This just in: Ice Age postponed due to global warming!

Guest post by David Middleton, featured image borrowed from Meadow Heights PTA.

 

IceAge

Global warming caused by fossil fuel emissions is blamed by scientists for intensifying storms, raising sea levels and prolonging droughts. Now there’s growing evidence of a positive effect: we may have delayed the next ice age by 100,000 years or more.

The conditions necessary for the onset of a new ice age were narrowly missed at the beginning of the Industrial Revolution in the 1800s, researchers at the Potsdam Institute for Climate Impact Research near Berlin wrote Wednesday in the journal Nature. Since then, rising emissions of heat-trapping CO2 from burning oil, coal and gas have made the spread of the world’s ice sheets even less likely, they said.

“This study further confirms what we’ve suspected for some time, that the carbon dioxide humans have added to the atmosphere will alter the climate of the planet for tens to hundreds of thousands of years, and has canceled the next ice age,” said Andrew Watson, a professor of Earth sciences at the University of Exeter in southwest England who wasn’t involved in the research. “Humans now effectively control the climate of the planet.”

 

[…]

“However, our study also shows that relatively moderate additional anthropogenic CO2-emissions from burning oil, coal and gas are already sufficient to postpone the next ice age for another 50,000 years,” which would mean the next one probably won’t start for 100,000 years, he said.

“The bottom line is that we are basically skipping a whole glacial cycle, which is unprecedented.”

[…]

Bloomberg

 

Words fail me.  I won’t even bother to point out that we are living in an Ice Age which began back in the Oligocene…

cenozoic

Cenozoic Average Global Temperature (older is to the right).

Nor will I bother to point out that the current atmospheric concentration of carbon dioxide doesn’t even break out of the Cenozoic noise level…

cen_co2_zps49992aaf

Cenozoic CO2 (older is to the left).

 

By “ice age,” the author probably means “glacial stage”… The climate is barely warmer than the coldest period of the current interglacial stage…

holocene-1

The nadir of the Little Ice Age may have been the coldest period since the end of the Pleistocene (older to the left).

holo_mc_2_zpsea2f4dec

The “Anthropocene” is not a heck of a lot warmer than the Little Ice Age (older to the left).

 

The subject of the Bloomberg article is  Ganopolski et al., 2016

Ganopoisky

Abstract…

The past rapid growth of Northern Hemisphere continental ice sheets, which terminated warm and stable climate periods, is generally attributed to reduced summer insolation in boreal latitudes1, 2, 3. Yet such summer insolation is near to its minimum at present4, and there are no signs of a new ice age5. This challenges our understanding of the mechanisms driving glacial cycles and our ability to predict the next glacial inception6. Here we propose a critical functional relationship between boreal summer insolation and global carbon dioxide (CO2) concentration, which explains the beginning of the past eight glacial cycles and might anticipate future periods of glacial inception. Using an ensemble of simulations generated by an Earth system model of intermediate complexity constrained by palaeoclimatic data, we suggest that glacial inception was narrowly missed before the beginning of the Industrial Revolution. The missed inception can be accounted for by the combined effect of relatively high late-Holocene CO2 concentrations and the low orbital eccentricity of the Earth7. Additionally, our analysis suggests that even in the absence of human perturbations no substantial build-up of ice sheets would occur within the next several thousand years and that the current interglacial would probably last for another 50,000 years. However, moderate anthropogenic cumulative CO2 emissions of 1,000 to 1,500 gigatonnes of carbon will postpone the next glacial inception by at least 100,000 years8, 9. Our simulations demonstrate that under natural conditions alone the Earth system would be expected to remain in the present delicately balanced interglacial climate state, steering clear of both large-scale glaciation of the Northern Hemisphere and its complete deglaciation, for an unusually long time.

They basically developed a model relating insolation to atmospheric CO2.  If I am reading it correctly, they are asserting that insolation drives changes in atmospheric CO2 which then drives the glacial-interglacial stages.

Then they go on to say “that under natural conditions alone the Earth system would be expected to remain in the present delicately balanced interglacial climate state, steering clear of both large-scale glaciation of the Northern Hemisphere and its complete deglaciation, for an unusually long time.”  

So, it’s actually “worse than we thought”… Earth is naturally delicately balanced between a Late Pleistocene glacial stage and the Paleocene-Eocene Thermal Maximum.  So, no matter what we do, George Carlin was right…

197 thoughts on “This just in: Ice Age postponed due to global warming!

  1. An underhanded way to support the establishment’s scam. This is ludicrous!!

    We prevented the ice age (during an ice age) with a puny amount of carbon dioxide!! We are super heroes!! SuperCO2!!

      • “””””…… “The bottom line is that we are basically skipping a whole glacial cycle, which is unprecedented.” …..”””””

        Well there you have it in writing.

        Something that wasn’t supposed to happen yet hasn’t happened yet, and that is unprecedented. Whoopy !!

        Something much more important that isn’t supposed to happen yet; isn’t going to happen either, even when it gets to when it is supposed to happen; in which case it won’t happen at that time or even perhaps “several years” later when it is now estimated to maybe happen or not.

        That of course is ITER going thermonuclear, which is supposed to happen in 2019, at which time it is now not going to happen as scheduled, and maybe not for “several more years”.

        Oh; I almost forgot. Along with not going to happen, it is also not going to cost what it was scheduled to cost. So bring money; it will now cost much more money, even when it doesn’t actually happen.

        Physics Today for Jan 2016 has an article about the new schedule and cost. It seems that some of the budget, was spent on fancy green coats, with “ITER Visitor” on the back, along with fancy green hard hats, for the suckers; excuse me that’s the customers who are going to pay for this thing that won’t happen.
        But their fancy green duds were for them to watch them pour a bunch of concrete around the place in France where ITER isn’t supposed to happen now. There’s some other folks in the picture with blue hard hats and coats, and I’m guessing they might be the UN concrete watchers. Some persons have white hats, but still have the green ITER Visitor green jackets.

        So they are pouring all this concrete to contain all of the nuclear radiation that isn’t going to happen when ITER goes off, which it isn’t going to do.

        Well the technology of concrete is known already so they know how to pour concrete so that’s what they are doing. The ITER part they don’t know how to do and won’t in 2019 either.

        So much for clean thermonuclear energy that doesn’t emit radiation.

        I suggest they put up a tent, or even a cheap geodesic dome of fiber glass or something else cheap, and then start building the ITER reactor machine inside of that, instead of wasting money on pouring concrete. Then when ITER is up and running (just for a few msec) they can build their radiation proof dome around it to contain the radiation that it isn’t supposed to make.

        But the same issue of PT has some good news for nuclear energy.
        Some guy named Muller in 1946 got a Nobel prize for irradiating fruit flies with “low level” virtually down to zero, and proved there was NO lower limit to how much radiation could cause cancer, so he invented the LNT model of radiation damage or Linear No Threshold model.
        Some new guys; Siegel, Pennington and Sacks have now proved that Muller was wrong, and his almost zero radiation level for fruit flies, was actually a very high level. Data since 1949 up to now shows that the correct model is the LT or linear threshold model.

        Basically at real low levels, any radiation damage (say to cells) gets eliminated by the body . The cell might get damaged, but the body’s protection means just eliminates the damaged cells. Above the threshold, the body can’t keep up with taking out the garbage.

        So SPS say that the radiation exposure levels even in fission reactor accidents that have happened, are actually still below the threshold found from the LT model, and therefore realistically, low level radiations from fission nuclear power actually pose no safety threat.

        They say that in the Fukushima even; when the government forced massive evacuation of the people from the area, there were actually some 1600 deaths involved just due to the forced evacuation procedures, and that is the Japanese governments own figures.

        So trying to fix a non problem actually killed 1600 persons.

        So maybe fission nuclear is a whole lot safer than we have been led to believe; well some of us were so led.

        But now we can bring on the now unprecedented not gonna happen new ice age, by converting from coal and oil to fission nuclear clean green energy.

        And once more thermonuclear fusion energy is relegated to its proper position as the energy of the future; now sometime much later than 2019.

        g

    • “we may have delayed the next ice age by 100,000 years or more” – Well thank goodness for that. Hundreds of millions will not die. Now can we resume CO2 emissions and get our economy back? The plants love it and I like warm better than cold.

      Seriously anything short of opening the Panama – South America section like it was 3+ million years ago isn’t going to stop the next glaciation. We are still in the “ice age”, just between glaciations.

      • The following is part of the lecture delivered by Patrick Moore, formerly President of Greenpeace Int’l, to the Institution of Mechanical Engineers in London. October 30, 2015.
        Should We Celebrate Carbon Dioxide?
        “If we assume human emissions have to date added some 200 billion tons of CO2 to the atmosphere, even if we ceased using fossil fuels today we have already bought another 5 million years for life on earth.
        Without a doubt the human species has made it possible to prolong the survival of life on Earth for more than 100 million years. We are not the enemy of nature but its salvation”.

      • They keep providing empirical evidence that they don’t know what they are doing and that the climate models do not work.

      • think of how many species have been saved by the burning of fossil fuels.

        coal the ecological vunder substance.

        is this serious stuff.

      • This is good news for Canadians. Now, if we all did our bit, we could increase the growing season up here.

      • However, when the ice age is over in about 100,000 years, CO2 induced warming will resume with a vengeance. /Sarc

    • “we suggest that glacial inception was narrowly missed before the beginning of the Industrial Revolution”
      =======================
      So the LIA was real, and current warming is a result of earth’s orbit.

      • So how come in your graph, if high CO2 levels lead to high temperatures, please explain why temperatures drop from 130 to 110 KYA, when CO2 levels are at their highest?

        Talk about a Pause!! Forget 20 years, we a talking about 20 thousand years of dropping temperatures with high CO2 levels!!

      • Fred – spot on. Glaciations begin when CO2 is at its peak, and the very suddenly stop when it is at its lowest. It’s not even important whether CO2 changes precede or follow temperature changes – the forces at work, whatever they may be, are strong enough to break through any CO2 feedback with a vengeance.

    • It’s going to take a whole lot of grant dollars to keep track of this prediction for the next 100,000 years.

      g

      • Come on George. 100,000 years, we can just have the radiation sign makers at Yucca Mountain keep track while they make sure the ‘High Radiation’ warning signs are translated into the current language.

  2. Forget the science. The Paris Climate Agreement abolishes all forms of climate change, extreme weather events, and sea level rise for now and for all time and we here in the USA do not have to pay for it because we are a poor nation with a large national debt, trade deficit, and unfunded liabilities. Apparently the powers that be have found some way to intimidate the sun and the oceans into providing the ideal climate for everyone, everywhere, all the time.

    • Paris Climate Agreement abolishes all forms of climate change, extreme weather events, and sea level rise
      =================
      Absolutely! How can there be any bad weather now that Paris has solved the Climate Problem?

      Bad weather will become a thing of the past. Children will not know what a storm cloud is.

      • There is no real evidence that CO2 has any effect on climate. There is no such evidence in the paleoclimate record. There is evidence that warmer temperatures cause more CO2 to enter the atmosphere but there is no evidence that this additional CO2 causes any more warming. If additional greenhouse gases caused additional warming then the primary culprit would have to be H2O which depends upon the warming of just the surfaces of bodies of water and not their volume but such is not part of the AGW conjecture.

        The AGW theory is that adding CO2 to the atmosphere causes an increase in its radiant thermal insulation properties causing restrictions in heat flow which in turn cause warming at the Earth’s surface and the lower atmosphere. In itself the effect is small because we are talking about small changes in the CO2 content of the atmosphere and CO2 comprises only about .04% of dry atmosphere if it were only dry but that is not the case. Actually H2O, which averages around 2%, is the primary greenhouse gas. The AGW conjecture is that the warming causes more H2O to enter the atmosphere which further increases the radiant thermal insulation properties of the atmosphere and by so doing so amplifies the effect of CO2 on climate. At first this sounds very plausible. This is where the AGW conjecture ends but that is not all what must happen if CO2 actually causes any warming at all.

        Besides being a greenhouse gas, H2O is also a primary coolant in the Earth’s atmosphere transferring heat energy from the Earth;s surface. which is mostly H2O, to where clouds form via the heat of vaporization. More heat energy is moved by H2O via phase change then by both convection and LWIR absorption band radiation combined. More H2O means that more heat energy gets moved which provides a negative feedback to any CO2 based warming that might occur. Then there is the issue of clouds. More H2O means more clouds. Clouds not only reflect incoming solar radiation but they radiate to space much more efficiently then the clear atmosphere they replace. Clouds provide another negative feedback. Then there is the issue of the upper atmosphere which cools rather than warms. The cooling reduces the amount of H2O up there which decreases any greenhouse gas effects that CO2 might have up there. In total, H2O provides negative feedback’s which must be the case because negative feedback systems are inherently stable as has been the Earth’s climate for at least the past 500 million years, enough for life to evolve. We are here. The wet lapse rate being smaller then the dry lapse rate is further evidence of H2O’s cooling effects.

