorts of change, however, uses an unfeasible amount of computing power. So for some purposes 'intermediate' models can capture things better. Stefan Rahmstorf, an oceanographer at the Potsdam Institute for Climate Impact Research (PIK) in Germany recently compared the circulation's response to an influx of fresh water in 11 simpler models; all showed a threshold, called the bifurcation point, beyond which the thermohaline circulation cannot be sustained7. The size of the threshold suggests that the possibility of shutdown is real, but not immediate. Rahmstorf says, "It is very unlikely that it will become really critical for the thermohaline circulation within the next 100 years."

This is not to say that freshwater flows are not increasing; they are. The annual runoff of the six mightiest rivers draining into the Arctic Ocean, including Russia's Ob, Lena and Yenisey, is now 128 cubic kilometres greater than it was when routine measurements began 70 years ago8, an increase of about 7%. In addition, rising temperatures are making sea ice melt more rapidly. Perhaps most important, the huge Greenland ice sheet is showing worrying signs of disintegration; it is currently thought to be shrinking by 50 cubic kilometres per year9.

Ruth Curry, an oceanographer at Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution in Massachusetts, has investigated how much of this extra fresh water lingers in the parts of the Greenland and Labrador seas that are critical for the functioning of the thermohaline circulation. Her recent analysis10 of 1950 to 2005 salinity data suggests that 4,000 cubic kilometres — eight times the annual outflow of the Mississippi river — of fresh water have accumulated in the upper ocean layers since the 1960s. "The extra freshwater input is beginning to affect density," she says. But the amount of fresh water needed to shut down the thermohaline circulation in Rahmstorf's comparisons is an order of magnitude greater than the flux reported by Curry, and she agrees that the circulation will not be unduly affected this century. Peter Wadhams, an oceanographer at the University of Cambridge, UK, last year reported a substantial weakening of convection 'chimneys' down which surface water flows in the Greenland sea, but it is unknown how much of the observed effect is due to natural variability.

This is all hard to reconcile with Bryden's findings, which suggest that a strong slowdown is already under way. "Something strange is going on here," says Michael Schlesinger, a climate modeller at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign who views the possibility of a thermohaline circulation shutdown as more likely and more worrying than many of his peers. "If Bryden's findings are real it means that the circulation is much more sensitive to fresh water than any model has ever predicted."

It is not just that the results are unexpected — they also seem hard to reconcile with other data. If the circulation were slowing down as Bryden suggests, one might expect that Europe would already be getting colder. The North Atlantic transports around a petawatt of heat — equivalent to the thermal output of about 500,000 large power stations — towards Europe. Interrupting that flow should have a cooling effect on the climate, but no such change has been seen.

A fragile balance

It may be that the system has a previously unexpected level of natural variation. Or it could be that Bryden recorded noise, rather than a signal — did a set of readings, through coincidence, the presence of ocean eddies and other natural disturbances, make it seem that the circulation was slowing when it wasn't? A statistical artefact cannot be excluded. "The results are based, after all, on just five snapshots of an extremely noisy and under-sampled system," says Carl Wunsch, a physical oceanographer at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, who harbours long-standing doubts about the significance of the thermohaline circulation and its possible shutdown. "The story is appealing, but it is a very extreme interpretation of the data. It's like measuring temperatures in Hamburg on five random days and then concluding that the climate is getting warmer or colder."

In response to his critics, Bryden points to data on the density of the ocean at various depths gathered at the same time as the flow readings, which provide independent support for the idea that the circulation is slowing. But although other scientists are less harsh than Wunsch, many remain cautious. "Bryden's results are extraordinary," says Schmidt, "but this is exactly why they also require extraordinary evidence."

If Bryden's results are correct, there is another explanation of the lack of cooling in Europe: that a slowdown of the thermohaline circulation will not have the dire effects that have been suggested. It may be that, in today's climate, the role of the thermohaline circulation in warming Europe has been overestimated. A paper published in 2002 suggested that the westerlies, the dominant winds in mid-latitudes that blow from west to east play a much larger role than was long thought11. But much of the heat transported in the atmosphere ultimately comes from the ocean. "It is true that the atmosphere does the heavy lifting," says Jeff Severinghaus, an oceanographer at the Scripps Institution of Oceanography in La Jolla, California, who was once a student of Broecker's. "But the ocean exerts the control, just like the driver of a car."

Evidence for the huge effects of past thermohaline shutdowns is near indisputable. The best case is that of a 1,300-year cold period that occurred around 12,000 years ago, known as the Younger Dryas. The carbon isotope ratios in fossilized plankton from the period suggest that the thermohaline circulation was much slower than it is today (slow circulation allows light carbon isotopes to build up near the ocean's surface).

This slowdown coincided with a vast surge of fresh water into the North Atlantic. The melting of the ice-caps as the ice age ended created a vast reservoir of fresh water known as Lake Agassiz. It was far larger than any of today's Great Lakes, over parts of Minnesota, Dakota and Manitoba — Lake Agassiz. To the east, the lake was bordered by a tongue of the Laurentide ice sheet. When the tongue collapsed, a huge amount of water flooded down the St Lawrence River and into the Atlantic.

According to ice cores drilled in Greenland, similarly large temperature oscillations — the Daansgard-Oeschger events that first piqued Broecker's interest in the 1980s — took place throughout the 90,000 years of the most recent ice age. It is likely that they were also caused by the thermohaline circulation stalling.

But in this respect, as in others, the past may not be a straightforward guide to the present. The consequences of a shutdown could depend on the climate at the time the current stalls. Broecker now believes that the cooling in the Younger Dryas and the Daansgard-Oeschger events came about because the shutdown of the thermohaline circulation was exacerbated by a positive feedback, in the form of enhanced winter sea-ice formation. An influx of fresh water at high latitudes encourages the formation of sea ice, because fresh water freezes more easily. Because ice reflects sunlight, and stops heat from the ocean below reaching the atmosphere, spreading sea ice would strongly amplify cooling due to thermohaline slowdown, especially in winter. Studies of moraines in Greenland and Scandinavia show that during the Younger Dryas the cooling in summers was relatively moderate, whereas in wintertime temperatures must have been more than 30°C lower than now.

It is hard to evaluate the amplifying role of sea ice very precisely. Most coupled ocean–atmosphere models include a sea-ice component, but the representation is crude and leads to an unrealistic simulation of sea-ice distributions. If this feedback is as important as Broecker thinks, then the effects of a thermohaline circulation shutdown in a warmed world may be very different from those seen during the ice ages and their immediate aftermath. Today, satellite images show sea-ice cover at a historic low. In a world that had undergone the degree of warming needed to trigger a thermohaline shutdown in most models there would be almost none.

Rahmstorf speaks for many climate researchers when he rejects the idea that a thermohaline shutdown in today's climate would lead to a rerun of the Younger Dryas, in which large parts of Europe were frozen. "You can't just assume a linear relationship and say that everything will happen on a 5° higher level," says Rahmstorf. Broecker still believes that global warming may have surprises in store, possibly including a collapse of the thermohaline circulation, but he agrees that "the notion that it may trigger a mini ice age is a myth".

Earth watch

The fact that a future shutdown might not have the predicted effects on climate might go some way to explaining how Bryden could observe the circulation slowing — or at least fluctuating — without major climatic consequences, at least so far. Although Severinghaus agrees that this may be part of the story, he and many of his peers would rather believe that there was a randomly wrong signal in the data. "It just doesn't quite fit," says Schmidt. "If the circulation has been 30% down for a decade, it should at least have produced a 1–2° drop in sea surface temperature even if it didn't cool Europe. But no such thing has been observed."

