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Open letter to science editors
THE VELIKOVSKIAN VOL II, No.4
Ice Core Evidence
debate over ice core data has spanned many years. I have reexamined the
record and analyzed the evidence in terms of Velikovsky's scenario. What I
have found is that his critics, who have raised this ice core evidence, have
based their objections on uniformitarian concepts and have ignored
Velikovsky's scenario. In reality, the data supports Velikovsky's
catastrophic scenario and contradicts the uniformitarian interpretation
1977, R. G. A. Dolby sent an article to the Society for Interdisciplinary
Studies Review (SISR), submitting the view that, if Velikovsky's
Venus catastrophe had occurred, then volcanic and cometary materials should
appear "visible at the appropriate depth in the cores recently collected"
from Greenland and Antarctica.
Leroy Ellenberger picked up this suggestion and presented the case against
Velikovsky's catastrophic scenario in the Fall, 1984, issue of KRONOS.
In this piece, Ellenberger explained that snow falling off the Greenland
glacier would contain different amounts of oxygen-16 and oxygen-18 because
of seasonal variations in temperature. Ice formed from summer snowfalls
would be enriched by the heavier oxygen-18 isotope, whereas ice formed from
winter snow would be enriched by the lighter oxygen-16 isotope.
He also explained how other signals in the ice could be used to determine the
validity of Velikovsky's scenario:
As a test of Velikovsky's scenario of historical catastrophes, the initial
expectation was that the ice would preserve a series of conspicuous dust
layers of cometary origin at the proper level. Such dust layers are not in
evidence, but other signs of catastrophism could take the place of the
Extreme acidity peaks are produced by major volcanic eruptions, which
inject volcanic acid gases into the stratosphere. These gases travel to
high latitudes, being converted to acid en route, and are incorporated
in the ice through snowfall. This deposition can be detected either as
elevated, specific conductivities measured on melted ice samples or as
elevated acidities revealed by an electric current through the solid
ice. Every major, known, historically-dated eruption since AD 536 is
attested [to] in Greenland ice cores at the correct level .... If, as
Velikovsky repeatedly stated, "all volcanoes vomit[ed] lava" at the time
of the Exodus.... then unequivocal evidence for such activity would be
expected to be found in the Greenland ice cores, but it is not.
Volcanic acid fallout in Greenland identified with ancient
eruptions in the Velikovskian time frame is comparable in amount
to that associated with single, recent volcanic eruptions.
This is not what is expected if catastrophes of the magnitude envisioned
by Velikovsky actually happened. In fact, according to the Greenland
ice cores, major eruptions have been four times more frequent in the
past 2000 years....
In the January and July, 1990, issues of Catastrophism and Ancient
History (CAH), Sean Mewhinney analyzed both viewpoints and
attacked Lynn E. Rose, Bernard Newgrosh, Alfred De Grazia, Clark Whelton
and me for, among other things, supposedly ignoring the accuracy and
strength of the ice core evidence. Mewhinney also claimed that oxygen-16
and oxygen-18 dominate yearly layers in the ice cores and presented the
view that this evidence clearly denied Velikovsky's catastrophic
scenario. He also pointed to dust and hydrocarbons missing from the
appropriate depths in the ice cores and the weakness or missing signals
from volcanic acid at these same depths.
Ever since publishing Carl Sagan and Immanuel Velikovsky, printed
in late August, 1990, and distributed in October of that same year, I
have stated my belief that the icecaps of Greenland and Antarctica were
created recently--a belief based on information from ancient maps and
the discoveries made by Arlington Mallery and Charles H. Hapgood.
I believe that the accuracy of these ancient maps, as confirmed by
professional cartographers and by seismic studies carried out by
professional seismologists, proves that the icecaps of Greenland and
Antarctica cannot be as old as Mewhinney and Ellenberger indicate.
Furthermore, I entirely disagree with Dolby, Ellenberger and Mewhinney
that the icecaps of Greenland and Antarctica were built up gradually,
prior to Velikovsky's Venus catastrophe, 3,500 years ago. Velikovsky
claimed that the icecaps were built up suddenly and catastrophically.
Venusian planetary dust and volcanic acid, and Earth dust (distributed
by hurricanes with stupendous snowfalls), precipitated over these
regions. This is based on what Velikovsky actually wrote. Sea
levels fell 20 feet. I believe that parts of the sea floor fell to an
even greater depth while inland sections of continents rose.
Evidence for oceanic, sea-floor subsidence is found for undersea
mountains or seamounts, which contain surface materials, such as corals,
that are now a kilometer below the surface of the Atlantic Ocean:
Exploration of the New England Seamount chain by the research submarine
Alvin confirms that some of these peaks, now all a kilometer or more
below the surface, were once at or above the surface of the ocean.
This undersea mountain chain contains more than 30 major peaks and
stretches 1,600 miles southeast from the New England coast. Deepsea
dredging has previously brought up Eocene limestone of shallow-water
origin from the submerged mountain tops [attributed to iceberg detritus
carried off the continents] but the Alvin exploration resulted in the
first eye witness accounts of dead coral algae that grows only within
100 meters of the surface. The New England Seamounts have, therefore,
either subsided on the order of a kilometer [(3,281 feet)] since Eocene
times or the sea level has altered drastically.
Coral reefs and platforms grow so rapidly that their growth outstrips
sea floor spreading, geological subsidence of the sea floor or gradual
rises in sea levels. This, then, is the problem. All over the oceans,
the record indicated deep coral platforms, suggesting that the sea floor
sank or that extraordinary amounts of water were added
catastrophically. Wolfgang Schlager concluded that gradualistic
processes are inadequate and had suggested that violent methods must
have been employed so as to create these drowned coral reefs.
He explained that the growth rate of corals is
1,000 Ám/ yr [micrometers per year], which exceeds any relative rise in
sea level caused by long-term processes in the geological record. Newly
formed ocean crust subsidence is at a maximum rate of 250,Ám/ yr, basic
subsidence averages 10 to 100 Ám/ yr and sea level rises, due to
increased sea floor spreading, to less than 10 Áml yr.
In essence, singly or all together, these processes will not drown coral
reefs or carbonate platforms. Schlager showed that these formations are
found all over the Earth. Thus, in ocean regions, we have evidence that
the sea floor sank to great depths. This evidence suggests that the
ocean basins dropped by a phenomenon not related to gradualistic
processes. It indicates that these coral reefs and carbonate platforms
sank rapidly or catastrophically to great depths.
From the grand old man of oceanography, Francis P. Shepherd, who has
spent 50 years of his life studying submarine canyons, we learned that
the immense canyons running off the continental shelf and deep into the
oceans from all continents were carved by subaerial water. According to
Shepherd, Pleistocene geologists are wrong to deny that many of these
canyons were above the ocean surface, were cut by rivers and then sank
below the present sea level.
Douglas W. Johnson provided this provocative statement supporting
The most obvious explanation of submarine canyons, offered more than
1501 years ago and still regarded by many investigators as the one most
probably correct, is that they are normal, young river valleys or gorges
carved during higher stands of the continents or a lower stand of sea
level and deeply submerged in comparatively recent geologic time.
The only reason for rejecting this hypothesis is the catastrophic
requirement inherent in lowering these canyons deep below the oceans.
Using straightforward geophysical evidence, Johnson then showed how
neither turbidity currents, nor land slides, nor submarine spring
sapping can account for the creation of these remarkable sea canyons.
What Ellenberger and Mewhinney have done is apply uniformitarian theory
to a catastrophic scenario. The fundamental evidence negates
Ellenberger and Mewhinney's analysis definitively but supports
Velikovsky's scenario completely!
Rose was greatly taken to task by Ellenberger and Mewhinney for his
extremely skeptical views regarding the accuracy of the ice cores. They
did this, as I will show, by ignoring fundamental evidence that
invalidated their beliefs and assertions. For example, in Part 11 of
"Still Facing Many Problems," Ellenberger claimed that the Milankovich
theory for ice ages is definitively supported by Greenland ice cores and
disproves Velikovsky's 3,500-year-old date: "Velikovsky's timetable for
the last glaciation is decisively disproved by the oxygen isotope
profiles in the Greenland icecap, which indicate that the temperatures
reached their present general level about 10,000 years ago."
If this is so, then other accurate cores which measure the same climate
period of the Milankovich theory should corroborate the ice cores. This
is very important with respect to oxygen-16 and oxygen-18 content in
other cores. Ellenberger h claimed that there has been "no serious,
informed challenge to the mode Milankovich model...."
But what has not been discussed, as far as I know, is that there is
another crucial and superior core of material which also contains layers
of oxygen-16 and oxygen 18. This does not agree with the Milankovich
theory as applied to the icecaps or deep sea cores and makes the ice
core data unreliable, contrary t what Ellenberger and Mewhinney
suggest. According to Richard Monastersky:
For the last 15 years, most climate researchers have looked to space for
an explanation of the ice ages that have repeatedly gripped our planet
in recent geologic times. The established theory, called the
Milankovich hypothesis, holds that wiggles and wobbles in Earth's orbit
serve as a pacemaker that determines when the planet plunges into a
glacial period and when it thaws out of one. But new evidence from a
deep crack in the Nevada Desert threatens to overturn the Milankovich
theory and replace it with a more down-to-Earth solution.
We feel that the Milankovich theory is incapable of explaining the
climate shift," says Isaac J. Winograd of the [United States] Geological
Survey in Reston, [Virginia]....
The climate information collected by Winograd's group comes from Devil's
Hole .... The fissure is filled with mineral-rich water that has coated
the rock walls with layer upon layer of calcite over the last 500,000
By analyzing the ratio of two isotopes--oxygen-18 and oxygen-16--at
hundreds of spots along the calcite core, Winograd and his colleagues
identified changes in the temperature of the atmosphere when rain fell
in the Devil's Hole region....
But the Devil's Hole record, with its superior chronology, shows that
the timing of specific events in the last 500,000 years does not match
the predictions of the Milankovich theory ....
In spite of this clear denial of Milankovich, Caesare Emiliani attempted
interpret the Devil's Hole findings in terms of Milankovich but was
shown to be wrong by the scientists who had carried out the research.
In a letter to Nature, they stated:
We are puzzled by the table in the Scientific Correspondence by
Emiliani. He rejects the conventionally used terminations (glacial,
interglacial transitions) as time markers and focuses on bathythennals
(the coldest portions of glacial cycles), which he deems to be sharper
and, therefore, more precise time markers. He claims that bathythermals
in the Devil's Hole O-18 chronology occur at times when the orbital
parameters of [the Earth] obliquity [(axil tilt)] and eccentricity [to
the Sun] are both low .... thereby supporting the Milankovich
We show [in a table] ... the seven astronomical "low" events that
Emiliani gives .... We were puzzled as to why Emiliani omitted [from his
table] two well defined "low" events ... and note that they do not
correspond to bathythermals in either the Devil's Hole or the marine
[deep ocean core] O-18 chronologies. Indeed, the "low" [or coldest]
event occurs during a peak interglacial time [when it was warmest]. We
also note that Emiliani's designation of a "low" event [for two periods]
does not [even] fit the earlier stated definition.
Also show[n] in the figure are the eight major O-18 minima, denoting
times of full glacial climate, found in the Devil's Hole chronology,
and the subset of six events that Emiliani gives ... in his table. He
did not mention the two Devil's Hole isotope minima [at the time
periods] which do not correspond to any astronomical "low" event.
In comparing the astronomical "low" events predicted by the specific
definition with the minimal isotope events found in the Devil's Hole
chronology, one sees that, although there are four "matches," there are
six "non-matches," twice when a bathythermal would be predicted but did
not happen and four times when one did occur but not during an
astronomical "low" event .
What we have encountered are three dating methods, measuring oxygen-16
and oxygen-18, which contradict each other: one in ice layers in
Greenland, one in an oceanic deep sea core and one in calcite layers in
Nevada. If the measurements at Devil's Hole are correct and are called
superior to the deep sea cores, then there is something seriously wrong
with the data. Of course, some ad hoc theory will be put forth by
establishment theorists to make the contradiction of measurements
harmonize with the preponderant theory. Now just imagine how
neocatastrophists would be assaulted if such an embarrassing
contradiction were to be discovered with respect to our theories. No
doubt, we would be laughed at. But established theory is immune to
Advocates of the Milankovich theory suggest that cores of deep sea
sediment support their space concept.
