Placing So-Called Catastrophic Man-Made Global Warming Into Context

Our current beneficial, warm Holocene interglacial has been the enabler of mankind’s civilization for the last 10,000 years. The congenial climate of the Holocene epoch spans from mankind’s earliest farming to the scientific and technological advances of the last 100 years.

However all the Northern Hemisphere Ice Core records  from Greenland show:

  • the last millennium 1000 AD – 2000 AD has been the coldest millennium of the entire Holocene interglacial.
  • each of the notable high points in the Holocene temperature record, (Holocene Climate Optimum – Minoan – Roman – Medieval – Modern), have been progressively colder than the previous high point.
  • for its first 7-8000 years the early Holocene, including its high point “climate optimum”, had virtually flat temperatures, an average drop of only ~0.007 °C per millennium.
  • but the more recent Holocene, since a “tipping point” at ~1000BC, has seen a temperature diminution at more than 20 times that earlier rate at about 0.14 °C per millennium.
  • the Holocene interglacial is already 10 – 11,000 years old and judging from the length of previous interglacials the Holocene epoch should be drawing to its close: in this century, the next century or this millennium.
  • the beneficial warming at the end of the 20th century to the Modern high point has been transmuted into the “Great Man-made Global Warming Alarm”.
  • eventually, this late 20th-century temperature blip will come to be seen as just noise in the system in the long-term progress of comparatively rapid cooling over the last 3,000+ years.
  • other published Greenland Ice Core records, as well as GISP2, (NGRIP1, GRIP), corroborate this finding. They also exhibit the same pattern of a prolonged relatively stable early Holocene period followed by a subsequent much more rapid decline in the more recent (3,000 years) past.

When considering the scale of temperature changes that alarmists anticipate because of man-made global warming and their view of the disastrous effects of additional man-made carbon dioxide emissions in this century, it is useful to look at climate change from a longer term, century by century and even on a millennial perspective.

The much vaunted and much feared “fatal” tipping point of +2°C would only bring Global temperatures close to the level of the very congenial climate of “the Roman warm period.”

If it were possible to reach the “horrendous” level of +4°C postulated by Warmists, that extreme level of warming would still only bring temperatures to about the level of the previous Eemian maximum, a warm and abundant epoch when hippopotami thrived in the Rhine delta.

For a more comprehensive view of the decline of the Holocene see:

Climate and Human Civilization over the last 18,000 years

The Recent Geological Context

The Antarctic Vostok and EPICA ice core records show:

  • there have been regular fluctuations at about 100,000-year intervals over the past 800,000 years
  • there have been five likely warmer interglacial periods in the last 450,000 years
  • interglacial periods have varied both in temperature intensity and duration.

On occasions, some earlier interglacial periods were significantly shorter than the 10,000-year norm.

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The Antarctic-based EPICA and Vostok Ice Cores above mostly show good accord for the last 200,000 years.  Earlier there seems to be a similar pattern but with some significant time displacement in the period between 200,000 and 450,000 years ago.  Those two Antarctic records are not so well coordinated during the recent Holocene period.

This repeating pattern of long periods of glaciation, (~100,000 years), when much of the Northern hemisphere is covered by ices sheets several kilometers deep. These are followed by much shorter warmer inter-glacial periods, (~10,000 years), is driven by the orbital geometry of the earth around the sun.  It can be modulated by the shorter term periodic behavior of the sun.  These facts controlling the earth’s climate are well documented and well understood.

Prior to the current Holocene epoch, a period of deep, encroaching, glaciation had persisted for the previous 100,000+ years as shown by the four Greenland records.

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Such long periods of glaciation meant that a mile high ice sheet covered New York as well as much of the currently inhabited Northern hemisphere.

Those glacial conditions can and will return.

On past experience, at about 11,000 years the Holocene interglacial must be approaching its reversion back to a long period of full glaciation.

That ~110,000-year-long period of glaciation was preceded by the Eemian interglacial period.  The Eemian epoch was at its warmest about 120,000 years ago.  It was some +3°C warmer on average than the Holocene “Climate Optimum” some ~8,000 years ago.

The Eemian interglacial had a much higher peak but lasted for about same length of time as the current Holocene.  The current Holocene epoch has had significantly lower temperatures and has had a less exaggerated temperature peak than that of the Eemian interglacial.

