Without Global Warming, Civilization Would Never Have Been Possible

Guest essay by Rod Martin, Jr.

Global Warming Made Civilization Possible

Let’s face it. Ice Age glacial conditions were brutal. Because the oceans were cooler, there was less evaporation and less rain. Because of this, there were more and larger deserts. The temperate zone was virtually threatened with extinction—squeezed between huge deserts and monstrous glaciation.

Because polar cold was far closer to equatorial heat, violent storms were stronger and more numerous. Heat alone does not cause wind to blow. That requires thermal potential—a temperature gradient between extremes. Venus has plenty of heat, but zero wind. On our sister planet, million-year-old craters show zero wind erosion, because the surface temperature is the same everywhere.

We shouldn’t have to argue whether or not warming is happening; we should educate ourselves on the vast benefits of warming and figure out how we can have more of it. Otherwise—change being the one true constant—we will end up with more cold.

The last thing we need is Global Cooling, like that suggested by CIA Director Brennan at a recent meeting of the Council on Foreign Relations. Particles in the air to reflect sunlight is a bad idea. We only need to look at what happened in 1816—the Year Without Summer—to see how bad Brennan’s “lovely” idea is. People starved to death with particulates cooling down the planet. Crops failed. Masses of refugees fled to warmer climate. I don’t think Brennan is an uneducated idiot. The only other possible reason for his suggestion isn’t pretty.

Global Warming doesn’t burn up anything or give Earth a fever, as NASA so unscientifically claimed. Most warming goes to the poles. The bulk of its work is in melting deadly ice.

Why is there such an ice fetish? Polar bears don’t need ice. During the far warmer Eemian interglacial of the current Ice Age, they did just fine surviving for hundreds of years in the open waters of the Arctic Ocean. If you want cold, go live on Mars. As long as we have our liquid oceans, we’re protected. Earth won’t burn up until the sun grows old in another few billion years.

How Global Warming Paved the Way to Civilization

Twelve thousand years ago, after thousands of years of global warming, the oceans warmed sufficiently to generate significantly more evaporation and more rain. Deserts started to shrink. Life started to blossom across the surface of Earth. Populations started to grow. A few incidents of glacial melt flooding into the oceans interrupted the relatively smooth progress of warming, but eventually we got past them.

With rivers flowing more consistently, agriculture was now a possibility. Humans gathered together. No longer was food acquisition the primary concern for every member of society. People could start investigating nature to develop science and technology. Civilization was born.

During the far warmer Holocene Optimum—a global phenomenon—the Sahara was green. Some warming alarmists are often fond of saying that global warming would be disruptive. The “skeptical science” website even has a logo showing a form of this disruption—a penguin startled to see a shoot of green coming up from the ice. Ironically, this particular breed of warming alarmists is afraid of life. Let that fact sink in for a minute; for then it will be easier to understand how psychopaths like Brennan can suggest creating deadly cold for all of humanity.

With global warming, we could have abundant life all the way to the poles.

The tropics would remain virtually the same, except that they would be calmer. Violent storms would become rare if the don’t disappear altogether. Deserts would shrink drastically. There is no guarantee, but the Sahara could be green again. And the temperate zones would swallow up all that dead terrain currently ruled by ice.

Would species need to move? Perhaps, but a turtle could walk to its new climate zone in a few months. The next generation of oak could be growing in its new climate zone within a few short years. Farming could take up even more land. And land without soil could start to gain that precious, life-benefiting earth.

Global warming is good. End the slander! And with warming good, then CO2 is off the hook, too. The only reason carbon dioxide was ever made into a villain is because of the slander against warming. Yes, industries pump out lots of the stuff, but so do all animals when they exhale. And industry also pumps out lots of water vapor—a greenhouse gas. We’re not going to reduce our water footprints, are we? Most regions need the rain.

And if global warming could make civilization possible, could global cooling make civilization impossible?

Rod Martin, Jr. is the lead author at GlobalWarmth.org and the author of Thermophobia: Shining a Light on Global Warming.




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August 17, 2016 10:47 am

The answer to your last question is a resounding YES!!!

Reply to  tomwys1
August 17, 2016 11:11 am

Probably not completely. IMO about 1/4 could maintain on a glaciated planet.