If this were the case, then all the deep ocean cores should have shown
this. Rose pointed out that "no 'ensemble' of acceptable [deep sea]
cores was available to Hays, Imbric and Shackleton [Milankovich theory
advocates]. Two partial cores that are merged would presumably count
as, at most, one and there cannot be any [analytical] 'ensemble
averaging' of just one item ".
Rose also explained that the "principal information about the ice ages
[comes] from two deep ocean cores...
that were cut and joined together.
How valid is this evidence and on what is it based? As pointed out
above, it was shown conclusively that Milankovich's theory was in
disagreement with the Devil's Hole chronology. This, however, has not
halted scientists from suggesting that deep ocean cores support their
view of climate change.
Nevertheless, as Landwehr and Winograd stated, two known 'low' events
given by Emiliani do not correspond with either the Devil's Hole or the
deep ocean core chronologies. Both the Devil's Hole core chronology and
the deep ocean core chronology contradict Milankovich, but Ellenberger
does not acknowledge this.
According to Christopher Stringer and Clive Gamble:
Core drilled into the soft sediments of the ocean floor contain
skeletons (made from calcium carbonate) of many different species of
microscopic animals, known collectively as foraniinifera.
The foraminiferal life span is short, and a constant rain of these
creatures falls onto the sea bed to create sediments of "foraminifera[n]
... ooze." Over millions of years, these skeletons can accumulate to
form sedimentary masses as the chalk hills and cliffs of southern
England, now uplifted from their original positions under the sea.
But how can such microscopic creatures help us to establish a chronology
for the Pleistocene? When alive and living at the surface of the ocean,
foraminifers absorb two isotopes of oxygen contained in the sea water.
As the numbers indicate, O-18 and O-16 differ in isotopic [atomic]
"weight." When the oceans are small, as happens during continental
glaciation, moisture which is drawn off to build the ice sheets takes
with it the lighter... isotope. This leaves an ocean that is
isotopically "heavy" in terms of 'O-18.... The fluctuating ratios of the
two isotopes are recorded in the skeletons of the foraminifera.
These investigators also explained that changes in "animal and marine
faunas are very important for recognizing these [temperature changes
of] larger subdivisions [of the Pleistocene]"'
(Emphasis added.) One of the ways of telling oceanic temperature
variations is through the direction of foraminiferan shell swirls. This
is the information, we are told, that conforms to the Milankovich
Citing T. Tosk, Michael J. Oard discussed the complex subject of
taxonomy and biostratigraphy of foraminifers in ocean sediments:
The above two fields [taxonomy and biostratigraphy] are based on many
assumptions from historical geology. Just the classification of oceanic
microorganisms is very complex, with many problems .... There is a
proliferation of different names for the same organism, and much
species-splitting [of one species into several]. Little is known about
the biology and ecology of the modem organisms. Looking at the pictures
in Ramsey's book ... of the various foraminifers from various geological
periods, one is impressed by how similar some of them looked to modem
These impressions are reinforced by an article in Origins.
Tosk... states how foraminiferan] fossils are often placed in separate
biological categories--sometimes even superfamilies [and] are given a
different name if they are found at different stratigraphic levels,
while, if discovered together [at the same level], they would be
considered the same species or genus. So modern foraniinifera are
likely represented in older sediments of the geological time scale and
are disguised by different names. Evolutionists have called this
process "iterative evolution" (similar to parallel or convergent
evolution), whereby the same form supposedly evolved, repeatedly, during
geological history. From a statistical point of view, iterative
evolution seems incredible for a basically chance process (random
mutations). it appears to be a high-sounding term, designed to cover up
an embarrassing evolutionary problem. To add to the confusion,
foraminifers sometimes display different forms under different
ecological conditions. Some of the supposed extinct forms could be odd
varieties of present foraminifers, under critically different
conditions. Some preQuaternary sediments, so classified according to
index microfossils .... are found at the sediment surface and are
probably recent sediments.
Foraminifera separated by different sediment levels and time periods
disappear completely in the ocean. Then they are re-evolved into
exactly the same species. This happens over and over. This is an ad
hoc concept completely without merit. George Gaylord Simpson, one of
the world's leading evolutionists, stated that it is "improbable that
convergence ever produces literal identity in structure and, certainly,
no such case has ever been demonstrated."
One may argue that oxygen-16 and oxygen-18 measurements of
foraminiferan shells support the Milankovich theory in this spliced
together deep ocean core. But this cannot be used as support because
oxygen-16 and oxygen-18 levels, from the deep sea core and from Devil's
Hole, clearly contradict Milankovich. If one wishes to rely upon the
oxygen-16 to oxygen-18 ratio as support for the theory, then this cannot
be evidence for and evidence against the concept. In essence, the
Milankovich theory is becoming another entrenched scientific dogma.
There is another method of dating the past: carbon-14 to
carbon-12 ratios in the annual growth bands of corals. However,
before-1950, when atomic bomb tests produced additional carbon-14 in the
atmosphere, it was found that coral ring and tree ring data disagreed
substantially with one another. Even coral ring carbon ratios from
close contact areas, such as Bermuda and the Florida Keys, differ
substantially with each other. It has been suggested that deep sea,
non-atmospheric upwelling of deep ocean water could account for these
discrepancies. However, there is no upwelling of deep ocean water at
either Bermuda or the Florida Keys.
Researchers assumed that there was local upwelling in Bermuda, but the
Florida Keys coral showed the same disconfirmation of tree rings as that
found in Bermuda, starting at the same time (1900) and going back in
time. One could hardly expect two local upwellings hundreds of miles
apart to end at the same time. The two corals from separate areas
contradict the tree ring measurement prior to 1900. These measurements
were based on carbon-14 to carbon-12 and carbon-13 to carbon-12
measurements, the same ones used to date tree rings.
Therefore, the tree ring chronology often touted as support for
understanding the past is contradicted by coral ring measurements. What
is apparent is that no substantiated evidence exists to support either
climate analysis or the Milankovich theory. Those who suggest this are
party to the "Reinforcement Syndrome."
In addition, it is well known that cores taken from the deep oceans at
and near the tropics have not changed over the last 18,000 years. Based
on all the models, it is expected that, during the Ice Age, the "mean
ocean cooling was 2.3░
The evidence was discussed by Richard Monastersky in Science News:
Oceanographers who study deep-sea sediments detect signs that the
tropical seas weathered the glacial epoch with remarkable stability,
hardly cooling it at all. Yet researchers working on the continents and
islands record evidence of marked cooling there....
This discrepancy troubles climate researchers because it raises the
possibility that their models lack a critical element that Will hinder
their ability to accurately predict future changes.
Certain reefs off Barbados suggest that the tropical oceans had cooled
significantly, in terms of what Ice Age theory predicts. However, a
major study by the Climate Long-Range Investigation and Mapping Program
(CLIMAP) which analyzed plankton, reported in 1981, found no such
evidence for cooling. This does not agree with the evidence from the
continents, which shows dramatic climate changes.
Now both coral and land findings contradict oceanic climate findings.
In essence, the tree rings disagree with the corals, which disagree with
the deep sea cores in the tropical oceans. Does this sound as if the
climate and temperature records, attained by these dating methods,
The Milankovich theory cannot be supported by deep sea cores unless, of
course, one is willing to make evolution do just what is needed to
conveniently support Milankovich and ignore Devil's Hole. On the other
hand, what does this evidence say with respect to Velikovsky's
catastrophic theory? If, as Velikovsky suggests, the oceans were
disrupted, the foraminifers would become mixed in the oozes with other
microscopic, organic materials buried at various sediment layers. The
fact that foraminifers are mixed into different ooze layers is clear
support for his concept. If Ellenberger or Mewhinney can explain this
evidence that contradicts their views, I am prepared to listen.
Given the Devil's Hole core findings, one must wonder if the ice cores
are really a true reflection of the process described by Ellenberger,
Mewhinney and the scientific sources they site.
Long ago, Fred Hall pointed out that seasonal variations of oxygen-16
and oxygen-18 in ice layers are not related to climate at all.
He claimed that a
vastly different picture is presented by specialists who actually have
to deal with the subtleties of the ice cores. To begin with, there is
far too much mixing of gases, over time, to allow for Ellenberger's
simplistic assumption. I refer the reader, for example, to the
December 23, 1988, issue of Science and the article
"Gravitational Separation of Gases and Isotopes in Polar
Ice Caps," by H. Craig, Y. Horibe and T. Sowers, pp. 1675ff.
What will be absolutely clear to the objective reader of this article is
that the atmospheric gases left in deposited layers [of snow] do not
remain in those layers. Rather, due to gravity, they are
diffused downward, tending to accumulate on top of more dense layers or
The accumulating firn [ice-snow granules) acts like a giant columnar
sieve through which the gravitational enrichment can be maintained by
molecular diffusion. At a given borehold, the time between the
fresh fall of new snow and its conversion to nascent ice is
roughly the height of the firn layers in [meters] divided by the annual
accumulation of new ice in meters per year. This results in
conversion times of centuries for firn layers just inside the
Arctic and Antarctic circles, and millennia for those well inside
[the] same. Which is to say--during these long spans of time, a
continuing gas-filtering process is going on, eliminating any
possibility of using the presence of such gases to count annual layers
over thousands of years.
According to the cited article, the percentages of gases in the pores at
the base of the firn layer, where ice becomes solid, were much higher
than those obtained in atmospheric gases. One of these gases turned out
to be oxygen-18., The oxygen-18 bad diffused downward and condensed at
the bottom. The maximum enrichment of the heavy isotopes (nitrogen-15
and oxygen-18) observed followed patterns predicted for gravitational
equilibrium at the base of the firn layer, as calculated from the depth
of the transition layer and the temperature of the firn.
The authors then showed examples where oxygen measurements are totally
inconsistent with present-day atmospheric content in temperature regimes
expected to be almost exactly the same as at present: O2
trapped in 2,000-year-old ice from Camp Century, Greenland, has an
O-18/O-16 enrichment given by a δ (O-18) = 0.61 per [millimeter] versus
present-day atmospheric O2."
They claimed that this evidence supports the concept that the layers of
oxygen-16 and oxygen-18 relate to filtration and condensation in the
pores of the firn, and not to accumulation of oxygen-16 and oxygen-18
layers from snow containing different amounts of these isotopes. The
past 2,000-year-old record should not be so different from the
present-day record if the climate layering concept is correct.
If this is the process responsible for oxygen isotope layers, the entire
argument presented by Ellenberger and Mewhinney is wrong. How do they
explain away this evidence? To date they have simply ignored it! Warm
and cold snaps occur repeatedly over the Greenland icecap and,
therefore, rapid meltings and freezings will leave several deposits of
oxygen-16 or oxygen-18 in the ice, based on the gas diffusion process
attested to by Craig, Horibe and Sowers. That is, instead of having one
layer of oxygen-16 or oxygen-18 per year, three or four layers may be
produced by this method each year; thus, the record is actually a
reflection of this diffusion process and not of the climate. If the
temperature 2,000 years ago was similar to that of today, there should
never have been such a large difference in oxygen-16 and oxygen-18
content in the ice. The age of the ice, based on this concept, could be
quite different from what we are led to believe. Ellenberger and
Mewhinney assert that the volcanic signatures support the validity of
the ice cores. This diffusion process could only occur in the winter,
when the firn lacks water from summer snow melts on the cap, or during
hot and cold spells in the spring or fall.
Glaciologists admit that the top of the southern icecaps fill with water
in the summer months:
A large proportion of the ice of glaciers in lower latitudes is at, or
close to, the melting point, and these glaciers are referred to as
"temperate." In contrast to temperate glaciers, on which there is
considerable surface melting during summer months, polar glaciers, by
the glaciologists' definition, are "cold." This defines a polar glacier
or ice sheet as one on which the surface temperature does not reach the
melting point at any time of the year.
In the defined "cold" polar glaciers, glaciologists stated that the
temperature does not reach the melting point at any time of the year.
