Watching Weather Waves, but Missing Climate Tides

Watching Weather Waves, but Missing Climate Tides

“Earth’s natural thermometers are now flashing an amber warning. The long-term trends point to growing glaciers and falling sea level.” – Viv Forbes


Watching Weather Waves, but Missing Climate Tides

By Viv Forbes, 11 July 2018

The climate alarm media, the bureaucracy and the Green Energy industry follow an agenda which is served by inflating any short-term weather event into a climate calamity. They should take a long-term view.

Earth’s climate is never still – it is always changing, with long-term trends, medium-term reversals and minor oscillations. Humanity is best served by those who use good science to study geology, astronomy and climate history searching for clues to climate drivers and the underlying natural cycles and trends hidden in short-term weather fluctuations.

For the last 10,000 years Earth has basked in the Holocene Interglacial which is the latest of many warm cycles within the Pleistocene Ice Age. There are small warm and cool cycles within the Holocene. Today we enjoy the Modern Warm Cycle (which started about calendar 1900) following the Little Ice Age which bottomed in about 1750.

What does the future hold? The past gives clues to the future.

In every warm era, glaciers retreat, ice sheets melt and sea levels rise. Coastal land, ports and settlements are lost under the rising seas but tundra, grasslands and forests expand. Some corals manage to grow as fast as the seas rise, but others are drowned in deep water. The warmth drives more carbon dioxide from the seas, plants thrive, deserts shrink and humans are well fed.

Then solar intensity wanes, solar orbits change, less solar energy is received by the big northern lands, and the warm Earth radiates more heat to space. It starts cooling.

As Earth enters a cold era, not all of the winter snow melts over summer. The extra snow reflects more solar radiation, leading to even colder winters. The snow-line and the tree-line fluctuate lower, mountain passes are closed, and advancing glaciers threaten mountain villages. Sea ice expands, ice sheets grow, lakes and rivers are frozen, sea levels drop and coral reefs are stranded above the water line. The cooling seas absorb life-giving carbon dioxide from the atmosphere and crops fail; deserts expand, humans suffer poverty and famine, settlements are abandoned, empires fall and some species disappear.

This has happened many times before and will probably happen again.

But there are clues to the next big phase for Earth’s climate.

Earth has two natural global thermometers which can reveal short and long term trends – the advance and retreat of glaciers, and the rise and fall of sea level.

If glaciers are growing and ice sheets are advancing and getting thicker, it indicates that average global temperature is falling.

No glacial ice older than 4,000 years

Glaciologists have drilled and analysed many of today’s glaciers. They have been surprised to discover that, outside of Antarctica and Greenland, no glacial ice older than 4,000 years has been found. For example, the Fremont Glacier in Wyoming half-way towards the Equator is only a few hundred years old.

Naturally some of these new glaciers can show melting and retreat during long spells of warm weather, but the mere existence of glaciers today where none existed at the peak of the Holocene warming over 3,000 years ago confirms what other studies show – Earth is gradually cooling towards the next Glacial Cycle.

Greenland Ice Core Project (GRIP) –Temperature Reconstruction – “Falling for 3000 Years”
From “The Inconvenient Skeptic” p 115 by John Kehr 2011,

The second natural thermometer is the changing sea level caused by fluctuations in the volume of ice and snow trapped on land, and by the expansion or contraction in the volume of sea water as it warms or cools. Coastal and near-shore locations show much evidence of past and recent sea level changes. In warm eras, glaciers and ice sheets melt, sea water expands, sea levels rise and offshore coral reefs become submerged and drown. Then as peak warming is passed, ice starts to accumulate on land, cooling sea water contracts and sea levels fall.

Even a moderate cooling event such as the Little Ice Age was sufficient to cause lowering of sea level and stranding of port cities and beaches.

A Stranded Beach – Coastline east of Prawle Point, South Devon England
– shows an old beach now well above current sea levels
© Copyright Tony Atkin and licensed for reuse under this Creative Commons Licence.

Earth’s natural thermometers are now flashing an amber warning.

The long-term trends point to growing glaciers and falling sea level. These warn us that the warm moist bountiful Holocene Era is past its peak. The next chapter in Earth’s History will be a long, hungry, ice-bound era. Only humans who are good at hunting and gathering or have easy access to nuclear power or carbon energy will survive.

