In the course of geologic history continental drift had shifted large landmasses over the South Pole and likewise into the high latitudes of the Northern Hemisphere. With this alignment of landmasses closer to the poles the conditions had become ripe for another epoch of glaciation to begin on our planet. In this sense the condition had been 'ripe' for almost 50 million years, but the the glaciation epoch, the pleistoce epoch of the ice ages didn't start until some other factors outside of the dynamics of the Earth itself contributed to it. In a paper "The Ice Age Is Coming" (pdf format) Professor Zbigniew Jaworowski, M.D., Ph.D., D.Sc., chairman of the scientific Council of of the Central Laboratory for Radiological protection in Warsaw presents an illustration that shows the close correlation of global average temperatures with the intensity of cosmic ray flux.
He points out that cosmic radiation ionizes the atmosphere, which is a chief factor for cloud formation, and that cloud formation determines to a large degree the global temperature. The coincidence of the two factors is evidently the cause for the most recent epoch of the ice ages to begin about 2 million years ago. Actually the real beginning of the ice ages started 5 million years ago when the continental ice sheet in Antarctica began to expand, called the pliocene epoch. The Antarctic ice sheets presently extend across 5 million square miles and make up over 80% of the glacial area of the planet. The Greenland Ice Sheet, in comparison, is relatively small. It amounts to a mere 13% of the present global glaciation. In the current warm interglacial climate glaciation covers slightly over 10% of the entire land area of the world. Under full Ice Age conditions the ice-over increases 3-fold, to 30% of the world's land area. Most of the increase occurs in the Northern Hemisphere, amounting to a 15-fold increase in glaciation in the northern part of the world. The timeframe in which condition occurs is called the Ice Age.
Ice ages are cyclical phenomena that occur in cycles slightly over 100,000 years made up of a warm period of lightly over 10,000 years, called the interglacial period, with the rest of the time becoming the deep freeze called the Ice Age.
During Ice Age conditions the temperature drop is so deep that thick ice sheets form that in the last Ice Age reached as far south as Pennsylvania, Ohio, Indiana, covering Wisconsin, called the Wisconsin Ice Sheet.
There are two interlocking theories that explain the 100,000 years cycles.
One theory has its roots in the 1830 and is related to tying the large cyclical temperature variation to long-term astronomical cycles. The various theories culminated Milutin Milankovitch in the early 1900s who related three major cyclical variation in the orbital relationship between the Earth and the Sun, all of which affect to varying degrees the degree of exposure of the earth to sunlight. The cycles are called the Milankovitch cycles. (See a simple illustration) (See another illustration)
Also see: The Coming (or Present) Ice Age by by Laurence Hecht -pdf (21st. Century Science and Technology -Winter 1992–1993) and also see: Greenland Ice Sheet Growing: What Makes an Ice Age?
The second theory, which is put forward in the afore referenced paper "The Ice Age Is Coming" (pdf format) by Professor Zbigniew Jaworowski, is based on the observed close relationship between the intensity of cosmic radiation and cloud-cover formation that is demonstrated to be reflected in global temperature variations. (see: No Manmade Global Warming) In the long term context the Ice Age cycles are seen as the reflection of long-term solar activity cycles since solar fairs and its magnetic storms shield the Earth from the full force of cosmic radiation.
Ultimately it appears that what causes the observed 100,000-year cycle of the shift in the eccentricity of the Earth's orbit around the Sun by 20 million kilometers (part of the Milankovitch cycles) might also be causative of the long-term variances in the solar activity cycles that Zbigniew Jaworowski warns causes the ice ages.
Zbigniew Jaworowski warns that the transition between the major cold and warm cycles could occur quickly (more quickly than the Milankovitch cycles suggest) and without warning as these major astrophysical cycles begin to shift, motivated by causes that no one fully understands. He warns that the transition could be as short as a single year or span a period of 50 years. He cites sources that suggest that such a transition might begin in 50-150 years. It could also have already begun.