What does surface melting do to the ice when the water in the firn layer
fills up? The water adheres to and contaminates the firn through which
it flows. This can be seen by a recent excavation in the Greenland
icecap carried out by a group of airplane enthusiasts working inside the
Recently, my brother, David Ginenthal, sent me a copy of a Forbes
supplement article regarding a group of men who melted a hole through
the Greenland icecap to a depth of 260 feet within the Arctic Circle, so
as to recover United States airplanes that crash-landed on the snow in
1942. The planes had to have sunk through the snow and firn layers
rapidly. What this party found clearly proves that contamination occurs
long before the snow and firn turn to ice. The hole is described as
The walls of the shaft were bluish-white. This was the transition
zone--packed snow being compressed into ice. We saw [that] that
process, known as firnification, was complete by around 70 or 80
feet--the so-called firn line. Above the firn line, the glacier was
snowy, below, dense ice. In mid-summer, with the sun melting [much] of
the snowy surface, the glacier, [Pat] Epps had told me, 'was like a
saturated sponge on a kitchen counter." The porous, snowy top held
lots of water and the excess water ran along the hard ice shelf toward
Water drips and drains throughout the entire 70 or 80 feet of snow and
firn in the glaciers during mid-summer. Of course, this dripping and
migration of water is occurring over the entire snow-firn layer of the
Greenland glacier, as will be shown. Water carries oxygen-16 and
oxygen-18 from the top of the porous, snow-firn layers to those below,
to a depth of 70 to 80 feet. During wintertime, this flow is halted and
the oxygen in the water has been diffused into the firn, to which it
adheres. The water flow is now displaced, not only with depth but also
far from where it originally fell as snow. This form of dripping and
migration has been going on every summer, year after year, contaminating
the entire snow-firn layer of the Greenland icecap and this contaminated
material then forms ice in layers. What becomes clear is that this
well-observed process shows that the ice in the ice cores is derived
from a highly contaminated source and cannot be relied upon to give
anything resembling an accurate year-by-year climate indicator at this
Does this melting occur in Greenland, say at Thule, northwest of the
island, where ice is not expected to melt? To verify this, I called a
boyhood friend, Francis Sherwood, who was stationed in Thule in the
1950s. He told me that, during the summer season, in late June through
part of August, the temperature would rise from 35 to 45░
F and that the pack ice, on the ocean adjacent to the base, would melt,
which allowed ocean-going ships to bring in supplies and heavy
equipment. He told me that small flowers grew during this season. Most
significantly, he reported that there was definite glacial melting,
proven by water running in the drains from the icecap to the sea.
In essence, the condition described by Pat Epps, in which the snow-firn
layer was saturated with water, occurs over the entire icecap every
summer and contaminates all the ice. But what no one has discussed
regarding ice cores, as far as I know, is the period known as the
hipsithermal, which lasted from 8,000 to about 2,800 years ago, when the
temperature was greater by 4 to 5░
According to P. Borisov, a meteorology and climatology professor at
Leningrad State University:
During the last 18,000 years, the warming was particularly appreciable
during the Middle Holocene. This covered the time period of 9,000 to
2,500 years ago and culminated about 6,000 to 4,000 years ago, i.e.,
when the first pyramids were already being built in Egypt. It should be
noted that the dating of the beginning of the culmination of warming
varies. [H.] Gross dates it at about 7,500 years ago, [with] the
culmination [lasting] until 4,500 years ago; whereas, according to M. A.
Lavrova, the culmination began about 6,000 years ago ... [and] lasted
until 4,000 yearsago.
The most perturbing questions of the stage under considerationare: Was
the Arctic Basin iceless during the culmination of the optimum?... What
was, in relation to this, the reaction of the climatic conditions on the
Many scientists hold that, during the climatic optimum, the Arctic Basin
was free of ice. C. Brooks substantiates his assertion by the fact that
there was a relatively rich flora and no ice on Spitsbergen; there were
warm water [mollusks] and the temperature of the open Arctic Basin and
its coast was higher than it is today. At the same time, a [2 to 2.5░
C] rise in ... the surface water [for the mollusks to live] and of the
layer of air nearest [to] the ground ... has been very well demonstrated
by a number of independently conducted studies using different methods.
The permafrost, which covers the Arctic Basin, greatly deteriorated
during the period of its warming. Thus, in the north and northwest of
Siberia, the melting reached a depth of [200 to 300 meters]. The
mountain glaciers diminished considerably and, in some places,
How did the climate react to the disappearance of ice in the Arctic
The vegetative zones advanced toward the pole. On the Eurasian
continent, this latitudinal shift amounted to [4 to 5░]
in the west and to [1 to 2░]
in the east. Some plant species advanced their northern boundaries as
much as 1,000 [kilometers]. Forests extended right up to the Barents
Coast and the oak linden and filbert reached the shores of the White
Sea. The information available warrants the assumption that, on the
European continent, the tundra and forest-tundra zones disappeared
completely. In the northern part of Asia, plant fossils were found only
80 [kilometers] from Cape Chelyuskin and peat-moss was discovered on
In Inner Alaska and the Yukon, the absolute age of the peat deposits is
estimated at 5,000 years. Hornwort has been found in deposits 5,400
years old, in northeast Canada, at a latitude of [64' 19"N] and
longitude [102' 4"W]. Now hornwort only extends to latitude [59' 14"N,
a difference of 350 miles]....
The culmination of the climate optimum of the Middle Holocene began to
fade 4,000 years ago, and the ice sheet of Arctic Basin began to
reappear about 3,000 years ago.
Velikovsky also documented warmer climate, up to the last catastrophe he
described 2,800 years ago.
According to C. E. P. Brooks, the hipsithermal ended in one year with a
Then came an unusually ... cold winter, the icecap obtained a footing,
and perhaps in the course of a single season, covered the greater part
of the Arctic Ocean. The result was a sudden great change in the
climate of Europe; the conditions of today came in "With the appearance
of a catastrophe." The icecap, once formed, kept the winter temperature
below the critical point by its own power of persistence.
Since the Arctic climate, from around 8,000 to 2,800 years ago, was much
warmer than at present and underwent a catastrophic end, this means that
every summer, if there was an icecap covering Greenland prior to
Velikovsky's catastrophe, it had to melt even more strongly, for longer
summer periods, starting more to the north than at present, but the
amount of the melting occurred during the entire period of Velikovsky's
catastrophic scenarios. This precludes that any uncontaminated signal
of the climate could be derived from any ice of this period in
Greenland. Ice melts for seven to eight weeks at Thule presently.
Because it was warmer during this period, both the ice and the snow-firn
layer had to have melted much more than at present. In KRONOS,
Rose showed that one must drill in a region of little to no summer
melting so as to meet acceptable criteria to evaluate climate from ice
layers. Rose stated one of the drill site requirements for proper
analysis of the climate records: "It had to be at a spot far enough
north that there was negligible summer melting."
Based on all of the above, there would have been extensive summer
melting on the entire Greenland icecap from 8,000 to Z800 years
ago, or during the entire period of Velikovsky's catastrophes, if
the icecaps existed. But Ellenberger and Mewhinney are oblivious to
this, saying that they will determine climate evidence from ice that
experts say should not show extensive summer melting. As Hans Oeschger
explained, the Dye 3 ice core exhibited temperature "changes during the
Wisconsin [Ice Age, which] need further confirmation by measurements on
other ice cores to exclude artifacts due to melt layers." (Emphasis added.) This authority on ice cores claim that one must
not assume temperature regimes from ice cores that have formed in areas
of melt. However, long before the more northern cores were drilled in
Greenland, Ellenberger and Mewhinney claimed that they knew the
temperature from cores which Oeschger had said needed confirmation.
Therefore, even if the icecap existed before then, which I strongly
doubt because of the ancient maps, the case presented by Ellenberger
and Mewhinney ignores the fundamental evidence of possible
melting contamination. Furthermore, since this climatic optimum
period encompassed the entire globe, then the same conditions had to
pertain to the Antarctic icecap.
Now, not only does water percolating through the snow-firn porous layers
contaminate the snow and firn with false readings of oxygen-16 and
oxygen-18, it also dilutes acids in the snow and firn layers. That is,
if acid is introduced from volcanic activity in the northern hemisphere
and is incorporated into snow which falls on the icecap, then it must
not be diluted with water in order to remove it from its original
position in the snow and firn layers. But yearly summer melting may do
that, destroy the original acid signal and, maybe, deposit dilute acid
elsewhere. Thus, any acid signal found in the layers is of dubious
In Part I of Sean Mewhinney's "Ice Cores and Common Sense," he stated
that volcanic aerosols from many well-known eruptions have left acidity
markers in the Greenland ice, including those from "a major eruption at
Candlemas Island roughly 3,200 years ago."
Of great importance is the accurate dating of tephra, elastic
material ejected from volcanoes, so as to definitively date volcanic
eruptions. These are dated by themoluminescence and by other methods.
According to Glenn W. Berger, "no single, reliable, physical dating
technique has been available for the time range from a few hundred years
up to several hundred thousand years for both distal and proximal tephra
As late as January, 1992, the dating of volcanic eruptions was not known
to be completely reliable. Despite what Ellenberger and Mewhinney
claim, approximate dates given by different methods do not legitimize
the methods; unreliable methods remain unreliable even when their
results tend to agree.
Mewhinney omitted Bernard Newgrosh's evidence: "Nor do the ice cores
record the largest "frost signature" in the BC record in the Mount St.
Helens eruption, whose ash is radiocarbon-dated to c. 2035 BC."
Mewhinney and Ellenberger suggested that volcanic eruptions in the
latitudes of Mount St. Helen leave an acid signal in the Greenland
icecap. But, as Newgrosh showed, such is not the case. If Velikovsky's
acidic signatures are missing because, as Mewhinney and Ellenberger
claim, they never happened, then where is the acid signature from a
major 4,000-year-old eruption? Are we to also assume it never
happened? If the ice cores were really accurate, this acid signal
should have been detected.
I believe that this volcanic signal made before Velikovsky's catastrophe
was not detected because the deeper ice was not built up gradually, but
rapidly and catastrophically. If the build-up was gradual, the signal
would have been detected. This is not a small point, but, as we will
see, the truly major points of evidence against what Ellenberger and
Mewhinney suggest cannot be explained away.
If the icecaps were built up suddenly, the acid and dust would have been
deposited all through the ice and not at just one level. This is the
fundamental error made by Ellenberger and Mewhinney. They have
maintained, in the face of accurate maps of Greenland and Antarctica,
that there existed immense icecaps over these land masses before
Velikovsky's Venus catastrophe. But the maps indicate that there were
no major continental icecaps in these regions and, therefore, the
icecaps were created in a short catastrophic event--not in tens or
hundreds of thousands of years, but in less than a year. This is, I
believe, the crux of the debate. If the icecaps were created as
Velikovsky's scenario suggests, there should be clear evidence of this
fact and that evidence should contradict the uniformitarian analysis and
concept Ellenberger and Mewhinney have presented.
There is a more important reason for being skeptical about volcanic
acid, particularly during the period of Velikovsky's scenario. One of
the basic premises of glaciologists is that they believe they know
exactly which specific, ancient acid signal in the ice core belongs to a
specific, ancient volcanic eruption (2,000 to 7,000 years old). But
this is based purely on assumption. They cannot know with certainty
whether or not this is the case because volcanic tephra dating
techniques are not completely reliable. The glaciologists' entire
concept is based on circular reasoning. I had pointed out to
Ellenberger, while in Canada, that the voicanologists claimed the acid
signal reported by Mewhinney for Santorini (Thera) was 15 times greater
than Santorini could produce. So how can anyone claim to know the
origin of any acid signal?! When we are forced to go back into ancient
times--when precise reports of volcanic activity outside the civilized
world were neither reported nor dated reliably-one can only guess which
acid signal comes from which volcano.
This point is made specifically clear by Walter Sullivan in a New
York Times article: "Fifty-seven of 69 [volcanic] events recorded
[in the Greenland ice core] for the last 2,000 years were matched with
This means that over 18% of the eruptions are traced to unknown volcanic
events. However, in the deeper ice, from 2,000 to 7,000 years ago,
during the events of Velikovsky's scenario where this evidence is
supposedly crucial, the correlation of acid signals with known volcanic
eruptions was "only [30%] of the older record to 7000 BC."
That is, 70% of the volcanic signals are of unknown origin. When seven
out of ten signals are of unknown origin, there is a clear probability
that the signals found in the ice may have originated from one of the
seven unknown volcanic events. The entire case reflects circular
Sullivan is very careful to use terms which indicate that
the precision related to the correlations is not truly known: "Ash
believed to have come .... A prominent ash layer at a depth
corresponding to 4083 BC may have come from .... [The one believed to
have occurred at Santorini .... [There are exceptions to known acid
signals in the ice core .... The earliest exactly dated eruption was
that of Vesuvius ... in AD 79."
