Are Ice Age Glacials Caused By Orbital Inclination?

Is it orbital inclination (or tilt of the Earth’s orbit compared to Jupiter’s orbit), not eccentricity, that give ice age glacials a 100,000 year cycle?

This paper mostly does a spectral anaysis, but it is still very interesting. The proposed mechanism depends on cosmic dust, and with a step change 1 million years ago, so a bit of special pleading, but it does cite other papaers that claim to find that dust variation.

The abstract mostly cites problems with eccentricity, then at the end claims incination fits better.

Spectrum of 100-kyr glacial cycle: Orbital inclination, not eccentricity
Richard A. Muller* and Gordon J. MacDonald†


Spectral analysis of climate data shows a strong narrow peak with period ≈100 kyr, attributed by the Milankovitch theory to changes in the eccentricity of the earth’s orbit. The narrowness of the peak does suggest an astronomical origin; however the shape of the peak is incompatible with both linear and nonlinear models that attribute the cycle to eccentricity or (equivalently) to the envelope of the precession. In contrast, the orbital inclination parameter gives a good match to both the spectrum and bispectrum of the climate data. Extraterrestrial accretion from meteoroids or interplanetary dust is proposed as a mechanism that could link inclination to climate, and experimental tests are described that could prove or disprove this hypothesis.

Using much improved dating techniques, Broecker and van Donk (1) in 1970 conclusively established that the dominant cycle in proxy climate records is 100 kyr. Broecker and van Donk did not commit themselves as to the origin of the 100-kyr cycle. In the years after 1970, it became customary to attribute the 100,000-year cycle to variations in the orbital eccentricity of the earth (2). Calculated variation of eccentricity shows a quasi-periodic behavior, with a period of about 100 kyr. Milankovitch (3, 4) proposed that eccentricity affected the climate through its effect on insolation: the average solar energy reaching the earth. In this paper we note five sets of observations which conflict with the suggestion that insolation variations associated with eccentricity are responsible for the dominant 100,000-year cycle.

First, the eccentricity changes are small, between 0.01 and 0.05. The resulting changes in insolation are far too small to account for the dominant 100,000-year cycle observed in proxy climate records. Second, the orbital calculations which can be carried out with great accuracy back to several million years (5) show that the major cycle in eccentricity is 400,000 (400 kyr), rather than 100 kyr. A 400-kyr fluctuation is absent in most climate records, leading to specific disagreement between eccentricity and glacial data at both 400 ka and the present (the “stage 1” and “stage 11” problems). Many proposed explanations for the discrepancies have been advanced; in a recent review, Imbrie et al. (6) give a short list consisting of seven groups of models. Many of the models involve resonant or nonlinear behavior of the ice–ocean–atmosphere system; some derive the 100-kyr period from the envelope of the variation in the precession parameter.

Well-dated climate proxy records show the 100,000-year cycle only over the last million years (7). Prior to this transition, the 100-kyr period is either absent or very weak. Calculated variation of eccentricity does not show any discontinuity a million years ago. If the eccentricity drove changes in insolation, it would be anticipated that variations in insolation due to changes in eccentricity would affect climate in earlier periods, as well as over the past million years.

Since methods of dating have improved, a fourth possible problem with the Milankovitch insolation has developed: several recent observations suggest that the abrupt termination of the ice ages preceded warming from insolation (8), an effect we refer to as “causality problem.” The interpretation of these results is still controversial (9–13). Furthermore, Imbrie et al. (9) argue that a true test of the Milankovitch theory must be performed in the frequency domain, not the time domain.

The fifth problem with the Milankovitch insolation theory is found in the frequency domain. In this paper, we present a full resolution spectral analysis of δ18O proxy climate records. The analysis shows that the 100-kyr period is a single, narrow peak, a simple pattern that strongly confirms an astronomical origin, but which cannot be reconciled with any of the models presented in the review by Imbrie et al. (6) In contrast, an alternative model that we have proposed, which attributes the 100-kyr cycle to orbital inclination, passes all the spectral tests that the Milankovitch model fails

They also plead that in avoiding issues in simple Fourier transforms, the usual process hid the nature of the 100 ky peak. As the nature of “math manipulations hiding things” (especially averages) is one of my hot buttons, that caught my attention:

