Weathering Climate Change

Hugh Ross

Part I Confusing News

Ch 1 Popular Opinion on Climate Change

p18 Gallup poll on climate change: "I personally worry about the problem a great deal."

1989 35% 1998 24% 2017 45%

Comments on Gore's "An Inconvenient Truth"
Since turn of 21st century, percentage of Americans who concur that scientific data confirms global warming has risen to over 70%
Those who "think global warming will pose a serious threat in their lifetime" -- 42%
Those who think "the seriousness of global warming has been greatly exaggerated": Republicans 69% Democrats 4%
Those who "worry a great deal/fair amount about global warming": Republicans 33% Democrats 90%
"Global warming will pose a serious threat in my lifetime": Republicans <20% Democrats 66%
Pew survey 40 countries, 2018:"climate change is a serious problem" majority
"Climate change is a very serious problem" Global mean 54%
95% of Latin America "climate change is already harming people around the world or will do so in the next few years"
78% (40 nations) "government should limit greenhouse gas emissions as a part of international agreement"
67% "people will have to make major lifestyle changes" to have any hope of averting a global climate catastrophe

p 19-20 Summarizes the Gore and IPCC alternatives: accept consequences or reduce human population and fossil fuel use

p20 "How unsurprising that the political divide on global warming and climate change is wide in the United States and barely perceptible in the poorer nations of the world. Americans realize they have the most to lose, from an economic and lifestyle standpoint, and hold valid reasons for concern about the capacity or willingness of other nations to enforce measures designed to limit greenhouse gases."

p20-21 The "climategate" incident - hacker in UK, documents, investigated by 8 panels, affirmed by AAAS, AMS, UCS, but still suspicion.

Ch 2 What Current Data Says about Climate Change

p24 Plot of temperature 1880-2020 based on NOAA data Figure 2.1,

p23 Figure 2.2 11yr average temperature plot relative to 20th century average

p26 Figure 2.3 10 year averages of lower troposphere

p27 Fig 2.4 Global mean temperature for last 2000 years. The current increase is dramatic even compared to the Medieval Warm Period. It is notable that the mean temperature has stayed within +/- 0.5 degrees with respect to the long term mean, but swings to -1°C compared to the 20th century mean. Or, said another way, the 20th century mean is about 0.5°C above the long term average over 2000 years. Then that makes the current rapid increase more alarming since it rises sharply above the 20th century mean.

p27 "Climatologists have found that an increase in volcanic activity coupled with a decrease in solar radiation contributed most significantly to the LIA." (Little Ice Age) "The reverse - a decline in volcanic activity and an increase in solar activity - most likely were the primary stimuli that gave rise to the MWP." (Medieval Warm Period).

p28 "None of these changes have occurred in the past few decades, leaving increased atmospheric greenhouse gases and carbon soot deposition as the predominant contenders for the primary causes for current global warming."

p30 Fig 2.6 CO2 1700-present

p32 CFCs and HFCs

p32 Table 2: Comparison of GWP relative to CO2 for 5 agents.

p33 Fig 2.8 CFC-11

p34 Fig 2.9 HFC

p35 Fig 2.10 Methane

p36 Fig 2.11 N2O

p37 Mineral dust and Black Carbon Soot

Ch 3 Warming Projections

p39 Current rise in global mean 0.8°C. IPCC 2017 "likely to reach 1.5°C between 2030 and 2052", but the 2052 assumes major mitigation efforts.

p40 Global Warming Causes
"reasonable certainty" increases in "greenhouse gas emissions and other anthropogenic factors are the primary causes of the global warming trend." Tight correlation from 1750 to 2018. Also tight correlation with the rapid rise since 1950.

p40 fossil fuels, rice cultivation, feretilizers, animals, biomass burning, landfills in the list of offenders.

p41 Global Warming Consequences
90 scientists on panel, reviews 6000 peer reviewed papers. Increase beyond 1.5°C will drastically impact human civilization and the global environment. Heat waves, decreased food production, droughts, decreased fresh water supply. Longer term effects rising sea levels, disappearing ice fields and glaciers, increase of deserts. Projected sea level rise 0.36m, shifts in ocean and atmospheric circulation.

