the Air Vent

Because the world needs another opinion


Posted by Jeff Id on June 16, 2011

See, this is what happens when there is no time for deep research or calculation.  You get opinions.  Certainly, they are more informed than average but average doesn’t spend a lot of time at climate blogs.

Ice ages, ugly things those.

___Frozen fruit,

_____and Garden hose.

Starvation comes when Dana knows.

What I can say is that those with motive beleive that without human influence we would not only experience a flat temperature history but our future will remain the same!  For tens of thousands of years.

What is better, prediction of the end of the world by 3C of flaiming doom,  or a ten thousand year stability of climate!  ???


No surprise that this should be the appropriate meme. I had forgotten the IPCC paragraph as pointed out by RB.  Does anyone else detect any bias whatsoever in the language?


There is no evidence of mechanisms that could mitigate the current global warming by a natural cooling trend. Only a strong reduction in summer insolation at high northern latitudes, along with associated feedbacks, can end the current interglacial. Given that current low orbital eccentricity will persist over the next tens of thousand years, the effects of precession are minimised, and extremely cold northern summer orbital configurations like that of the last glacial initiation at 116 ka will not take place for at least 30 kyr (Box 6.1). Under a natural CO2 regime (i.e., with the global temperature-CO2 correlation continuing as in the Vostok and EPICA Dome C ice cores), the next glacial period would not be expected to start within the next 30 kyr (Loutre and Berger, 2000; Berger and Loutre, 2002; EPICA Community Members, 2004). Sustained high atmospheric greenhouse gas concentrations, comparable to a mid-range CO2 stabilisation scenario, may lead to a complete melting of the Greenland Ice Sheet (Church et al., 2001) and further delay the onset of the next glacial period (Loutre and Berger, 2000; Archer and Ganopolski, 2005).


Seems fairly certain to me. Why worry.



18 Responses to “Certainly”

  1. kuhnkat said

    Now that you have brought up Ice Ages you have to have a post about flash frozen mammoths!!!

  2. Brian H said

    Careful, Jeff. If your tongue actually pokes a hole in your cheek it will be very painful!

  3. Joel Heinrich said

    Well, I even believe there will be a ‘huge’ cooling of 5°C in the next 12 hours! 😉

  4. Mark T said

    You must not live in CO, Joel. 30 C is not uncommon, and I’d bet we’ve seen 40 C in one day this year. Right now, probably around 20 C (from 90 F or so to the low 50s daily.)


  5. Joel Heinrich said

    No, I’m from southern Germany. We’ve had 2 days with Tmax above 30°C and 20 days above 25°C (77°F) this year so far. And yes, we are running some 1.5 K above average… Oh, and forecast for Monday is 6 – 22°C (43 – 72°F).

    But hey, it’s summer! /sarc

    Ok, elevation is 2000 ft. Actually it’s pretty nice here. 50 km to Switzerland, 100 km to Austria and 135 km to France. It’s just too cold. And still, people have been living here for the past 30,000 years.

    Call me in for the 3 K flaming doom.

  6. The “all of the above” was enticing, but it did preclude another ice age. I think we will have one (on the order of the LIA, not a massive one). And of course options 2 and 3 are equally as likely – depending upon solar activity.

  7. Pascvaks said

    Certainly! And.. there’s certainly something happening here (see link below), what it is ain’t exactly clear, and for such a big something so high up in the sky, there doesn’t seem to be too many people who are aware of it –

  8. Graeme said

    Given it’s 10K years – I would expect that the current inter-glacial period will end sooner rather than later in that period, as the Pliocene-Quaternary Ice Age that we are in continues unabated by puny human CO2 emissions, and the next glacial period will be much like the last two preceding glacials the Riss and the Wurm.

  9. RB said

    Greens worry about the long-lifetimes (i.e., 100KYr+) of nuclear waste (I know there are better closed cycle reactors just a few decades away). During the last Ice Age, precipitation in Yucca Mountain was apparently about twice as it is now, sorry can’t find a better reference than this . Now, the anti-greens tell us, don’t worry about it, just get the waste here and let the gummint subsidies take care of the nuclear waste disposal and ensure that we don’t have to worry about the 100KYr lifetimes. Hmm… looks like a majority voting here might be on the side of the “greens” on potential adverse impacts regarding this issue.

  10. Jeff Id said

    I wonder if someone would like to do a post on improved reactors. When we run out of chemical fuel, it won’t likely be only a solar solution IMHO.

  11. RB said

    Jeff, Tom Wigley is your man.

  12. Long term data show that the peak of the current interglacial was between 6000 and 8000 yrs ago. The slow slide into the next glacial has already started.

  13. T G Watkins said

    It would be unusual for this interglacial to last for 10k more years but who knows.
    Liquid Fluoride Thorium Reactors must be a leading candidate for safe nuclear energy. You are all probably familiar with Kirk Sorensen’s site Energy from Thorium. It would be a great post for an unbiased expert to review the nuclear alternatives with all the pros and cons.

  14. kim said

    Craig @ #12. And CO2 has never stopped a decline into a glacial. If it does this time, well hooray.

  15. Geoff Sherrington said

    9.RB said June 17, 2011 at 5:46 pm re nuclear waste management.

    RB, before retirement I helped manage on of the world’s largest uranium mines. The overall ore grade was about 0.2% U3O8. In the years since discovery in 1968, we have NO evidence of adverse health effects on ANY worker.

    We take this as evidence than people can work alongside that grade of uranium, with its decay products, and its alphas, betas and gammas. We can calculate a body-equivalent dose that is safe for a nominated time period, like a working life.

    We can also calculate for any nuclear reactor, the body-equivalent dose, as it decays with the time that the fuel is out of the reactor. This varies according to the design of the reactor and how it was managed. It also varies if the spent fuel is mixed with glass or a sophisticated binder like Synroc.

    In a typical case , the radiation from spent fuel decays to the level of the original ore in something from a hundred to a couple of thousand years. If you encase it in glass, 1 part to 100, then the management period becomes a year to a few decades (but you don’t do this immediately – you pond it for several years to get rid of the very fast decayers, since heat is generated).

    Why can’t people throw out ideological slogans and replace them with science? Nuclear waste disposal is a non-event. There is no relevance whatsoever to management requirements of 10,000 years or 100,000 years. Those figures are the work of ignorant, vivid imaginations.

  16. Geoff Sherrington said

    Re the IPCC satement, “There is no evidence of mechanisms that could mitigate the current global warming by a natural cooling trend.”

    Yesterday I had the pleasure of helping polish an elegant mathematical pre-publication that shows precisely how it CAN happen – and has plausibly happened since the last ice age. Watch this space.

  17. RB said

    Geoff, I’m surprised that for someone who worked in the field you make statements such as these:
    In a typical case , the radiation from spent fuel decays to the level of the original ore in something from a hundred to a couple of thousand years.

    If you look in the reference I posted above, Figure 3 supports the following statement:
    The upper curve shows the time variation of the LWR waste toxicity, which does not reach the Uranium ore threshold level until about 300,000 years after its creation.

    Why can’t people throw out ideological slogans and replace them with science? Amen to that, only anything passes for science on the blogosphere.

  18. RB said

    The same figure I referenced is also used here . As stated, plutonium and americium contribute most to the radiotoxicity. More information on lifetimes of transuranics here .

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