Other sources (more hopeful sources) suggest that the coming Ice Age is still 1000 years away, of even 10,000 years as some claim. On the other hand the transition might have already begun. This means that mankind is facing an enormous challenge. To avoid having its agriculture, and thereby its food recourses, devastated by the potential arrival of the Ice Age cold climate, indoor agriculture must be created in the needed large scale. We know that mankind came out of the last Ice Age after 2.5 million years of its development with only a 1-10 million world population. That was what mankind was able to support during the long Ice Age cold spell. We might do ten times better today and maintain 100,000 people, but we certainly won't be able to maintain a 10-billion world population that we might have in 100 years time without some form of indoor agriculture. Obviously the building of such far-flung infrastructures requires a long economic and technological development period, possibly extending over 50-100 years. This means that we should start the process now. On the other hand there is a chance that the Ice Age won't begin again for another 1000 years of more. Should we gamble that we have that much time? If we gamble wrong and fail to make the preparations while we still can, mankind would collapse to 1/100,000th of its population, from 10 billion (in 100 years) to 1/10th of a million. That is an enormous gamble to make since no one can guarantee that the resulting diseases from such a biological collapse won't wipe out the whole of mankind. Deep ice core samples from southern Greenland indicate that large temperature swings occurred during the last transition period. While they were of short duration, in the order of mere decades, mankind would collapse in the space of just a few years when its agriculture becomes rapidly decimated. Plants do not grow well in the cold. Recent ice core data, as faulty as it is for registering historic CO2 levels, has nevertheless revealed that the historic glaciation periods were much colder than previously believed (20 degrees colder instead of 8 or 9). The great depth of the ice sheets that covered much of the northern hemisphere with ice up to 12,000 feet deep suggests that the colder temperatures might be valid. And even if the transition to glaciation cold-period would happen gradually mankind might not have the strength to build the needed vast physical infrastructures for indoor agriculture while scrambling for food.
The most logical response would be to start the preparations for the coming Ice Age now. Unfortunately this path is blocked by imperial insanity of the manmade-global-warming hoax and its increasing devotion to war. War destroys not only the present, it also destroys the future. And this includes cultural warfare, the small-minded thinking in general society that has been brainwashed to cling to the imperial global-warming myth that has no basis in fact and has been put forward to prevent mankind from building itself a secure future no matter what the coming Ice Age will bring, or when.
Nevertheless, in spite of all the blockages the work needs to be done to create a new economic, scientific, cultural, and technological renaissance that can get the whole of mankind safely into the next Ice Age. If we fail to begin the necessary preparations for it in this age, no matter what it takes, mankind will likely become extinct in the not-so-distant future as the result of that failure. This is what the global warming doctrine is evidently designed to assure. It is designed to get us to close our eyes to the greatest challenge we ever faced and the greatest opportunity for the advancement of life on this planet. We presently have the capability, for the first time in geologic history to protect ourselves and all forms of life against the decimation of ice ages. This has never been possible before, and has never happened before.
We are told that the dawn of mankind began 2.5 million years ago (depending on what one regards as the binning). The 2.5-million year figure places the beginning of mankind roughly into the timeframe when the current epoch of the ice ages started. Since long ice ages epochs are relatively rare in geologic history, with the last one occurring some 200 million years ago causing the Permian Extinction, or further back to 440 million years ago when the Ordovician extinction occurred , the question becomes intriguing as to why the dawn of mankind, which is likewise a rare event, coincided almost precisely with the beginning of an inhospitable period on Earth.
The coincidence seems to suggest that the development of mankind, such as the development of the human genius, and also our unique physicality, was the product of great existential challenges. Otherwise, why didn't the dawn of mankind begin 10 million years earlier when the climate of the world was far more ideal for expanding life? The existing coincidence suggests that the climate might have been a mayor factor in the remarkable development that made the human being the brightest gem of life on the planet, as we find ourselves today. Mankind might truly be the child of the ice ages, which in turn created the need for mankind to deal with enormous challenges for its survival.
Another factor supports the idea that mankind is the product of dealing with enormous challenges is put forward in the modern multiple origin theory. It is believed that the development of mankind began in several parts of the world simultaneously. There exists evidence that three or four different species emerged in parallel that may have merged into homo erectus (4), the longest surviving human species, which appears to have survived for 1.5 million years.
We, the homosapiens (8), are roughly the eighth major human species.
The previous seven major species and groups of species have all become extinct, possibly as the result of
one of the many Ice Ages. Their names barely live on in scientific language,
where they are known as the
australopithecus rudolfensis (1), the australopithecus habilus (2), the homo ergaster
(3), the homo erectus (4), the homo antecessor (5), the homo heidelbergensis (6),
and the homo
neandertalensis (7). In fact we barely recognize ourselves as the homo sapiens
(8), the sole survivors and the shortest lived of them all, at barely 200,000 years of age. Homo erectus had existed for 1.5 million years and became extinct. However, for the first time ever, and as the first species ever, we have the capacity at our present stage to steal the sting off the Ice Age and bypass its
tragedy that other species may have suffered and became extinct thereby, provided
that we apply the capacities that we have developed to overcome the historic
In order to judge the potential that we have rooted within our
humanity, let us look at what we have already achieved.
Mankind came into the Holocene Epoch from its 2.5-million-year history with a tiny 5-million world-population (variously estimated between 1-10 million). But it also came equipped with a richly developed genius, resulting from countless progressive discoveries in its past and discoveries of the principles of life and the universe. Mankind came into the Holocene with a qualitative dimension that profoundly sets the human species apart from any other species of life ever created in the creative processes unfolding from the principle of life. Our long-developed potential in combination with the Holocene warm climate set the stage for an astonishing explosion of human life that brings us today to the threshold of creating the technological capabilities and resources to live and prosper in any Ice Age World without any interruption and any curtailment by the lack of resources.