p42 Mitigation options

  • Eliminate fossil fuel electricity generation
  • 1/10 use of fossil fuels for transportation
  • Limits on heating/AC commercial and residential
  • Other strategies
    • Abiotic
      • Air capture and sequestering of CO2
      • Pulverizing and spreading of rock to enhance carbon containment
      • Alkalis in clouds and oceans
    • Biotic
      • More use of corn and beets and the production of ethanol fuel
      • Add iron and nitrogen to oceans to increase photosynthetic production of oxygen
      • Plant more trees
      • Add charcoal to soil to enhance plant growth
      • More grasslands
      • Use more plant-based material for construction
      • Restore the continental shelves to enhance plant growth and photosynthesis

p43 Sunshields proposed

p43 Adaptation Options

  • Moving populations
  • Doing agriculture at higher elevations
  • Shifting from rice to other grains
    • Rice a major source of methane and nitrous oxide
  • Diversification of agriculture
  • Shift food consumption toward vegan
  • Build dams to protect agains sea rise.

p44-45 Accept the consequences
Research climatologists: "failure to implement .. changes .. will bring about much greater sacrifice and pain in the not-too-distant future." These consequences include food scarcity, floods, droughts, disease, toxic algae blooms, decrease of dissolved oxygen in oceans, decrease in fish stocks. West Africa deemed most vulnerable.

Ch 4 A Response to the Current Data

p47 Discusses law of unintended consequences

p48 6 criteria to minimize unwanted consequences

p50 Win-Win Solutions

  1. Shrink deserts
  2. Restore whale populations
  3. Replace beef,sheep, goats as meat sources

Part 2 Surprising News

Ch 5 Our Unique Climate Epoch

p58 Fig 5.1 Global Mean Temperature Variations prior to 10,000 years ago. Peak-to-peak variation about 10°C

p59 Fig 5.2 Global Mean Temperature Variations for past 11,300 years. Peak-to-peak variation about 1.2°C

p60 Discussion of temperature proxies used to imply temperatures in distant past. No more than 0.65°C over the past 9500 years.

p61 Evidence of agriculture 23,000 yrs on Sea of Galilee, 32,600 years Italy, 14,400 years Jordan, some even in last ice age extending to 12,000 years. But hostile to agriculture, particularly large scale agriculture which apparently did not begin until about 9100 years ago.

Ch 6 The Importance of Ice

p65 About half of the annual precipitation occurs on the 12 wettest days of the year. Without the steady supply of fresh water tributaries that ultimately come from ice melt, it would be difficult to maintain a fresh water supply.

p66 The high heat of fusion of ice means that it melts slowly and that helps to extend the fresh flowing water supply through the year.

p66 Discussion of expansion of water upon freezing and its contribution to soil formation.

p67 Box on Silicate Weathering, includes chemical formuli by which it removes CO2

p67 Natural recycling - describes maximum density point for water at 3.98 °C which takes the water down before freezing, then back up to surface. Works against stagnation of water bodies.

p68 Glacier Distribution and Delivery System
Moving glaciers transport material, and melting glaciers replenish fresh water and deliver minerals and sediments that fertilize the valleys. Also provide access to metal ores. Surprisingly large number of roles for glaciers.

p68 Rarity of Ice
"Earth has worn a mantle of ice for only 10% of its history."

p69 Table 6: Ice Ages and Slushball Events. A large table of the "Ice Events" over past 2.9 billion years. The Quaternary Ice Age Cycle is the key one for topics of this book.

p70 Figure 6 Epochs of ice coverage.

p70 Distribution of Ice
In current epoch, ice coverage varies between one-tenth and one-fifth.

Reflects on the rarity and fine-tuning and inserts the Freeman Dyson quote.

Ch 7 Why an Ice Age Cycle

p73 "The present ice epoch has persisted for only the last 2.58 million years." Enters a discussion of the Milankovitch cycles of the Earth's orbit which contribute to cyclic behavior.

