Imagine the Earth Entering an Ice Age

Guest Post by Bob Tisdale

The Earth is presently in an interglacial period—a period between ice ages. Since the end of the last ice age, Earth’s surface temperatures have been above the temperature needed to maintain ice sheets and glaciers, which covered much of the land masses at mid-to-high latitudes in the Northern Hemisphere. As a result, those ice sheets and glaciers have been melting for tens of thousands of years and sea levels have risen…and will continue to rise until the start of the next ice age.

Many of us are old enough to remember the scare stories from the 1970s, a time when climate scientists were warning that Earth was returning to an ice age.

For fun, imagine the multidecadal uptick in global surface temperatures didn’t happen from the 1970s to present—that global surfaces actually cooled a comparable amount, that sea levels were dropping, that glaciers and ice sheets were gaining mass.

Would mankind still be blamed? What would be different?

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Geologist Down The Pub Sez
December 7, 2014 4:56 pm

Of course it will be our fault, silly. If a tree falls in a forest, and no liberal is near to hear it, it will still be our fault. You know that.

Reply to  Geologist Down The Pub Sez
December 7, 2014 10:55 pm

Please don’t use the word “liberal” to refer to people that do not have the beginning of a clue as to what the word “liberal” actually means.

Reply to  Brute
December 8, 2014 6:08 am

Just like utilization of the term “Climate Change”, the nefarious hide behind an intended façade of deception. As long as the gullible public isn’t willing to do sufficient research to determine the truth, the nefarious will be successful. The actual meaning of any label isn’t the issue.

Reply to  Brute
December 8, 2014 7:00 am

The current meaning of “liberal” (lower case “l”) is one aligned with the Progressive movement that originally had to change their labeling back in the early part of the last century (due to immense unpopularity) and the Socialist/Marxist part of the population… along with their useful idiots. They chose the term “liberal” in an effort to hide their agenda and to confuse the population who might mistake them for classical Liberals (upper case “L”) a political bent today more aligned with small government Conservatives and Libertarian political spectra. The lower case version has been an accepted usage for almost a century.
Since “liberal” is really starting to get its well deserved bad rap, despite the support of the “news” media, they are going back to the Progressive label since the extremely poor historical educations (through policy driven by liberal politicians and “educators”) no one equates that movement with the horrors it supported and supports today.

Reply to  Brute
December 9, 2014 10:16 am

Thank you for the highly informative post.

Reply to  Geologist Down The Pub Sez
December 8, 2014 2:59 am

In today’s world it does not matter whether we enter another Little Ice Age, a glacial advance, ice age, more global warming, slight cooling or continued surface temperature standstill – it would be blamed on man. It no longer matters how you swing this cat.

Letter To Nature – 16 January 1992
Gifford H. Miller et al
Will greenhouse warming lead to Northern Hemisphere ice-sheet growth?
……We find that the geological data support the idea that greenhouse warming, which is expected to be most pronounced in the Arctic and in the winter months, coupled with decreasing summer insolation7 may lead to more snow deposition than melting at high northern latitudes8 and thus to ice-sheet growth.
========== – March 28, 2011
Dr. George Kukla
“Believe it or not, the last glacial started with ‘global warming!‘”
Global Ecology1971
John Holdren
“It seems, however, that a competing effect has dominated the situation since 1940. This is the reduced transparency of the atmosphere to incoming light as a result of urban air pollution (smoke, aerosols), agricultural air pollution (dust), and volcanic ash. This screening phenomenon is said to be responsible for the present world cooling trend—a total of about .2°C in the world mean surface temperature over the past quarter century. This number seems small until it is realized that a decrease of only 4°C would probably be sufficient to start another ice age. Moreover, other effects besides simple screening by air pollution threaten to move us in the same direction. In particular, a mere one percent increase in low cloud cover would decrease the surface temperature by .8°C. We may be in the process of providing just such a cloud increase, and more, by adding man-made condensation nuclei to the atmosphere in the form of jet exhausts and other suitable pollutants. A final push in the cooling direction comes from man-made changes in the direct reflectivity of the earth’s surface (albedo) through urbanization, deforestation, and the enlargement of deserts.
The effects of a new ice age on agriculture and the supportability of large human populations scarcely need elaboration here. Even more dramatic results are possible, however; for instance, a sudden outward slumping in the Antarctic ice cap, induced by added weight, could generate a tidal wave of proportions unprecedented in recorded history.”

Reply to  Jimbo
December 8, 2014 1:08 pm

Here you go. Something else to worry about, and note that the near record extents of Antarctica sea ice has already been blamed on man-made global warming. When will it end????
[ H/t The Ghost Of Big Jim Cooley ]

LiveScience – 4 December, 2014
Growing Antarctic Ice Sheets May Have Sparked Ice Age
….The researchers suggested that the growth of the Antarctic ice sheet altered ocean currents worldwide. More Antarctic sea ice would have meant there was less warm, salty water from the North Atlantic that rose upwards and mixed with the surface waters surrounding Antarctica. Instead, this conveyer belt of heat would have redirected into the deep waters of the Pacific Ocean, and these changes in heat flow might have been substantial enough to initiate glacier formation in the Northern Hemisphere…..
Abstract ?

I’m going out for a beer. I can’t take anymore of this.

Gentle Tramp
Reply to  Geologist Down The Pub Sez
December 8, 2014 3:44 am

It is simply the core of the ruling eco-religion that all evil things which happen in the universe are the righteous punishments for OUR sins against mother nature…
Why is this crazy belief so dominant in our “enlightened” societies?
a) There is some truth in it since many eco-problems are really caused by mankind and its overpopulation.
b) The religious sentiment that our sins will lead to punishments in form of calamities of all kinds is a very ancient archetype in the human psychology.

Reply to  Geologist Down The Pub Sez
December 8, 2014 5:58 pm

No, some wag would probably say it’s Bush’s fault….

Reply to  Bob Tisdale
December 7, 2014 6:39 pm

Overrun by polar bears. That have migrated south to NYC.

Reply to  Gary
December 7, 2014 8:47 pm

Record hot summers blamed on the coming ice age. (Currently the record cold winters are blamed on global warming).

Santa Baby
Reply to  Gary
December 7, 2014 10:31 pm

It’s about social engineering, money and power and it has been like this for at least 5.000 years.

Leo G
Reply to  Bob Tisdale
December 8, 2014 12:17 am

Mike’s alternate Nature trick would be a different twist on the hockey stick.

Jim Francisco
Reply to  Bob Tisdale
December 8, 2014 8:31 am

Sea levels falling. Boat docks will have to be moved. The stink of low tide will be constant. The coral reefs will die. Sea life in danger. Penquins and walruses oh my.

Joe Crawford
Reply to  Jim Francisco
December 8, 2014 9:06 am

Ahh, you don’t like the smell of puff mud? I love it. It tells me it is time to get out the shrimp nets.

Winnipeg Boy
Reply to  Jim Francisco
December 8, 2014 9:37 am

Cats and dogs, living together. Mass hysteria.

Malcolm Leafwind
Reply to  Bob Tisdale
December 8, 2014 9:56 am

Headline: “Global cooling enthusiasts predict new La Nina will end the Cooling Pause by sucking all remaining heat from the Earth.”

December 7, 2014 4:59 pm

“What would be different?”
Mann wouldn’t have to worry about the Tiljander data, for one thing.

Reply to  H.R.
December 7, 2014 5:18 pm

“What would be different?”
The world would be richer, but algore would not be,

Reply to  philjourdan
December 7, 2014 6:43 pm

No, you are incorrect – algore (son of Igore, I think) would still be rich, but off a different notion – that humans are responsible for catastrophic global cooling! Once a dishonest opportunist, always a dishonest opportunist.

John F. Hultquist
Reply to  H.R.
December 7, 2014 5:40 pm

Imagine someone new to these topics encountering the word “Mann” and the word “Tiljander” without any context. A first thought– “Man has landed on Titan and no longer needs lander data.” I don’t mean for anyone to take this comment as a criticism, rather that there is a lot of stuff about “climate science” that has taken many hours of reading to acquire and anyone new to the topic is way behind.

