(Editor's Note: Owsley Stanley died Sunday in a car accident in his home country of Australia. Stanley helped out as an advisor to the World News Trust project in 2003. WNT is republishing this essay, unabridged, in his honor. Check out his website here. --Francis Goodwin)
Ice Ages: Cause of Glaciation -- A theoretical treatment
Since 1982 I have been working out the causative mechanism for the initiation of the glacial advance and retreat which has occurred for the last ~2 million years. I have shared some of the theoretical musings with George Kukla of Columbia's Lamont-Doherty lab. He believes that my concept of the causation lying with an atmospheric (meteorological) event is the only currently believable one. All attempts to model theoretical climatic scenarios such as the Milankovitch have failed to present any glaciation.
I believe the causation of the glacial masses (which, as we know were not distributed around the North Pole in a symmetrical fashion, but were entirely confined to North America and Western Europe--Siberia was essentially ice-free, although quite a bit closer to the pole), came about through a meteorological event, a storm of hemispheric proportions and cataclysmic intensity. I must warn you: the extreme and unusual weather being experienced everywhere in the world at this time is part of the build-up which leads into this "storm", which will result in the next period of ice.
The laws of nature governing the behavior of gases combine with conditions on the Earth to produce a very intense and violent cyclonic storm in the Arctic region of Canada only under special circumstances. These circumstances require that the Earth be at or near perihelion (day of the Earth's closest approach to the sun in its orbit) at the time of the northern winter solstice. The Earth must also be in a state of low glaciation, known as the interglacial period. During this period the sea levels are high, and this is one of the conditions which allow this cyclone to develop.
The transfer of heat, a normal process, between the Equator and the polar regions is the primary driving force for atmospheric storms of all kinds. This flow is greatest in the winter and reaches a high intensity in the north in mid-December. Once the conditions outlined above are met, the atmosphere will begin to store energy in the form of wave motion, the highs and lows depicted on weather charts. When the stored energy reaches a critical stage, one of the normally present Arctic cold core cyclones will accelerate until it completely takes over the circulation of the northern hemisphere for the remainder of winter, approximately 6 weeks. The conditions within the northern hemisphere will resemble those described in the well known biblical tale of Noah's flood. Disruptive effects will be felt everywhere on the planet. It is doubtful if it is possible to survive this event within the flux area of the storm.
The northern hemisphere is not habitable during the storm's run. In fact, the seas will run so high over the entire surface of the planet that no seacoast settlement will survive, even in the southern hemisphere. People far from the equator in Australia, even at higher elevations, will have difficulty due to the relentless snowfall and cold. Those in the highlands in the tropical north will have a good chance if they have sufficient heavy clothing, such as down ski parkas and the like. I wish that I could figure exactly what the weather will look like in the beginning of the year in which the December event will occur, but I cannot believe that the storm will suddenly begin out of the blue. Events of this magnitude would seem to require a very vigorous and violent preamble, perhaps beginning with the (northern) winter preceding.
I will now attempt to outline the science involved so that the mechanism of this phenomenon can be understood by those who have a basic knowledge of science, in particular, physics.
Briefly, the laws of physics as they apply to the gases in the atmosphere are not considered in the normal calculations of weather scientists. When making calculations in both climatological and meteorological atmospheric models a statistical average of the gases physical parameters are used. This leads to a simplification of the mathematics involved through the use of calculus, but overlooks the role of mass-specific phenomena such as centripetal force. Thus cyclonic circulations are not well understood by those who study them.
I have discovered that most people don't want to know about anything which means that they must change aspects of their life if they are to survive, such as moving out of the northern hemisphere.
You might want to have a look at the article in Scientific American magazine, 1964, on the vortex, or Hilsch tube. This unusual little device seems to have been first developed in France in the 1920's by a fellow named Ranque. Later it surfaced in Germany before WW2 and was attributed to a man named Rudolf Hilsch. The idea came to the US with the end of the war and has ever since been known as the Hilsch Tube. The principle is simple, a source of compressed air, dry and 8-10 atmospheres of pressure at room temperature, is admitted to the circumference of a small disk-shaped chamber. The chamber has openings on each of the plane surfaces. Let's assume a diameter of 1.2cm, thickness of 2mm. On one face there is an opening of 9mm, on the other the opening is 3mm. Around the circumference, there are up to six tangential orifices into which the compressed air is manifolded. The larger 9mm opening is extended out into a tube 12cm long, with a valve at the end. The smaller 3mm opening exits into a tapered cone 3cm long and 1cm at the end.