  • p74 Obliquity Cycle 22.1-24.5°, Period 41,040 years Fig 7.1
  • Orbital Eccentricity Cycles, multiplicity of periods 0.000055 - 0.0679° Fig 7.2
  • Orbital Inclination Cycle 0.0-2.9°, ~70,000yrs Fig 7.3
  • Axial Precession, period 25,772 years, Fig 7.4
  • Perihelion Precession from gravitational perturbations from other planets, 19,000-23,000 years Fig 7.5

Ch 8 Ice Age Cycle Benefits

p81 The ice age cycle is important to human flourishing. By 2018, cataloged 1.7 million distinct species. Why so many? Plate tectonics and the 100,000 year ice cycle.

p82-85 Beavers as a keystone species. Discusses their benefits to life in North America

p86 Extraordinary water supply

p87 Extraordinary harbors

p87 Extraordinary landscape

p90 Long, stable, cool pause

p90 Nutrient replenishment

p92 Ore concentration and exposure

p92 Global colonization

p93 With exception of a stable era 400,000 years ago, the current interglacial period is the longest in the 2.58 million year era of ice age cycling.

Ch 9 Optimizing Earth's Hydrosphere and Atmosphere

p95 "Neither the icenor the ice age cycle would exist if it were not forEarth's precise fine-tuned hydrosphere (surface liquid water) and atmosphere."


  • Water 71.11% of surface
  • 97.5% salt water
    • 68.9% frozen
    • 30.8% ground water
    • 0.3% surface and access1ble
    • 0.0075% easily accessible
  • Total water 1.386 x 109km3
  • Earth water 0.023% of mass even though water abundant in universe
  • Earth 1/500 of water of other known rocky planets
  • Early Al-26 radioactivity removed water, drove off much of Earth's gases
  • Earth seas pH 7.5-8.4 although expected to be much more acidic


  • Just right water reduction
    • The early Al-26 process, which is new to me
    • The Moon-forming collision removed most if not all water
    • Late veneer of comets, asteroids
    • p100-101 Sidebar about Earth's water sources

p99 Just right water distribution

p102 Just right salinity. Na 20x galactic average

p104 Just right Atmosphere Reduction

  • C/Mg 1/1200 of expected
  • N/Mg 1/2400 of expected
  • 1/200 of expected atmospheric thickness, pressure

p105 Cloud and haze reduction

Remarkable oxygenation blip at 2.2 Gyr, rise at 4Gy, Figure 9.2

Ch 10 Earth's Exceptional Orbital Properties

p109 Milankovitch cycles as driver of ice cycles. Cites Waltham - anthropic implications are probability 10-5 for Earth's low Milankovitch. Counter to Gaia, serves as precondition for complex biosphere.

p111 4063 exoplanets as of February 1, 2019

  • Axis obliquity (Fig 7.1) 22.1-24.5°
    • p115 dominant role in planet's climate change
  • Orbital eccentricity (Fig 10.1) 0.000055-.0679
    • But in last several million years 0.014-0.019

Ch 11 Earth's Unique Solar History

p117 Discussion of the search for solar twins 4 stars very similar, but exceed the Sun's lithium content by 3-6x. High Li stars have more frequent and deadly radiation bursts.

p118 Table II 4 near twins and data

p118 HIP 56948, closest twin as of 2019, very similar, 26% older, age leads to more flaring.

p119 Fig 11.1 Sun's flaring history graph

p121 Have found no real solar twins after 60+ years.

p121 Sun's just right age - about half total expectancy

p121 Sun's luminosity very stable 50000 uears, 0.005% of 9 billion age.

p121 Sudbury Neutrino Observatory reports 50000 yr extremely stable, likely continue another 50K

p122 Mentions Carrington event - magnitude of solar flares, discusses flaring

p124 Review of solar flare risk

p125 1989 flare took out power for 6 million people for 9 hours - Canada responded by installing blocking capacitor for some flare protection.

Ch 12 How the Ice Age Cycle Began

p129 The Sun shines more brightly now than at any time in the 3.8 Gy of life on Earth. 18-23% brighter. The Earth was ice-free for 90% of history, but 10-23% of Earth's surface continually covered with ice for past 2.58 My.

p130 Figure 12.1 plot of Sun's luminosity history. Need a plot like this in hyphys

p130-131 First evidence in 1981 of the Eltanin collider.

