January 12, 2009

Research Claims Earth Facing Ice Age

Scientists are now making an alarming claim that the earth is on the brink of entering another Ice Age that could last the next 100,000 years.

They believe a 12,000-year warming period is currently winding down.

They say ice cores, ocean sediment cores, the geologic record, and studies of ancient plant and animal populations all demonstrate a regular cyclic pattern of Ice Age patterns, separated by intervening warm interglacials, each lasting about 12,000 years.

Experts point out that most of the long-term climate data collected from various sources also shows a strong correlation with the three astronomical cycles which are together known as the Milankovich cycles.

The three Milankovich cycles include the tilt of the earth, the shape of the earth's orbit, and the Precession of the Equinoxes, which gradually rotates the direction of the earth's axis over a period of 26,000 years.

The Milankovich theory of Ice Age causation claims that these three astronomical cycles work together to produce the cycle of cold Ice Age maximums and warm interglacials.

Since the late 1970s, the Milankovich theory has been recognized as the predominant theory to account for Ice Age causation among climate scientists.

However, during the 1970s the famous American astronomer Carl Sagan and other scientists began promoting the theory that "Ëœgreenhouse gasses' such as carbon dioxide, or CO2, produced by human industries could lead to catastrophic global warming.

Now global warming is accepted as fact by most of the academic establishment, and scientists are encouraging governments to make pivotal changes to prevent its theoretical effects.

The main evidence cited in support of the global warming theory is the famous "Ëœhockey stick' graph presented by Al Gore in his 2006 film "An Inconvenient Truth."

The "Ëœhockey stick' graph shows an acute upward spike in global temperatures that began during the 1970s and continued through the winter of 2006 and 2007.

Yet, this warming trend was interrupted when the winter of 2007 and 2008 delivered the deepest snow cover to the Northern Hemisphere since 1966 and the coldest temperatures since 2001.

Some experts believe the current Northern Hemisphere winter of 2008 and 2009 will probably equal or surpass the previous winter in both snow depth and cold temperatures.

A few researchers claim global warming is flawed because it focuses on evidence from the past one thousand years, while ignoring the evidence from the past million years.

However, some believe the data from paleoclimatology provides an alternative and more credible explanation for the recent global temperature spike, based on the natural cycle of Ice Age maximums and interglacials.

The British journal "Nature" published the results of data derived from glacial ice cores collected at the Russia 's Vostok station in Antarctica during the 1990s.

The graph of the Vostok ice core data shows that the Ice Age maximums and the warm interglacials occur within a regular cyclic pattern.

The Vostok data graph also shows that changes in global CO2 levels lag behind global temperature changes by about eight hundred years, which means global temperatures precede or cause global CO2 changes, and not the reverse as claimed by global warming.

In other words, increasing atmospheric CO2 is not causing global temperature to rise; instead the natural cyclic increase in global temperature is causing global CO2 to rise.

Some say the release of CO2 by the warming oceans lags behind the changes in the earth's temperature.

So global CO2 levels could continue to rise for another eight hundred years after the end of the earth's current Interglacial warm period. Scientists believe we will be eight hundred years into the coming Ice Age before global CO2 levels begin to drop in response to the increased chilling of the world's oceans.

The Vostok ice core data graph reveals that global CO2 levels regularly rose and fell in a direct response to the natural cycle of Ice Age minimums and maximums during the past four hundred and twenty thousand years. Within that natural cycle, about every 110,000 years global temperatures, followed by global CO2 levels, have peaked at approximately the same levels that they are at today.

Image Courtesy UPI

Original Source: Gregory F. Fegel / Pravda


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