Temperature Reconstructions using deep sea sediment cores. (Raymo, 2005)
From “The Inconvenient Skeptic” 2011 p42, by John Kehr

People who try to create a “Climate Crisis” out of extreme weather events or short-term climate fluctuations (such as today’s Modern Warm Cycle) are like Lord Nelson – their telescope is applied to the blind eye. They point to the choppy waves from summer storms behind the ship, but fail to see the blizzard approaching on the horizon ahead.

Al Gore was right in one thing – warm cycles coincide with high levels of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere. The warmth drove CO2 into the atmosphere, and then the cooling oceans removed it again. Carbon dioxide variations are the result, not the cause, of climate changes.

But never once, over eleven warm cycles covering the last million years, have those high levels of atmospheric carbon dioxide prevented the next glacial cycle.

“Carbon Dioxide

Causes Global Warming

Like Wet Roads

Cause Rain.”

Trying to remove or limit atmospheric carbon dioxide is a futile and costly gesture. Even if it were to succeed, by removing plant food from the atmosphere, it would increase the misery of the approaching cold, hungry era.

We may still have warm decades or even centuries ahead. But even when there is a heatwave in autumn, the winter still comes.

“Summer is Over

Fall is Fading . . . .

And Winter? Winter is Coming!”

John Kehr, 2011, “The Inconvenient Skeptic”.


Further Reading:

Sea levels and Temperature peaked at least 5000 years ago:

Climate Change – the last 20,000 years:

Temperature and Sea levels:

The De-icing of North America (animation):

Himalayan Glaciers are Growing:

“Most glaciers in the Northern Hemisphere have only formed in the last 4000 years”.

John Kehr 2001 “The Inconvenient Skeptic” Chapter 8, p116-126

Al Gore manipulated the data to suit his agenda:


Viv Forbes
Washpool   Qld Australia

Viv Forbes has an applied science (geology) degree and has observed and mapped much geological history in Queensland while employed by the Geological Survey Office of Queensland and several private exploration and mining companies.

17 thoughts on “Watching Weather Waves, but Missing Climate Tides

  1. The one critique I have of Viv Forbes article is his cheap shot at the “green energy industry.”

    As the climate either warms, or cools, and population grows, we will need more energy from any and all possible sources.

    Since oil and gas are (as far as we know) finite resources, and coal – which a huge resource – is also finite – we will need to harvest as much energy from solar and wind (and nuclear) as we can, future generations cannot count on economically recoverable oil and gas to run the American and global economies.

    This is not a “stop climate change” issue, this is the simple fact that oil and gas won’t last forever, even BP – British Petroleum – projects that current oil production levels can be sustained only to circa 2050, that’s just 32 years away.

    Maybe the Libs are pushing “green energy” for the wrong reason, but everybody else needs to adopt “green energy” for the right reason – oil and gas won’t power the world for more than a few more decades.

    • I have heard there are some geologists who believe petroleum is not a finite resource, but something that is constantly building up. Not sure what they call it or if that theory has been disproved… but it certainly has been mentioned.

      And I am also not so sure any of what is being sold as “green energy” as advocated by the “greenies” would actually do the trick… a lot of it seems to be very wasteful of other resources, like the windmills. And they keep shooting themselves in the foot as far as I can see, when doing things like advocating prohibiting use of wood stoves in areas where there are very dense forests (enough so that wood lots can be managed indefinitely to produce enough wood for families to keep their homes heated forever with wood. I know a few families in Maine for example who manage their woods and live on farms that have been heated almost exclusively with wood stoves for over 200 years. They do use “modern” technology to make the wood stove more efficient (for example some of the wood stoves from Sweden or special masonry stoves that are built into the central part of a home).

    • The so called “green energy industry” makes electricity very expensive and our financial resources are definitely finite.
      Global cooling will cause a spike in energy consumption so will must have cheap electricity, so the answer is COAL.

    • I would suggest Nuclear (possibly Solar and Wind).

      I don’t think S&W have the ‘heft’ to meet our needs in an all out Ice Age.

      Otherwise, I am in general agreement with you.

    • Ray
      You’ve swallowed the green propaganda on renewables hook, line and sinker. Wind and solar are wasters of resources. They are net energy SINKS when all of their actual energy inputs are taken into account.