The GRIP Greenland Ice Core record in the Northern Hemisphere also clearly shows the onset of the Holocene interglacial and the onset is well coordinated with the Vostok and EPICA Antarctic records.

So based on this pattern of radical climate change our current benign Holocene interglacial could well (or rather should) be drawing toward its close.

The temperature profile of our Holocene Epoch

The Northern Hemisphere GISP2 Greenland Ice Core data gives this well-accepted detailed profile of our current Holocene Epoch.

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According to longer-term Northern Hemisphere, Greenland GRIP ice core records, the last millennium 1000 – 2000 AD has been the coldest millennium of the current Holocene epoch, with millennial average temperatures about 1.8°C lower than its early “Holocene climate optimum” in about 7-6000 BC.

There has since been a comparatively minor temperature recovery since the Little Ice Age some 2-300 years ago.

However, it is this limited recovery in temperature that has recently given rise to the “Great Global Warming Scare”.

The overall millennial difference during the Holocene since ~8000BC has in total been a cooling of ~-0.9°C.

The bulk of that temperature loss ~-0.4°C has been in the last 3 millennia since 1000BC.

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The temperature progress of the current Holocene interglacial epoch for the last 10,000 years is interesting as a backdrop or gauge for all the recent Warmist and Alarmist predictions that have been developing over the last 40 – 50 years.

The Holocene interglacial can be looked at in two phases:

  1. the early Holocene, encompassing its highest “Climate Optimum”, was relatively stable at the millennial level showing only a modest cooling of about 0.007°C per millennium from about 8000 BC up until about 1000 BC.
  2. thereafter the more recent 3000-year phase 1000 BC – 2000 AD shows much more rapid cooling at a rate of 0.137°C per millennium, (i.e. at about twenty times the earlier rate).

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This millennial analysis of the GRIP record is reinforced by the profiles of other Northern Hemisphere ice core records, on millennial scales as shown below.  These other millennial profiles show even steeper declines than the GISP2 record.

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Judging from the lengths of past interglacial periods, after some 10,000 – 11,000 years the Holocene epoch should now be drawing to its close.

A climate reversion into a full, encroaching, glaciation is therefore foreseeable, if not overdue, in this century, the next century, or this millennium.

So the most recent 3 millennia have experienced accelerated cooling.  A continued natural climate change towards a colder climate is now more rather than less likely. 

Cooling will lead to more intense and adverse weather.  There is a good reason to expect this, simply because the overall energy differential between the poles and the tropics can only be greater with cooling and that in itself would lead to less stable conditions in the atmosphere.

In addition to more adverse weather, any coming cooling will also lead to very serious deprivation for mankind and the biosphere as a whole.  Growing seasons will shorten and less arable land will be capable of crop production.  

There is clear evidence of this form of detrimental climate change with the cooling during the Little Ice Age.  In Europe that was a time of great pestilence, social upheaval, and failure of civilized settlements, for example in Greenland, due to that adverse colder climate change.  A further contemporary example was the demise of the Angkor Wat civilization in Cambodia, which occurred from the drier cooler climate of the Little Ice Age.

But during the last two centuries, the world has been recovering from these adverse conditions and the marginal rise in temperature the late 20th century has been wholly beneficial for mankind and the biosphere.

The present UK temperature context

As global temperatures have already been showing stagnation or cooling over the last nineteen years or more, the temperature record can be brought up to date with local UK temperature information.

The UK’s own long-established temperature record is the UK Meteorological Office Central England Temperature record.  Since the year 2000, it shows a significant cooling trend at -0.0193°C/year or a decline of about ~ -0.3°C in the last 16 years with colder temperatures both in spring and in summer.

Alarmists always consider that their view of a warming trend will continue indefinitely.  However, if this UK Met office trend continued to 2100, the result would be a cooling of almost -2.0°C by the end of the century:  that would certainly be entering Little Ice Age Territory or worse.

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But in the period since the year 2000, according to data released by BP, an additional ~2/3 of the cumulative CO2 Man-made emissions since 1965 have been released.

When rescaled to exclude the seasonal temperature excursions, the recent annual UK declining trend becomes more obvious.