Reply to  John F. Hultquist
December 8, 2014 5:19 am

You are entirely correct, John. However, it was a tchotchke for the cognoscenti. Hope you liked it.

Gary Hladik
Reply to  John F. Hultquist
December 12, 2014 6:36 pm

John, Google is the newbie’s friend. I entered “Tiljander data” and “Mann Tiljander” into Google and at the top of the result lists were a number of articles from various blogs, including Climate Audit and WUWT.

Bill 2
December 7, 2014 5:07 pm

Except that didn’t happen

Reply to  Bill 2
December 7, 2014 10:56 pm

What didn’t happen?

Otter (ClimateOtter on Twitter)
Reply to  Brute
December 8, 2014 1:29 am

And does bill2 know what didn’t happen?

Will Nelson
Reply to  Brute
December 8, 2014 11:44 am

I know exactly what didn’t happen…
Just having a bit of a time proving it.

Reply to  Bob Tisdale
December 8, 2014 4:17 am

I like fracking as the one word.

John F. Hultquist
December 7, 2014 5:17 pm

What would be different? Speaking of the UN-IPPC and green groups, not much. Their agenda has nothing to do with Earth’s dynamic systems and all to do with redistribution doctrine. A few word changes here and there and they go on as they now do.
From the viewpoint of those actually interested in Earth systems a new “glacial epoch” ** would be spectacularly interesting. It would be almost the same as space explorers visiting a new earth-like planet. To boldly go – and all that. Tough times, though.

Ian W
Reply to  John F. Hultquist
December 8, 2014 5:53 am

And should harsh cooling actually statt in the next few years observe the seamless volte face and demands for carbon taxes to stop the cooling that they will have claimed to have forecast all along, after all it is the IPCC not the IPGW.

December 7, 2014 5:18 pm

We are still in an ice age that started about 3 million years ago. We are very fortunate to be in one of the interglacial warm periods with temperatures near our modern “normal” for about the last 12,000 years. Based on the duration of the previous four interglacial periods, there is about a 75% chance that a gradual descent into the next intensely cold glacial period could start any time within the next couple thousand years and, if we are lucky, there is a 25% chance it might last another 10,000 years like the one that started about 418,000 years ago and lasted about 25,000 years. I posted more here: Interglacial Comparisons.
Here’s the interglacial period comparison graph that serves as a crude climate “persistence” forecast:

Tom in Florida
Reply to  oz4caster
December 7, 2014 7:41 pm

The difference in interglacial times is likely due to eccentricity. The eccentricity similarities of now and 400,000 years ago makes a good bet that we will endure an interglacial of approximately the same length as then.

Jim Francisco
December 7, 2014 5:21 pm

Bob.. One of the arguments I have used with alarmist is that that much more of the northern hemisphere was covered with ice around 12000 years ago. Then something caused a warm up and melt much of it away. I don’t think it was the campfires of people. What do you think caused the warm up?

Tom in Florida
Reply to  Jim Francisco
December 7, 2014 7:44 pm

Obliquity moving towards 24.5 degrees with NH summer moving towards perihelion.

Jim Francisco
Reply to  Tom in Florida
December 8, 2014 8:17 am

If that is the cause, why does the period seem so unpredictable?

Tom in Florida
Reply to  Tom in Florida
December 8, 2014 11:36 am

Eccentricity is the other variable that appears to help determine the length of interglacials. Plus when speaking in such long term periods a couple of thousand years one way or the other is not a big deal.

December 7, 2014 5:23 pm

“They” would still be blaming big oil and coal and demanding that we reduce our standard of living since settled science and 97% of the scientists agree that CO2 emissions causes cooling of the earth.

Reply to  Catcracking
December 7, 2014 5:25 pm

And, “We must act now,” Catcracking.

John fisk
December 7, 2014 5:23 pm

Can you imagine the industrial northern countries trying to re locate south because of global cooling and the onset of ice sheets? It would be horrendous , 3rd world,war territory

Reply to  John fisk
December 8, 2014 3:29 am

I believe the american govt has already made plans to relocate some of its people looking to the sth americas and aus I heard..
they might like to plan to ASK nicely first;-/

Reply to  ozspeaksup
December 8, 2014 7:15 am

I don’t think Gitmo counts.

Reply to  ozspeaksup
December 8, 2014 8:41 am

We’ll be sure to ask, just like the Mexicans crossing our common border and all the tourist visa holders (who fly in and never go back) get permission first… So how many does that make, about 12-20 million?
Seriously, I hope we never do that to our friend Australia… But Central/South America? Payback’s a bitch!

Reply to  ozspeaksup
December 14, 2014 7:08 am

DaveMCT, if it comes down to inconveniencing 23 million Aussies or allowing hundreds of millions of your own countrymen to die, there will be no discussion. Sucks for us, but that’s the reality of realpolitiks. I’m sure that both your Diplomatic and Defence Depts have it worked out as to what threats and equipment to use to invade and colonize us. No foul, that’s their job. 😉

Reply to  ozspeaksup
December 16, 2014 9:26 am

IF real science showed that serious cooling is beginning, then I expect we would welcome many of our US and European friends. It would need a crash programme to build power plants and desal plants. Also to move hundred of millions of tonnes of good growing dirt would be helpful too. Once done we can easily support a population of a billion or so.
Assuming a sane and sensible human race – oh wait…

Reply to  John fisk
December 8, 2014 11:37 am

Historians will likely argue that WW 3 was the “Cold War” and the Global War on Terrorism we’re in now is WW 4. The “Cold War” was pretty warm from the perspective of someone on the receiving end of Soviet attentions…

December 7, 2014 5:23 pm

Is there anything CO2 can’t do?

Leonard Lane
Reply to  RD
December 7, 2014 9:47 pm

CO2 does not burn. Not a good fuel.

Reply to  Leonard Lane
December 8, 2014 4:01 am

Excellent fuel if you can convert it into shares.

Michael 2
December 7, 2014 5:24 pm

As I recall, global cooling was blamed on industry — sulfur and soot in particular.

Reply to  Michael 2
December 7, 2014 5:53 pm

Don’t forget “nuclear winter”.

Reply to  Michael 2
December 8, 2014 3:30 am

yup, so you sold off your manufacturing plants to asia..and your jobs were lost.
and now asias profited but got the filthy air water etc.

Reply to  ozspeaksup
December 8, 2014 4:54 am

Selling off old tech and industry might not be so bad if we were educating our people better and building new industries faster. The dirty secret of the National Education Association is an agent of social change, meaning the US as we knew it had to be weakened in order to replace it with a socialist utopia. Key elements in the process were disconnecting people from their beliefs and values, and the destruction of institutions we used to build the nation. History, religion, community, family are all under attack. People don’t trust each other and still think they need more government. Our leaders are driving us by omission and commission toward a police state, a tremendously weakened economy, and possibly even civil war. None of these things is necessary. Our problems are man-made, largely a result of bloated regulation and over-reaching law. An uneducated public can’t identify lies and manipulation.

December 7, 2014 5:25 pm

What would be different is that the public would be all in a tizzy demanding that the government do something about it, and every science funding proposal would include some words about fighting climate change.

Michael D
December 7, 2014 5:27 pm

This question relates to the article by Dr. Tim Ball on WUWT November 23rd. Setting aside the unfortunate Mein Kampf reference, that article made some interesting hypotheses about the motivation behind the Global Warming rhetoric. Like Dr. Ball, I suspect that the underlying motive for global warming was not science but rather a perceived (and perhaps well-intentioned) desire to check the unchecked expansion of global human development.
Thus if the Earth had been exhibiting a cooling trend, presumably the originators (including non-scientist Al Gore) would have come up with a scary story such as: “water vapour from our cars and coal plants is increasing cloud cover and thus increasing Earthy’s effective albedo and thus leading to an Ice Age.”

