Minds in Ablation Part Seven: Dust

Copyright © 2000 by Sean Mewhinney (df736@freenet.carleton.ca).

Gloom and Doom:
In Which Ellenberger and Mewhinney
Invent a New Atmospheric Physics

In Velikovsky's scenario, a large role is played by clouds of dust and other substances, as these passages from his writings attest:

There was "...reddening of the earth's surface by a fine dust of rusty pigment. In sea, lake, and river this pigment gave a bloody coloring to the water. Because of these particles of ferruginous or other soluble pigment, the world turned red." (WiC, p. 48.)

"The presence of the hematoid pigment in the river caused the death of fish..." (WiC, p. 49.)

"...a hail of meteorites... bombarded walls with hot gravel and flew into windows..." (WiC, p. 287.)

"Following the red dust, a 'small dust,' like 'ashes of the furnace,' fell 'in all the land of Egypt'... and then a shower of meteorites flew toward the earth. Our planet entered deeper into the tail of the comet. The dust was a forerunner of the gravel." (WiC, p. 51.)

"...the envelope of Venus may well contain some ferruginous particles and ash. The 'small dust like ashes of the furnace' which fell 'in all the Land of Egypt'... and throughout the globe is, I surmise, still preserved at the bottom of the ocean." ("Venus and Hydrocarbons," Pensée I.V.R. VI, p. 22.)

"...a sticky fluid... came earthward and blazed with heavy smoke..." (WiC, p. 54.)

"For a span of time after the combustive fluid poured down, it may well have floated upon the surface of the seas, soaked the surface of the ground, and caught fire again and again". (WiC, p. 56.)

"The rain of fire-water contributed to the earth's supply of petroleum; rock oil in the ground appears to be, partly at least, 'star oil'..." (WiC, p. 57.)

"...the great conflagration of the days when the earth was caught in vapors of carbon and hydrogen." (WiC, p. 58.)

"A protracted night, deepened by the onrushing dust sweeping in from interplanetary space, enveloped Europe, Africa, and America, the valleys of the Euphrates and the Indus also." (WiC, p. 62.)

"...clouds of dust and smoke darkened the sky and colored the water they fell upon with a bloody hue...... blasts of cinders blew in wave after wave, day and night, night and day, and the gloom grew to a prolonged night, and blackness extinguished every ray of light." (Ages in Chaos, pp. 12-13.)

"When the air is overcharged with vapor, dew, rain, hail, or snow falls. Most probably the atmosphere discharged its compounds, presumably of carbon and hydrogen, in a similar way." (WiC, p. 134.)

"After the nightly cooling, the carbohydrates precipitated and fell with the morning dew." (WiC, p. 134.)

"...if the manna fell from clouds that enveloped the entire world, it must have fallen not only in the Desert of Wanderings, but everywhere..." (WiC, p. 135.)

"The honey-frost fell in enormous quantities.... All the peoples of the East and the West could see it...... The grains also fell upon the water, and the rivers became milky in appearance." (WiC, p. 138.)

"...the fall of manna... turned the rivers into streams of honey and milk." (WiC, p. 181.)

"As this comet activated all the volcanoes and created new ones, the cumulative action of the eruptions and of the comet's dust must have saturated the atmosphere with floating particles." (WiC, p. 127.)

"This condition prevailed for decades, and only very gradually did the dust subside and the water vapors condense." (WiC, p. 127.)

"A part of the gaseous trail of Venus remained attached to the earth... Of the part which remained with the earth, some became deposits of petroleum; some, in the form of clouds, enveloped the earth for many years, slowly precipitating." (WiC, p. 368.)

All of which adds up to a lot of tangible evidence, if any of these things really happened. I don't believe any of it, because there's no evidence for it, particularly in the ice cores, where it should be immediately obvious. Ginenthal agrees that dust is important, but he has a lot of peculiar things to say about it, starting with who said what. In "Ice Cores and Common Sense," I agreed with Velikovsky on one point: that if the upper stratosphere were saturated with microparticles, they would continue falling for years. I wrote: "Velikovsky himself says it went on precipitating for decades. It would, too. A dust particle half a micrometer in radius takes about ten years to fall from a height of 40 kilometers to the troposphere, where it would soon be washed out by precipitation."1 The calculation is correct, but the conclusion is wrong. Here Ginenthal takes his departure from Velikovsky, once again relying for his information on Hsu's The Great Dying:

"Toon figured that the dust [in the stratosphere] would settle quickly and photosynthesis could resume by about three months after the initial blackout. Even when computations are made for much larger volumes of dust -- trillions or trillions of tons -- the sky would be as bright as a moonlit night three months after the impact, and bright enough for photosynthesis to resume in four months' time."2

But being psychologically incapable of openly expressing disagreement or criticism of his intellectual hero, in his "Ice Core Evidence," Ginenthal perversely tries to shift responsibility for his claims onto Ellenberger and me, working himself up into a fine rant (they get longer and more overwrought near the end):

"Since dust cannot remain in the atmosphere for several years, as is well known and understood, then the years of darkness cannot and should never have been ascribed to atmospheric dust, as Ellenberger and Mewhinney have done. But on this point neither Ellenberger nor Mewhinney were listening. In order for them to entrap Velikovsky, they invented a new type of atmospheric physics to keep dust in the atmosphere for many years, so as to argue a point that is contradicted by fundamental atmospheric science! .... the report[s] of years of darkness were most probably inflated from reports of months of darkness made by ancient man.... if Ellenberger or Mewhinney still wish to claim that there must be a layer of dust in the ice cores, derived from their claim that the atmosphere held dust for years, then let them explain why the physics of the atmosphere was different in ancient times to allow for so much dust to remain there for so long. Again, their entire argument is based on ignoring basic atmospheric, scientific facts! SO MUCH DUST CANNOT REMAIN IN THE ATMOSPHERE FOR YEARS!!!"3

When Ginenthal first cited these passages from Hsü's book some years ago in Kronos,4 I didn't pay much attention, since a major impact wasn't part of Velikovsky's scenario, and the attempt to graft it on was a clumsy mismatch. But for once, on this single, narrow point, Ginenthal is right about something, though he seems to have no clear idea why. As Toon and his collaborators explain, when the stratosphere is saturated with ultrafine particles, the probability that they will collide is greatly enhanced, and since when they do, the probability that they will stick together is almost 100 percent, they soon coagulate into larger particles which settle out faster.5 The residence time of ultrafine particles in the upper atmosphere is governed by their coagulation times, not their settling times, which are indeed on the order of a decade or longer.6 But it was Velikovsky, not Ellenberger or Mewhinney who wrote:

"For a long time there was no green thing seen; seeds will not germinate in a sunless world. It took many years before the earth again brought forth vegetation..." (WiC, p. 133)

"Thus it appears that no tree has survived to modern times from the days of the great catastrophe of the middle of the second millennium.... [This is not so.] In order to survive through the days of global catastrophe a tree had... to... live in a sunless world under a canopy of dust clouds that enshrouded the world for many years." (EiU, p. 175)

"The gloom gradually lifted with the passing years as the clouds became less thick..." (WiC, pp. 128-129)

If the earth had been subjected to darkness as severe and long-lasting as Velikovsky claimed, not even bristlecone pines could have survived (as discussed in my "Tree Rings").

The charge of "inventing a new type of atmospheric physics" is recycled rhetoric, refashioned from a similar phrase used previously against Carl Sagan. Sagan had accused Velikovsky of confusing hydrocarbons with carbohydrates. Ginenthal retaliated in Carl Sagan and Immanuel Velikovsky, accusing Sagan of confusing "the petroleum liquids that fell to the Earth with the hydrocarbon gases that remained in the Earth's atmosphere. Thus, Sagan argues that liquids and gases fall at the same rate.... by some new laws of atmospheric dynamics..."7

Ginenthal's ambivalence over the prolonged darkness in Velikovsky's scenario may be due in part to its resemblance to the nuclear winter theory associated with Sagan, one of Velikovsky's most persistent critics. In Carl Sagan & Immanuel Velikovsky, he calls nuclear winter a very controversial theory, and faults Sagan for ignoring scientific criticisms of it.8 But in Extinction of the Mammoth, he stresses its similarity to the scenario of Worlds in Collision, and claims at least relative priority for Velikovsky over Sagan for the idea that aerosols can trigger global climatic catastrophe.9

According to Velikovsky, manna is supposed to have continued falling out of the atmosphere during the Israelites' 40 years of wandering in the desert. Wong Kee Kuong took this seriously enough to propose how the earth's upper atmosphere could be turned into a chemical factory for the synthesis of manna: Venusian carbon dioxide would break down into formaldehyde during the heat of the day, and polymerize into carbohydrates during the cool of the night.10 This chemical factory would have to be almost perfectly efficient at converting formaldehyde into carbohydrates, because even a tiny amount of formaldehyde is poisonous, and if their manna were contaminated, the Israelites would have keeled over. But Ginenthal's tongue lashing is reserved for Velikovsky's critics. Whether all this dust, oil, soot, and other gorp fell out of the sky in 40 years or four months is beside the point. If it fell, where is it? There is no trace of it on land, in the sea, or in the ice, where a concentration of 10 parts per million can be seen with the naked eye.