Bryan A
Reply to  Dan Pangburn
August 17, 2016 12:29 pm

The reason Rolly Polly Bears survived so well even without Ice is that their main food source, Seals, were also forced to land to birth and rear their young. They survive where their food is plentiful

Reply to  Dan Pangburn
August 17, 2016 4:27 pm

“The reason Rolly Polly Bears survived so well even without Ice is that their main food source, Seals, were also forced to land to birth and rear their young. They survive where their food is plentiful”
Nonsense. Polar Bears do need ice, but only in winter. The Arctic Ocean was certainly not ice-free in winter during the Eemian, and quite possibly never. If Polar Bears could survive by hunting seals on land, how come they have never ever colonized any area that is ice-free the year around, no matter how many seals there are there, such as e. g. the Aleutians or northern Norway?

Reply to  Dan Pangburn
August 17, 2016 9:17 pm

Re: tty
Polar bears do live in ice-free environments. They’re called Brown Bears. Polar Bears, Brown Bears, and Grizzly Bears all belong to the same species, Ursus arctos. They have simply adapted to different environments to become different subspecies. But they are still genetically capable of interbreeding.
Although I don’t know about the Eemian, the Arctic was undoubtedly ice-free during the PETM and periodically during the Cretaceous Period.

Reply to  Dan Pangburn
August 18, 2016 7:06 am

tty: Polar Bears do not colonize ice free areas because their food doesn’t colonize ice free areas. For them, sea ice is much safer than shore lines. As long as sea ice is available, that’s where they choose to bear and raise their pups. If sea ice disappeared, they would switch to using land for that purpose, and the Polar Bears would follow them.

Reply to  Dan Pangburn
August 18, 2016 7:22 am

Re: tty
Polar Bears are Omnivores. But you can probably get a $250k grant to prove they aren’t anywhere near the Yamal Peninsula because there lies the very epicenter of “Global Warming”, aka Tree YAD 061!

John of Cloverdale WA Australia
Reply to  tomwys1
August 17, 2016 4:28 pm

If it gets cold, there is always King Coal. A quandary for the Watermelons.
“We are the younger generation
And we’ve been told
We are the backbone of the nation
Because we dig coal
Some people dig the opera
Some dig rock and roll
Some dig that
But we dig coal”.
(from unionsong.com website)

Reply to  John of Cloverdale WA Australia
August 19, 2016 12:21 am

Or, in the words of Sting, “We work the black seam together”.

Reply to  tomwys1
August 17, 2016 7:22 pm

But a cold planet does suggest drastic adjustments and a totalitarian result, if the socialists realize their goal. They see anarchy and mayhem of cooling, for which we are purposely (by them) not prepared, as a chance to impose their “life-saving solutions.

August 17, 2016 10:51 am

A beautiful overview. However, not only polar bears did emerge as a new species during the Ice Age. Humans also emerged – probably in the Rift Valley (not glaciated at all.)

Reply to  Curious George
August 18, 2016 7:08 am

First off Polar Bears aren’t a species, they are at best a sub-species.
Secondly, the reason why human’s emerged was because climate change forced our ancestors out of the environment they had evolved in.

Samuel C Cogar
Reply to  MarkW
August 19, 2016 5:47 am

@ MarkW – August 18, 2016 at 7:08 am

the reason why human’s emerged was because climate change forced our ancestors out of the environment they had evolved in.

Mark, it appears to me that you above comment was simply an act of mimicking an utterly preposterous claim that is the basis of the “Out of the Treetops in Africa and Across the Hot and Arid African Savannahs”.
The above noted theory is devoid of common sense thinking, logical reasoning and intelligent deductions.

August 17, 2016 10:56 am

Rod, you are conflating environmental/political meme of Global Warming (CO2 increase that causes catastrophic global warming) with Natural Global Warming events.
You didn’t show or prove that prior Warming Events were caused by increases in CO2, thus your title is incorrect.

Reply to  kokoda
August 17, 2016 11:05 am

He wasn’t arguing that prior events were caused by CO2. He rightfully argues that cooling (even to the levels of the early 1900s) is bad for the planet in general. Every single climatologist that says they think the extra CO2 will halt the return of the next glacial period but then complains about CO2…is living a bizarre delusion, knowing full well that absolute destruction of civilization as we know it would be the result of a return to the glacial period, while warming might be at most, a little inconvenient.