      For instance wind turbines frequently draw power FROM the grid to maintain themselves. They cannibalise the grid and have nothing to contribute to the future of humanity. Renewables salesmen exaggerate the lifespan of wind and solar generators to about twice their real productive life, especially for wind. Wind turbines are typically given a theoretical lifespan of 30 years. In practice they are uneconomic to run (even with their massive subsidies) at 15 years of age on land, and 12 years in the case of offshore wind turbines. This means that their real costs are actually more than twice their alleged costs, or put another way, their real production is less than half of what it is alleged to be.

      Solar panels lose on average 2% efficiency each year due to the effects of UV on the solar cells and physical external degradation caused by their local environment. In dusty areas, knock off another 25% efficiency (recorded in China and India). In humid tropical/sub-tropical areas, knock off up to 75% efficiency if they are not constantly cleaned (moss and algal growth quickly covers the glass panels). In the hotter, sunnier parts of Australia they are failing at 10 years of age, not the 25 years that all of their production calculations are based on. Even operating at their best, solar panels are a very inefficient, lousy way of capturing a very diffuse source of energy. Coal and gas are concentrated energy sources.

      Renewables’ main contribution (apart from lining the pockets of their owners) is to de-stabilise existing fossil fueled grids and make the backup fossil fuel power stations a lot less efficient. We are forced to run (and pay for) two parallel generation systems — the unreliable, inefficient renewables one that doesn’t work, backed up by the coal and gas one that does work. In other words, renewables effectively waste a lot of energy in their construction and maintenance, in the excessive powerline infrastructure they necessitate, and in their effects on the reliable grid suppliers among other things.

      Renewables are a dead loss, economically, in reliability, and ecologically. To say that they are a dead loss is not a cheap shot — it is reality. The sooner they are ditched, the better off we will all be.

  2. I found the statement “outside of Antarctica and Greenland, no glacial ice older than 4,000 years has been found” to be very telling information. It means beyond a doubt that the Earth’s Temperature was warmer than it is today; the Earth went through cooling enough to form glacial ice and is now going through a period of warming again. Only question left, will the warming period be long enough to get back to 4000 years ago or will cooling take over before that happens?

  3. It is good to see a thinker with a geological background looking at the issue. It would not convince many, however, I suggest taking a look at much greater time spans than just the Middle and Late Pelistocene. The available information models and data support a much more “contrary” view to current AGW ideas than simply the clear conclusion that temperature drives CO2 levels.

    If you consider just the late Cenozoic(1), the planet has been cooling steadily. Global marine temperatures have decreased by about 3.9 C over the last 5.3 million years (Early Pliocene) based on delta O-18 data from Lisiecki, L. E., and M. E. Raymo (2005). At the same time the range of variation over time has increased from 3.8 c during the period from about 4.5 to 5.3 MYA, compared with 6.25 degrees C during the last million years (and the variation has steadily increased during that period). During the late Pleistocene as compared with the early Pliocene global temperature variation has increased in amplitude by almost two fold, and has decreased in period by at least as much.

    There are also some very worthwhile things to consider regarding CO2 and biology. I suspect that while climatic variation may well account for much of the secular variation in CO2, levels, the chief “control” on atmospheric CO2 over geological spans is biological. Based on the patterns visible in the Geocarb III model it seems reasonable to pose the question of whether natural sources of CO2 can keep up with biological demand and the carbon “fixing” effects as biological processes withdraw carbon from the atmosphere and a steady portion is buried and ceases to operate within the so-called carbon cycle.

  4. thanks Viv and Robert
    i had NOT read the ices ages:-) prior
    under 4k yrs?? almost all bar the polar caps..
    well that sure explains why the permafrosties spots 🙂 got plants n the snapped off trees under so many glaciers trails etc and the snapfrozen mammoths in places that didnt “appear” cold til whammo! it was
    appreciated info

  5. Hi Viv. Thanks for the well written wake- up call for borderline warmistas. True believers need a 2×4 upside the head, heh.

