Ice Ages Brought About by Earth’s Tilt
Could the greatest cause of climate change be, not human activity as we have been led to believe, but, in fact, the tilt of the Earth’s axis? The idea is not new, but now a respected Harvard Earth Sciences researcher says he has proven that it is true. If he is right, climate scientists everywhere may need to go back to their computers, inconvenient or not.
Professor Peter Huybers has used state-of the-art computer models to prove that tiny shifts in Earth’s axis cause glaciers to either advance or retreat in cycles lasting either 10,000 or 40,000 years. In a paper published in a December 2011, issue of the journal Nature, Huybers explained that there are two cycles of tilt change known as obliquity and precession. When they align correctly, ice melts. When they oppose each other, glaciers advance. In past periods of deglaciation, sea levels have risen by 130 meters, and temperatures by 5 degrees C. Moreover, atmospheric CO2 in such periods has increased by over 40%.
Serbian geophysicist Milutin Milankovitch first argued the point a century ago. According to Wikipedia, the Earth’s axis completes one full cycle of precession approximately every 26,000 years. At the same time the elliptical orbit rotates more slowly. Milankovitch believed the combined effect of the two precessions leads to a 21,000year period between the astronomical seasons and the orbit. In addition, the angle between Earth’s rotational axis and the normal to the plane of its orbit (obliquity) oscillates between 22.1 and 24.5 degrees on a 41,000year cycle. It is currently 23.44 degrees and decreasing.
Precession is the cycle behind the so-called astronomical ages where the zodiac constellation, which appears at sunrise, slowly shifts backward relative to the zodiac, one sign every two thousand years—we are now entering the age of Aquarius. Many modern alternative scholars, as well as ancient sages, have suggested that this precession of the equinoxes tracks the rise and fall of civilizations.
Also relevant may be the ideas of cartographer Charles Hapgood who postulated that significant periodic shifts of the planet’s poles are at least one cause of what we call ice ages, as vast regions move quickly from temperate areas to cold ones and vice versa. Hapgood believed that the rapidity of this process has accounted for the fact that we still find undigested summer plants in the stomachs of mammoths discovered frozen in Siberia. Albert Einstein supported many of Hapgood’s conclusions.
Are Sunspots Causing Global Cooling?
New data compiled by NASA and released in January without fanfare by the UN’s chief climate advisory organization, the British University of East Anglia’s Climatic Research Unit, has publicly documented that the planet has not warmed for 15 years.
At the same time, the sun, as a function of its sunspot cycle, appears to be putting out less heat and may soon be providing even less. It all adds up to a prospect perhaps more daunting than global warming, a mini ice age, not unlike that last seen in the seventeenth century when London’s river Thames regularly froze. During the period called the little ice age, farmland was covered with snow until late spring, there were famines, forests shrank, and diseases multiplied.
According to NASA experts the sun is now approaching a ‘grand minimum’ in its output. The result, it is said, could be colder summers, and intensely cold winters.
The suggestion that world temperatures may be heading downward in the years ahead is still a controversial one. East Anglia scientist Peter Stott brushes off such suggestions, arguing that at their worst the predicted changes in solar output would be insufficient to counter the effects of greenhouse gases. Solar Scientists, like Henrik Svensmark, director of the Center of Sunclimate Research at Denmark’s National Space Institute, emphatically disagrees, pointing out that the arguments of the warmists are based on computer models, which have already been discredited by the failure of world temperatures to rise since 1997, in direct contradiction of warmist expectations.
Caption: In the past three centuries, contrary to many opinions on this subject, there is no correlation between the quantity of CO2 (carbon dioxide) emitted by human industrial activity and the intensity of global cooling/warming of the Earth’s surface. The only positive correlation, in this case, is the relationship shown between the average temperature of the surface of the earth and solar activity measured as the intensity of observed changes and the average number of sunspots (the Wolf number). [Wikipedia]