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The question must be asked,

“Is this what the beginning of a reversion to a Little Ice Age looks like?”

Especially with the present reducing Solar activity, significantly reduced temperatures, at least to the level of another Little Ice Age are already predicted for later this century.

Current Alarm

But all current Climate Change discussions and alarmist propaganda only concentrate on short-term temperature variations since about 1850, (the recovery from the Little Ice Age).  Often these are dependent on very minor, short-term temperature increases. These always try to emphasize ever-increasing global temperatures.  They are often presented as a disaster but they are only measured in virtually undetectable one-hundredths of a degree Centigrade.

The predictions of catastrophic global warming by alarmists should be set in the context of the temperature picture of the current Holocene interglacial.  When the predictions of global warming alarmists are seen in the overall context of the Holocene epoch the much vaunted and much feared “fatal” tipping point of +2°C can be seen to only bring global temperatures to the level of the very congenial and productive “Roman Warm Period”.  And that further rise of +2°C could only bring positive economic benefits to the bulk of mankind especially in the Northern hemisphere.

Catastrophic global warming alarmists postulate that temperature rise will reach the “potentially horrendous” level, (in their view), of +4°C from the inclusion of major positive feedbacks from additional water vapor in the atmosphere.  Even so, the +4°C temperature level would still only bring global temperatures only up to about the level of the previous Eemian maximum.

The Eemian interglacial ~120,000 years ago, was a warm and very plentiful period in the world’s history:  hippopotami thrived in the Rhine Delta. As land-based ice sheets receded substantially in the Eemian, the resulting sea levels were about three meters (roughly nine feet) higher than at present. But the ice sheet disintegration process to achieve that would have taken several millennia to have been fulfilled.

However, according to the Alarmists, all their radical and destructive consequences of temperature increases are supposed to occur over in this century 2000 – 2100 AD. And according to them, this “overheating catastrophe” will be solely attributable to mankind’s burning of fossil fuels and extra carbon dioxide emitted into the atmosphere.

Excess CO2 from burning fossil fuels was certainly not the cause of the much higher Eemian peak ~120,000 years ago.

But over the past ~20 years: 

  • Man-made Co2 emissions have risen by ~14%
  • CO2 concentrations in the atmosphere have increased by almost ~8%

and there has been no perceptible increase in global temperatures. 

Global warming alarmists including:

  • the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change
  • the United Nations
  • many Western Governments
  • Green NGOs, etc.
  • aggressively assert absolute catastrophe from excessive man-made temperature rises.

It is extreme arrogance to expect that the actions of mankind could ever achieve a complete reversal of the world’s climatic cooling progress of the last 3000 years and in addition achieve a positive +4°C change over the course of the current century.

When the postulated warming in the coming century as promoted by the IPCC and other global warming alarmists is collated against the progress of actual Holocene temperatures, the absolute implausibility of the man-made global warming hypothesis by adding comparatively marginal amounts of CO2 to the atmosphere becomes obvious.

Global warming protagonists should accept that our Holocene interglacial

  • has been in a long-term decline
  • that decline has accelerated over the last 3,000 years and
  • that any action taken by mankind is unlikely to make any difference whatsoever.

Were the actions of humankind able to avert any warming they would eventually just reinforce the catastrophic cooling that is bound to return very soon in geological timescales.


Read more by Ed Hoskins at edmhdotme

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Comments (8)

  • Avatar

    Spurwing Plover


    Greenpeace opposes fossil fuels yet they still use it to fuel their ships and those zodiacs as well


    • Avatar



      ED, here comes the ice age, HOSKINS has no experience or training in climate what so ever.
      The Holocene Inter Glacial Warm Period began about 12,000 years ago and peaked in Temperatures about 7000 + Years ago.
      Slowly, temperatures have been falling in SPITS & SPURTS since then.
      Hell, much of the last 1000 years is called the LITTLE ICE AGE.
      ICE AGE because of the intensifying falling temperatures.
      LITTLE because IT ENDED…1750-1800.
      Despite the fact that the CAUSES of CYCLICAL ICE AGES CONTINUE.the Earth Orbit is carrying the planet away from the Sun
      ………………the Earth Axial Tilt is increasingly away from the sun…
      Since then,

