Scientists Increasingly Agree The Last Ice Age Temperatures Were ~3-4°C Warmer Than Today’s

In a “major revision” to the “long-standing view,” scientists are increasingly concluding the last glacial had summers “several degrees” warmer than today, with climate conditions warm enough to allow year-round grass grazing by horses, antelope, gazelle…in Siberia, Alaska, and north of the Arctic circle. Multiple degrees warmer glacial temperatures pervaded both hemispheres.

The “long-standing view” is the current interglacial climate is distinctly warmer and more hospitable to plants, animals, and humans than at any time during the last ice age, or glacial (from about 60,000 to 11,700 years ago). This view “has undergone a major revision” during the last 20 years of geological study according to scientists publishing in the September (2021) edition of Quaternary International.

Vegetation and tree records with specific warmth thresholds and associated ice-free temperature requirements affirm the last glacial needed to be “warmer than today by several degrees Celsius.” (Tarasov et al., 2021)

For example, these scientists document ~5°C warmer glacial climates (July) throughout Northern Asia (the study area):

“…reconstructed mean July temperatures above 12°C for most of the last cold stage [glacial] in the study area [throughout Northern Asia], where modern mean July temperatures are about 7°C”.

The widespread presence of grazing mammoths, horses, bison, deer, antelope, gazelle…in Siberia and Alaska and well north of the Arctic circle imply “year-round grazing grounds.” This requires warmer temperatures and more pervasive ice-free grass-grazing ranges than exist today.

So, contrary to the long-standing view of a generally colder-than-present last glacial climate, there is a growing body of evidence that the distinction between interglacial and glacial climates may not be as stark as previously thought.

The CO2 concentration differential of ~180 to 200 ppm during the warmer glacial periods and 280 to 410 ppm during the colder modern period also contradict the long-standing view of higher CO2 levels accommodating warmer climates, and vice versa.

Image Source: Tarasov et al., 2021 (full paper)

Another new study (Wetterich et al., 2021) again affirms the last glacial’s Siberian Arctic was warmer than it currently is (12-15°C vs. today’s 11°C)  51, 46-44, 41 and 39-31k yrs BP. It was warm enough that horses, mammoths, bison…grazed year-round on Siberian grass.

Image Source: Wetterich et al., 2021

The last glacial’s greater warmth also extended into the Southern Hemisphere according to yet another new study (Civel-Mazens et al., 2021). The Southern Ocean had “higher SST [sea surface temperatures] during the 40-24 kyrs period than during the Holocene,” with LGM [Last Glacial Maximum, 24-18 kyrs ago] temperatures peaking at 13.6°C. Today’s temperatures are ~9°C, in this region, or 4.6°C colder.

Image Source: Civel-Mazens et al., 2021

During the Last Glacial Maximum (LGM, 26-18k years before present), South Africa’s temperatures where “3-4°C higher than present in summer (and 2-4°C lower than present in winter)” (Kraaj et al., 2020).

Image Source: Kraaj et al., 2020

The sub tropical South Atlantic was about 3-4°C warmer than today from about 65 to 25k years ago (Hou et al., 2020).

Image Source: Hou et al., 2020

In Eastern Europe, “both summer (ca. 19°C) and winter (2-4°C) temperatures [were] above present-day values (ca. 16°C and ca 1°C for July and January, respectively” during the last glacial (Ilyashuk et al., 2021).

Image Source: Ilyashuk et al., 2021

16 responses to “Scientists Increasingly Agree The Last Ice Age Temperatures Were ~3-4°C Warmer Than Today’s”

  1. More Scientists Agree The Last Ice Age Was ~3-4°C Warmer Than Today -

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  3. David

    Seems to add to the theory of Mario Builreps about geographic poles shifting in time: [url=]Pole Shifts and Ice Ages…[/url]

    If the geographic pole is centered around Greenland then Alaska and part of Siberia are then in higher latitudes, as much as 40º degrees (from Buildreps theory) and by extension, northern Europe and the east side of northern America would be in lower latitudes so in freezing cold.