        A real greenhouse does not stay warm because of the heat trapping effects of greenhouse gases. A real greenhouse stays warm because the glass reduces cooling by convection. This is a convective greenhouse effect. So too on Earth..The surface of the Earth is 33 degrees C warmer than it would be without an atmosphere because gravity limits cooling by convection. This convective greenhouse effect is observed on all planets in the solar system with thick atmospheres and it has nothing to do with the LWIR absorption properties of greenhouse gases. the convective greenhouse effect is calculated from first principals and it accounts for all 33 degrees C. There is no room for an additional radiant greenhouse effect. Our sister planet Venus with an atmosphere that is more than 90 times more massive then Earth’s and which is more than 96% CO2 shows no evidence of an additional radiant greenhouse effect. The high temperatures on the surface of Venus can all be explained by the planet’s proximity to the sun and its very dense atmosphere. The radiant greenhouse effect of the AGW conjecture has never been observed. If CO2 did affect climate then one would expect that the increase in CO2 over the past 30 years would have caused an increase in the natural lapse rate in the troposphere but that has not happened. Considering how the natural lapse rate has changed as a function of an increase in CO2, the climate sensitivity of CO2 must equal 0.0.

        The AGW conjecture talks about CO2 absorbing IR photons and then re radiating them out in all directions. According to this, then CO2 does not retain any of the IR heat energy it absorbs so it cannot be heat trapping. What the AGW conjecture fails to mention is that typically between the time of absorption and radiation that the same CO2 molecule, in the lower troposphere, undergoes roughly a billion physical interactions with other molecules, sharing heat related energy with each interaction. Heat transfer by conduction and convection dominates over heat transfer by LWIR absorption band radiation in the troposphere which further renders CO2’s radiant greenhouse effect as a piece of fiction. Above the troposphere more CO2 enhances the efficiency of LWIR absorption band radiation to space so more CO2 must have a cooling effect.

        This is all a matter of science.

      • willhaas,

        If additional greenhouse gases caused additional warming then the primary culprit would have to be H2O which depends upon the warming of just the surfaces of bodies of water and not their volume but such is not part of the AGW conjecture.

        In typical terrestrial temperatures, water precipitates out of the atmosphere after a short residence time. CO2 does not.

        The AGW theory is that adding CO2 to the atmosphere causes an increase in its radiant thermal insulation properties causing restrictions in heat flow which in turn cause warming at the Earth’s surface and the lower atmosphere. In itself the effect is small because we are talking about small changes in the CO2 content of the atmosphere and CO2 comprises only about .04% of dry atmosphere if it were only dry but that is not the case. Actually H2O, which averages around 2%, is the primary greenhouse gas.

        Yes, on balance water vapor is the most significant GHG on an instantaneous basis because there is so much more of it in the atmosphere, but your reasoning implies that water vapor has 50 times greater effect than CO2 based on their relative percentages in the atmosphere. This is wrong reasoning because CO2 is a stronger absorber than water vapor in the relevant terrestrial wavebands. Kiehl and Trenberth (1997) put the clear sky “greenhouse” contribution of water vapor at 60% and CO2 at 26% of total: http://www.cgd.ucar.edu/cas/papers/KiehlTrenbBAMS97

        The AGW conjecture is that the warming causes more H2O to enter the atmosphere which further increases the radiant thermal insulation properties of the atmosphere and by so doing so amplifies the effect of CO2 on climate.

        The “conjecture” about water vapor is quite independent of the radiative theory of global warming, and is based on the Clausius–Clapeyron relation which is used from applied chemistry to power plant engineering and lots of other things in between, including standard everyday meteorology. It’s one of those things that nobody I know of except those who are extremely dubious of AGW seriously dispute, and is trivially easy to verify:

        1) obtain two 100 ml glass beakers
        2) fill them both with 10 ml of tap water
        3) place one on a counter top at “room” temperature
        4) place the other one on a hot plate or stove burner on its lowest setting such that the water is heated but does not boil
        5) note which beaker loses more water to evaporation over the course of several hours

        Besides being a greenhouse gas, H2O is also a primary coolant in the Earth’s atmosphere transferring heat energy from the Earth;s surface. which is mostly H2O, to where clouds form via the heat of vaporization. More heat energy is moved by H2O via phase change then by both convection and LWIR absorption band radiation combined.

        In this case, Trenberth and Kiehl agree with you …

        … according to them, net longwave at the surface is a 63 W/m^2 loss on average, whereas evapotranspiration accounts for a 80 W/m^2 loss from the surface.

        More H2O means that more heat energy gets moved which provides a negative feedback to any CO2 based warming that might occur.

        Well yes, more energy gets moved. Check the diagram again and consider what happens when that water vapor condenses back out …

        Then there is the issue of clouds.

        Yup, and IIRC, condensation is exothermic, yah?

        More H2O means more clouds.

        Not necessarily, because remember, the evaporation happened because the water got warmer. At the same time, so did the atmosphere. Warmer air means higher specific humidity for the same relative humidity.

        Clouds not only reflect incoming solar radiation but they radiate to space much more efficiently then the clear atmosphere they replace.

        True. Depending on their altitude and thickness, they also often absorb LW from the surface and radiate it back down better than clear air does.

        Clouds provide another negative feedback.

        Well hold on a moment here. If clouds provide a strongly negative feedback, the implication is that they should damp temperature response to ANY forcing. So if clouds are a problem for anthropogenic climate change, it follows that they’re a problem for natural climate change as well. Just sayin’.

        Then there is the issue of the upper atmosphere which cools rather than warms. The cooling reduces the amount of H2O up there which decreases any greenhouse gas effects that CO2 might have up there.

        The thing about the stratosphere is that it has practically zero water vapor to begin with. And you are particularly confused here (even though further down in your post you get it right), because in the stratosphere, the prediction has been for quite some time that increased CO2 would cause cooling not warming. The RATPAC-A radiosonde temperature dataset shows trends consistent with that prediction …

        … as well as the prediction that the upper troposphere would warm more than the lower troposphere and surface. Bonus: the tropical tropospheric hotspot is evidenced in those data as well.

        In total, H2O provides negative feedback’s which must be the case because negative feedback systems are inherently stable as has been the Earth’s climate for at least the past 500 million years, enough for life to evolve.

        Well no, the fact that radiant power varies as the 4th power of temperature is the main reason that any celestial body hasn’t been heated to plasma by whatever star it finds itself orbiting.

        A real greenhouse does not stay warm because of the heat trapping effects of greenhouse gases.

        True. It’s an unfortunate analogy, but we’re kind of stuck with it by sheer force of tradition.

        The AGW conjecture talks about CO2 absorbing IR photons and then re radiating them out in all directions.

        lol. Well, that goes all the way back to Max Planck.

        According to this, then CO2 does not retain any of the IR heat energy it absorbs so it cannot be heat trapping.

        Congratulations, you’ve just “proven” that radiant energy cannot warm ANYTHING. Again, the proper physics here is ridiculously easy to verify:

        1) Obtain a square piece of aluminum foil, some black spray paint and a wooden frame roughly the size of the foil.
        2) Affix the foil to the frame and lightly coat both sides of the foil with paint
        3) When the paint is dry, place the frame in direct sunlight such that the plane of the foil is roughly square to the sun and that both sides of the foil are free to radiate/conduct on both sides.
        4) After a few minutes, note the temperature difference between the surface of the foil and the ambient air temperature at least a few meters away from any other solid object.

        What the AGW conjecture fails to mention is that typically between the time of absorption and radiation that the same CO2 molecule, in the lower troposphere, undergoes roughly a billion physical interactions with other molecules, sharing heat related energy with each interaction.

        Actually, kinetic transfer of energy to/from CO2 molecules and gas species like N2 and O2 which are NOT IR-active is a central tenet of AGW theory — it very neatly explains why an absorbed photon isn’t immediately burped back out in some random direction. The figure I know is that 1 in 1 million photons are immediately re-emitted once absorbed, the energy from the other 999,999 absorbed photons are kinetically transferred to a neighboring molecule, which 97.96% of the time is NOT another CO2 or water vapor molecule.

        The process works in reverse as well; a kinetic collision with another molecule can cause a photon to be emitted from CO2 (or water vapor or any other “GHG” species), in CO2’s case about 6% of such collisions cause a photon to be emitted.

        Heat transfer by conduction and convection dominates over heat transfer by LWIR absorption band radiation in the troposphere which further renders CO2’s radiant greenhouse effect as a piece of fiction.

        Latent and convective heat transfers are dominant right up to the point that convection stalls and water vapor condenses back to liquid. That heat still has to get out of the atmosphere, and at the altitude those things typically happen is where the radiative effect of CO2 and water vapor becomes dominant. This is exactly why greater warming in the upper troposphere than at the surface was predicted.

        Above the troposphere more CO2 enhances the efficiency of LWIR absorption band radiation to space so more CO2 must have a cooling effect.

        Yup, in the stratosphere that was the prediction, and the RATPAC-A radiosonde temperature data I plotted above are entirely consistent with that mechanism.

        This is all a matter of science.

        True. Hopefully one day you will better understand it.

      • Brandon Gates:

        With typical arrogance you assert with no supporting evidence

        In typical terrestrial temperatures, water precipitates out of the atmosphere after a short residence time. CO2 does not.

        Nonsense! The OCO-2 data indicates a CO2 residence time of less than a year.

        And that is supported by the sequestration rate of the pulse of additional CO2 inserted from phytoplankton into the atmosphere in 1989 which was sequestered in three years: a ‘half-life’ of 6 months removes 98% in three years.

        Richard

      • willhaas:

        “There is no real evidence that CO2 has any effect on climate.”

        This is the case. There is not one single study that shows using the scientific method that measured increase in Earths temperature is due to CO2. Not one study! Despite hundreds of billions of dollars invested in climate science. I think climatologists might have failed somehow.

      • Something is causing repeated Ice Ages. If CO2 was always warming the planet, then no Ice Ages would ever occur. Period. We know that CO2 drops whenever there is an Ice Age so it doesn’t go up and up and up forever.

        When it gets colder and it gets much colder regularly, nearly like clockwork, the majority of the time during the last two million years, all that precious CO2 vanishes except for a tiny amount which the plants desperately need to stay alive. Nothing grows on the great ice sheets, too.

        We don’t know the exact mechanisms (they must be plural) that trigger these repeated ice ages so predicting that a small increase in CO2 volume will prevent the inevitable next ice age is silly, demented and stupid. We can’t predict what will stop these events until we know what causes these events in the first place and I strongly suspect that CO2 levels has nothing to do with causation.

      • Wow, Mr. Gates! Your beaker experiment is remarkably simplistic and naive, and has no real comparison to the Earth’s atmosphere. Let’s add a few ‘real world’ conditions to this simple experiment and see what results we get.

        Take two shallow pans of water and heat one pan so that it is one degree C warmer than the other one. Then place a small fan next to the cooler pan so that it moves a little air across the top of the water. The first thing that we may notice is that the temperature of the water in the pan with the moving air actually begins to cool a bit. Despite the cooling water temperature, we soon realize that the water in that pan is evaporating much faster that the slightly warmer water in the other pan. Its not even close!

        The AGW theory predicts that the poles will warm faster and more than the equator, reducing the delta t across the latitudes. This reduction in the temperature difference form poles to equator must result in less wind across the hemispheres, resulting in less evaporation.

        This assumption of ‘constant relative humidity’ for the atmosphere just doesn’t hold water. (pun intended). All else being equal, raising the average air and water temperatures 1 degree for the globe would certainly result in more water vapor in the atmosphere, but nothing else is equal. The wind will diminish, the clouds will change, even the ocean currents would be effected, all of which will guarantee that the average relative humidity will not remain constant.

        The assumption of constant relative humidity is unfounded. Consequently the AGW theory, which rests entirely on that assumption, is unfounded.

      • richardscourtney,

        With typical arrogance you assert with no supporting evidence

        Irony.

        Nonsense! The OCO-2 data indicates a CO2 residence time of less than a year.

        No direct citation.

        And that is supported by the sequestration rate of the pulse of additional CO2 inserted from phytoplankton into the atmosphere in 1989 which was sequestered in three years: a ‘half-life’ of 6 months removes 98% in three years.

        No direct citation there either.

        Back to my original factual (and therefore apparently offensive) statement: In typical terrestrial temperatures, water precipitates out of the atmosphere after a short residence time. CO2 does not.

        I am prevailing upon the common sense notion that it does not snow CO2 on planet Earth whereas water is commonly found in three phases of matter in typical terrestrial temperatures, two of which are not compatible with comparatively long residence times in the atmosphere. It’s a comparative statement, Richard. It should be intuitively obvious that the species with the shorter residence time likely has the shorter half-life in the atmosphere. Water vapor concentration in the atmosphere is highly variable as a function of local pressure and temperature, whereas CO2 is much less so — hence, CO2 is called a “well-mixed” gas relative to other species like water vapor.

        But alas, I forgot that some folk here lack common sense and/or reliably accurate intuition.

        Yes, THAT was arrogant.

      • emsnews,

        If CO2 was always warming the planet, then no Ice Ages would ever occur. Period.

        Technically CO2 does not warm the planet, the Sun does. IR-active gasses like water vapor, methane and CO2 retard radiative heat loss from the surface and troposphere.

        Now let’s do some word substitution: If the Sun was always warming the planet, then no Ice Ages would ever occur. Period.

        We know that CO2 drops whenever there is an Ice Age so it doesn’t go up and up and up forever.

        Yes. Among other things, temperature dictates CO2’s solubility in water.

        When it gets colder and it gets much colder regularly, nearly like clockwork, the majority of the time during the last two million years, all that precious CO2 vanishes except for a tiny amount which the plants desperately need to stay alive.