Reply to  Michael D
December 7, 2014 8:35 pm

If the radical greens had their way the ” mein Kampf” reference would be an understatement and an insult to Hitler.

December 7, 2014 5:27 pm

Lack of heat is a horrific idea. People are afraid of global warming? Cooling is far more devastating.

Reply to  Dave
December 7, 2014 6:01 pm

I think the idea of hell would scare more people if the bible described it as a frozen wasteland with no way to build a fire.

Alan Radlett
Reply to  Dawtgtomis
December 8, 2014 1:34 am

Isn’t that the old Norse version of Hell

Reply to  Dawtgtomis
December 8, 2014 6:14 am

The proverb to use here: ‘cold as Russian hell’
Frankly I don’t know which one is worse. Technically it is easier to survive in space (3K) than inside a star (1e7K). Lets still say it is a draw.

December 7, 2014 5:29 pm

Without doubt there would be frantic calls for “MORE CO2!” Imagine what it would be like if this bunch were around back when the atmospheric O2 level dropped from around 30% to just over 20%. “More CO2 to grow more trees to make more O2 or we’re all gonna suffocate in ten years!”

Reply to  JayB
December 7, 2014 6:54 pm

Remember the “lungs of the earth” argument with regard to the rain forest?

December 7, 2014 5:29 pm

Been there, done that There was a global COOLING scare back when poor Jimmy Carter was President. I used to go shooting at a range that was on the glide path to Dulles. We occasionally watched the Concorde SST come in for a landing. Poor Jimmy issued an executive order banning the SST. Because it’s con trails at that altitude (note to moderator: That’s CON not CHEM) would reflect sun light and cause global COOLING. What a putz. (I learned that on the East Coast, also)

December 7, 2014 5:30 pm

One big problem Bob T. The sealevel 9000 years ago, long after the glaciars and ice sheet had started to melt after the last Ice Age, was more than 54 meters HIGHER than today. Well actually that’s a correct figure, not a corrected one, but still an illusion……. the reason was Archimedes principle True today as always.
Oh one other reason – while land that have had ice/glaciers or large inland lakes filled with water starts rising at the same time there exist landsinking…. that’s due to Natural forces – if a landmass “tip” that might be due to Archimedes princip in other parts of same part of land and/or same tectonic plate. A landrise starts the moment land above is rising above sealevel. – that’s an retarding movement thus land in for example Northern Sweden still rises with “higher” speed than land in south (Skåne) where land is sinking.
From my C-essay Vattenvägarna in mot Roxen i äldre tider, Historia Linköpings Universitet 1993. English title would be: Waterways towards Lake Roxen:
Omkring 7.700 f.Kr avskiljdes Vättern från Yoldiahavet. Strandlinjen i Motala låg då 4 m under nuvarande strand-linje. Nordliga strandkanten av Vättern låg 12 m över samt södra strandkanten 43 m under Vätterns nuvarande strandlinje. En snabbare landhöjning i norr än i söder ledde till en ännu pågående tippning av Vättern som omkring 5.700 f.Kr resulterade i bildandet av Motala Ström(note 33)
English text:
Approximately 7700 BC Lake Vättern was separated from the Yoldia Sea. The shoreline in Motala at that point was 4 m below the present shore line. Northern shore of Lake Vättern was 12 m above and the southern shore 43 m below Vätterns current shoreline. A more rapid uplift in the north than in the south caused a still ongoing tipping the Vättern which around 5700 BC resulted in the formation of Motala stream [IEJ: a river floating eastward to the Baltic Sea which the name of Yoldia’s “descendent” is called today] (not 33)
Note 33: Håkansson Lars, Ahl Thorsten; SNV PM740 NLU Rapport 88 , Uppsala 1976, sid 12 ff [SNV= Sweden’s NaturvårdsVerk]
There are other reasons for sealevel changes: Erosion, movements of Tectonic Plates and so on. As for Erosion there exist three main types: Wind-; Water- and Temperature Erosion.
One example if the land under or close to sealevel is of granite type water and winderosion causes less problems and landsinking than if the land under or close to sealevel is of lime/chalk type. But that I guess you all know deep in your heart.

Reply to  norah4you
December 8, 2014 6:17 am

“The sealevel 9000 years ago, long after the glaciars and ice sheet had started to melt after the last Ice Age, was more than 54 meters HIGHER than today”
In Stockholm at least. In Bering strait the situation was different.

Reply to  Hugh
December 8, 2014 9:42 am

Glad you noticed the need to first find the sealevels in open sea in order to establish the sealevels from peak of last Ice Age over for example Yoldia Sea to today’s Baltic Sea. (Those of you who aren’t familiar with land rise = land uplift after Ice above melted, please read Archimes principle once again)
Land uplift/Land rise is a retarding movement. From it starts the speed goes down not up. The need to know what type of ground/land under ice and/or water is thus very important. Around today’s Baltic Sea in Scandinavia you in major parts have gneiss and granite on mainland. Which of course due to erosion, temperature and water mainly, have caused dichotomy, split and fissures in landscape.
That’s why I had to use my systemprogrammer skill as well as all knowledge I had gained working two summers in my youth for a Geologic dept at Viak in Linköping and of course the need to use all knowledge not only from their archives but from working a year at Östergötlands Museum as well as what was (and still is) known regarding upliftning north of a line going from today’s Uddevalla, swedish westcoast, over to south Nyköping, swedish eastcoast on over to the Baltic eastwards towards Moskow and further east.
I am not sure if you know the full sequense before and after the Yoldia Sea? If you do, you know that land north of that line had a form of status que for a long period, in other words melting in spring and summer almost was equal to the frizing area in autumn and winter,(we are talking about Sweden and most of Norway – not the coast of Norway where there at this time was open sea up to north Troms.
Stockholm is an interesting place to describe in the Baltic Sea situation. All of you probably knows that Lake Maelaren is a fissure/dichotomic landscape. One thing is important to remember – land north of Lake Maelaren was under water longer after last Ice Age than land in south. Thus the uplift still is more noticeable the far north in Swedish coast up to Haparanda/Torneå you go.
As for Stockholm the sea level of what’s today is the Baltic Sea has had dramatic periods. One was when the so called Götafall opened, a waterfall from the inland sea (more sea than any lake) over land so the waterways were open out to today’s Atlantic. Then again when land had tipped to a certain point causing other reactions in the tectonic plate part of the so called Skandern. Also please note that you never can start from known highest sealevel going on to today. You have to be skilled in math to go for correct, not corrected, figure of each period b a c k w a r d s, before you check for known facts comparing your new curves (you need one curve for each 100 meter from Skåne up to Haparanda/Torneå.
In Stockholm case you also need to know exactly when the Ice over for example Södertälje melted as well as on today’s archipelago of Stockholm. One need to be a skilled systemprogrammer to write good program, not model but correct information to be within Tjebychev’s teorems margin. At least you have to be able to prove from geologic information that each single GPS-point is at least within 50 meter from the curve’s estimated one. On ground not up or down level but what we call “fågelvägen” the way a bird fly.
As for Berents Straith you do have a problem. While the estimated sealevel 9000 years ago is within the margin of error. In other words at that time up and/or down 6,5 (six meter 50 cm). Due to tectonic and vulcanic activity southwards along coasts where streams float northward same occured 14000 BP and as late as 3500 BP. But I guess you know that.
In order to present correct levels of “yesterday” compare the results with known facts form archaelogic excavations’ biologic and geologic data for each period, one need at least 43 different parameters. That’s easy to handle in computer if you skilled mathematician and systemprogrammer. What’s not that easy to come by is the simple fact that sealevel in year X might be completely different in three places within 10 kilometer from each other along same coast. But never mind. That was a problem. An even bigger problem having access to known data from geologic studies in each area around world. But as always – I am a fastreader even faster thinking and registred all data. I had computers do the work before I checked for empiric facts to compare my result with.

