We're just coming out of the Little Ice Age

Brief Responses to Climate Change Denialism Statements

CPSG 200 Science & Global Change Sophomore Colloquium

We're just coming out of the Little Ice Age

As comforting as this false claim may be it is completely improbable. Increasing temperatures can only be caused by changes in the planetary energy entering and leaving the earth’s atmosphere. Planetary energy imbalances are commonly caused by solar activity, greenhouse gases, volcanic activity, and variations in the earth’s solar orbit. Although there are natural oscillations which cause the planet’s temperature to increase and decrease, these simply move heat energy around the planet which does not contribute the the net planetary energy gain. The sun’s output was steadily increasing from the little ice age until the 1950s but has been slowly decreasing since then. If climate change were solely brought about by natural forces this would have resulted in the decrease of the Earth’s temperature from the 50’s until the present. Observations of the earth’s oceans actually show that while there is heat energy being transferred to the surface air, a disproportionate amount of energy is still being retained by the oceans. The heat difference of heat energy between the oceans and the surface air is decreasing, which would only follow that more heat energy is being added to earth’s atmosphere. On top of all this evidence, there are also tangible indications of human impact on climate based on our overproduction of greenhouse gasses.

For More Information:

Harvey, Chelsea. 14 July 2015. No, Earth is not heading toward a mini ice age. The Washington Post, 10 October 2017.

Anonymous. June 2015. What ended the Little Ice Age?. Skeptical Science . Accessed 23 October 2017.

Contributed by: Anne Marie Demme, Josiah Wedgwood, Irena Mladenovic

Last modified: 23 October 2017