Abrupt Climate Change for Past 800,000 Years

Drill cores taken from Greenland’s vast ice sheets show that Earth’s climate is capable of very rapid transitions and abrupt climate change.

Yahtse Glacier (Photo credit Shad ONeel - USGS)

“Such evidence comes from the accumulation of layers of ancient snow, which compact to form the ice-sheets we see today,” says this article in Science Daily. “Each layer of ice can reveal past temperatures and even evidence for the timing and magnitude of distant storms or volcanic eruptions.”

Climate reconstruction by an international team of scientists led by Dr Stephen Barker of Cardiff University, used ice core records retrieved from Antarctica to extend the Greenland record over the past 800,000 years.

The research, published in the journal Science on September 8, 2011, demonstrates that abrupt climate change has been a systemic feature of Earth’s climate for hundreds of thousands of years and may play an active role in longer term climate variability through its influence on ice age terminations.

This work extends my own research, because not only do ice ages end abruptly, I show that every ice age during the past 250,000 years began with a bang.

At the end of the Eemian Period, the climate descended from a time of warmth even warmer than today into full-blown glaciation in less than 20 years.

Electrical conductivity tests show that some transitions from warmth to cold occurred in only three years. (Not by Fire but by Ice, p 187-188)

Let’s remember that these abrupt transitions occurred without any help from us nasty humans.

See entire article:
Thanks to David Bronzich for this link

Also see Science magazine, 8 Sep 11,
“800,000 Years of Abrupt Climate Variability”:

5 thoughts on “Abrupt Climate Change for Past 800,000 Years”

  1. Dr Marusek has an interesting theory that nearby supernovae cause the major ice ages.


  2. And if you go to read the article and others of its type, you will see they are trying to link it to carbon dioxide in the atmosphere. Since warm water holds less carbon dioxide, you could blame the oceans, but they don’t want to give up their reverence for CO2 being the main driver behind warming.

    Sort of like looking at the peat lands article. I loved that one that tells me that peat “sequesters” carbon dioxide, and as it gets buried and dies gives off methane. What I tried to do, without success, was try to figure out where all that oxygen goes as the carbon is captured from the carbon diode as well as when all that hydrogen is captured to create the methane. I thought the oxygen level in the atmosphere had actually been dropping, but I must have misread something somewhere at some time.

  3. The problem I have with the CO2 story is that ice ages always start (last 800 000 years) with CO2 levels high and temperature high. And when temperature is extremly low and CO2 level can not support terrestrial plant life anymore (lower as 200 ppm ) temperature suddenly goes up.

    Don’t they tell us this should be the other way round.



  4. great article. Makes it very clear that these ice age and interglacial cycles occur abruptly on regular basis. How many times do we have to repeat this to the mainstream scientists ?? All the proof is right here !

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