Tom Billings
Reply to  kokoda
August 17, 2016 12:00 pm

Does he have to show a connection to CO2 for natural Global Warming to be good? Does he have to show a disconnect from CO2 for any present warming to be good? I don’t think so.
True, with more CO2 providing more plant food for agriculture, that helps, but his thesis in the title is true without that. The key here is that we need not allow the alarmist minority to set the terms of debate. It’s not about CO2, after all, but about control. Possible warming is being used as an excuse to control us, by telling us it’s bad.
Each wave of reaction against industrial freedoms of action has been an excuse for control. Whether it’s the aristocratic reaction between 1850 and 1917, or the racist reaction, or the socialist reaction, the caliphate revivalist reaction, or the environmentalist reaction that AGW is an outgrowth of, …they all want to restrict other people’s freedoms of action on some level. We should not let them.
Stating the simple fact that an Eemian climate is better to live in than today’s is a killer for the arguments for control. I could gladly go as far as the Eocene Thermal Maximum. That is a better climate than today’s. The real changes involved will bring problems for politicians, but they are far from insuperable.

Bob Boder
Reply to  Tom Billings
August 17, 2016 12:09 pm


Paul Penrose
Reply to  Tom Billings
August 17, 2016 12:52 pm

You are completely correct: it is and always has been about control. These elitists believe that the vast bulk of humanity is not smart enough or educated enough to run their own lives, and moreover that it is downright dangerous to allow them to do so. This is why they don’t like democracy and individual freedom. They see it as a threat. In their minds they think they could do a much better job running our lives for us, and they continue to seek out ways to accomplish this. People need to wake up and see them for what they are: wanna be oppressors.

Reply to  Tom Billings
August 17, 2016 8:07 pm

In fact, without the CO2 release from warming oceans that accompanied the end of the LGM, his thesis would not stand. The aspect of nature that makes “civilization possible” is biological productivity, and that depends not on temperature but instead on CO2 and freshwater water availability. Those two factors are what ecology is founded on, and human economics, and thus civilization, is simply a special case of an ecological system. One of the commonest mistakes of the philosophy of science derives from the assumption of “special privilege” for humanity – rooted in both Classical and Biblical views that set humanity apart as special and some how different from nature. That presumption permeates a lot of AGW alarmism, since they reason that if we are “special” then nature needs to be protected from us. It is also at the root of the drive to delineate and “Anthropocene.”

tony mcleod
Reply to  Tom Billings
August 18, 2016 1:43 am

No one says some warming is bad, compared to a glacial period. The earth’s climate has existed primarily in two states: Ice-age and hot-house, mostly in the hothouse phase. Occasionally it flips from one to the other. At the moment we are in Ice-age. (Thankfully interglacial right now, but still actually Ice-age).comment image
What causes the flip to hothouse? Was it a methane pulse? That seems to have precipitated the Permian extinction. Could it happen again?
The climate system is stable until it’s not, then it flips abruptly.
Warm is good but a little too much could be CAGW. At this stage there is no way of knowing it’s not.

Reply to  Tom Billings
August 18, 2016 3:45 am

“Whether it’s the aristocratic reaction between 1850 and 1917…”
Great point. I’m still under the impression of Durking article pointing on aristocratic roots of green, fascist, nationalistic ideology.
Completed by origins of Communism in Judeo-Christian religion, we get whole picture: old dethroned takers (aristocracy and clergy) trying over and over again new tricks to get stuff from makers – well educated and hardworking free people.
CO2 is e perfect scam because nobody can escape the “responsibility”. Inducing gilt on nice People pays well.

Reply to  Tom Billings
August 18, 2016 7:11 am

Whether the Earth is in an ice age or a hot house is for the most part determined by geology.

Reply to  Tom Billings
August 18, 2016 7:12 am

Only someone who knows nothing about Christianity or the early church would believe that it formed the basis for communism.
Yes, the early church shared with each other but it was 1) voluntary, 2) personal. The complete opposite of communism.

AGW is not Science
Reply to  Tom Billings
August 18, 2016 10:38 am

Agreed, Tom (and Rod).
“The urge to save humanity is almost always a false front for the urge to rule.” – H.L. Mencken

Reply to  Tom Billings
August 19, 2016 9:33 am

Thanks, Tom Billings. That’s exactly what I had in mind.
Duster, you said that temperature is not a factor. But think long and hard on these factors:
1) Plants cannot easily get started, and many cannot grow, in the ice.
2) Rain is near non-existent when the oceans are ice water, because there’s almost no evaporation.
3) Violent storms are more prevalent when polar cold is closer to equatorial heat.
So, agriculture requires mostly calm weather, plentiful rain (or rivers that consistently run), and enough warmth to allow plants not to die.
So, temperature has a great deal to do with civilization starting.

Tom G(ologist)
August 17, 2016 11:08 am
Ed Zuiderwijk
August 17, 2016 11:21 am

Brennan is an educated idiot. Seems to me the inevitable conclusion.

