Thursday, October 7, 2010

Climate Hysteria’s U-Turn: Beware Ice Age Cometh!

“If you look at all the natural cycles and natural forces starting from the smallest to the largest there is a current common denominator – cold ahead! And it is time we prepared rather than being waylaid by those in power!”
This is what TWAWKI, a climate sceptic blog warned. They are not alone. NOAA, the US Climate agency has been warning its citizens to prepare for a possible brutal winter ahead as well and so are the likes of the Russians and Polish.

In June of this year, the Bilderberg Meetings were held in Spain and world leaders, academicians, corporate innovators discussed, among other things, global cooling. What was conspicuous by omission was global warming.

Participants in this meeting are referred to as the world’s secret rulers - the axis between North American and Western European powers. They included, Henri Kissinger, the Queen of Netherlands and Bill Gates. The only reason why a group like Bilderberg would put global cooling on their agenda is unless they feel it would be a problem in the coming years.

La Niña is shaping up to be deeper than previously expected. Are we headed for global cooling based on just one ocean cycle? Of course not. The developing La Nina  is only one of the several oceanic forces signalling global cooling, the others being Pacific Decadal Oscillation, Arctic Oscillation, North Atlantic Oscillation, North Pacific Oscillation among others.
If this has not yet reflected themselves in global temperature data, it surely would in the coming months, as it is not the question of if, but when the climate flips back into the cooling mode.

Because it involves ocean dynamics. In order to balance the excess heating near the equator and cooling at the poles of the earth, both atmosphere and ocean transport heat from low to high latitudes. Warmer surface water is cooled at high latitudes, releasing heat to the atmosphere, which is then radiated away to space. This heat engine operates to reduce equator-to-pole temperature differences and is a prime moderating mechanism for climate on Earth. At the moment, because of a developing La Nina, the oceans are cooling, giving off their latent energy to the atmosphere. This keeps average global temperatures high but once the La Nina peaks, temperatures could be expected to fall dramatically.

Meanwhile, NASA has warned that sunspots can completely disappear by 2014 or earlier. For the past decade, the magnetic field that triggers sunspots, magnetic storms on the face of the Sun, has been steadily declining and expected to completely disappear by 2014. In the past, the disappearance of sunspots has been strongly associated with ice ages. Besides, volcanic activity has also increased unusually in recent times. This too also augurs cooling times ahead as volcanic dust cuts off solar irradiance from reaching the earth.

It is one thing to expect a return to mild cooling as experienced during 1945-77 or even a stronger cooling as in the Little Ice Age period. It is another when sections of climate scientists are getting increasingly hysterical. Polish scientists are expecting the coming winter the worst in 1,000 years! The hysteria bug has apparently hit the Russians too, who concurs that we are in for a brutal winter this year.

Their pessimism is linked to the change reportedly connected with the speed of the Gulf Stream, part of the Ocean Conveyor Belt, which has shrunk in half in just the last couple of years. The Gulf Stream stretches from the Gulf of Mexico up the eastern seaboard of the United States, where it splits, one stream heading for Canada’s Atlantic coast and the other for northern Europe and Greenland. 

By taking warm water from the equatorial Pacific Ocean and carrying it into the colder North Atlantic, the Gulf Stream warms up the eastern United States and northwestern Europe by about five degrees Celsius (roughly nine degrees Fahrenheit), making those regions much more hospitable than they would be otherwise.

The latest satellite data establishes that the North Atlantic Current (also called the North Atlantic Drift) no longer exists and along with it the Norway Current. The Loop Current in the Gulf of Mexico had effectively died. These warm water currents are actually part of the same system that has several names depending on where in the Atlantic Ocean it is. The entire system is a key part of the planet's heat regulatory system; it is what keeps Ireland and the United Kingdom mostly ice free and the Scandinavia countries from being too cold; it is what keeps the entire world from another Ice Age. This Thermohaline Circulation System is now dead in certain places and dying in still others.                                                                          

Polish scientists say that it means the stream will not be able to compensate for the cold from the Arctic winds. According to them, when the stream is completely stopped, a new Ice Age will begin in Europe. The Polish doomsday scenario is that such an event would stop or disrupt the whole Ocean Conveyor Belt system, plunging Western Europe into a new ice age without the benefit of the warmth delivered by the Gulf Stream. The Russians are a shade more optimistic. They are only prepared to go as far as conceding that its effective heating power has somewhat decreased, resulting in a small cooling effect.