    Also, seems that those shifts happens periodically and happens in sync with the famous earth precession cycle, which mainstream science have a hard time explaining. But if check this video from “See the Pattern” youtube channel a clear picture start to appear: [url=]The REAL TRUTH about precession…[/url]

    Why do those shifts happen would be the question then…

    1. Senex

      No need to invoke pole shifting theories. With 2 km of ice covering much of the northern continents and ocean areas, there would have been very different ocean current and wind patterns than are normal today. Today, the Gulf Stream brings warmer water to northwestern Europe, while the Labrador Current brings cold water down the northeast coast of Canada. As a result, Norway enjoys a mild to cool maritime climate with ice-free ports above the Arctic Circle, while Labrador’s coast has a sub-Arctic climate and in winter the sea is ice-bound as far south as the Gulf of St.Lawrence.

      It is likely that Pacific currents in the Ice Age allowed warmer water to reach the south coast of Alaska. It has long been known that a substantial area of inland Alaska and the Yukon was ice-free summer grassland even at the height of glaciation.

  4. RoHa

    So maybe the Ice Ages weren’t as cold as we thought. But there will never be another one because of Man Made CO2 Powered Global Warming, right?

    1. Sean

      The fundamental premise behind AGW is that global temperature has a monotonic relationship to CO2 levels — CO2 levels rise, and temperatures go up; CO2 levels go down, and temperatures go down. These papers establish warmer temperatures with CO2 levels _half_ that of current conditions. This invalidates the tenet upon which the entire AGW catastrophism is based. It is necessary to find some other cause for global warming, instead of demonizing CO2 emissions.

      1. James H. Shanley

        It seems that scientists in general do not care about distingusing cause from effect. The first thing I noticed about Michael Mann’s paper was that he picked CO2 as the cause of warming. He could have picked warming as a cause of CO2 increase. No one caught him on that. I wonder why.

  5. The Atmosphere Guy

    One of the more counter-intuitive aspects of atmospheric cooling, which is what we have been seeing over the last few years, is that as the atmosphere contracts, the profiles pull back towards the equator meaning that cyclonic lows travel closer to the warmer, tropical, atmospheric regions scooping up hotter air and throwing it towards the temperate zones. Add to this the “Sea-Land Differential” effect – such as we have seen in California recently – locking “Heat Domes” into specific regions and we get a clear indication of why surface temperatures can appear warmer when the atmosphere as a whole is actually cooler. It is for this reason – among others – that using surface temperatures alone for climatic analysis is highly misleading.

  6. bonbon

    Again confirming Tilak, see ¨The Arctic Home in the Vedas¨.
    This was first presented in 1902, using astronomical knowledge woven into tradition, still today in India.

  7. Weekly Climate and Energy News Roundup #470 – Watts Up With That?

    […] Scientists Increasingly Agree The Last Ice Age Temperatures Were ~3-4°C Warmer Than Today’s […]

  8. James H. Shanley

    The ice age, which lasted about 2.5 million yrs advanced and retreated 52 times during it’s life span. That was estimated from sediment samples which were used to estimate the amount of sea water tied up in the ice caps by the O16 and O18 in the sediments. The ice caps had to depend on the evaporation of as much as 400 ft of ocean water. The amount of heat required must have come from volcanic activity.

  9. Scientists Increasingly Agree The Last Ice Age Temperatures Were ~3-4°C Warmer Than Today’s | Climate Depot

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  10. James H. Shanley

    Immediately south of the North American ice cap the climate was warm with plenty of water. Not too far away, at the top of the 2 mile thick ice cape it must have been very cold. I figured that out and am not a scientists.

  11. Lars Wiberg

    Query: If the last Ice Age temperatures were enough warmer than today’s to get us out of that Ice Age, will today’s comparatively colder temperatures signal a new Ice Age to be getting into?

    1. James H. Shanley

      It may not signal anything except changes in the suns output or changes in the earths orbit both of which are relatavily short term compared to the last ice age which lasted about 2.5 million years At glacial maximum the oceans were 400 ft lower than present. That’s a hell of a lot of water that ended up in the ice caps.
      For that to have happened, the poles had to retain more snow than was lost. That could happen again but we can only speculate on when a repeat may occur , Perhaps never.

  12. James H. Shanley

    Many have claimed that AGW is a scam which is a special kind of fraud and a crime. That would explain why, when I explain the science, not one scientists has stepped forward to dispute “my science”. They don’t have balls enough to stand up for their science.

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