1) Abandoning my YEC point of view.
2) Failing to respond to a challenge/Dodging an issue .
Both of these are false. I will now try to bring reason to the debate and see if I can finally, FINALLY, open the eyes of those who are my accusers. Let us begin:
First point is relative to the second. It seems that I posted some information from a site and the author is not a YEC (young earth creationist). Some of his points made earlier in his treatise involved his belief in an earth of more than 10,000 years old. Good for him! However, I only used the portions of his assertions that dealt with more modern times, that is, the last 4,000 years or so. He and I were in agreement. I used him as a source. I was immediately accused of abandoning my YEC perspective. Yes, a massive straw man was erected for my commenters to assail as they began to rant against things I did not say and do not believe.
We have historical records that go back, reliably, well over 3,000 years. Unfortunately, beyond that point scientists must begin to look at things like ice cores and tree rings and speculate as to their message to us about past conditions. I stayed entirely away from that and only commented on more modern times. In fact, since temperatures have not been taken reliably since the end of the 17th century, we depend on written accounts of climactic conditions previous to that time.
That I would assert that the records we have available demonstrate a planet with cyclical temperature changes is sensible and based upon facts. It fell to commenters to try to disprove my assertions. Have they?
NO! Commenters instead have set up this straw man of YEC versus Old Earth to try to take the focus off of the issue. Also, rather than respond to my comments they have demanded that I present further proofs of what I say. This is not give-and-take but rather I do all the giving and they sit back and throw stones. Some of you who are reading this are numbered among said commenters, including a few with whom I have exchanged fairly long dialogues in the past. Why are they (you) evading the topic this time? Hmmmmmmm.
But I will be kind and present a bit more information and then I will re-issue my challenge:
From Climatic History of the Holocene by James S. Aber -
Contrary to the popular belief in climatic stability of recent times, the Earth's climate of the past 1000 years has changed significantly. Good historical documentation, particularly for western Europe, exists for this period. Based on comprehensive studies of both scientific and historical information, we now have a reasonably complete understanding of climate for this time interval (Le Roy Ladurie 1971; Grove 1988). Five major phases are now recognized:
- Medieval climatic optimum (AD 700-1200).
- Medieval glaciation (AD 1200-1460).
- Brief climatic improvement (AD 1460-1560).
- Little Ice Age (AD 1560-1890).
- Modern climatic optimum (AD 1890-2000).
|Oseberg Ship, a completely preserved Viking ship from a burial mound in southern Norway. The ship dates from about A.D. 1000. Ships of this kind were sailed across the North Atlantic to Iceland, Greenland, and North America.|
|Detail of ship's prow, showing construction technique and ornate wood carving. From the Viking Ship Museum, Norway.|
|Iceland was settled beginning in AD 874 and soon became an independent republic. Greenland was colonized in AD 985 by Erik the Red, and his son, Leif (the Lucky) Erikson, made a short-lived attempt to settle in Newfoundland (Vinland) around AD 1000. By the 12th century, two sizeable communities existed in southwestern Greenland, and the Norse colonies obtained their own Catholic bishop in 1126. Greenland was a viable European outpost.|
In North America, pollen and charcoal in sediments from Chesapeake Bay record climatic changes over the last 1000 years (Brush 1991). During the Medieval climatic optimum, large influxes of charcoal, sediment, and metals indicate more frequent forest fires and higher rates of erosion in the surrounding basin. Forest in the Chesapeake basin recovered, and erosion diminished, during the following few centuries of cold climate. In southern Florida, sea level was at least ½ m higher than now from the first through tenth centuries (Froede 2002).