This careful use of words reflects exactly what I presented above. By
circular reasoning, each piece is fit into place. Ellenberger and
Mewhinney have simply ignored this approach so as to provide us with
their interpretation of data which is not proven. Sullivan has told us
that, between 2,000 and 7,000 years ago--when Velikovsky's catastrophes
had to have occurred, 70% of the volcanic acid signals cannot be matched
with anything! Yet Ellenberger and Mewhinney suggest that such a record
can clearly disprove Velikovsky's hypothesis. With 70% of the volcanic
acid signal correlation missing during Velikovsky's catastrophic
timeframe, very little is secure and the evidence touted by Ellenberger
and Mewhinney proves either extremely inconclusive or without real
merit. For example, Hapgood presented a list of glacial eruptions based
on radiocarbon dates in The Path of the Pole.
Here is an abbreviated sample:
Date (Years) Place
8,620 +350 Japan
11,520 +400 Japan
11,720 +220 Japan
12,750 +350 Montana, United States
13,800 +300 Costa Rica
It is clear that, with eruption value variations between 220 to 400
years, the dating of volcanic eruptions is anything but precise. Yet
Ellenberger and Mewhinney say that the volcanic eruptions are precisely
dated. Why did they not give the tephra dates for the supposedly known
volcanic eruptions--which happened between 2,000 and 7,000 years
ago--and, more importantly, the variation range for these dates based on
radiocarbon dating, thermoluminescence, or another dating method? If
they had, I believe that their assertions about the accuracy of this
evidence would crumble.
Let us put this evidence to a uniformitarian analysis. "During the 20th
century, there have been eruptions in 1908, 1911, 1918, 1923, 1928,
1942, 1947, 1949, 1950, 1955 and 1971, plus Mount St. Helens and Mount
Pinatuba, which occurred after 1971."
There are 13 eruptions per century. If we put half of the eruptions in
the northern hemisphere and half in the southern hemisphere, then there
are 6.5 eruptions in the northern hemisphere that may be found in the
Greenland icecap and in tree ring chronologies. When we apply this
known figure to the period between 2800 BP and 3500 BP, we would expect
to have this same average number of eruptions going on for seven
centuries. Let us now date these eruptions via carbon-14 analysis, with
a plus-minus tolerance of 100 years.
Now, so as to be over 95% accurate, this requires two standard
deviations of plus-minus 100 years; in other words, plus-minus 200 years
or a 400-year range for any dated volcanic eruption. This means that,
for any dated volcanic eruption, there are 6.5 times four centuries, or
26 other volcanic eruptions that could be dated for the one chosen. Let
us, then, remove 30% of all 26 volcanic eruptions that fit into this
period (since 70% are of unknown origin) as possibly being linked to
supposedly known volcanic events. This comes out to eight volcanic
events removed from consideration, but also leaves us with 18 other
volcanic events, each of which is of an unknown and an undated eruption,
and each of which could be the one that actually occurred in place of
the eight accepted events. All of this means that the Santorini
volcano, which is supposed to have erupted in -1628 and to have left an
acid signal in the Greenland icecap, as well as frost damage in tree
rings of southwestern Bristlecone pines and Irish oaks, could just have
easily been the effect of one of the 18 other volcanic eruptions that
have never been discovered. In fact, the same analysis fits every
supposedly known volcanic eruption for the 700-year period under
discussion. Even if we cut this number in half, we still find that any
of nine unknown eruptive signals in the Greenland ice core could be
responsible for the one that has been assigned. Therefore, it is
unrealistic and irrational to propose that the signals in the Greenland
icecap, from this period of time, correlate with precisely dated
volcanic eruptions since volcanic eruptions from this period cannot
be precisely, nor even remotely, dated when any one signal in the
ice core could have originated from 18 other unknown eruptions.
How can anyone know that a volcanic signal found at one layer is
precisely related to a known eruption without also reasoning that the
ice core and the dating of volcanic eruptions are perfectly accurate?
Since we are told that the dating of volcanic eruptions is not
completely reliable, the acid signals of unknown origin become a
significant impediment to concluding anything about the era of
It may very well be that the oxygen-16 and oxygen-18 layers are created
by gas diffusion and that the volcanic signals come from other eruptions
than those suggested, even from subsurface oceanic volcanoes that have
never been fully evaluated for past eruption histories.
Now, this long discussion regarding ice cores may leave the impression
that I accept that Greenland and Antarctica had large icecaps during
Velikovsky's time frame. I have merely been pointing out problems with
the uniformitarian ice-layering process that has been proposed by
Ellenberger and Mewhinney. What I wish to emphasize is that there is
physical evidence that contradicts this gradualistic interpretation.
What would happen in Greenland during the hipsithermal, running from
about 8000 to about 3000 BP, under a temperature regime 4 or 5░ F hotter than the present?
According to Milankovich supporters, this temperature rise
would end an Ice Age and melt away the glaciers over North America and
Europe. However, when the climatologists discovered this type of
temperature rise over the entire Arctic region, they stated that
Greenland icecap survived. The continental icecaps melted away rapidly
at the end of the Ice Age, but Greenland did not.
Borisov had told us that the Siberian permafrost sank from 200 to 300
meters. Think of what would happen if this occurred all over the Arctic
region. According to Clyde Orr, Jr., "the annual precipitation in the
Arctic is less than in some desert areas. The Arctic gives the
appearance of being a wasteland of lakes, bogs and marshes only because
the ground, permanently frozen a few feet down, impedes drainage."
But this did not stop drainage during the hipsithermal. Not only could
water drain away but, with the sea ice removed, the Arctic climate
became moist: "Coastal-area climates are especially influenced by the
sea, where the prevailing winds blow inward over the land .... tending
to be marine in nature. They are, thus, subject to lesser extremes of
Consider, then, the entire Arctic Ocean without ice most the year and
with longer, warmer spring, summer and fall seasons. There would be
both more snowfall and more warm rainfall removing the snow cover and
the ice cover. A marine climate would create a more temperate
environment because water vapor over the Arctic region would act as a
greenhouse gas, holding the day's heat within the atmosphere. Consider,
then, 24 hours of sunlight, based on the present tilt of the Earth, for
several months in a warm, marine, Arctic environment. The rainfall
would occur often, removing the snow and ice due to the warmer air.
Winters would still be dry periods because the cold allows for little
snowfall. In such a climate, the icecap over Greenland would be removed
According to Borisov:
The British paleoclimatologist, C. Brooks, holds that a rise of only [1░
C] in the surface temperature of the Earth would be enough to make the
entire ice sheet of the Arctic Basin unstable.
The thermal processes are especially effective on the borderline between
the melting and freezing of water. The phase conversions [from water to
snow to ice], within one degree, are accompanied by big changes in the
absorption of solar radiation at the surface of the sea.
It has been calculated that, as a result of the melting of the sea ice,
eight times as much beat is absorbed from solar radiation by the Arctic
Basin as is necessary to reduce the thickness of the continental ice at
the rate of 0.5 [meters] a year.
According to Orr, Jr:
A [one-degree] shift in mean annual temperature is equivalent to roughly
 miles of latitude; one degree is the difference between the
climates of Baltimore and Philadelphia .... A [five-degree] rise, if
maintained a few thousand years, would surely melt some of the six
million square miles of ice and snow now collected at the poles, thereby
raising the levels of the oceans throughout the world. Such an increase
would, very likely, bring tropical conditions to most of the Earth.
He described what has happened on the Earth based on only a I to 2░ F rise over the last century and
into the present one:
During the last century, temperatures have risen in the Northern
Hemisphere, as a whole, somewhere between [1 and 2░
F]. The general change has been in the form of milder
winters, with the col&r areas receiving the most increase and
warm areas being less affected. Spitsbergen and eastern
Greenland have, in recent years, experienced average winter temperatures
between [6 and 13░F],
warmer than they were at the turn of the century.
Spitsbergen's harbor used to be icebound from October through June; now
it is open seven months a year. The growing season in Finland has
increased some  days during the last [1001 years. Lakes in northern
Russia freeze seven days later and break up an average of five days
earlier. Subzero temperatures are only half as common now in Montreal
as they were in the late 1800s; the snowfall, which averaged 130 inches
in the 1880s, has in recent years reached only about 80 inches. With
only a few exceptions, glaciers from the Alps to Alaska have been
shrinking. Some hotels built in Switzerland at the turn of the [last]
century to front upon scenic wonderlands of ice now do not have glaciers
in view. The Thames and Tiber rivers, once habitually ice-covered in
winter, have not frozen over for years....
That the northern hemisphere has been warming is shown most dramatically
by its fauna and flora. Birds, justly famous for reading weather sips,
have shifted northward. The cardinal, tufted titmouse, mockingbird, and
hooded warbler, once regarded as southern habitants, have been found in
recent years in the north-central states and even in New England.
Species that used to migrate south with winter now stay north throughout
the year. Northern Europe is being invaded by Mediterranean birds.
Fifty years ago, the opossum was rarely seen north of Virginia; now
opossums are common as far north as Boston. Deer, moose and badgers are
moving north also. Even fish are migrating; whiting, king mackerel,
halibut, and haddock range further north than they have ever been known
to do before. The cod, once unknown in Greenland, is currently a food
staple of the Eskimos.
Larch, spruce, yellow birch, sugar maple, black ash and
white pine trees that demand cold weather--have been growing farther
north also. Our Midwestern corn belt extends [5001 miles further north;
wheat cultivation has advanced some [200 to 3001 miles into Canada.
Once frozen Russian steppes that never knew a plow have been brought
into production in recent years. Scandinavian mountainsides that were
covered with ice for centuries are presently being plowed; forests have
been inching up the mountain sides....
In Waterton Glacier International Park, along the United States-Canadian
border, during the first half of this century, several of the largest
glaciers completely disappeared while others shrank anywhere from [60 to
With a 1 to 2░
F temperature shift, the average winter temperature rose 6 to 13░ F over Spitsbergen and
Greenland. According to Borisov, between 1890 and 1940, there was a 1
F rise over the Earth which averaged 0.6░ C.
But what was its rise in the polar latitudes?
The rise in the air temperature was particularly noticeable in the high
latitudes, especially in winter. In the 40-odd years [between
1896 and 1938] ... the mean annual temperature [in the Arctic basin] had
C, the December temperature [rose] 9.4░
C [and] the summer temperature changed hardly at all.
Confirming this, Brooks stated that the "magnitude of the change in the
Arctic is shown by the mean winter temperatures of Spitsbergen, which
rose by 16░
F between 1911 [to] 1920 and 1931 [to] 1935. The edge of the main area
of Arctic ice receded toward the pole by some hundreds of miles."
It is clear that small temperature rises over the Earth have their most
pronounced effects not in the tropics or temperate zones but in the
With an overall circulation model, R. L. Newson showed that if the
Arctic icecap melted and the ocean temperature was kept at the freezing
point of ocean water, the winter air temperature over Canada and Siberia
would rise 10 to 30░
C and, over the Arctic Ocean, it would rise 20 to 40░
Employing a different circulation model, M. Warshaw and R. R. Rapp found
that the temperatures over the Arctic basin would be similar to those
found by Newson.
What, then, would ensue with a 4 to 5░
F rise? According to James L. Dyson, during the hipsithermal, the "mean
annual temperature of Svalbard [Spitsbergen] rose above the freezing
The end result: a temperate climate.
Measurements on Greenland's northeastern glaciers, carried out between
1952 and 1954, showed that they were losing
nearly 100 gm/ cm2 [grams per square centimeter] averaged
over the whole glacier surface for one year--equivalent to a depth of
water of nearly one meter. Since all parts of the glacier showed a
greater loss of ice in one year than was compensated by accumulation of
snow, the whole of the glacier is said to be in the ablation area.
