"Most geologists think the world is growing warmer, and that It will continue to get warmer until the little three-inch trees at Spitzbergen grow as tall as the giants lying buried as coal a few feet under ground..."
"We have been living In the closing period of the last ice age some 15,000 years, and if the weather keeps on getting warmer for another 15,000 years, people will be planting corn and wheat in the white lands Byrd Is discovering..."
EDITORS NOTE: This article is mentioned online frequently, but no one links to verifiable source. After putting in some research I was able to find it. This article is noteworthy because it appeared in a major US newspaper, and the author makes spectacular predictions about the seasons “reversing” and people in New York State shoveling snow in July, and picking apples in December (see below).
Is Another Ice Age Coming
By Ransome Sutton
Los Angeles Times – Mar 11, 1929 – page 22
All the newspapers agree that this has been the worst winter in Europe since weather bureaus were started. And geologists say that since the days of the cavemen the earth has passed through four frightful glaciations. Prior to that time the whole world was warm most of the time. Long periods of warmth, varied irregularly (possibly regularly) with almost-as-long cold spells, like that at the beginning of the Age of Mammals, which sent the cold-blooded dinosaurs shivering to their graveyards. The records of those ancient ice ages are mostly obliterated, but the scars on the face of Mother Earth scratched by the last four are still visible.
Not only has climate changed but it Is always changing. Every year the seasons advance twenty-five minutes, and 10,500 years from now the seasons everywhere, including the seasons at the Poles, will be reversed. New York State will shovel snow in July and pick apples in December, provided other conditions remain as now.
Why the winds should blow hot or cold for thousands of years at a time is not known. Presumably everything is governed by law, but the law which brings in ice ages has not been discovered yet. We do not know whether the earth is getting warmer or colder. For weather bureaus were only recently established, and thermometers were invented only about three centuries ago. To learn whether an ice age is coming or go ing, a series of very accurate records, covering a long period of time, would have to be studied, analyzed and compared. Changes here and there would not tell the story, because climates change in places on account of local conditions, such as the cutting down of forests anything that causes a shifting of air currents.
At the peak of the last ice age, this earth was a sorry abode for life. Sea levels were then some 150 feet lower than now, for the water that rose from the seas remained frozen on land. Twelve million square miles were under a sheet of ice more than a mile thick in places. And half of this area, about 6,000.000 square miles, is still under ice. If this Ice should suddenly melt, every port and all low-lying lands would be submerged. But it is not melting rapidly. As a matter of fact, a scientific expedition was not able definitely to determine whether the ice sheet over northern Greenland is getting thinner or thicker.
Most geologists think the world is growing warmer, and that It will continue to get warmer until the little three-inch trees at Spitzbergen grow as tall as the giants lying buried as coal a few feet under ground. Prof. Coleman of the University of Toronto thinks “we are still in the closing period of the Pleistocene ice age” which prevailed in Southern California at the time the mastodons and sabertooth tigers got caught in the tar traps at La Brea. It would be easy, however, for geologists to be mistaken. For one winter averages about as cold as another, the degree of change being inappreciable.
We have been living In the closing period of the last ice age some 15,000 years, and if the weather keeps on getting warmer for another 15,000 years, people will be planting corn and wheat in the white lands Byrd Is discovering. But the mercury may have touched bottom already.
For, from all parts of the northern half of the world reports are coming in which at least enable us to understand how an ice age starts, and where it first strikes. Here are a few sample dispatches, which have been running for more than a month, and are still running in all newspapers.
“Like the devastating plagues of the Middle Ages, Europe has been stricken by the deadliest winter in living memory.” “Storms, cold and disease have killed more than 20,000 people In Russia. The bulk of the deaths were due to Influenza, pneumonia and similar diseases.”
“Intense cold has settled on the continent from the Siberian steppes to the Mediterranean. Hospitals everywhere are overcrowded. Wolves, made bold by hunger, have become a men ace.”
“Madrid. Cold weather, ship wrecks and Influenza have taken probably more than 2000 lives.”
“The German battleships Schleswlg-Holstein and Elsass were sent into the Baltic again last night to answer distress calls from thirty steamers trapped in Ice.” “A gypsy tribe was frozen to death near Lublin, Poland.” “Vienna. Army field kitchens distributed 30,000 cups of tea and loaves of bread to the poor yesterday. Residents of the city are walking across the Danube on ice. Birds are dropping from the trees dead.”
“Wolves from wildernesses of Hungary have become a menace to the highways. The price of vegetables has risen 30 percent.”
“The liner Leviathan was late at Southampton and sent a radiogram that it was battling heavy seas and a snowstorm.” Now, such reports mean something. A series of such winters would change the average mean annual temperature of the north temperate zone a few degrees. If the mean annual temperature of San Francisco, for example, dropped nine or ten degrees. Its climate would average as cold as the climate of Sitka, Alaska. If the climate of the State of Washington and British Columbia dropped ten degrees, more snow would fall in the winters than could melt during the summers, and if the low temperature lasted long enough, an ice sheet like the last one, which was one mile thick, would finally form and smother everything that lives.
But it takes more than one; wild winter to make an Ice age. and this may not be followed by a long series of its kind. One thing is certain, however, with logical records, human beings will soon be able to find out whether to prepare for warmer or colder weather.