Ice ages correlate with increases in volcanic activity

“Whenever solar radiation has decreased and volcanic activity has increased, global temperatures suddenly plummet…often within weeks or months,” says climatologist Cliff Harris and meteorologist Randy Mann.

Look at this chart prepared by Harris and Mann, and notice how volcanic activity seems to correlate with the periods of cold.


I agree with Harris and Mann. In fact, I highlighted the connection between ice ages and volcanic activity in Not by Fire but by Ice. Here’s a quote from the book:

“Polarity reversals, equinoctial precession, and ice ages, all march to the same drummer. As do extinctions, new species appearance, volcanism, and rising land. Toss in the specter of massive floods, 30-story tsunami (tsunami is both singular and plural), and radioactivity falling on your head, and you’ve got the picture.”

Just look at the last three magnetic reversals (kya stands for thousands of years ago):

34 kya – Lake Mungo magnetic reversal. Extinction. Intensive volcanism. Short-term ice buildup.

23 kya – Mono Lake magnetic reversal. Extinction. Ice age begins abruptly. Major volcanism. The Mono Lake event actually straddles a layer of ash (Liddicoat).

11.5 kya – Gothenburg magnetic reversal. Worldwide volcanism (Lamb). Mexican volcanism “firmly” dated at 11,580 ” 70 years (Street-Perrott). Germany’s West Eiffel fields erupt (Lamb). Mount St. Helens ash interlayered with Lake Missoula flood deposits, indicating simultaneous events (Chernicoff). Glacier Peak, Washing­ton, erupts (Dawson). Alaskan volcanism of tremendous proportions. In Alaska and Siberia, ash lies interspersed through the piles of mammoth bones them­selves. (Hibben). Mt. Katla, Iceland, erupts (Dawson).

I fear that we could begin seeing a similar increase in volcanic activity right now. In April, satellite images captured 5 volcanoes erupting at once on Russia’s Kamchatka Peninsula.

“We should remember that the Earth’s coldest periods have usually followed excessive warmth,” says Harris. “Such was the case when our planet moved from the Medieval Warm Period between 900 and 1300 A.D. to the sudden ‘Little Ice Age,’ which peaked in the 17th Century.”

“By the end of this 21st Century,” Harris continues, “a cool down may occur that could ultimately lead to expanding glaciers worldwide, even in the mid-latitudes. Based on long-term climatic data, these major ice ages have recurred about every 11,500 years. The last extensive ice age was approximately 11,500 years ago, so we may be due again sometime soon.”

“Now they’re telling us that we’re going to burn up like an ember. But you know what? We’re gonna go the other direction,” says Harris. “Record cold all the way down into Florida! There go the tomatoes! There go the oranges! And possibly all the way south into Texas, as well.” “It’s going to be very, very cold.”

“Then all of a sudden everybody’s going to be talking an ice age.”

By the way. Did you notice (on the above chart) that during the last 4,500 years there have been several long periods even warmer than today? Where were the cars back then? Where were the electricity plants spewing out CO2?

Is it possible that “global warming” is simply part of a natural cycle?

Thanks to Randy Mann of Harris-Mann Climatology for this link


15 thoughts on “Ice ages correlate with increases in volcanic activity

  1. if I had a family and grandkids etc Id be suggesting they look to buying in closer to the equatorial zones.
    as it is anyone noticing how many nth hem biz are moving into the sth? like aus afric and sth america?
    isnt just the cheap land n labour I reckon.

    • Hi there laurel: I’m already tired of the heat we’ve been having here in Houston. I’d never go any further south and wish the wife and I could move further north. I know I would, only if we weren’t so settled and entrenched here in the Houston area with home and family.

  2. How much of an increase in volcanic activity have we been seeing lately? And are these 5 volcanos which have been erupting at one time on the Peninsula of Kamchatka Russia unusual?

  3. It correlates that increased volcanic activity will spur global cooling due to the amount of sulfur dioxide pumped into the atmosphere. The eruption of Mt. Pinatubo gave modern climatologists proof of that.
    Here we have Kawah Ijen volcano in Indonesia. It’s lava is primarily sulfur, and the burning sulfur at night is iridescent blue. The one thing missing from this news release is how many tonnes of sulfur dioxide are being emitted; and the resultant global cooling that may be possible.

  4. I updated this some, it includes all the points made in this article plus others.

    These four factors either combined or in some combination are responsible for all the climate changes on earth. If one agrees with this then one will also have to agree that global climate change is synchronous.


    1. The initial state of the global climate.

    a. how close or far away is the global climate to glacial conditions if in inter- glacial, or how close is the earth to inter- glacial conditions if in a glacial condition.

    b. climate was closer to the threshold level between glacial and inter- glacial 20,000 -10,000 years ago. This is why I think the climate was more unstable then. Example solar variability and all items would be able to pull the climate EASIER from one regime to another when the state of the climate was closer to the inter glacial/glacial dividing line, or threshold.