August 17, 2016 11:22 am

..Awesome, I’m speechless….plus 1,000 stars.. (can I copy this ? I have many places I could post it…)

Reply to  Marcus
August 19, 2016 9:35 am

Marcus, I can’t speak for WattsUpWithThat, but feel free to copy the original article (link at the bottom of this article), but keep a link to the original, in case the readers have questions.

Gil Dewart
August 17, 2016 11:25 am

Another aspect of this is sea level. Ice Age sea levels were down near the edge of the continental shelves – among the most productive parts of the ocean at present.

Tom Halla
August 17, 2016 11:40 am

Any change can be sold as cause for immediate panic. Ehrlich, after all, is a tenured professor.

Dave F
Reply to  Tom Halla
August 19, 2016 10:15 am

Ehrlick, of course got started sounding the alarm for Global Cooling. I wasted $20 on his book when I was 16.

Thomas Homer
August 17, 2016 11:49 am

From the article:
“Why is there such an ice fetish? Polar bears don’t need ice. ”
In fact Polar Bears have to find the edge of the ice to find food, ice does not support photosynthesis nor phytoplankton. In other words, ice does not extract carbon from atmospheric CO2, and this transaction is necessary to support carbon-based life forms. So, knowing that ice is covering vast swaths of Earth’s surface area which could otherwise be supporting life, we can pose the question again:
Why is there such an ice fetish?

Reply to  Thomas Homer
August 17, 2016 12:33 pm

I don’t know, but I’ve always found it bizarre seeing some granola moron almost in tears because a lifeless glacier has receded and is now host to a lush forest in summer. These people have been trained (brainwashed) into seeing the good things like the loss of life-suppressing ice as a sign of the apocalypse.

Thomas Homer
Reply to  poitsplace
August 17, 2016 1:09 pm

Indeed, spot on! I recall several years ago responding to a comment that “all the world’s glaciers are retreating” by saying that the Mt. Shasta glacier in northern California was much larger than it had been in the mid ’80’s. Not sure if he was in tears, but his retort was that the Mt. Shasta glacier ‘benefitted’ from some peculiar weather pattern. I asked why he thought that a glacier was an entity that could ‘benefit’. That was the end of our dialog.

Reply to  poitsplace
August 18, 2016 7:14 am

They have been taught to believe that any change is bad, and if it’s caused by man it’s down right evil.

Samuel C Cogar
Reply to  poitsplace
August 19, 2016 6:01 am

These people have been trained (brainwashed) into seeing the …..
You have to face the reality that you cannot compete with stupidity.

Reply to  Thomas Homer
August 17, 2016 4:40 pm

“In fact Polar Bears have to find the edge of the ice to find food”
Wrong. Polar bears occur in the Central Arctic, far from any ice edge, though at low density. Read e. g. Nansen’s book about the Fram expedition. They encountered Polar Bears throughout their drift across the Arctic Ocean. And there are seals in the central Arctic as well.
And as a matter of fact there is some photosynthesis under the ice during the summer, and nutrients are also carried into the central Arctic by ocean currents. Productivity there is low but not zero.
Here is a dissertation which is about productivity in different environments in the Arctic Ocean:

Thomas Homer
Reply to  tty
August 18, 2016 5:31 am

“Wrong. Polar bears occur in the Central Arctic … And there are seals in the central Arctic as well.”
This is your retort? Are the seals on top of the ice in the central Arctic? My understanding is that seals live in the water, but they breathe air so must have access to a void in the ice. You know, kind of like where there’s an edge to the ice. What are the polar bears eating in the central Arctic? If they’re eating seals, then I am correct.
“And as a matter of fact there is some photosynthesis under the ice ” … how does that refute the fact that ice does not support photosynthesis? The photosynthesis is not happening on or in the ice. Does the thickness of the ice impact the amount of photosynthesis that occurs below it? Is there photosynthesis occurring under glacial ice?
Care to try again tty?

August 17, 2016 11:49 am

Brennan is a tool of his times. It’s very likely that he could care less about global warming but feels the need to give it’s congressional champions a cheap nod. This allows them to state that the CIA is onboard with their agenda.
In the USA courage is not a criteria for high public office. It is actively discouraged.

Don Keiller
Reply to  troe
August 17, 2016 12:22 pm

Not quite. Brennan is a fool of his times.