Bryden says that the new RAPID system for monitoring flow in the Atlantic should allow them to know within a decade whether they found a long-term slowdown or a natural fluctuation. Other new approaches may also help. The ARGO system, part of the international Global Climate Observing System, is a fleet of robotic floats that monitors temperature, salinity and current in the upper 2,000 metres of the Indian, Atlantic and Pacific oceans. The free-drifting floats sink to pre-established depths and then surface to transmit their data to satellites. ARGO data are invaluable for monitoring changes in remote ocean regions, according to Lynn Talley, a physical oceanographer of the Scripps Institution of Oceanography in San Diego, California. For example, they have already revealed a spectacular warming of the southern ocean surrounding Antarctica, she says.

And in situ monitors are not the only way of keeping an eye on the deep ocean. A weakening of the thermohaline circulation would change the entire topography of the sea surface, says Rahmstorf. Such large-scale changes could be picked up by satellites. A recent simulation12 suggests that the sea level of the North Atlantic could rise locally by up to a metre as a result of adjustments to the density flows below the surface; in some regions the rate of change could be up to 2.5 centimetres per year. Scientists have begun using satellite altimetry to see if such changes are already observable; again, they expect robust results within a decade.

Modellers also have much to do. Most model studies, such as those used by the IPCC, look at how a freshwater-induced shutdown of the thermohaline circulation might change temperatures if everything else remained the same. A harder question is what a shutdown might mean in a world that is, on average, getting warmer. Bryden's findings have caused a stir throughout the climate research community; lead authors of the chapters on ocean physics and circulation in the IPCC's fourth assessment, due in 2007, are reworking their submissions.

Future unknown

Wolfgang Cramer, an ecologist at PIK, predicts complex changes in the climate, with some effects exacerbating each other and some that cancel each other out. For example, Cramer says, meteorological perturbations caused by a thermohaline shutdown could lead to a dramatic increase in the frequency of major floods and storms in large parts of Europe even if overall temperatures do not drop. "It's not the mean, it's the extremes that are most worrying," he says.

One aspect of the problem is that the thermohaline circulation is not just a climatic affair. Its effect on ocean circulations means it influences the rates at which nutrient-rich bottom water rises to the surface all around the world. A recent simulation suggests a shutdown might lead North Atlantic plankton stocks to collapse to less than half their current biomass13. Globally, a decline of more than 20% might be expected thanks to reduced upwelling of nutrient-rich deep water and gradual depletion of upper-ocean nutrient concentrations.

"Plankton builds the base of the marine food web. So a decline in global plankton biomass and productivity can be expected to have consequences for fish, squid and whales as well," says Andreas Schmittner, a climate researcher at Oregon State University in Corvallis. "A weaker Atlantic overturning circulation could result in a reduced fish supply to people living along the shore lines of the Pacific and Indian Oceans."

Other possible effects of a shutdown predicted by models include warming in the tropics, or, rather surprisingly, over Alaska and Antarctica. Rainfall patterns might change, too. A southern shift of the thermal equator — which has accompanied thermohaline circulation shutdowns during ice ages — could lead to monsoon failures, and droughts in Asia and the Sahel region, says Severinghaus, and these effects seem to be independent of sea ice. Such shifts could have severe consequences for poor farmers in many parts of the world, consequences that may be considerably more disruptive than colder winters in affluent northern Europe, says Severinghaus. And, as Schlesinger points out, a weakening or stopping of the thermohaline circulation would reduce the carbon dioxide uptake of the ocean, which would mean a positive feedback on global warming. The oceans currently absorb about a third of the carbon dioxide released from fossil fuels, although the proportion is set to decrease as emissions climb.

Some 250 years after Captain Ellis first probed the Atlantic, its depths still hold secrets and threats. Even in a new age of constant monitoring and improved modelling, it will be some time before the likelihood, and the probable effects, of a thermohaline circulation slowdown can be predicted with accuracy. The intricacies of a system that depends on delicate balances between fresh and salt water over vast ocean basins, on the details of atmospheric circulation, wind-driven currents and the topography of deep sea floors will not yield answers quickly. "If you would like to learn how a planet operates you would probably not choose the Earth," remarks Schlesinger. We greenhouse dwellers, alas, do not have a choice.


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2. Broecker, W. S. Nat. Hist. Mag. 97, 74–82 (1987).
3. Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change Climate Change 2001: The Scientific Basis (Cambridge Univ. Press, Cambridge, 2001).
4. Bryden, H. L. , Longworth, H. R. & Cunningham, S. A. Nature 438, 655–657 (2005). | Article | PubMed | ISI | ChemPort |
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12. Levermann, A. et al. Clim. Dynam. 24, 347–354 (2005). | ISI |
13. Schmittner, A. Nature 434, 628–633 (2005). | Article | PubMed | ISI | ChemPort | said:
Climate of Fear
Global-warming alarmists intimidate dissenting scientists into silence.

Wednesday, April 12, 2006 12:01 a.m. EDT

There have been repeated claims that this past year's hurricane activity was another sign of human-induced climate change. Everything from the heat wave in Paris to heavy snows in Buffalo has been blamed on people burning gasoline to fuel their cars, and coal and natural gas to heat, cool and electrify their homes. Yet how can a barely discernible, one-degree increase in the recorded global mean temperature since the late 19th century possibly gain public acceptance as the source of recent weather catastrophes? And how can it translate into unlikely claims about future catastrophes?

The answer has much to do with misunderstanding the science of climate, plus a willingness to debase climate science into a triangle of alarmism. Ambiguous scientific statements about climate are hyped by those with a vested interest in alarm, thus raising the political stakes for policy makers who provide funds for more science research to feed more alarm to increase the political stakes. After all, who puts money into science--whether for AIDS, or space, or climate--where there is nothing really alarming? Indeed, the success of climate alarmism can be counted in the increased federal spending on climate research from a few hundred million dollars pre-1990 to $1.7 billion today. It can also be seen in heightened spending on solar, wind, hydrogen, ethanol and clean coal technologies, as well as on other energy-investment decisions.

But there is a more sinister side to this feeding frenzy. Scientists who dissent from the alarmism have seen their grant funds disappear, their work derided, and themselves libeled as industry stooges, scientific hacks or worse. Consequently, lies about climate change gain credence even when they fly in the face of the science that supposedly is their basis.

If you want to read the rest the link is right here:

Amusing enough, when i googled the author's name i got this:
From MITs Faculty webpage said:
Alfred P. Sloan Professor of Meteorology, Department of Earth, Atmospheric and Planetary Sciences

Professor Lindzen is a dynamical meteorologist with interests in the broad topics of climate, planetary waves, monsoon meteorology, planetary atmospheres, and hydrodynamic instability. His research involves studies of the role of the tropics in mid-latitude weather and global heat transport, the moisture budget and its role in global change, the origins of ice ages, seasonal effects in atmospheric transport, stratospheric waves, and the observational determination of climate sensitivity. He has made major contributions to the development of the current theory for the Hadley Circulation, which dominates the atmospheric transport of heat and momentum from the tropics to higher latitudes, and has advanced the understanding of the role of small scale gravity waves in producing the reversal of global temperature gradients at the mesopause. He pioneered the study of how ozone photochemistry, radiative transfer and dynamics interact with each other. He is currently studying the ways in which unstable eddies determine the pole to equator temperature difference, and the nonlinear equilibration of baroclinic instability and the contribution of such instabilities to global heat transport. (cut, rest available here:
And then wikipedia:

wikipedia said:
Richard Siegmund Lindzen (born February 8, 1940) is an atmospheric physicist and a professor of meteorology at MIT renowned for his research in dynamic meteorology - especially atmospheric waves. He is also a member of the National Academy of Sciences and has held positions at the University of Chicago, Harvard University and MIT.

He was a lead author of Chapter 7 [1] of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change Third Assessment Report of 2001.

He frequently speaks out against the IPCC position that significant global warming is caused by humans (see global warming) although he accepts that the warming has occurred, saying global mean temperature is about 0.6 degrees Celsius higher than it was a century ago [2].