Despite their divergence, evidence of the deteriorating Thermohaline Circulatory System lends a body blow to the theory of Anthropogenic Global Warming (AGW). According to AGW, global warming of the past 18 years should have made the Gulfstream stronger and warmer. Its deterioration cannot be happening according to AGW theory! What makes their predicament so much worse is the fact that many climatologists tend to view the Gulf Stream as kind of on-off switch that flips the earth into ice ages and mini-ice-ages  back and forth, and consider its deterioration of immense consequence while still others consider the system as the Achilles Heel of global climate.
“The possibility exists that a disruption of the Atlantic currents might have implications far beyond a colder northwest Europe, perhaps bringing dramatic climatic changes to the entire planet,” says Bill McGuire, a geophysical hazards professor at University College London’s Benfield Hazard Research Centre.
Computer models simulating ocean-atmosphere climate dynamics indicate that the North Atlantic region would cool between three and five degrees Celsius if Conveyor circulation were totally disrupted.
“It would produce winters twice as cold as the worst winters on record in the eastern United States in the past century,” says Robert Gagosian of the Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution. 

The slowing of the Gulf Stream has been directly linked with dramatic regional cooling before, says McGuire. 
“Just 10,000 years ago, during a climatic cold snap known as the Younger Dryas, the current was severely weakened, causing northern European temperatures to fall by as much as 10 degrees Fahrenheit,” he says.
Dr. Gianluigi Zangari, who first discovered the damage to the Thermohaline Circulation System warned: 
“It is reasonable to foresee the threat that the breaking of a crucial warm stream as the Loop Current may generate a chain reaction of unpredictable critical phenomena and instabilities due to strong non-linearities which may have serious consequences on the dynamics of the Gulf Stream thermoregulation activity of the Global Climate."
Warmer ocean surface temperatures at low latitudes release water vapour through an excess of evaporation over precipitation to the atmosphere, and this water vapour is transported poleward in the atmosphere along with a portion of the excess heat. At high latitudes where the atmosphere cools, this water vapour falls out as an excess of precipitation over evaporation. This is part of a second important component of our climate system: the hydrologic cycle.

As the ocean waters are cooled in their poleward journey, they become denser. If sufficiently cooled, they can sink to form cold dense flows that spread equator ward at great depths, thus perpetuating the circulation system that transports warm surface flows toward high latitude oceans. Oceanic mixing completes the cycle, which slowly converts the cold deep waters to warm surface waters. Thus, surface forcing and internal mixing are two major players in this overturning circulation, called the great ocean conveyor.

This system affects the upper atmosphere above the current as much as seven miles high. The lack of this normal effect in the eastern North Atlantic disrupted the normal flow of the atmospheric Jet Stream this summer, causing high temperatures in Eastern Europe and drought, and flooding in Central Europe, with high temperatures in much of Asia and massive flooding in China, Pakistan, and elsewhere in Asia.
 So should we be worried of a prospective Ice Age?
The central question would be how soon could an Ice Age come on us, if it comes at all? The general public understanding of climate change however is of change that displays an exponential character. This line of thinking, however, fails to consider another potentially disruptive climate scenario. For example, Younger Dryas cooling of about 12,000 years ago began and ended within a decade. According to Milankovitch, the Younger Dryas occurred at a time when orbital forcing should have continued to drive climate to the present warm state.

Further Robert Gagosian in his paper, “Abrupt Climate Change: Should We Be Worried?” has this to say:
“Earth’s climate repeatedly has shifted abruptly and dramatically in the past, and is capable of doing so in the future. In fact, Earth’s climate can shift gears within a decade, establishing new and different patterns that can persist for decades to centuries. Earth’s climate system has sensitive thresholds. Pushed past a threshold, the system can jump quickly from one stable operating mode to a completely different one—“just as the slowly increasing pressure of a finger eventually flips a switch and turns on a light.”
To this extent, the current hysteria about a looming Ice Age falls within the realm of possibility. Studies of the past million years indicate a repeatable cycle of Earth’s climate going from warm periods (“interglacial”, as we are experiencing now) to glacial (ice age) conditions. 