        This is the best candidate for the clock I know of:

        We don’t know the exact mechanisms (they must be plural) that trigger these repeated ice ages so predicting that a small increase in CO2 volume will prevent the inevitable next ice age is silly, demented and stupid.

        Of course we don’t know the “exact” mechanisms. If we already knew all there is to know, we wouldn’t need to do science at all. I think it is silly, demented and stupid to demand “exact” knowledge in a universe of unknowns as a strict requirement for making informed decisions — something we almost ALWAYS do on incomplete, imperfect — and yes, even flat-out wrong — information.

        Financial investment is a perfect example.

        We can’t predict what will stop these events until we know what causes these events in the first place and I strongly suspect that CO2 levels has nothing to do with causation.

        You claim near-total lack of knowledge of why ice age cycles happen, yet you express strong certainty that CO2 isn’t causal. According to my understanding, it so happens that you’re partially correct. But only partially.

        Orbital forcing is the primary driver of timing and amplitude by way of affecting ice sheet area in the northern hemisphere (surface albedo being the feedback mechanism). Radiative species like water vapor, CO2 and methane amplify the response, and also affect the shape of the temperature curve (note the sawtooth shape of temperature response in the above plot).

      • jclarke341,

        Your beaker experiment is remarkably simplistic and naive, and has no real comparison to the Earth’s atmosphere.

        Funny … I thought it was implicitly obvious that the protocol called for doing this experiment within Earth’s atmosphere.

        Take two shallow pans of water and heat one pan so that it is one degree C warmer than the other one. Then place a small fan next to the cooler pan so that it moves a little air across the top of the water. The first thing that we may notice is that the temperature of the water in the pan with the moving air actually begins to cool a bit. Despite the cooling water temperature, we soon realize that the water in that pan is evaporating much faster that the slightly warmer water in the other pan. Its not even close!

        The problem with that protocol is that you’ve changed two variables for the experimental pan: temperature and advection. This makes it difficult to isolate the cause of the differing evaporation rate in that pan relative to the control. Better would be to not heat the experimental pan but leave the fan. Then yes, assuming that relative humidity of the ambient atmosphere is less than 100%, it will experience a higher evaporation rate, and the remaining liquid water will become cooler than the remaining liquid water in the control pan. The experimental pan will also completely evaporate away in a shorter amount of time.

        If I wanted to ding you for an overly-simplistic experiment, I could point out that it rains/sleets/hails/snows in the real atmosphere. We could simulate that on a kitchen countertop as well, but the experimental apparatus would obviously require more than two pans full of water and a fan.

        The AGW theory predicts that the poles will warm faster and more than the equator, reducing the delta t across the latitudes.

        Yes, and that prediction is confirmed by observation in the northern hemisphere:

        Alas, Antarctica stubbornly refuses to cooperate as usual …

        … but it’s also an ice-covered land mass completely surrounded by ocean, whereas the north pole is an ice-covered ocean surrounded by land. As you note, this stuff does get complicated in the real world in a hurry.

        It could also be that there’s something funky going on we don’t yet understand when we try to estimate temperature from low Earth orbit by taking microwave soundings of the atmosphere whizzing by below the sensor.

        Or both. Or something else entirely.

        This reduction in the temperature difference form poles to equator must result in less wind across the hemispheres, resulting in less evaporation.

        I think it’s an interesting argument, but not necessarily true since wind speed is not the only determinant of evaporation rate.

        This assumption of ‘constant relative humidity’ for the atmosphere just doesn’t hold water. (pun intended).

        Hmm. Well I wasn’t arguing in support of the assumption of constant relative humidity, but rather for an increase in specific humidity as a function of temperature.

        All else being equal, raising the average air and water temperatures 1 degree for the globe would certainly result in more water vapor in the atmosphere, but nothing else is equal.

        At least we agree on that much.

        The wind will diminish, the clouds will change, even the ocean currents would be effected, all of which will guarantee that the average relative humidity will not remain constant.

        Relative humidity does vary globally over time, thing is, I know of no observational data which show an obvious long-term secular trend as a putative response to the observed long-term differing zonal secular trends in temperature. OTOH, I do know of observational data showing a distinct global secular trend in specific humidity:

        The assumption of constant relative humidity is unfounded. Consequently the AGW theory, which rests entirely on that assumption, is unfounded.

        Um, no. AGW theory does not rest at all on the assumption of constant relative humidity. It most squarely rests on:

        1) Stefan–Boltzmann law: radiant power varies as the 4th power of temperature
        2) Kirchhoff’s law of thermal radiation: if an object is a good emitter at a particular wavelength, it is also a good absorber at that wavelength
        3) Beer–Lambert law: attenuation of a radiant beam is a function of both the density of an absorbing species and the thickness (path length) of the volume containing that species.

        Those principles would still apply on an Earth-sized barren rock completely devoid of water, but with a Nitrogen-Oxygen-CO2 atmosphere of comparable density and percentage by volume composition. In that very simplified case, I propose that CO2 really would be THE climate “control knob” assuming constant insolation and surface albedo.

        Of course, as you point out, all else is never equal; however, that does not diminish the importance of understanding component first principles of the underlying physics in a complex system by appealing to isolated and well-controlled conditions so as to better understand them prior to mashing everything together and attempting to grok how they all interact … the first step of which is all my simple beaker experiment was intended to do. What actually happens in the real world is better represented by the reanalysis data plot I posted above, which is entirely consistent with what we’d expect from running my stove top experimental protocol even though, and despite the fact, that the real world scenario is far more massive and complex.

        From this, I think it’s safe to infer that the Clausius–Clapeyron relation is a dominant mechanism in the real system, and therefore reliably predictive. YMMV.

  3. So the apocalypse is delayed more that five years? Why should I send money to the Friends of the Earth to avert a disaster that far away. Al Gore must be disappointed.

    • Why? Because, believe it or not, the “Friends of the Earth” ALSO helped determine the US Gov’t DIETARY guidelines! Lettuce good, bacon bad, science saying the opposite profoundly irrelevant. In fact, there are MANY parallels between “health” and “climate” idiocy.

  4. I remember reading a book about ice ages while I was still at school back in the 70’s. In it there was a theory that the Earth had to get warmer first in order to increase humidity, before extra snow cover triggered the ice age.

    • Bloke, the theory, as I remember it, was that warming would continue until the Arctic Ocean lost its ice cover, and then the exposed sea surface would provide water vapor to supply sufficient snowfall on the surrounding land to last through the cloudy summers. The Earth would then cool due to the increasing albedo caused by the ever increasing and spreading southward ice sheets.
      The residual heat in the oceans would provide several thousand years of of heavy snowfall before loosing enough heat to allow the arctic to ice over again. This would stop the southward advance of the ice sheets and the Earth would slowly recover from this ice age until the Arctic ice thawed again…

      SR

  5. Is this hogwash not already part of the CAGW meme? A runaway greenhouse effect presupposes that the next glacial period won’t happen.

  6. “However, our study also shows that relatively moderate additional anthropogenic CO2-emissions from burning oil, coal and gas are already sufficient to postpone the next ice age for another 50,000 years,”

    So we need to burn more to make sure we leave a green & pleasant earth for our grandchildren

    • The fact that this paper was so close to release just missing COP 21, it must have been the biggest discussion going on in Paris last month.
      Great news.
      We actually saved the planet!

      no way i’m adding a sarc tag.

  7. If CO2 emissions could actually delay or eliminate a glacial re-inception, we should pump as much as we can. The prospect of mile-high glaciers covering much of Canada and the northern United State is not terribly appealing. Alas, CO2 is just plant food.

      • What nice lips she has… I could just fall deeply into her eyes. I think that’s the difference between the AGWers and skeptics. The AGWers don’t believe in mother nature to take care of business. They want to think they have control, but they don’t.

      • Yes, I could do without the flame motif myself. It messes with the clean lines of the classics.
        We are talking about the car, right?

    • The first model I ever built was a P-61 Black Widow bought at the US Air Force Museum in Dayton Ohio.
      I still have it.
      (But it still won’t fly.)

    • I have a model of the Titanic that I have to build for my 8 year old.
      I wonder which is more realistic.

      michael

      • When I was a kid we would load our older ship models – WWII battleships, cruisers, destroyers, etc. into a gunny sack, and haul them on horse back out to “the mine.” We would launch them out on “he reservoir” (a highly toxic, settling pond from mine mill taliings) and then fight land-naval battles with our single-shot .22 rifles as the coastal artillery. The invading fleets never made shore.

      • Duster January 13, 2016 at 2:55 pm

        We used BB guns for ships. Firecrackers for Tanks
        I still have a stock of un-built models.
        michael

      • I build, planes, ships etc ( Revell), the best one I ever did was a 3 foot high Saturn V with all the trimmings , took almost 2 years, painted all the parts even used needles to “paint” the control panels in side the capsules, the Gemini ones were also in the collection. That actually landed me my first full time job as a model builder for municipalities and governments, cool!

      • Guys, did you ever try taping a bottle rocket onto a balsa wood glider to make a jet? They were 10 cents at the hobby store in ’67 so we’d spend our allowance and ride our bikes to the river bluff outcroppings and launch them over the water. Another fun launch is a silver salute under a baby moon hubcap, just be sure it’s on concrete…

      • Never did the bottle rocket glider thing, but we used to fill empty CO2 cartridges with paper match heads, jam a fuse in the neck and then launch from a 5 ft copper tube. Had a 1/2 mile range…

        Also found that if you really tamped the match heads down into the cartridge, then crimped the end in a vise, the thing would explode and peel into a beautiful metal flower, with a stunning, and I mean stunning report.
        I still have all my fingers.

      • Bottle rockets and balsa wood planes.
        Our last version of this was to take a short section of thin-walled PVC pipe and seal one end with 5-minute epoxy. We wrapped two pieces of wire around the tube (with a dab of epoxy to keep it in place). The ends of the wire were bent so we could stick them through the balsa.
        We splurged on the planes. We used balsa bi-planes. They cost a bit more but were easier to ensure it didn’t nose dive into the ground. We’d attach the tube then launch without the rocket. We’d adjust the wings to ensure it initially climbed.
        The trick was to not throw the plane until the rocket lit or it would fall out.
        The result was usually a series of high speed loops with an extra burst of speed when the report went off.
        The plane would survive several flights.

    • It would be “better than we thought,” if the tipping point was between glacial and interglacial stages. However, their model indicates that the tipping point is between PETM and glaciers bulldozing through Chicago.

      • Yes, when CO2 is the direct control knob of the entire climate of Earth, we will soon have Antarctic monkeys and polar frogs.

  8. “palaeoclimatic”

    I think that in the old days the reviewers at Nature used to a least check the spelling of the papers submitted to them.

      • Not to be confused with “palomino” which produces much of what the Mannian type of paleoclimate consist.

      • The “ae” was originally one letter. In the US it was subsumed into “e.” While in Britain they split it into two. Since the pronunciation was roughly like a long “i”, neither change makes a lot of sense.

  9. “we may have delayed the next ice age by 100,000 years or more…”

    Would that it were so. The anthropogenic CO2 spike duration is likely to be measured in hundreds of years. When mankind transitions to using thorium or fusion for most of its energy production, rather than burning fossil fuels, CO2 levels will fall, and that certainly won’t take 100k years.

    Keeping CO2 levels high is going to hard, in the long term. Already, half of all CO2 mankind emits is being removed by the “greening” biosphere and by absorption into the oceans. So if CO2 emissions were suddenly reduced to less than half current emission rates, then CO2 levels would be falling.

    • The anthropogenic CO2 spike duration is likely to be measured in hundreds of years.

      Mmmh, more like decades at most. Geological evidence supports a conclusion that biological processes fix and bury carbon faster than natural sources can supply it. The over all atmospheric concentration has been declining since the beginning of the Phanerozoic (600 MYA). The Permian Extinction (250 MYA) allowed available planetary carbon levels to recover, but the end of the Triassic, they were once more declining and have pretty steadily decreased since then. The present levels are once more at Permian levels – meaning that they are very, very low. Instead of staving off an ice age, we just might be staving off a major extinction event or at the very least mediating it. And yeah, lots of groups like the WWF would turn puce in shock at that suggestion, but the Permian Extinction was an “all-natural,” completely green event, without any intervention by intelligent species and the best explanation is a “combined cause” trigger of low CO2 levels leading to decreased biological resilience in the various ecological communities. coupled with something like an impact that triggered major vulcanism or similar geological punctuation.

    • I like Patrick Moore’s suggestion, from his brilliant lecture

      “If we assume human emissions have to date added some 200 billion tons of CO2 to the atmosphere, even if we ceased using fossil fuels today we have already bought another 5 million years for life on earth. But we will not stop using fossil fuels to power our civilization so it is likely that we can forestall plant starvation for lack of CO2 by at least 65 million years. Even when the fossil fuels have become scarce we have the quadrillion tons of carbon in carbonaceous rocks, which we can transform into lime and CO2 for the manufacture of cement. And we already know how to do that with solar energy or nuclear energy. This alone, regardless of fossil fuel consumption, will more than offset the loss of CO2 due to calcium carbonate burial in marine sediments. Without a doubt the human species has made it possible to prolong the survival of life on Earth for more than 100 million years. We are not the enemy of nature but its salvation.”

      • Hmm. For years I’ve thought our purpose on Earth was to protect mother Gaia from those pesky rocks the solar system keeps hurling at her. Now it seems she had an additional motive for our creation: to recycle that vital carbon her other children keep sequestering.