December 7, 2014 5:50 pm

Not much would be different. I’m picturing a hockey stick in the opposite direction accompanied by alarmism. Same ol same ol.
Oh and of course it would all be our fault.

Robert Austin
December 7, 2014 5:54 pm

If the earth were cooling instead of warming, they would simply adapt the “science” to point to the extra anthropo-CO2 as causing global cooling. The rational would be that all that extra CO2 in the upper troposphere radiating to space was causing global cooling.

December 7, 2014 5:58 pm

We’d definitely be blamed – the pop scientists of the day were blaming aerosols for global cooling. They’re still keeping that “explanation” dusted off, ready to throw in the mix when its needed – look at all the fuss about how the “pause” was due to Chinese particulates.

Anything is possible
December 7, 2014 6:00 pm

Someone would have to step up and save the planet. Maybe this guy?

Martin S
December 7, 2014 6:00 pm

Hell, maybe places like africa would be better off, with all the northern europeans bringing in better infastructure, quality of life and improved farming as well as industry. At least they wouldnt be forced to cook on indoor fires anymore, it alone killing 300k/y, or denied cheap electricity by the IMF.

Reply to  Martin S
December 8, 2014 4:30 am

Weren’t you paying attention in school when they taught about what happened last time they started that.
White racists taking over and enslaving the poor blacks.
They’re still trying to remove all those extra whites from there.

December 7, 2014 6:02 pm

They would still have their small army of PhD govt-grant lifers. And they would still have some social control (which they would still crave).
eg: govt agencies worldwide could increase their budgets, while making everyone on Earth “care” about every single cold-threatened species, forced to insulate their houses .. you name it.
The main everyday difference, I guess, is that they would not have a tax on energy, and not be able to flog solar/wind turbines and so on. Which would mean economies would be not be as crippled as they are now. It would mean more people would prosper, than currently are. In that respect some of the warmists (not all) would be disappointed, since there is a Luddite strain involved in the current nonsense.
But something else would be going on. CAGW is not just about a political agenda, I would almost call it anthropological. And at that deep level, I am pretty sure a cold scare would not satisfy them like the warm scare does. I have not made up my mind about this. It may partly involve Hunter/gatherer vs agricultural. alpha male vs beta males, some deep struggle like that.

December 7, 2014 6:17 pm

I’m old enough to remember the 70s and yes humans were to blame for the cooling. But don’t worry if we get too full we’ll just tip over 😉

Look out down under here we all come!!! Put the extra beer in the fridge

Mike M
December 7, 2014 6:32 pm

It would be obvious that the story would be that .. “Despite the fact that CO2 contributes to a slight amount of warming as a minor greenhouse gas it has a yet unexplainable cooling affect that is witnessed repeatedly in the ice core record whereby every time temperature goes up CO2 then also goes up to stop the warming and bring temperatures back down again over thousands of years. The addition of human CO2 is causing this otherwise natural cycle to accelerate and will initiate the next ice age sooner than it would have. Catastrophic Anthropogenic Global Cooling is real, unequivocal and the debate is over – so now hand us the research money to find out how bad it is and start taxing CO2 to control the population before we all freeze to death anyway.”

Mike the Morlock
December 7, 2014 6:33 pm
E.J. Mohr
December 7, 2014 6:58 pm

This is an excellent question. All the data we have, tells us the Holocene is very benign and uniform, as far as temperature is concerned. We are very lucky to have attained what we have, as far as technology and wealth is concerned, and to be able to look at this question seriously. Here in western Canada we have plenty of lake sediment data, palynology, chironomid midge data to tell us that there was a Holocene Temperature Optimum and that was around 7000 years before present. Since then the Coast Mountains and the Rockies have experienced the Neo-Glacial with the return of glaciers and a cooler and wetter climate.
Where I am in South East British Columbia the lake sediments tell us that, during the Holocene Climate Optimum, we had a spruce pine ecosystem with frequent summer fires, perhaps like interior Washington State or northern Oregon, that has since been replaced by Mountain Hemlock, Western Hemlock, and in the lowlands, Western Red Cedar. All of this indicates a cooling climate for the last 4000 years or so.
Considering the fact that the average annual temperature was perhaps 2C to 4C warmer in the past, and everything seems to have been just fine, we should be studying the effects, and possible causes of colder temperatures. I think it is imperative that we seriously consider potential cooling. and that we leave no stone unturned in looking at possible mechanisms. A dip into the Pleistocene normal temperature pool would be a disaster.

December 7, 2014 7:06 pm

The only difference is the extraordinary level of money being squandered on the folly of CAGW or CAGC if the trough-dwellers do a “bait and switch” amazing world of nutty wastrels we live in..

December 7, 2014 7:13 pm

This CAGW hypothesis gained popular acceptance by the masses simply because global temps just happen to have risen at 0.14C/decade (HADCRUT4) for 18 years between 1980 and 1998.
It now seems plausible that most of the warming between 1980~98 was caused by: 6 El Ninos between 1983~98, the PDO entered its 30-yr warm cycle in 1977, the 2nd & 3rd strongest solar cycles since 1715 took place between 1976~96 and the AMO entered its 30-yr warm cycle in 1994.
Now all these natural phenomenon have reversed and/or are winding down, and global temp trends have been flat/falling/static for the past 18 years (depending on temp database used).
In the late 1970’s, some climatologists hypothesized the Earth was entering a New Ice Age, because global temp trends had been falling between 1943~1977, and they were blaming manmade fossil fuel particulates for the falling global temps… It was actually because the PDO was in its 30-yr cool cycle from 1943~1977 and the AMO entered its 30-yr cool cycle in 1964…
The strategy of the CAGW acolytes is to run out the clock until the PDO reenter its 30-yr warm cycle around 2035. In the interim, they’ll dust off the old hypothesis that fossil fuel particulates are overwhelming CO2 forcing and that global temp trends will eventually start rising again in the future, which they will….
The problem with this strategy is that it has already become impossible for CAGW’s ECS projections to be even remotely possible…
It’s time to call it a day and run this CAGW hypothesis through the shredder. It has become a joke.
All the physics and empirical evidence shows ECS will be between 0.5C~1.0C, which isn’t a problem.

December 7, 2014 7:16 pm

Well you never know, we may get to find out in the next 20-30 years.
Nature has a wry sense of humor, to paraphrase the Bard, “I can Kill, and I can smile as I Kill” and Mother Nature has certainly been grinning from ear to ear over the duration of Human history.
If we do drink the Malthusian Kool Aid, we won’t have the energy or energy infrastructure to survive a seriously dismal epoch, then again I think that’s the intended-unintended consequences of the Green blob.
Just follow the trails left by the planets ultra,ultra, ultra rich. Then camp where-ever they set up their luxury seal and baby yak skin tents, should give us an indicator of where the most Fat, Sugar and debauchery can be found.
P.S. No invite required.

December 7, 2014 7:23 pm

Would mankind still be blamed? What would be different?

If the solar output was still puffing up our atmospheric gasses, through out the various atmospheric levels we might still be warming.
But the solar outputs are kaput and our thermospheric gasses like Carbon dioxide for instance is contributing “One Trillion Less KiloWatt Hours of Energy in 2013 than 2002”
From page 15 of:
Observations and Consequences of Solar Cycle 24: The Perspective from Earth’s Upper Atmosphere
Martin G. Mlynczak, NASA Langley Research Center, Hampton, VA
Linda A. Hunt, SSAI, Hampton, VA
James M. Russell III, Hampton Univ., Hampton, VA
Press Conference December 11, 2013
Now I understand that CO2 has natural variablility, but gasses need their heater…
Al Gore’s little froggy is slowly freezing the past couple years.. this might change more quickly than the warming did to warm us……………………………brrrrrr

Mac the Knife
December 7, 2014 7:23 pm

1) The Green Bay Packers really would be playing on the ‘frozen tundra’ of Lambeau Field, in Green Bay Wisconsin!
2) Minnesotan’s For Global Warming would be the political party controlling Minnesota’s state government… and Al Franken would still be a bad joke!
3) Illegal immigration from Canadians fleeing the advancing glaciers would be a major problem for the norther United States, as they streamed across the frozen Great Lakes on their snowmobiles, eh?
4) Serious consideration would be given to directly and massively igniting the oil sands of Alberta, at the insistence of climate scientists their latest climate models showed the enormous release of heat, CO2, and carbon soot would reverse the global cooling.