|False-color Landsat TM image of Chesapeake Bay and Potomac Bay vicinity, Maryland and Virginia. Washington, D.C. is blue spot near scene center. Changing character of sediment accumulation in Chesapeake Bay reflects vegetation and climatic conditions in surrounding land areas. From NASA Goddard Space Flight Center.|
For Pacific Islands, the period AD 750 to 1300 was a climatic optimum marked by warm temperature, high sea level, and probable aridity (Nunn and Britton 2001; Nunn 2003). This was the period of long-distance Polynesian migrations and colonization across vast oceanic distances. The Pacific climatic optimum during the 12th century is confirmed by tree-ring records of the Huon pine from Tasmania (Cook et al. 1991).Climatic deterioration began in the 1200s; glaciers expanded in Iceland and in the Alps. Vineyards had declined in Germany by the 1300s and had completely disappeared in England. Fishing replaced cereal grains as the main source of food in Iceland, and sea ice expanded southward between Greenland and Iceland. Around 1340-50 the more northerly of the two Greenland communities was abandoned to the native Inuits. In the 1347-50, bubonic plague swept through Europe and killed one in three people, but it is unknown whether the plague reached either Iceland or Greenland.
The last reliable account of Norsemen living in Greenland comes from 1408-10, when a wedding took place at Hvalsey Church--see Fig. 19-8. Based on archeologic evidence, it seems that Norsemen continued to live in the vicinity until about 1480. However, when the region was next visited, by German merchants in 1510, only Inuits were found living among the ruins. The harsh climate after 1300 was undoubtedly a factor in the demise of the Norse settlements. Cold climate reduced dairy production, and extensive sea ice hampered essential trade with Europe.
From the mid-1400s to the mid-1500s climatic conditions in western Europe improved somewhat. This episode was too little and too late, apparently, to save the doomed Norse settlements in Greenland. Elsewhere in Europe, life went on with no recognition of climatic change or its effects.
Across the Pacific Islands, the period AD 1270-1475 was a transition interval, often called the "AD 1300 event" (Nunn 2000). Sea level fell, perhaps in two stages by more than 1 m, and temperature declined an average 1½°C. El Niño increased in frequency, and precipitation increased. These climatic changes resulted in a serious decline in productivity for near-shore coral reefs, and significant shifts in human culture took place. Most notably, the long-distance voyages of the previous period came to an end.
- 1560-1610 Major advances by all glaciers.
- 1640-1650 Glacier maximum in Switzerland.
- 1670-1705 Glacier maximum in Austria.
- 1720-1750 Glacier maximum in Norway.
- 1816-1825 Minor advances by all glaciers.
- 1850-1890 Glacier maximum in Canada/Iceland.
Glacier advances in the vicinity of Mont Blanc, France, destroyed three villages and heavily damaged a fourth between 1600 and 1610. The oldest of these villages had existed since the 1200s. Likewise in Norway, outlet glaciers of Jostedalsbreen ice cap advanced markedly in the 1700s and destroyed many farms--see Figs. 19-9, 19-10 and 19-11. The local population was reduced to eating bread made with a mixture of ground wheat chaff, straw, and pine bark. Taxes were reduced on farms that suffered physical damage--see Fig. 19-12, and many people were forced to migrate out of the region or become beggars.
The Little Ice Age was a time of exceptional poverty, misery and suffering in Iceland, as a result of severe winters, major volcanic eruptions, and oppressive Danish colonial rule. Famine and pestilence ravaged the country. The human population of Iceland, which had reached about 70,000 around A.D. 1100, had dwindled to only 34,000 by 1708--less than half the Viking peak (Magnusson 1987). Following a huge volcanic eruption in 1783, there was serious discussion of evacuating the remaining inhabitants to live in Denmark, but this did not actually happen.
Climatic and human consequences of the Little Ice Age are best documented in western Europe. Therefore, some climatologists have concluded naively that this climatic episode was a regional anomaly, not of worldwide significance. This point of view is contradicted strongly by evidence from glaciers in tropical mountain locations. The Quelccaya ice cap in the Andes Mountains of southern Peru is one such site. Ice cores provide direct physical evidence for colder climate between AD 1500 and 1900 (Thompson et al. 1986). This record compares favorably with cooler northern hemisphere temperature and expanded glaciers during the same period. The climatic changes recorded in the Quelccaya ice cap correspond closely with prehistoric cultures of Peru. Farther south, Lake Titicaca rose significantly during the 16th-19th centuries as a result of more humid, cooler conditions (pers. comm. J. Argollo, 1996).