Lindzen's criticism of the IPCC is one of the main reasons he is widely known outside his professional circle.

His position with regard to the IPCC can be summed up in this quote: "Picking holes in the IPCC is crucial. The notion that if you're ignorant of something and somebody comes up with a wrong answer, and you have to accept that because you don't have another wrong answer to offer is like faith healing, it's like quackery in medicine - if somebody says you should take jelly beans for cancer and you say that's stupid, and he says, well can you suggest something else and you say, no, does that mean you have to go with jelly beans?" [3].
(cut, rest available here:
and then i found this: said:
In 1993 documents appeared in secret tobacco conspiracy file cabinets about a fake science conference organized by the documented corrupt S. Fred Singer. This meeting in Washington, DC, was facetiously titled "Scientific Integrity in the Public Policy Process", funded by two lung-killer industries tobacco and asbestos, and Lindzen was a prominant hoaxer at this event. Lindzen has been paid in a CRIMINAL CONSPIRACY to defraud the public on the immanent dangers of Global Warming, just as he participated with co-conspirators to aid Singer's science hoaxes on behalf of tobacco and asbestos SERIAL MURDERER CORPORATIONS.

Every single fact below can stand up in court in the trial of Lindzen for FELONY CRIMINAL CONSPIRACY. Much more incriminating evidence will be adduced at trial. (cut, available:
Personally i think climate change is definately a measurable and evident phenomena. In my 23 years on earth i've definately noticed the weather acting strange in the last 5 or so. Where i live, in the northeast US, it's been expressed as milder winters, with hot days popping up in oct/nov march/april intersperced with cold snaps in the same period. So we'll have a hot week and then a cold week, and the temp diff can be up to 30 degrees. This didn't happen when i was younger, we used to have a slow transition from one season to the next, none of this bouncing back and forth business. Throw in tsunami causing earthquakes (or just increased incidence of earthquakes in general) and nasty hurricanes/tornado's and i think one has a pretty strong argument that the climate is changing and it's most likely man-made.

I'm not a weather expert, just a kid with a gut feeling and an open mind.
For the first time, glaciologists have combined and compared sets of ancient climate records trapped in ice cores from the South American Andes and the Asian Himalayas to paint a picture of how climate has changed - and is still changing - in the tropics.
Their conclusions mark a massive climate shift to a cooler regime that occurred just over 5,000 years ago, and a more recent reversal to a much warmer world within the last 50 years.
The evidence also suggests that most of the high-altitude glaciers in the planet's tropical regions will disappear in the near future. The paper is included in the current issue of the journal Proceedings of the National Academy of Science.
Lastly, the research shows that in most of the world, glaciers and ice caps are rapidly retreating, even in areas where precipitation increases are documented. This implicates increasing temperatures and not decreasing precipitation as the most likely culprit.
The researchers from Ohio State University's Byrd Polar Research Center and three other universities combined the chronological climate records retrieved from seven remote locations north and south of the equator. Cores drilled through ice caps and glaciers there have captured a climate history of each region, in some cases, providing annual records and in others decadal averages.
"Approximately 70 percent of the world's population now lives in the tropics so when climate changes there, the impacts are likely to be enormous," explains Lonnie Thompson, professor of geological sciences at Ohio State.
For the last three decades, Thompson has led nearly 50 expeditions to remote ice caps and glaciers to drill cores through them and retrieve climate records. This study includes cores taken from the Huascaran and Quelccaya ice caps in Peru; the Sajama ice cap in Bolivia; the Dunde, Guliya, Puruogangri and Dasuopu ice caps in China.
For each of these cores, the team - including research partner Ellen Mosley-Thompson, professor of geography at Ohio State - extracted chronological measurements of the ratio of two oxygen isotopes - O18 and O16 - whose ratio serves as an indicator of air temperature at the time the ice was formed. All seven cores provided clear annual records of the isotope ratios for the last 400 years and decadally averaged records dating back 2000 years.
"We have a record going back 2,000 years and when you plot it out, you can see the Medieval Warm Period (MWP) and the Little Ice Age (LIA)," Thompson said. During the MWP, 700 to 1000 years ago, the climate warmed in some parts of the world. The MWP was followed by the LIA, a sudden onset of colder temperatures marked by advancing glaciers in Europe and North America .
"And in that same record, you can clearly see the 20th Century and the thing that stands out - whether you look at individual cores or the composite of all seven - is how unusually warm the last 50 years have been.
"There hasn't been anything in the record like it - not even the MWP," Thompson said.
"The fact that the isotope values in the last 50 years have been so unusual means that things are dramatically changing. That's the real story here."
While the isotope evidence is clear throughout all of the cores, Thompson says that the more dramatic evidence is the emergence of unfossilized wetland plants around the margin of the Quelccaya ice cap, uncovered as the ice retreated in recent years.
First discovered in 2002, the researchers have since identified 28 separate sites near the margin of the ice cap where these ancient plants have been exposed. Carbon-dating revealed that the plants range in age from 5,000 to 6,500 years old.
"This means that the climate at the ice cap hasn't been warmer than it is today in the last 5,000 years or more," Thompson said. "If it had been, then the plants would have decayed."
The researchers say a major climate shift around 5,000 years ago in the tropics had to have cooled the region since the ice cap quickly expanded and covered the plants. The fact that they are now being exposed indicates that the opposite has occurred - the region has warmed dramatically, causing the ice cap to quickly melt.
The role of precipitation in the global retreat of alpine glaciers may have been clarified by this study. Some researchers, convinced that a reduction in local precipitation is causing their retreat, have been skeptical about the role of rising temperatures.
"While all the glaciers we have measured throughout the tropics are retreating, the local precipitation at all of these sites but one, has increased over the last century," Thompson said. "That means that the retreat of the ice is driven mainly by rising temperatures."
Changes in the oxygen isotope ratios over the past 100 years have also pointed to temperature, rather than precipitation, as the engine driving glacial retreat, he said.
"Tropical glaciers are the 'canaries in the coal mine' for our global climate system," he says, "as they integrate and respond to most of the key climatological variables - temperature, precipitation, cloudiness, humidity and radiation."
Thompson said that the evidence arising from the tropics is particularly important. "The uniformity of the climate in the tropics makes these kinds of records so critical since they tell us what is happening to global temperatures.
"What this is really telling us is that our climate system is sensitive, it can change abruptly due to either natural or to human forces," he said. "If what happened 5,000 years ago were to happen today, it would have far-reaching social and economic implications for the entire planet.
"The take-home message is that global climate can change abruptly, and with 6.5 billion people inhabiting the planet, that's serious."
Working along with Thompson and Mosley-Thompson on the project were Henry Brecher, Mary Davis, Ping-Nan Lin and Tracy Mashiotta, all with the Byrd Center; Blanca Leon of the University of Texas; Don Les of the University of Connecticut, and Keith Mountain of the University of Louisville.
Link here

The thing that really gets my attention here, is how this article is very, very close to the sort of information the C's transcripts were talking about in terms of abrupt Global Climate change occuring in our near future. Velikovsky also hints at such abrupt and massive upheaveals.

For me the only details really missing form this article are that our Big Blue Marble isn't the only planet in the solar system to be affected by global warming. Which makes me wonder "How could us pesky lil humans be doing all this"? I don't think we can, and Im leaning more and more to believing through study and observation the infromation presented by Laura in The Wave series and her articles on site that hint at all of this warming activity is a precursor to the coming Wave of Hyperkinetic-sensate (I hope I got the spelling right).

My current thinking is that there seems to be a flood of new energy entering our planet which is affecting both the global climate, and tectonic movemements (meaning earthquake activity as well as volcanic and magmatic activity). The only explanation for this new energy entering our solar system would be one of four possibilities as far as my research seems to suggest.

1- A large influx in potential energy coming from the swarming of comets in close vacintiy to our Solar system and imparting massive amounts of energy (though this would have to be a huge number of comets as I don't belive they can account for the sheer amounts of new energy bombarding our planet system if unless their numbers are scarily high).

