Now we inquire what agency is it that evaporates water. There is only one answer, namely, heat. Heat of course is a comparative term. Greater heat augments evaporation. Lesser heat decreases it. The less the heat, the less the evaporation. In other words, the lower the temperature, the less the evaporation. Hence if, as is commonly thought, glaciers were built out of evaporated surface water, how could decrease in climatic temperature possibly favor their growth? Certainly copious evaporation, rather than meager, must have been a prerequisite for their growth. Formation of snow necessitates prior “work.” To lower the fires would be to decrease the energy required to form and raise water vapor to the skies. Both heat, not cold, and copious, not meager, evaporation would be necessary to build vast continental ice sheets if the ice were to come from evaporated surface waters. It is just that simple; and attempts to refute it are futile.
Efforts to sustain the theory that colder climate would cause an ice age have produced astonishingly illogical concepts. For instance, it has been stated that if ocean waters were to grow colder a glacial age would result. Surely it is evident that the only agency which could cause ocean waters to grow colder is lower climatic temperature. It is equally evident that colder climate would lessen evaporation and consequently would decrease precipitation; hence would retard rather than foster glaciation.
A mystery which has puzzled those who believe that glaciation was caused by colder climate is that many interior basins in presently arid regions have been repeatedly filled with water in the past. It is the concensus that such “pluvial” lakes were concomitant with ice sheets; that “inter-pluvial” intervals were synchronous with “inter-glacial” intervals; and that the concurrences applied during all glacial and non-glacial cycles. To account for this, T. F. Jamieson, according to Flint, wrote:
Now this heat and dryness (of the arid regions) being much lessened during the glacial period, there must have resulted a much smaller evaporation, which would no longer balance the inflow. These lakes would therefore swell and rise in level.
Thus, while admitting that lower temperature would decrease evaporation, inferentially and quite inconsistently he asserted that precipitation and consequent inflow would not thereby be lessened.
Surely it is manifest that if evaporation of inland lake waters were lessened by colder climate, evaporation of ocean waters would be correspondingly lessened. Hence precipitation and inflow to inland lakes would be proportionately decreased. It follows too that precipitation of snow in colder regions would likewise be reduced and growth of glacial ice would be rendered less likely.
R. F. Flint, in Glacial and Pleistocene Geology, borrows the above ideas of Jamieson when he says (p. 224):
The immediate causes of expansion of lakes in dry regions of middle and low latitudes appear to have been increased precipitation and decreased evaporation, which characterized the climates of glacial ages in those regions.
Does he insinuate that “increased precipitation and decreased evaporation” applied only to “dry regions of middle and low latitudes”? As has been pointed out by numerous geologists, the evidence is that swelling and shrinking of pluvial lakes occurred synchronously with the waxing and waning of the ice sheets. It would seem, therefore, that if climate had anything to do with those phenomena, that whatever characterized the climate of middle and low latitudes must also have characterized the climate of high latitudes. Hence it would have to be assumed that increased precipitation, coupled with decreased evaporation of ocean waters, caused the ice sheets to accumulate!
That increased precipitation could occur synchronously with decreased evaporation is so illogical that it seems incredible the idea could be seriously entertained. To illustrate: At the present time exactly the same amount of water which is being evaporated from day to day is being condensed and precipitated back to Earth. If, then, the amount of water being evaporated were decreased, how could the amount being precipitated possibly be increased! The idea is self-evidently preposterous.
Cold Climate Theory Futile
The foregoing examples illustrate some of the contradictions inherent in the concept that colder climate was responsible for glacial and related phenomena. Formation of vast continental blankets of ice, aggregating millions of square miles in area and hundreds—even thousands—of feet deep, in concert with and because of refrigerated climate, is fundamentally antithetical, contrary to physical law and completely illogical. Efforts by hundreds of scientists to validate the concept, continued for more than one hundred years, have failed utterly. Should such efforts continue for another hundred years, the result would remain the same. Surely the only reason the concept persists is that no other cause of glaciation has been conceived.
However, for the sake of argument, let us assume the proponents of the cold-climate theory may be correct and that refrigeration of climate did in fact cause glaciation. Let us see to what destination the theory leads us. First we wonder just how cold, in all conscience, does climate have to become before accumulation of ice commences. At the present time, there are several regions on Earth where mean temperatures are mighty low, undoubtedly much lower than fossil evidence definitely proves was the case at the time the glaciers put in their appearance. Not only in the northern portions of Europe, Asia and North America, but even within both polar circles, as we shall see, preglacial fossils prove that mild climatic conditions existed at the very time the ice arrived.
Antarctic Ice Is Shrinking
Antarctica is without doubt the coldest region on Earth today, with the interior of Greenland a close second; yet even in those frigid areas no increase whatsoever of ice is presently taking place. On the contrary, the ice is slowly diminishing. All explorers agree that this is a fact. For instance Lawrence Mc-Kinley Gould, geologist and second in command of the Byrd Antarctic Expedition of 1929, in his book Cold says:
. . . we found evidence that the ice cover on the plateau [of Antarctica] must at a former time have been much thicker than now; and previous students have found widespread evidence that in former times the continental ice cap in all its ramifications must have been much more extensive than now. It is quite right to think of the present ice cap as a relic of a much greater ice mass which existed here when other parts of the world were also in the grip of the so-called Great Ice Age.
- Oceanic Mysteries