Alan Carlin:  Why climate alarmists have missed the big picture

Posted: January 1, 2017 by oldbrew in climate, Ice ages, opinion, solar system dynamics

Credit: Robert A. Rohde / Wikipedia

Credit: Robert A. Rohde / Wikipedia

Quote: The earth has been in an interglacial period known as the Holocene for more than 11,000 years. It was conventional wisdom that the typical interglacial period lasts about 12,000 years, but this has been called into question recently. – Wikipedia

Climate alarmists are primarily concerned that man’s activities will result in Catastrophic Anthropogenic Global Warming (CAGW). They appear to have missed the big picture.

Global atmospheric temperatures as well as atmospheric CO2 have been gradually and erratically falling for significant portions of Earth’s history, but not in unison. Successive ice ages are gradually and unevenly becoming ever colder.

There is evidence that very minor changes in the incidence of sunlight on Earth can and have resulted in plunging Earth and all its living cargo into new ice ages.

Earth is currently in an interglacial period, and based on previous ice ages and the changes in global temperatures during this interglacial period, we are now near the end of it.

The Major Risk

In other words, the major climatic risk is that Earth will plunge into a new ice age, with global temperatures ultimately reaching perhaps 6 to 8°C below current temperatures. The results of such a new ice age would be catastrophic to humans and other life on Earth, including the southward advance of huge ice sheets in the Northern Hemisphere.

Global levels of CO2 during the depths of the last ice age resulted in severe starvation for plants. Plants that die of CO2 starvation cannot provide food for animals, including humans.
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View Alan Carlin’s full post at Carlin Economics and Science – here

  1. vuurklip says:

    It’s as if the alarmists suffer from voluntary amnesia.

  2. c777 says:

    Great or Little ice age?

    Solar cycle 25 “predicted” weak, well one things for sure Wind Turbines will become as utterly useless and as ugly as they are, frozen solid in still air, littered around the landscape like rotting hulks.
    We’re going to need real energy, Coal, Gas, Nuclear.

  3. oldbrew says:

    vuurklip: is it Admiral Lord Nelson syndrome?

    ‘I see no ships’

    Of course Nelson was a successful commander, whereas…enough said.

  4. Saighdear says:

    First of all, Happy New Year to y’all…
    Now I am just back home and waiting for the Stoves to heat up – burning Wood n Coal, Releasing CO2. Point I repeatedly have to make is…. There are as I write, THREE comments already, one at least from a recognised regular Commenter – But NONE of them has hit the point in the Big Picture – That CO2 needs to be produced / released and NOT Stored so that Plants can continue their Life Cycle, producing, basically Carbohydrates. I do feel that regardless of just about anything else, CO2 production, and recognised as an almost trace gas, yet required also to regulate OUR metabolism, is being treated as some great toxin / pollutant to be Taxed. Groupthink, etc seems to have become a great trendy kinda thing to be involved with, coupled with being PC , etc etc…. Where did our Education go? and what happened to the Educated ( with time on their hands) – personally I’ve had more than my share of grief at the hands of those fowk and consequently no longer have much time to go chasing / writing to the Politicians…. leaving that to those with better connections. So come on! Let 2017 be the year of taking back control….

  5. Richard111 says:

    Back in the early days of the AGW farce SC25 was predicted to be as active as SC21. How did they get it so wrong?

  6. Graeme No.3 says:

    So if the CO2 levels have been oscillating between 170 ppm in the icy conditions and 280 ppm during interglacials as per ice core figures, what happens when the next ice age starts?
    We are told that the 170 ppm remaining is close to the starvation point for plants – would an extra 120 ppm be all that bad?
    Indeed, if there is a possibility of another ice age wouldn’t it be OUR MORAL DUTY to raise the CO2 level substantially to benefit those living in that ice age?

  7. oldbrew says:

    Richard – ‘how did they get it so wrong?’

    By ignoring people like Charvatova for example, whose 1987 paper said in conclusion:
    ‘The current cycle 22 is probably the last of the high ones…The cycles will probably be longer and irregular.’

    Cycle 23 was 11.7 years, Cycle 24 could be even longer.

  8. jim says:

    With the start of a new political agenda. Will the false figures be bought back to what they should be? Or will the changed figures, be the normal? First, we have to get the agenda out of science, and restart the science of history again, to verify, but all the modern science has to be thrown out.every computer that modified the science, raising or lowering the data, has to be recalibrated to the zero, and many years of data thrown out as innacurate. Such a waste, but necessary, to revalidate any assumptions. Recovery of the data, no, how would you trust it?

  9. TLMango says:

    Another great topic!
    In Europe CAGW is referred to as the watermelon movement.
    Green on the outside, red on the inside. If they were truly green,
    their main concern would be ‘what level of Co2 will maximize the
    healthiest environment for plant growth’. And that level is way
    above 400 ppm.

    “Cycle 23 was 11.7 years, Cycle 24 could be even longer.” OB

    Cycle 23 started in September of 1996 and ended in December
    of 2008. That’s 12 years and 3 months. Dr Hathaway started
    the misinformation that still circulates about the length of solar
    cycle 23. He posted an article saying that polarity had reversed
    and cycle 23 had ended. But this turned out not to be true. Years
    later Hathaway published a research paper on cycle 23, where
    he officially declares the ending of cycle 23 to be December of
    Dr Hathaway now wishes he hadn’t jumped the gun and wikipedia
    is incapable of correcting error. It is up to us to get the facts right
    and not perpetuate error. It would also be helpful if ‘Solar Terrestrial
    Activity Report’ would change the way they post start and end dates.
    An end date of ‘2008.12’ is very misleading. This is being interpreted
    as February of 2008. ‘2008/12’ or ‘Dec 2008’ would be helpful.