Reply to  troe
August 18, 2016 6:04 am

It is difficult at times to tell if a person is just obtuse, blinded because of political world views OR is an evil person creating misinformation to advance a self serving agenda that results in harm to others. Both intents justify their actions, both falsely, one through ignorance the other through malevolence. The problem here is the results regardless of the intent is still the same, starvation. The issue then becomes is there remorse over the results or are there rationalizations, obfuscations and denials. The confirmation of evil is a lack of remorse.
The hubris of advocating weather modification is either from blindness to the effects OR a level of evil approaching grotesqueness. Only a truly evil person would deliberately cull the world’s population to advance their own (group) interest. The human ability to commit evil on vast scales and justify it is sadly not new.
Brennan’s advocacy falls in the realm of gross negligence as he knew or “should have” known that the result of global cooling run amuck is starvation through crop failures. From the person who over ruled and signed off on the 911 hijackers visas to enter America, he obviously hasn’t learned from his past errors in judgment. It’s a pattern of poor judgment that gets people killed, apparently without a remorse that has yet to publicly surface…

Bob Boder
August 17, 2016 12:07 pm

Not only are warm periods good because there is more moisture in the air and more rain and less severe weather, but also since CO2 increase (not the other way round) as the planet warms there is more food for the plants we grow and eat.

August 17, 2016 12:08 pm

All we have to do is make sure we keep the global average temperature in just the right range, like they did back in the ’80s when we weren’t too hot.

Reply to  Bernie
August 19, 2016 9:41 am

Bernie, there’s this big misconception that global warming is going to make lower latitudes melt or burn up. This is entirely wrong. Almost all of the energy goes to the poles to melt ice. Mid-latitudes warm a little, and tropics almost none. Al Gore had this in his Inconvenient Lies film, bless his heart, and he was at least right about this.
Weather is a chaotic, non-linear system. You cannot tell where it’s going to be hot or cold, but the system as a whole is remarkably stable. Every once in awhile we will have a scorching hot day — like the hot days we had in the 30s. Anecdotal hot days don’t prove anything, one way or the other. We will always get them.
But Earth has a safety thermal regulator. It’s called “water.”

Bill Illis
August 17, 2016 12:15 pm

Agriculture would not have happened in the low rainfall deserts and the low CO2 environment of the ice ages.
What happens in that scenario is hunting animals on the grasslands. Maybe we would eventually developed livestock and a herding civilization but that is about it.

August 17, 2016 12:25 pm

At the risk of becoming Captain Obvious, let me point out that 100% of known civilization, from the beginnings of building shelters of sticks, mud, twigs, or whatever, has occurred SINCE the last Ice Age.

Reply to  tadchem
August 19, 2016 9:46 am

tadchem, perhaps it would help if you defined your terms. We happen to be living in the most recent Ice Age which started 2.6 million years ago. The prevailing definition of Pleistocene is wrong! Our current “epoch” is called Holocene; and it’s an interglacial. But interglacial periods are part of ice ages. See? Our current Ice Age has had about two dozen glacials and interglacials. The Holocene is merely the most recent of that series. And the global warming which brought us out of the last glacial period, into the current interglacial of the current Ice Age — that made it possible for civilization to start. It gave us much more rain.

August 17, 2016 12:35 pm

Every liberal knows we need to cool the planet. Remember the mantra people. We always need more of what doesn’t work.

Mike Restin
Reply to  Logos_wrench
August 19, 2016 6:15 am

“The whole modern world has divided itself into Conservatives and Progressives.
The business of Progressives is to go on making mistakes.
The business of Conservatives is to prevent mistakes from being corrected.”

GK Chesterton

Doug in Calgary
August 17, 2016 12:40 pm

Far too much logic and reality in this article for the ecomarxists to comprehend.

Bruce Cobb
August 17, 2016 12:48 pm

The slight warming since the LIA has been all beneficial, despite the hand-wringing by pants-wetting Warmunists, as has the rise in the much-maligned CO2, which they like to call (idiotically) “carbon pollution”. The best part of it is, that man has had little, if anything to do with the warming. We can warm ourselves, unless the “planet-savers” succeed in their efforts to raise the cost and availability of energy, presumably so we can go back to living like we did in the Dark Ages, because that would be more “planet-friendly”, but it is pure hubris to think we could (much less, should) either warm or cool it.

August 17, 2016 12:59 pm

“Twelve thousand years ago, after thousands of years of global warming, ” I think you meant “global cooling,” right?

Reply to  Andy May
August 18, 2016 7:17 am

I thought he meant that “global warming” caused the ice to melt.

Samuel C Cogar
Reply to  Andy May
August 19, 2016 6:12 am

“NO”, he meant global warming, roughly 10,000 years of it, to wit:comment image

Reply to  Samuel C Cogar
August 19, 2016 9:47 am

Samuel C Cogar, exactly!

