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Global warming? It could be an Ice Age instead

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"Climate change" is a buzzword of the 21st century. We are so much more attuned to our environment and the need to save it now, or lose it forever.

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That includes preventing so-called greenhouse gases, such as carbon-based gases, from entering our atmosphere where they threaten to raise the temperature globally. The Arctic and Antarctic are melting, and Greenland is becoming more and more green.

We are now prompted to look at government policies to effect climate change to prevent these things from happening, now that the science has proven the greenhouse effect is valid.

Or is it?

The Russian Pravda newspaper online reported this week that the Earth is on the brink of entering another Ice Age, from what it called "a large and compelling body of evidence from within the field of climate science." It seems Earth's weather patterns are cyclic, and another cycle is ready to begin.

The new data indicates "that the warm, 12,000-year-long Holocene period will rather soon be coming to an end, and then the Earth will return to Ice Age conditions for the next 100,000 years."

Aiding this theory is a study of ice cores, ocean sediment cores, the geologic record and studies of ancient plant and animal populations which demonstrate a regular cyclic pattern. Add to that the tilt of the Earth, which varies over a 41,000 year period; the shape of the Earth's orbit, which changes over a period of 100,000 years; and the Earth's wobble, which gradually rotates the direction of the planet's axis over a period of 26,000 years.

The Pravda article pans the current global warming theories by saying that supporters "focus on evidence from only the past 1,000 years at most, while ignoring the evidence from the past million years -- evidence which is essential for a true understanding of climatology." Further, the global warming theory "is based on data that is drawn from a ridiculously narrow span of time and it demonstrates a wanton disregard for the 'big picture' of long-term climate change."

Western scientists were quick to dismiss the Russian report, saying it made some severe jumps in logic and was based on flawed interpretation of the data.

But who are we to believe?

Pravda notes that the winter of 2007-08 delivered the deepest snow cover to the Northern Hemisphere since 1966 and the coldest temperatures since 2001. And it notes that the current Northern Hemisphere winter of 2008-09 "will probably equal or surpass the winter of 2007-08 for both snow depth and cold temperatures."

Given the number of below-zero days we've had since Thanksgiving, the snow cover and especially this week of tundra-like 20-plus below zero temperatures, we could argue the Ice Age has already come.

-- Bemidji Pioneer

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