Precession of the Equinoxes

Not by Fire but by Ice


Discover What Killed the Dinosaurs . . . and Why it Could Soon Kill Us  

Pacemaker of the Ice Ages



Changes in global ice volume during the last 500,000 years, as determined from
CLIMAP isotopic measurements. Chart is from John and Katherine Imbrie's book
Ice Ages: Solving the Mystery
, by permission of Enslow Publishers.
Data from J. D. Hays et al., 1976, by permission J. D. Hays.

  • In 1976, scientists at Lamont-Doherty Earth Observatory spearheaded a project called CLIMAP (Climate: Long-range Investigation Mapping and Prediction) to map the history of the oceans and climate.
  • They discovered that ice ages begin or end, almost like clockwork, every 11,500 years. It's a dependable, predictable, natural cycle.
    Pacemaker of the Ice Ages
    , they called it.
  • They drew up a chart of the cycle (above). 
  • See the sharp peaks every 100,000 years or so? Each peak marks the abrupt end of a period of warmth similar to today's and the catastrophic beginning of a new ice age.
  • See where we are today? (At the far right side of the chart?) We're at the tip of the highest peak ever, teetering on the knife-edge of disaster. We haven't been that high on the chart for half a million years.
  • And do you see what happened--without exception--every time we got that high on the chart?
  • Instantaneous ice age.
  • The next ice age could begin any day.


Order Book l E-Mail Robert l Q & A l Book Reviews l Press Release l Radio Interviews l Excerpts l Plant Hardiness Zone Maps l Author Photo l Extent of Previous Glaciation l Crane Buried in Antarctic Ice Sheet l Ice Ages and Magnetic Reversals l Table of Contents l Expanding Glaciers