      also in Spits & Spurts,
      temperatures have been climbing.
      Earth’s most powerful natural cycle
      …..the ice ages?
      HOSKINS and the other Ideological Perverts have NO explanation for why we are not in the midst of an GLACIATION…
      THEY took the work of 3 scientists and sent thousands of press releases CLAIMING that in the 70’s we were falling into the ice age.
      And again,
      in the 90’s DENIERS CHRISTY & SPENCER predicted a new cooling/ice age by 2000.
      …but again no ice age OR cooling took place.
      …and Now they are at it AGAIN.
      ……a new ICE AGE in 2025….
      oh wait,
      they had to change that after all these record HIGH temps.
      …….now the ice age is scheduled to be KNEE DEEP by 2035 !
      Don’t hold your breath for that to happen !
      Skeptics have NO Scientific explanation … the Enhanced Green House Effect does explain….no glaciation and Rising temperatures.

      Human Industry has raised temps. 1.19 C in just over 100 years.
      Natural Cycles move the needle 1 C in about 7500 years !
      That is a significant difference and that is why over 1 million research scientists have worried and studied these challenging climate changes over the last century.


      • Avatar

        Hans Schreuder


        Read these scientific papers Rakooi:
        There is no warming at all possible off atmospheric carbon dioxide and even more importantly, there is no atmospheric “greenhouse effect”. Something cool can not make something warm even warmer – despite “over 1 million research scientists.”
        What those scientists are “worried about” is their own payslip.
        By the way, the so-called measure of a “global temperature” is a meaningless entity, based as it is on a selected few thousand weather stations at about 1.5m off the ground, many of which are placed in urban settings. There are no weather stations over the oceans, which after all represent a far larger area than the land surfaces.
        Your assertion is that current temperatures are higher than they have been in the past 7-8 thousand years. This is based upon a graph that appears on in which a proxy reconstruction of global temperatures over the past ~12 thousand years is cobbled together with actual thermometer data over the past 150 years ago. Even though the Marcott, et al (2013) paper, upon which most of the graph is based, itself states that “current global temperatures of the past decade have not yet exceeded the peak interglacial values . . .” the graph shows current temperatures to be higher than those of the past 11,300 years by about 0.1 °C.
        The problem with cobbling together proxy reconstructions with actual thermometer records is that the proxy reconstructions that Marcott (2013) was using have a mean resolution of 120 years, whereas the thermometer readings used in the graph have a one-year resolution. Who knows what the 120-year average temperature of the Earth will be when today’s temperatures are “smoothed” 60 years hence to yield a 120-year average?
        Climate alarmists like you always use 1750-1800 as the starting point of manmade global warming because that was when the Maunder Minimum ended due to a marked uptick in Solar activity and the Earth came out of the Little Ice Age. You hopes, of course, that people don’t know that humanity didn’t start burning hydrocarbon energy in large amounts of until after the middle of the 20th century, ~200 years after his starting point of manmade global warming. The first commercial automobiles were not available in large numbers until the early 20th century, the National electrical grid did not begin operation until nearly 1940 and the significant use of hydrocarbon energy didn’t start until ~1960 when scientist were alarmed about manmade global cooling.


        • Avatar



          One million research scientists? Must have thrown in the caterers, gaffers,and body doubles.


  • Avatar



    Can’t you see the inanity of climate forecasting?
    We’re one unpredictable catastrophic event from near extinction. Give me warmth, cold kills.


    • Avatar



      BTW, most economists admit that inflation is the lesser of two evils, deflation being the evil twin.However, inflation is manageable.
      So are slowly warming temperatures. Easy to adapt to at the 1 C degree / century you cry about. Falling temperatures shrink hospitable territory and viable agricultural acreage while our population grows. Falling temperatures require more energy for civilization.
      Why do you rant against warming?


  • Avatar



    Lately Rakooi warned that one Celsius degree of warming meant a city such as Boston might become as warm as Baltimore.
    In that case Southern Ontario would become as warm ,a century hence, as Ohio today. Ohio farmers can grow successive crops in one year. Can’t do that where I farm. I say bring it on. Let Ohio grow peaches and oranges.


  • Avatar

    Spurwing Plover


    Envromentalists wackos including Rakooi need to be snowed in with at least 3 feet of snow or more


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