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Tue, 26 May 2020
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Extreme Temperatures

Attention

The coming ice age could be just one winter away

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Robert Felix argues convincingly that, rather than runaway heating due to humans' burning fossil fuels, the world is much more likely to face rapid onset of the next ice age in the near future.

"Metres of snow every day for months on end", as seems to have occurred before, would kill everyone in northern countries - Russia, Poland, Germany, Scandinavia, northern Britain, Canada, northern USA - from Moscow to Seattle - in just a few days.

Elementary risk analysis shows that, at the very least, detailed studies of possible counter-measures and even preparations for a "crash program" are URGENTLY needed.

Governments have already spent hundreds of millions, supposedly to avert global warming, yet even the worst-case risk is decades away.

The coming ice age could be just one winter away.

Igloo

Back to Ice Age? Korea Shivering With Unusual Cold

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© Choi Heung-soo
Two people in coats walk down a street in central Seoul, Wednesday, as midday high temperatures stood at 7.8 degrees Celsius in Seoul, the lowest for late April since 1908.
Spring is overdue ― way long overdue. And for office worker Beh Hye-lim, a portable heater is still a must-have item in her office in southern Seoul.

Despite efforts to stay warm, the 27-year-old has been struggling with cold from chilly weather for days.

''Warm rays of sunshine were usual at this time in previous years. But it's literarily freezing,'' she said sneezing.

The entire Korean Peninsula is shivering with a record-low spring chill ― the midday high temperature for Seoul recorded 7.8 degrees Celsius and 6.7 degrees for Daejoen, 170 kilometers south from the Seoul, Wednesday, the lowest for late April since 1908, according to the Korea Meteorological Administration (KMA).

The mercury across the country is forecast to do down further Thursday, with some snow expected in mountainous areas in Gangwon Province.

"The unusual chill is likely to continue until mid May,'' the state weather agency said, adding, ''Rain and accompanying wind made people feel much colder.''

The lowest mid-day temperature for late April in Seoul was 10.1 degrees Celsius, set on April 27, 1962.

Meteor

Younger Dryas Glacial Rebound and 'Cosmic Showers': Climate shifted suddenly from present day warmth to Ice Age cold

ice sheet north america
Rod Chilton, author of the most recent (and perhaps only) comprehensive review of Younger Dryas science, was kind to contribute this fine critique of David Morrison's recent paper in Skeptical Enquirer. I am reading Rod's excellent book and look forward to reviewing it soon.
The debate continues as to the cause of the more than 1,000 year-long cold interval known as the Younger Dryas. Falling on the heels of the Last Ice Age, or more correctly immediately after the two warm intervals known as the Bolling and Allerod interstadials, the Younger Dryas onset appears now to have started in as little time as one to three years. The climate shifted that suddenly from near present day warmth to near Ice Age cold. A second important feature to be noted is that apparently most of the planet was affected, and that the teleconnection between various parts of the planet was swift. This suggests strongly that the forcing mechanism resided in the atmosphere, rather than in the Ocean (where a much slower teleconnection would have been evident). The Younger Dryas however was very different from another alleged cosmic encounter, that of the great Cretaceous extinction event of approximately 65 million years ago. At this time, a huge bolide struck the Gulf of Mexico. Likely measuring as much as ten kilometres' across, the demise of the dinosaurs seems to have been assured.

Igloo

Ice Age theories warming up

One of the more interesting results from recent research into climate is that for the past million years or so, the earth's climate has shown a distinct 100,000 cycle of long ice ages punctuated by a brief, warm intergalacials. We are in one of those brief warm periods, an interglacial period that is called the Holocene.

This cycle can be seen in the temperature graph below taken from publicly available Vostok ice core data. The ice cores are very long sections of ice in which ancient climates can be worked out by careful analysis of atomic isotopes of layers of ice, where each wafer thin layer represents a year. Although there are other ways to determine past climatic conditions the Vostok cores (the site is in Antarctica but run by Russian scientists) are remarkable in being a connected track of temperatures of several hundred thousand years.

As you can see climate changes by about 14 degrees C from the top of the interglacial to the bottom of the ice age, but even the 420,000 or so years covered by the Vostok cores is just a moment in earth's geological history. As noted, the 100,000 year cycle has been a feature of climate for about a million years. For two million years before that the cycle was the same except that it was 40,000 years long and temperatures were warmer. The whole three million years, in turn, is part of an ice age phase of the earth in which temperatures have generally been falling. There have also been hot house phases.

Igloo

A Cooling World - The Ice Age Cometh

Comment: The following article sounding out the potential consequences of a 'little ice age' was published in Newsweek on April 28, 1975. It was well understood then that global temperatures were cooling, but scientists frankly admitted that they had no good idea about the mechanism for climate change - deluded warmists and political profiteers had yet to take over climate science and claim the "science is settled."

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There are ominous signs that the Earth's weather patterns have begun to change dramatically and that these changes may portend a drastic decline in food production - with serious political implications for just about every nation on Earth. The drop in food output could begin quite soon, perhaps only 10 years from now. The regions destined to feel its impact are the great wheat-producing lands of Canada and the U.S.S.R. in the North, along with a number of marginally self-sufficient tropical areas - parts of India, Pakistan, Bangladesh, Indochina and Indonesia - where the growing season is dependent upon the rains brought by the monsoon.