  • Analysis in 1981 of deep sea core at 5090m actually collected in 1964. Found that the gold/iridium ratio matched that of unique chondritic meteorites
  • In 1988 found that debris spread across 600km of ocean floor, implied >= 0.5km diameter.
  • In 1995 Polarstern returned to collect three cores, approx impact date of 2.15My and estimate 1km size
  • In 2001 Polarstern explored 80,000 km2 area, 17 cores.
  • 2005 Amer Geophysical Union meeting, fragments 660x200km, 1-2km diameter, 2.5My
  • 2009 Int Com on Stratigraphy set 2.58My as beginning of Pleistocene. Associated with Quaternary ice age cyle.

p132 The Earth's global climate radically changed with the onset of the Quaternary ice age cycle. Reference Table 6 p69. UNSW researchers modeled tsunamis from impact event and found tsunami evidence Antarctica, Chile, Australia, New Zealand. Computer models from this study implied

  • Atmosphere's reflectivity greatly increased
  • Atmosphere's opacity greatly increased

p133 Basically concludes that the impact initiated the ice-age cycle.

p133 Also contributing to the ice-age cycle were the movements of five tectonic plates.

  1. Antarctic plate movement 160My
  2. p134 N & S Americcan plate migrations
  3. p135 Greenland subplate movement
  4. p136 Eurasia and North American plate migration
  5. p137 Indian subcontinent migration

p138-140 Narrative of the relative movements and how they contributed to cooling and the ice age cycle

p140 Summary - Mystery Unraveled

Ch 13 A Crucial Transition

p143 At 800,000 years, a dramatic shift called the Mid-Pleistocene Transition (MPT)

  • Ice age cycling period around 41,000 yr transitioned to 90-120,000yr cycle
  • Explanations for the MPT
  • Brings in Milankovich cycles, obliquity and eccentricity of Earth's orbit.

p144-145 Complex combinations of cycles make it hard to pin down

p145 Consensus was that a global cooling event played the crucial role. List of candidate effectors.

p147 Marvel of the MPT

Ch 14 The Marvel of Climate Stability

p149 "To grasp and appreciate the wonder of our current 9,500-year era of extreme climate stability, we need perspective. The word extreme seems appropriate since temperature proxies at sites all over the world show twice the unprecedented steadiness scientists had previously noted. Over the last 9,500 year, the global mean temperature has varied by no more than +/-0.65°C."

p149 Review of all the cycles

p150 Fig 14.1 Antarctic for 4 ice age cycles

p151 Fig 14.2 Younger Dryas event

p152 Younger Dryas event caused almost complete shutdown of the Gulf Stream portion of the Atlantic meridional overturning circulation (AMOC).

p153 Evidence of impact event 12,900yrs, maybe explosion in midair. Large rush of cold water fresh water into North Atlantic. Magnetic grains containing iridium, magnetic microspherules, charcoal, soot, glass-like carbon containing nanodiamonds, fullerenes with extraterrestrial helium.

p153 Three lines of evidence

  • Southern Ocean waters became warmer as a result of the AMOC's redirection into tropical waters.
  • Cold water flowed from the seas adjacent to East Greenland and Iceland into the Nordic seas.
  • Injection of cold fresh water into the North Atlantic from sources in the northernmost regions of North America interrupted normal deep and intermediate-depth ocean circulations.

p154 Debate about large impactor

p155 Nov 14, 2018, Science Advances. Found impact crater in NW Greenland

p156-157 Dating the Hiawatha Impact. 8 lines of evidence point to correspondence with the Younger Dryas cooling.

p159 Discussion of how the Younger Dryas event halted the ice age cycle to give a constant period.

p159-160 Reflection on the effect on human and animal life and the development of civilization.

p160-161 Reflection on the growth of human population and technology and its role in keeping temperature stable, i.e., human activities that partially countered what would have been a cooling period.

Ch 15 Gifts for the Human Soul

p163- A soliloquey to the beauty that the last ice age and the 9800 year period have brought us.

Ch 16 Aligned Habitability Windows

p167 "The recognition that this temperature stability window may be narrow creates a sense of urgency. ..the window of extreme climate stability within a livable temperature range must overlap with several other narrow time windows, many of which may seem unrelated. Yet each is critical to our global, culturally and technologically advanced existence."


  • Solar System Time Windows
  • p168 Radioisotopes Windows
  • p170 Continental Configuration Windows
  • p170 Asteroid Impactor Moment
  • p171 Fossil Fuel Windows
  • p172 Terrestrial Mammal Window
  • p173 Intra- and Inter-galactic Radiation Windows
  • p174 Habitable Zone Windows
  • p176 Biodeposits Window
  • p177 Precise Alignment

Part 3: Essential News

Ch 17 Narrow Habitability Windows

p181 "I often meet people who think the climatic and other physical conditions we enjoy today arae roughly the same as they have always been, or at least almost always. This illusion keeps most of us from grasping what a phenomenal gift humanity has received in the host of resources, including climate conditions, that allow not only for our existence but also for the daily maintenance and growth of the societies we have built."