    2. Solar variability and the associated primary and secondary effects. Lag times, degree of magnitude change and duration of those changes must be taken into account. I have come up with criteria . I will pass it along, why not in my next email.

    a. solar irradiance changes- linked to ocean heat content.

    b. cosmic ray changes- linked to clouds.

    c. volcanic activity- correlated to stratospheric warming changing which will impact the atmospheric circulation.

    d. UV light changes -correlated to ozone which then can be linked to atmospheric circulation changes.

    e. atmospheric changes – linked to ocean current changes including ENSO, and thermohaline circulation.

    f. atmospheric changes -linked also to albedo changes due to snow cover, cloud cover , and precipitation changes.

    g. thickness of thermosphere – which is linked to other levels of the atmosphere.

    h. qbo-solar activity NAM/SAM relationships

    3. Strength of the magnetic field of the earth. This can enhance or moderate changes associated with solar variability.

    a. weaker magnetic field can enhance cosmic rays and also cause them to be concentrated in lower latitudes where there is more moisture to work with to be more effective in cloud formation if magnetic poles wander south due to magnetic excursions in a weakening magnetic field overall.

    4. Milankovitch Cycles. Where the earth is at in relation to these cycles as far as how elliptic or not the orbit is, the tilt of the axis and precession.

    a. less elliptic, less tilt, earth furthest from sun during N.H. summer — favor cooling.

    I feel what I have outlined for the most part is not being taken as a serious possible solution as to why the climate changes. Rather climate change is often trying to be tied with terrestrial changes and worse yet only ONE ITEM , such as CO2 or ENSO which is absurdity.

    Over time not one of these one item explanations stand up, they can not explain all of the various climatic changes to all different degrees of magnitude and duration of time, each one different from the previous one. Each one UNIQUE.

    Examples would be the sudden start/end of the Oldest, Older and Younger Dryas, dramatic climate shifts, the 8200 year ago cold period, and even the sudden start of the Little Ice Age following the Medieval Warm Period.

  5. I agree with this post 100%. Volcanic activity has been anything but active.

    However, I think this will change going forward

    ES says:

    April 25, 2014 at 10:32 am

    They say that the color of the lunar eclipses is an indication of how clear the stratosphere is.

    Earth’s stratosphere is as clear as it’s been in more than 50 years. University of Colorado climate scientist Richard Keen knows this because he’s been watching lunar eclipses. “Since 1996, lunar eclipses have been bright, which means the stratosphere is relatively clear of volcanic aerosols. This is the longest period with a clear stratosphere since before 1960.”

  6. If we can blame a warm prehistoric spell on dinosaur farts, can we blame the Little Ice Age on the lack of American Bison farts and get rid of that pesky Solar factor all together? :p

  7. Suppose that there was a mechanism that caused the internal temperature to gradually rise (a change in equilibrium), that could cause an increase in volcanic activity.
    Now look at the neutron flux over the present and past solar cycles:-

  8. as a sound engineer, i notice the oscilations of these cycles, or waves….notice how they come closer togheter, as a tone pitched up…

  9. Looking at the graph above it seems like the Pinatubo eruption made a pause on physiological warming of Earth. Then curve starts plunging towards colder temperatures. If you trace a line from Pinatubo eruption and 1998 peak you will find heating curve is similar to the preceding ones. So why we had so much volcanic activity in that period? It is an anomaly that would be interesting to study.

    • Ever put a snowball in the freezer?
      The freezer will go through warming and cooling cycles, the cycles may seem minimal to the total environment.
      However, you will find that this snowball will ice, condense, change the structure of elements. Over time you will be left with an ICE ball and the more dense particles tend to sink inward, whereas the less dense will crystalline at surface.
      Same with glaciers. From winter to summer the glaciers will compress condensing the layers of heavier particles making it reasonably hard to identify the total amount of ash expulsed over any given time frame.
      It would be interesting to see how the layer of Pinatubo has condensed since. Then we get a general idea of total eruption ash from prior ice ages??

  10. Volcanic Soot/Ash/Ejecta affects global temperature due to reduced Solar radiation. The plausible explanation for large-scale abrupt plummeting of global temps is a life-threatening level of reduced Solar radiation. A plausible explanation for massive blocking of Solar Radiation is Volcanic Ejecta on a massive scale. One plausible explanation for massive Volcanism is massive asteroid activity. TimeScale-Historically, massive lifeform extinctions are associated with both Volcanism and Asteroid activity. A major example is, The K–Pg boundary aks teh K/T Boundary – of roughly 65 MYA. Two massive events occurred at that time: (A) The Asteroid-Chicxulub/Yucatan and (on the other side of Earth) (B) The Massive Deccan Flats Volcanism Event in “India”. Although Chicxulub is now usually considered to be the only culprit, if Volcanism “is” the culprit, then, the massiveness of the Deccan Flats Event in “India” would surely be a part of that extinction picture.. For, even if considered alone, Deccan Flats would have created a very extremely cold inimical to Life Earth. Again, these two parameters (Volcanic Action and Volcanism) have been contemporary in more than just this particular mass extinction event. IMO, The Energy Impact of the Asteroid was so massive that the shock waves through Earth’s core triggered the volcanic event in the “India” (shift from Today) of 65MYA. Perhaps Earth periodically gets in the way of orbiting massive Asteroids / Comet-Debris fields..

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