Bomb-shell press release from Kobe University confirms what I’ve been saying for years, that geomagnetic reversals can trigger ice ages – perhaps almost instantaneously. I’m not sure that was the intent of the press release because it doesn’t actually use the words “ice age,” “trigger ” or “instantaneous,” but that’s my take on it. See if you agree.
With a title that belies its importance, “Winter monsoons became stronger during geomagnetic reversal,” the press release (see full release below) explains that galactic cosmic rays (high-energy particles from space) increased “dramatically” during the Matuyama–Brunhes magnetic reversal of 780,000 years ago. Such an increase (called the Svensmark Effect) could induce more low cloud formation and influence the Earth’s climate via the umbrella effect.
That increase in galactic cosmic rays came about, the press release explains, because the Earth’s magnetic-field strength plummeted to less than 25 percent of today’s. In-as-much as our magnetic field shields us from cosmic rays, and in-as-much as geomagnetic field strength is now declining rapidly ( 5 percent per decade ), and in-as-much as we may be headed for a reversal right now ( here ), this discovery concerns me ( and also here ).
As I mentioned earlier, the press release doesn’t actually use the words “ice age.” What it does say, however, is that geomagnetic reversals correlate with sea-level changes.
What causes sea-level changes? Sea levels decline when water accumulates on land as ice, forming giant ice sheets sometimes more than a mile thick. Then, when the ice melts, sea levels rise once again. Changes in sea level therefore imply glaciation. (Sea levels stood at least 400 feet lower than today during the last period of increased glaciation.)
Just to be fair, even though the press release doesn’t mention it, the underlying paper does mention both glaciation and iceberg discharge. Kind of hard to get iceberg discharge unless there’s some glaciation going on.
As far as I’m concerned, this is enough by itself to show that geomagnetic reversals correlate with ice ages.
Even more worrisome to me
Even more worrisome to me, though, is the following statement almost buried toward the end of the press release: “Added to other phenomena during the geomagnetic reversal – evidence of an annual average temperature drop of 2-3 degrees Celsius.”
Let that sink in for a moment. An annual average temperature drop of 2-3 degrees Celsius.
Do they really mean that average temperature dropped by 2-3 C every single year? I’m not sure they do. I may be interpreting it incorrectly, but if that is indeed what they mean then we could be in for a very rough ride.
Many people think it takes hundreds, if not thousands of years to descend into an ice age. But as I warn in Not by Fire but by Ice, ice core studies show that our planet has sometimes switched from periods of warmth such today’s – such as today’s! – into full-fledged glaciation in less than 20 years.
If average temperature should begin falling by 2-3 C per year, we could descend into an ice age so rapidly that we’d have no time to prepare.
Do the math. According to Google, the earth’s average temperature during an ice age is about 12 F colder than today. (I don’t think it gets that cold during an ice age, but it’s good enough for our purposes here. My research shows that the tropics and subtropics were only 4 degrees colder than today during the last major glaciation, while the equatorial rain-forest belt remained much the same as today. [Not by Fire but by Ice, last page of Chapter 11.])
Whatever the number, let’s allow even more leeway. Instead of calculating a drop of 2-3 C per year, let’s plug in a decline of “only” 1 degree Fahrenheit per year.
That would mean that our planet could plunge from today’s warmth into full-fledged glaciation in a mere 12 years.
Does anyone honestly think our civilization, any civilization, could survive such a catastrophe?
How about surviving without the benefit of (so-called) fossil fuels?
Here’s a link to the underlying paper:
And here’s the full press release:
Winter monsoons became stronger during geomagnetic reversal
Revealing the impact of cosmic rays on the Earth’s climate
New evidence suggests that high-energy particles from space known as galactic cosmic rays affect the Earth’s climate by increasing cloud cover, causing an “umbrella effect”.
When galactic cosmic rays increased during the Earth’s last geomagnetic reversal transition 780,000 years ago, the umbrella effect of low-cloud cover led to high atmospheric pressure in Siberia, causing the East Asian winter monsoon to become stronger. This is evidence that galactic cosmic rays influence changes in the Earth’s climate. The findings were made by a research team led by Professor Masayuki Hyodo (Research Center for Inland Seas, Kobe University) and published on June 28 in the online edition of Scientific Reports.
The Svensmark Effect is a hypothesis that galactic cosmic rays induce low cloud formation and influence the Earth’s climate. Tests based on recent meteorological observation data only show minute changes in the amounts of galactic cosmic rays and cloud cover, making it hard to prove this theory. However, during the last geomagnetic reversal transition, when the amount of galactic cosmic rays increased dramatically, there was also a large increase in cloud cover, so it should be possible to detect the impact of cosmic rays on climate at a higher sensitivity.
In the Chinese Loess Plateau, just south of the Gobi Desert near the border of Mongolia, dust has been transported for 2.6 million years to form loess layers – sediment created by the accumulation of wind-blown silt – that can reach up to 200 meters in thickness. If the wind gets stronger, the coarse particles are carried further, and larger amounts are transported. Focusing on this phenomenon, the research team proposed that winter monsoons became stronger under the umbrella effect of increased cloud cover during the geomagnetic reversal. They investigated changes in particle size and accumulation speed of loess layer dust in two Loess Plateau locations.
In both locations, for about 5000 years during the geomagnetic reversal 780,000 years ago, they discovered evidence of stronger winter monsoons: particles became coarser, and accumulation speeds were up to > 3 times faster. These strong winter monsoons coincide with the period during the geomagnetic reversal when the Earth’s magnetic strength fell to less than ¼, and galactic cosmic rays increased by over 50%. This suggests that the increase in cosmic rays was accompanied by an increase in low-cloud cover, the umbrella effect of the clouds cooled the continent, and Siberian high atmospheric pressure became stronger. Added to other phenomena during the geomagnetic reversal – evidence of an annual average temperature drop of 2-3 degrees Celsius, and an increase in annual temperature ranges from the sediment in Osaka Bay – this new discovery about winter monsoons provides further proof that the climate changes are caused by the cloud umbrella effect.
“The Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) has discussed the impact of cloud cover on climate in their evaluations, but this phenomenon has never been considered in climate predictions due to the insufficient physical understanding of it”, comments Professor Hyodo. “This study provides an opportunity to rethink the impact of clouds on climate. When galactic cosmic rays increase, so do low clouds, and when cosmic rays decrease clouds do as well, so climate warming may be caused by an opposite-umbrella effect. The umbrella effect caused by galactic cosmic rays is important when thinking about current global warming as well as the warm period of the medieval era.”