        Clever girl. :-)

      • Wow! This was the finest lecture i have seen in years! Please take the time to watch it!

  10. This study further confirms what I’ve suspected for some time. These press releases are written in a pub and possibly the papers as well.

    So how come you are tin-foil wearing nutter if you think that the next ice age (glacial stage) is nigh but a cliamte scientist gets away with claiming that it were if not for Karl Benz?

    • Robert B “you are tin-foil wearing nutter …”

      And they can’t even select the correct hat appropriate to the situation – tin foil will make your head even hotter when it’s hot, and colder when it’s cold.

  11. “Humans now effectively control the climate of the planet.”

    If I was Andrew Watson I wouldn’t be broadcasting my ignorance to the rest of the world.

    I’m willing to bet him that the next glaciation will occur before the 100,000 years are up, whatever man tries to do to the climate.

    • OK, I’ll take that bet with half of my Powerball winnings from tonight … who shall we have hold it ?? /s

    • Regarding Dr. Watson…
      “Watson was a PhD student of James Lovelock, originator of the Gaia hypothesis of Earth regulation. He and Lovelock introduced the Daisyworld model in 1983, showing how ecological competition between hypothetical “daisies” could affect planetary albedo and regulate environmental temperature.[6]”
      –Wikipedia

  12. suppose the “positive” economic impact of preventing another glacial cycle via anthropogenic CO2 is greater than the supposed “negative” impact of warming due to anthro-CO2,
    then presumably there should be a tax on people who take CO2 out of the atmosphere to subsidize activities that produce CO2?

  13. I think that a major benefit of the this work lies in the references quoted , which lead the reader unfamiliar with the subject into further study of the postulated causes of the last 4 glaciations and the 100kyear cycle.
    I suspect that this was seen to be an opportunity to advance the earlier work of one of the authors Ganopolski (who seems to have done most of the actual work) on the causes of the 100kyear cycle and the influence of, eg dust deposition preceding glaciation (at low CO2 concentration). This is a topic that has interested commenters here in the past , so the paper possibly merits being examined with greater critical attention than I , alas , can bring to it . :-

    http://www.clim-past.net/7/1415/2011/cp-7-1415-2011.pdf

  14. And when the glaciers again advance, the failed climate scientists will still blame the event on mankind and CO2 emissions.

    • That’s exactly correct. They are already claiming increase CO2 causes cooling. Polar vortex excuses.

  15. Hmmm…… so for the sake of our kids and great grand-kids and our great great great (etc.) grand-kids, we should or shouldn’t burn stuff for heat and power?

  16. CO2 does nothing to temperature. These bastards blame every natural weather event on CO2. Warming. Cooling. Sunshine. Clouds. Drought. Flood. Rain. Hurricane. Tornado. Wind. They call it climate change. They are terrified because they know Trump is going to have them FIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIRED!

  17. The work is flawed due to the falsity of two initial assumptions.
    1. While previous interglacials were warm, the word “Stable” cannot be applied to them.
    2. There is zero evidence that the climate is now or ever was “delicately balanced”.

    These flaws indicate an underlying belief system that natural systems are delicate rather than robust and inherently stable. People with this belief system will invariably talk about a “Balance of nature”, and since nature never has and never will be in balance (climate change and evolution see to that) they demonstrate a belief system founded in fantasy and not reality.

    Since the models will reflect the basic assumptions of the model makers, the models will be flawed and all results from them invalid to the point of sheer uselessness.

  18. Accuracy? Unscientific.
    John Christy’s testimony to Congress (Dec. 2015) showed how those climate models predict “only” 400% too hot for the signature “tropical tropospheric temperatures” compared to actual temperature over the 35 year satellite era since 1979.
    The probability of their accurate prediction on predicting descent into the next glaciation? Zilch to none.

    • Accuracy is not an issue in science anymore. The funding for research is distributed on the basis of sensational or apocalyptic value and the public attention is acquitted, but of course, on the basis of entertainment value. Look at the most publications in physics – no error bars on the measurement graphs!

      • Lacking conscience and moral law, the “Descent of man” thus leads to the “Descent of science”.

  19. relatively high late-Holocene CO2

    But for the second half of the Holocene rising CO2 had accompanied falling temperature. The “control knob” apparently worked in reverse.

    I won’t believe they are even close to understanding glacial inceptions until they can convincingly reproduce recent glacial-interglacial-DO event history, including the Mid Pleistocene Revolution (transition from 40 kyr to 100 kyr spacing of interglacials).

    When they can do that – then they have something to say.

  20. Hold on. I’m confused. Global Warming is Bad. Ice Ages are Bad. So if one stops the other, is that Bad or Good?

    And how doomed does that make us?
    Very doomed indeed?
    Moderately doomed?
    Doomedish?

    Or [gasp!]

    Not doomed at all?

  21. One of the graphs reminded me that I was looking for some literature regarding the relationship between different plant types ie grasses, trees mosses etc and their different requirements for CO2 levels. I vaguely remember that below a certain level of CO2( not much below 200ppm I think) the higher plants start failing and only the simpler ones can survive. Can anyone point me in the direction of anything relating to this?

    • I recall 150ppm being mentioned as a threshold, below which an ecosystem based on plant life will be doomed. Sorry, can’t give a reference though.

    • Alan, an interesting question. Plant growth is important for the albedo of the earth. Recent rise in CO2 is already changing the vegetation pattern. All vegetation zones are producing more biomass, but from the satellite maps is it best visible in semi-dry regions like the Sahel in Africa. They are already ‘greening’ with a 30%. And so lowering the albedo. But grass is in the same time going to be transformed in savanne, savanne in light tropical forest, light tropical forest in tropical forest and so on, by every change diminishing albedo. So my first thought is: greening the earth by CO2 is diminishing the albedo. So is creating some warming and, perhaps, preventing a next glacial?

      My second thought is this: when ocean animals continue to sequester CO2 for making their shells, CO2 in the atmosphere will continue to go down. When after an interglacial the earth is cooling down, CO2 from the atmosphere will disappear into sea and so lowering the amount in the atmosphere itself. Because of THIS process, the albedo will rise because the reverse process from above is working – and create an extra impuls for cooling. And, referring to your question, some types of plants (the most sensible for lowering CO2) will strongly be diminished or even disappear – and again, by doing this, they are helping to rise albedo – to a next snowball earth?

      Perhaps it is THIS PROCESS of changing vegetation belts, created by rising CO2, which can be decisive in eventually preventing the next glacial. So, even without modelling we can logically reason that CO2 can help in preventing a next glacial. But in another way as expected above. The earth has many ways to balance. In this view by bringing CO2 back in circulation, man is bringing the balance back to the point where vegetation can both increase and in the future can CONTINUE her role in balancing the earth – without becoming extinct. I think this is the real green vision. Nice for men, good for plants and animals.

      This map of Roy Spencer gives you a good view of the changing of the vegetation belts by more CO2: http://www.drroyspencer.com/wp-content/uploads/co2_growth.jpg
      Article: http://www.drroyspencer.com/2014/05/greening-of-planet-earth-a-little-crowdsourcing-project/

      This report gives you some additional information: http://www.thegwpf.org/content/uploads/2015/10/benefits1.pdf
      Have a look at the pictures on page 9!

      • You are correct, CO2 and vegetation do control albedo and the modulation of ice ages. And your proposal for the prevention of an ice age through increased vegetation is entirely possible.

        However, the reverse is also true. During an ice age CO2 levels reach such a low level that there is a widespread die-back of all C3 vegetation. This causes desertification, dust storms, dirty ice sheets, and low albedo. And it is the low albedo that allows the melting of the ice sheets, and the formation of an interglacial warming era.

        So it is not only high CO2 that causes warming (through vegetation albedo), but low CO2 can do this too, by killing off all plant-life (and causeing low ice sheet albedo). See this paper on ice age modulation:

        https://www.academia.edu/20051643/Modulation_of_Ice_Ages_via_Precession_and_Dust-Albedo_Feedbacks

        Ralph

    • Ward, J.K., Harris, J.M., Cerling, T.E., Wiedenhoeft, A., Lott, M.J., Dearing, M.-D., Coltrain, J.B. and Ehleringer, J.R. 2005. Carbon starvation in glacial trees recovered from the La Brea tar pits, southern California. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, USA 102: 690-694.

    • Thats great, thanks a lot for that. My background is Forestry and here in the Scotland the Forestry Commission is a fully paid up member of the CO2 bad camp, so this will be useful to me and my contacts inside the FC.

  22. Here’s a great benefit for those of us that LOVE science . I’m sitting on the tailgate of a truck, on my farm and it’s cold and wet outside. This makes chores more uncomfortable than usual. I want the warm weather to return fast! I think it’s a human condition to desire warmth. Bring on the warming, people will benefit.

  23. Cancelled the ice age huh?

    Wow, and wow agin.

    Next, Lets see if mm CO₂ can turn the world on its head? Um, no not really: CO₂ increase still lags rises in Temperature………

    Well that’s sorted then, get ready for a big FREEZE!

  24. A much wealthier and a much more free society is required to handle the next glaciation period. Wasting significant amounts of money on the fantasy of CAGW is a threat to dealing with the prospect of an expected ice age.

    John

  25. If they are saying that insolation drives changes in atmospheric CO2 which then drives the glacial-interglacial stages then they may be a step closer to the truth. They just need to cut out the bit about CO2 doing anything other than aiding plants and they will be right there. All their ‘models’ seem to be pointing to some very good news but they are not smiling, as a loss of Alarm in the general population would possibly lead to a cut in funding.

  26. the next glacial advance will happen when Momma Nature decides it’s time, and not one (geologic time scale) before. May or not happen while our puny little species is still on the field–Momma always gets to bat last, and will still be playing long after we are gone.

  27. were narrowly missed at the beginning of the Industrial Revolution in the 1800s…

    First “they” declare the LIA ended in 1850…
    …then they declare that all warming after that was man made

  28. Most climate scientists believe that glaciation cycles require a cold trigger to initiate northern hemisphere ice retention, and that cold trigger is solar insolation changes induced by Earth’s orbital cycles. The ~100 thousand-year (kyr) cycle predominates, but the ~40 kyr and ~21 kyr cycles modify the effect, by addition and subtraction. We are near the minimum of the 100 kyr cycle and of the 40 kyr cycle as well. That implies there will be no significant glaciation for at least 50 kyr, likely longer. The temperature and solar insolation maximum occurred about 9 kyr ago in the early Holocene, and since that time insolation in the northern hemisphere has decreased by about 40 watts/m^2. We are currently near the minimum of insolation for the 40 kyr cycle, and no ice age.
    All these effects are independent of what the CO2 concentration is.

    • I don’t disagree, but I need a little clarification. What makes one a climate scientist? Was Milutin Milanković a climate scientist? Was Stephen Schneider (a mechanical engineer) a climate scientist? Is Rajendra Pachauri (a railway engineer) a climate scientist? Is Dr. Michael E. Mann (a condensed matter physicist) a climate scientist? Can a person with no academic credentials be a climate scientist?

    • This cycle existed when there were no ice ages.

      What has changed are three things: the continents are all migrating basically towards the North Pole and…the sun may be changing into a variable mode rather than steady mode…and Panama rose up to cut the Pacific off from the Atlantic ocean except next to Antarctica.

      Oh, and when Antarctica slipped to exactly the south pole region and then iced over nonstop, this altered the climate, too. Whenever the continents collide and end up mostly on the equator, we get warmer climates.

  29. Coming from Canada its great news that we can now set the global thermostat and forestall another ice age. Continental ice sheets in the northern hemisphere are extreme bad new. They would cause mass starvation and a possible human extinction event. Perhaps we can start to grow grain north of 60 in another few decades.

  30. David Middleton,

    This just in: Ice Age postponed due to global warming!

    Mmmmm …actually … not just in; Archer and Ganopolski did this in 2005 and reached similar conclusions: http://geosci.uchicago.edu/~archer/reprints/archer.2005.trigger.pdf

    Anthony covered it in 2013: https://wattsupwiththat.com/2013/04/27/good-news-elevated-co2-may-extend-interglacial-prevent-next-ice-age/

    … and his parting argument was: Not having mile thick ice sheets crush northern hemisphere cities is a good thing, don’t you think?

    My answer is, “yes, obviously that is a good idea.”

    They basically developed a model relating insolation to atmospheric CO2. If I am reading it correctly, they are asserting that insolation drives changes in atmospheric CO2 which then drives the glacial-interglacial stages.

    Yeah that’s kind of how I’m reading, “Here we propose a critical functional relationship between boreal summer insolation and global carbon dioxide (CO2) concentration, which explains the beginning of the past eight glacial cycles and might anticipate future periods of glacial inception.”

    Which strikes me as not quite right, but I have a bigger problem with this statement further up in the abstract:

    The past rapid growth of Northern Hemisphere continental ice sheets, which terminated warm and stable climate periods, is generally attributed to reduced summer insolation in boreal latitudes1, 2, 3. Yet such summer insolation is near to its minimum at present4, and there are no signs of a new ice age5. This challenges our understanding of the mechanisms driving glacial cycles and our ability to predict the next glacial inception6.

    Emphasis added. Reference 4 is: Berger, A. & Loutre, M. F. An exceptionally long interglacial ahead? Science 297, 1287–1288 (2002): http://www.climate.unibe.ch/~born/share/papers/eemian_and_lgi/berger_loutre02.sci.pdf

    The one figure in that paper does indeed show insolation at a local minimum at present. However, a longer view of boreal summer insolation at 65 N …

    … shows that we are nowhere near previous or predicted insolation minima. Berger certainly understands this — he first did the insolation calcs in 1978 — and that’s pretty much the point of his paper with Loutre in 2002.