The narrow width of the 100-kyr peak strongly suggests a driven oscillation of astronomical origin. In contrast to dynamical astronomy, where dissipative processes are almost nonexistent, all known resonances within the earth–atmosphere system have energy transfer mechanisms that cause loss of phase stability. Narrowness of the 41-kyr and 23-kyr cycles is not necessarily significant, since the time scale of the data was tuned by adjusting the sedimentation rate to match the expected orbital cycles. The 100-kyr peak is incoherent with these other two cycles, there is no phase relationship. The fact that an unrelated peak is sharp can be considered as an a posteriori evidence that the tuning procedure yielded a basically correct time scale, although it could be incorrect by an overall stretch factor and delay. We did not anticipate the narrowness of the 100-kyr peak, assuming, as others have done, that it was due to forcing by variations in eccentricity. However, it is not easily reconciled with any published theory. The narrowness of the peak was missed in previous spectral analysis of isotopic data because of the common use of the Blackman–Tukey algorithm (20), which, as usually applied (lag parameter = 1/3), artificially broadens narrow peaks by a factor of 3. The Blackman–Tukey algorithm gained wide use in the 1950s because of Tukey’s admonition that analysts could be misled by using classical periodograms in analyzing spectra having a continuous spectrum. For analysis of glacial cycles, these considerations did not arise, because the spectra are mixed spectra with very strong quasi-periodic peaks. Spectra of glacial cycles, as Tukey recognized, lend themselves to the use of conventional Fourier transforms.

It does seem to solve some of the problems (though depends on some magic dust about dust…)

Orbital Inclination: An Alternative 100-kyr Cycle

We recently proposed that a different orbital parameter, the inclination of the earth’s orbit to the invariable plane of the solar system, should be associated with the 100-kyr glacial cycle (14, 24). The invariable plane of the solar system is that plane perpendicular to the angular momentum vector of the solar system, and is approximately equal to the orbital plane of Jupiter. The dominant peak in the spectrum of the inclination is at 0.01 cycles per kyr (100-kyr period) in a remarkably close match to the 100-kyr peak observed in the climate spectra. According to theory, this 100-kyr peak is also split, but only by 10−3 cycles per kyr, and this cannot be resolved with the 600-kyr record length. The variation of inclination i with time is calculated using the long-term integrations of Quinn et al. (5) and projecting the variation of inclination to the invariable plane.

The existence of the 100-kyr cycle of orbital inclination does not seem to have been previously noted by climatologists. It may have been missed for two reasons. Ever since the work of Milankovitch, the implicit assumption has been that insolation is the driving force for climate cycles, and the insolation is not directly affected by orbital inclination. In addition, the 100-kyr cycle is not evident until the orbital elements are transferred to the natural reference plane of the solar system, the invariable plane.

The fit of orbital inclination to the δ18O data from Specmap is shown in Fig. 3. Only two parameters were adjusted in the fit: one to set the relative scale between inclination and δ18O and a lag representing the delayed ice response to inclination. The best fit had a lag of 33 ± 3 kyr, with inclination accounting for 43% of the variation in the δ18O signal (for a record extending back 900 kyr the fit is even better, with inclination accounting for 48% of the variation) (25). Note that the inclination cycle has no 400-kyr component: the 100-kyr cycle remains strong for the last 600 kyr. Thus attribution of the cycle to inclination provides a natural (no-parameter) solution to the stage 1 and stage 11 problems as well as to the causality problems[…]

Linking Mechanisms

Since orbital inclination does not affect insolation, we must search for another mechanism relating changes in orbital inclination to changes in global climate. The only plausible one we have found is accretion of interplanetary material: meteoroids and dust. As the orbit of the earth changes, it passes through different parts of the sun’s zodiacal ring and encounters different regions of density of material. Changes in inclination will be reflected in changes of accretion. The meteoroids and dust will, through orbital processes, tend to concentrate in the invariable plane. As the earth passes through the invariable plane, accretion increases, and we speculate that glaciers grow, while recession of glaciers takes place during high inclinations when the earth’s orbit tips out of the invariable plane. We emphasize that this mechanism is speculative, and that there is no known meteoroid or dust band that satisfies all the properties that we require, although it is possible that such a band could exist. We will offer some indirect evidence that accretion does vary with orbital inclination.

Interplanetary dust accreting on the sun has previously been proposed as a driver of the ice ages (28, 29). Clube (30) discussed the possibility of accretion from a single large and unknown meteor stream affecting earth’s climate, but he did not draw any conclusions with respect to the periodicity of glacial cycles. Hoyle and Wickramasinghe (31) calculated the effect that accreting dust in the atmosphere could have on the greenhouse effect through the seeding of ice crystals, and speculated that such accretion could have been responsible for the Little Ice Age. At a meeting of the Royal Astronomical Society, reported by G. Manley (32), Hoyle discussed the possibility that accretion could remove enough atmospheric water vapor to reduce the greenhouse effect and cause cooling. Stratospheric dust could also be an effective scavenger of other greenhouse gases, including ozone, and possibly could affect the concentration of components such as chlorine that are thought to be responsible for the destruction of ozone.