The Comet Venus:
In Which Ellenberger and Mewhinney Trap Velikovsky
Into Writing Worlds in Collision

Having cleared the air on the subject of atmospheric physics, Ginenthal continues his lecture:

"First, let me remind Ellenberger and Mewhinney about Venus' dust. What must be borne in mind is that Venus was never a comet! It was, as Velikovsky proposed, an incandescent planet that looked like a comet on a cometary orbit."

"Ellenberger has turned an incandescent planet on a cometary orbit into a comet ...it was never a comet, based on Velikovsky's theory. It was a planet... This misconception on Ellenberger and Mewhinney's part is common to Velikovsky's critics.... If... Mewhinney or Ellenberger had paid any attention to what Velikovsky said about Venus, they would never have made this mistake.... Ellenberger has... confused protoplanet Venus with a comet."11

As I pondered these stern remonstrations, I wondered how I could ever have made such an incredible mistake. How could I have been so naive? I wondered if I had been misled by headings in Worlds in Collision such as "One of the Planets is a Comet" and "The Comet Venus." What did I think Velikovsky meant when he wrote sentences like these:

"...I came to the conclusion -- about which I no longer have any doubt -- that it was the planet Venus, at the time still a comet, that caused the catastrophe of the days of Exodus." (WiC p. 173)

"...Venus was expelled as a comet and then changed to a planet after contact with a number of members of the solar system." (WiC p. 173)

"The brilliant envelope of Venus is the remnant of its tail of the days when, three thousand years ago, it was a comet." (WiC p. 368)

"The collision between the major planets... brought about the birth of comets... At least one of these comets in historical times became a planet (Venus)." (WiC p. 373)

And why did he say Venus possessed a coma? (pp. 165-167) He was obviously joking, right? Why did I not realize that? Why did other Velikovskians, such as David Talbott and Ev Cochrane, not realize it, too, when they wrote "The Origin of Velikovsky's Comet"? (Kronos X:1, Fall, 1984, pp. 26-40) Why didn't any of us get it? For that matter, why didn't Ginenthal himself get it? He seems to be confused about this. It's true that late in the pages of Carl Sagan & Immanuel Velikovsky, he calls Venus a proto-planet and denies that it was a comet,12 but earlier in the same book, he repeatedly refers to it as a "glistening comet," "immense comet," "stupendously hot, brilliant comet," "the large comet postulated by Velikovsky," or simply as a comet.13 Was Ginenthal joking too? Did he pay no attention to what Velikovsky said? Or is he just hopelessly ridden with emotional conflicts and deep in denial?

Actually, a lot of other people thought it was a joke, too. Comets and planets are different classes of celestial bodies with different masses and composition, which could not have originated under the same conditions. The comas and tails of comets are rich in the gases of volatile elements which sublime from ices heated by the rays of the sun when they pass within the inner solar system. They are loosely consolidated, and their gravity is not strong enough to prevent gas and dust from streaming away into space. Comets are too small to retain an atmosphere, or to have molten cores and a chemically differentiated crust and mantle.

Perhaps no other claim of Velikovsky's has drawn as much criticism and even ridicule as the claim that Venus was born as a comet expelled from Jupiter. Ginenthal finds this so embarrassing that he not only denies that Velikovsky ever said such a thing, but accuses others of inventing it. But he has something else in mind as well, and this is his clumsy way of building toward it.

The "Worzel" Ash

In the late 1950's, on a cruise off the west coast of Central and South America, a research vessel recorded subbottom acoustic reflections over a wide area correlated with the presence of layers of ash in sediment cores retrieved by the researchers. A scientist aboard the vessel, J. L. Worzel, assumed that it was a single, continuous layer extending over the whole area, and possibly even worldwide. He speculated that it should be attributed to "a world-wide volcanism or perhaps" in spite of its ordinary volcanic appearance, "to the fiery end of bodies of cosmic origin."14

In a self-congratulatory "Author's Note" added to the pocketbook edition of Earth in Upheaval, Velikovsky claimed it as fact that this ash underlies "the beds of all oceans and seas."15 In Stargazers and Gravediggers, he asserted its extraterrestrial origin as unquestioned fact.16 The "Worzel" ash lives on in Velikovskian lore as yet another confirmation of Velikovsky's claims.