Since our food resources are keyed to the current warm-climate agriculture, a new form of agriculture needs to be created that is climate-independent, such as indoor agriculture that industrial in nature and is largely automated, with advanced biotic processes that supersede 'primitive' outdoor agriculture methods manifold in their productive yields. A protected food resource appears to be the coming necessity for human survival. It is becoming desirable even now to assure biological safety and pollution-free operation.
We are historically the 'youngest' species of mankind, between 100,000 to 200,000 years in existence. In a time span of 10,000 years we have built ourselves us into a species of over 5 billion people, going on to 10 billion. We face the challenge to survive with a 10 billion world population in a world in which agriculture becomes historically decimated by the coming cold Ice Age climate. If we fail, mankind will die back to the same few million that survived through the last Ice Age epoch that the Earth can support with its meagre natural resources that might remain alive in the tropics.
Thus, once again, we human beings face the challenge to utilize our human resources to create what the Earth does not provide on its own. We need to do this now as never before. We need to create technological infrastructures that enable us to protect our food resources in indoor facilities where the ice-age cold cannot reach it. Such facilities were unimaginable in prior ages, but they are achievable now. They are achievable if we don't decimate the greatest resource we have, which is the productive and creative power that is inherent in an advanced human population.
One more factor needs to be considered at this point as we enter the boundary zone to the next Ice Age. This is a factor that is rarely talked about these days. It is the factor of oxygen depletion. With every gallon of gasoline that is burned, 10,000 gallons of oxygen are consumed. The free oxygen in the air becomes bound to the carbon atoms in the motor fuel, combining into a gas called CO2 (one carbon atom and two oxygen atoms). A gallon of gasoline, app. 5.5 pounds in weight, creates 20 pounds of CO2. The tremendous increase in weight is made up by the oxygen that is drawn from the air. See: Oxygen Depletion.
In the natural world atmospheric CO2 is consumed by plants growing on land and in the oceans, which through photosynthesis strip away the oxygen atoms from the CO2 and consume the carbon, thereby replenishing the world's oxygen supply. It appears that nobody knows for certain at which point the balance tips towards rapid oxygen depletion in an ice-age environment when the plant activity is extremely low. It might become totally essential in an ice-age world to implement a global shift away from getting our energy supply from fossil based fuels. Nuclear-fusion-powered hydrogen-based fuels might be the only possible answer for maintaining a high-energy economy without using oxygen reducing fuels. In this hydrogen fuel cycle the oxygen for burning the fuel is produced together with the fuel by splitting water molecules into free oxygen and hydrogen. Mankind's future existence may altimately depend on this artificial fuel cycle since the natural cycle might not be sufficient to sustain mankind's need in the coming Ice Age World, or even our present needs in the boundary zone to it.
These are just some of the huge challenges that the Ice Age future imposes on the present, which we tend to ignore and sweep under the rug. But mankind has also the capacity to change its response to the challenges ahaed and to awake from its slumber in self-imposed ignorance.
I am certain that we will face all of these great challenges in the near future, and that as we do so a new kind of human world will be established, a world without empires, fascism, wars, and other destructive insanities. The resulting humanist advances will take us qualitatively beyond to point of no return to ancient positions outgrown (such as imperialism and fascism). I think this is the real challenge that is put forward on mankind by the coming Ice Age, and I see it as a challenge with a great deal of room left for a lot of optimism, because the future that we have the capacity to create for ourselves as human beings is immensely bright and is within reach once we step out of the imperial sewer that we presently find ourselves in, and being fast asleep in it.
Scientists argue that mankind has gone through so many interglacial periods already in the past so that the current one, the Holocene period, shouldn't have been given a special name without us also giving a special name to every one of the previous interglacial periods. Nevertheless I would argue that the present interglacial period is special. It is the first interglacial period in the entire 2-million-year Pleistocene epoch in which mankind has developed the potential to master the Ice Ages out of the riches of its human resources, rather than being decimated by them. In fact we are standing at a new threshold of life on this planet as the fist species in all of geologic history with the capacity to protect ourselves against the Ice Age in which previous species became extinct. We should celebrate the Holocene period for this reason as a breakout point in the development of life with the profound capacity that we now have that is rooted in our humanity as human beings.
Rolf A. F. Witzsche, is an independent researcher, publisher, and author of eleven novels. The novels are focused on exploring the Principle of Universal Love, the principle that is reflected to some degree in every bright period throughout history with the added challenge for today to give our universal love an active expression in a type of ' Universal Kiss' for all mankind.
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