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Not by fire but by ice

By Alan Caruba
web posted January 11, 2010

Some say the world will end in fire;
Some say in ice.
From what I've tasted of desire
I hold with those who favor fire.
But if it had to perish twice,
I think I know enough of hate
To say that for destruction ice
Is also great
And would suffice.

-- Robert Frost, American Poet

Considering the thousands of absurd claims made about the discredited fraud of "global warming", a recent National Geographic News story, "North Magnetic Pole Moving East Due to Core Flux", struck me as potentially far more significant.

"Earth's north magnetic pole is racing toward Russia at almost 40 miles a year due to magnetic changes in the planet's core, new research says." The article by Richard A. Lovett, noted that "The core is too deep for scientists to directly detect its magnetic field, but researchers can infer the field's movements by tracking how Earth's magnetic field has been changing at the surface and in space."

Most people are familiar with magnetic north because that is where compass needles actually point. It is not the same as the North Pole and, currently, magnetic north is close to Canada's Ellesmere Island on the edge of the Arctic. The movement has been erratic since first located by scientists in 1831. In 1904, it began to shift northeastward at about nine miles per year. In 1989, it sped up a bit and is now "galloping toward Siberia."

If I hadn't read Robert W. Felix's latest book, Magnetic Reversals and Evolutionary Leaps, I frankly would have paid little attention to the news, but I had to pause because Felix asks, "Could this movement be the beginning of the next reversal? I don't know, but I wouldn't rule it out."

Why is this of interest? Because ice ages recur every 11,500 years and right now the Earth is at the end of the latest interglacial period, i.e., the interim between ice ages.

Since ice ages and magnetic reversals appear to occur together, it is entirely likely that what we're really looking at is the next ice age and, to make matters much worse, a potential magnetic reversal.

"Among the many species of mammals now existing in Europe and Asia, all but six appeared during the past two million years, with no time to evolve," says Felix, neatly dispatching Charles Darwin's theory that species evolve over tens of millions of years.

At some point in the past 200,000 years Homo sapiens climbed down out of the trees, stood upright, and began their trek toward what we call civilization and civilization as we know it—the spread of agriculture and the rise of cities—is only about 5,000 years old.

The late paleontologist, Stephen Jay Gould, said, "We have not a shred of evidence for any genetic improvement since then. I suspect that the average Cro-Magnon, properly trained, could have handled computers with the best of us."

The bad news about magnetic reversals is that they have often been accompanied by massive extinctions and, as noted, they return in a dependable, predictable cycle. "Mass extinctions," says Felix, "have been the rule, rather than the exception, for the 3.5 million years that life has existed on this planet."

Many scientists maintain that the last magnetic reversal occurred about 780,000 years ago at the Brunhes/Matuyama boundary, but in addition to full-scale reversals, Felix includes magnetic "excursions" in his calculations.

Magnetic excursions are times when the earth's magnetic north pole moved south for a short while--sometimes as much as 500 years--and then moved back. Magnetic excursions are apparently aborted magnetic reversals, says Felix. They recur about every 11,500 years. And they are deadly.

The last one, the Gothenburg magnetic excursion, took place about 11,500 years ago. Is it just a coincidence that some 40 percent of the large animal species, including the sabre-toothed cat, the mammoth, the mastodon, and the great Dire wolf went extinct at the time? "No," says Felix. "That was no coincidence."

Nor is it a coincidence that more than one million huge elliptical holes - some the size of a small city - were blasted into the earth at the same time. Today, those huge holes are sometimes known as Carolina Bays, Grady Ponds, Maryland Basins, or, in Texas, Salinas.

Then there was the Mono Lake magnetic excursion of 23,000 years ago, when the earth descended into catastrophic glaciation, and the mammoths were almost decimated. And prior to that was the Lake Mungo magnetic excursion of 33,500 years ago, when the Neanderthal went extinct and the earth descended into yet another period of glaciation.
 
If this cycle holds true, says Felix, the next magnetic reversal—and extinction—is due any day.

Solar scientists have been watching the sun with a fair amount of trepidation lately. As Felix notes, "At the beginning of each (geological) cycle, magnetic polarity on the Sun reverses and magnetic north becomes magnetic south. No one knows why." 

We are in the Holocene cycle that began about 10,000 years ago.

Anthony Watts, a climate scientist—one of the many that did not buy into the global warming fraud—recently reported that "The sun has seen a resurgence of activity in December, with a number of cycle 24 sunspots being seen." That's good news because sunspot activity seems to correlate with warming and cooling cycles. The fewer the sunspots, the cooler the Earth becomes.

"If the past two years have taught us anything," says Watts, "it is that the sun can be tricky and unpredictable."

Will the next ice age begin shortly? Depends on what you mean by "shortly" because it could be tomorrow or it could be another two centuries or so. One thing is sure; the Earth's latest interglacial period is nearing an end.

A magnetic reversal would likely have a devastating effect on planet Earth and, frankly, I don't want to be around when it occurs.

Editor's Note: To learn more, visit www.iceagenow.com. ESR

Alan Caruba writes a daily post at http://factsnotfantasy.blogspot.com. An author, business and science writer, he is the founder of The National Anxiety Center.

 

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