Samuel C Cogar
Reply to  Samuel C Cogar
August 20, 2016 4:48 am

Anyone want to guess what the average surface temps were during the 500 years (15k BP to 14.5k BP) of glacial ice melting as denoted by Meltwater Pulse 1A on the above graph?
And remember, cubes and blocks of ice “melt” from the outside in, not from the inside out.

Mike Maguire
August 17, 2016 1:12 pm

Many excellent points.
A group of humans has defined what the “natural” level that numerous measures should be at for planet earth, which is also considered to be the “ideal” level for global temperature, global CO2, sea level and so on.
By some standards, this is the level that our planet was at when the Industrial Revolution began which started the emissions of CO2 from burning fossil fuels. After this point, it’s assumed that humans have effected the climate, so the changes in CO2, temperature, sea levels and so on are considered to be bad.
If one would stand back and pretend these were all natural changes,then poll life and its response, there would be universal agreement that it’s been beneficial by a wide margin.
However, many argue that since these changes were “unnatural”(caused by humans) and occurred too quickly, that they are mostly bad……….in spite of our greening planet and life’s positive response.
We can debate how much of the warming was from humans and how much more warming will occur from humans but it’s irrefutable that the last 4 decades of weather/climate have been the best for life on this planet since at least the Medieval Warm Period. Dial in the benefits of the added CO2 and you have to go back many millennium to find conditions this good for life on earth.

August 17, 2016 1:46 pm

Hello Rod.
I like your essay in general and in the main theme of it, but I can’t help it but to be critical of it in some points that to me look important and in your conclusion and interpretation are actually propagating as contradictions.
First, when there can not be any real meaningful arguing in the way you have put it as per:
“Let’s face it. Ice Age glacial conditions were brutal. Because the oceans were cooler, there was less evaporation and less rain.”
Still the conclusion or the interpretation that follows is incorrect and paradoxical as far as I can tell:
“Because of this, there were more and larger deserts.”
And further more:
“…….-squeezed between huge deserts and monstrous glaciation.”
What you have ignored there is that all this is happening when sea level drops and reaches its max drop.
So you have a less evaporation and less rain but a huge mass of water moving still from the oceans through atmosphere towards the polar regions and turned there in ice and locked there.
The actual simple water cycle does not support the claim that less evaporation and precipitation does cause desertification and glaciation. Is simply a correlation and more like an effect than cause.
That variation is so insignificant that it has no effect as such.
Besides you recognize and accept also that Tropics have quasi no any variation during climate change, and the tropics are the power house of evaporation and humidity, so any variation of evaporation and precipitation in overall is insignificant to be considered as having an effect in desertification and glaciation(the ice desertification). The body of water in Tropics does not change mach in temperature especially SST, as to mean any significant cooling or warming for a significant change in humidity, evaporation and precipitation in overall.
Also during a warming the increase of humidity, evaporation and precipitation in overall is still insignificant in the way you try to use it as an explanation………the sea level rises significantly, a lot of water moves to the oceans………
So the massive water movement is in a negative sign with its mass variation in the atmosphere, rendering that variation insignificant as the cause of it.
So what is significant about the water cycle, is not its overall mass variation in atmosphere but the change of the distribution of it around the globe.
There is something to explain this. As you say:
“thermal potential—a temperature gradient between extremes.”
If you allow me a little correction there for the sake of the argument:
“The thermal differentiation potential” or perhaps “the thermal tension” instead of “thermal potential”….
The “thermal tension” between Tropics and Poles , during a warming period, or more correctly during a warming trend, decreases, as the Tropics “don’t change much” and the polar regions “warm” considerably.
And during the cooling trend the “thermal tension” increases as Tropics “don’t change” and the polar regions cool. That in turn causes an increase of the water mass moving towards the polar regions….the water mass share for the poles increases when in the same time the share for the rest in between the poles and tropics decreases and leading to desertification.
And the overall variation of the water mass in atmosphere is insignificant as to be considered with an effect on this.
In any time, even when either in the depth of a glacial period or in the interglacial optimum, poles are still cold enough and in an “ice machine” status very effective in “producing” ice.
The only difference is the supply of water that depends in the “thermal tension” between the Tropics and the Poles.
Thank you for your essay and hopefully you do not mind my comment on it….:)

Reply to  whiten
August 19, 2016 9:56 am

Whiten, I learned a long time ago (and keep learning it) that I have much more to learn. So your comments (especially in the spirit given) are extremely welcome.
The sea level drop you’re talking about is something that happened over a period of something like 70,000 years. It was all Ice Age glacial, but there were many ups and downs (modest warming and cooling). But the evaporation that did happen resulted in light sprinkles comparable to that received by the center of the Sahara these days. That’s why scientists call Antarctica the largest desert in the world. Lots of water, but the precipitation is extremely scarce, especially toward the center.
The ice grows very slowly. Just do some simple calculations. Take a one mile thick slab of ice, divide it by 70,000 to find out the average yearly ice accumulation. That’s about 0.90″ of ice which might be a foot or so of “dry” snow (later compacted).
Commenting always helps. We all learn.