The climatic effects of high-altitude dust and aerosols are known primarily from volcanic eruptions; global cooling of 0.5–1°C was estimated from the eruption of Krakatoa, and measurable climate changes have been attributed to El Chichon, Pinatubo, and other recent eruptions that injected several megatons of material into the stratosphere. Large explosive volcanic events occur typically once every century, so the average injection of volcanic material is approximately 100 kton/yr (33). Measurements by Kyte and Wasson (34) of iridium in oceanic sediments show that the long-term global average flux from extraterrestrial materials for the period 35–70 Ma is 60–120 kton/yr, about the same as the long-term average from present-day volcanic eruptions.

Accretion could cause cooling (as volcanic eruption suggests) or warming (if cometary particles inject water). Large particles (10 μm) take a few hours to reach the ground: smaller particles (0.5 μm) take a few months. Gases can reside for much longer. Extraterrestrial accretion occurs at the top of the atmosphere, so the climate effects could be significantly different from those resulting from volcanic eruptions. In addition, the global distribution of dust from the two mechanisms is different; for example, stratospheric circulation patterns rarely carry volcanic material to the poles.

Data on noctilucent clouds (mesospheric clouds strongly associated with the effects of high meteors and high altitude dust) supports the hypothesis that accretion increases significantly when the Earth passes through the invariable plane. A strong peak in the number of observed noctilucent clouds occurs on about July 9 in the northern hemisphere (35, 36) within about a day of the date when the Earth passes through the invariable plane. In the southern hemisphere the peak is approximately on January 9, also consistent with the invariable plane passage, but the data are sparse. This coincidence has not been previously noted, and it supports the contention that there is a peak in accretion at these times. On about the same date there is a similarly narrow peak in the number of polar mesospheric clouds (37) and there is a broad peak in total meteoric flux (38). It is therefore possible that it is a trail of meteors in the upper atmosphere, rather than dust, that is responsible for the climate effects.

Is it right? I don’t know…but it is intriguing. I’ve suspected cosmic and meteor drivers for other known climate events, like the Younger Dryas, so it fits my fancy, but that doesn’t mean it is right… or wrong.

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About E.M.Smith

A technical managerial sort interested in things from Stonehenge to computer science. My present "hot buttons' are the mythology of Climate Change and ancient metrology; but things change...
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36 Responses to Are Ice Age Glacials Caused By Orbital Inclination?

  1. tom0mason says:

    Your link ( above shows the correct address but links (recursively) back to an part of your website (at

  2. M Simon says:

    What about inclination affecting the part of the sun’s magnetic field the Earth traverses?

    Instead of dust perhaps it is cosmic rays?

  3. jim2 says:

    The links provided don’t seem to work. I’m at this page:

    Maybe or not it will work??

  4. jim2 says:

    The article does not include an analysis of what amount or size distribution of dust would cause what amount of warming/cooling depending on water content or not.

    With that observation in mind, we do know that CMEs can cause Forbush decreases. A short term change in some climate variables.

    Are any similar changes associated with meteor showers, assuming there is enough dust and/or correct size distribution to cause the hypothesized effect?

  5. E.M.Smith says:


    Thanks! Ought to work now.

    Seems that https link copies get the whole address, but on the tablet an http (no s) it leaves off the “http;//” part of the copy paste… which wordpress wants, but if missing just links back to itself…

  6. E.M.Smith says:

    @M Simon & Jim2:

    Very good questions, but I have no answers… interesting to think about. I think their mechanism bit needs more elaboration.

  7. E.M.Smith says:

    Oh, and as another ponder point :

    I’d point out orbit inclination is related to the other planet’s orbits, so part of any mechanism might also include solar output changes driven by the other large planets in sync… that is, inclination might be just an indicator or solar modulation by the giant planets, so a cross check on historic solar activity is also needed.

  8. jim2 says:

    The rainfall peaks occur approximately 30 days after prominent meteor showers, and it is suggested that they are due to the nucleating effect of meteoritic dust falling into cloud systems in the lower atmosphere, the time difference being accounted for by the rate of fall of the material through the atmosphere.

    The measurements prominently displayed dust accumulations below about 20 kilometers, which were found to correspond very closely to the temperature inversions determined by nearby radiosonde flights. Dust near the tropopause was conspicuously revealed by the results, and its wide variations in amount were closely correlated with the passage of weather systems.

    The temperature inversion near 80 km was also readily detectable, and changes in the scattering from it suggested that dust was also present there. Systematic variations from day to day appeared to be related to the advent of visually observed meteor showers and to a “world rainfall” figure.

    An examination is made of the November and December rainfall of approximately 300 stations distributed over the globe. Six singularities are found, five of which occur about 30 days after prominent meteor showers.

    Also of interest:

    Bowen, E. G., 1953: The influence of meteoritic dust on rainfall. Aust. J. Phys., 6, pp. 490–497.
    Bowen, E. G., 1956: The relation between rainfall and meteor showers. J. Meteor., 13, pp. 142–151.