    Then they go on to say “that under natural conditions alone the Earth system would be expected to remain in the present delicately balanced interglacial climate state, steering clear of both large-scale glaciation of the Northern Hemisphere and its complete deglaciation, for an unusually long time.”

    So, it’s actually “worse than we thought” …

    No, it’s actually better than it has been for at least the past 800 kyrs, and is likely to be starting ~100 kyrs from now on the basis of orbital forcing alone.

    • Ruddiman also published an ice age postponed paper back in the early 2000’s.

      “This just in” referred to the Bloomberg article about Ganopolski’s new paper.

      Good point about the insolation claims.

    • For once we agree. Yet those dips say, “that under natural conditions alone the Earth system would be expected to remain in the present delicately balanced interglacial climate state, steering clear of both large-scale glaciation of the Northern Hemisphere and its complete deglaciation, for an unusually long time.”

      This is apology speak for, “Well, our premise is totally wrong according to the orbital forcings the premise is based on, but we toss this crap out anyway because we get a publication in NATURE.”

      Brandon, this whole thing is just another apology. Now they are trying to abandon the orbital forcing they embraced to wholeheartedly to bail themselves from out of the clear temperature dependence of CO2 for the majority of the ice core data to move the interglacial/glacial transition backwards towards the preset.

      Get used to it. Co2 don’t do much. Didn’t do much in the last 18 years. Didn’t do much in the Pleistocene. Didn’t do much in the Phanerozoic. Strike three, it’s out.

      • gymnosperm,

        For once we agree.

        Hell freezing over is one prediction of AGW you know.

        Yet those dips say, “that under natural conditions alone the Earth system would be expected to remain in the present delicately balanced interglacial climate state, steering clear of both large-scale glaciation of the Northern Hemisphere and its complete deglaciation, for an unusually long time.”

        This is apology speak for, “Well, our premise is totally wrong according to the orbital forcings the premise is based on, but we toss this crap out anyway because we get a publication in NATURE.”

        No, that’s science-speak for, “we need to better understand what the natural factors are so that we can quantify the magnitude of our own contributions, and how much we might expect things to change in some future scenario”.

        Or in more abstract terms, paleoclimate data are the control, instrumental-period data are the experiment. One thing I can say with absolute certainty is that in the modern era, temperature is clearly lagging CO2 in stark contrast the pre-industrial past 800 kyrs.

        Oh, and by the way, it’s notoriously difficult to get published in Nature because they don’t have a habit of publishing crap, and also reject a lot of good papers due to the volume of submission they get. IOW, they’re choosy because they have a reputation for being a premier journal which publishes quality work, and as a for-profit publisher I’d bet the house that’s the way they want to keep it.

        Brandon, this whole thing is just another apology. Now they are trying to abandon the orbital forcing they embraced to wholeheartedly to bail themselves from out of the clear temperature dependence of CO2 for the majority of the ice core data to move the interglacial/glacial transition backwards towards the preset.

        Mmm, no, they’re not abandoning orbital forcing. From the abstract: Here we propose a critical functional relationship between boreal summer insolation and global carbon dioxide (CO2) concentration, which explains the beginning of the past eight glacial cycles and might anticipate future periods of glacial inception.

        That doesn’t read exactly right to me since it skips over my understanding of what causes the CO2 response, which is temperature change due to ice-albedo feedback. Of course, CO2 itself is a feedback mechansim as well (plus methane, water vapor, etc.), amplifying temperature rise up to the insolation peak, and damping cooling response after the insolation peaks. The expected result is the sawtooth-shaped temperature curves seen in this figure:

        Even so, orbital forcing is still cited as the ultimate causal mechanism. Just because they don’t mention the intermediate steps in the abstract does not mean it isn’t covered in the body of the paper (which I have not read because it’s paywalled). I can check their references though:

        Petit, J. R. et al. Climate and atmospheric history of the past 420,000 years from the Vostok ice core, Antarctica. Nature 399, 429–436 (1999)

        That one almost had to be there, and there is a full version available here: http://www.jerome-chappellaz.com/files/publications/climate-and-atmospheric-history-of-the-past-420-000-years-from-the-vostok-ice-core-antarctica-38.pdf

        There is a close correlation between Antarctic temperature and atmospheric concentrations of CO2 and CH4 (refs 5, 9). This discovery suggests that greenhouse gases are important as amplifiers of the initial orbital forcing and may have significantly contributed to the glacial–interglacial changes 14–16. The Vostok ice cores were also used to infer an empirical estimate of the sensitivity of global climate to future anthropogenic increases of greenhouse-gas concentrations 15.

        Greve, R. A continuum-mechanical formulation for shallow polythermal ice sheets. Phil. Trans. R. Soc. A 355, 921–974 (1997)

        Weertman, J. Milankovitch solar radiation variations and ice age ice sheet sizes. Nature 261, 17–20 (1976)

        Abe-Ouchi, A. et al. Insolation-driven 100,000-year glacial cycles and hysteresis of ice-sheet volume. Nature 500, 190–193 (2013)

        Elderfield, H. et al. Evolution of ocean temperature and ice volume through the mid-Pleistocene climate transition. Science 337, 704–709 (2012)

        So, it looks like all of the physics I know about as an interested layperson are probably in there.

        [CO2] Didn’t do much in the last 18 years.

        I feel almost silly reminding you that CO2 isn’t the only determinant of surface temperature. I don’t feel at all silly reminding you …

        … that judging a book solely by its cover is often a Bad Idea.

        Didn’t do much in the Pleistocene. Didn’t do much in the Phanerozoic.

        Ok then, how much do you think it did, and why?

      • I don’t pretend to know how much it did, nor how much it is currently doing. In good company on this. I do believe CO2’s function as a GHG is compromised to the tune of 50% or more by the saturation we previously discussed. I believe this handicap is the reason it does not perform as expected in the models, the reason warming has slowed to a crawl in the last human generation in spite of immense and accelerating human production of CO2, the reason CO2 is virtually the slave of temperature in the ice core data, and the reason there seems no meaningful correlation at all between temperature and CO2 in the super high concentration deep time of the Phanerozoic.

        This is what I see:

        In the above the Vostok ice core CO2 data is plotted against a worldwide compilation of ODP benthic 18O. This global series can be thought of as the planet’s EKG for the last 5 million years as we descended into the Pleistocene. There is every reason to expect that the relationship shown here extends back the entire record, far longer than any ice core.

        Above we zoom in and find the limitations of my cartoons, but the relationship is clearly just as it is in the ice core/ice core data with CO2 predominantly the slave of temperature.

        Monckton’s work above covers the recent divergences.

        The obvious question is, when was CO2 ever anything more than a feedback? The irony is that the climate models treat water as feedback only. I believe these guys are hanging upside down. Water is the forcing and CO2 is feedback only as a result of its saturation handicap.

        I was having some fun as many here know I am no fan or orbital forcing and the guys start their paper with a proclamation that there is general agreement.

        Firstly, while there is no general agreement on the reason, it is generally agreed that in the middle of the Pleistocene there was a shift from forty or so to 100 or so kyr periodicity. Weird, no? You can see it in the benthic cores.

        This sort of transition will not result from greenhouse gasses.None of the orbital parameters change significantly across this transition.

        The spectral power of various periodicities varies considerably from place to place with sometimes 100kyr shining and others 40kyr, but never the 23kyr.

        Bottom line I look at orbital forcing the same as CO2. There must be some effect in both cases, but if it were a predominant effect, it would show up in the data. It doesn’t.

      • gymnosperm,

        I don’t pretend to know how much it did, nor how much it is currently doing.

        C’mon now, this is your full statement to me previously: Get used to it. Co2 don’t do much. Didn’t do much in the last 18 years. Didn’t do much in the Pleistocene. Didn’t do much in the Phanerozoic. Strike three, it’s out.

        Emphasis mine, which reads to me as, “CO2 didn’t do nuffin'”.

        The irony is that the climate models treat water as feedback only.

        False: http://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/10.1029/2012GL051607/full

        Forcing, feedbacks and climate sensitivity in CMIP5 coupled atmosphere-ocean climate models

        Water is the forcing and CO2 is feedback only as a result of its saturation handicap.

        I certainly don’t dispute that water vapor is the single greatest instantaneous contributor to radiative forcing in atmosphere (60% for wv vs. 26% for CO2) but, IIRC, your proposed saturation mechanism stated that once LW from the surface is absorbed within the first 3 meters of emission it stays put and doesn’t come out until being released near the tropopause, hence there is no more radiative effect to be had anywhere else in the air column.

        One wonders why water vapor should be an exception to your proposed saturation mechanism?

        As far as water vapor being the present primary change driver and CO2 being the feedback, consider this common chemical reaction:

        The rule for complete combustion of an unbranched alkane like propane is that for every n carbons in the chain, we will get as reaction products n CO2 molecules and n+1 water molecules. When we consult the history of human hydrocarbon combustion activity …

        … and compare that to the recent history of CO2 atmospheric concentration …

        … and finally compare both to the recent history of atmospheric specific humidity …

        Bottom line I look at orbital forcing the same as CO2. There must be some effect in both cases, but if it were a predominant effect, it would show up in the data. It doesn’t.

        I give you credit for allowing that orbital forcing and CO2 must be having some effect; however, there are still some problems with your argument:

        Just because your eyeballs don’t see it does not mean it isn’t there.

        Dominance of a given effect is sensitive to the sum total of physical interactions within the system, which is in turn sensitive to the physical configuration of the system, which is demonstrably not constant. For an extreme example, the aptly named Hadean eon which extends from about 4 billion years ago back to the Earth’s formation about 4.6 billion years ago includes an interval of time when the “oceans” were molten rock — clearly a different climate, and one in which I would not expect temperatures and CO2 levels to relate to anything seen over the past million years.

        So, while me might reasonably assume that the laws of physics have not changed since the onset of the Phanerozoic eon [1], it does not necessarily follow that any single identifiable climate “driver” must be “dominant” over that entire interval. 550 million years is a lot of time …

        … and a lot of things can change over that kind of interval.

        Bintanja and van de Wal (2008) take a shot at explaining the past three million years with an ice/ocean/atmosphere/orbital forcing model constrained by the limited paleo data available: http://www.nature.com/nature/journal/v454/n7206/abs/nature07158.html

        Article is paywalled, but the freely available supplemental contains some good information: http://www.nature.com/nature/journal/v454/n7206/extref/nature07158-s1.pdf

        The the output of model is available here: ftp://ftp.ncdc.noaa.gov/pub/data/paleo/contributions_by_author/bintanja2008/

        … with this note in the file:

        DESCRIPTION:
        A comprehensive ice-sheet model and a simple ocean-temperature
        model were applied to marine benthic oxygen isotopes (LR04 stack)
        to extract three-million-year mutually consistent records of
        surface air temperature, ice volume, and sea level.

        The reconstructed atmospheric surface air temperatures apply to
        all subarctic to arctic land masses (including continental shelves)
        north of about ~45N.

        The reference for the marine benthic foraminifera d18O stack is Lisiecki and Raymo (2005), the data are here: ftp://ftp.ncdc.noaa.gov/pub/data/paleo/contributions_by_author/lisiecki2005/

        Regressing the surface temp reconstruction from Bintanja against the marine benthic data from Lisiecki, I get an R^2 value of 0.81, which is like, not shabby.

        I’ve also regressed Petit et al. (1999) Vostok ice core temps (scaled 50% to account for polar amplification) against CO2 data from same, 65 N June insolation from Berger, and the calculated combined ice sheet area from Bintanja (2008). After twiddling lead/lag for insolation and ice area, my best fit regression (R^2 0.85) returned a climate sensitivity of 2.86 K/2xCO2. [2]

        Bottom line: it looks to me like we can do some reasonable modelling of paleoclimate over the past 3 million years, it need not be mysterious or incomprehensible, and we need not shy away from guessing the component contributions of various known parameters to temperature response. We just need to be willing to combine observation with theory and math instead of only relying on our eyeballs.

        We also need to be willing to be wrong, and aware that we most certainly are. Science doesn’t get done any other way.

        —————

        [1] Even this is not a completely “safe” assumption, as someone who might know a little about physics once penned: We have no right to assume that any physical laws exist, or if they have existed up until now, that they will continue to exist in a similar manner in the future. ~Max Planck

        I think, however, that such extreme skepticism is not very useful except perhaps as an excuse to give up hope of ever understanding much of anything … an attitude Planck clearly didn’t espouse, and which I think is a critical secondary lesson of this particular quote.

        [2] Because Petit (1999) and Bintanja (2008) do not use compatible timescales, I limited the regression to the past 140 kyrs.

      • Starting from the bottom up again because it is so much easier:

        Willing to be wrong. We are just naked apes.

        Why would you expect the surface temperature reconstruction to be different from the benthic cores and the ice cores? The sun warms the ocean, the ocean warms the atmosphere. When the atmosphere is colder, more ice forms toward the poles.

        Please don’t equate the Phanerozoic with the Hadean. Obviously the system changes. Phanerozoic is Greek for “abundant life”. The effects of life basically titrating the lithosphere before the Phanerozoic and being surprisingly abundant in the mesosphere today today is hugely underappreciated.