By adjusting the valve the proportion of air leaving the chamber can be adjusted between the two exits. Temperature differences of greater than 90C can be obtained. Simultaneous output at +60C and -40C are attainable. Lower and higher absolute temperatures may be had with a reduction of volume and temperature differential. The point is, of course, that the expansion of gas must obey the gas laws, and there may only be a drop, NOT a rise in temp. The only explication is that the vortex tube must be separating the fast and slow (hot and cold) molecules by means of centripetal force (read the explanation of heat separation in the third paragraph below). The low efficiency of the device as a refrigerant, the main reason for the device in a commercial sense, lends credibility to this conclusion. The US manufacturer of tubes, used in industrial plants where there is a supply of compressed air and the cooling load is small, such as high-speed sewing machines, doesn't have a clue as to exactly how they work. (Vortec Corp., Cincinnati, Ohio). I have several of these commercial tubes, in two sizes. The air must be extremely dry, or the tubes ice up in a few seconds. The overall efficiency is only 4% of a heat pump.
If a small mechanical device can sort the heat in air, then cyclonic circulations in the air must also accomplish the same thing. (The laws of physics work the same at all levels). Thus the cyclone has a unique mechanism to catch and retain the most energetic component of the flowing air mass which makes up its structure. The heat then acts as a flywheel, storing the kinetic energy, and permitting the cyclone to continue to turn. This is evident in the wall structure of cyclonic storms such as tornados and tropical cyclones.
There is a further interesting mechanism involved in the heat-engine (which is what these great storms are), the Coriolis force. This causes winds to veer on the surface of the earth due to the fact that the rotation takes the mass of air from one radius (latitude) to another, and therefore it involves the law of conservation of angular momentum. This force is highest at higher latitudes and is nonexistent at the equator. For this reason tropical storms always form at a point a little removed from the equator. The result of the effect is to make the flow increase and decrease in speed as it follows a circular path. This wobble produces pressure (sound) waves which propagate outward from the cyclone and are important in the transfer of heat from the water vapor in the air to the air itself.
The capture of heat is dependent upon the vorticity, or speed of rotation of the cyclonic air mass, and this increases as the square of that vorticity according to the formula for centripetal force: f=(m X v2)/r, where: f=the force toward the center required to hold the particle in that path, m=the mass of the particle, v2=the velocity (vorticity) or speed of the particle, squared, and r=the radius of the particle's path around the center. From this you can see that the faster (v) the particle-and speed is the same as temperature on the molecular level -- the more the force required, so if the force is constant, the radius must increase by the SQUARE of the increase. In practical terms this means that the hot molecules can't get to the center, and are trapped. This ability to sort and trap heat also means that the exhaust gases, which move to smaller radii-also by the rule of squares, can become extremely cold. So it is that intense thunderstorms produce copious amounts of hailstones, as do many tornados. One of the consequences of the centripetal sorting is that the electrical charges are likewise sorted, with the positive one lighter than the same species with a negative charge. Please note that the upper atmosphere has a significant net positive charge.
Under exactly the right circumstances there can be initiated on the earth a cyclonic storm of such size and intensity that the entire northern half of the atmosphere is the storm's circulation. This storm is able to produce a large amount of liquefied air, and this liquid, falling to the surface produces a heat debt which results in the glaciation. Evidence for the mist of liquid air is found in the Mammoths dug out of a glacier in Russia in 1905, frozen so quickly that the contents of the intestinal tract failed to ferment. There were fresh daisies in the stomach.
The geological evidence is the erosional effects observable on the islands of the northern hemisphere, such as the Hawaiian chain. The erosional cliffs of the island of Hawaii (Big Island) clearly show the age-related effects of severe winds and seas coming from the southwest at approximately 100,000-year intervals. These severe winds established eddy currents in the leeward side of the islands which resulted in the creation of the cliffs. As you travel northwestward along the northeastern coast, the elevation of the cliffs increases at each point where an approximately 100,000-year-older lava flow is encountered. No such erosion is evident in similar islands of volcanic or other origin in the southern hemisphere. There is a set of maps with the ages assigned to the lava flows available from the US Geological Survey in Hawaii.
The storm locates itself in the region of Baffin Bay where there is a polynya, or permanently unfrozen (relatively hot) area of water. This open area has been reported from the earliest days of arctic exploration, and the Eskimo have long used it as a winter hunting ground. The polynya is the result of the shallowness of Baffin Bay, which means that with the onset of winter darkness and the cooling and contraction of the Arctic Ocean, the water entering the Bay is the upper warm layers, skimmed by the topography to provide heat within the Arctic Circle. The topography is a result of continental drift, and so we find that the ice cycle begins about 2 million years ago, when the Arctic becomes a land-locked body of water.