  9. Larry Ledwick says:

    There is another variation of this concept which has been around for a while that perhaps the cycle is triggered by the sun-earth solar system passing through the ecliptic of the Milkyway galaxy as we orbit the galactic center with the same hypothosis that intersteller dust is greater along that ecliptic plane. As the theory goes the increase in interstellar dust would slightly reduce the suns illumination of the the earth.

    That orbital period is about 225 – 230 million years depending on what source you use, so we would pass through that galactic ecliptic plane about every 110-115 million years.

    Do we have enough historic data to see a cycle on that time scale in the record as well?

    If we do, it might reinforce the idea of interstellar dust being a factor in climate over long intervals.

    A related question is, if there is a periodicity in comets every 100K years which would increase the zodiacal dust in the inner solar system as they shed material as they plunge in toward the sun?

    This link also raises the question if the dust cloud is really oriented on the plane of the veritas family of asteroids. If so that might suggest a cause for the timing shift in ice ages if periodically different asteroid families are responsible for significant fractions of the zodiacal dust.
    From page 322 of above link:

    The peak of this wave would decay towards the sun on a timescale ~ 10^4 yr, as determined by the P-R drag timescale of the smallest particles. On Earth this would be more than sufficient to produce a major climatic disruption, due simply to the blocking of sunlight.

    [P-R drag = Poynting-Robertson drag]

  10. Larry Ledwick says:

    Two related discussions of ice age periodicity and dust.
    He also includes references and some good graphics to illustrate his hypothesis that there is a harmonic resonance between the earths orbit and a dust cloud orbiting the sun which would explain the shift to 100k year cycles of ice ages.

  11. Larry Ledwick says:

    Looks lke the above link from Harvard is broken by wordpress due to Harvard being stupid and including multiple embedded periods in the link. Let’s see if we can trick wordpress into showing the whole link.

  12. tom0mason says:


    Unfortunately your links ( to old papers appear not to work.

    However using the info you supplied there is this —
    which I believe is the study you are quoting.

  13. tom0mason says:

    I repeat myself —
    I find this paper probably the most interesting when it come to dust effects on Greenland and the global climate overall.
    Modulation of ice ages via precession and dust-albedo feedbacks
    by Ralph Ellis, Michael Palmer (with special thanks to Prof. Michael Palmer and also Prof. Clive Best, who supplied the summary graphic in Fig. 14.)

    China University of Geosciences (Beijing) published Geoscience Frontiers.
    DOI: 10.1016/j.gsf.2016.04.004

    An interglacial is only initiated when eccentricity is rising and northern Great Summer Milankovitch insolation is enhanced. Following this temporary warm period, the rate of polar ice regrowth and its associated increase in albedo, controls the cooling-rate of the oceans and climate. These steadily reducing temperatures control the equally steady oceanic absorption and sequestration of atmospheric CO2, which in turn eventually controls the exponential increase in dust production, which then lowers ice-sheet albedo and primes the world for another interglacial warming. Thus one of the primary climatic regulators of interglacial periodicity is the steady rate of increase in polar ice extent. And since it takes about 70 kyr before the ice-sheets are large enough for temperatures and CO2 to reach a minima, this coincidentally places the increased dust production era close to the next eccentricity minima.
    Thus the rate of ice-sheet regrowth plays a key role in determining the w100kyr length of the glacial cycle. If temperatures and CO2 have not reached their critical minimum values before the onset of an eccentricity-enhanced Great Summer, there would be no dust-ice albedo feedbacks. And so the world would wait patiently until the next enhanced Great Summer, when hopefully all the participants in this stand-off between orbital forcing and climate feedbacks are ready to play their part. The glacial world’s dust-ice Achilles heel needs to be primed and ready to fire before an interglacial can be fully successful, otherwise the result is merely a ‘flash in the pan’ one of the many minor warming events of no consequence in the paleo-climatic record. In which case, interglacial warming is eccentricity and polar ice regrowth regulated, Great Summer forced,and dust-ice albedo amplified. And the greenhouse-gas attributes of CO2 play little or no part in this complex feedback system.

  14. jerry l krause says:

    Hi E.M.,

    This article is very good because I do not need to call attention to the seldom considered noctilucent clouds—wavy bluish-white clouds, so thin that stars shine brightly through them, may sometimes be seen in the upper mesosphere, at altitudes above 75km (46mi). The best place to view these clouds is in polar regions at twilight. (Meteorology Today 9th Ed., C. Donald Ahrens)
    But, an aside at this time, there are also seldom considered nacreous clouds (mother-of-pearl clouds)—they form in the stratosphere above 30km. (Same source)

    Because the article of your post does not refer to Lewis Frank ( and his claimed observations of small house-sized ‘snowballs’ entering the earth’s atmosphere, I suspect you and the article’s authors are not familiar with this controversial case. This case is important not only because of it possible relationship to climate, but it unquestionably demonstrates the bad science involved which had nothing to do with the GHE, global warming, or climate change.