Reply to  Mac the Knife
December 7, 2014 11:07 pm

Mac , i am laughing # 4 is great !

December 7, 2014 7:23 pm

The solution is always the same. Raise taxes, inhibit growth, more funding for the UN.

Mike Bryant
December 7, 2014 7:28 pm

The difference… Weather stations would be relocated to leaky air conditioned buildings… Made necessary (supposedly) to keep the electronics cool… Temps would be fudged downward… For all the same reasons they’re fudged upward now…

December 7, 2014 7:31 pm

The call would be from climate scientists that the only way they could think of to mitigate the increasing cold would be to increase CO2 by burning more fossil fuels.
Consequently nuclear would be banned in favour of coal.
Dredging companies and ice breaking owning companies would be the new investment bubbles so as to keep the major ports operating as sea levels started to fall and ice berg and ice sheets extended into more southerly latitudes
Farming land located between the Tropic of Cancer and the Tropic of Capricorn would become another investment bubble as the great grain growing regions of Canada, the northern states of the USA, northern and central Europe and Central Asia and northern China became to cold and too short seasonally to allow grain crops to grow and mature.
With a colder climate less water would be retained in the atmosphere and a consequent reduction in precipitation in some of the food producing regions would lead to continuous droughts until these food producing regions are abandoned.
[ Got lots of evidence of this type of cold era climate here in western Victoria around the shallow salt lakes and their 30 to 50 metre high Moon Dunes down wind of lakes in the prevailing westerly winds. ]
As food shortages started to bite farmers would once again receive around 50% of the retail price of food just like they did in the early 1950’s instead of the 5% of the retail price they currently receive and can barely exist on.
Large oil and coal resources in the northern hemispheric regions would no longer be accessible countered by the surfacing of new fossil fuel sources such as the immense under sea coal deposits off Norway .Thats if the shipping could dodge the icebergs.
Ocean transport would be severely limited as the various channels and Straits became too shallow for large ships to transverse ie ; the 2.1 km wide shipping channel of the Straits of Malacca and Singapore are transverse by two hundred ships a day or 70,000 ships a year,
The Malacca Strait has a minimum water depth of 27 metres, already too shallow for the very Large bulk carriers to navigate.
Global population would probably fall very significantly.
Probably far less international co-operation or outright war over resources as the drive for resource security of every type by a northern nations in particular with food and energy security became paramount for all nations as the ice sheets advanced.
No matter which way we look at it, cold climatic periods are mostly all bad for our species.

December 7, 2014 7:43 pm

As I grow older I try to learn from the past because there are patterns that repeat:
(1) Leftists will invent another environmental crisis if their global warming “crisis” loses support … just as the prior acid rain, hole in the ozone layer, and many other prior crises stopped scaring people and were replaced by a new boogeyman.
The “cure” for any crisis is always the same:” Do what the environmentalists say without question or life on Earth will end as we know it.
(2) Earth has had mild warming and cooling trend between the ice ages, so there is no reason to assume it’s different this time. Predicting a global warming catastrophe is climate astrology. Predicting the next ice age is also climate astrology.
To be honest with the general public, real scientists should never make climate predictions more than one week into the future … and should never take inaccurate, non-global, too often “adjusted” surface temperature measurements seriously because tiny changes to the average surface temperature in the past century may be smaller than the margin or error in the measurements.
If you want to know what the weather is, look out a window, or step outside.
If you want to know what the average temperature trend will be in the future, sorry, but no human has the answer to that question … and there are only 45 years of reasonably accurate data (weather satellites) — not enough years to determine a long-term trend.
All the surface temperature averages have occurred in what appears to be a naturally rising trend that followed hundreds of years of cooling. That’s like looking at a stock market average ONLY during a bull market and then claiming that proves stock prices ALWAYS go up!

December 7, 2014 7:45 pm

“Fossil fuels are sending smog into the in ever increasing amounts. This is reducing the sunlight reaching earth and is sending us into a new ice age. We must cut fossil fuel emissions or we are doomed. Just look at how cold last winter was. Just look at the smog in Beijing. We aren’t doing enough. We need to act now! Etc, etc”
Sound about right?

Tom in Florida
December 7, 2014 7:46 pm

The tropics would still be the place to be.

December 7, 2014 8:04 pm

It is reasonably likely that just such a reversal might occur by 2035 .
As a guide to the timing and extent of the likely coming cooling based on the natural 60 and 1000 year periodicities in the temperature data and using the 10Be and neutron monitor data as the most useful proxy for solar “activity” check the series of posts at
The post at
is a good place to start.
One of the first things impressed upon me in tutorials as an undergraduate in Geology at Oxford was the importance of considering multiple working hypotheses when dealing with scientific problems. This is really what Bob is suggesting . With regard to climate this would be more than a fun exercise of the imagination but a proper and indeed necessary use of the precautionary principle.The worst scientific error of the climate establishment is their unshakeable faith in their meaningless model outputs and their refusal to estimate the possible impacts of a cooling rather than a warming world and then consider what strategies might best be used in adapting to the eventuality that cooling actually develops.

Reply to  Dr Norman Page
December 7, 2014 9:01 pm

Dr Norman Page
As a guide to the timing and extent of the likely coming cooling based on the natural 60 and 1000 year periodicities in the temperature data …

So. Just to play a “curve-projecting” game – because neither the 60-66-67 year short cycle nor the 900-1000 year long cycle actually have a “physics” cause that has been decided on…yet, let us ask the following: Is the 2000-2010 “hiatus” the top of a the Modern Warming Period “Peak”?
Or will the Modern Warming Period max out 60-70 years later in 2065-2075?
Or yet one more 66 year cycle later, in 2130-2140?
After all, when where the “peaks” of the Medieval Warming Period? 1000? 1066? 1130? 1200?
All of the above?

Reply to  RACookPE1978
December 8, 2014 6:37 am

RACook You are right in identifying the key question in climate forecasting – and the one to which the establishment climate scientists should really turn their attention i e Where is the earth with regard to the natural solar millennial cycle ? Several posts at the http:/ site deal with this question. In summary I would make a few observations.
1 The period fluctuates generally between 960 and 1020 years –
2.Look at the ties between solar “activity” and temperature in figures 4,5,6.7,8,9,10,11,12, in e.g. post
3 . This post also says
“NOTE!! The connection between solar “activity” and climate is poorly understood and highly controversial. Solar “activity” encompasses changes in solar magnetic field strength, IMF, CRF, TSI, EUV, solar wind density and velocity, CMEs, proton events etc. The idea of using the neutron count and the 10Be record as the most useful proxy for changing solar activity and temperature forecasting is agnostic as to the physical mechanisms involved.
Having said that, however, it is reasonable to suggest that the three main solar activity related climate drivers are:
a) the changing GCR flux – via the changes in cloud cover and natural aerosols (optical depth)
b) the changing EUV radiation – top down effects via the Ozone layer
c) the changing TSI – especially on millennial and centennial scales.
The effect on climate of the combination of these solar drivers will vary non-linearly depending on the particular phases of the eccentricity, obliquity and precession orbital cycles at any particular time.”
4.It is obvious by inspection of Figs 5 and 9 that we are just approaching, right at or just past the millennial temperature peak.
5.We must distinguish between the peak in the solar activity driver which is behind us see Figs 13 and 14 and the temperature peaks which lag the driver peak by variable amounts (maybe 20 +/- 8 years) according to the metric used – i.e..the various measures of land and sea temperatures , OHC and the area measured e.g. NH SH Global or on the various climate plates.
6.My forecasts are included in the posts.