2- A massive upsurge in activity from the Sun (although as I'm aware we are now in somewhat of a solar minimum according to the experts I've been reading up on).

3- A previously unknown or undeclared sister star to our own sun bringing a whole gamut of of gravitational wave anomalies and energies (which I don't think we have experienced for a very long time in this area of the cosmos).

4- The Wave phenomenon that is talked about in the Wave series of books on site and maybe being affected by "the ripples in the pond" so to speak.
A very fine article Appollynon. The new ice age is coming fast, the Wave is coming, the comets are coming . And our scientists yet don't have a reliable weather model that takes into account all the variables and their effects on our world, let alone other planets (or our twin sun) of our solar system and the other solar syatems or galaxies beyond. Times are changing and changing fast.
aurura said:
And our scientists yet don't have a reliable weather model that takes into account all the variables and their effects on our world, let alone other planets (or our twin sun) of our solar system and the other solar systems or galaxies beyond.
Maybe some scientists can claim ignorance of the objective and easily seen facts as they are due to social programming or by being pressured or coerced into looking in different areas for lack of funding in these distinct areas of research.

However I do belive that there is some level of knowledge about the effects of the coming Wave, comets and companion star in the scientific community, or at least those who are knowingly working for "The Man Behind the Curtain".

I say this due to the large number of bunkers and underground bases that have been found and talked about over the past few decades. If the powers that be were really in the dark, then why would they make such a concerted effort to hide the truth and to build these typeof structures to hide out in when the sky comes crashing down around them. I think they have a good idea what this all means for us here on the Big Blue Marble, and that it may be part of a greater plan to programme the masses into thinking us humans are responsible for all of this.

In fact thinking about it more, I could see how such programming could be used by our Space Brothers to make us feel guilty and responsible for the cataclysm and chaos to come (and the death and chaos of our past). In this way they could come down and say "Hey, all this death and earth upheaval is the fault of you pesky little humans interfering where you ought not to be. But hey we forgive you and have a plan to rescue you from it all before it's to late for you. So take us by the hand and follow us to the new hen houses we wish to keep you in untill were ready to consume you".

That may sound to some very a absurd thought I know, but it would explain all this programming vis-a-vis the MSM about how we are all at fault for not doing enough to save our planet. I will give this some more thought, but at the moment it almost to me seems like a logical step to take for those with advanced knowledge of whats to come, and to use it to further their own deception.

Does anyone have any other theories on why there is so much of a hullabaloo being made about human induced global warming? Id be gratefull for any ideas or critiques. :D
Appollynon said:
In fact thinking about it more, I could see how such programming could be used by our Space Brothers to make us feel guilty and responsible for the cataclysm and chaos to come (and the death and chaos of our past). In this way they could come down and say "Hey, all this death and earth upheaval is the fault of you pesky little humans interfering where you ought not to be. But hey we forgive you and have a plan to rescue you from it all before it's to late for you. So take us by the hand and follow us to the new hen houses we wish to keep you in untill were ready to consume you".

That may sound to some very a absurd thought I know, but it would explain all this programming
yeah, i don't think its absurd at all. I was already considering the same possibility myself. The 'guilt tripping' bit is right out of the psychopath manipulator's handbook.
Well, let's face it, back before 911, we were having a good time on Saturday night drinking coffee and eating cookies and chatting with the C's talk about this stuff; it wasn't real, it was all just theoretical. Of course we were pretty sure that dark and ugly deeds were being done behind the scenes, there was enough evidence for it, but the scenario the C's presented - that things would be like they were in Nazi Germany, only golbally - was just "out there."

I don't think anybody was able to really imagine how we would get from there... to here.

But we sure know NOW how they did it. It was all over in a couple of hours, all the rest is just detail.

I think the rest of the stuff is going to be like that. One day it will all be theoretical and we will have no idea HOW it could possibly get from here to there, and then the next day, we will be THERE.

C's said "sudden glacial rebound..." Nobody seems to be thinking about that. They just talk about it getting hotter and hotter. Well, what if hotter just precedes suddenly colder? I think of the mammoth in Siberia that was found with undigested buttercups in its stomach. It was flash frozen almost instantly.

The thing is, the evidence that it has happened (and more than once) is available all around us not only in the geological and archaeological record, in the myths and legends. BUt for most people, it is so easy to just brush all that off and interpret it bass-ackwards, and that's what they do. The problem is, I don't believe that the "experts" are that stupid.

Meanwhile, the C's tell us stuff - no hard dates because there are too many variables and the future IS open - and it happens just as they say, so we get the idea that the rest of it is probably gonna happen also, we just don't know when.

We live in probably the most interesting times of the past 6 thousand years.
Laura said:
We live in probably the most interesting times of the past 6 thousand years.
This is the perspective and attitude that will be most helpful as we experience the upcoming shocks, I think. We have to be a little like the Ponerologist, observing the phenomenon from a somewhat detached perspective so that we can remain objective and not be overcome by our emotions. Just a thought.

Or perhaps the perspective of, "Life is an adventure! Hold on, it's a great, wild ride!" will help.

I don't know for sure, but maybe some good cold weather gear in the closet may come in handy as well!
Laura said:
C's said "sudden glacial rebound..." Nobody seems to be thinking about that. They just talk about it getting hotter and hotter. Well, what if hotter just precedes suddenly colder? I think of the mammoth in Siberia that was found with undigested buttercups in its stomach. It was flash frozen almost instantly.
I have read The Secret History of the World and almost had a fit when I was reading through the undeniable evidence of this type of glacial rebound occuring. The sheer weight of numbers of animal carcasses found over the northern hempishpere is mind boggling.

Speaking personally I have always been an individual who has suffered from intense heat coursing through my body whenever I exert myself physically or mentally. I have suffered from this since I was an infant and as a by product tend to sweat profusely. The reason I am sharing this is that I also seem to be very, very sensitive to the cold as a result of all this heat.

This in itself is a little odd as I was born in Scotland on the west coast a little north west of Glasgow, and one would think that being born in a country such as scotland I should have some level of resistance to the cold weather there. Luckily for me I know live in what has been the hottest part of the UK over the past decade (I know live in East Anglia, England). Part of me belives this sensitivity to cold may be due to the make up of my physical body, as the veins of my body run very close to the surface (giving off a hue not unlike turqoise stones, and in the heat seeming to bulge out like small snakes under the surface, most people find it rather unsightly to look upon). So I have thought that maybe my sensitivity to cold is because the blood in my veins is so close to the surface, that I loose a lot of heat, and the blood is cooled quicker when in a cold environment due to not having much skin or muscle between the cold air and the veins.

In the past this had not really been much of a problem for me, as I was either well wrapped up in clothing, and if still cold I could warm myself up as soon as I got home and flicked the central heating on.

However this year was very different. We here in the UK suffered from a mild bout of cold weather (mild compared to the cold weather that affected part of mainland Europe, whihc experienced temps between -5degrees to -25degrees celcius). This cold snap lasted for almost three to three and a half weeks in my immediate area. Things should have been fine you would think, but coincidental to this cold snap our central heating system at home had broken down completely, and we were starved of any hot water or heat for the period of the cold weather (owing to my lack of money to repair the system and my mothers insistence that it wasn't so bad and would be over soon). With me being so sensitve to the cold I got really ill fast. I had to take a week off from my job as I had become cold to the core of me, and had thought that this may have been the start or precursor of the Glacial rebound I had read about. No matter what I had tried to do to get myself warm again I could not even feel warmth from the sporadic times I was able to get some hot water to bathe in.

The idea of sudden glacial rebound is you might say, one of my worst knightmares, as I have always had a knawing feeling since my youth that I would meet my demise in freezing cold weather. I don't know where this feeling or thought came from, or why it kept recurring to me. But when I read The Secret Histroy it all seemed to make a kind of sense, almost as if my own feeling over the years was simply an indicator to point to the veracity and likelihood of the information about a coming Ice Age I was reading a few years later is a being true.