        Agree on alkanes and mea culpa for previous comments (not in this discussion) where I failed to distinguish between Alkane and glucose “combustion”.

        ” your proposed saturation mechanism stated that once LW from the surface is absorbed within the first 3 meters of emission it stays put and doesn’t come out until being released near the tropopause”

        Not what I mean at all. It doesn’t stay put. It isn’t even there. All the light is exhausted because CO2 is incredibly hungry for those photons. As you have pointed out, CO2 also chooses to dissipate that energy as thermalization the vast majority of the time, but in doing so, the conversion loss kills the quantum. Of course, multiple kinetic interactions can reconstitute it, but the process is a downhill run, and it expires a 3 meters, 10, 100, whatever with the isotopologues and water overlap factored in. Above that point, wherever it is, those “saturated” bands do nothing until they are revitalized y an indirect energy infusion from ozone at the tropopause.

        http://www.giss.nasa.gov/research/briefs/lacis_01/

        “The numerical climate experiment described in Fig. 2. demonstrates the fundamental radiative forcing role of the non-condensing GHGs, and the feedback (only) role of water vapor and clouds”

        Don’t do much and don’t do nuffin’ be berry different.

    • Correct, the present low eccentricity Green line) means no precessional Great Winter for the next 100 kyr or more (black line), and so no low-insolation ice age forcing (black line trough).

      The last time this nearly happened was 400 kyr ago, and we had an extended interglacial then too. But this period of low eccentricity is even longer, and so temperatures should be stable for even longer. See my explanation for ice age and interglacial feedbacks via albedo, below.

      Ralph

  31. “The conditions necessary for the onset of a new ice age…”

    I think they have that backwards. We are always in an ice age, just a temporary reprieve during interglacials. Now if they had stated “The conditions necessary for ending the current interglacial…”
    I do believe it would be considered a good thing. Warmer is better.

  32. No more Barak Hussein Obama SOTU crap! Weee! I survived! I am resilient!

    Potsdam should have been bombed like Dresden and Tokyo when we had the chance!

    What did “atomic” bombing and Napalm on Japan yield? A population of LGBTQs ! They hate each other so much that they can’t procreate; ergo the population will die off in short order. Good riddance.

    Yeah!

    Ha ha

  33. Just a few clips from your post David Middleton:

    “Words fail me.”
    “I won’t even bother to point out…..”
    “Nor will I bother to point out…….”
    “By “ice age,” the author probably means …”
    ==============================
    I know you got something to say, but you are not saying it.
    What is the worst that can happen ?

    You get picked apart by all the lurkers, and then your post lives forever on the internet.

    So what, at least you spoke up.

  34. Why don’t the peers reviewing this stuff apply the criteria expressed by Naomi Oreskes

    “Finally, we must admit that a model may
    confirm our biases and support incorrect
    intuitions. Therefore, models are most useful
    when they are used to challenge existing
    formulations, rather than to validate or
    verify them. Any scientist who is asked to
    use a model to verify or validate a predetermined
    result should be suspicious”

    http://www.nssl.noaa.gov/users/brooks/public_html/feda/papers/Oreskes1.pdf
    “Verification, Validation, and Confirmation of Numerical Models in the Earth Sciences” – The 1994 paper for which she was the lead author

    • It seems that as an adult is exposed to miscreant professional behaviour by other individuals.
      First they are skeptical.
      Then they are initially resistive.
      Then they feel demoralized and cynical.
      Then there is a stage during which they start to discover that the culprits are acquiring all the wealth and kudos. And that resistance is only ever harmful to the individual who resists.
      Finally they themselves may choose to launch themselves as masters of the art of mass deception.
      I suspect that this is exactly the route chosen by the Lews and Oreskes of the world.
      AND they have succeeded in positioning themselves at the head of the climate debate even though they have no relevant expertise.
      Is it any wonder that people choose moral bankruptcy?
      There certainly won’t be any financial bankruptcy involved.

  35. Hurrreeeyy. . . hurrreeeyy. . . hurrreeeyy! Step right up to the Paris midway folks! See millions, billions, trillions traded for pigs, pokes, and lies . . . panting polar bears straight from the sands of a sinking arctic . . . snarling snow leopards in search of water . . . gasping Gurkhas swept away by melting glaciers . . . coastal residents on stilts . . . climate grifters juggling semi-intelligent humans . . . grim reapers galloping the streets . . . massive throngs wandering aimlessly . . . You there in the back! Why are you wearing that parka?! Hurrreeeeyy . . . hurrreeeyy . . . folks! . . . see the Guinness record for limos and Lear jets parked in one spot . . . hear tragic tales of total destruction from Nobel laureates . . . You there on the right! Can you spare us a billion? That’s it! Step right up and empty your pockets on stage . . . brothers Al and Cameron will assist you . . . hurrrreeeyy. . . hurrrreeeeyy. . . hurrrreeeyy . . .

    • You forgot the principle sales technique – the diminishing window of opportunity.
      Buy now – and save – whilst stocks last. Grab this once only special offer. Only 500 days left to save the earth. Don’t miss out. Tomorrow will be TOO LATE…
      That sort of thing is just basic level marketing crap…

  36. Some of the more extreme warmistas contemplate fascist states that would put skeptics in camps, “de-program” them or even execute them as punishment for AGW. Well, that knife can cut both ways. Imagine the pitchfork carrying mobs if after proclaiming impossibility of the end of the interglacial, the end was reached either on a “natural” time frame or perhaps one hastened by “AGW mitigation?” Yes, that knife can cut both ways.

  37. A long time ago I read a horror story about the future impact horse manure would have on big cities. But the forecast of the depth of horse manure in the streets was made without knowing that motor vehicles would replace horses.

    The Potsdam Institute paper seems to be analogous to the forecast that cities would now be awash with manure. Are we to believe that fusion energy will not have replaced combustion of carbon and hydrogen during the next thousand years?

    Even so, this paper relies on climate models that are too sensitive to CO2. If Lindzen and Choi are correct about the size and direction of feedbacks in the climate system, then this paper may be correct but trivial.

    (See references below.)

    The astronomers Loutre and Berger claim that the present interglacial will last 50,000 years (instead of the typical 20,000 years) because of the configuration of orbital parameters.

    Low climate sensitivity to CO2 arising from negative feedback in the climate system may add a few thousand years to this, postponing glaciation for 45,000 years instead of 40,000 years.

    But what difference would it make if the next interglacial begins 40,000 years from now or 45,000 years from now?

    How confident can we be that greenhouse gases will overcome celestial geometry?

    O mighty Potsdam, how hast thou sunk so low?

    References:

    1. Lindzen, Richard S., and Yong-Sang Choi. “On the observational determination of climate sensitivity and its implications.” Asia-Pacific Journal of Atmospheric Sciences 47.4 (2011): 377-390.
    http://eaps.mit.edu/faculty/lindzen/236-Lindzen-Choi-2011.pdf

    2. Loutre and Berger estimated that the present inter-glacial might last for another 40,000 years based on orbital parameters. In the abstract substage 5e was the last interglacial (Eemian) when sea level may have been 9 meters higher than at present. During MIS-11 (400,000 ago) sea level rose about 22 meters higher than the present.

    Abstract of Marine Isotope Stage 11 as an analogue for the present interglacial

    Past analogues for our present interglacial or even warmer periods have been sought in order to better understand our present and future climate. Marine Isotope Stage (MIS) 5, more precisely substage 5e, has long been considered to be a good candidate. However, there were some elements against this analogy in the data themselves [Kukla et al. Quat. Sci. Rev. 16 (6) (1997) 605], as well as in the mechanisms [Berger, 1989 Response of the climate system to CO 2 and astronomical forcings. In: Paleo-Analogs, IPCC Working Group I, Bath, 20-21 November 1989] and forcing related to both periods. Here we suggest that the period from 405 to 340 ka before present (BP), including a large part of Marine Isotope Stage 11, could be a good analogue for future climate. The insolation over this interval shows a strong linear correlation with the insolation signal over the recent past and the future. In addition, simulations using the climate model developed in Louvain-la-Neuve (LLN 2-D NH) show that both MIS 11 and the future are characterized by small amount (if any) of continental ice, with almost no variation during the whole interval. In contrast, MIS 5 is exhibiting larger variability in simulated ice volume. This confirms that the interval [405-340 ka BP] may lead to a better understanding of our present and future warm climate.

  38. “Humans now effectively control the climate of the planet”

    I did not bother reading past that sentence

    These guys were trained in science?

    In 50 years time how will lecturers describe this era? For weeks I have been trying to describe it in a nutshell. I am gobsmacked. When passion and warped agenda drives pragmatic thought and conclusion anything can result

    The medieval inquisitions were no more shameful. We have all the tools to know so much better yet the same ignorance and lack of common sense prevails

  39. Complete nonsense. Here are the facts.

    a. The extension of the Holocene interglacial is due to orbital eccentricity being low. This prevents a precessional Great Winter after the interglacial Great Summer, so there is no great fall in insolation forcing. Instead the interglacial relies much more on obliquity, which is at a maximum at present, and the obliquity maximum lasts for 20 kys. And sontheninterglacial can extend – helped by Willis Eschenbach et al’s cloud thermostat system. The last time these events coincided was 400 kyr ago, and the interglacial was equally long – and that long interglacial had nothing to do with man’s emissions.

    b. The reason there will be no ice age for another 100 kyr, is that eccentricity will remain low for the next 100 kyr, and so there is not going to be a precessional Great Winter for all that time. An ice age is initiated by a Great Winter, and is then continued by the growth of ice sheets and their high albedo. And it gets to a stage where even a subsequent Great Summer cannot melt the ice sheets, because their albedo is too high.

    c. If man is beginning to effect the climate, it is more to do with industrial soot on the ice sheets (and possibly farming dust, when the fields are bare all winter). It is dust-ice albedo that controls the feedback of ice ages and interglacials, not CO2. So this proposal is wrong at all levels.

    See Clive Best’s review of the dust albedo theory, as he sums it up quite succinctly:
    http://clivebest.com/blog/?p=7024

    Ralph

  40. What amuses me is the assumption that deferring a new ice age is a BAD thing.

    The good folks at the Guardian seem to have forgotten that during the last ice age most of Britain was covered in ice sheets upwards of a mile thick and the rump in the southeast was a polar desert rather like Northern Alaska or Siberia.

    In North America the ice sheets covered virtually all of Canada and the Northern USA as far south as the Ohio river. Manhattan was buried under ice a mile thick. Glaciation also affected much of California and Oregon while much of the mid west was a desert/

    Deserts around the world expanded enormously as dry conditions prevailed and sea levels dropped none of the modern sea going cultures would survive.

    This would apparently be a Good Thing in Guardian Land.

    • To the eco-radicals, any change that is caused by man is bad.
      So delaying an ice age is by definition bad, even if life on this planet would benefit by such a change.

  41. The following comment in The Independent by Odin2 is well-written.

    http://www.independent.com/news/2016/jan/11/phony-climate-claims/#comment-2454473297

    Both of the satellite data sets (RSS & UAH v6) show that there has been no global warming in the past 18+ years despite increasing CO2 emissions during this period equal to 1/3 of the rise in CO2 since pre-industrial times. If CO2 emissions were a direct and significant cause of global warming, we would have experienced global warming during the 18+ year pause. We did not.

    The satellite data (funded/maintained by the US government) is the most comprehensive and most accurate temperature data the US government has. RSS and UAH satellite data are crosschecked against each other and against balloon data sets and show remarkable consistency. RSS is maintained and operated by scientists who are Believers. The surface data is sporadic which requires substantial extrapolation (guesswork) to fill in the gaps, is less comprehensive, and is subject to the urban heat island effect and tampering. Even the surface temperature data shows only slight global warming during the last 18+ years which is substantially below the temperature projections of the IPCC’s climate models. A recent study shows that even the unperturbed NOAA surface stations have overstated US temperature data by as much as 50%. “Unperturbed” stations are stations that “have not been moved, had equipment changes, or changes in time of observations, and thus require no “adjustments” to their temperature record to account for these problems.”

    There is no empirical evidence showing that humans (primarily CO2 emissions) are the primary cause of global warming since the start of the industrial age (AGW). In fact, studies show that temperatures change as much as 800-1000 years before CO2 changes. The effect cannot come before the cause. It is more likely that increasing ocean temperatures cause outgassing of CO2 from the oceans into the atmosphere so the Believers have it backwards. In any event, we all know that correlation does not prove causation.

    The hypothesis that humans cause global warming (AGW) is not supported by empirical evidence and relies heavily on computer climate models which overemphasize CO2’s role in climate change and de-emphasize the role of clouds, solar cycles, ocean cycles, volcanoes, cosmic rays, changes in the earth’s orbit, and other natural causes of climate change. These computers have been notoriously wrong almost all of the time (when compared to real world data) and have been compared to a sports team that played the entire season without winning a game. Computers that model an imaginary planet and are programmed with guesses of a few of the many variables affecting climate are not data or empirical evidence. Ninety-five percent of the climate models relied upon by the IPCC failed to predict the 18 year and eight month pause and their projections of future temperatures during this period substantially exceeded the observed temperatures.