The evidence in support of these predictions has now begun to accumulate so massively that meteorologists are hard-pressed to keep up with it. In England, farmers have seen their growing season decline by about two weeks since 1950, with a resultant overall loss in grain production estimated at up to 100,000 tons annually. During the same time, the average temperature around the equator has risen by a fraction of a degree - a fraction that in some areas can mean drought and desolation. Last April, in the most devastating outbreak of tornadoes ever recorded, 148 twisters killed more than 300 people and caused half a billion dollars' worth of damage in 13 U.S. states.

To scientists, these seemingly disparate incidents represent the advance signs of fundamental changes in the world's weather. The central fact is that after three quarters of a century of extraordinarily mild conditions, the earth's climate seems to be cooling down. Meteorologists disagree about the cause and extent of the cooling trend, as well as over its specific impact on local weather conditions. But they are almost unanimous in the view that the trend will reduce agricultural productivity for the rest of the century. If the climatic change is as profound as some of the pessimists fear, the resulting famines could be catastrophic. "A major climatic change would force economic and social adjustments on a worldwide scale," warns a recent report by the National Academy of Sciences, "because the global patterns of food production and population that have evolved are implicitly dependent on the climate of the present century."

Meteor

Did a comet trigger a mini Ice Age?

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© U.S. Geological Survey
A sudden plunge of global temperatures 12,900 years ago may have been caused by a comet impact, a British researcher argues.
Paris- A sudden plunge of global temperatures at the dawn of human civilisation may have been caused by a comet impact, a British researcher argues.

Known as 'the Younger Dryas', it has been also called the Big Freeze and the Last Blast of the Ice Age - but for researchers trying to understand the Earth's ancient climate, it's one of the big mysteries of the field.

Around 12,900 years ago, Earth was on a steadily warming trend after almost 100,000 years of harsh glaciation, during which ice sheets placed a swathe of the northern hemisphere under a dead hand, extending their thrall as far as south as New England and Wales.

Info

Scientists to Unearth Ice Age Secrets from Preserved Tree Rings

Kauri Tree
© University of Oxford
New Zealand's Kauri trees can measure up to four metres wide and live for up to 2,000 years.
Oxford University is involved in a research project to unearth 30,000 year old climate records, before they are lost forever. The rings of preserved kauri trees, hidden in New Zealand's peat bogs, hold the secret to climate fluctuations spanning back to the end of the last Ice Age.

The team, led by Exeter University, has been awarded a grant from the Natural Environment Research Council to carry out carbon dating and other analyses of the kauri tree rings. The trees store an immense amount of information about rapid and extreme climate change in the past. For instance, wide ring widths are associated with cool dry summer conditions. The scientists believe their findings will help us understand what future climate change may bring.

Tree rings are now known to be an excellent resource for extracting very precise and detailed data on atmospheric carbon from a particular time period. Therefore this study could help plug a large gap in our knowledge of climate change by extending historical weather records that only date back to the mid-nineteenth century.

Hourglass

Failing ocean current raises fears of mini ice age

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© Mark Daly
The photo above showing ice at the docks in Galway, Ireland was captured in the early afternoon of January 9, 2010. The Atlantic coast of Ireland hasn't experienced seawater freezing in its dock area since the early 1980s. Ireland is still freezing in its coldest and longest winter since 1963. Is it a canary in the goldmine in terms of the North Atlantic Drift ocean current?
The ocean current that gives western Europe its relatively balmy climate is stuttering, raising fears that it might fail entirely and plunge the continent into a mini ice age.

The dramatic finding comes from a study of ocean circulation in the North Atlantic, which found a 30% reduction in the warm currents that carry water north from the Gulf Stream.

The slow-down, which has long been predicted as a possible consequence of global warming, will give renewed urgency to intergovernmental talks in Montreal, Canada, this week on a successor to the Kyoto Protocol.

Harry Bryden at the Southampton Oceanography Centre in the UK, whose group carried out the analysis, says he is not yet sure if the change is temporary or signals a long-term trend. "We don't want to say the circulation will shut down," he told New Scientist. "But we are nervous about our findings. They have come as quite a surprise.

Igloo

Ice Age Cometh: Coldest Irish winter since 1963

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© Unknown
View of Dublin from the Dublin Mountains, February 7th
Ireland suffered its coldest winter in almost five decades as the country shivered in the big freeze, it was revealed.

Met Eireann said temperatures were around two degrees lower than average during the season, making it the coldest winter recorded since 1963.

Arctic conditions experienced at the end of last year continued through January and February, with widespread spells of frost, sleet and snow.

Temperatures plummeted to below minus 10C in some places, with minus 16.3C recorded at Mount Juliet, Co Kilkenny, on January 7.

Attention

Croat scientist warns ice age is overdue, could start in five years

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© National Geographic May 2005 issue
Tick, tock, tick, tock...
A leading scientist has revealed that Europe could be just five years away from the start of a new Ice Age.

While climate change campaigners say global warming is the planet's biggest danger, renowned physicist Vladimir Paar says most of central Europe will soon be covered in ice.

The freeze will be so complete that people will be able to walk from England to Ireland or across the North Sea from Scotland to northern Europe.

Professor Paar, from Croatia's Zagreb University, has spent decades analysing previous ice ages in Europe and what caused them.

"Most of Europe will be under ice, including Germany, Poland, France, Austria, Slovakia and a part of Slovenia," said the professor in an interview with the Index.hr.

"Previous ice ages lasted about 70,000 years. That's a fact and the new ice age can't be avoided.