The central question then is when a total shutdown of the Thermohaline Circulation System occurs, what the consequences could be.  Such a scenario could quickly and markedly cool the North Atlantic region, causing disruptions in global economic activity. Ice age conditions generally occur when several climatic factors converge as now taking place, to create a minimum of summer sunlight on the arctic regions of the earth, although the Ice Age cycle is global in nature and occurs in phase in both hemispheres.

It profoundly affects distribution of ice over lands and ocean, atmospheric temperatures and circulation, and ocean temperatures and circulation at the surface and at great depth. The impact of this anomaly may be exacerbated because the climate changes would occur in a direction opposite to what is commonly expected, and they occur at a pace that makes adaptation difficult. Food security and energy will undoubtedly emerge the pressing problems of the day. Responsibility will be thrust on other areas of the world not covered by ice including the Tropics to feed the world, though their agricultural productivity per se can be expected to decline.
Although climate records suggest that the System had ground to a halt in the distant past, the prospect of it shutting down entirely within the century are extremely low, according to climate modellers.

The second scenario is one where the System functions with reduced efficiency. The final impact of any of its cooling effect will depend on whether it outweighs the global warming or complements global cooling underway. Assuming the IPCC painted warming scenario holds; then global warming could offset the regional cooling flowing from the reduced efficiency of the System, either partially or totally. If such a scenario put the brakes on warming the Northern Atlantic region, the impact would be felt more extremely elsewhere.

On the other hand, if global cooling prevails, the regional cooling flowing from the reduced efficiency of the System could cause the North Atlantic to be reduced to a cold wasteland whose impact could be felt more extremely in other parts of the world as well. Even in this case, the effect isn't expected to be even over the seasons. Most of the cooling would be in the winter, so the biggest impact would be much colder winters.

In the past, the slowing of the Gulf Stream has been intimately linked with dramatic regional cooling. Just 10,000 years ago, during a climatic cold snap known as the Younger Dryas, the current was severely weakened. Ten thousand years before that, at the height of the last ice age, when most of the region was reduced to a frozen wasteland, the Gulf Stream had just two-thirds of the strength it has now.

Accordingly, we have a one-third buffer before an Ice Age can come to haunt us. Therefore, instead of succumbing to climate hysteria, it is more advisable to adopt a wait and watch policy. We must keep in mind that the bitter winters of the late 1970s and early 80s were punctuated with much discussion in scientific circles at that time about whether or not the freezing winter conditions were a portent of a new ice age. The first Earth Day was celebrated amidst mass hysteria on global cooling. Instead of an Ice Age, we then got global warming during the late 80s and through the 90s that hastily snuffed out this discussion.

Now that global warming having run its course, these discussions have once again been re-ignited. In fact, every 25-30 years, just as Planet Earth oscillates between the cooling-warming modes, the media, scientists and the political establishment show a similar hysteria oscillation pattern. This has been so for the last 100 years. Just as the weather has changed over time, so has the hysteria – blowing hot or cold with short-term changes in temperature. These flip-flops are documented in a publication called Fire & Ice. The following graphic captures the New York Times climate flip-flops over the last century taken from Fire & Ice:

'Climate hysteria lends itself to numerous agendas to exploit the issue. NGOs and environmental movement jumped into the gravy train of global warming hysteria as it met their interests of acquiring more power, influence, and funds. They took global climate hysteria to new heights as they discovered it could be developed as a multi-dollar industry for them. In the process, they compromised their effectiveness and integrity as the conscious keeper and defenders of our planet. The consequences reflected themselves in their “climate change” advocacy that often been characterized by ignorance, lies, deception and exaggerations of upcoming calamities that sadly received extensive media coverage.

One reason apocalyptic hysteria thrives is the short memory of the public. People are unlikely to remember a doomsayer’s dire predictions of a few months ago, much less 10 or 20 years back. But thanks to the internet, all this has change. Nothing gets completely erased in cyber space and this is where all NGOs and environmental groups’ climate advocacy excesses are immortalised. This allows us to remember yesterday’s false alarms and the people who sounded them if we are to respond to their future calls to action.


  1. It is no surprise that some of the leading stalwarts of the global warming movement were also the same warning us of a looming Ice Age in the 70s

  2. Erm..isn't this kind of an alarmist Pov...Iceage sounds like global warming people saying temp is gonna get higher & kill everyone...