They cannot explain why ice ages took place when and where they did. They cannot explain why the ice was not centred on the pole, but over Canada. Theycannot explain why Siberia froze at the end of an ice age, when ice meltedvery rapidly from a huge continental region that still has permafrost today.The inland ice sheets melted, yet the ice of Greenland, bordering the warmAtlantic, still remains.
They cannot explain why ice has shaped the landscape of the Sahara, without postulating a snowball earth, with ice sheets extending from the poles to cover most of the globe, yet oddly enough, there are no signs of the ice sweepingsouth.
They cannot explain why in an earlier ice age there were alternate layers of tropical coral reef and glacial deposit following each other in quick succession.
We even have fossils of tropical forest and dinosaurs dated to times when conventional theories of continental drift and ice ages place them within the arctic circle!
What we do know is that tropical plants do not survive an arctic winter. We do know that crocodiles and turtles and tropical coral reefs do not survive in frozen seas.
We do know from the fossil record that coral reefs and crocodiles and turtles and a great many other species have survived through all the past ice ages. That tells us that there was no snowball earth!
We know that tropical plants and dinosaurs are unlikely to have lived close to the pole, and if their fossils have not been moved there by drifting continents, then the earth's crust must have moved a little more rapidly in relation tothe poles.
A little exploration of continental drift theory confirms that the continents do drift, but reveals that there is no satisfactory explanation of why they drift.
Arguments rage over global warming, from whether the world really is warming, to what is causing it, to what we should be doing about it.
The arguments rage because there are no convincing arguments! None of the theories of global warming are able to model why the ice ages started or ended. If they cannot model the climate changes we know took place over the past 20000 years, what chance that their predictions for the future are correct.
There is another theory that can explain both the ice ages and continental drift, and provides a simple solution to all the problems outlined above.
The solution was first proposed in part by Hapgood, but he was ridiculed, and under pressure of this ridicule - not through reasoned scientific discussion - support for these theories was suppressed.
It is important to make it clear that these theories are not replacing continental drift, or cycles in the suns activity, or the distance from the earth to thesun, or the angle of the poles to the sun. All these phenomena are real, butthey are only a part of the picture.
The missing part of the equation of the ice ages and global warming is that very very occasionaly the whole crust of the earth can move as a unit. This shouldn't be unexpected when you remember that the crust is a thin semi-solid skin above a layer of molten magma. Small sections of the crust move on a regular basis during earthquakes, so that cannot be firmly glued in place by the layers beneath. What is more, earthquakes show us that such movement can be very rapid indeed.
At the height of the glaciation of the last Ice Age, the main ice sheets covered eastern North America, Greenland, and across the North Sea to Northern and Western Europe. The peak was only about 15000 years ago, and the ice wascontinuing to spread. By contrast it was ice free from Eastern Europe acrossSiberia and into Alaska, and Siberia was enjoying a temperate climate.
Suddenly all the ice melts in the huge ice cap ofNorth America, Greenland doesn't melt at all and the European ice cap melts
slowly - indeed its remnants are still melting today.
Neither does Antarctica suddenly melt, but there is some evidence that the ice cap suddenly extends into new regions.
This is not the sequence that should happen! Ice requires a lot of energy in order to melt, and that energy has to be delivered to it. North America still has a very cold climate with short summers and long winters. It is still frozen for much of the year. You would not expect an ice cap in the middle of a continent to melt rapidly. By contrast Europehas a much warmer climate, with energy delivered by the Atlantic ocean, youmight expect the ice to melt here first.
Siberia's temperate climate for much of the ice age is also wrong. There is no warm ocean currents to bring energy to it. Atthe distance it now is from the North Pole, it should have had a colder climate than now.
It doesn’t make sense to suggest that the icecapswere not centred on the poles. If the ice cap during the last glaciationwas not centred round the present day pole, then the only conclusion is thatthe pole moved!
For the ice to be centred round the pole for lastmain glaciation period the north pole of rotation must have been in the region between North America and Greenland. (shown blue on the map, present day pole shown red) Click on map for a higher resolution version.
At the moment, Antarctica is a cold desert. Thereis very little movement of water vapour into the interior from the coast,yet in the past there must have been weather patterns that moved vast amounts of water to fall as snow on the ice caps. If the South pole of rotationwas offset from its present position for much of the last ice age, thenthe weather patterns would have blown into the interior, rather than roundthe continents edges, which is what is required to produce the snowfall.
But why should the poles move?
The earth is an almost liquid sphere spinning with huge rotational energy. Like a spinning top, its axis will stay the same. It cannot suddenly flip!
However it will always rotate around its centre of mass. It cannot rotate with any imbalance. If there is any change in thedistribution of mass of the earth, the axis of rotation must change in exact synchronisation.
The build up of ice caps is unlikely to cause a change in mass because of the plasticity of the crust. As ice builds up, slowlyover tens of thousands of years, the ground surface sinks beneath it. Basichydrostatic forces will ensure that there is no change in mass distribution.The axis of rotation stays the same.
But we know that when the ice melted, it melted very much faster than the hydrostatic forces and plasticity could react to. The regions that were glaciated are still recovering from the weight that has been removed today. Because this demonstrates that the centre of mass isnot in equilibrium, it proves that the axis of rotation has also moved.
The melting of the ice is very peculiar
Conventional glaciology agrees that the melting of the ice cap has been very anomalous, with the huge North American ice cap melting suddenly. Not an even melting all round the axis of rotation. Because this melting was far to fast for the earths crust to recover its position, it has to result in movement of the axis of rotation. Because the axis of rotation has to be round the centre of mass, the change in the axis of rotation will be to move the North pole of rotation directly away from the regionthat has suddenly lost its mass.
This is exactly what we observe. The North pole of rotation moves to where it is now, Europe has been moved from arctic to temperateand Siberia moves from temperate to arctic. Antarctica moves from off centreat the south pole to more centred and becomes a dry polar desert. Note thatnothing physically has moved. It is the axis of spin that has been forced to move by redistribution of mass.
This movement of the crust over the axis of rotation by about 30 degrees solves most of the problems with the ice age climate, but it still leaves too many. The loess soils of China are in the wrong place in relation to theirsource - the winds were not blowing in their expected directions, and theSahara should have been a desert, when we know it was temperate to sub tropicalgrasslands.
Once the crust starts to move as a whole there is verylittle friction to hold it back, and it will continue to slide like a pendulumswinging, until it slows at the end os a swing and friction locks it in placeagain. If the Canadian north pole was originally the South pole, and thethe crust slid by 150 degrees, then not only do the temperature zones fallinto place, but the wind directions are also now correct fot the ice ageclimate that we can measure in ice cores. Winds in the ice age sweep moisttureladen air into Antarctica to build the huge ice sheets, and carry salt inlandshowing us the shore that faced the prevailing winds.
The loess soils now end up where we find them in China, and warm temperate winds sweep in to Siberia. Moist winds sweep in to the Sahara from theAtlantic.
This information is copyright Peter Thomson 2001-2004