December 7, 2014 8:14 pm

“Antarctic sea ice breaks record, NASA says”
“Fall snow cover in Norther Hemisphere was the most extensive on record.”
That’s all from global “warming” in 2014.
It’s hard to imagine what a period of “cooling” will bring. Less snow and ice? Warmer winters?

December 7, 2014 8:25 pm

It’s Bush’s fault. It’s ALWAYS Bush’s fault.

Reply to  Hans Von Bumbler
December 7, 2014 8:53 pm

Hans Von Bumbler
It’s Bush’s fault. It’s ALWAYS Bush’s fault.

Of course the oncoming ice age is bushes’ fault.
And trees’ fault.
And grasses’ fault.
And plankton’s’ fault.
And veggies’ fault.
And algeaes’ fault .. (But not algores’ fault, “he” tried to limit CO2 wild growth back when it might have made a difference in limiting the heat wave …)
but Noooooooooooo. All those nasty green thingies just sucked up the CO2, grew faster, and NOW WE HAVE A BLOOMIN’ ICE AGE!

Otter (ClimateOtter on Twitter)
Reply to  RACookPE1978
December 8, 2014 1:35 am

But… but…. Plankton went to college!

December 7, 2014 9:06 pm

So if a return to ice age was to begin would industry be paid to generate CO2 ? .Perhaps more people could be encouraged to start running to add CO2 to the atmosphere .
Some statistician should be able to determine the probability and timing of the next ice age . Then calculate how many days humans could delay the ice age because of our use of fossil fuel ..
Any bets it is less than a year .
Scary global warming from humans is just silly . Let’s hope it warms because the reverse is a very big
problem way above humans pay grade .

December 7, 2014 9:16 pm

Only 20,000 years ago the residents of what is now San Francisco had to go 20 miles west to get to the beach. The Great Barrier Reef did not exist – its location had been above sea level for 100,000 years since the ice age began that ended the Eemian warm period. Malibu beachfront properties had no beach that was not a long walk away – sorry, Barbra.

December 7, 2014 9:28 pm

The polar bears would starve to death

December 7, 2014 10:53 pm

Take a look at this , and you will see a large portion of the Antarctic is below 0 and it is only 8 days from summer. Also look at the north .……………… click earth and you can add temp, wind , ect.
Future generations can salvage the mirrors from the Ivanpah three ‘ Towers of Power ‘ fiasco and direct sunlight at the advancing glaciers !

December 7, 2014 11:01 pm

“What would be different?”
There would be even more signs like the one I found at a new local Gold LEEDS designed and built elementary school, that’s helps kids learn what sustainability means :comment image

Reply to  garymount
December 7, 2014 11:05 pm

Note that the main entrance used to be called the side entrance.
I put up a few more pictures to get some extra perspectives :

Steve P
Reply to  garymount
December 8, 2014 2:21 pm

What’s needed here is a vestibule.

Claude Harvey
December 7, 2014 11:21 pm

I think it makes little difference whether we’re warming or cooling. When nature misbehaves, it means the Gods are angry. Our shamen then tell us what we must sacrifice in order to placate the Gods. Now that we’ve defined misbehavior as “climate change”, the shamen will be doing a bumper business until the population adopts some other religion. The list of required sacrifices changes almost daily, but every item on that list is consistent in that it must result in more central government control, must transfer of wealth from the haves to the have-nots and must cripple the affordable and reliable energy bases on which all industrially advanced nations have relied.

Peter Laux
December 7, 2014 11:59 pm

Geology tells us it happens quickly.
-Starvation first as Russia, China, India, Canada and much of the USA’s cereal crops fail.
-Mass immigration southward and war over land.
-Desertification and drought further effecting food supplies.
-Amazon & Congo die off to revert to grassland/Savannah.
This is the inevitable and overdue glacial return, the only sure climate change.
I note that because humanity isn’t at fault, nobody worries, which speaks volumes of the true motivation of AGW alarmists.

December 8, 2014 12:58 am

Whatever happens, warming or cooling, it will be entirely consistent with the models and though it may not have been predicted in advance (because that’s really tricky even for Climate Superheroes®) it can always be predicted afterwards.

December 8, 2014 1:08 am

Here is the classic 1970’s ice age scare booklet, complete with “two CIA reports”. Politicians were urged to take action to save the planet from freezing.

December 8, 2014 2:36 am

Forget an ice age for a moment but what does cooling look like? What are the changes in the jet stream or ocean currents? Does more heat come out of the ocean to counter the cooling air? Does weather become more erratic? Does it start at the poles and move equatorwards or the reverse or is it roughly the sme in all aread? Are there rapid falls followed by pauses or is it a stead amble downwards?

In the Real World
December 8, 2014 2:46 am

Has anyone had the idea that the Politicians [ I know , but not all of them are stupid ], realised all along that there was a coming Ice Age & the only way to get huge amounts of tax off the public was to convince them that heating etc was a problem .
If they could tell the world that it was getting hotter , & that energy use was the cause, then they might just get away with the huge tax increases that have been put in place over the last few years .

December 8, 2014 3:24 am

Would mankind still be blamed? What would be different?
A more interesting question is “would CO2 be blamed?”
As many known, CO2 is an emitter of Infra-red. So, one can imagine a Noddy-science explanation going like this: “if you paint radiators black they emit more”, so by putting more IR interactive gases like CO2 intot the atmosphere, we effectively are painting the earth blacker and that is why it is cooling.
They would then match the slope downward to the supposed CO2 effect and scale up by “positive feedbacks”. Then they would assume a massive exponentially increasing CO2 effect to scale it up even further.
This would then be considered as “the settled science” and any who questioned it would be “deniers”.

Chris Wright
December 8, 2014 3:38 am

The only difference is that the IPCC would be pushing a theory named AGC and telling us that the only solution for global cooling is to build more wind farms.

Reply to  William McClenney
December 8, 2014 7:01 am

I had a quick re-read of your earlier posts.
Concerning MIS-11 it seems possible that low Arctic ice actually entails a glacial inception risk, if progressive loss during an interglacial causes a tipping point to be reached eventually. Especially considering lower current summer insolation than during most of the last glacial (Muller and Pross 2007).
Note that Ruddiman’s idea that single-digit or even fraction-of digit CO2 ppm increases by early humans fended of glacial inception is utterly implausible. It could only be accepted if CO2’s effect were believed to be Homeopathic. Such notions have no place here – folks should go to new age religious websites for this.
Looking at fig 1 in Pol et al 2010 it is clear that even after the MPR the system is TRYING to retain 41 kYr obliquity pacing with most interglacials being followed by an abortive twin ~40kYrs later and several – at the eccentricity modulation maxima, being fully double-headed and 41 kYr spaced. This makes it clear that the system is undergoing complex weak nonlinear forcing at several Milankovitch wavelengths.
There is a suggestion that the MIS-11 and MIS-19 (400 and 800 kYr ago) interglacialy had “nipples” – that is, a smaller peak on a broader peak. In view of the variable forms of the interglacials there is no clear delineation between glacial and interglacial – just fractal like multiscale variation.
Generally the question – will the current MIS-1 extend or not extend – seems quite finely balanced. Considering the arguments of Ruddiman, Tzedakis, Muller & Priss etc. it seems that whether or not the current interglacial is extended or not will conclusively answer the question of whether CO2 drives global temperatures in a significant way or not. This answer will not be quick in coming – even if termination has already started it will be decades to centuries before this is clear. However CO2 has not prevented the overall temperature decline in the last 4000 years that the likes of Mann are trying furiously and fraudulently to conceal. Maybe deep down they even know the answer to the above question, but this knowledge drives their superficial consciousness into manic denial? Its not looking good for this interglacial.

December 8, 2014 4:19 am

Even if Hell freezes over, Mike Mann’s snug little tenure will be safe.

Reply to  Alexander Feht
December 8, 2014 4:50 pm

His tenure won’t be safe if the proposed changes to the grant process require both “transparency” and “reproducible/verifiable results” by the “researcher/recipient” and the “institutional sponsor.”

