“Believe it or not, the last glacial started with ‘global warming!'” explains paleoclimatologist George Kuka. Warming is good, Ice Ages are deadly and may even kill millions.
I originally posted this article by Terrance Aym on 28 Mar 2011. I have updated it to reflect Mr. Kukla’s passing.
Prepare for Ice Age Now, says top paleoclimatologist
Believe it or not, the last glacial started with ‘global warming!’
By Terrance Aym
(Excerpts) – Geologic records show that Ice Ages are the norm, punctuated by brief periods of warming. In 2011, one of the most highly respected paleoclimatologists – George Kukla, 77, retired professor of paleoclimatology at Columbia University and researcher at the Lamont-Doherty Earth Observatory – weighed in and warned everyone to prepare for a new Ice Age.
The “Earth has experienced an ongoing cycle of ice ages dating back millions of years. Cold, glacial periods affecting the polar to mid-latitudes persist for about 100,000 years, punctuated by briefer, warmer periods called interglacials,” said Kukla.
Kukla asserted that all Ice Ages start with a period of global warming. They are the the harbingers of new Ice Ages. Actually, he explained, warming is good. Ice Ages are deadly and may even kill millions.
Can Mankind stop it? No. Just as humanity cannot affect the long term climate of the planet, neither can it stop an Ice Age from happening. The climate is primarily driven by 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,” he said. “The relationship is just too clear and consistent to allow reasonable doubt. It’s either that, or climate drives orbit, and that just doesn’t make sense.”
During a lengthy interview with Gelf Magazine, Kukla explained: “What is happening is very similar to the time 115,000 years ago, when the last glaciation started…. Believe it or not, the last glacial started with ‘global warming!'”
He knew that global warming always precedes an Ice Age. The history of that is in the ice core records repeating itself every 100,000 years or so over millions of years.
Generations ago, scientists believed Ice Ages advanced slowly taking tens of thousands of years. Now some researchers have revealed startling evidence that an Ice Age can be triggered in under 10 years.
Warming is much more preferable than cooling. Warming would actually help Mankind; cooling will do just the opposite.
Kukla and his colleagues warned that as the ice starts marching southward from the Arctic there will be “substantially lowered food production” and evidence will abound of “extreme weather anomalies” in both the northern and southern latitudes.
Global superstorms may break out. Some regions may experience anomalous cold spells while others roast from spiking temperatures never before seen by civilization.
Those things too are exactly what’s happening now.
Not taken into Kulka’s model of an encroaching Ice Age were the facts and possible impact of the magnetic pole shift, the shifting core of the Earth, or the revelation by NASA and the ESA that the sun is going to fall into a quiet period for the next 30 to 50 years.
That exceptional solar minimum cycle was expected to start in 2014, perhaps earlier.
It seems the odds are good that the Earth will slip into an extended cooling, or so-called mini-Ice Age. Whether that becomes an extended 100,000 year full-fledged Ice Age even Kulka didn’t know.
George Kukla’s biography (as published by Canada.com):
George Kukla 14 March 1930 – 31 May 2014), micropalentologist and Special Research Scientist at the Lamont-Doherty Earth Observatory of Columbia University, was 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, he had published landmark studies in Czechoslovakia, where he was a member of the Czechoslovakian Academy of Sciences
I originally posted this article here on 28 Mar 2011. Thanks to reader indiciml for reminding me.