Im not sure what the future has in store for any of us, and I'd rather not know. I belive all things are still fluid, and the possibilities are infinite as to what may, or may not happen. But as Laura says, there is strong evidence to suport an increasing in global temperatures is often followed by a a rapid cooling.

Yossarian said:
Or perhaps the perspective of, "Life is an adventure! Hold on, it's a great, wild ride!" will help.

I don't know for sure, but maybe some good cold weather gear in the closet may come in handy as well!
I hope to be able to face the future with the kind of attitude mentioned in your post Yossarian, and thankyou for your point of view.

I already have some plans to invest in some extra warm clothing and thermals just in case we have a repeat of the smae or similar cold conditions this winter.

The heating system has been working perfectly since this time, without fault or flaw. Although it made me think that maybe it was just saving itself to break down again the next time we have a period of prolonged cold weather. So next time hopefully I'll be prepared.

'Mammoth' Maine find; Mass. boat pulls up tusk
January 5, 2007

CUSHING, Maine --A fisherman pulled up what appears to be the tusk of a wooly mammoth from Georges Bank off the Maine coast.

The Maine State Museum is examining the dark, curved and pointed specimen, which was dredged up in a load of shells by the New Bedford, Mass.-based scallop dragger Celtic.

Fisherman Tim Winchenbach of Cushing brought the piece home to his wife Michelle, who began researching to see if it could be from a wooly mammoth.

"I was looking for some different pictures to compare it to, and there's been a couple it looks very similar to," she told WCSH-TV in Portland. "So it kind of reinforced our thoughts it could be (a mammoth)."

Remains of the extinct breed of elephant, which had a covering of long hair, have been found in North America, Europe, Africa and Asia. They lived from 1.6 million years ago to around 10,000 years ago.

The tusk of an elephant unearthed in 1959 by a man digging in a pit in Scarborough, Maine, was first believed to be that of a circus elephant that was destroyed in 1816. However, after the tusk was acquired by the Maine State Museum, carbon dating indicated that it was a mammoth's.

Professor Bill Glanz of the University of Maine's Department of Biological Sciences said a wooly mammoth or mastodon could have lived in the Georges Bank area 13,000 years ago. The animals survived the ice age when that area was dry land and New England was covered by thick ice, he said.

Michelle Winchenbach is waiting for answers about her husband's find, but she already feels the thrill of holding something so old.

"Just the thought that I've held something that's potentially 10,000 years old or older, that nobody else in the world touched before us, I find it really fascinating," she said.
There is a man, named Robert Felix, a former architect, that has been researching the ice age cycle, full time, since 1991. He claims that an ice age could start at any time. He sites the fact that as the ice melts at the poles the fresh water mixes with the salt water of the oceans. This can stop the Gulf Stream from flowing as far north as it does now. If that happens, the temperate climate being experienced by the northern latitudes would be gone and an ice age would start. Of course, I am just remembering this from what I heard on a radio show. There is, naturally, a lot more to it than that.

He has a website here:

And he keeps repeating, "It's a cycle, it's a cycle, it's a cycle." So maybe he is on to the same thing that the C's were talking about.

So there is at least one person going with this idea, and I think I have heard other comments here and there about it, too.
Followed a couple of the "iceagenow" guy's links, I found the following:

Global-warming skeptics continue to punch away

By Joel Achenbach

The Washington Post

WASHINGTON — It should be glorious to be Bill Gray, professor emeritus. He's the guy who predicts the number of hurricanes that will form during the coming tropical-storm season. He works in the atmospheric-science department of Colorado State University. He's mentored dozens of scientists.

But he's also outraged.

Much of his government funding has dried up. He has had to put his own money, more than $100,000, into keeping his research going. If none of his colleagues comes to his funeral, he says, that'll be evidence that he had the courage to say what they were afraid to admit.

Which is this: Global warming is a hoax.

He has testified about this to the U.S. Senate. He has written magazine articles, given speeches, done everything he could to get the message out.

"I've been in meteorology over 50 years. I've worked damn hard, and I've been around. My feeling is some of us older guys who've been around have not been asked about this. It's sort of a baby-boomer, yuppie thing."

Gray believes in observations. Direct measurements. Numerical models can't be trusted. Equation pushers with fancy computers aren't the equals of scientists who fly into hurricanes.

"Few people know what I know. I've been in the tropics, I've flown in airplanes into storms. I've done studies of convection, cloud clusters and how the moist process works. I don't think anybody in the world understands how the atmosphere functions better than me."

In just three, five, maybe eight years, he says, the world will begin to cool again.

He is almost desperate to be heard. His time is short. He is 76 years old.

The case for warming

Human beings are pumping greenhouse gases into the atmosphere, warming the planet in the process.

Since the dawn of the industrial era, atmospheric carbon dioxide has risen from about 280 to about 380 parts per million. In the past century, the average surface temperature of Earth has warmed about 1 degree Fahrenheit. Much of that warming has been in the past three decades.

Regional effects can be more dramatic: The Arctic is melting at an alarming rate. Arctic sea ice is 40 percent thinner than it was in the 1970s. Glaciers in Greenland are speeding up as they slide toward the sea. A recent report shows Antarctica losing as much as 36 cubic miles of ice a year.

The permafrost is melting across broad swaths of Alaska, Canada and Siberia. Tree-devouring beetles, common in the American Southwest, are suddenly ravaging the evergreens of British Columbia. Coral reefs are bleaching, scalded by overheated tropical waters. There appear to have been more strong hurricanes and cyclones in recent decades.

The 1990s were the warmest decade on record. The year 1998 set the all-time mark. This decade is on its way to setting a new standard. The United Nations' Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), a global effort involving hundreds of climate scientists, projected in 2001 that, depending on the rate of greenhouse-gas emissions and general climate sensitivities, the global average temperature would rise 2.5 to 10.4 degrees Fahrenheit between 1990 and 2100. Sea levels could rise just a few inches, or nearly three feet.

All of the above is part of the emerging, solidifying scientific consensus on global warming.

The skeptics' view

When you step into the realm of the skeptics, you find yourself on a parallel Earth.

It is a planet where global warming isn't happening — or, if it is happening, isn't happening because of human beings. Or, if it is happening because of human beings, isn't going to be a big problem. And, even if it is a big problem, we can't realistically do anything about it other than adapt.

There is no consensus on global warming, they say. There is only abundant uncertainty. The IPCC process is a sham, a mechanism for turning vague scientific statements into headline-grabbing alarmism. Drastic actions such as mandated cuts in carbon emissions would be imprudent.

Alternative sources of energy are fine, they say, but let's not be naive. We are an energy-intensive civilization. To obtain the kind of energy we need, we must burn fossil fuels. We must emit carbon. That's the real world.

Since the late 1980s, when oil, gas, coal, auto and chemical companies formed the Global Climate Coalition, industries have poured millions of dollars into a campaign to discredit the emerging global-warming consensus. The coalition disbanded a few years ago, but the skeptic community remains.

Many skeptics work in think tanks, such as the George C. Marshall Institute or the National Center for Policy Analysis. They have the ear of leaders in the White House and on Capitol Hill. The skeptics helped scuttle any possibility that the United States would ratify the Kyoto treaty that would have committed the nation to cuts in greenhouse-gas emissions. (Conservatives object to the treaty for, among other things, not requiring reductions by developing nations such as China and India.)

The skeptics point to the global-temperature graph for the past century. Notice how, after rising steadily in the early 20th century, in 1940 the temperature suddenly levels off. No — it goes down! For the next 35 years! If the planet is getting steadily warmer because of Industrial Age greenhouse gases, why did it get cooler when industries began belching out carbon dioxide at full tilt at the start of World War II?