|Location map and ice-cap margin|
|Solar-powered drilling equipment and ice core|
|Oxygen-isotope and accumulation records|
|Climatic record and prehistoric civilization|
Glaciers and ice caps have experienced negative mass balances and have been retreating since the end of the Little Ice Age. This is a general condition for glaciers of all types in nearly all geographic locations, with the possible exception of Antarctica. The local timing of deglaciation may vary considerably, however, depending on many factors as detailed below.
|Rapid Response||Slow Response|
|High altitude (mountains)||Low altitude (lowlands)|
|Continental climatic zone||Maritime climatic zone|
|Sea- or lake-based glaciers||Land-based glaciers|
|Small glaciers & ice caps||Large glaciers & ice caps|
|Atlantic Ocean regime||Pacific Ocean regime|
|Northern hemisphere||Southern hemisphere|
Answers in Genesis presents a novel thought on this subject:
Could Global Warming Cause Another Ice Age?
Some climate scientists believe that global warming will slow or stop the northward oceanic heat flow in the Atlantic Ocean, causing an ice age. Northern Europe is significantly warmer due to this ocean heat. The stopping of this flow was the basis for the Hollywood movie The Day After Tomorrow.
A new oceanic study, based on measurements over 47 years, claims that the northward heat transport has already decreased by 30%.1 Computer climate simulations suggested that such a decrease would require a global temperature increase of 7–11°F (4–6°C) after nearly a century.2 Some scientists believe that global warming will cause a more rapid climate change and that we need to act now.
So far, the reduced heat flow has caused no climatic effect in Europe. Moreover, Carl Wunsch of Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) believes the climatic significance of the northward heat transport is greatly overblown and that it is difficult to stop it.3 The MIT professor further writes that there are many unknowns associated with ocean and atmospheric climatic interactions, and that climate simulations have many difficulties. Besides, the prevailing winds drive the ocean currents and are mostly responsible for the northward heat transport. The addition of fresh water on the ocean’s surface will not slow the heat flow, which is an unsupported assumption made in climate simulations.
- Bryden, H. L., Longworth, H. R., and Cunningham, S. A., Slowing of the Atlantic meridional overturning circulation at 25° N., Nature 438:655–657, 2005.
- Goss Levi, B., Is there a slowing in the Atlantic Ocean’s overturning circulation? Physics Today59(4):26–28, 2006.
- Wunsch, C., Abrupt climate change: An alternative view, Quaternary Research 65:191–203, 2006.
Allow me to share a recent article from another YEC source, Creation on the Web:
Climate change & terrorism: a new political agenda?
Illustration Credit: wikipedia.org
Despite grim predictions in light of the 2005 season, the 2006 [Atlantic] hurricane season in the US came to an end without a single one making landfall in the USA. The providential ‘culprit’ this time was an early El Niño,1,2 a warm Pacific current that sometimes starts along the north-western coast of South America on Christmas Day (El Niño means The Infant [baby Jesus] in Spanish) significantly changing the weather patterns in the eastern Pacific. This changes the intensity of the easterly trade winds in the Atlantic, which in turn influences the paths hurricanes follow. In years with El Niño, the easterly trade winds in the Atlantic are stronger and they will tend to push hurricanes further east, thus diminishing the probability of landfalls.
The triggering of El Niño is still not well understood but seems to be linked to deep ocean water circulation in the Pacific Ocean, which is part of a global circulation system known as the thermohaline circulation system (THC). In years without El Niño, the westerly trade winds in the tropical Pacific push warm water westward, so that the ocean around Indonesia is about 0.5 meters higher than near the coast of Ecuador!2 Cold, nutrient-rich deep waters upwell off South America, massively increasing the bio-productivity of these waters. This cold water also limits the amount of rain in the Americas whilst the warmer water in the western Pacific causes rains and generally wet weather in south-eastern Asia and north-eastern Australia. During El Niño years the situation is reversed; rains and floods affect the Americas whilst drought afflicts the western side of the Pacific (the 1982–83 drought in Australia was due to this).
many sceptics are not deniers of global warming, only doubters of the significance of the role humans play in it.