The ablated ice is replaced by ice farther in, toward the center of the
During the early Middle Ages, according to Borisov, the Arctic "summer
temperatures were [1 to 2░
According to Brooks:
Icelanders settled in Greenland in the [10th century AD] .... The
settlers brought with them cattle and sheep, which were successfully
reared at first, and they even attempted to grow grain, but, before very
long, the colonies became dependent on supplies from Norway. Norway,
itself, was passing through a time of stress, however, and the visits of
ships became fewer and fewer, until some time in the [15th century
[when] they ceased altogether and the colonies were lost sight of. For
many centuries, their fate was unknown, but the history of the Eastern
Settlement has now been made out by excavations of a Danish
archaeological expedition at Herjolfsnes, near Cape Farewell. The most
important evidence is derived from the excavation of the church yard, in
soil which is now frozen solid throughout the year, but which, when the
bodies were buried, must have thawed for a time in summer, because the
coffins, shrouds, and ... bodies were penetrated by the roots of the
plants. At first, the ground thawed to a considerable depth, for the
early coffins were buried ... deeply. After a time, these early remains
were permanently frozen in, and later burials lie nearer and nearer to
the surface .... Finally, at least  years ago, the ground became
permanently frozen and has remained in that condition ever since, thus
preserving the bodies.
This is what occurs with a 1 to 2░
C rise over four centuries. The central icecap was unable to maintain
the ice in the ablation zone during this longer period. What would
happen to Greenland with a 4 to 5░
F rise in Earth temperature for, perhaps, 5,000 years?
As J. B. Charlesworth explained:
During the Optimum period [hipsithermal], the distribution of ice in
Europe was drastically different from now. This snowline in Norway was
[400 to 500 meters] higher and the Scandinavian glaciers melted away
almost completely ... [O]nly the highest summits reached the snowline.
In Iceland, the Vatnajokull shrank possibly to a few icecaps on the
highest lava-cones .... The ice in Spitsbergen is, likewise, a distinct
[and relatively new] glaciation, though it may have persisted in
Northeast Land since kames and till are associated with raised beaches.
Charlesworth presented a broad picture of the fact that, during the
hipsithermal, there were warmer seas and warmer lands, reduced to
completely removed glaciers all across the Arctic and near-Arctic
The postglacial warm period has been the subject of two international
congresses, a botanical one ... and a geological one .... A. G. Nathorst, on the evidence of the flora, the freshwater and marine
mollusks, and a few invertebrates, showed that it extended over the
North Atlantic region....
Warm mollusks inhabited the "raised beach sea!' about the North
Alien species, no longer living in the local waters, tenanted
Spitsbergen seas.... Marine algae ... also spread as far north as these
islands and Atlantic algae in the northern part of the White Sea ....
During the same ... period .... other warm shells lived off King Charles
land, Franz Joseph Land, Novaya Zemlya, North Siberia, and in the White
Sea, where [temperate shelled species] today [are] restricted to its
The same warm sea is registered by the occupance of [temperate-type
mollusks] in the raised beaches of Ellesmere [Island] and of warmer
shells in Baffin [Island], Melville Peninsula and Southampton Island....
Greenland shells, when the sea stood 10 [meters] higher than now, were
then thicker and bigger and included more southerly forms. [The
mollusks,] whose present northern limit is Newfoundland, ranged north of
the Arctic Circle and ... into east Greenland, where the sea temperature
was [the same as that] of a latitude [520 miles] farther south....
This general sea in the colder portion of the North Atlantic is [home]
out in other ways. The modem ice in [Southwestern] and [northeastern]
Greenland, and in Spitsbergen, has moraines which contain marine
shells--including at Green Bay .... which no longer dwells in
The evidence indicates that the Arctic and North Atlantic oceans had a
temperature shift corresponding to the temperature range of warmer water
located, at present, 750 miles farther south. It is believed that the
Greenland icecap existed in such a warm temperature regime. But what
about the land temperatures, as explained by the plants that grew in
these northern latitudes? Charlesworth stated that higher land
temperatures during the hipsithermal are exhibited by land vertebrates,
such as reptiles, in Denmark and Scandinavia whose present distribution
A number of marsh and freshwater plants ... had a wider distribution
toward the north, as had the water chestnut .... e.g., in Denmark,
Sweden, Finland and Russia where the short autumns make it impossible to
ripen the fruit today....
Trees grew [even farther north] in Norway's outermost islands and as far
as Ingo Island, off North Cape....
The submediterranean oak .... whose northern limit today runs the
Alsace, the Jura Mountains, east Alps, Bohemia and Hungary ... extended
in the Optimum time possibly as far as the North [and the Baltic
Additional evidence is given by ... peats and relics in Greenland--the
northern limits may have been displaced northward through several
degrees of latitude ... and [by] other plants in Novaya Zemlya, and by
peat and ripe fruit stones [fruit pits] ... in Spitsbergen that no
longer ripen in these northern lands. Various plants were more
generally distributed in Ellesmere [Island and] birch grew more widely
in Iceland ....
The point to stress is that large trees should never be able to grow on
islands north of the Arctic Circle. As explained by Ivan T. Sanderson,
"pieces of large tree trunks of the types [found] ... do not and cannot
live at those latitudes today for purely biological reasons. The same
goes for huge areas of Siberia."
As Charlesworth explained above, fruit does not ripen during short
autumns at these high latitudes. The spring and summer seasons had to be
much longer for any seeds from these temperate trees to germinate and
grow. Peats were found on Greenland, however, we are told that peat is
formed "chiefly in temperate, humid climates by the accumulation and
partial decomposition of vegetable remains under conditions of deficient
According to Brooks, "peat bogs ... require a rainfall of at least 40
inches a year and a mean temperature above 32░ F."
According to E. C. Pielou, there were temperate forests on the Seward
Peninsula, in Alaska and the Tuktoyaktuk Peninsula, in Canada's Inuvik
Region, facing the Beaufort Sea and the Arctic Ocean; and at Dubawnt
Lake, in Canada's Keewatin Region, west of Hudson Bay.
In essence, we have temperate forests near the Arctic Ocean, across from
Siberia to Norway and from Alaska to Hudson's Bay. Temperate forests
were also found on Spitsbergen, the outermost islands of Norway, and
there was rich vegetation on Ellesmere Island and Novaya Zemlya.
Temperate conditions existed for thousands of years both east and west
of Greenland and at all the Greenland latitudes. This, of course, would
explain why mammoths and other large animals were able to live, during
this period, throughout these land regions. Therefore, it is more than
reasonable to expect that Greenland did not escape the fate of
all these regions, that it lost its icecap and grew a lush vegetation.
But it is assumed Greenland was glaciated all this time and no plants
that do not grow there now ever lived there during the hipsithermal.
Nonetheless, during an expedition to northeast Greenland, from a dike
ridge of a glacier, crushed plant parts were being exuded through the
ice. According to Louise A, Boyd, the material contained silt,
which gave off a powerful odor like that of decaying vegetable matter
and could be sensed 820 feet from the source:
The silt was examined for fossils by Dr. Esa Hyyppa of the Geological
Survey of Finland, who reported the following:
The silt examined contained two whole leaves, several leaf fragments and
two fruits of Dryas octopetala; [also] a small, partly decayed
leaf of a shrub species not definitely determinable ... and an
abundance of much decayed, small fragments of plant tissues, mostly
leaf veins and root hairs .... No remnants of tree vegetation were
Scientists claimed that there could be "little doubt that the silt is
being squeezed up from the base of the ice. As the local bedrock is
gneiss, it seems probable that the source is a superficial deposit on
the valley floor. The modem aspect of the flora precludes a preglacial
time of origin for it."
Northern Greenland had the same rich type of vegetation on lands where
the glaciers had practically melted away. Then this region was covered
over by ice, which pushed the vegetation toward the Greenland coast
where it is being exuded through the ice.
The northeastern comer of Greenland is actually the coldest region of
this great island. Lister stated that it has a "continental climate
[and is] remote from the influence of the sea....
The ocean ameliorates a land climate. That is why regions like the
northcentral United States have such long, cold and bitter winters
compared to the eastern seaboard. Northeastern Greenland, therefore,
would have the coldest climate of the entire island.
Not only did peat grow in abundance on Greenland, but, at the
northeastern end of the island, the icecap did not exist so as to permit
these plants to grow. However, Greenland is an island about 1,400 miles
long north to south. If the coldest portion of the Greenland glacier
melted completely away and permitted a rich vegetation to thrive, what
must have happened 500 or 1,000 miles to the south of the island, where
it was even warmer? It seems highly probable and reasonable to suggest
that the melting away of glaciers in northeastern Greenland and in
Ellesmere Island was accompanied by the melting of nearly all the
Greenland icecap. If the coldest portion of the Greenland icecap melted
away, it seems highly probable that the more southern, warmer regions
also melted away and supported the same types of vegetation found along
the Arctic Ocean--from Siberia to Norway to Hudson's Bay to Alaska.
Icecaps in the northern hemisphere melt from the southern to the
northern ends because the southern region is warmer. But glaciologists
and climatologists expect us to accept that the coldest region of
Greenland completely melted away while all the warmer regions did not.
This is not only illogical, but also geophysically and thermodynamically
According to Lister, during 1952 to 1954, Greenland was losing a meter
of water in its ablation zone (or over a meter of ice, since ice is less
dense than water) per year.
As pointed out by Borisov, a 1░
C rise of the Earth's surface temperature, when calculated, results in
the melting of the sea ice, so eight times as much heat is absorbed from
solar radiation but will "reduce the thickness of the continental ice at
the rate of 0.5 meters a year."
If we accept these calculations as reasonable, since one reflects what
was measured at Greenland, and apply them to the Greenland icecap during
the hipsithermal, we discover a most interesting result: the Greenland
icecap would have melted away completely. Furthermore, Charlesworth
told us that the hipsithermal was a "xeric" or "xerothermic" period,
meaning a dry weather period, which implies that there was less snowfall
to generate new ice.
Another aspect of this evidence that must be pointed out: Ice does not
melt from below unless volcanism is heating the rock in contact with the
ice at the bottom of a glacier. Ice melts from the top or sides,
downward and inward. There can be no doubt that much or all of the
Greenland and Antarctica icecaps melted during this 3,000-to-5,000-year
warm period. Of greatest significance is that the icecaps melted from
the top downward. This simply means that the icecap melted and flowed
away as water and that, during this entire period, no ice layers could
have ever formed. Since more ice was being lost than was forming during
this timeframe, no ice layers from before 8,000 to 3,000 years ago could
have remained even if Velikovsky's theory is completely disregarded.
The layers of ice that Ellenberger and Mewhinney are presenting as
evidence against Velikovsky, based on their own gradualistic processes,
could never have existed, yet this has not stopped them from arguing
that the layers are there. Ellenberger and Mewhinney have dismissed
this fundamental melting evidence!
In addition, since the hipsithermal melted many icecaps from top to
bottom, then the ice core record would have a gigantic hiatus between
the formation of more modem ice and ancient ice. While turning their
assumptions to fact, ignoring this required hiatus, the ice core
advocates claim that there is a full record of year-by-year ice layers
going back to the ancient past. This is neither reasonable nor
possible. The immense melting of the icecaps during the hipsithermal
would have melted away untold thousands of years of ice, if not all of
The hipsithermal lasted about 5,500 years. If we employ a very
conservative 1.5 meter loss of ice per year, we get 7,500 meters of ice
lost in 5,000 years, or over 24,500 feet of ice lost. If we assume that
the ablation of the icecap lasted for only 4,000 years, we still lose
6,000 meters or over 19,500 feet of ice. For 3,000 years, we lose 4,500
meters, almost 15,000 feet of ice. The 4 to 5░
F rise clearly melted the ice even more than these figures suggest.
Since the Greenland glacier presently averages a depth of about 5,000
feet, with a few high points at 10,000 feet at one-third of our melting
figures, the present icecap would either melt away completely or almost
completely. We would get the same results with 0.5 meters per year of
What stopped this higher temperature from melting away nearly the entire
icecap? Why did such a long period of greater heat not melt away
several thousands of feet of ice?
The ancient maps of Greenland clearly indicate that this region was free
of ice, as was much of Antarctica. The tales of ancient man, of a
golden age climate when life was beautiful, is in full agreement with
the climate of the hipsithermal, which must have made the Earth an Eden
of clement weather for our ancient ancestors who recalled this Edenic
period in their myths.
Ultimately, what must be shown is that the deeper ice cores, themselves,
exhibit undeniable evidence that the uniformitarian interpretation of
them is thoroughly wrong. It must be shown that the deeper icecaps were
built up extremely fast, as Velikovsky claimed, and not gradually, as
the uniformitarians propose.
