On July 16th 2006 former NBC News anchor Tom Brokaw hosted a documentary on the Discovery Channel titled Global Warming: What You Need To Know. I watched it. It presented only the pro-warming point of view. But the fact is that global cooling is far more dangerous and destructive than global warming. Here then are the things you really need to know.
"Since 1980, there has been an advance of more than 55% of the 625 mountain glaciers under observation by the World Glacier Monitoring group in Zurich. (From 1926 to 1960, some 70-95% of these glaciers were in retreat.)"
That, according to an article by Laurence Hecht, editor of Science and Technology Magazine titled "Is a New Ice Age Underway?" It is uncertain what is causing this sudden, abrupt turnaround.
According to the website 'help the aged' there is this ominous headline:
"Last winter, tens of thousands of older people in England and Wales died, simply because of the cold."
At the website of Timesonline we get this dire prediction:
"Britain has not had a particularly cold winter for ten years, but some experts believe that temperatures over the coming months could plummet as low as the winters of the 1970s."
According to this NOAA site Casper, Wyoming had these record lows in 2005:
January: 5 degrees on the 14th
April: 27 degrees on the 28th
May: 17 degrees on the 1st and 2nd.
June: 36 degrees on the 10th, 33 degrees on the 11th.
July: 44 degrees (tied) on the 18th, 45 degrees on the 27th
Why did the 1st two days of May plummet ten degrees colder than April 28th? And why are summer months of June and July setting record lows?
Then there is this troubling report from the BBC:
"Unusual Weather for New Zealand by Helen McKenzie
New Zealand has been experiencing an exceptionally cold start to winter this year. Record low temperatures, unusual amounts of snow, heavy rain and storms have all been witnessed across the two islands over the last few months."
The New Zealand Harold has this frightening article:
Glacier visitors ignore 'extreme risks'
"The Department of Conservation is worried someone will be killed as giant chunks of ice are falling from rapidly advancing glaciers in the middle of the peak visitor season.
Staff believe the risk of ice collapse at the face of the Fox and Franz Josef Glaciers is high and visitors are ignoring warning signs and putting themselves at risk.
Both glaciers are advancing at the rate of about a metre a week.
Fox is pushing up the sides of the valley, stressing the terminal face and causing rock falls and ice collapse."
And if that weren't enough we learn from the NZ Harold again that:
"Ageing icebreakers have put New Zealand and the United States' Antarctic programmes under threat, it was reported today.
National Radio said an unusual build-up of ice in McMurdo Sound meant the American icebreakers, which are nearing the end of their life span, were having trouble getting through."
What's going on here? Unusual build-up of ice, glaciers growing, people at 'extreme risk', some dying, predictions of record lows? Obviously our planet is cooling and cooling fast, and it isn't the Coors lite train doing it either.
Scientists agree that our planet has been warming for over one hundred years, that the climate works in cycles leading some to believe that we are now entering a new ice age. What would that look like? Well, in his documentary Global Warming: What You Need To Know, host Tom Brokaw showed us what New York City, Boston and London would look like under 30 or so meters of water. Now picture those cities under a mile of ice. That's global cooling!
Unlike the fiction movie Day After Tomorrow where water fills NY to the brim then freezes, global cooling doesn't work that way. Giant mountains of ice move from the poles downward flatening everything in thier path. All the northern forests and cities would be crushed. Nothing will survive unless it can migrate towards the equator. Can you imagine 6 (maybe 9 by then) billion people trying to divy up less and less land and what that will look like? Even the landscape will be changed. For more on the devastating nature of a glaciation I recommend the Paleoclimatology site here. I also recommend this website article and Roger Peilke reports that the 2nd conference on global warming and the next ice age is in session this week.
The bottom line is that a look at climate history shows that warmings have been generally very good for life on earth while coolings have not.
What can we do to prevent a glaciation? Probably nothing. But maybe, just maybe a little extra CO2 will hold it off a tad.
(Some of the sources above were linked to via the web site iceagenow.com which I recommend and is here.)