In his "Still Facing Many Problems," Leroy Ellenberger did a follow-up on the "Worzel" ash. He cited later studies showing that "Contrary to what Velikovsky maintained, it is neither global in extent nor cometary in origin."17 His correspondence with D.B. Ericson of Lamont-Doherty throws some interesting light on the matter. Worzel, untrained in geology, announced the discovery before any of the cores had been brought back to Lamont for analysis. "On looking at a [sample] from the layer with a microscope," Ericson wrote, "I realized that the Worzel layer, as well as numerous other thinner layers in the cores, recorded nothing more than [explosive] vulcanism somewhere in the Andes. Result: Embarrassment at Lamont and the desire to hush the whole affair."18

Ginenthal wasn't willing to give up. In a letter to Kronos, he argued that in a planetary upheaval, much of the ash would be "churned... into different layers of... sediment or buried... deeply under depths of mud and debris" by hurricanes, tsunamis, and turbidity flows, so no uniform layer would be found.19 In an answer to his critics, Ellenberger replied that "In accepting a volcanic origin" for the ash, Ginenthal "ignores the point that its support for Velikovsky resided in its having a cometary origin and worldwide distribution, neither of which is the case...... If the oceans were tossed about a la Velikovsky, the existence of any orderly, stratified sediments would be truly miraculous."20 But Ginenthal just wouldn't quit. In another letter, he claimed that seafloor sediments were resorted in accordance with their specific gravity, settling with the "heaviest on the bottom, lightest on top" over a period of months. Now he's back with another argument. Venus, you see,

"would have lost most of its cometary dust long before its first encounter with the Earth. Its dust, left on Earth, would have been mostly volcanic and planetary in nature. This is so because it was not made up of cometary material but of planetary material. Its cometary matter would have been emitted into space from its stupendously hot surface first. As is known, comets emit their cometary materials as they near the sun and receive warmth. A body that was incandescent at birth would have lost much of these materials. That is why Venus would have left planetary and volcanic dust in Earth's atmosphere at the time. Although actual comets probably had accompanied Venus as Venusian satellites, they would have had fewer direct tail contacts with Earth because they would have been in Venus' gravitational sphere of influence and must have orbited around Venus so that their tail relationship to the solar wind would cause them to very briefly emit cometary material into the Earth's atmosphere, along with Venusian planetary dust. Thus, in the icecap, there may be regions of this cometary material but, overall, most of the dust would be planetary or meteorological in origin [whatever that may mean]. It is this other cometary material that would have provided the hydrocarbons described by Velikovsky."21

I hope that this lengthy explanation is not too technical for the reader. You certainly have to admire his expediency. The ash doesn't form a single, continuous layer? No problem. The sediments were mixed up. They're not mixed up enough? No problem. They settled out by specific gravity. It's volcanic, not meteoritic? No problem. It came from volcanoes on Venus. He overcomes other problems by overlooking them. But I can still see a few. By "cometary material," Ginenthal presumably means volatiles. "A body that was incandescent at birth" could never have had any to begin with, as they boil away at temperatures far below the freezing point of water, nor could any imaginary entourage of smaller bodies sharing the same origin have had any. I doubt that any volcanic eruption could be powerful enough to blast dust all the way through Venus' atmosphere, which is some eighty times as massive as the earth's. But if it could, the reported distribution and properties of the ash have "terrestrial" stamped all over them.

First of all, it wasn't found in the open ocean. The entire area surveyed lies within a few hundred miles off the west coast of Central and South America. The volcanic arc running through the Sierra Madres and Andes along this coast is part of the "chain of fire" girdling the Pacific. As Ninkovich and Shackleton observe, to the north of 20 degrees north latitude, where the prevailing winds are westerly, ash is generally found in the Gulf of Mexico, but not in the Pacific, but further south, where the winds are easterly, it is found mostly in the Pacific, and not in the Gulf.22

And the ash is neither mixed up higgledy piggledy with other sediments (where it would be virtually impossible to detect), nor is the distribution patchy. Rather, echograms reveal many separate, individual, parallel layers, each of which is continuous over hundreds of miles, laid down at widely different times. As noted by Bowles, Jack, and Carmichael, "Despite their apparent continuity, the number of reflectors and vertical spacing between them change as one parallels the coast of Central America." The "sequence of reflectors off southern Mexico and Guatemala" is completely different from that "Farther south... off Costa Rica." This complex pattern is "doubtless the result of many different volcanoes erupting in different places at different times."23 The layers sampled in shallow piston cores (down to about 20 meters) have been labelled from A to L. The two most widely distributed layers are D, with an age of about 85,000 years, and L, about 230,000 years old. Maps of individual ash layers show that they radiate from sources on land, and the thickness of the layers falls off with distance from land.24