The THC is far from being well understood and because of this, reliable long-term forecasts are still not within reach. It is however fairly well documented that this circulation system (which moves about 20 times more water than all the rivers on Earth) is the true engine that drives climate on Earth and is controlled by salinity (the amount of salts dissolved in the ocean waters). Events like the Lake Agassiz flood in North America at the beginning of the Holocene have significantly influenced it and triggered dramatic cooling during the episode known as the Younger Dryas. Another similar episode has been recently recognized as having as its source the catastrophic draining of a huge freshwater lake underneath the ice sheet in Antarctica.3 If significant amounts of fresh water are suddenly dumped into the THC, the system will be disrupted and intense climate cooling will ensue. Another such event could occur if Lake Vostok (larger than Lake Ontario) situated 3,600 m below the surface of the ice, would be suddenly drained into the ocean. Such an event is possible in the case of global warming but its occurrence would immediately trigger an opposite trend: a dramatic global cooling. This reveals one very interesting aspect of God’s creation: its ability to maintain homeostasis (constant climate conditions in this case) by way of dynamic mechanisms similar to feedback loops.
In a seminal paper from 1987, a team of researchers4 have revealed one such negative feedback loop. The vast majority of clouds on the planet form because of tiny sulphate particles (cloud condensation nuclei) generated by certain species of phytoplankton in the ocean. A global warming would increase the mass of phytoplankton which would produce more clouds. More clouds, on the other hand, would increase the albedo (the whiteness or reflectivity of the planet seen from space), which should, all else being equal, reflect a larger part of solar radiation back into space. This would then be expected to cause a global cooling, less phytoplankton, less clouds …
In light of all these, one cannot but wonder how some scientists can be so sure in their dark predictions of global climate change in the near-future? Their apocalyptic predictions uttered as certitudes have even led some politicians to adopt positions that undermine the basic principles of democracy. Thus the UK foreign secretary Margaret Beckett has recently compared climate-change sceptics with terrorists. One wonders what has been left of free speech? After all, many sceptics are not deniers of global warming, only doubters of the significance of the role humans play in it. It is fairly well documented that many natural causes are fuelling global warming. Christians have repeatedly been accused of dismissing global warming because they believe that God, being Creator and Master of the Universe, will take care of His creation and somehow limit the effects of global warming. Well, as we have just seen, God indeed has provided mechanisms in His creation that do control global climate. But this doesn’t mean Christians should not be concerned by the short-term effects of global warming. God has commanded us to subdue nature, but that doesn’t mean He has given us a carte blanche to destroy or disfigure the beautiful world He has given us! We are to be good and loving stewards. And that also means we need to learn more about His creation so that we would gain a better understanding of its complexity, and acknowledge with thankfulness that it does reflect God’s majesty.
- Lewis, A.R., Marchant, D.R., Kowalewski, D.E., The age and origin of the Labyrith, western Dry Valleys, Antarctica: evidence for extensive middle Miocene subglacial floods and freshwater discharge to the Southern Ocean,
Geology 34(7):513–516, 2006.
- Charlson, J.R., Lovelock, J.E., Meinart, O.A., Warren, S.G. Oceanic phytoplankton, atmospheric sulphur, cloud albedo and climate, Nature 326:655–661, 1987.
Again, I persist in stating that we have records that clearly illustrate that the globe has been heating up and cooling down without any help from man in the form of carbon fuels or any other means. If mankind is causing the cycle to speed up in any way, and that is unclear, it also appears that the planet is designed to offset such "help" and balance out those factors. Scientific assertions that man is causing Global Warming and that GW is a disaster waiting to happen are not agreed upon within the scientific community, largely because they are highly speculative assertions that have not be proven by any means. Also, if it was so, if we knew that we were contributing to Global Warming, it would appear that any efforts to reverse the cycle would take many decades to have a significant effect...if indeed there would be a significant effect at all.
I am not against looking for alternatives to fossil fuels, nor looking into ways to reduce emissions into the atmosphere. I am against the frantic cries of the Al Gore crowd shouting, "Doom! Doom!" The ball was already in your court, people, but hopefully now you will have to admit that this is so and do something about it.........