The storm , which I call an ultracyclone, begins in mid-December after there is sufficient energy present in the atmosphere. The storage method is dynamic. Basically, the waves which we perceive as the highs and lows of the synoptic weather chart. Ever since 1982 the atmosphere has been exhibiting a condition known as "unstable", rather like a public address system on the verge of feedback. In other words, the energy in the atmosphere has had a continuing increase of energy in wave motion, noticeable as complex highs and lows. These represent the shift to higher harmonics in the wave sequence. Thus the climate patterns are doing a dance without repeating the steps, contrary to historical experience. This is why the forecasts are so off the mark.
The run of the storm is about six weeks, until the first week in February, at which time sunlight returns to the spot where the storm is located, thus rendering the atmosphere opaque and stuffing up the exhaust or thermodynamic sink into which the laws of thermodynamics requires a certain amount of the heat must be lost. The major means of heat removal from the planet, however, depends upon the solar wind, a conductive plasma which is deflected to brush the upper atmosphere by the Earth's magnetic wind. The plasma is concentrated by the flux into a magnetic tail trailing out away from the night side of the Earth. The Moon appears as negatively charged to the positive charge created by the storm, and the charge travels along the concentrated plasma stream to impact the Moon.
The charged particles act to connect the poles, and then establish a gradient along which the voltage is distributed in the fashion of the stack of pole plates in the afore-mentioned van de Graaf accelerator. The particles which are the constituents of the solar wind plasma are simply the means of establishing the requisite voltage gradient to enable the ions to be accelerated by the potential difference between the storm's upper structure and the Moon's surface.
So in another way of saying, the plasma forms a sort of ladder for the ions, and neither aids nor hinders their passage, in fact once the flow of ions commences it would completely swamp the solar plasma, and provide its own "conductor," an effect which is also seen in lightning strikes, where the original ion path is replaced by the heavy lightning current, although the frequency of lightning strikes is in the hundreds of megahertz, and the storm discharge would probably have a much lower frequency.
Thus the heat passes to the Moon, melting the areas men call the Maria. There are no features like this on the far side of the Moon, and very good photos exist from the Lunar Orbiters which quite plainly show the fusion of the surface, complete with submerged, or ghost craters. Discharges of this nature tend to be bi-directional, in fact lightning strikes sometimes exhibit hundreds of forward and reverse currents. Since the charge is ionized air, which has mass, the return strike will bring bits of lunar breccia entrained in the mass of air back to the Earth.
As they enter the atmosphere, the bits of moon rock melt and create deposits of meteorites known as tektites. An examination of the "strewn fields" characteristic of the deposits of tektites with a calculation based on continental drift, shows that their age (dated from the last melting) places the point of impact on the equator.
The window for the initiation of this storm is created after the ice melts off, which requires approximately 100,000 years. The event which sets the trigger is the juxaposition of the northern winter solstice and the date of perihelion, which is the closest approach of the Earth to the Sun. On perihelion the maximum amount of heat of any time in the year is entering the Earth's atmosphere, at the equator. This day precesses at a rate of one day each 63 years. The coldest day within the Arctic is a week or so after the winter solstice. The current date of perihelion (actually the day that the Earth-Moon center of mass, a point about 1600 Km beneath the surface of the Earth on the side facing the Moon, most closely approaches the Sun during the Earth's passage around the Sun) fluctuates between the first and the fourth of January. These are exactly the conditions required. In fact, the process has already begun, about 1960 if the movement of the Sahel in Africa can be used as a point of reference.
As you can see, the cycle is a multiple of the tropical precession of the Equinoxes, about 23,000 years, rather than the more commonly known sidereal precession of 25,750 years. The difference is that the tropical one subtracts the processional motion of the Earth's major elliptical axis. It takes 4 precessional cycles to replace the heat lost during the storm by the freezing of water evaporated from the oceans (glaciation). Once the heat deficit is replaced, the Glacial ice melts off in a few thousand years. Then the next cycle repeats the events. Thus the cycle is about 115,000 (5 times 23,000) years, which doesn't correspond to the changes in the obliquity of the orbit, but does synchronize with the precession. That similarity was a distraction for Milankovitch. No computer model has been shown to yield glaciation with a climatic basis.
I am an artist, not an engineer, so I may not have explained this thing in the most lucid fashion, but I have no doubts about it. I have been predicting the changes we are currently experiencing in the worlds climate for some years, now, but I still don't know how much further it has to go.
The current climatic drift is particularly disruptive to the world's agriculture. I think it will be increasingly more difficult to produce enough food for the world's population. The reserves are at a historic low right now. So perhaps there will be fewer people left to contend with this destructive event when it does come.
--Owsley Stanley, the-bear.org