The true origin of ice ages

As and when Earth’s bands moved poleward and their velocities decreased, eventually the materials in them necessarily fell. Inasmuch as centrifugal force decreased and gravital force increased toward the poles, the materials in the bands would tend to fall earlier and more largely toward the poles than toward the equator. Implications of this thought are manifested in the distribution of certain metals found on Earth, of coal (to be discussed hereafter) and of other minerals which are found more plentifully in upper latitudes than in equatorial regions.

Sequence of Descent Uncertain

Of course it will be impossible ever to ascertain how and in what sequence the numerous components of the primitive atmosphere declined and eventually reached Earth’s surface. It would seem that minerals in the outermost rings, already moving at the slowest velocities and affected most strongly by lunar gravity, because closest to the Moon, would decelerate soonest to less than orbital speed, hence would decline into and through faster moving matter below. Collisions, intimate mixing and great turbulence would result. According to this reasoning, lighter elements and compounds, being in outermost segments, should have descended ahead of heavier and more refractory minerals in lower segments. Yet heavy metals and other minerals appear to have reached Earth’s surface early, for they predominate in lower crustal strata. Did they, then, perhaps originally lack orbital velocity so that they descended quickly after heat ceased to repel them and before they gravitated into disc form? We have reasoned that water predominated in outermost segments of the ring system. Is it possible that heavier minerals in lower rings were washed down, so to speak, by water descending from higher segments?

What happened after ring matter declined and spread into blanket form is also indeterminable. Jupiter’s cloudy shroud shows terrific turbulence. Sudden changes occur in arrangement and distribution of the various components. Even decided variations in revolution of parts of the clouds are noticeable. Sometimes one portion will either gain upon or lose to another portion, possibly indicating collisions as suggested above.

At any rate, such erratic behavior shows how futile would be any attempt to determine accurately how primitive atmospheric minerals eventually descended to Earth’s surface. We can be certain, however, that gravital forces made descent inevitable. When we look at Jupiter and other major planets we cannot doubt that in due time their skies too will be cleared, just as ours have been. Their more slowly revolving satellites, which pull back against the faster revolving matter in their shrouds, inevitably must and will slow down those atmospheric minerals until eventually they must fall to the cores. It cannot be otherwise.

The reader should bear in mind that in the foregoing studies and speculations we have been primarily concerned with terrestrial conditions which existed at the very recent times when ice ages occurred. Our conjectures about conditions which may have existed far, far back in very, very early formative periods of Earth’s history, were occasioned solely by our attempt to account for conditions existing at this very hour on certain other planets and which we can see with our telescopes. We have pictured a mechanism of physical forces which obliged primitive atmospheric and other volatile mineral compounds and elements to stay aloft for eons, but which caused them eventually to descend in increments, repeated throughout geological time, to accumulate oceans and contribute to the layered rocks which form Earth’s supercrust and hide her igneous sills.

Planets Corroborate Deductions

Granting errors, therefore, in the foregoing deductions relative to the formation and subsequent behavior of the rings and enveloping clouds of the primordial atmosphere, the undeniable fact remains that the planets supply amazing, visible, corrobative to the truth of the salient features. No one, unless motivated solely by refusal to abandon old notions, can lightly dismiss this theory. Should he seek to disprove it, he must first dispose of the corroborative testimony of the planets. There they float in the heavens for all to observe.

We can see in the rings of Saturn an exact exemplification of our imagined Earth rings. We know that there are several rings separated from each other. With our improved instruments we can now see more rings than were visible to observers in the past. Perhaps there are more than we now see. We know that Saturn’s rings are not solid. We know that they are composed of discrete particles of condensed, liquified or solidified minerals. We know that they contain different minerals. It is logical to believe that these materials have never been a part of Saturn’s inner core. Actual measurements, in addition to laws of motion, tell us that they revolve at different velocities, the outermost portions at lesser velocities than the innermost. It is clearly evident that they are prevented from immediately gravitating to Saturn’s core by the centrifugal forces which their velocities generate. That the rings will, however, lose velocity and in some manner will approach the planet’s core and eventually fall thereto is unquestionable.

Exemplifying what we have assumed to be later stages in the decline of primordial atmospheric minerals toward the cores of planets, we see, in exact conformance with our hypothesis, mottled, tenuous envelopes surrounding and obscuring the cores of Neptune, Uranus, Saturn and Jupiter. On at least three of those planets we see bands on each side of the equators, divided by rifts or gaps between. As said before, these bands, at least in the case of Jupiter, which is near enough for visual confirmation, are of different appearances, even colors, and undoubtedly of different chemical composition. Although they entirely obscure the cores of the planets, they rotate at differing velocities, more slowly toward the poles than near the equators. Hence we know that they rotate independently of each other and therefore independently of the cores.

We know that the shrouds which obscure the cores of Saturn and Jupiter revolve in about ten hours. All the planets are members of the same system and are subject to identical laws of gravity and motion. Saturn’s mass is nearly 95 times as great and its bulk more than 700 times as large as the Earth. Jupiter is more than 300 times as heavy and some 1,300 times as bulky as the Earth. It would seem highly improbable and contrary to law that such immense masses would rotate two and one half times as quickly as do the smaller Earth and other inferior planets.