    For efficiency I will try to summarize what you might find there and what you will not find there. I begin with what you will not find there. In the Third Book of The Principia Newton wrote at length about comets. The following was translated by Andrew Motte.

    “The tails, therefore, that rise in the perihelion positions of the comets will go along with their heads into far remote parts, and together with the heads either return again from thence to us, after a long course of years, or rather will be there rarefied, and by degrees quite vanish away; for afterwards, in the descent of the heads toward the sun, new short tails will be emitted from the heads with a slow motion; and those tails by degrees will be augmented immensely, especially in such comets as in their perihelion distances descend low as the sun’s atmosphere; for all vapour in those free spaces is in a perpetual state of rarefaction and dilatation; and from hence it is that the tails of all comets are broader at their upper extremity than near their heads. And it is not unlikely but that the vapour, thus perpetually rarefied and dilated, may be at last dissipated and scattered through the whole heavens, and little by little be attracted towards the planets by its gravity, and mixed with their atmosphere; for as the seas are absolutely necessary to the constitution of our earth, that from them, the sun, by its heat, may exhale a sufficient quantity of vapours, which, being gathered together into clouds, may drop down in rain, for watering of the earth, and for the production and nourishment of vegetables; or, being condensed with cold on the tops of mountains (as some philosophers with reason judge), may run down in springs and rivers; so for the conservation of the seas, and fluids of the planets, comets seem to be required; that, from their exhalations and vapours condensed, the wastes of the planetary fluids spent upon vegetation and putrefaction; and a sort of slime is always found to settle at the bottom of putrefied fluids; and hence it is that the bulk of the solid earth is continually increased; and the fluids, if they are not supplied from without, must be in continual decrease, and quite fail at last. I suspect, moreover, that it is chiefly from the comets that spirit comes, which is indeed the smallest but the most subtle and useful part of our air, and so much required to sustain the life of all things with us.”

    If you read about Frank’s proposal of observing that to which Newton referred you will find that the peer-reviewers of Frank’s article refused to recommend that they be published and that when Frank, a quite respected scientist to that point, was able to force the publication of his article, his fellow scientists shunned him. It is said that one reason given by one reviewer for recommending that Frank’s articles not be published, was that if what Frank observed and reported were true, many textbooks, etc. would have to be rewritten.

    On several occasions, in several different ways, I tried, without success, to contact Frank to refer him to what Newton had written long ago. I still cannot understand why he would not respond.

    Yes, E.M., what Newton wrote is one of my hobby-horses. But I need someone like these authors to introduce the topic because I well understand that I have no reputation so that anyone is likely to begin to consider what I might write.

    Have a good day, Jerry

  15. jim2 says:

    I’ve read about the controversial “snowball” comets before. Mostly rejected by mainstream science if I understand correctly. I hold no position for or against.

  16. gallopingcamel says:

    While Milankovitch cycles can explain the glacial cycles for the last million or so years in a qualitative way, I would be less skeptical if they had predictive power. For example, when will the next glaciation start?

    When longer periods are considered it is clear that much greater temperature changes have taken place over the last 60 million years than can be explained in terms of Milankovitch cycles:

  17. gallopingcamel says:

    IMHO Milankovitch cycles are a small effect that only become noticeable when significant positive feedback is present.

    During the PETM there was very little permanent ice at either pole to provide positive feedback so you don’t see large oscillations in temperature on Milankovitch timescales.

    Temperatures fell after the PETM and about 3 million years ago we entered the present “Ice Age” characterized by permanent ice at both poles. When the planet is in this “Sensitive” situation a relatively small “forcing” (e.g. a Milankovitch cycle, volcanic action etc.) can cause the ice extent to grow rapidly and the increase in ice extent acts as a positive feedback by changing the planet’s albedo. Thus you can see seven glacial cycles with an amplitude of about 10 degrees Centigrade in high latitude oceans over the last 850,000 years.

