Ice Age Climate Science Background -  video by  Rolf A. F. Witzsche

#2: Early explorations

#1: The historic 'imperative'
#2: Early explorations
#3: Modern physical measurements
#4: Imperatives for human existence
#5: Advanced theories

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Climate Change: Climate Collapse - Introduction

discoveries made in the 2000s

#2:Early Explorations

In the early 2000s the tide began to turn away from the false assumption of the Sun being an invariable constant for climate considerations. The grand barrier in science began to break down. Measured evidence became available that tells us unmistakably that the Sun is far from being a constant factor, but has been on a roller coaster ride of varying solar activity as far back in history as measurements have become possible.

Dramatic variations in historic solar activity have been measured by measuring the density of two radio isotopes (Carbon-14 and Berillium-10) that are produced exclusively by solar cosmic-ray flux colliding with the Earth's atmosphere. Since solar cosmic-ray flux varies with solar activity, the isotope ratios in historic samples provide a measurable proxy for historic solar activity.

These measurements gave us for the first time a glimpse into the history of solar activity. What we found was revolutionary. The measurements delivered proof that the nearly 300 years of global warming from the Little Ice Age to the mid 1900s was exclusively caused by the Sun, measured in up-ramped solar activity.

Of course it has always been known by the historically recorded sunspots counts, that solar activity had dramatically increased from the end of the Little Ice Age, but we lacked measurable proof that changing solar activity has a major direct impact on the climate on Earth. This proof gave us a new basis for recognizing Ice Ages as effects caused by the Sun.

Another major contributor to the recognition of the Sun as a variable star, was NASA's Ulysses spacecraft that orbited the Sun in a polar orbit between 1994 and 2008. The spacecraft measured solar-wind pressure and cosmic ray flux. We knew from the peak and decline of sunspot numbers that the solar-caused global warming was reversing from 1960 onward. The Ulysses mission provided a measurable rate of the ongoing collapse. The rate of collapse was measured at a whopping 30% per decade. At this rate it would take slightly over 30 years (into the 2030s) to fall back to the conditions of the Little Ice Age, that the global warming had rescued us from. At this rate of collapse in solar activity the end of our interglacial climate holiday appears to be near (potentially between the 2040s and 2050s). The significance of the Ulysses mission is being highlighted in my video "Ice Age 2050s: Certainty."

Another factor in the advancing knowledge about the near Ice Age, that became recognized in the early 2000s, were measurements of extremely large and fast climate fluctuations at the start and during the glaciation period.

When the results became known from the North Greenland Ice Coring Project that was completed in 2003, a different perception began to emerge. From 2004 on, we had the first measured results on hand that showed with a high degree of resolution that the climate transition from the previous interglacial period to its following Ice Age was not a gradual cooling transition, but was a large, steep, radical transition, like falling of a cliff. This measurement changed our perception of the nature of the Ice Age transition. It was previously believed, and supported by ice core measurements in Antarctica, that Ice Ages were gradually developing phenomena, unfolding over the span of thousands of years. This view was suddenly no longer valid. What the ice cores in Antarctica (Vostock) lack the resolution to reveal, for reasons that Antarctica is largely a desert with little precipitation, was glaringly revealed in the Greenland ice cores in measurements of Oxygen-18 ratios, which reflect to some degree also ocean surface temperatures.

The bottom line is, we are facing an extremely fast transition into Ice Age conditions when our current interglacial holiday ends. That's what we need to prepare our world for, and develop theories for. This also means that what we have discovered about the Ice Age dynamics is relatively new, and is radically different than what we had previously believed.

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