Increased CO2 Emissions Will Delay Next Ice Age


An artist

Sir Fred Hoyle Vindicated

(Via Dr. Benny Peiser of the GWPF)

According to new research to be published in Nature Geoscience  (embargoed until 1800 GMT/10AM PST, Sunday 8 January 2012), the next ice age could set in any time

this millennium where it not for increases in anthropogenic CO2 emissions that are preventing such a global disaster from occurring.

The new research confirms the theory developed by the late Sir Fred Hoyle and Professor Chandra Wickramasinghe in the 1990s that without increased levels of CO2 emissions into the atmosphere ‘the drift into new ice-age conditions would be inevitable.’

Hoyle and Wickramasinghe published their controversial idea in CCNet in July 1999:


Fred Hoyle


Sir Fred Hoyle - Image via Wikipedia

By Fred Hoyle and Chandra Wickramasinghe

[…] The problem for the present swollen human species is of a drift back into an ice-age, not away from an ice-age. Manifestly, we need all the greenhouse we can get, even to the extent of the British Isles becoming good for the growing of vines….

The renewal of ice-age conditions would render a large fraction of the world’s major food-growing areas inoperable, and so would inevitably lead to the extinction of most of the present human population. Since bolide impacts cannot be called up to order, we must look to a sustained greenhouse effect to maintain the present advantageous world climate. This implies the ability to inject effective greenhouse gases into the atmosphere, the opposite of what environmentalists are erroneously advocating. …

Full paper available here:


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From the link:
“Information circulated on the cambridge-conference network is for
scholarly use only.”
So if I understand what they are saying…I can use their ‘ideas’ to promote mass hysteria? Crazy doomsday movies should not be attributed to their hypothesis’s?
Did Mann’s hockey trick paper come with a similar disclosure statement?


So far, I don’t see enough evidence that AnthroCO2 has enough warming effect to stop the next glaciation. I can hope, though.

Mark Hladik

Except that the only “greenhouse” gas that matters, is water vapor, and about half of what comes out of your tailpipe IS water vapor, so aren’t we already doing everything we can?
Mark H.


Already? I had hoped we could have been given a tiny breathingspace between the warming scare and the freezing scare.
Behold the world’s scaremongers reversing their predictions. It is just a matter of changing a little sign, after all.
“…the next ice age could set in any time this millennium where it not for increases in anthropogenic CO2 emissions that are preventing such a global disaster from occurring.”
Any time…meaning, presumably, the next decade or in five hundred years from now. Does it sound familiar?


Give me global warming any day over an ice age – an ice age has far far worse implications for humanity!

Fred Hoyle was right not only about this…

Wait… common sense reasoning?
Better growing seasons = good. Frozen wasteland apocalypse = bad.


Didn’t Svante Arrhenius come to the same basic conclusion in the late 19th Century, that more anthropogenic CO2 was a good thing and would avoid another Little Ice Age? Is it not also true that Knut Ångström concluded in 1900 that CO2 was overemphasized, and Thomas Crowder wrote in the 1920s that he regretted he was a victim of Arrhenius’s error?
Avoiding the next ice age is a good thing, but anthropogenic CO2 is inadequate to stave off such a massive cyclic climate shift.


I find the premise of this article confusing. If AGW is a lie, how is this possible? Or, are we talking about postponing the next ice age by… Four weeks?

Pat Frank

If the recent increased atmospheric CO2 is not an important cause for the recent climate warming, then it is unlikely to do much to prevent any future ice age. One can’t have it both ways.
All seven previous ice ages began, after all, just when atmospheric CO2 was at its contemporaneous maximum.


Surely he isn’t serious…


Yes, maybe two…three days?


Here we have the basic scenario of “Fallen Angels” by Niven, Pournelle, and Flynn. 1991. Fred Hoyle wrote science fiction too — “The Black Cloud”, 1957. Since the creators of both science and science fiction can be a garrulous lot, it’d be interesting to find out which way the influences went.

Pete H

No way!!!!!!!!!! The models show it is impossible! Anyway, some people have just invested in property in Greenland and people around Hadrians wall in the U.K. are producing wine from grapes! As for those poor white bears moving into their brown coats……….This is so unfair! 😉


The rational position on anthropogenic CO2 is that it is a greehouse gas but with a small, miniscule and negligible effect and there is no amplifying factor to make it larger, or large enough to matter.
Therefore, CO2 can’t delay the next ice age significantly either.

