Eric T. Karlstrom: Natural Climate Change


Richard Moore

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From the ice-core data, we know that the Earth has been in an ice age about 90% of the time during the past half-million years, with rapid fluctuations between ice-age and non-ice-age. The chart below does not show these fluctuations. I’m not sure what this means… is the chart showing the minimum temperatures during each era??  Perhaps Eric can clarify.


Natural Climate Change
Dr. Eric T. Karlstrom

Estimated average temperature (blue line) and atmospheric carbon dioxide concentrations (gray line) for the past 600 million years. Note that average temperatures and atmospheric carbon dioxide concentrations today are much lower than for most of the past 600 million years. After Sootese and Bernier, 2001) 


Before we can evaluate whether or not humans are causing dramatic, even catastrophic “global warming,” as many now claim, we first need to gain an understanding of the magnitude and timing of natural climate changes that have occurred over geologic time and which are still occurring today. Modern scientific climatology is a very young science, having been established in the U.S. by Dr. Reid Bryson of the University of Wisconsin during the past several decades. In addition, thousands of earth scientists have studied climates of the past and have, over the past several decades, assembled a truly impressive body of research in the field of paleoclimatology. Although we have learned a phenomenal amount about past climates in recent decades, however, there is still no generally accepted theory of climate change. This is mainly due to the facts that: 1) weather and climate are extremely complex, often chaotic systems, and 2) the sciences of climatology and paleoclimatology are still in their infancy.

Because of the potentially disastrous consequences of adopting some of the solutions that are being advanced to solve the alleged problem of “global warming” and “climate change,” (including “cap and trade,” trading carbon credits, carbon sequestration, etc.), I herein try to summarize some of the most important aspects of what is known about natural climate change. Before our society is stampeded into political solutions to an alleged problem that may not even exist, it is essential that our citizenry and our politicians try to learn from the real climate experts whose voices are often not heard. Among these voices are some of the most distinguished climate and paleoclimate researchers. Dr. Reid Bryson, considered the father of modern scientic climatology, famously stated:” You can go outside and spit and have the same effect as doubling carbon dioxide.”

On this website, I feature this and many other choice quotes on the topic of man-caused global warming ( Quotes On Global Warming ). In addition, I list many useful books, articles, DVDs, and government reports on the controversial topic of the “Global Warming Hoax” (References on Global Warming Hoax). This website also includes a series of radio interviews ( ) (with written summaries of interviews) that I have conducted with distinguished climatologists such Dr. Timothy Ball, Canada’s first climatology Ph.D., as well as Christopher Horner, author of two books on the global warming hoax; “The Politically Incorrect Guide to Global Warming and Environmentalism,” and “Red Hot Lies; How Global Warming Alarmists Use Threats, Fraud and Deception to Keep You Misinformed.”

We cannot ascertain the extent of human impacts upon the climate system unless and until we understand the natural climate system itself. Thus, we should begin by highlighting what is known about the magnitude and timing of natural climate changes. Certainly, we earth scientists understand that the earth’s climate has changed radically during it’s 4.6 billion year history. For starters then, I provide on this website a brief summary overview of earth and human history that I utilize for one of my university courses (GEOG 3020 Human Ecology); Earth and Human History: An Overview

During my research and teaching career spanning the last four decades, I’ve always held the conviction that the study of past climate is a truly dynamic, exciting, and important field. Many of my own scholarly research papers are devoted to answering questions about past climates (Biography and Publications of Dr. Eric T. Karlstrom). Many theories of climate change have been advanced to try to explain natural fluctuations. It seems to me we are now finally on the verge of understanding the processes that drive natural climate change.

For this reason, I also feature the paleoclimatic theories and data developed by my father, Dr. Thor Karlstrom, whose pioneering work on climate cycles spans over 50 years (from the 1950’s to the present) and who is the one that got me interested in this subject. Dr. Thor Karlstrom’s extraordinary syntheses of global climate patterns are based on his examination of countless climatic records from all around the world. A brief overview of his ideas can be gained by watching an informal presentation on “Natural Climatic Cycles” that he made at the University of Massachussetts in 2007. Herein, I also include summary notes of this lecture (Dr. T. Karlstrom: "Natural Climatic Cycles," June 5, 2007, University of Mass. lecture). In the future, I and some of my students will be typing some of Dr. Thor Karlstrom’s recent papers on this website, along with associated figures.

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