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Ice Ages … some explanations aired

29 April 2014

A day or so ago there was a post on Ice Age Greenland – and the possibility it was really a succession of Little Ice Ages and amounted to no more than a succession of increased episodes of sea ice in the N Atlantic (around southern Greenland and Icelandic waters). Donald Patten in 'The Biblical Flood and the Ice Epoch: a study in scientific history' proposed an ice dump (being blunt) – ice with an extraterrestrial origin coming in at the North and South Geomagnetic Poles and forming huge piles of the white stuff that spread out like sugar on a table (and therefore creating an ice sheet instantaneously). The ice particles, it was suggested, were charged and followed the magnetic lines of force down to the areas near the geomagnetic poles. In contrast, Peter Warlow, at the last Cambridge Conference, demonstrated where an ice sheet would geographically sit if there had been a Pole shift – with the North Pole situated to the east of Greenland. It did actually appear to fit into known ice sheet parameters – with most of Siberia and parts of Alaska free of ice. Geographically, his proposed North Pole during the Late Pleistocene would have been virtually in the same place as the geomagnetic poles of Patten – as Patten only sought to make sense of the expansion of the ice sheet (southwards). Frank Wallace, at an SIS speaker meeting a couple of years ago, claimed the numerous eskers littered across the Canadian landscape, around the edges of the Shield, were evidence of debris being dumped from space (dust, gravels, rocks, as well as frozen water). Derek Allen, in Chronology and Catastrophe Review 2005, 'An Unexplained Arctic Catastrophe Part II: some unanswered questions' visualised frozen nitrogen being dumped on Earth from a cosmic object. In that context, Malaga Bay's article (Tim Cullen) in attributing the Ice Ages to solely terrestrial forces – has his feet on the ground.However, he doesn't explain what may have caused the Little Ice Age, only noting that it had happened and was not considered much out of the ordinary. Is this how we should look at the Ice Ages? In mainstream Ice Age theory has been simplified for the masses and the unanswered questions are the domain of those 'that matter' – the uniformitarian academic establishment. The Little Ice Age is sometimes blamed on a lack of sun spots – which are thought to cause low solar activity (or radiance). What causes sun spots in the first place is usually passed over. So, if there was a somewhat mundane explanation for them, such as the planets of the solar system having a tidal pull, or something like that – why would the Sun reduce its output? Might something else be at work?

Clube and Napier claimed the Little Ice Age was caused by an opaque sky – dust and debris in the upper atmosphere restricting the ability of the Sun to warm the surface of the Earth. This could be from volcanoes – and heavy meteoric activity. Hence, we are back in the realm of extraterrestrial forces (mild in comparison with the other theories). It might explain why the Little Ice Age was intermittently very cold rather than universally cold as dust and debris has a relatively short life in the upper atmosphere (or we might imagine so). However, can the same thing apply to the Heinrich events, seven of which litter the last Ice Age. The last of these was the Younger Dryas event – and Bill Napier has gone on to suggest this was ushered in by meteors exploding in the upper atmosphere. In other words, the sea solution still involves a terrestrial vector – in this instance, a comet. Mainstream give short shrift to Napier – and dismiss him out of hand (and Clube and Napier are perhaps too close to Velikovsky for comfort and their books have been ignored now for 25 years or so). Now, the Heinrich events are traceable on the sea floor as increased ice berg activity led to litters of debris left in long elongated arcs (debris contained in the ice such as gravels and silts etc) fanning outwards from N America and Greenland. Now, it would be interesting to discover how far these went in comparison to ice berg debris in the Little Ice Age. If it was geographically quite similar kudos would be forthcoming for Tim Cullen. If Heinrich events left debris trails snaking much further south than Icelandic waters his theory might be wrong – unless at the same time the poles were themselves situated further south than they are today (per Warlow) – but how would you go about proving that without waving your hands frantically. In other words, is the evidence of Heinrich events built on the assumption the poles have not moved out of their position – and therefore debris in Atlantic contexts appears to be in extreme positions when in reality that might not really be the case. Tim Cullen appears to have rattled the cage – but there are still a lot of unanswered questions.

William Thompson, on the other hand, an SIS member for a number of years, wrote a paper in defence of Donald Patten, 'Extraterrestrial Origin of the Ice Age' (1977) which was published in volume VI of the Symposium on Creation (www.creationism.org/symposium/index.htm) and other SIS members will know some of the names of other contributors.  William trawled an extensive range of mainstream literature and in his first paragraph quotes three articles from Nature Journal by authors such as Gribben, 'Causes and Effects of Gobal Cooling', Sellars and Meadows, 'Long Term Variations in the Albedo and Surface Temperature of the Earth' and WH McCrea, 'Ice Ages and the Galaxy' (all of which were published in 1975)which only demonstrated the triggering mechanism that generated the Ice Ages was, then, unknown (and still is unknown, although a uniformitarian straw mat has been laid on the table). Many cosmic bodies contain ice – such as comets, the rings of Saturn, icy moons, and so on. Wickramasinghe (1967) and Wesson (1974) mentioned ice grains in interstellar space (quoting Fred Whipple and his comet model, 1950 and 1951), and Delsemme (1973). Thompson outlines the consensus of contemporary science papers on the subject – and likewise on geomagnetic fields (as known at the time). The conclusion is basically that there is a lot of water ice in space and therefore Patten's dump theory is not as outlandish as might first appear. Patten's theory (the science bit) does not contradict known facts (at the time) – and it is worth browsing through the article to get a flavour of his argument.

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