Lloyd Martin Hendaye
December 8, 2014 7:14 am

Better yet: Suppose that Gaia was “globally warming” at the precise opposite rate our planet-of-choice has actually been stable or cooling these past 18 – 25+ years.
Imagine peccatogenic AGW Catastrophists’ bleats-and-squeaks to effect that “Earth is melting, we’re all a-gonna die”, when in fact there would be no more long-term, objective, “scientistic” evidence for anti-entropic Warming than there is for cyclical Holocene Epoch cooling (since there are no experiments, historical analogies however plausible reduce to “mere opinion”).
Necessarily confined to spuriously biogenic temperature tabulations, “climate research” is not an empirical discipline but a classificatory exercise akin to botany, immune to rational projection on millennial scales. Self-satisfied exponents of this carcinogenic rodenteria [a cognitive “cancer in rats”], deviant Warmists such as Keith Farnish, Kentti Linkola, Hans-Joachim Schellnhuber are nothing but blinkered totalitarian ideologues whose arrogant, self-serving, dialectical-materialist axes remain too soft to grind.

William Astley
December 8, 2014 7:30 am

We do not need to speculate what will happen if the planet abruptly cools. We will have a front row seat to watch the cooling. I would expect the start of unequivocal cooling in time for the US presidential election (winter 2015/2016 and certainly by the winter 2016/2017). Based on solar observations and the fact the solar magnetic large scale northern field is now flat lining, the sun will be anomalously spotless by late 2015. Someone should keep a diary that records how the public, media, politicians, and scientific community paradigms change in response to the cooling.
The solar large scale magnetic field is believed to created by the residue magnetic flux from sunspots. As the magnetic flux floats on in the solar plasma and as the solar wind continually removes magnetic flux from the surface of the sun a consequence of the weakening of the magnetic field strength of individual newly formed sunspots is a weakening of the solar large scale magnetic field.
As many are aware the magnetic field strength of newly formed sunspots has for the last decade being decaying roughly linearly. The magnetic flux tubes that rise up to the surface of the sun to form sunspots on the surface of the sun are believed to be formed at the narrow interface between the solar convection zone and the solar radiative zone which is called the tachocline. The magnetic flux tubes require a calculated minimum field strength of 20,000 to 30,000 gauss to avoid being torn apart as the rise up through the convection zone.
As the magnetic field strength of the flux tubes weaken what forms on the surface of the sun is tiny short lived sunspots rather than large long life sunspots. As the process continues the magnetic flux tubes no longer have sufficient field strength to withstand the convection forces and are torn apart.
What is now forming on the surface of the sun in many cases is patches of higher magnetic field strength (residue of the magnetic flux tubes) and no sunspots. The solar northern hemisphere is roughly 18 months ahead of the solar southern hemisphere. There are now only tiny pores in the solar northern hemisphere and there are many days when the solar northern hemisphere is spotless.
More details of mechanisms as to how solar magnetic cycle changes modulate the earth’s climate and why there was a delay from the unset of the solar magnetic cycle slowdown and the start of cooling when there is a new thread on solar magnetic cycle and unequivocal evidence of cooling. (I am curious when there will be an official acknowledgement that the solar large scale magnetic field is flat lining. If the solar large scale magnetic field strength remains at current, Leif estimate for the solar cycle 25 sunspot number is 3.)

Until the 1990s, the dominant view of climate change was that Earth’s climate system has changed gradually in response to both natural and human-induced processes. Evidence pieced together over the last few decades, however, shows that climate has changed much more rapidly—sometimes abruptly— in the past and therefore could do so again in the future.

Timing of abrupt climate change: A precise clock by Stefan Rahmstorf
Many paleoclimatic data reveal a approx. 1,500 year cyclicity of unknown origin. A crucial question is how stable and regular this cycle is. An analysis of the GISP2 ice core record from Greenland reveals that abrupt climate events appear to be paced by a 1,470-year cycle with a period that is probably stable to within a few percent; with 95% confidence the period is maintained to better than 12% over at least 23 cycles. This highly precise clock points to an origin outside the Earth system; oscillatory modes within the Earth system can be expected to be far more irregular in period.

William: There are cosmogenic isotope changes are each and every cyclic cooling event. The cosmogenic isotope changes are caused by a weakening of the solar magnetic cycle due to a Maunder like solar minimum.

Abrupt climate change Holocene
– The Holocene was punctuated by irregular 1500±500 year cooling events which have correlatives in the North Atlantic (deMenocal et al., 2000; Bond et al., 1997).
– When compared to the Holocene sequence at Site 658C, the results suggest we are overdue for an abrupt transition to cooler climates, however orbital configurations These results are consistent with other high-resolution records of the Last Interglacial from the North Atlantic and support the view large-scale climatic reorganizations can be achieved within centuries.

Glacial Records Depict Ice Age Climate in Synch Worldwide
“Because the Earth is oriented in space in such a way that the hemispheres are out of phase in terms of the amount of solar radiation they receive, it is surprising to find that the climate in the Southern Hemisphere cooled off repeatedly during a period when it received its largest dose of solar radiation,” says Singer. “Moreover, this rapid synchronization of atmospheric temperature between the polar hemispheres appears to have occurred during both of the last major ice ages that gripped the Earth.”

Reply to  William Astley
December 8, 2014 9:51 am

William : see my comment at 12/7/8:04 pm and reply at12/8/6:37 AM above for discussion 0f the millennial cycle length and timing and cooling forecast links.

Reply to  William Astley
December 8, 2014 10:26 am

William Astley says on December 8, 2014 at 7:30 am
“We do not need to speculate what will happen if the planet abruptly cools. We will have a front row seat to watch the cooling. I would expect the start of unequivocal cooling in time for the US presidential election (winter 2015/2016 and certainly by the winter 2016/2017).”
Twelve years ago I wrote in an article published on September 1, 2002 in the Calgary Herald:
“If solar activity is the main driver of surface temperature rather than CO2 [as I believe], we should begin the next cooling period by 2020 to 2030.”
Now William you are saying with certainty it’s cooling by 2017 at the latest? You mean I missed it by three years, 15 years earlier? That’s a 20% margin of error. Quelle horreur! I must be losing my touch.
Best, Allan
Leif Svalgaard (19:57:40) :
Allan M R MacRae (19:49:11) :
Climate change is natural and cyclical
I would not disagree with that, except for downplaying the ‘cyclic’ bit. I don’t think there is strict cyclicity, just that it ‘goes up and down’.
Agree the up-and-down cycles are less than perfect – although there is something of interest in the PDO and/or Gleissberg – and possibly also in longer cycles but I haven’t looked at them.
I published Tim Patterson’s global cooling prediction for 2020-2030 in 2002 – but perhaps we were a bit late…
Here is a note received this morning from a friend in Spain:
“The whole of Europe went through a big chill. Last week it’s been 20º below zero in Cantabría, Spain, and traffic collapsed in snowed-in Madrid. Same chaos in Marseille, with 30 cm of snow in the streets…
… Will we heat our frigid homes with wind powered electricity costing as much as the rent ? Or solar-powered juice going for twice that amount ?”
It is particularly distressing for me to see this cold winter misery unfolding, as Europeans’ inadequate alternative energy systems fail to keep them warm.
This disastrous scenario was not only predictable, it was predicted – by Sallie Baliunas (Harvard U Astrophysicist), Tim Patterson (Carleton U Paleoclimatologist) and me in September 2002, at:
“The ultimate agenda of pro-Kyoto advocates is to eliminate fossil fuels, but this would result in a catastrophic shortfall in global energy supply – the wasteful, inefficient energy solutions proposed by Kyoto advocates simply cannot replace fossil fuels.”
This egregious error in energy policy is costing lives, and was entirely avoidable. The enviro-scare movement and foolish politicians are primarily responsible.
Another point we made in the same article, that Europeans may wish to consider as they huddle and freeze.
“Climate science does not support the theory of catastrophic human-made global warming – the alleged warming crisis does not exist. ”
Best regards, Allan

Reply to  William Astley
December 8, 2014 6:32 pm

William, anything going on with respect to the solar differential rotation, which might be affecting zonal and meridional flow speeds? Like one hemisphere picking up speed or one hemisphere slowing down or anything in between?
A sunspot number of 3??? huh what???
Low polar fields strengths and aren’t we currently relying on the source surface field around the middle brought about by the sunspots or am I off here? Hmm GCR could be a problem. Where is Houston?