Now look at the ice in Antarctica: Getting thicker in places!

Sea-level rise? It's actually dropping around certain islands in the Pacific and Indian oceans.

There are all these ... anomalies.

The skeptics scoff at climate models. They're just computer programs. They have to interpret innumerable feedback loops, all the convective forces, the evaporation, the winds, the ocean currents, the changing albedo (reflectivity) of Earth's surface, on and on and on.

Normal, natural?

Bill Gray says the recent rash of strong hurricanes is just part of a cycle. This is part of the broader skeptical message: Climate change is normal and natural. There was a Medieval Warm Period, for example, long before Exxon Mobil existed.

Sterling Burnett, a skeptic who is a senior fellow at the National Center for Policy Analysis in Dallas, says that even if he's wrong about global warming, mandating cuts in carbon emissions would mean economic disaster.

The skeptics don't have to win the argument. They just have to stay in the game, keep things stirred up and make sure the politicians don't pass any laws that have dangerous climate change as a premise. They're winning that battle. The Senate held hearings this spring but has put off action for now. The Bush administration is hoping for some kind of technological solution and won't commit itself to cuts in emissions.

The skeptics have a final trump in the argument: Climate change is actually good. Growing seasons will be longer. Plants like carbon dioxide. Trees devour it. This demonized molecule isn't some kind of toxin or contaminant or pollutant — it's fertilizer.

Politicized debate

The controversy about global warming resides all too perfectly at the collision point of environmentalism and free-market capitalism. The divisive nature of global warming isn't helped by the fact that the most powerful global-warming skeptic (at least by reputation) is President Bush, and the loudest warnings come from Al Gore.

The president's science adviser, John Marburger, thinks the politicized debate has made it almost impossible to talk sensibly about the issue.

"There seems to be the general feeling that somehow the administration doesn't feel that climate change is happening," he says. "That's completely wrong." The administration just doesn't think the problem can be solved with the "magic wand" of regulation.

Gray has the honor of delivering the closing remarks at the National Hurricane Conference in Orlando, Fla. "I think there's a lot of foolishness going on," Gray says. Hurricanes aren't getting worse — we're just in an uptick of a regular cycle. But the alarmists won't let anyone believe that.

"The world is boiling! It's getting worse and worse!" Gray shouts. "Hell is approaching."

The core of Gray's argument is that the warming of the past decades is a natural cycle, driven by a global ocean circulation that manifests itself in the North Atlantic as the Gulf Stream.

Warm water and cool water essentially rise and fall in a rhythm lasting decades. "I don't think this warming period of the last 30 years can keep on going," he says. "It may warm another three, five, eight years, and then it will start to cool."

Gray's crusade against global warming "hysteria" began in the early 1990s, when he saw enormous sums of federal research money going toward computer modeling rather than his kind of science, the old-fashioned stuff based on direct observation. The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) stopped giving him research grants. So did NASA. All the money was going to computer models. The modelers are equation pushers.

"They haven't been down in the trenches, making forecasts and understanding stuff!"

The news media are self-interested.

"Media people are all out for Pulitzer Prizes!"

The IPCC is elitist.

"They don't talk to us! I've never been approached by the IPCC."

"People in the fringes"

Of all the skeptics, MIT's Richard Lindzen probably has the most credibility among mainstream scientists, who acknowledge that he's doing serious research. Lindzen contends that water vapor and clouds, which will increase in a warmer world because of higher rates of evaporation, create "negative feedbacks" that counter the warming trend.

Lindzen argues that the climate models can't be right, because we've already raised CO2 and methane dramatically, and the planet simply hasn't warmed that much.

But Isaac Held, a NOAA modeler, says Lindzen is jumping the gun, because the greenhouse gases take time — decades, centuries — to have their full impact. Indeed, we've already made a "commitment" to warming. We couldn't stop global warming at this point if we closed every factory and curbed every car.

Held studied under Lindzen years ago and considers him a friend and a smart scientist — but highly contrarian.

"There're people like [Lindzen] in every field of science. There are always people in the fringes."

There's a certain kind of skeptic who has no patience for the official consensus, especially if it has the imprimatur of a government, or worse, the United Nations. They focus on ambiguities and mysteries and things that just don't add up. They say the Official Story can't possibly be true, because it doesn't explain the (insert inexplicable data point here). They set a high standard for reality — it must never be fuzzy around the edges.

The Web site Real Climate, run by a loose group of climate scientists, recently published a detailed rebuttal of Gray's theory, saying his claims about the ocean circulation lack evidence. The Web site criticized Gray for not adapting to the modern era of meteorology, "which demands hypotheses soundly grounded in quantitative and consistent physical formulations, not seat-of-the-pants flying."

The field has fully embraced numerical modeling, and Gray is increasingly on the fringe. His cranky skepticism has become a tired act among younger scientists.

When Gray is asked who his intellectual soul mates are regarding global warming, he responds, "I have nobody really to talk to about this stuff."

In Orlando, Gray has the honor of closing the hurricane conference with a speech. He talks of global-warming foolishness, untrusty numerical models, underappreciated ocean circulation, overly dramatized CO2 increases, the crazy complexity of the weather.

"It becomes an absolute can of worms!"

In 20 years, he likes to say, the world will have cooled, and everyone will know he was right all along. When that happens, he says, he hopes someone will put flowers on his grave.

Is time running out?

The fog of uncertainty surrounding climate change is routinely cited as a reason to wait before making cuts in greenhouse emissions. But if we wait for that fog to break, we'll wait forever.

Moreover, we don't even know all the things that we don't know. James Hansen, the prominent NASA scientist, points out that the models don't realistically include ice sheets and the biosphere — all the plants and animals on Earth. The global climate surely has more surprises for us.

Hansen thinks we have less than 10 years to make drastic cuts in greenhouse emissions, lest we reach a "tipping point" at which the climate will be out of our control.

Hansen may be a step ahead of the consensus — but that doesn't mean he's wrong. In the brutally hot summer of 1988, Hansen testified before Congress that the signal of global warming could already be detected amid the noise of natural climate variation. Many of his colleagues scoffed. They thought he'd gotten ahead of the hard data.

Judy Curry, a Georgia Tech climate scientist, says: "I thought he was playing politics. But, damn it, he was right."

Curry, who thinks the skeptics have mounted a "brilliant disinformation campaign," says climate change is being held to a different standard from other societal threats: The skeptics want every uncertainty nailed down before any action is taken.

"Why is that standard being applied to greenhouse warming and not to other risks, like terrorism or military risks or avian flu?" she asks.

Mainstream climate scientists readily accept that there is natural variation in the system. For example, greenhouse gases alone can't melt the Arctic at the alarming rate that has been observed recently. Americans sorting through this issue may feel constrained by all the unknowns. Perhaps they need to adapt to uncertainty, to see uncertainty as the norm, and not as a sign of scientific failure.

Or as an excuse to do nothing.

Copyright © 2006 The Seattle Times Company
Of course, one has to wonder about Global Warming when the right-wing Washington Post is pushing it.

I notice that the "iceagenow" guy writes a comment about this article accusing the Post writer of being a LEFTY!!!

Unfortunately - and despicably - this article, which supposedly reports the
skeptics arguments, now veers off to the left, accusing Dr. Gray of being on
the "fringe," and dismissing him and M.I.T. professor Richard Lindzen as
being just simply part of the minority "Old Guard." The article conveniently
ignores the fact that 60 international climate-change experts recently signed
an open letter to Canada's Prime Minister disavowing the "fact" of global
Sometimes I think we've really lost the idea of what the Right and the Left actually represent. Seems to me that the terms have been severely ponerized and even have become "doublespeak."

Anyway, then there is this:

I first published this forecast by Dr. Landscheidt in 2003. However, with the
recent reported cooling of the Atlantic Ocean, and with the first reversed
sunspot of what may be the beginning of the next solar cycle, and with Russian
scientists predicting a new Little Ice Age, I thought it would be an appropriate
time to give more credit to Dr. Landscheidt. He had been predicting this
scenario for years.