    The outside atmospheric levels of CO2 are currently around 400 ppm. During the last ice age CO2 levels fell to 180 ppm and plants started to shut down. If CO2 levels had reached 150 ppm or lower, plants would have started to die off and all plant and animal life on the planet could have died. Green houses regularly keep CO2 concentrations at 1000-1200 ppm because the plants grow better. In the past, CO2 levels have been at several thousand parts per million and plants and animals thrived. US submarines try to keep CO2 levels below 8,000 ppm. Federal OSHA standards set CO2 maximums at 5,000 ppm. When you exhale, your breath contains more than 40,000 ppm CO2. The most predominant greenhouse gas is water vapor. In fact, 95% of the greenhouse effect is caused by water vapor.

    We are much closer to being CO2 deprived than we are being threatened by too much atmospheric CO2. Plants thrive on more CO2- that is a good thing. CO2 is not a pollutant. It is a weak greenhouse gas that is colorless and odorless which comprises only .04% of the atmosphere (naturally occurring CO2 + CO2 emissions). CO2 emissions are only 3-4% of the total CO2 in the atmosphere. So, CO2 emissions make up only .0012 to 0.0016 % of the atmosphere. That is why blaming global warming on CO2 emissions is like having ‘the flea wag the dog’.

    Climate change is natural and has been occurring since the formation of the planet. The 18 year and 8 month pause just proves that the skeptics were right all along-natural causes of climate change are more powerful than the insubstantial effects that human generated CO2 has on the world’s climate.

    AGW is about power, politics and greed. Every time the facts change, the Believers move the goal posts . They have at least 66 excuses for the 18+ year pause in global warming and the failure of the computer climate models to predict it. The Believers blame any unusual (but normal) climate event on global warming with no scientific proof. This is often done with a scary picture or one that pulls on the heart strings, and the text of the article will say “could be caused”, “is consistent with”, or “may be caused by” global warming. This is code for we have no scientific evidence but we want to scare you so we can tax CO2 and promote our political agenda and profit from the AGW industry (which we must perpetuate at all costs).

    The earth is estimated to be 4.5 billion years old and the climate has been changing most of this time. The relevant questions are how much global warming is caused by human activities (primarily CO2 emissions) and are the effects good or bad? The the lack of empirical evidence supporting AGW leads to the conclusion that any warming effect that CO2 emissions may have on climate is insubstantial and that the effects of global warming are largely beneficial. Increased CO2 levels are greening the planet. Even the West African Sahel is greening.

  42. CO2 lags temperature at all measured time scales.

    A few more thoughts below: Climate heresy now, but conventional wisdom in 10-20 years.

    Regards, Allan :-)

    https://wattsupwiththat.com/2015/06/13/presentation-of-evidence-suggesting-temperature-drives-atmospheric-co2-more-than-co2-drives-temperature/

    Observations and Conclusions:

    1. Temperature, among other factors, drives atmospheric CO2 much more than CO2 drives temperature. The rate of change dCO2/dt is closely correlated with temperature and thus atmospheric CO2 LAGS temperature by ~9 months in the modern data record

    2. CO2 also lags temperature by ~~800 years in the ice core record, on a longer time scale.

    3. Atmospheric CO2 lags temperature at all measured time scales.

    4. CO2 is the feedstock for carbon-based life on Earth, and Earth’s atmosphere and oceans are clearly CO2-deficient. CO2 abatement and sequestration schemes are nonsense.

    5. Based on the evidence, Earth’s climate is insensitive to increased atmospheric CO2 – there is no global warming crisis.

    6. Recent global warming was natural and irregularly cyclical – the next climate phase following the ~20 year pause will probably be global cooling, starting by ~2020 or sooner.

    7. Adaptation is clearly the best approach to deal with the moderate global warming and cooling experienced in recent centuries.

    8. Cool and cold weather kills many more people than warm or hot weather, even in warm climates. There are about 100,000 Excess Winter Deaths every year in the USA and about 10,000 in Canada.

    9. Green energy schemes have needlessly driven up energy costs, reduced electrical grid reliability and contributed to increased winter mortality, which especially targets the elderly and the poor.

    10. Cheap, abundant, reliable energy is the lifeblood of modern society. When politicians fool with energy systems, real people suffer and die. That is the tragic legacy of false global warming alarmism.

    Allan MacRae, Calgary, June 12, 2015

    • https://wattsupwiththat.com/2015/12/15/voxs-david-roberts-consilience-or-just-plain-silliness/comment-page-1/#comment-2098864

      This is the dCO2/dt vs. temperature relationship I was referring to above. See my 2008 paper at:
      http://icecap.us/index.php/go/joes-blog/carbon_dioxide_in_not_the_primary_cause_of_global_warming_the_future_can_no/
      or this plot:
      http://www.woodfortrees.org/plot/esrl-co2/from:1979/mean:12/derivative/plot/uah/from:1959/scale:0.22/offset:0.14

      There are several observations about this striking dCO2/dt vs. temperature relationship:
      1. The dCO2/dt vs. temperature correlation is remarkably strong for a natural global phenomenon.
      2. The integral (of dCO2/dt) is atmospheric CO2, and it LAGS temperature by about 9 months in the modern data record. CO2 also LAGS temperature by about 800 years in the ice core record. Thus CO2 LAGS temperature at all measured time scales. Thus the global warming hypothesis assumes that the future is causing the past. Thus the CAGW hypothesis fails.
      3. This close dCO2/dt vs temperature relationship indicates that temperature drives CO2 much more than CO2 drives temperature.
      4. The dCO2/dt vs. temperature correlation is the only detailed signal I have found in the data – there is NO evidence that CO2 LEADS temperature or that increasing atmospheric CO2 significantly increases global temperature.
      5. Furthermore, global temperature declined from ~1940-1975, increased from ~1975-2000, and has stayed flat (or cooled slightly) since ~2000, all while atmospheric CO2 increased; so the correlation of temperature to increasing atmospheric CO2 has been NEGATIVE, Positive, and Near-Zero. I suggest Near-Zero is the correct estimate of the sensitivity (ECS) of global temperature to increasing atmospheric CO2. There is and never had been a manmade global warming crisis – there is no credible evidence to support this failed hypothesis.
      6. With few exceptions including some on this blog, nobody (especially the global warming alarmists) wants to acknowledge the LAG of CO2 after temperature – apparently this LAG of CO2 after temperature contradicts deeply-held beliefs about global warming dogma.
      7. While basic physics may suggest that CO2 is a greenhouse gas, the overwhelming observational evidence indicates that the impact of increasing CO2 on global temperature is so small as to be insignificant.
      8. In summary, observational evidence strongly indicates that the manmade global warming crisis does not exist.
      9. Finally, atmospheric CO2 is not alarmingly high; in fact, it is dangerously low for the survival of terrestrial carbon-based life on Earth. Plants evolved with about 2000ppm CO2 in the atmosphere, or about 5 times current CO2 concentrations.
      10. In one of the next global Ice Ages, atmospheric CO2 will approach about 150ppm, a concentration at which terrestrial photosynthesis will slow and cease – and that will be the extinction event for all terrestrial life on this planet.
      11. More atmospheric CO2 is highly beneficial to all carbon-based life on Earth. Therefore, CO2 abatement and sequestrations schemes are nonsense.
      12. As a devoted fan of carbon-based life on this planet, I feel the duty to advocate on our behalf. I should point out that I am not prejudiced against other life forms. They might be very nice, but I do not know any of them well enough to form an opinion. :-)

      Regards to all, Merry Christmas, Happy Holidays!
      – Allan

  43. They built a formula which more-or-less makes an assumption about CO2 sensitivity and then how the Milankovitch cycles vary and they construct a tipping point regime.

    “The critical summer insolation at 65° N can be described as S = α ln([CO2]/280) + β, where α = −77 W m−2 and β = 466 W m−2 and [CO2] is the concentration of CO2 in parts per million.”

    the −77 W m−2 ln(CO2/280) is just a variant of the CO2 sensitivity; and,

    + 466 W m−2 is just a variant of how summer solar insolation varies at 65N.

    http://nature.com/articles/doi:10.1038/nature16494

    I’ve said before that the tipping point is really when the summer solar insolation at 75N falls below 440 W m -2 which is the point where the Sun doesn’t have enough strength to melt the snow.

    But the formula does NOT work once CO2 is over 280 ppm. I mean really. Any CO2 level over 280 ppm would cause an ice age using this formula.

    = -77 * ln(400/280) + 466 = 438 W m -2

    = -77 * ln(240/280) + 466 = 478 W m-2 (this is what they say was their tipping point – except when CO2 goes over 280 ppm, the formula goes the other way and starts producing lower solar insolation numbers – it only works when CO2 is below 280 ppm).

    Climate scientists are bad at basic math.

  44. “we may have delayed the next ice age by 100,000 years or more”.
    In short – no we did not.
    It will come and it will be catastrophic.
    And not like the “Globul Worming” catastrophy. For real.

  45. However, when the ice age is over in about 100,000 years, CO2 induced warming will take off with a vengeance.

  46. With the track record of AGW hypester predictions, we should now become seriously concerned about an abrupt change to rapid glaciation.
    This report loses it with the false assertion about storms becoming worse.

  47. The current interglacial is ending. Nothing can stop it.

    It’s time for whites to abandon Europe and N America and build a new empire in warmer lands:

    *Whites congregate in Oz and build an aqueduct from New Guinea supplying 300 million people
    *They then conquer islands and peninsulas throughout the world with nice climates
    *The Arabian Peninsula is taken to get back our oil and checkmate Islam

    • Numlock

      Yes I also remember playing the board game Risk in my youth – whoever got Australia usually went on to win the game.

      It’s easily defendable and a good springboard for conquest. At least if the rules are simple.

  48. It doesn’t matter how many Church members say the atmosphere is a heater, it’s not. And it’s not going to be the day we bury the last Therm-0-Quack who says it is.

    The earth is a stone sphere. It rotates in a light.

    Presence of the atmosphere blocks light to that stone creating reduced energy density.

    It then distributes that lesser energy to emit it through a larger, colder, mass than itself.

    That is the

    DEFINITION of cooling.

    End-0 of Story-0 except the SQUIRMING and the FRAUD.

  49. So, according to the “study” we can expect the Holocene to turn out to be a 120,000 year inter-glacial. Hmmm, the average length of inter-glacials for the past million years was about 12,000 years. What a powerful master control knob of climate that CO2 is. Too bad it couldn’t make the world warmer for the past 18 years even though it has been steadily increasing in our atmosphere. Darn those natural factors that get in the way of this master control knob of climate.

    • FJ

      Putting it in those terms makes it clear that it is nonsense. Stepping back and getting the bigger picture is always useful. What is the bigger picture of our current glaciation? Starting 3 million years ago, shallow glacial cycles 40 kyrs long then the MPR then deeper cycles 100 kyrs long. The pattern is clear – deepening glaciation.

      In this context talk of effectively the abrupt end of glaciation is shortsighted and wrong. No – the next transition somewhere up ahead is not the end of glaciation but the end of interglacials and permanent, possibly global “snowball earth” glaciation.

      The earth is doing now what it does every 150 million years as we orbit the galaxy with that period: entering a deep glaciation. Probably all such periods start with a transition phase of oscillation between glaciation-interglacials.

      Good times!

  50. An excerpt from a page on the film “Revenant” starring Leonardo Di Caprio:

    Some of the filming occurred near Calgary, where unpredictable chinook winds have produced spring-like conditions in the dead of winter for as long as weather has been recorded. Evidently unaware of these chinooks, DiCaprio attributed a sudden thaw to the unprecedented effects of global warming, much to the the amusement of locals and Canadian media.

    http://www.imdb.com/title/tt1663202/trivia?ref_=tt_trv_trv

  51. Some of the filming for the film “The Revenant” occurred near Calgary, where unpredictable chinook winds have produced spring-like conditions in the dead of winter for as long as weather has been recorded. Evidently unaware of these chinooks, DiCaprio attributed a sudden thaw to the unprecedented effects of global warming, much to the the amusement of locals and Canadian media.

    http://www.imdb.com/title/tt1663202/trivia?ref_=tt_trv_trv

    • What are you saying?
      As a good gullible, Leo is prepping for a career as a Climatologist?
      You have to admit, in that instant he portraits the Alarmed Ones Idiocy perfectly.
      And here I thought he could not act.

  52. Look back at the start of the last ice age. By 114,000 years ago, the Eemian interglacial is over and the planet is already half-way into the extreme cold of an ice age, temperatures have dropped by -2.5C globally already. Solar insolation is reaching its deepest downturn part of the Milankovitch (the rose shaded area). This is basically as deep as the solar insolation gets at 65N. Only twice in the last 1,000,000 years was it slightly lower than this.

    ie, 114,000 years ago, the ice age has fully started and it is on. Albedo has already increased from 29.8% to 32.0%. The glaciers are already moving south. Sea level has already fallen by 50 metres.

    CO2, on the other hand, is still at 275 ppm ???? No trigger here. It does not fall to the magic 240 ppm until 5,000 years later.

    • Because global temperatures are albedo driven. And also driven into an interglacial by a similar albedo process. The ice needs to be covered in dust, before an interglacial can be initiated.And it taked some 60 kyrs of cooling, before the dust can be created.

      R

    • Interesting. The present interglacial hasn’t declined as much as the previous, as we’re already at/near the precessional min for 65N insolation. Granted, temps from the Holocene Optimum have declined a bit, but not as much. Would you attribute that difference to the current low cyclicity of the present 65N insolation minimum?

