Was famed "Jurassic Park" book and movie creator Michael Crichton on to some secret inside scoop when he gave a 2003 Caltech talk titled “Aliens Cause Global Warming”?
If not, can it be simply a coincidence that temperatures during the Jurassic period 250 million years ago were much like today, while atmospheric CO2 levels were then about four times higher?
Incidentally, those conditions seemed to work out just fine for the massive Stegosaurus and a myriad variety of other smaller dinosaurs that depended upon a huge abundance of veggies that were fertilized by that CO2 — along, of course, with satisfying the insatiable T-Rex appetite for those juicy herbivores.
Like for example, fossil records dating back ever further — around 600 million years ago — indicating that CO2 levels then were also dramatically higher, about 7.000 parts per million — compared with 400 ppm now.
Approximately 480 million years ago those CO2 levels gradually dropped to 4,000 ppm over about 100 million years, while average temperatures remained at a steady 72 degrees Fahrenheit.
They then rapidly jumped to 4,500 ppm, and guess what! Temperatures dove to an estimated average similar to today even though the CO2 level was around eleven times higher than now. Yes, as CO2 went up, temperatures plummeted.
About 438 million years ago, atmospheric CO2 dropped from 4,500 ppm to 3,000 ppm, yet according to fossil records, world temperatures shot rapidly back up to an average 72 degrees. So regardless of whether CO2 levels were 7,000 ppm or 3,000 ppm, temperatures rose and fell independently.
Over those past 600 million years there have been only three periods, including now, when Earth's average temperature has been as low as 54 degrees. One occurred about 315 million years ago, during a 45-million-year-long cool spell called the Late Carboniferous period, which established the beginning of most of our planet's (gasp) coalfields.
CO2 and temperatures both shot back up at the end of it just when the main Mesozoic dinosaur era was commencing. CO2 levels rose to between 1,200 ppm and 1,800 ppm, and temperatures again returned to the average 72 degrees that Earth seems to prefer.
Then, around 180 million years ago, CO2 rocketed up from about 1,200 ppm to 2,500 ppm. And would you believe it? This coincided again with another big temperature dive from 72 degrees to about 61 degrees.
At the border between the Jurassic period when T. Rex ruled and the Cretaceous period that followed, CO2 levels dropped again, while temperatures soared back to 72 degrees and remained at that level (about 20 degrees higher than now) until long after prodigious populations of dinosaurs became extinct.
Based upon a variety of proxy indicators, such as ice core and ocean sediment samples, our planet has endured large climate swings on a number of occasions over the past 1.5 million years.
Quite recently — at least by alien standards — atmospheric CO2 levels have remained relatively low over the past 650,000 years, even during the six previous interglacial periods when global temperatures were as much as nine degrees warmer than now.
Over the past 400,000 years, much of the Northern Hemisphere has been covered by ice up to 3-4 miles thick at regular intervals lasting about 100,000 years each briefly interrupted by short 12,000-18,000-year-long life-friendly interglacial cycles like the one we currently enjoy.
Restless aliens have caused temperatures to fluctuate regularly and sometimes dramatically over the past couple of millennia.
Temperatures dropped and European glaciers advanced between about 750 BC to 200 BC — just prior to the “Roman Warm Period” which was much like today. After cooling again, that was followed as recently as 1,000 years ago by a "Medieval Warm Period” when Icelandic Vikings raised sheep and goats in grasslands on Greenland's southwestern coast.
Temperatures began to drop again around 1200 AD… descending even lower in the middle of the 16th century. Termed the “Little Ice Age,” this period — the coldest regime since the last real Ice Age — ended shortly after Washington’s troops suffered brutally cold winter Valley Forge temperatures in 1777, and Napoleon’s frigid retreat from Moscow in 1812.
Since then, the Northern Hemisphere has witnessed two distinct periods of warming. The first occurred between 1900 and 1945. The second, a nearly statistically imperceptible one, began again in the late 1970s following three decades of cooling (despite rising CO2 levels).
Given that the overwhelming majority of these numerous reversals occurred long before the Industrial Revolution and Henry Ford, then who — if not aliens — can we blame?
So okay, here’s another apparently alien theory.
In his own words, Crichton observed, “Once you abandon strict adherence to what science tells us — once you start arranging the truth in a press conference — then anything is possible.”
Maybe the late, great, writer was actually warning us not to conflate persistently erratic temperature change correlations with unsupportable causations, CO2 in particular.
But if so, who would possibly believe him?
Larry Bell is an endowed professor of space architecture at the University of Houston where he founded the Sasakawa International Center for Space Architecture (SICSA) and the graduate program in space architecture. He is the author of several books, including “The Weaponization of AI and the Internet: How Global Networks of Infotech Overlords are Expanding Their Control Over Our Lives” (2019), "Reinventing Ourselves: How Technology is Rapidly and Radically Transforming Humanity" (2019), "Thinking Whole: Rejecting Half-Witted Left & Right Brain Limitations" (2018), "Reflections on Oceans and Puddles: One Hundred Reasons to be Enthusiastic, Grateful and Hopeful” (2017), "Cosmic Musings: Contemplating Life Beyond Self" (2016), "Scared Witless: Prophets and Profits of Climate Doom" (2015) and “Climate of Corruption: Politics and Power Behind the Global Warming Hoax” (2011). He is currently working on a new book with Buzz Aldrin, "Beyond Footprints and Flagpoles." To read more of his reports — Click Here Now.
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