Here's what Dr. Landscheidt had to say:

New Little Ice Age by 2030!

Analysis of the sun's activity in the last two millennia indicates that, contrary to the
IPCC's speculation about man-made global warming, that we could be headed into
a Maunder minimum type of climate (a Little Ice Age).

The probability is high that the minima around 2030 and 2201 will go along with
periods of cold climate comparable to the nadir of the Little Ice Age, and La Niñas
will be more frequent and stronger than El Niños through 2018 (Landscheidt, 2000).

We need not wait until 2030 to see whether the forecast is correct, however. A
declining trend in solar activity and global temperature should become manifest long
before then. The current 11-year sunspot cycle 23 with its considerably weaker
activity seems to be a first indication of the new trend, especially as it was predicted
on the basis of solar motion cycles two decades ago. As to temperature, only El Niño
periods should interrupt the downward trend, but even El Niños should become less
frequent and strong.

The total magnetic flux leaving the Sun has risen by a factor of 2.3 since 1901 while
global temperature on earth increased by about 0.6°C. Energetic flares increased the
Sun's ultraviolet radiation by at least 16 percent. There is “a clear connection between
solar eruptions and a strong rise in temperature.�

Lake bottom cores from the Yukatan Peninsula covering more than 2,000 years
show a similar correlation between recurrent droughts and the Sun's eruptional
activity. These results and many earlier ones (Landscheidt, 1981-2001) document
the importance of the Sun's eruptional activity on climate.

Energetic solar eruptions do not accumulate around the sunspot maximum. In most
cycles they shun the maximum phase and can even occur close to a sunspot minimum.

I (Landscheidt) have shown for decades that the sun's varying activity is linked to cycles in its irregular oscillation about the centre of mass of the solar system (the solar
retrograde cycle). As these cycles are connected with climate phenomena and can be
computed for centuries, they offer a means to forecast phases of cool and warm

Researchers need to take the sun seriously as a factor in climate change, including
warming, droughts, and cold snaps.

* * *

I’m sorry to report that Dr. Theodor Landscheidt passed away on May 20, 2004. Founder of the Schroeter Institute for Research in Cycles of Solar Activity in Waldmuenchen, Germany, Dr. Landscheidt was a giant in the field of climatology.

Here's what I published in 2003

Dr. Landscheidt, author of "Sun - Earth - Man: A Mesh of Cosmic Oscillations", and "Cosmic Cybernetics: The Foundations of a Modern Astrology," based his forecast on the Gleissberg cycle of solar activity.

"Contrary to the IPCC's speculation about man-made global warming as high as 5.8° C within the next hundred years," said Landscheidt, "a long period of cool climate with its coldest phase around 2030 is to be expected.""

It can be seen," added Landscheidt, "that the Gleissberg minimum around 2030 and another one around 2200 will be of the Maunder minimum type accompanied by severe cooling on Earth." (Posted 19 Sep 2003)

This confirms what I've been saying all along; that our climate is controlled by magnetic activity on the sun.

It also makes my assertion that "we'll be admitting that we're headed into an ice age by the year 2012" seem a lot more plausible.

* * *

Landscheidt's forecasts include the end of the great Sahelian drought; the last five extremes in global temperature anomalies; the last three El Niños; and the course of the last La Niña. He predicted extreme River Po discharges beginning in October 2000, some seven months before they began.

This forecast skill, says Landscheidt, solely based on solar cycles, is irreconcilable
with the IPCC's allegation that it is unlikely that natural forcing can explain the
warming in the latter half of the 20th century.

Here are more references and links:

Landscheidt, T. (1976): Beziehungen zwischen der Sonnenaktivität und dem Massenzentrum des Sonnensystems. Nachrichten der Olbersgesellschaft 100, 2-19.

Landscheidt, T. (1983): Solar oscillations, sunspot cycles, and climatic change. In: McCormac, B. M., ed.: Weather and climate responses to solar variations. Boulder, Associated University Press, 293-308.

Landscheidt, T. (1986 a): Long-range forecast of energetic x-ray bursts based on cycles of flares. In: Simon, P. A., Heckman, G. und Shea, M. A., eds.: Solar-terrestrial predictions. Proceedings of a workshop at Meudon, 18.-22. June 1984. Boulder, National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, 81-89.

Landscheidt, T. (1986 b): Long-range forecast of sunspot cycles. In: Simon, P. A., Heckman, G. und Shea, M. A., eds.: Solar-terrestrial predictions. Proceedings of a workshop at Meudon, 18.-22. June 1984. Boulder, National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, 48-57.

Landscheidt, T. (1987): Long-range forecasts of solar cycles and climate change. In: Rampino, M. R., Sanders, J. E., Newman, W. S. und Königsson, L. K., eds.: Climate. History, Periodicity, and Predictability. New York, van Nostrand Reinhold, 421-445.

Landscheidt, T. (1988): Solar rotation, impulses of the torque in the Sun's motion, and climatic variation. Climatic Change 12, 265-295.

Landscheidt, T.(1990): Relationship between rainfall in the northern hemisphere and impulses of the torque in the Sun's motion. In: K. H. Schatten and A. Arking, eds.: Climate impact of solar variability. Greenbelt, NASA, 259-266.

Landscheidt, T.(1995): Global warming or Little Ice Age? In: Finkl, C. W., ed.: Holocene cycles. A Jubilee volume in celebration of the 80th birthday of Rhodes W. Fairbridge. Fort Lauderdale, The Coastal Education and Research Foundation (CERF), 371-382.

Landscheidt, T. (1998 a): Forecast of global temperature, El Niño, and cloud coverage by astronomical means. In: Bate, R., ed.: Global Warming. The continuing debate. Cambridge, The European Science and Environment Forum (ESEF), 172-183.

Landscheidt, T. (1998 b): Solar activity : A dominant factor in climate dynamics.

Landscheidt, T. (1999 a): Solar activity controls El Niño and La Niña.

Landscheidt, T. (1999 b): Extrema in sunspot cycle linked to Sun's motion. Solar Physics 189:413-424.

Landscheidt, T. (2000 a): Solar forcing of El Niño and La Niña. European Space Agency (ESA) Special Publication 463, 135-140.

Landscheidt, T. (2000 b): River Po discharges and cycles of solar activity. Hydrol. Sci. J. 45:491-493.

Landscheidt, T. (2000 c): Sun's role in the satellite-balloon-surface issue.

Landscheidt, T. (2000 d): New confirmation of strong solar forcing of climate.

Landscheidt, T. (2000e): Solar wind near Earth: Indicator of variations in global temperature. ESA-SP 463,497-500.

Landscheidt, T. (2001 a): Solar eruptions linked to North Atlantic Oscillation.

Landscheidt, T. (2001 b): Trends in Pacific Decadal Oscillation subjected to solar forcing.

Landscheidt, T. (2002): El Niño Forecast Revisited.
Notice above that Landscheidt says:

The current 11-year sunspot cycle 23 with its considerably weaker
activity seems to be a first indication of the new trend, especially as it was predicted
on the basis of solar motion cycles two decades ago.
I was under the impression that the last sunspot cycle was considerably stronger and more active than predicted. Anybody got any input on that?
And then, there is this:

Antarctic Ice Sheet Mass Balance


Wingham, D.J., Shepherd, A., Muir, A. and Marshall, G.J. 2006. Mass balance of the Antarctic ice sheet. Philosophical Transactions of the Royal Society A 364: 1627-1635.

What was done

The authors "analyzed 1.2 x 108 European remote sensing satellite altimeter echoes to determine the changes in volume of the Antarctic ice sheet from 1992 to 2003." This survey, in their words, "covers 85% of the East Antarctic ice sheet and 51% of the West Antarctic ice sheet," which together comprise "72% of the grounded ice sheet.""