“the next ice age could set in any time this millennium where it not for increases in anthropogenic CO2…”
Should that not be “were”?
And, well, harumph, this is just very strange. Have your cake and eat it too. More crystal-ball waving, as if the warmists didn’t do it enough.

Area Man

Is it not a reasonable test for any climate model that it be required to faithfully show regular glaciation/”ice ages” in order to be taken seriously, since we know the climate does behave in that way historically?
If so, do any of the current “best” climate models show such events arising spontaneously as they did in earth’s history?

What volume of gas added to the atmosphere would it take to overcome the solar wind the gravity could retain? An object strike would eject some energy into space. Maybe some large oceanic caldera would produce enough energy to quickly overcome the gripping ice.

Alan Statham

You have spent years denying in the face of all the evidence that CO2 has any effect on global temperatures. Suddenly you’ve realised that it can have a major effect. Nice to see you actually might have some capacity for learning!

Interstellar Bill

If our CO2 is preventing the next Glaciation then it’s a good thing,
in light of the 2010 Science article saying
that the next one will likely not end at all.
In fact, it might suck CO2 down so low
that all plants on Earth would die.
Just because extra CO2 won’t cause catastrophe
doesn’t mean it has zero effect.
Besides, it’s easy to stop an Ice Age as it’s starting:
just dump coal dust on Labrador’s summer snow,
which is where the last Glaciation began.


ParisParamus says:
January 8, 2012 at 10:16 am
Oh, the HUMANITY! Where is R Gates when we need him/her? We’re terribly in need of a model!

Jerker Andersson

If most or all of the increase is of anthropogenic origin then the extra greenhouseffect from CO2 could delay the next iceage some, indeed. For humans living today it is rather irrellevant since it is a slow drift over several millenia. First the climate has to slowly drift to the point where Little Ice age climate is considered as a normal climate and we know that didn’t happen over a decade.
If currently a majority of the CO2 increase is of natural origin due to increased temperature (Henrys law) then the discussion about anthropogenic CO2 delaying the next ice age becomes less important since more than half of the increse then could be due to rising temperatures and not due to anthropogenic emissions.

cui bono

This is climate alarmism in reverse. There are plenty of reasons for believing the next few decades will trend cooler, but no need to try to net off one catastrophe with its opposite.

Doug Proctor

ParisParamus says:
January 8, 2012 at 10:16 am
I find the premise of this article confusing. If AGW is a lie, how is this possible? Or, are we talking about postponing the next ice age by… Four weeks?
A very valid point. Can’t have it both ways .. unless you think like a warmist, that is.

Good, they’re reminding us of what we know with absolute certainty can happen at any moment, namely the end of the Holocene and a transition to Mama Nature’s real plans for the next 100,000 years. A descent into the next ice age would make even the worst case alarmist scenarios look rosy.
Even if it becomes a “next big scare”, at least its solutions won’t involve stamping out energy production at the same time the world’s economies are sliding into a tar pit of massively over-leveraged debt.

I really don’t see how CO2 is going to have enough of an impact. The “top” of our greenhouse is the tropopause. What is going to matter most for the temperature within the troposphere is the temperature from the tropopause upward. Stratospheric heating is mostly caused by solar UV heating. A decrease in solar UV would, I would think, result in a greater cooling of the stratosphere than any increase in CO2 might cause heating.


Chuckle.. Fred Hoyle is a well known “denier”
He is just having a bit of fun at the expense of the warmist bretheren.

Alan Statham says:
January 8, 2012 at 10:47 am

Alan, you seem to have both a critical thinking and reading deficiency problem. Are you ever going to contribute anything here?


Oh dear lord how much more nonsense are we going to see, I keep on top of this stuff and even I have a real problem keeping a straight face at this stuff these days. What do these guys think the general public are going to think of this latest piece of Hype?
They will laugh their socks off and rightly so imho!


So it would be quite literally be a crime against future generations to let our CO2 output lapse or they’ll all be buried under a mile of ice.

Sorry, as someone else has said – you can’t claim simultaneously that manmade CO2 is not causing warming, but *is* preventing an Ice Age by causing warming!