Mickey Reno
August 17, 2016 1:51 pm

I’m always amused by alarmism over melting permafrost. If methane is released in such environs, it comes from decomposing organic life which had be be growing in that area during some previous, warmer period. Once growing conditions improve again, if the ground is no longer frozen, plant and animal life will spring back into production and suck LOTS of CO2 out of the atmosphere, balancing the amount being emitted by decay or by methane breaking down in the atmosphere under the influence of UV. A dead area comes back to life, and we’re supposed to be afraid? I don’t think so.

Pierre DM
August 17, 2016 1:55 pm

It is difficult to get the average man fired up about paying dearly for (more winter), had the elites stuck with the ice age theme of the 70’s they would likely have far higher acceptance today of climate change from the average man. I predict they will switch back to global cooling in the future.

August 17, 2016 2:18 pm

proof that global warming has catastrophic consequences, allowing human civilization to spread like a plague.

Reply to  Joe
August 17, 2016 10:14 pm

Where do you find the joy in your life?

Reply to  DVan
August 19, 2016 9:59 am

DVan, very good question. Some people hate humans so much, I’m surprised they’re still alive. All life has value.

August 17, 2016 3:26 pm

I don’t think Brennan is an uneducated idiot. The only other possible reason for his suggestion isn’t pretty.

There are a couple of books that every educated person should read and understand.
Expert Political Judgment: How Good Is It? How Can We Know? – Philip Tetlock

People who spend their time, and earn their living, studying a particular topic produce poorer predictions than dart-throwing monkeys who would have distributed their choices evenly over the options. link

Especially susceptible are the folks who cling to some grand theory that “explains everything perfectly”. Tetlock refers to them as hedgehogs. Foxes consider things from many different angles. Not surprisingly, they are better predictors.
The Master and his Emissary – Iain McGilchrist

The left hemisphere, though unaware of its dependence, could be thought of as an ’emissary’ of the right hemisphere, valuable for taking on a role that the right hemisphere – the ‘Master’ – cannot itself afford to undertake. However it turns out that the emissary has his own will, and secretly believes himself to be superior to the Master. And he has the means to betray him. What he doesn’t realize is that in doing so he will also betray himself.

The left hemisphere handles logic and language. The right hemisphere puts things in context. It is the BS detector.
The most compelling facts in the book are about what happens if the right brain is incapacitated. Such a person will believe anything that isn’t selfcontradictory. Such a person will underestimate the difficulty of tasks and will always be disappointed with the results. In fact, such persons are sufficiently removed from reality that they have many of the characteristics of schizophrenics.
Brennan’s problem isn’t that he’s uneducated, his problem may be that he is educated. Educated people overvalue logic and undervalue the world around them. They are experts at making things up from whole cloth. Brennan will value the opinions of alarmist scientists because he has no functioning BS filter and he and they are members of the Democrat elite. The alarmist scientists, in turn, are consumate hedgehogs whose opinions should not be trusted by anybody with a functioning right hemisphere.

Reply to  commieBob
August 19, 2016 1:01 pm

“Dinsdale!!” (Spiney Norman)

Susan Corwin
August 17, 2016 7:31 pm

It is always sad to see people who have no clue about farming, raising food, etc
“The ice age was brutal” due to bad weather.
The ice age was brutal because there was almost NO FOOD!
CO2 at 180 or so and plants not growing means few animals, very skinny.
Tribes were tiny and most starved every winter if they didn’t migrate south.
Why did tribes cast folk out of Africa over a 50,000 year period with almost no survival?
I would like to see all the concrete condo folk try to hike the Pacific Crest Trail by => “living off the land.”
Lots and lots of “Darwin Award Candidates” to allow the wildly successful human species to improve.

Reply to  Susan Corwin
August 17, 2016 8:44 pm

Or hike the PCT at all. Real wilderness has a way of curing arrogance. There are hordes of dilettante eco clones who have never climbed a real mountain, never rowed a real river. The kind where you could die. Focuses the mind in a way these weenies will never know.

Reply to  gymnosperm
August 18, 2016 6:45 am

Nor ever walked where they were just another ambulatory piece of meat.