    When our planet is in its present “Sensitive” state, sharp temperature changes can occur. Another glaciation could kick in within 100 years and if that should happen expect the human population to plummet in spite of our advance technology. You can’t grow food on a glacier as Swiss peasants found out during the “Little Ice Age”:

  18. R. de Haan says:

    Related to the subject: The work of Rolf Nitszche:

  19. R. de Haan says:

    This really is a facinating subject. We have to find out what brings Ice Ages and the extinction events triggered by meteorite, astroid and comet impacts and we have to find out how our sun really functions. Our entire civilizations depends on this. The entire history of mankind is a history of reboot after reboot. If we don’t adress the causes of these reboots we will never know the real history of human kind and our future. If we know we can reset our priorities and take our faith into our own hands. We have the technology, we have the resources. It would provide humanity with a fantastic view of our past and future that would wipe out any basis for religious and/or any other conflicts as it would provide a real common purpose to our existance at this moment in time. Preventing and mitigating the next extinction event that will completely reshape the surface of our planet and destroys our biosphere and the measures necessary to survive the next ice age. Anyhow, I really like to think this way as it is a very optimistic view to regard human kind as the savior of the earth and it’s biosphere instead to of a menace, a plague that destroys species and poisons our atmosphere, litters our oceans and heats up the climate which we all know a very negative view and totally bogus. We are the first spcies on the planet that now has the opportunity to stop events that killed of the Dinosaurs 65 million years ago and the loss of our Mega Fauna 13.800 years ago and the mega floods that were caused by a sudden melting of the N.A Ice cap at the end of the last ice age when the earth was once again hit by meteorites. We live in great times.

  20. R. de Haan says:

  21. jerry l krause says:

    Hi E.M.,

    This week is going to be dominated by important family priorities so I will be unable comment to whatever you or others write. However, this morning I do have some free time. Free because I am not employed.

    What Newton wrote in The Third Book is (I consider) an example of the good qualitative observational approach. To appreciate the ‘short’ excerpt which I quoted one needs to be aware that at the time he wrote it, it had not yet been established by experiment (observation) what matter actually was. Was it endlessly divisible or was it particle like? It had not been established by experiment what was elementary matter. Was it earth, water, air, and fire or was it possibly the gold and silver that the alchemists were trying to make from the accepted elements?

    The case of Lewis Frank illustrates the bad science of the 20th Century which reverted to the bad science of the Greek philosophers. Some of whom could not admit, because of ego, that they could be wrong. Actually, it began during the latter part of the 19th Century when Lewis Agassiz lost his reputation as a giant of ‘natural’ science when he would not embrace Darwin’s evolutionary theory.

    Have a good day and good week, Jerry

  22. R. de Haan says:

    Aslo a nice site from Sacha Dobler who wrote Black Death and abrupt Earth Changes in the 14th Century:

  23. jim2 says:

    Fireball hockey stick?

    “Comparing 2015 to 2014, fireballs increased by 20%. That is a significant increase, and it should be generating a lot of attention. If it is, then it’s being done very quietly behind closed doors.”

  24. David A says:

    @E.M. here is the link to daveburtons tide gauge analysis pertaining to our quest discussion.

  25. David A says:

    Dang autoincorrect, petaing to our WUWT discussion.

  26. Larry Ledwick says:


    You have to also ask is this an artifact of modern technology applications where dash cams and security cameras augment newly initiated all sky watching systems to better document what is happening.

    Exponential growth in such systems and their detections being reported world wide on the internet is an alternative explaination.

    Are we just more effectively watching the sky world wide, like we are now much better at detecting and reporting tornadoes than we were in the 1950’s?

    It would be interesting to compare sales curves for security cameras and dash cameras to those reported increases in sightings.

  27. jim2 says:

    @Larry Ledwick says:1 August 2017 at 1:00 pm

    But from the article:

    “This statistics was made possible by data from NASA’s All-Sky Fireball Network, which observes, and daily reports, fireball activity over the US and from the American Meteor Society.”

    And the NASA results correlate with the AMS one. So, there appears to be a “there” there. Also, here is the root article from which the first link was derived.

  28. jim2 says:

    Also, Larry, they are concerned that a greater number of asteroids may be associated with more fireballs. But they aren’t considering that more meteors might cool the Earth, with significant economic implications.

  29. jerry l krause says:

    Hi E.M. and readers of his musings,

    This is personal but others are invited to read. I cannot sleep so I have free time. I cannot not sleep because there is war continuing between good and evil and science is the battle field.

    “Then God said, ‘Let us make man in our image, in our likeness and let them rule over the fish of the sea and the birds of the air, over the livestock, over all the earth, and over all the creatures that move along the ground.’ So God created man in his own image, in the image of God he created him; male and female he created them. God blessed them and said to them, ‘Be fruitful and increase in number, fill the earth and subdue it. Rule over the fish of the sea and the birds of the air and over every living creature that moves on the ground.’” (Genesis 1:26-28 NIV)