The most fundamental evidence is related to dust, just as Ellenberger
and Mewhinney suggest, but not in terms of their uniformitarian outlook
and interpretation. Nothing in the top layers of the icecaps has
anything to do with Velikovsky's hypothesis. Whatever was presented
from these layers is only related to the uniformitarian, gradualistic
interpretation of ice formation. Pointing to anything found after
Velikovsky's catastrophic events, as Ellenberger and Mewhinney do, has
and never had anything whatsoever to do with his scenario. It is
precisely the same kind of retrocalculation for eclipses that earlier
critics employed. They claimed that, by retrocalculation of the present
celestial planetary positions, they could prove that nothing of a
celestial, planetary, catastrophic nature affected the Earth. To do so,
for Venus' appearances and disappearances, Huber had to throw out 30% of
the Babylonian tablet readings. That is, critics first analyzed the
evidence that postdated Velikovsky's scenario and then said that it
applied to his hypothesis. To do so, they had to throw away much of the
evidence or reinterpret it to explain it away. Ellenberger and
Mewhinney have applied the same approach. They have, as I have often
charged, applied uniformitarian interpretations to catastrophic
evidence--like throwing away the hipsithermal melting data.
Dust evidence is fundamental. According to Ellenberger and Mewhinney,
the dust in the Greenland icecap shows no definite spike where they
require it to be. First, let me remind Ellenberger and Mewhinney about
Venus' dust. What must be home in mind is that Venus was never a
comet! It was, as Velikovsky proposed, an incandescent planet that
looked like a comet on a cometary orbit. The dust, of course, has to do
with the period of darkness that ensued.
Velikovsky proposed that there were years of darkness associated with
his 3,500-year-old Venus catastrophe. As I pointed out in KRONOS
long ago, the atmosphere cleanses itself of dust in only a few months.
DUST CANNOT REMAIN IN THE ATMOSPHERE FOR MANY YEARS. And I cite that
work in KRONOS once again:
A large comet need not even hit the Earth to produce [sufficient
blackout] dust; a near mass would leave enough debris in Earth's
atmosphere to produce a complete blackout....
Toon figures that the dust [in the stratosphere] would settle quickly
and photosynthesis could resume by about three months after the initial
Even when computations are made for larger volumes of dust-trillions or
tens of trillions of tons--the sky would be as bright as a moonlit night
in three months after the impact, and bright enough for photosynthesis
to resume in four months time .... if [the dust particles] should remain
separate, and therefore, settle more slowly, darkness might last longer
than a year, but this possibility was considered highly improbable.
Most likely, darkness could not have lasted more than a few months no
matter how massive a comet or asteroid had hit ....
Since dust cannot remain in the atmosphere for several years, as is well
known and understood, then the years of darkness cannot and should never
have been ascribed to atmospheric dust as Ellenberger and Mewhinney have
done. But on this point neither Ellenberger nor Mewhinney were
listening. In order for them to entrap Velikovsky, they invented a new
type of atmospheric physics to keep dust in the atmosphere for many
years, so as to argue a point that is contradicted by fundamental
atmospheric science! The ice could not contain years of dust that
settled out of the atmosphere because immense amounts of dust cannot
last for many years in the atmosphere.
Furthermore, the report of years of darkness were most probably inflated
from reports of months of darkness made by ancient man. Having gone
through such earth-shaking experiences, it would be quite natural and
reasonable for the ancient traumatized survivors to believe that they
wandered through a darkness that seemed to last for years. But, if
Ellenberger or Mewhinney still wish to claim that there must be a layer
of dust in the ice cores, derived from their claim that the atmosphere
held dust for years, then let them explain why the physics of the
atmosphere was different in ancient times to allow for so much dust to
remain there for so long. Again, their entire argument is based on
ignoring basic atmospheric, scientific facts! SO MUCH DUST CANNOT
REMAIN IN THE ATMOSPHERE FOR YEARS!!!
Where, then, during these months of darkness, did the dust fall and
how? According to my source in KRONOS:
The ocean would indeed have boiled above the target site!
The amount of water vapor thrown out into the air would supersaturate
the stratosphere above an area several thousand kilometers across. The
vapor would rapidly recondense ... out of the atmosphere. Croft
estimated that most of the vapor would return to the Earth's surface in
a few months. Total precipitation would amount to [1,0001 meters or so
coming down at an average rate of 5 to 10 meters or 200 to 400 inches
per day, [and] rain and snow would have cleansed the air of dust and
accelerated the return of sunlight.
This data shows that the dust was removed from the atmosphere by rain
and snow. In the Arctic and Antarctic regions, the immense amount of dust
in the atmosphere would have descended with enormous falls of
snow. This would have produced enormous amounts of dust in the
icecap, not as one unique layer but as an unusual amount of dust
throughout the ice. Again, I am not discussing cometary dust but
planetary dust from Venus and from the Earth.
Long ago, Ellenberger attacked my view on this point, saying that "Mr.
Ginenthal's attempt to reinterpret the 'Worzel ash'...is unconvincing.
In accepting a volcanic origin, he ignores the point that its support
for Velikovsky resided in its having a cometary origin and worldwide
Ellenberger has turned an incandescent planet on a cometary orbit into a
comet. Although Venus could have some cometary material or comets in
orbit around it, it was never a comet, based on Velikovsky's theory.
It was a planet and most of the material in its tail would be
planetary volcanic debris and dust. This misconception on
Ellenberger and Mewhinney's part is common to Velikovsky's critics.
Patrick Moore used it in Can You Speak Venusian, claiming
that Venus was a comet which converted itself into a planet. If he,
Mewhinney or Ellenberger had paid any attention to what Velikovsky said
about Venus, they would never have made this mistake. Lastly, if the
material fell into the ocean during a planetary upheaval, it would not
leave a uniform layer because the ocean would take several months to
subside from its agitation. Ellenberger has applied uniformitarian
assumptions to a catastrophic theory and confused protoplanet Venus with
If Venus was born 10,000 or more years ago and had an orbit out to
Jupiter, it would have lost most of its cometary dust long before its
first encounter with the Earth. Its dust, left on Earth, would have
been mostly volcanic and planetary in nature. This is so because it was
not made up of cometary material but of planetary material. Its
cometary matter would have been emitted into space from its stupendously
hot surface first. As is known, comets emit their cometary materials as
they near the sun and receive warmth. A body that was incandescent at
birth would have lost much of these materials. That is why Venus would
have left planetary and volcanic dust in Earth's atmosphere at the
time. Although actual comets probably had accompanied Venus as Venusian
satellites, they would have had fewer direct tail contacts with Earth
because they would have been in Venus' gravitational sphere of influence
and must have orbited around Venus so that their tail relationship to
the solar wind would cause them to very briefly emit cometary material
into the Earth's atmosphere, along with Venusian planetary dust. Thus,
in the icecap, there may be regions of this cometary material but,
overall, most of the dust would be planetary or meteorological in
origin. It is this other cometary material that would have provided the
hydrocarbons described by Velikovsky. And it is this dust
interpretation which is an excellent way of determining which
process--uniformitarian or catastrophic--is congruent with the
According to Robert Silverberg:
During the glacial epochs, such regions as Africa, South America,
central Asia and the southern United States experienced "pluvial"
periods of greatly increased rainfall. A series of pluvial and
interpluvial periods, almost exactly corresponding to the glacials and
interglacials of colder latitudes, has been determined. During these
prolonged rainy spells, lakes and rivers grew, basins now dry filled
with water and deserts bloomed. Nevada contained more water than
Minnesota does today, a vanished pluvial lake we call Lake Lahontan
covered the northwestern part of the state. California's Death Valley
had a pluvial lake more than [1001 miles long. The biggest of the
American pluvial lakes was Bonneville, of which only the shrunken
remnant we call Great Salt Lake remains. In the wettest periods, Lake
Bonneville was nearly [1,0001 feet deep--Great Salt Lake is 30 feet deep
at most--and reached into Nevada and Idaho. There were lakes in the
Sahara; rainfall was heavy in Africa's Kalahari Desert and Asia's Gobi.
This information is confirmed by Brooks, who stated that "during the
Quaternary Ice Age .... the rainfall over the non-glaciated regions was
heavier than present rainfall."
As Hsu pointed out earlier, rainfall washes dust out of the atmosphere.
For thousands upon thousands of years during the Ice Age, rain had
cleansed the atmosphere of dust. Charlesworth explained that the
hipsithermal exhibits "much evidence not only of a warmer but of a
drier, 'xeric' or 'xerothermic' period."
As Pielou explained regarding the end of the Ice Age:
Where newly ice-free land was suddenly exposed to warmth and dryness,
conditions were probably harsh, though not in the sense of being cold.
The proximity of warm land to cold ice produced a steep temperature
gradient and, consequently, strong winds. Continual gales must have
swept across the country before vegetation had developed to act as a
brake. As long as there were no plants to diminish its force at ground
level, the wind picked up quantities of loose dust, sand and grit from
the quickly drying till, producing dust storms that darkened the sky for
weeks at a time.
Needless to say, this and the fact that the hipsithermal was a dry
period would have created a lot of dust in the upper ice region after
the Ice Age ended. Therefore, if the gradualistic claims about the slow
buildup on the icecaps are correct Ice Age ice should contain very
little dust at all as compared to the post-Ice Age layers. If
Velikovsky is correct, just the opposite should be discovered. Based on
this analysis, Velikovsky's catastrophe, which he dated at about 3,500
years ago, must begin where the dust in the ice becomes inordinate in
amount. If Ellenberger, Mewhinney and other ice core advocates are
correct, the Ice Age ice dust, which they date to 12,000 years ago,
should be much less than that formed thereafter. This is the crucial
difference between Velikovsky's catastrophic model and the ice
core advocates' uniformitarian model. Velikovsky's theory requires that
the upper icecap regions contain very little dust and that the deeper
region, below a certain point, exhibit large amounts of dust. The ice
core advocates' theory requires the opposite: upper ice layers should
contain much more dust than do the deeper ice layers. This is the key
determining factor, in analyzing the dust evidence, which Ellenberger
and Mewhinney have not discussed. What, then, does the evidence show?
Hammer et al. state that the dust particles in the ice of the Greenland
glacier were "up to 100 times as great in the last Ice Age as at
and, with respect to Antarctica, that compared to Greenland the dust was
"an order of magnitude higher."
How does one create a hundred times as much Ice Age dust in the
Greenland icecap compared to the present under the gradualistic, rainy
conditions posited by ice core advocates when their theory demands just
the opposite?! Their theory regarding dust is contradicted by this
fundamental finding. This evidence is basic; unless the ice core
advocates confront it and all the other problems with clear and
indisputable evidence to the contrary, they are merely avoiding painful
facts. The dust evidence fully supports Velikovsky's scenario and
contradicts the gradualistic model supported by Ellenberger and
Under any uniformitarian analysis, atmospheric dust from the
normal regions that produce this material would fall on the icecap and
show only a slight variation of dust even when comparing the present
results to those of the Ice Age. There are no unique dust sources on
Earth to account for 100 times more dust during the Ice Age,
particularly when more rain then, than at present, was cleansing the
atmosphere. The data uniformitarian advocates want accepted is that,
for more than 100,000 years, during a highly pluvial period, the
atmosphere was 100 times dustier than at present-an absolute
contradiction. Observe the dust in the air on a dusty day, especially
if you live in a desert or in another dry region; imagine that the dust
increases by 100 times that level and stays at or near that level for
100,000 years or more. The uniformitarian ice core advocates have only
their imaginations by which to account for so much dust. When
they speak of dust in the proper layer of the ice as a test of
Velikovsky's theory, they are ignoring the origin of 100 times the
amount of Ice Age dust than what is found at present. But I think that
you, the reader, will not allow your understanding to be obscured by the
critics' evasion of this evidence, which denies, in absolute terms, the
gradualistic analysis of the ice cores that has been presented.