Reply to  Susan Corwin
August 19, 2016 10:00 am

Susan Corwin, that was one of my points. Cold oceans, scarce evaporation, too little rain, too little food.

August 18, 2016 12:51 am

At the first hint of a return to a LIA I suggest we separate north and south America at the Isthmus and bring ice ages to an end. The gradual reopening of the Central American Seaway should prevent glaciation.
One other point, Homo Erectus doubled its brain size because of global cooling.

August 18, 2016 4:02 am

Maybe there will be less rain during cooling, but there will always be glacial ice melt at the snouts of glaciers, which will feed rivers perfectly happily all summer. OK, humanity would need to devise better water distribution systems using ditches, dikes etc, particularly using them during rarer flood episodes (since rainfall would generally be less), but honestly, you don’t need so much rain if the temperature is a bit cooler as the ground releases less water to evaporation from the soil if temperatures are cooler.
The reality is that adaptation is possible to most scenarios, as long as you don’t think you’ll be growing wheat in Canada in an ice age. You won’t. In cold spells agricultural growing zones move south, whereas during warming periods they move north. Forestry zones move south too. Cold is good for forests as brutal winter cold kills of parasites which can destroy forests if it gets too warm. Several crops do better with cooler weather too as their pest profiles are improved.
As for CIA Director Brennan, why not just call a spade a spade?
‘I do hope he isn’t a pathological psychopath who thinks eliminating 8 billion humans for Agenda 21 through global cooling is a good idea….’
There: someone who isn’t scrabbling in the power games saying what needs to be said but won’t be said by those who would replace them.
You want to eliminate Agenda 21, global cooling, you call it like it is.
If your power games are more important to you than calling the truth, don’t call yourselves leaders.
Leaders call it as it is……….

August 18, 2016 5:43 am

Good article.
It would be reckless, if not outright dangerous, to experiment with deliberate aerosol-induced cooling. We’re already headed for cooler temperatures, thanks to diminishing solar activity.

August 18, 2016 6:58 am

I am delighted to see your article with so much downright common sense.
Our current beneficial, warm Holocene interglacial has been the enabler of mankind’s civilisation for the last 10,000 years. The congenial climate of the Holocene epoch spans from mankind’s earliest farming to the scientific and technological advances of the last 100 years.
However all the Northern Hemisphere Ice Core records from Greenland show:
the last millennium 1000AD – 2000AD has been the coldest millennium of the entire Holocene interglacial.
each of the notable high points in the Holocene temperature record, (Holocene Climate Optimum – Minoan – Roman – Medieval – Modern), have been progressively colder than the previous high point.
for its first 7-8000 years the early Holocene, including its high point “climate optimum”, had virtually flat temperatures, an average drop of only ~0.007 °C per millennium.
but the more recent Holocene, since a “tipping point” at ~1000BC, has seen a temperature diminution at more than 20 times that earlier rate at about 0.14 °C per millennium.
the Holocene interglacial is already 10 – 11,000 years old and judging from the length of previous interglacials the Holocene epoch should be drawing to its close: in this century, the next century or this millennium.
the beneficial warming at the end of the 20th century to the Modern high point has been transmuted into the “Great Man-made Global Warming Scare”.
eventually this late 20th century temperature blip will come to be seen as just noise in the system in the longer term progress of comparatively rapid cooling over the last 3000+ years.
When considering the scale of temperature changes that alarmists anticipate because of Man-made Global Warming and their view of the disastrous effects of additional Man-made Carbon Dioxide emissions in this century, it is useful to look at climate change from a longer term, century by century and even on a millennial perspective.
The much vaunted and much feared “fatal” tipping point of +2°C would only bring Global temperatures close to the level of the very congenial climate of “the Roman warm period”.
If it were possible to reach the “horrendous” level of +4°C postulated by Warmists, that extreme level of warming would still only bring temperatures to about the level of the previous Eemian maximum, a warm and abundant epoch, when hippopotami thrived in the Rhine delta.

Reply to  edmh
August 19, 2016 10:09 am

edmh, good points. According to W.S. Broecker (1998), the Holocene is already 500-6,000 years older than the average interglacial. The longest interglacial as far as I can see was about 28,000 years, but that was by far the longest. Next was about 18,000 years. According to the graph by Alley (2000; available on the paleoclimate page on this website), the last few warm periods of the last 10,700 years have been getting progressively cooler. With the Little Ice Age thrown in there, it looks like the Holocene may already have started winding down. See my original article linked in the references section for my own color-coded graph of Alley’s data.

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