Ice ages, dust-albedo feedback

Ralph Ellis, Michael Palmer
France, Canada

We present a simple and novel proposal for the modulation and rhythm of ice-ages and interglacials during the late Pleistocene. While the standard Milankovitch-precession theory fails to explain the long intervals between interglacials, these can be accounted for by a novel forcing and feedback system involving CO2, dust and albedo. During the glacial period, the high albedo of the northern ice sheets drives down global temperatures and CO2 concentrations, despite subsequent precessional forcing maxima. Over the following millennia more CO2 is sequestered in the oceans and atmospheric concentrations eventually reach a critical minima of about 200 ppm, which combined with arid conditions, causes a die-back of temperate and boreal forests and grasslands, especially at high altitude. The ensuing soil erosion generates dust storms, resulting in increased dust deposition and lower albedo on the northern ice sheets. As northern hemisphere insolation increases during the next Milankovitch cycle, the dust-laden ice-sheets absorb considerably more insolation and undergo rapid melting, which forces the climate into an interglacial period. The proposed mechanism is simple, robust, and comprehensive in its scope, and its key elements are well supported by empirical evidence.

This paper makes a great deal of sense, and unlike the AGW explanations, historical evidence aligns nicely with it. And unlike the AGW narrative, the science of it all is elegantly simple, and it too aligns nicely - all without the need to manipulate, overstate, understate, falsify, or cherry pick either scientific principles of chemistry and physics, or the evidence that validates those principles. Actually, this paper seems to replace all of that with a welcome and large dose of common sense. The paper doesn't explain ALL the ways and means that Nature manages Earth's climates, but it certainly makes clear that the AGW narrative doesn't even come close to explaining it. For societies to make political policy based on such a flawed premise is ludicrous to the point of being criminal.


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