The point I am making is that the icecaps did not form 100,000 years ago
but 3,500 years ago and that the counting of years makes no sense in
terms of the evidence from the dust because it did not build up
gradually. If the ice built up gradually, there would be far less dust
in the supposed Ice Age ice, as compared to more present-day ice. Even
if we were to reverse the cycle and claim that the Ice Age was a dusty
period, we cannot reasonably expect to find 100 times more dust in the
Ice Age ice than presently. How do Ellenberger and Mewhinney explain
100 times as much dust in the deeper ice? Do they ignore this
contradiction? What is found completely contradicts the gradual process
Ellenberger, Mewhinney and the ice core advocates propose. How do they
explain this contradiction? One might be willing to give credence to
their views if there was only a tiny difference between the amounts of
dust in the deeper (as opposed to the upper) regions of the icecap. But
a difference of 100 times is so great as to make the gradualistic
conclusion plainly untenable and unacceptable.
Of course, it may be argued that the dust is found below the assumed
8,000 to 10,000- year-old ice and not at the 3,500-year-old layer.
However, this is, once again, based on their assumption that the ice
layers truly reflect the climatic oxygen-16 and oxygen-18 layering. If
this was truly the case, the oxygen-16 and oxygen-18 layering of the ice
cores should be exactly correlated with that of Devil's Hole, which it
is not. Furthermore, as Frederick Hall ably showed, oxygen-16 and
oxygen-18 in the ice cores can be formed by a gas diffusion process and
not by the process ice core advocates support. Lastly, the hipsithermal
would have melted away the evidence of this time period completely!
The dust fundamentally supports the catastrophic concept Velikovsky
proposed. To ignore this contradiction is to be unwilling to deal with
Another fundamental problem is related to the deeper ice, as compared to
the upper ice region in Greenland. If the ice is a clear reflection of
climate changes exhibited in the ice cores, it should show only gradual
temperature changes as per uniformitarian belief on the basis of
Velikovsky's hypothesis, the amount of snow that fell during the period
of darkness would not be related to gradual temperature changes. Snow
would have been derived from both cold and warm water sources. Not only
would the oceans boil in some places, but meteors would have fallen into
the oceans in cool regions, lifting immense amounts of water and water
vapor into the atmosphere.
As I pointed out in Carl Sagan and Immanuel Velikovsky:
The topography of the sea floor around Britain, like that of its land
area, has formed over many thousands of years and results from many
well-understood processes. So it is surprising that recent studies have
discovered a wide expanse of sea bed in the middle of the North
Sea--between 15,000 and 20,000 square kilometers in area--which appears
on sonar pictures to have a topography much like a miniature lunar
It is proposed that these craters were produced, as were those of the
Carolina Bays, by atmospheric explosions of soft meteoric material which
threw immense amounts of water and water vapor into the atmosphere.
Water from some oceanic regions would be warm and, from others, cold or
For example, Thomas Gold pointed out that not only are such
crater fields found in the North Sea but that similar crater
shapes have been recognized on the ocean floor in many other parts of
the world. They have been reported from the Adriatic, from an area near
New Zealand, from the Gulf of Mexico, the Bering Sea, the Great Lakes,
the South China Sea, the Baltic, the Aegean, the Gulf of Corinth, the
Delta of the Orinoco and the Scotian Shelf off Nova Scotia.
Hurricanes sweeping over the entire Earth would have carried the water
vapor thrown into the atmosphere from vastly different oceanic
temperature regimes to the polar regions, to fall as snow. Present-day
amounts of snow which would have taken decades to fall would have done
so in a few days. This snow, derived from warm, cool or cold oceanic
regions, would contain totally different amounts of oxygen-18 or
oxygen-16 mixtures. Two hundred or more feet of snow may have fallen
from either a warm, a cold or a cool region. This snow would be quickly
compressed to form fim and would create many layers via the rapid
diffusion of oxygen-16 and oxygen-18 into layers. But the overall
property of the layers would be to create the appearance of decades of
ice with either a warm, cool or cold climatic temperature. Based on
Velikovsky's catastrophic scenario, the ice in which the great amounts
of dust is found should show great temperature swings over, perhaps,
years or decades. Based on the uniformitarian concept, any temperature
swings based on Milankovich should be long-term and gradual. What does
the evidence show? According to Scott Lehman:
[In September, 1992,1 came the first report, from one of two teams
drilling on Greenland, confirming that much of the period 8,000 [to]
40,000 years ago was marked by sudden [5 to 10░
C] switches in temperature over the ice sheet. In February came news
from other teams that the switches were in fact jittery, embracing large
oscillations in climate dating in some cases less than [five] years.
And then, in July, came the further discovery that the past 8,000 years
of relatively stable climate have been an oddity--the last time that
there was as little ice on Earth as today (the last Interglacial
period), temperatures over Greenland varied even more wildly than during
the glacial period, shifting as much as [10 to 12░
C] in just decades and remaining in place for as little as 70 years.
Although climate modelers and geologists are racing to understand and
test the implication of the new ice core data, one thing seems
certain--the heat carrying capacity of the Atlantic Ocean must
somehow be involved in producing the sudden climate changes around
Of course, the researchers are scrambling to create ad hoc theories to
warm up and cool off the Atlantic Ocean again and again for these
100,000 years and more. They have suggested endless floods, icecap
breakups on the continents but not for either Greenland or Antarctica,
and oceanic current changes every so often--none of which has ever been
observed for such short timespans or ever been conceived to have
occurred. The most disturbing problem for all of these ad hoc theories
is that, for the last Interglacial period, climate swings were found in
one core and were missing in another, a fundamental contradiction to the
accuracy of the cores,
In order to explain away these temperature swings, a three-day
conference was held by the European and American ice core teams to
present papers stating that these swings may not have existed during the
last Interglacial. Although this could not be proven definitively, one
can see that the desire to remove this major contradiction to the
uniformitarian interpretation of the ice core and climate is quite
Which core, the one reflecting climate swings or the one without them,
is to be accepted as correct? How real are these temperature swings in
terms of uniformitarian theory? If the Atlantic Ocean cooled the
atmosphere and heated it up again every couple of years, decades or
centuries, then the land masses--the continents--adjacent to it should
have climate regimes that follow the ocean temperature's same pattern.
Land masses reflect climate change rapidly, because land does not hold
heat as well as water does. This can be seen at a beach on a hot day;
during the period of greatest heat sand becomes so hot that it is
painful to walk on barefooted. By nightfall, the sand has cooled.
Regarding ice cores and varves from lake sediment, the latter which were
corrected to correlate with the Ice Age chronology, Oeschger stated that
"such pronounced correlations are not found in climatic records from the
North American continent."
He had found these temperature swings in the Dye 3 ice core and admitted
that they are not found in the varve record for North America. This
poses another fundamental contradiction. One cannot change the
temperature of the North Atlantic Ocean so as to affect the Greenland
icecap, for both long and short time periods, and then not leave the
same climate record in North America.
This indicates that the temperature swings had nothing to do with any
other theory proposed except that of Velikovsky. If the icecaps were
formed in one year, there never would have been innumerable temperature
swings on the land, as Oeschger reported. Why should temperature swings
exist only in the icecap, showing no corresponding swings in the land
varves, if the ice core record is accurate? These swings should be
found in both North American and European varves, but they do not
exist. This means that the ice core record is wrong and cannot be
relied upon to explain ancient weather patterns.
The temperature swings, in the present era, are long-term and gradual,
and the rise and fall of temperatures is never as great as was found in
the deeper ice, where the swings were as great as 20░
F. Why would the present era, compared to all the past millennia of Ice
Age climate, appear to be the only one with a relatively steady
temperature regime? To explain away these large temperature swings,
many imaginative concepts will be presented and debated. However, I
stress that the evidence in the ice cores is in complete harmony
with Velikovsky's catastrophic theory and not with that of Ellenberger,
Mewhinney or other ice core advocates.
In retrospect we find that the tree ring record is contradicted by the
coral record, which is contradicted by the deep-sea tropical core
record, which, outside the tropics, is contradicted by the Devil's Hole
core record. Now the ice record is contradicted by the North American
varve record ... and all of this proves the accuracy of all of these
Let us assume that all the above-mentioned records are made to agree
with each other, so as to substantiate the ice core record of swings in
the Earth's climate. Climate swings of about 20░ F would be devastating to life
on the northern hemisphere continents. As was pointed out above,
certain trees thrive in cold weather during part of the year while
others only thrive in moderate climates. Can anyone imagine how trees
needing cold winters would survive the hundred-or-more-year spells of
very warm winters, or vice versa? In either long cold spells or long
warm spells, both the trees and the animals depending on them for food
would become extinct. How did insects and cold-blooded animals survive
such cold periods? How did the organisms feeding on them survive the
above-mentioned extinction? The entire concept lacks merit. How can
Ellenberger or Mewhinney explain these contradictions?
The arguments posed by ice core advocates rest on their belief in the
accuracy of the dating methods they point to. However, when they assert
that tree ring chronology is accurate and catastrophists ask them how
they can tell whether narrow tree rings reflect sick or damaged trees,
and not climate, they are silent. When we ask how they can tell whether
dead trees, correlated to arrive at their chronology, were living on
slopes or flat land, they do not answer. Ice core advocates cannot
determine whether or not tree rings used to create their chronology were
responding to illness, slope conditions or weather. However, they say
that tree rings support icecap chronology. Why does the coral ring
chronology fail to agree with the tree ring chronology?
When they discuss volcanic acid signals in the icecaps as support for
the accuracy of their chronology and we ask what method accurately and
reliably dates volcanic tephra, they say nothing. An expert in this
field has stated that, up to 1992, no such reliable method has been
When they discuss radiocarbon dating as support for the accuracy of
their chronology and we ask how they determine whether a sample is
contaminated or uncontaminated, they are silent. They cannot determine
whether or not radiocarbon samples used to create their chronology were
contaminated; this is admitted by an expert in this field.
When they discuss deep sea core stratigraphy as support for their
chronology and we ask why the Devil's Hole core undermines its accuracy,
they do not answer.
When they discuss Greenland ice cores, asserting the longevity of the
icecap, and we ask them why its coldest northern region melted away but
its warmer southern region did not, they say nothing. Ice core
advocates have not explained why the ancient Greenland and Antarctica
maps, certified by professional cartographers and seismologists,
accurately depict these regions and show only evidence of recent icecap
formation there. If Greenland and Antarctica were glaciated for so
long, how were the accurate maps made?
When they discuss ice core layers as accurate markers of their
chronology and we ask why large temperature swings in the icecaps are
not correlated with varves on the land, they are silent. When we ask
how Ice Age ice in the Greenland cores can have 100 times the dust as
ice from our era, when there should be less, they do not answer.
The ice core phenomena fully support Velikovsky's catastrophic scenario,
both in terms of dust amounts and in terms of Ice Age layers with large
differences in oxygen-16 and oxygen-18 content. If the ice core
chronology is correct, then its advocates will refute the above-listed
points which support Velikovsky, explaining and presenting their
evidence in full, given that this is what they demand of us.
At this juncture, I wish to emphasize that the points I raised regarding
the volcanic acid signal found in the Greenland ice core are not matters
of conjecture but matters of fact. Mike G. L. Baillie, of the
Paleoecology Centre--School of Geosciences, at Queen's University,
Belfast, North Ireland, made these same points in the Journal of the
Ancient Chronology Forum (1990-1991 issue). Here are the points he
1. The exact date of the eruption is not known.
2. The nature of any environmental effects due to the eruption
are by no means fully quantified.
3. The eruption is virtually certain to have taken place between
1700 BC and 1520 BC.
4. 1628 BC (or one or two years earlier) cannot be ruled out as
a possible date for the eruption.
Therefore, when Ellenberger and Mewhinney suggested that the dating of
Thera is known with precision, they misrepresented the evidence.
Baillie stated that the exact date is unknown but can be placed within a
180-year timeframe. With respect to the ice core signal and tree ring
marker support put forward by Ellenberger and Mewhinney as proof of
Thera's 1628 BC eruption, he stated that "none of the lines of evidence
for the environmental effects could specify which volcano was
responsible. This was self-evident and all the relevant workers knew
(Author's emphasis.) This is, precisely, the point I made: the identity
of the volcano, for the acid signal in the Greenland ice core, the tree
ring frost signature and narrow tree rings, has never been known!
Baillie emphasizes that "despite all the controversy about the dating of
Thera, no one knows the correct answer."
With respect to the strength of the acid signal in the Greenland ice
core, Baillie cites S. Manning for the following remarkable evidence:
"Currently, the conclusions [of the volcanologists] are that, at most,
Thera put out 20 million tons of [sulfuric] acid while the acid layer in
Greenland suggests a minimum of 100 million tons."