  53. Brandon Gates
    January 13, 2016 at 8:39 pm

    “… according to them, net longwave at the surface is a 63 W/m^2 loss on average, whereas evapotranspiration accounts for a 80 W/m^2 loss from the surface.”

    Fig.1 of Trenberth, Fassulo and Kiehl is wrong. Only the net transport of heat from surface to space is important: Thermals 17, evotranspiration 80, and radiation 356-333 = 23 W/m^2. The radiative transport from surface to atmosphere actually is a mixed transport because thermalization in the atmosphere is involved. Pure radiative transport is the transport via the atmospheric window 40/239 = 0.17.

    • Paul Berberich,

      Fig.1 of Trenberth, Fassulo and Kiehl is wrong.

      In the strictest sense that it’s a globally-averaged estimate based on uncertain observation, I agree with you. In the sense that temperature experienced at the surface is a function of net fluxes at the surface, I do not agree with you.

      Only the net transport of heat from surface to space is important: Thermals 17, evotranspiration 80, and radiation 356-333 = 23 W/m^2.

      If we’re trying to figure out net energy gain/(loss) from the entire system, it’s 341 incoming solar – 102 reflected solar – 239 outgoing longwave at TOA, which is zero. Since that diagram shows 0.9 W/m^2 at the surface, there should be a positive value at TOA. It’s annoying that there isn’t; I suspect that this is what happens when one draws figures using whole numbers where tenths are significant.

      If we’re trying to figure out what’s going on in the troposphere:

      78	incoming SW absorbed by atmosphere
      17	thermals from surface
      80	latent heat from surface
      ---	---
      175	absorbed
      
      356	LW from surface
      -333	LW to surface
      -169	LW emitted by atmosphere to space
      -30	LW emitted by clouds to space
      ---	---
      -176	emitted
      
      ===	===
      -1	net
      

      Were it not for rounding error again, that could explain UAH and RSS TLT ….

      Anyway, the main point is that for any given layer in that diagram, the values should just about net zero for an “equilibrium” or “steady state” climate, and they just about do.

      The radiative transport from surface to atmosphere actually is a mixed transport because thermalization in the atmosphere is involved.

      No dispute there, however the cartoon would get pretty cluttered if they’d attempted to represent any more layers of atmosphere. My minor gripe about rounding errors aside, I think the way they drew it is just fine.

      • Brandon Gates,
        “In the sense that temperature experienced at the surface is a function of net fluxes at the surface, I do not agree with you.”

        My point of view: on the average the heat flux from surface to space is a constant. At the surface it is mainly due to convection and evaporation. The radiative transport steadily increases with height, and the others decrease. It is difficult to calculate the contributions of the different channels because they are interconnected. For instance, evaporation needs convection as everybody knows. When the radiative transport in the atmosphere decreases due to increasing CO2 concentrations, the other transport channels do not remain constant. In this respect, I think that the Figure of Trenberth et al.. is misleading.

  54. I remember this clearly from The Great Global Warming Swindle. They had footage from a late 60s early 70s interview where they asked some “expert” what we could do about the obviously coming Ice Age (ha ha), and the response was “we could increase our CO2 output, and delay the onset for a while”.

  55. It is good to see that someone else has glommed onto this issue. It isn’t that I have any illusions about the efficacy of CO2 as a GHG, The fascinating aspect of this is how thoroughly the issue of “when we live” when integrated with the alarmist view of CO2 utterly eviscerates the argument about what to do about CO2.

    See:

    https://wattsupwiththat.com/2012/03/16/the-end-holocene-or-how-to-make-out-like-a-madoff-climate-change-insurer/

    for my now 4 year old take on this subject.

    You see, if alarmists are absolutely right about the insulating properties of CO2, then the one absolute thing you would not even deign to consider is removing said climate security blanket from the late Holocene atmosphere. You might just get the tipping point you fret about, but of the opposite sign to the one expected.

    You see, it’s like this. As of 2016, the Holocene is 11,719 years old (+/-99 years). So what?

    (https://www.researchgate.net/profile/Anders_Svensson3/publication/251435280_A_new_Greenland_ice_core_chronology_for_the_last_glacial_termination/links/0a85e53c7c1255ff78000000.pdf)

    Well, since the Mid Pleistocene Transition, some ~800,000 or so years ago, there has been only 1 interglacial that lasted beyond about half a precession cycle. The precession cycle varies between 19kyrs and 23kyrs, and we are at the 23kyr part right now, making 11,500 half.

    So we have a 1 in 8 chance of the Holocene going long like MIS-11 did and MIS-19 did not. Those being the other 2 post-MPT interglacials that have also occurred at an eccentricity minima, which we are also at once again.

    But once again we are assaulted with models and models. Having written tons of geophysical and hydrogeological modeling codes since the late 1970’s, I do not have a particularly favorable view of models, particularly GCMs. Look at any of the spaghetti plots of model runs versus the satellite data (the surface data is a horrid mess, thanks to Anthony et al’s efforts). But I take particular exception of Berger and Loutre’s 2-dimensional, medium complexity late 1990’s runs of CLIMBR2 and the prediction of “An exceptionally ling interglacial ahead?” This was roundly and soundly eviscerated with actual data from 57 globally distributed deep ocean sediment cores published in a landmark paper (meaning oft-quoted and cited) published in 2005 by Lisiecki and Raymo. The operative quote being:

    “Recent research has focused on MIS 11 as a possible analog for the present interglacial [e.g., Loutre and Berger, 2003; EPICA community members, 2004] because both occur during times of low eccentricity. The LR04 age model establishes that MIS 11 spans two precession cycles, with 18O values below 3.6o/oo for 20 kyr, from 398-418 ka. In comparison, stages 9 and 5 remained below 3.6o/oo for 13 and 12 kyr, respectively, and the Holocene interglacial has lasted 11 kyr so far. In the LR04 age model, the average LSR of 29 sites is the same from 398-418 ka as from 250-650 ka; consequently, stage 11 is unlikely to be artificially stretched. However, the June 21 insolation minimum at 65N during MIS 11 is only 489 W/m2, much less pronounced than the present minimum of 474 W/m2. In addition, current insolation values are not predicted to return to the high values of late MIS 11 for another 65 kyr. We propose that this effectively precludes a ‘double precession-cycle’ interglacial [e.g., Raymo, 1997] in the Holocene without human influence.”

    http://courses.washington.edu/proxies/Lisiecki_Raymo-d18O_Stack-Pa05.pdf

    The failure to recognize this suggests only a surficial treatment of this subject by the authors of this new paper. Having said that I do applaud the fact that at least somebody, other than me it often seems, gets this issue.

    In 1998, Wallace Broecker, arguably the father of modern paleoclimatology, published a paper intended to stimulate discussion of the issue of interglacial length. In it he posed 3 eminently reasonable questions:

    (1) Were previous intervals of peak interglaciation terminated by abrupt global coolings?

    (2) How close are we to the end of the present interval of peak interglaciation?

    (3) Will the ongoing buildup of greenhouse gases alter the natural sequence of events?

    Answers:

    1. Yes, intervals of peak interglaciation were indeed terminated by abrupt coolings.
    2. As it turns out, we are either due or overdue for glacial inception right now.
    3. But it is his 3rd question that exposes the Achille’s Heel of the AGW argument.

    Details for Question 1:

    “MIS-5e ended abruptly with a rapid transition to glacial conditions, the lake was covered by a layer of firnified snow and ice, and phototrophic biological activity ceased for a period of c. 90,000 years.”

    “Much is known about palaeoenvironments in the northern hemisphere during the MIS5e interglacial. Records show periods of temperatures warmer than today leading to a northward expansion of Mediterranean vegetation in southern Europe and northward expansion of the fauna with animals such as the hippopotamus becoming widespread as far north as Southern England (Williams et al., 1998). With the increased temperatures, the global ice volume declined and far-field coral reefs record eustatic sea levels approximately 5–6m higher than today (Lambeck and Chappell, 2001).

    “In the Antarctic, palaeoenvironmental records of MIS5e are more limited.”

    “Our results suggest that MIS5e was not a stable period as there are two distinct periods of elevated organic and carbonate carbon deposition (Fig. 2b). We speculate that these were short-lived warm periods. Two warm periods (130.7–130 and 125.7–118.2 kyr BP) have also been detected in Austrian alpine stalagmites (Holzka¨mper et al., 2004). Until there is an appropriate technology for dating MIS5e in these lake sediments we cannot establish if there is a common forcing behind these warm events. The transition from interglacial into glacial conditions was rapid and is represented in its entirety between 26 and 23 cm. This suggests that the end of MIS5e was a relatively sudden event and not a gradual transition to colder conditions. Alkenone sea surface temperature data from the Southern Ocean record this sharp cooling at around 120 kyr BP (Ikehara et al., 1997), marine cores from the Atlantic suggest that it occurred over a period of less than 400 yr, and possibly much shorter (Adkins et al., 1997), and in Greenland the transition took as little as 70 yr (Anklin et al., 1993).”

    “The transition into glacial conditions was a relatively sudden event. This is supported by marine and ice core records.”

    http://www.researchgate.net/publication/222333370_Interglacial_environments_of_coastal_east_Antarctica_comparison_of_MIS_1_(Holocene)_and_MIS_5e_(Last_Interglacial)_lake-sediment_records/file/9c960525ff43b0ac6b.pdf

    “Using this record we determine the duration (17.70 ± 0.20 ka) and age of onset (127.20 ± 1.60 ka B.P.) of the last interglacial, as reflected by terrestrial ecosystems. This record also reveals that the transitions at the beginning and end of the interglacial spanned only ~100 and 150 years, respectively. Comparison with records of other earthsystem components reveals complex leads and lags. During the penultimate deglaciation phase relationships are similar to those during the most recent deglaciation, peaks in Antarctic warming and atmospheric methane both leading Northern Hemisphere terrestrial warming. It is notable, however, that there is no evidence at Monticchio of a Younger Dryas-like oscillation during the penultimate deglaciation. Warming into the first major interstadial event after the last interglacial is characterized by markedly different phase relationships to those of the deglaciations, warming at Monticchio coinciding with Antarctic warming and leading the atmospheric methane increase. Diachroneity is seen at the end of the interglacial; several global proxies indicate progressive cooling after ~115 ka B.P., whereas the main terrestrial response in the Mediterranean region is abrupt and occurs at 109.50 ± 1.40 ka B.P.

    “Finally, the very abrupt end of the LI, that occurred within no more than 0.15 ka (Fig. 3b), but that lagged by ~6.3 ka the onset of long-term decreases in SST, Vostok dD and CH4 and increase in global ice volume, once again indicates a nonlinear response and suggests important threshold processes.”

    http://www.pnas.org/content/104/2/450.full?origin=publication_detail

    “For example, Lunt et al. [2008] suggest that the growth of Northern Hemisphere ice sheets can be triggered if atmospheric CO2 levels fall below a threshold of 400 ppmv. Thus, this value could have important implications for the timing of the next glacial inception.”

    http://www.soest.hawaii.edu/oceanography/faculty/zeebe_files/Publications/UchikawaZeebe08.pdf

    I have already covered Question 2 above, operative number being 11,719.

    But we certainly got a very good discussion going related to Broecker’s 3rd question in the form of Ruddiman’s 2003 Early Anthropogenic Hypothesis, the most concise description of which is to be found in Mueller and Pross’ 2007 conclusions:

    “The possible explanation as to why we are still in an interglacial relates to the early anthropogenic hypothesis of Ruddiman (2003, 2005). According to that hypothesis, the anomalous increase of CO2 and CH4 concentrations in the atmosphere as observed in mid- to late Holocene ice-cores results from anthropogenic deforestation and rice irrigation, which started in the early Neolithic at 8000 and 5000 yr BP, respectively. Ruddiman proposes that these early human greenhouse gas emissions prevented the inception of an overdue glacial that otherwise would have already started.”

    http://folk.uib.no/abo007/share/papers/eemian_and_lgi/mueller_pross07.qsr.pdf

    If you want to get right into the meat of it, may I suggest Tzedakis’ 2010 thorough analysis of MIS-1/MIS-11/MIS-19 and the Early Anthropogenic Hypothesis:

    http://www.clim-past.net/6/131/2010/cp-6-131-2010.pdf

    So you see, it isn’t so much if the warmista’s are wrong about the efficacy of CO2 as a GHG, the far more intriguing question is “What if they are right?” Because if the climateers are right about CO2, then they could not possibly be more wrong about what to do about it here at the now 11,719 year old Holocene.

    Meanwhile, enjoy this precious little interglacial, while it lasts……..

  56. Unfortunately, we could be in for a great shock in the near future. The mechanism for rapid ice advance is an Arctic super hurricane. Just this week we saw hurricane Alex move into the precise trajectory that could initiate such a rapid ice event. Fortunately, it is Northern winter and the Gulf Stream is unable to supply the needed warm water to fuel such a rapid ice event.

    However, if the global temperatures rise this year, and the heat accumulates in the Gulf of Mexico waters, which feeds the Gulf Stream, and another hurricane follows Alex’s trajectory during September or October, then we could witness a major rapid ice event this year!

    The recent record precipitation events around the world are mirroring activity that preceded previous rapid ice advances. The flip in Earth’s climate will occur much quicker than present mainstream theory predicts, when it does occur. Whether it will be this year or not will be determined by the amount of heat that appears in the Atlantic. So far, the Atlantic seems to have been cooling over the past decade, which has been good. Hopefully, it will stay that way for a long time.

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