December 8, 2014 7:48 am

Stock market increases and decreases would no longer be referred to as ‘bull’ and ‘bear’ markets – they would be ‘musk ox’ and ‘polar bear’ markets. 😉

December 8, 2014 7:52 am

Bob; in order for continental ice sheets to be maintained in the northern and mid latitudes, does the earth actually have to grow significantly colder at those latitudes, or do temperature extremes between summer and winter and the poles and tropics simply have to even out?
At some point, all that water has to move from the oceans to the land masses and become frozen. Won’t you need more water vapor in the air? How does that happen? During the period in which all that water moves from the oceans to the land, the earth would have to be a much cloudier place, and more evaporation would have to be occurring over the oceans. Heat for that process has to come from somewhere. Submarine volcanic activity?

December 8, 2014 9:13 am

Technically or geologically speaking we are currently in an iceage. Being in an interglacial just means a period of lesser glaciation.

December 8, 2014 9:42 am

Looking at past glacial periods, what generally happens is that toward the end of the interglacial, the climate signal becomes very “noisy”. Things appear to “chatter” a bit back and forth between cold and warm on decadal/century scales flipping between warm and cool before finally settling in the cool phase. Also, the sea level drop is quite slow. The last glacial maximum occurred only after 100,000 years into the ice age. We have likely already started cooling in the past 4,000 years into the next glacial state. We have also begun to see some of that “chatter” (Medieval warm period, Little Ice Age, Modern Warm Period) with each successive warm and cool period a little cooler than the previous one.
But we have some things working for us this time that might extend the interglacial. Earth’s orbit is currently about as circular as it gets. This keeps the energy flow to Earth fairly constant year round. Secondly, maximum energy happens during Southern Hemisphere summer where the surface is mostly ocean and that heat can be absorbed and distributed by ocean currents. If the orbit were more elliptical and if Earth was closest to the sun during Northern Hemisphere summer, we would likely see a rapid cooling by now. The colder winters would result in more ice and the greater albedo would mean reflecting more solar energy into space from land surfaces and less heat absorbed into the oceans.
So we have pretty much “perfect” conditions right now for a very long interglacial period.

Reply to  crosspatch
December 9, 2014 6:45 am

So we have pretty much “perfect” conditions right now for a very long interglacial period.
Don’t count on it. The current transitional glacial-intgerglacial switching regime (before earth descends into permanent possible snowball earth glaciation) is driven by nonlinear oscillation. This is weakly forced by multiple Milankovich cycles. The thing about nonlinear dynamics is that absolute magnitudes diminish greatly in importance. The record of the current glacial epoch so far is that modulation of the amplitude of eccentricity, to which you are referring, does little to affect the form of interglacials. Oddly the interglacials occurring when eccentricity oscillation has its highest amplitude, i.e. 200 and 600 kYrs ago, are unstable and double-headed where one would expect the reverse.
According to Maslin and Ridgewell the current 100 year spacing is not from direct forcing by eccentricity but a complex variant of precession forcing, maybe “paced” only by eccentricity:
Since MIS-19 (800 kYrs ago) may be a better analog of the current interglacial than MIS-11 (400 kYrs ago) then the often repeated assumption that the current interglacial will “go long”, may well be complacent and wrong.

December 8, 2014 10:17 am

The Earth is presently in an interglacial period—a period between major glaciations.
we’re in an Ice Age

December 8, 2014 1:30 pm

H.H Lamb “Climatic History and the Future”, 1st Ed. 1977, second Ed. 1984.
The threat of an impending ice age in the 70s was more journalistic hype than scientific, note what
Lamb says in the preface to the 2nd edition:
“It is to be noted here that there is no contradiction between forecast
expectations of (a) some renewed (or continuation of) slight cooling of world
climate for some years to come, e.g. from volcanic or solar activity variations
;(b) an abrupt warming due to the effect of increasing carbon dioxide, lasting
some centuries until fossil fuels are exhausted and a while thereafter; and
this followed in turn by (c) a glaciation lasting….for many thousands of

Reply to  Phil.
December 10, 2014 4:59 am

RSS shows a flat trend for over 18 years.
None of the data sets show significant warming this century. So, relax.

December 8, 2014 1:45 pm

Phil says:
The threat of an impending ice age in the 70s was more journalistic hype than scientific
And the threat of runaway global warming now is more journalistic hype than science.
Much more: about 49% hype, 51% hoax.

Larry Pierce
December 8, 2014 10:45 pm
December 9, 2014 4:51 am

Many of us are old enough to remember the scare stories from the 1970s, a time when climate scientists were warning that Earth was returning to an ice age.
Journalists, not scientists, scientists were more concerned about warming even then, see my quote from H H Lamb. Also Revelle et al. (1965); Manabe and Weatherald (1967); Broecker (1975); Manabe and Wetherald (1975); Ramanathan (1975); Reck (1975); Schneider and Mass (1975); Schneider (1975); etc.

Otter (ClimateOtter on Twitter)
Reply to  Phil.
December 9, 2014 3:44 pm

Odd…. those journalists quoted a LOT of scientists.

December 9, 2014 7:01 am

In regard to ice age inception this article could be important:
which was posted on an upstream thread by The Ghost of Big Jim Cooley:
This article looked at the glaciation at the start of the Pleistocene glacial epoch. They found that it coincided with warming of deep Pacific water (yes – warming not cooling). This is because warmer Atlantic water that normally would go south and melt Antarctic ice, instead was diverted into the deep Pacific. This allowed Antarctic ice to grow, and this was the fore-runner to global glaciation.
Note that there is an element of “zero sum game” to this. For glaciation to begin it is not necessary for there to be any change to the global heat budget. Just some deep ocean rearrangement of heat is all that is needed.
What might make this nice piece of palaeo-oceanography quite relevant to the current interglacial are the following two recent observed trends:
1. Antarctic sea ice is growing
2. Deep ocean OHC is apparently growing fastest in the southern ocean.
Interesting times…

December 9, 2014 11:45 am

The environmentalist mantra that humans (especially the males of the species, especially those from high tech Western society) are the source of all evil had already been chanted for at least 100 years by cooling of the 1970s. Humans would have been blamed even if we had not had the third brief warming since the late 1800s. The proof is that the very same people writing back then about the coming doom from manmade chemical cancer, manmade acid rain, man-caused loss of Antartic ozone, nuclear winter, were the ones who glommed onto the CO2 warming idea and then, when global temperatures wouldn’t cooperate, invoked “climate change” as a less-easily falsifiable substitute. Wherever there are opportunists eager to make a buck or seize control, variations in the circumstances to which they appeal to promote their fraud will change only their story, not its outcome.

December 10, 2014 12:23 pm

Readers might care to read my post on the current interglacial, which has an excellent graph, too!

December 10, 2014 2:37 pm

I wish the terms ice/glacial age and glacial period would be used consistently. From my research (I’m not an expert or scientist), we are still currently living in an Ice/glacial age, albeit we are currently living in an interglacial period within that ice/glacial age. So when the article speaks of the last ice age, to me that means the one before the one we are living in now, which would have been a couple million years ago or more, not the last glacial period which ended about 12,000 years ago or so.

December 12, 2014 5:42 pm

As I recall it was all our fault it was cooling back in the 70’s .. remember acid rain and particulate pollution. The 70’s introduced ozone holes with regulation and gas shortages, lowered speed limits, limited oil supply theory and unleaded gas. I’d say they were just repeating what worked for them before huh?

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