How can a difference of five times, and possibly 15 times, greater
sulfuric acid content, derived from the Greenland ice core, be
reconciled with Thera's puny output? It cannot! This quantitative
contradiction of the Thera acid signal shows, according to Baillie, that
"at face value, the 17th century environmental event does not line up
Because this contradiction is so intolerable to those who support the
1628 BC Thera date, Baillie argues that "no one knows how much [sulfur]
was outgassed directly in the eruption."
This could apply to any other volcanoes erupting around the same time
and produce the acid signal in the ice; one cannot suggest, on the basis
of such conjecture, that because Thera was a large eruption, other
smaller eruptions would vent the amounts of sulfuric acid indicated in
the Greenland ice core. If one cannot know how much sulfuric acid is
vented during any past eruption, one cannot identify the source of the
acid signal in the ice core on the basis of Thera's size. On this
point, Baillie makes a stunning comment: the "environmental impact may
not be related to [sulfur]...."
Baillie cited a paper by J. S. Vogel et a]., who "have now suggested at
least three other eruptions [from other volcanoes] which, on the basis of
radiocarbon evidence, may have taken place at about the same time as Thera."
This is, precisely, what I had stated. What about the unknown volcanoes
erupting during this timeframe that could have left the acid signal? The
possibility of eruptions from unknown, unidentified volcanoes, is too
unthinkable to face, and, therefore, is barely mentioned or discussed.
Finally, Baillie dropped this bombshell:
how reliable are the ice core estimates of global acid fallout [on the
Greenland icecap]? On this latter point I agree with Dr. [Bernard]
Newgrosh. THE FAILURE OF HAMMER ET AL. TO DUPLICATE EITHER THE 1390 +/- 50
BC EVENT OR THE 1645 +/- 20 BC [ACID SIGNAL] EVENT IN PARALLEL [ICE] CORES
RADICALLY DENT'S THE CREDIBILITY OF THEIR ESTIMATES OF GLOBAL ACID FALLOUT
FOR THESE PREHISTORIC ERUPTIONS.
the most basic terms, Greenland ice cores parallel to the one from which the
acid signal was derived show absolutely no acid signal evidence at the level
required for the Thera eruption or for that of any other volcano. Of
course, Ellenberger and Mewhinney can invent any imaginative ad hoc
reasoning to explain away this total contradiction to their pronouncements,
but the above-stated contradiction to their presentation of ice core
evidence regarding Thera destroys any credence one may have had for their
arguments. It is proposed that Thera's eruption was so enormous that it
cooled the temperature of the northern hemisphere, creating frost damage in
California bristlecone pine trees and narrow rings in Irish oak trees.
These tree stands are separated by thousands of miles. We are also expected
to believe that atmospheric cooling by Theran dust disrupted Chinese
civilization thousands of miles to the east of Thera. With all this dust
and sulfuric acid failing on the Greenland icecap, for some inscrutable
reason the acid is found in one core but is absent in parallel cores. It is
completely untenable to suggest that the ice cores reflect anything
regarding Thera. There is no reasoning that will validate the Thera 1628 BC
eruption date. There is no environmental evidence to prove that the tree
ring data is correlated with the Thera eruption. There is no evidence to
suggest that Chinese civilization fell because of Thera.
Worst of all, the area in which Santorini-Thera erupted was minutely
affected by the event. As Newgrosh pointed out long ago, Minoan
civilization, adjacent to Thera, was not destroyed and excavated pottery
styles did not change from the bottom of the ash layers but continued to be
produced above them without so much as a hiccup. What we are expected to
believe is that Chinese civilization collapsed thousands of miles away from
Thera due to climatic cooling while Minoan civilization, which felt Thera's
greatest impact, was affected minutely. Again, the reasoning is untenable.
The ice core evidence presented by Ellenberger and Mewhinney about Thera has
turned out to be worthless. This is just another fiasco in the long history
of the Velikovsky debate. Once again, Velikovsky's critics have failed to
meet his challenge.
R. G. A. Dolby, Letter to the Society for Interdisciplinary Review II: 2 (1977): 31.
C. Leroy Ellenberger (A), "Still Facing Many Problems (Part 1),"
KRONOS X: 1 (Fall, 1984): 97.
 Ibid, pp. 98-99.
Charles Ginenthal (A), Carl Sagan and Immanuel Velikovsky
(New York, 1990) pp. 109-143. Also see Charles Ginenthal (B),
"Common Sense About Ancient Maps," The Velikovskian 1: 2
William R. Corliss, "Mounds, Ridges, Hills," Science Frontiers
(Glen Ann, Maryland, 1994) p. 202. Also see J. R. Heirtzler et
al., "A Visit to the New England Seamounts," American Scientist
65 (1977): 466.
Wolfgang Schlager, "The Paradox of Drowned Reefs and Carbonate
Platforms," Bulletin of the Geological Society (1981): 197.
Francis P. Shepherd, "Submarine Canyons: Multiple Causes and
Long-Time Persistence," Bulletin of the Association of Petroleum
Scientists 65 (1981): 1062.
Douglas W. Johnson, The Origin of Submarine Canyons (New
York, 1967), p. 8.
In an upcoming paper about the ocean, this evidence will be
presented in greater depth.
C. Leroy Ellenberger (B), "Still Facing Many Problems (Part II),"
KRONOS X: 3: 1.
Ibid., p. 3.
R. Monastersky, "Devil's Hole Heats Up Debate Over Ice Ages,"
Science News 142 (October 10, 1992): 14
J. M. Landwehr, Isaac J. Winograd and T. B. Coplen, "No Verification
of Milankovich," Nature 368 (April 14, 1994): 94.
Lynn E. Rose (A), "The Milankovich Theory of the Ice Ages,"
KRONOS XII: 2 (Spring 1987): 62.
Ibid., p. 66.
Ibid, p. 62.
Taxonomic Note: Foraminiferans (formerly foraminifers) are
protozoans of the rhizopodan order Foraminiferida (formerly
Christopher Stringer and Clive Gamble, In Search of the
Neanderthals (New York, 1993), p. 41.
Ibid., p. 40.
Michael J. Oard, An Ice Age Caused By The Genesis Flood (San
Diego, California, 1990), P. 185-186. See also T. Tosk,
"Foraminifers in the Fossil Record: Implications for an Ecological
Zonation Model," Origins 15 (1988): 8-18.
Richard Hoagland, The Monuments of Mars (Berkeley,
California, 1992), p. 93.
"Carbon-14 Variations in Coral," Open Earth, No. 3 (1979): 30.
See Charles Ginenthal (C), "Scientific Dating Methods in Ruins,"
The Velikovskian II: 1 (1994): 77-78.
Roger G. Barry, "Comment on Oeschger's Paper," The Ocean In Human
Affairs, ed. S. Fred Singer (New York, 1990) p. 82.
Richard Monastersky, "Coral's Chilling Tale: Ancient Reefs May
Resolve an Ice Age Paradox," Science News 145 (February 19,
Fred Hall, "Ice Cores Not that Simple," AEON II: 1
H. Craig, Y. Horibe and T. Sowers, "Gravitational Separation of
Gases and Isotopes in Polar ice caps," Science (December 23,
G. de Q. Robin, "Ice Sheets, Isotopes and Temperature," The
Climate Record in Polar Ice Sheets (Cambridge, England, 983), P.
Terrence Monmaney, "Pat Epps' Excellent Adventure," Forbes
supplement FYI (March, 1994): 106.
Francis Sherwood, telephone interview, March 10, 1994.
C. E. P. Brooks, Climate Through the Ages, 2nd ed. (New York,
1970), p. 297.
P. Borisov, Can Man Change the Climate?, trans. V.
Levinson (Moscow, U.S.S.R., 1973), pp. 35-39.
Emmanuel Velikovsky, Earth in Upheaval (New York, 1955), pp.
Brooks, op. cit., p. 143.
Lynn E. Rose, "The Greenland Ice Cores," KRONOS XII: 1
(Winter 1987): 64.
Hans Oeschger, "Long-Term Climate Stability: Environmental System
Studies," The Ocean in Human Affairs, ed. S. Fred Singer
(New York, 1990), p. 65.
Sean Mewhinney, "Ice Cores and Common Sense (Part I),"
Catastrophism and Ancient History XII: 1 (January, 1990): 12
Glenn W. Berger, "Dating Volcanic Ash by Use of Thermoluminescence,"
Geology 20 (January, 1992): 11.
Bernard Newgrosh, "'Still Facing Many Problems'...Indeed," KRONOS
XI: 2 (Winter 1986): 89.
Walter Sullivan, "Santorini Volcano Ash, Traced Afar, Gives a Date
of 1623 BC," The New York Times [New York] (June 7, 1994): C
Charles H. Hapgood, The Path of the Pole (Philadelphia,
Pennsylvania, 1970), p. 135.
"Etna (Mount)," Encyclopedia Britannica, Macropaedia, 19
vols. (Chicago, Illinois, 1982), Vol. 6, p. 1017.
Clyde Orr, Jr., Between Earth and Space (New York, 1961), p.
Ibid, p. 157.
Borisov, op. cit., p. 35.
Orr Jr., op. cit., pp. 160-161.
Ibid., pp. 161-163.
Borisov, op. cit., p. 43.
Ibid., p. 45.
Brooks, op. cit., p. 376.
R. L. Newson, "Response of a General Circulation Model of the
Atmosphere to Removal of the Arctic Icecap," Nature (1973):
M. Warshaw and R. R. Rapp, "An Experiment on the Sensitivity of a
Global Circulation Model," Journal of applied Meteorology 12
James L Dyson, The World of Ice (New York, 1962), p. 213.
H. Lister, "Glaciology (1): The Balance Sheet or the Mass
Balance," Venture to the Arctic, ed. R. A. Hamilton
(Baltimore, Maryland, 1958), p. 175 and Table I, p. 176.
Borisov, op. cit., p. 40.
Brooks, op. cit., p. 356.
J. B. Charlesworth, The Quaternary Era (London, England,
1957), Vol. 11, p. 1494.
Ibid, pp. 1483-1484.
lbid, pp. 1484-1487.
Ivan T. Sanderson, The Dynasty of ABU (New York, 1962), p.
Encyclopedia Britannica, Micropaedia, 10 vols. (Chicago,
Illinois, 1982), Vol. VII, p. 824.
Brooks, op. cit., p. 173.
E. C. Pielou, After the Ice Age (Chicago, Illinois, 1992),
Louise A. Boyd, The Coast of Northeast Greenland, American
Geological Society Special Publication No. 30 (New 1948): 132.
Ibid., p. 133.
Lister, op. cit, p. 168.
Ibid, p. 175.
Borisov, op. cit., p. 35.
"Greenland," Encyclopedia Britannica, Macropaedia, 19 vols.
(Chicago, Illinois, 1982), Vol. 8, p. 412.
Kenneth Hsu, T he Great Dying (New York, 1986), pp. 190-191.
Also see KRONOS XH: 3 (Spring 1988): 78-79.
C. Leroy Ellenberger (C), "Still Facing Many Problems: A Reply to
Comments and an Update," KRONOS XI: I (Fall 1985):103.
Robert Silverberg, Clocks for the Ages (New York, 1971), pp.
Brooks, op. cit., p. 166.
Charlesworth, op. cit, p. 1490.
Pielou, op. cit., p. 271.
Hammer et al., "Continuous Impurity Analysis Along the Dye 3 Deep
Core," American Geophysical Union Monograph 33 (1985): 90.
Robert McQuillin and Nigel Fannin, "Explaining the North Sea's Lunar
Floor," New Scientist 83 (1979): 90.
Thomas Gold, Power From the Earth (London, England,
1987), p. 73.
Scott Lehman, "Ice Sheets, Wayward Winds and Sea Change," Nature
365 (September 9, 1993): 108.
Oeschger, op. cit, p. 64.
Mike G. L. Baillie, "Dendrochronology and Thera: The Scientific
Cam," Journal of the Ancient Chronology Forum 4 (1990-1991):
Ibid, p. 23.
Ibid, p. 24.
Ibid. Also see S. Manning, "The Thera Eruption: The Third
Congress and the Problem of the Date," Archaeometry 32 (1990):
Ibid. Also see J. S. Vogel et al., "Vesuvius/Aviello: One
Possible Source of 17th Century BC Climatic Disturbances," Nature
344 (1990): 534-537.