    Long term climate change is my concern also, but more immediately, the next 30 winters.
    Up until a few weeks ago I was thinking we are coming into a grand solar minimum. But I reconsidered after rereading some articles on skeptic climate blogs. I now believe we entered a ‘Micro- IceAge’ in 2004 when Bob Weber’s fig.10 showed a drop in 10.7 cm solar flux, leading to ocean cooling. I’m calling this a ‘Micro’ because I don’t expect it to last more than solar cycle 24, 25, and 26. Then there will be 7 years to transition back to warmer global temps, but cooler than now, mabe 13 C; say by 2050.
    During the Little Ice Age the temperature dropped about a degree globally. As you can see from the Delingpole essay, it has dropped by 0.56 degrees already.
    This is what we can expect starting from last Dec (2017); some winters early and extremely cold, some wet cool springs to kill crops, later spring frost dates, some cold summers, and more frequent and severe storms. The storminess index went from 6.5 to 14 during the LIA. This slide into cold is showing up in German weather station records where the last 30 yrs of winter (DJF) are trending -19 dgC per 1000 yrs, much faster than the slow decline to normal glacials, -0.7 per thousand yrs. Also the USHCN chart of summer max for the last hundred yrs shows -13 C per thousand yrs trend. Ground Station solar insolation shows a cooling trend from 2000 of about -10 watts per meter squared per decade. So after this Micro Ice Age we may just keep stair stepping down for the next four thousand years.
    Minister of Future

  6. LOVE the cartoon, actually!

    But one question I have and don’t remember if there’d been previous articles about…. when the next Ice Age does in fact come, how quickly can that change occur? Is it likely to be catastrophic … in the sense of very abrupt change, say within a few days, weeks, months, or < a year? The context in which I am thinking is like the difference between a catastrophic dam failure or landslide vs. a creeping leakage of an existing dam or a creep landslide, either of which eventually will fail but not likely so quickly you can't get away from it safely if you actually try.

    Why I'm asking is wondering how much advance preparation would a person need now… to the extent I believe an Ice Age is coming… but I live in a place that is a fairly hot climate (southeastern US… where I live we currently get moderate winters, with some snow… but not for a very long time or that many or that much… but mostly very hot humid summers.) But I am 67 years old… so am I likely to see a major freeze in this area within my remaining lifetime (probably no longer than 15 years, I have health issues) … or not?

    I tend to prepare in advance and have been doing things like stocking up on much warmer clothing, but wonder at times if it's a waste of money for me if that is unlikely to occur in a very short time-span within the next 15 years, lets say. I would be more concerned if I was living in a much colder climate or was in my 20s or had grand kids. Some of my family lives in New England which WAS buried entirely in glaciers in the last Ice Age… but they are all around 50 or older and don't listen to me anyway.

    Any thoughts on that??

    • Ice-core studies show that every ice age during the last 250,000 years began in less than 20 years. With that said, I don’t think it will be all that much colder than it is now in the southeastern United States.

      • There is likey a big gradient pattern doing ice ages where from north or south Carolina south where temperatures are mostly average to warm but north of north Carolina it’s cold to very cold kind of like the climate of Maine and new England sifted south into the Carolinas.

      • Thanks Robert! I know the glaciation did not come this far south…. but it does seem like winters are getting worse each year since I’ve been here (12).

        There was also a strange place near where I grew up (in southern MA), called “Purgatory Chasm” just outside Worcester MA that had something us kids called “the glacier” – some places in the cracks of the chasm had ice year round every year, never melted! Not a lot of ice or snow pack … but always some. That particular park is where us kids were taught by our parents about the Ice Age because a lot of remnants of the previous Ice Age – huge boulders with gouged out scrapping from where they got pulled along when the ice melted, etc.

  7. @JeanS- One of the articles I read long ago said when the Laurentide ice sheet was down to St Louis the daytime summer high in Texas was 17 CE (63f), that implied The Night Time Low might be 12C (54f). It could take another 3 to 5000 years to get down to that level for the next twenty thousand years.
    The micro Ice Age I am worried about has already started. The danger I see is the food supply and Supply route to get the food to Market is very fragile. So one might stock up on big sacks of dried rice or grains as a survival Aid.
    Minister of Future

    • You do have a point there… re: food and the food supplies.

      I always have stocks of things that can store, plus seeds which I store in the freezer (seems to improve germination for a lot of things) and recycle annually (using the older seeds first).

      That’s pretty bad if Texas gets that cold and like Robert mentioned… north of NC getting very cold too (and I currently live in VA, the state just nort of NC, for those if you not in the US).

  8. They have been surprised to discover that, outside of Antarctica and Greenland, no glacial ice older than 4,000 years has been found.

    I doubt that.. They understand how glacial ice is formed and flows.
    This is a complete furphy. US glaciers are quite different to Greenland and Antarctica ice masses.

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