R. Gates

Apparently Fred Hoyle and Chandra Wickramasinghe did not understand that greenhouse gases do nothing at all to warm our atmosphere as according to certain skeptics all (or 99.5%) of the warming if from gravity and the ideal gas law.
In my estimation, it would not at all surprize me if there was a bit of truth to the notion that the next glacial advance based on Milankovitch cycles could be somewhat inhibited by higher greenhouse gases than we’ve seen at the end of previous interglacials. I think the exact computation of this is difficult however without taking the full earth-system response into account when balancing the reduced insolation from the Milankovitch cycle that sets up a glacial advance versus the higher levels of greenhouse gases. However, I’m not convinced that by Milankovtich cycles that the next glacial advance would be coming in the next thousand years anyway.
This article does a very good job at looking at these issues:

a reader

Hoyle had some rather wild ideas about ice ages down through the years. I read his book “Ice” written in 1981. It was pretty roundly panned I believe, although like many wrong ideas, it’s still fun to read (but that’s just me.)
He seemed to think ice ages began when supercooled water in the upper atmosphere formed ice crystals at -40C and scattered incoming sunlight with enough going back into space to cool the earth. If I remember correctly, but I may not, so now I guess I’ll have to go back and reread. He did have some weird ideas about erratics and how they were transported but some of his questions about how they got where they ended up were interesting.

R. Gates

Here’s the full article from my previoius post which only gave a link to the abstract:

mike williams

Alan Statham says:
January 8, 2012 at 10:47 am
You have spent years denying in the face of all the evidence that CO2 has any effect on global temperatures.
No need for humorous sophistry please. Most commentators here in the face of ALL the evidence have always stated that it has a negligible effect on climate.Unlike the $CAGW$ crowd.

Gareth Phillips

I seem to recall Arthur C Clark mentioning this idea in the 80s in his predictions of possible future scenarios. He was also a fiction writer who’s concepts often became realised.

Ice Age ?
No I would not think so, not for many thousands of years.
Here is Vukcevic hypothesis for
Ice Age failure in the current ‘cold’ Milankovic cycle
There are 3 major ridges in the North Atlantic arranged in a shape of the Greek letter ‘pi’:
Greenland – Scotland, Faroe and Reykjanes.
The first two are dormant and the Reykjanes is the only active one.
The important one is the Greenland – Scotland ridge which controls inflow of the warm and the outflow of cold water in and out the Arctic Ocean.
Only if the G-S ridge becomes active and raises see floor reducing the cold Arctic outflow the Arctic ice build up would reach tipping point.
Fortunately the ridge is not active and even if it became active, it might take many thousands of years for the ridge to become critical, by then the N. Hemisphere could be in the next ‘warm’ Milankovic cycle.
No need for concern.


This ClimateGate 2 email (from the recent post listing 250 CG2 emails) sheds some light on climate apparatchik’s “thinking” on the subject of global warming and the next ice age:
Oddly it seems that someone somewhere has woken up to the fact that the current interglacial could end at any time. Its priceless how they are trying to keep the public focussed on global warming which they evidently have stopped even believing themselves, and keep the ice age question swept under the carpet.

I’ll leave a note in my will for my great great great great great great great great great great great great grandchildren to stay in Australia.


from the paper:
In distant geological periods the heat storage in the oceans was
considerably greater than it is at present. Today the ocean bottom
waters are close to freezing, whereas only 50 million years ago the
bottom temperature was about 15’C and the available oceanic heat was
then equivalent to a 50 year supply of sunlight. The difference has
been caused by drifting continents, especially by the positioning of
Antarctica and Greenland at or close to the poles. Melt water from
arctic glaciers has gradually filled the lower ocean with water close
to freezing, greatly reducing the margin of safety against ice-age
conditions developing. This is why the past million years has been
essentially a continuing ice-age, broken occasionally by short-lived
interglacials. It is also why those who have engaged in lurid talk over
an enhanced greenhouse effect raising the Earth’s temperature by a
degree or two should be seen as both demented and dangerous. The
problem for the present swollen human species is of a drift back into
an ice-age, not away from an ice-age.


To believe this and any of the climate change claptrap that is being passed around masquerading as science, you must believe that CO2 traps heat. So far, I have seen nothing that passes as proof.
Likewise, I have seen nothing in the way of proof that there is a greenhouse in the atmosphere. Therefore, I am skeptical of the whole greenhouse theory.
I tend to think that the gas laws of Boyle and Charles and the laws of thermodynamics are still valid, and will be for the foreseeable future.

