Beware the next ice age

Forget Global Warming – 15 June 07 – In the 1970s, leading scientists claimed that the world was threatened by an era of global cooling.

Based on what we’ve learned this decade, says George Kukla, those scientists had it right. The world is about to enter another Ice Age. Kukla is proud to say that he was among those earlier scientists.

Dr. Kukla, a pioneer in the field of astronomical forcing, became a central figure in convincing the United States government to take the dangers of climate change seriously.

In January of that year, Kukla and another geologist, Robert Matthews of Brown University, convened what would become a historic conference of top European and American investigators in Providence, R.I. The working conference’s theme: “The Present Interglacial: How and When will it End?”

Many today speak with derision of the 1970s global-cooling scare, seeing it as a cautionary false alarm. Others see it as an embarrassment. Newsweek magazine, which published a 1975 article entitled “The Cooling World,” even corrected the record with a 2006 follow-up to its 1975 article arguing that scientists now have it right.

Dr. Kukla sees it – and the 1975 Newsweek article – differently. Although the magazine article indicated that the cooling trend would be continuous, scientists knew otherwise. “None of us expected uninterrupted continuation of the trend,” he states. Moreover, thanks to new evidence that Dr. Kukla only recently published, he now knows that global warming always precedes an ice age. That makes the current period of global warming a mere blip that constitutes additional indication of the ice age to come.

To Dr. Kukla, the fundamental issue here could not be more clear. For millions of years, the geologic record shows, Earth has experienced an ongoing cycle of ice ages, each typically lasting about 100,000 years, and each punctuated by briefer, warmer periods called interglacials, such as the one we are now in. This ongoing cycle closely matches cyclic variations in Earth’s orbit around the sun.

“I feel we’re on pretty solid ground in interpreting orbit around the sun as the primary driving force behind ice-age glaciation. The relationship is just too clear and consistent to allow reasonable doubt,” Dr. Kukla said. “It’s either that, or climate drives orbit, and that just doesn’t make sense.”

George Kukla, micropalentologist and Special Research Scientist at the Lamont-Doherty Earth Observatory of Columbia University, is a pioneer in the study of solar forcing of climate changes. He was the lead author of the scientific paper that first supported Milutin Milankovic’s theory of glacial cycles by investigating the stratigraphy in deep-sea sediment cores from the southern Indian Ocean. In the cores were clear imprints of Milankovic’s proposed cycles. In his paper he wrote, “We are certain now that changes in the Earth’s orbital geometry caused the ice ages. The evidence is so strong that other explanations must now be discarded or modified.”

Prior to joining Columbia in 1971, Kukla had published landmark studies in Czechoslovakia, where he was a member of the Czechoslovakian Academy of Sciences as early as 1972.

Read full article by Lawrence Solomon:
Thanks to Alan Caruba and many others for this link