Few have any idea how closely this development links with the unprecedented stability of our climate over the past 9500 years, an era during which the global mean temperature has varied no more than +/- 0.65°C. Nor do we imagine how wondrous the coincidence that this perfect climate era matches up with every other resource our existence and civilization require - including freedom from any of several possible and potentially catastrophic astronomical and terrestrial events."

Hostile conditions are the norm for the cosmos and Earth. The past 9500 years appear to be the one improbable exception. How long can this delicate and complex convergence of just-right conditions possibly endure?"

p181 Random Interruptions --random flares, nearby supernovae, gamma-ray bursts,large asteroid or comet collisions, supervolcanic erruptions.

p183 Non-random Interruptions

p185 More Pressing Concerns

p185 Social Phenomena

Ch 18 The Coming Big Chill

p187 Ice Age Cycle Limits

p188 Global Warming Brings on Global Cooling

p191 A Matter of Time

Ch 19 Facing the Inevitable


Ch 20 Prolonging Climate Stability

p199 Past Warming Influences

Raising cattle, rice farming and transformation of forest land into agriculture kept the temperature from going down.

p200 Proposals for prolonging climate stability and enhancing economic wellbeing. Minimize internal combustion engines, fossil fuel electric generation, factories fueled by fossil fuel, and reduction of consumption of meat.

p201 Geoengineering Ideas

  • Artificial Sun Shields
  • Solar Power Generators in Space
  • Aerosol Injection into the Stratosphere
  • Removal of Atmospheric Greenhouse Gase
  • Ocean Fertilization
  • Rocket Earth

p205 Wise Management of Life Resources

  1. Rice Paddy Management
  2. Alternative meat source
  3. 209 Efficient Lumbering
  4. 211 Smart Dams
  5. 211 Restoring Whale Populations
  6. 213 Replanting Expanded Deserts
  7. 214 Multilevel Hydroponic Farms

p214 Management of Current Technology

  1. Solar Power Generating Rooftops
  2. Bitcoin Elimination
  3. Wearable Thermoelectrics

p216 The Point of Prolonging Stability

Part 4: Good News

Ch 21 Significance of Our Time and Place

p221 Consider 9.2 billion years of exquisite fine-tuning, 4.57 years of creating the Earth, providing an exacting preparation leading to the 9500 years which allowed humanity to grow and flourish.

p221 Big Questions
"What are we to make of the fact that our existence at this time, in this place, comes after (a)the 13.8 billion year workings of 50 billion trillion stars amid the other 99.73 percent of matter and energy of the cosmos, and (b) a highly specified sequence of events over Earth's 3.8 billion year history of a half-billion diverse species of life? What does all this cosmic, terrestrial, and biological improbability imply about the ultimate purpose and destiny of human beings? Does it not seem as though our universe, Earth, and Earth's life were intentionally shaped and guided? And if our life in globally civilized, high population, technologically advanced conditions can endure for only 10,000 -11,000 years .. What does this reality say about fulfillment of the purpose for which we are here?"

p222 For Such a Time and Place

p223 Spiritual Laws

p223 How Long Will It Take

224 The Ultimate Purpose of Extreme Climate Stability

Ch 22 Our Ultimate Home - and Hope

p225 Discusses briefly the heat death of the universe as one thing that precludes an eternal Earth. Also discusses the "big rip", the presumption that the dark energy acceleration of the universe's expansion will eventually tear everything apart.

225 Two Creations, One Good Reason
Discusses the limitation of the expression of evil posed by the constraints of physical laws. Brief description of the nature of the new creation.

226 Final Thoughts
Speaks of our role in the stewardship of the Earth. Appeals for consideration of the 9500 years of climate stability as a miraculous gift that should bring us to consider personal commitment to the God who provided it. A final appeal to participate in the available avenues to cooperate in extending this gift of climate.

Appendix: Explanations for the Mid-Pleistocene Transition

Windows of Creation
Evidence from nature Is the universe designed?
  Reasonable Faith Go Back