Victor Barney

Thankyou for using science to answer these marxist’s driven intellectual fools!

a reader

OK, if you read the linked CCnet paper, it basically explains the same theory as “Ice”. He thinks the Milankovic forcing is incapable of cooling the whole earth at once.


R. Gates says:
January 8, 2012 at 11:42 am
However, I’m not convinced that by Milankovtich cycles that the next glacial advance would be coming in the next thousand years anyway.
From the paper:
“Claims in favour of the astronomical theory, made from numerical computer studies, say more
about the work of computer studies than they do about ice-ages.”


A new cooling scare won’t go anywhere IMO, even if realistic, unless it’s based on aerosols. Shutting down industry by regulating CO2 isn’t just a means to control AGW. It is actually the goal (of a certain element of the movement of course). This kind of cooling scare won’t justify de industrialization.


Yet another authority is used for extolling and enabling the magical powers of CO2. A dead one this time. Simple minded argument with a simple minded conclusion: CO2 is a very magical gas. If we can control the ammount of CO2 we can control climate.
As long as the argument is confined to the head of a pin, control of the dialogue is not lost, and the orthodoxy remains intact.


“The Black Cloud” sits in my book collection, along with
“Energy or Extinction? The case for nuclear energy.”
First is well written fun piece of fiction.
The second, is non-fiction (late 1970’s iirc) and illustrates Western culture’s dependance on energy… and predicts that nuclear will finally be the sensible major source.


That’s an old article full of speculation, assuming that we have nailed the mechanism of the ice age. The more we discover, the further we are away from that. Right now we know that when the ice advanced south of the great lakes, during the last glacial maximum, summer temperatures in Arctic Siberia are higher than today. Also winter temperatures are constrained by the winter hardiness of species found in sediments and mammoth gutters. Where once a big ice sheets were projected, to balance the sea level – ice volume equation, in reality, horses, musk ox and reindeers roamed the steppes of Siberia (now taiga and tundra) -oh and mammoths too.
Also analysis of the amazone fan and other sediments have determined that the biological output of the Brazilian rainforest then was on the same levels of today.
So it looks like the estimate of the avergae global temperature during the last glacial maximum needs some revision too.

a jones

I studied under Hoyle until he threw me out for being a Big Bang heretic.
By some time in the 70’s he was advocating preventing an ice age by pumping cold deep ocean water to the surface supposedly to warm the oceans over time sufficiently. Never saw that his energetics were sound on this myself. There is only so much sunlight to go round as it were.
But even a back of the envelope calculation suggested the amount of pumping capacity needed was so far beyond any realistic assessment of the economic and engineering capabilities of that time, and indeed even now, as to be utter fantasy.
Never terribly strong on such practicalities our Sir Fred. Like so many very clever men, and he was, he had problems in understanding how the world works in terms of people. Much the same as many theorists of Marxism, Greenery and other supposedly revolutionary movements that are going to improve or save the world.
But as far as a future ice age goes I too am a fan of using carbon black to block advancing ice sheets. But I suspect by the time the problem actually occurs we will have much better technology than that.
As for CO2 preventing an ice age: once again that is also pure fantasy.
Kindest Regards


Ice Ages – bullish for property prices in Australia…?!
(Of course – the climate will need to be sensitive to CO2 to stop or delay the next ice age, and the world has experienced icy times with high CO2 – so no go).

Mark H. says: Except that the only “greenhouse” gas that matters, is water vapor, and about half of what comes out of your tailpipe IS water vapor, so aren’t we already doing everything we can?
industrial waste dihydrogenmonoxide (alias water) variable 20% to 100% (relative)
CO2 0.04% (threateningly high)
I leave all my cars idling overnight, switched from heat pump to coal burning stove heat (in all 12 rooms, of course), use propane gas range and hot water, all bees wax candle lighting, fly on airplanes with at least 4 engines, stop at both green and red lights, painted my roof black, lawn too, distill all yard waste into alcohols, burn that too, burn all my garbage, waste trips to the store (more CO2/H2O saturated beer),…still cheaper than alternative renewable energy, and increases sweating.