    We know that man did not really begin fulfill this commission until Copernicus, a devout Christian man, with an interest in astronomy began to question the teachings of the ancient Greek philosophers led by Aristotle. From a 1840 biography (The Martyrs of Science) of Galileo, Tycho Brahe, and Johannes Kepler, by David Brewster I read this quote from Galileo’s own writing. “I cannot omit this opportunity of relating to you what happened to myself at the time when this opinion (the Copernican system) began to be discussed. I was then a very young man, and had scarcely finished my course of philosophy, which other occupations obliged me to leave off, when there arrived in this country, from Rostoch, a foreigner, whose name, I believe, was Christian Vurstisius (Wurteisen), a follower of Copernicus. This person delivered on the subject, two or three lectures in a certain academy, and to a crowed audience. Believing that several were attracted more by the novelty of the subject than by any other cause, and being firmly persuaded that this opinion was a piece of solemn folly, I was unwilling to be present. Unpon interrogating, however, some of those who were there, I found that they all made it a subject of merriment, with the exception of one, who assured me that it was not a thing wholly ridiculous. As I considered this individual to be both prudent and circumspect, I repented that I had not attended the lectures; and whenever I met any of the followers of Copernicus, I began to inquire if they had always been of the same opinion. I found that there was not one of them who did not declare that he had long maintained the very opposite opinions.”

    Given this information, in the interest of efficiency, I move on. Galileo was a devout Christian man; Newton was a devout Christian man, and many of the early scientists who followed Galileo’s method of experiment (observation) and accurate definition, were devout Christian men. And it seems that a present problem is that many object to man’s dominion of God’s creation and falsely claim that we have the power to change the natural system about which we, by practicing the method demonstrated to us by Galileo, have improved the quality life of nearly every human living today.

    E.M., you, with a minimum amount of formal education in the science, have seen what the natural scientist Lewis Agassiz taught his students to see. What was this? To see the obvious. Clouds (water) most obviously are the major component of the natural system which controls the temperature of the natural environment. And momentarily some have recognized, because of your musings, the importance of what should be so obvious to all. But it seems that too many have short attention spans and go on to other things and your achievement is quickly forgotten. And there are so many who cannot admit: I could be wrong.

    E.M., I taught chemistry for more than two decades and so many (not chemistry majors) have told me that chemistry was the most difficult course they ever took. Einstein is said to have stated: “The only source of knowledge is experience.” And, “If you can’t explain it simply, you don’t understand it well enough.” My experience is that too many students find chemistry (and other sciences at times) difficult, because they refuse to see it (chemistry and the other sciences) as being simple. For when they do understand something simple, they cannot believe they really have understood because science should be difficult. And too often, I and others have taught science as if it were difficult because we had not learned to see the obvious.

    E.M., you saw the obvious and readers of Jo Nova’s blog thought of Einstein who was a patent clerk. This apparently because his professors did not see him qualified to be a professor. And Einstein’s quote: “Science is a wonderful thing if one does not have to earn one’s living at it.” For, it is a common observation, that in science as in too many occupations, one path to success is: “Go along to get along.” However, to perpetuate the species, salmon need to swim upstream against the current, do their thing, and die.

    I need your help! You have abilities (skills) I do not have. I have experience which you do not have. Given the idea of the greenhouse effect of certain gases, given the proposed global warming, given the proposed negative influences of climate change (Which we obviously have seen as having been naturally occurring since the beginning of the creation of the earth), we are in war involving good and evil. There are real consequences to governmental policies as obvious historical wars have demonstrated.

    “Two are better than one, because they have a good return for their work: If one falls down, his friend can help him up. But pity the man who falls and has no one to help him up.” (Ecclesiastes 5:10 NIV)

    Have a good day, Jerry

  30. p.g.sharrow says:

    jerry l krause says:
    1 August 2017 at 2:23 pm
    ” Given the idea of the greenhouse effect of certain gases, given the proposed global warming, given the proposed negative influences of climate change”

    To truly examine the science one must question the “given” facts first. Are they representative of reality or just philosophical place holders. The worst piece of philosophy masquerading as science that I ever encountered is the one about sound existing in a primordial forest. “as there is no one to recognize the creation of sound it can not exist.” The “given” argument creates the outcome regardless of the reality.

    To grasp the effects of gasses on air temperature one must first grasp Gas Laws and their effects in mixes.
    Then fully understand how A Greenhouse works. After this you should see that there is no “Greenhouse Gas” and there can be no runaway heating caused by a gas, specially one measured as parts per million in a mix.

    In a billion years of changing atmospheric conditions on the Earth there is no evidence of runaway global warming. A good cross check on the conclusion…pg

  31. Javier says:

    A more precise definition of interglacials for the past 800,000 years:
    Berger, A., et al. “Interglacials of the last 800,000 years.” Reviews of Geophysics 54.1 (2016): 162-219.
    Shows that interglacials for the past 800 kyr have not been taking place every 100 kyr, but on average every 73 kyr (there are 11 of them). At eccentricity peaks, every 400 kyr, interglacials are spaced by ~ 41 kyr, while at eccentricity lows (200 kyr from peaks) they are spaced by ~ 82 kyr, or in one occasion, 123 kyr. It is quite clear that the obliquity cycle is the master controller as it was during the early Pleistocene, but both eccentricity and precession play an important role.