    OB, I agree with you, cycle 24 could be another 12 year cycle.
    Maybe Newyears 2021?

  10. oldbrew says:

    Thanks TLM. Wiki still says ‘The solar cycle lasted 11.7 years, beginning in May 1996 and ending in January 2008’ – but the point is of course that it was longer than most other recent cycles and greater than the ~11.1 year average too.

    It wouldn’t be a surprise if another longer cycle followed SC 24.

    jim – does anyone know what or where ‘the data’ is/are any more?

  11. oldbrew says:


    All lines point downwards from the ‘present day’ [black line].

  12. @oldbrew,
    Those orbital curves look interesting but what do they mean?

    Can you use them to predict when the next glaciation will start?

  13. oldbrew says:

    @ GC: eccentricity, obliquity, precession index and mean daily insolation (65 deg. N) – in descending order.

    So the blue area is the last glaciation, we’re about 10-11000 years beyond it and the next glaciation is ‘due’ in another 1000 years – all those numbers being estimates of course.

    As Alan Carlin says: ‘Earth is currently in an interglacial period, and based on previous ice ages and the changes in global temperatures during this interglacial period, we are now near the end of it.’

  14. pearce m. schaudies says:

    Howdy folks. The biggest risk we face is the wild weather phase between relatively stable interglacial and glacial. I have claimed the Holocene ended in 1300ad, the start of the LIA sequence, when obliquity fell past 23.5 deg. Global temperatures are trending down 1C per 1000yrs. So in 10,000 yrs be 5C. However SC24 ends this Friday, starting the Charvatova Minimum, heh. 88 yrs 2C colder, cool wet summers, 8C colder winters, ice sheets start Canada, NW Eu.

    Regards, pearce, Minister of Future.

  15. oldmanK says:

    ” Why climate alarmists have missed the big picture”. A lot is being missed in the big picture–it is the ‘devil in the detail’.

    In oldbrew’s link look at fig2. and compare to fig4 in here: (there are other too), and note correlating points e.g. ~7200BP and ~5200BP (3195bce), the latter date corresponding to a well known seismic/climate upheaval. In between dates such as 4300BP(2345bce) 63xx(4375bce), the former an obliquity change -see Dodwell. See also fig 3, the CH4 curve is sensitive to those two dates, but the CO2 is near insensitive.

    Then for the misleading. Over the curve of Temp anomaly is superimposed the Obliquity variation suitably magnified to fit over. But then look at both ends how it departs.

    In oldbrew’s curves eccentricity is likely ok, but the curve of obliquity is not—so the two others derived from it are useless.

    An interesting link here: says quote: “The first, eccentricity, is the only one that changes the total amount of solar insolation received at top of atmosphere in a given year. Note that a constant solar insolation at the top of atmosphere can be a varying solar absorbed radiation if more or less of that solar radiation happens to be reflected off, say, ice sheets, due to, say, obliquity.

    The second, obliquity, or tilt, affects the difference between summer and winter TOA insolation. So it affects seasons and, specifically, the strength of seasons.

    The third, precession, affects the amount of radiation received at different times of the year (moderated by item 1, eccentricity). So if the earth’s orbit was a perfect circle this parameter would disappear. When the earth is closest to the sun in June/July the Northern Hemisphere summer is stronger and the SH summer is weaker, and vice versa for winters.

    So eccentricity affects total TOA insolation, while obliquity and precession change its distribution in season and latitude. However, variations in solar insolation at TOA depend on e² and so the total variation in TOA radiation has, over a very long period, only been only 0.1%.

    This variation is very small and yet the strongest “orbital signal” in the ice age record is that of eccentricity. A problem, that even for the proponents of this theory, has not yet been solved.”

    Go back to basics and consider the real possibility that obliquity could have been very small. its signature in the glaciers would disappear. Precession at low obliquity is near zero so no signature either. That leaves eccentricity.

    The archaeological record also corroborates with the above proxies — re abrupt changes to obliquity.
    The obliquity ‘loophole’ needs to be better understood, from basic.

  16. E.M.Smith says:

    Note the the key factor is length of NH summer not strength of insolation per day. Summers in the north are longest when at furthest from the sun, at highest eccentricity. That gives more days of snowmelt and fewer of accumulation. (And matcher the geologic record).

    So don’t rejoice in dropping eccentricity. We started leaving the glacial when it was high. It is now dropping and assuring we stay frozen once snow accumulation starts.

    As tilt drops (obliquity) the poles stay frozen, then the cycle of accumulation sets in. Tilt is dropping now…

    We are now in a configuration where, once frozen, we can not warm. Just waiting for the trigger to freeze…

  17. oldbrew says:

    oldmanK: everything to the right of the ‘present day’ line is obviously only a forecast, so the further right it goes the greater the uncertainty.

  18. oldmanK says:

    oldbrew; E.M.Smith: Yes, everything to the right is a forecast. But on obliquity everything to the left, pre 2345bce. is an extrapolation backwards that evidence shows is wrong. The two lower curves are based on that.

    Eccentricity has the weakest effect compared to tilt and precession. But for a period of time its signature only is evident — which is possibly more proof that tilt there was very low and therefore the signature of obliquity+precession would not show/dominate. See here: the ‘Transition Problem’

  19. oldmanK says:

    A bigger picture:

    An obvious scenario why we should not extrapolate backward and base science on such an unknown.

  20. oldbrew says:

    Extrapolating backwards is a way of getting a forecast, but no guarantee of course. The supposed pattern might not repeat, or it might not be the pattern they thought it was.