What was learned

Wingham et al. report that "overall, the data, corrected for isostatic rebound, show the ice sheet growing at 5 ± 1 mm year-1." To calculate the ice sheet's change in mass, however, "requires knowledge of the density at which the volume changes have occurred," and when the researchers' best estimates of regional differences in this parameter are used, they find that "72% of the Antarctic ice sheet is gaining 27 ± 29 Gt year-1, a sink of ocean mass sufficient to lower [authors' italics] global sea levels by 0.08 mm year-1." This net extraction of water from the global ocean, according to Wingham et al., occurs because "mass gains from accumulating snow, particularly on the Antarctic Peninsula and within East Antarctica, exceed the ice dynamic mass loss from West Antarctica."

What it means

Contrary to all the horror stories one hears about global warming-induced mass wastage of the Antarctic ice sheet leading to rising sea levels that gobble up coastal lowlands worldwide, the most recent decade of pertinent real-world data suggest that forces leading to just the opposite effect are apparently prevailing, even in the face of what climate alarmists typically describe as the greatest warming of the world in the past two millennia or more.

Reviewed 8 November 2006
And this:

Global warming boost to glaciers

Global warming could be causing some glaciers to grow, a new study claims.

Researchers at Newcastle University looked at temperature trends in the western Himalaya over the past century.

They found warmer winters and cooler summers, combined with more snow and rainfall, could be causing some mountain glaciers to increase in size.

The findings are significant, because temperature and rain and snow trends in the area impact on water availability for more than 50 million Pakistanis.

Researchers focussed on the Upper Indus Basin, which is the mainstay of the national economy of Pakistan and has 170,000 sq km of irrigated land - an area two-thirds the size of the UK.

Dr Hayley Fowler, senior research associate at the university's school of civil engineering and geosciences, said: "Very little research of this kind has been carried out in this region and yet the findings from our work have implications for the water supplies of around 50 million people in Pakistan."

Water resources

Co-researcher David Archer added: "Our research is concerned with both climate change and the climate variability that is happening from year to year.

"Information on variability is more important for the management of the water system as it will help to forecast the inflow into reservoirs and allow for better planning of water use for irrigation.

"However, information on the impacts of climatic change is important for the longer term management of water resources and to help us understand what is happening in the mountains under global warming."

The findings are published in the American Meteorological Society's Journal of Climate.

Antarctic Temperature Trend 1982-2004


Cold, snowy, and stuck at the “bottomᾠ of the Earth, Antarctica might seem like a dull place. But this big continent can produce a surprisingly dynamic range of conditions. One example of this range is temperature trends. Although Antarctica warmed around the perimeter from 1982 to 2004, where huge icebergs calved and some ice shelves disintegrated, it cooled closer to the pole.

This image shows trends in skin temperatures—temperatures from roughly the top millimeter of the land or sea surface—not air temperatures. The data were collected by the Advanced Very High Resolution Radiometer (AVHRR) sensors that were flown on several National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) satellites. The data come from the AVHRR’s thermal infrared channel—a portion of the light spectrum we can sense as heat but that human eyes cannot see. This image shows temperature trends for the icy continent from 1982 to 2004. Red indicates areas where temperatures generally increased during that period, and blue shows where temperatures predominantly decreased.

The area of strongest cooling appears at the South Pole, and the region of strongest warming lies along the Antarctic Peninsula. In some instances, bright red spots or streaks along the edge of the continent show where icebergs calved or ice shelves disintegrated, meaning the satellite began seeing warmer ocean water where there had previously been ice. One example of this is the bright red line along the edge of the Ross Ice Shelf.

Why is Antarctica getting colder in the middle when it’s warming up around the edge?

One possible explanation is that the warmer temperatures in the surrounding ocean have produced more precipitation in the continent’s interior, and this increased snowfall has cooled the high-altitude region around the pole. Another possible explanation involves ozone. Ozone in the Earth’s stratosphere absorbs ultraviolet radiation, and absorbing this energy warms the stratosphere. Loss of UV-absorbing ozone may have cooled the stratosphere and strengthened the polar vortex, a pattern of spinning winds around the South Pole. The vortex acts like an atmospheric barrier, preventing warmer, coastal air from moving in to the continent’s interior. A stronger polar vortex might explain the cooling trend in the interior of Antarctica.
Another that gives an excellent example of talking out of both sides of the mouth at once:

East Antarctica puts on weight


This map (left) shows key areas of Antarctica, including the vast East Antarctic ice sheet. The image on the right shows which areas of the continent's ice are thickening (coloured yellow and red) and thinning (coloured blue).

19 May 2005
Increased snowfall could slow sea-level rise.

Mark Peplow

Increased snowfall over a large area of Antarctica is thickening the ice sheet and slowing the rise in sea level caused by melting ice.

A satellite survey shows that between 1992 and 2003, the East Antarctic ice sheet gained about 45 billion tonnes of ice - enough to reduce the oceans' rise by 0.12 millimetres per year. The ice sheets that cover Antarctica's bedrock are several kilometres thick in places, and contain about 90% of the world's ice. But scientists fear that if they melt in substantial quantities, this will swell the oceans and cause devastation on islands and coastal lands.

The Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) has reported that sea level is currently rising at about 1.8 millimetres per year, largely through melting of the Greenland and Antarctic ice sheets as a result of global warming. But the panel also expected that climate change would trigger an increase in snowfall over the Antarctic continent, as increased evaporation from the oceans puts more moisture into the air.

"This is a phenomenal piece of research, but it is what we expected, " comments David Vaughan, a glaciologist at the British Antarctic Survey in Cambridge, UK. "These effects have been predicted for a long time, it's just that no one has measured them before."

Although the results of the satellite survey are in line with the predictions of global-warming models, the thickening of the ice sheet could still be explained by natural weather variability, warns Curt Davis of the University of Missouri, Columbia, a member of the research team. He and his colleagues present their results in the online edition of Science1.

Remote view

The team used data from the European Space Agency's radar satellites ERS-1 and ERS-2, which measured changes in altitude over about 70% of Antarctica's interior - more than 8.5 million square kilometres, roughly the same size as the United States.

East Antarctica thickened at an average rate of about 1.8 centimetres per year over the time period studied, the researchers discovered. The region comprises about 75% of Antarctica's total land area - but as its ice is thicker, it carries about 85% of the total ice volume. "It is the only large terrestrial ice body that is gaining mass rather than losing it," says Davis.

In contrast, smaller West Antarctica showed an overall thinning of 0.9 centimetres per year. "It's amazing that they can measure such small changes," says Vaughan.

Thick skin

The thickening of the eastern ice sheet should not be seen as a long-term protection against a rise in sea level, warns Vaughan. Glaciers in West Antarctica are accelerating, releasing more and more icebergs into the sea. And the Antarctic Peninsula, which stretches towards South America, now regularly hits temperatures above 0 °C in the summer, leading to direct melting of the ice there.

What's more, snowfall over East Antarctica will not continue to increase indefinitely in a warming world, Vaughan adds. Conversely, every extra degree of temperature rise will continue to accelerate glaciers and cause more melting on the western side of Antarctica, swelling the world's oceans further.

Scientists have already estimated that Antarctic melting may be responsible for up to a third of the overall sea-level rise. But the instruments on ERS-1 and 2 only work over very flat areas, and tend to lose track of the radar echo over steeper areas around the continent's coast, so a vital piece of the puzzle is still missing, says Vaughan. And because Antarctica is so vast, it is also impossible to measure snowfall comprehensively on the ground, he adds.

However, the European Space Agency satellite CryoSat, due to be launched later this year, should be able to make very accurate altitude measurements around the coast, providing evidence of exactly how much ice is being lost there. Only when scientists put all these measurements together will the full truth about Antarctica's ice become clear, says Vaughan.
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