    The 100 kyr cycle is an artifact from averaging the obliquity-driven variable spacing of interglacials combined with the clear effect of eccentricity on temperatures.

    Dust hypotheses are just mistaking cause and effect as is so common in science. CO2 changes, dust changes, changes in albedo, sea level changes, and so on, are caused by changes in Milankovitch forcing. They all have an effect and act as feedback factors to both glacial inception and termination, but they do not decide when an interglacial takes place, and therefore are consequence and secondary factors to orbital changes.

  32. cdquarles says:

    Hi Jerry,

    I can relate a similar thing, I have taught chemistry to undergraduate students, mostly tutoring students that were not going to major in it. Chemistry isn’t hard. The vocabulary takes some getting used to (time and practice). I think exposure matters. Those exposed to chemistry come to realize that it isn’t that hard. Chemistry is, indeed, quite simple. That’s what I could get across to those I tutored, for the most part. Once they ‘got it’, you could see in their expression that they’d gotten over an internal stumbling block.

    In the old days, it was possible to get small chemistry sets aimed at children 10 or more years old. I also had a ‘smith’ of a grandfather who, lacking formal training, had practical training in chemistry. He could spot the different minerals in ashes sufficiently to know what the fire burned. He could melt and smelt some metals. He learned it working as a brick kiln, as a brick mason and as a carpenter. If you can get these now (remember, those old sets had stuff that could be misused sufficient to cause death and destruction), I doubt you’d learn much chemistry from them. Must coddle the kiddies and keep them from all harm, lest they taste and like forbidden fruit, in a manner of speaking.

  33. jerry l krause says:

    Hi Guys,

    Good to see some involvement. I will study what you wrote but i can to pass on some more information.

    Wilbur and Orville found debating and challenging each other’s viewpoints was a constructive way to identify solutions to a myriad of problems or resolve their interpersonal conflicts.
    The Wright brothers often took two different sides of an argument, debated the subject, then switched sides and debated the opposing argument. Orville Wright once narrated, “Often, after an hour or so of heated argument, we would discover that we were as far from agreement as when we started, but that each had changed to the other’s original position.”

    Idea for Impact: Only when you contrast your point of view with an opponent’s does your own make sense. Use the Wright Brothers’ technique of double-sided debate to question your own preconceptions about an issue and appreciate alternative perspectives.

    Wrote Orville: “With the machine moving forward, the air flying backward, the propeller turning sideways, and nothing standing still, it seemed impossible to find a starting point from which to trace the various simultaneous reactions. Contemplation of it was confusing. After long arguments, we found ourselves in the ludicrous position of having been converted to the other’s side, with no more agreement than when the discussion began.” Figure of propeller did not print.

    In the end, their discussions forced the truth out into the open, leaving the Brothers with the world’s first valid theory on the design of air screws. Propellers based on the Wright theory resulted in the first efficient propellers ever made – only about 5 percent less efficient than modern propellers. Without these highly efficient propellers, the 1903 Flyer would have remained hopelessly earthbound.

    Have a good day, Jerry

  34. tom0mason says:

    If as explain here in Gunnar Heinsohn (GH) prepared a recorded video lecture for the Celestial Crisis Conference held in Toronro, 2016 :–

    (sorry it’s 222Mb big but IMO it is worth watching) our very chronology of the past is out by maybe 400 or 700 years then how will that fit with the the many predictions of impending ice-ages or other doom?
    Also what does it tell us about how our ‘settled’ science has made a possibly faulty judgement about our abilities to reckon ancient periods with any accuracy?
    I found this at
    where he says —

    Essentially 1st Millennium chronology has been inadvertently expanded by some 700 years by interpreting one global catastrophe as three separate events. This historical revision demolishes any retro-calculation of celestial motions and for that matter other dating techniques. In addition geology has also been subjected to the same fate of being racked or stretched beyond reasonableness by Lyell, Darwin and their supporters.

  35. jerry l krause says:

    Hi cdquarle,

    While listening to a radio talk show, a call-in prefaced his remarks with: “I’m not a scientist but I am a good observer.” I question and ponder what this person considers a scientist is? I question if any of my former students could have stated this? I know I taught that chemistry is the study of matter and the changes it (matter) undergoes than I taught that a chemist observes matter and the changes it undergoes. I am not sure how I should have taught chemistry but I am sure too many of my students might state: “I’m not a scientist and I am not a good observer either.” For I doubt if I got the idea across that the only test of scientific ideas is observation (experimental results in some cases).

    Have a good day, Jerry

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