Potsdam Institute Director Schellnhuber Presents 60,000 Year Predictions! …A Prophet, Or Just Stark Raving Mad?

Rudolf Kipp of the Science Skeptical site has a post on the latest climate predictions of Hans-Joachim Schellnhuber, the Director of the alarmist Potsdam Institute for Climate Impact Research (PIK). The institute is influential and is famous for being staffed with scientists who are homogenously alarmist and at times zealously intolerant of dissenting views.

Kipp refers to an article appearing at the NTV German public television website titled: “Man as a geological force – The next ice age is no longer coming.”

The NTV article writes that large parts of the earth are geologically scheduled to be covered by ice sheets in 60,000 years but that “man has succeeded in preventing this ice age. Already.” This, the NTV reports, was recently said by Schellnhuber at the opening of the climate conference in Munich.

NTV writes:

The next ice age won’t be taking place believes renowned climate scientist Hans Joachim Schellnhuber. The reason is man-caused global warming. Without the influence of man the next episode of ice sheets covering large parts of the earth would happen in about 60,000 years according to the laws of cosmic mechanics, said Schellnhuber…”

Man “now able to suppress ice ages”

Schellnhuber said that the 500 billion tonnes of CO2 emitted by man into the atmosphere was “enough to prevent the onset of the next cold period.” Schellnhuber added, “Man has already become a powerful geological force that is even able to suppress ice ages.

“As certain as the amen in Church”

The Potsdam Professor does not shy away from mixing religious undertones to underscore his 60,000 year global visions. He claims, according to NTV, that unless we act politically and quickly, a 2°C warming will be surpassed soon and the earth will become beset by cataclysmic climate events. The NTV quotes Schellnhuber:

The sea level over the long-term would rise an estimated six meters and many ecosystems, such as the coral reefs, would be destroyed . ‘That is as certain as the Amen in Church.'”

Can chaotic systems be forecast 60,000 years out?
Is Professor Schellnhuber a prophet?

So just how should we judge Professor Schellnhuber and his most recent cataclysmic visions? Does science really have the ability to forecast natural events 1000 years ahead, let alone 60,000? Is there a single scientist out there who claims to have the profound knowledge needed to predict how a chaotic system, one involving thousands of random variables, will be in 60,000 years time? The answer of course is no. Already we see that the climate models couldn’t even get the first 20 years right! How can they be expected to get the next 59,980 years correct?

The only other explanation left to explain the visions is that Professor Schellnhuber is in fact a prophet. He did, after all, have an audience with the Pope and perhaps Mr. Schellnhuber shared his God-communicated visions to His Holiness himself. Now, with the Pope’s blessings, Schellnhuber has returned to tell us that our sins of today are in fact denying life to the creatures that are supposed to inhabit the ice sheets of the next ice ages. Indeed he claims to have seen profound visions of future worlds melting away.


According to NTV, climate scientist Hans von Storch was asked to comment on Schellnhuber’s 60,000-year visions. NTV writes that his reaction was that “he views statements concerning time frames involving 60,000 years as daring“.

Von Storch obviously believes Schellnhuber neither has the scientific knowledge to make 60,000 year predictions, nor that he is a prophet bearing Visions of God.

It is truly incredible that today such wildly speculative visions are being marketed as valid scientific products, and are now being (mis)used as weapons of fear with the aim of ramming through an oppressive authoritarian climate policy. Recall that people who dare challenge this kind of extreme nonsense are today being threatened with legal prosecution! Where do we find ourselves when challenging obvious nonsense is now almost a crime?

It is truly astonishing that this has gotten this far. We should be worried – very worried. (๑ʘ∆ʘ๑)


9 responses to “Potsdam Institute Director Schellnhuber Presents 60,000 Year Predictions! …A Prophet, Or Just Stark Raving Mad?”

  1. Joe Chang

    perhaps there should be a carbon tax to compensate on the wonderful benefits of the ice age that we are suppressing?

  2. Curious George

    Coral reef somehow survived a sea level rise of 130 m over the last 13,000 years. Prof. Schellnhuber’s new insight is that additional 6 m will prove catastrophic. A true genius. A prophet.

  3. L Michael Hohmann

    There is no ‘science’ needed if you listen to the IPCC directly:

    “Prof. Dr H. Stephen Schneider, lead author in Working Group II of the IPCC (said in 1989): ‘For these reasons we have to announce terrifying scenarios, make simplified, dramatic statements with no mention of any doubts whatever which we might have. In order to attract attention, we need dramatic statements leaving no doubt about what is said. Every one of us researchers must decide how far he would want to be honest rather than effective.”

    In an interview published in the Neue Zürcher Zeitung on 14 November 2010, Ottmar Edenhofer, co-chair of IPCC Working Group III, said “The climate summit in Cancun at the end of the month is not a climate conference, but one of the largest economic conferences since the Second World War…. one must say clearly that de facto we redistribute the world’s wealth by climate policy…. One has to rid oneself of the illusion that international climate politics have anything to do with environmental concerns.”
    ….together with this quote from David Archibald’s TWILIGHT OF ABUNDANCE:
    “Global warming did serve a couple of useful purposes. The issue has been a litmus test for our political class. Any politician who has stated a belief in global warming is either a cynical opportunist or an easily deluded fool. In neither case should that politician ever be taken seriously again. No excuses can be accepted. “ They will all shortly be on display in Paris.

  4. Graeme No.3

    Pierre, a Typo.

    “Does science really have the ability to forecast natural events 1000 years ahead”

    Should read “Does climate science really have the ability to forecast natural events 1 year ahead” and the answer is NO.

  5. J PAK

    The last ice age covered much of the British Isles as far S as the Watford Gap. I claim a Nobel prize for my part in helping save the world from such a repeat calamity.
    Hail Joachim !

  6. DirkH

    “Schellnhuber added, “Man has already become a powerful geological force that is even able to suppress ice ages.””

    Ahahahaha! You gotta love him! Everyone’s favorite doom-monger! Wait… he reminds me of somebody…

  7. Annie

    Well. Thank goodness for one good laugh today! That was my first reaction; my second was to think that was better than crying at the sheer stupidity of this ‘forecast’.

    Do these people have any notion as to the sheer size and complexity of our planet?

    Keep breathing out Annie; you might not need to haul in so much wood for the stove in 60,000 years…unlike this last winter DownUnder.

  8. Weekly Climate and Energy News Roundup #201 | Watts Up With That?
  9. Mervyn

    Just stark raving mad!

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