The chemistry of the ash parallels the chemistry of volcanoes on the coast: "Outside the Guatemalan Highlands, ... andesites become progressively more basic in composition until, in Nicaragua, many are indistinguishable from basalts. Rhyolites, in turn, become less siliceous. This gradation is reflected offshore by the presence of the 'white' siliceous ash layers off Guatemala and of more basic ash layers to the south off El Salvador, Honduras, Nicaragua, and Costa Rica."25 Ash layer D in the Pacific and layer Y-8 in the Gulf of Mexico are chemically indistinguishable from the Los Chocoyos tephra in Guatemala, which originated from an eruption near Lake Atitlan.26 No doubt, given enough time and resources, further fieldwork can identify the specific sources of each of the other eruptions as well.

We may not have heard the last of the "Worzel" ash from Charles Ginenthal, but any further defense of its extraterrestrial origin will have to be even stranger than those which have gone before.


He has even more bizarre things to say about the dust in ice cores. Ice cores from Greenland and Antarctica show much more dust in ice formed during glacial times than in ice formed in recent times. With one single exception -- of which more later -- ice cores from small mountain glaciers in the temperate latitudes that go back that far in time show the same thing. This tells us that the world was a much dustier place in glacial times. And this is exactly what one should expect. But Ginenthal claims it's a big anomaly.

Obviously, as Ginenthal himself stresses, latitudinal temperature differences are greater in cold periods. One obvious implication of this is that the steeper temperature gradient will drive stronger winds. However, citing long outdated sources, he claims that warm climatic periods are drier than cold periods. ( At least, that was the position he took in 1994, in "Ice Core Evidence.")

"...the fact that the hipsithermal [sic] was a dry period would have created a lot of dust in the upper ice region [levels] after the Ice Age ended. Therefore, if the gradualistic claims about the slow buildup on the icecaps are correct, Ice Age ice should contain very little dust at all as compared to the post-Ice Age layers. If Velikovsky is correct, just the opposite should be discovered....... This is the crucial difference..."27

In arid regions of the earth, various surface features suggest that there were times in the past when conditions were wetter than today. These are called "pluvial" (rainy) periods. In particular, early observers were impressed by the raised strandlines far above the present levels of lakes in closed basins -- especially those in Africa and in the Great Basin of the western United States. Other features suggest periods of greater dryness in the past.

The timing of these changes has been much debated, but for a long time the prevailing view was that pluvial periods throughout the world were contemporaneous, and that they coincided with glacial periods in the higher latitudes. Therefore, although lower sea-surface temperatures in the ice age should inhibit evaporation, it was believed that average worldwide rainfall was generally greater then. It was argued that higher wind speeds (and a stronger Hadley cell circulation) would promote evaporation over the tropical oceans. The hypsithermal, in contrast, was believed by many to have been generally somewhat drier than the present.

Ginenthal cites Charlesworth, Brooks, Silverberg, and (incongruously, because she was talking about local conditions during deglaciation), Pielou in support of this now abandoned view. Charlesworth and Brooks are valuable sources, but half a century or more out of date. Silverberg was an able popularizer on a host of topics, as well as a writer of fiction, but he stretched himself thin, and he was hardly abreast of the cutting edge in the literature of paleoclimatology when he wrote Clocks for the Ages in 1971. Charlesworth and Brooks wrote in the days before radiocarbon, and a tremendous amount of fieldwork has been done since then all over the world. During the sixties and seventies, as more dates became available, a radically different picture began to unfold.

Any competent scholar is expected to be familiar with the current literature in his field. Velikovskians feel free to opt out of any fact they don't feel comfortable with. So why should they bother to keep abreast of things that have been common knowledge in the earth sciences for the last 25 or 35 years? Their fellow Velikovskians certainly provide no incentive. It is not enough to call their attention to bibliographical references. You have to bring the information to them.

One must bear in mind that the distribution of rainfall is extremely uneven today, and a drastic change in the pattern of atmospheric circulation does not translate into a uniform increase or decrease everywhere in precipitation. Climate is largely determined by the position of latitudinal belts in the atmosphere within which prevailing winds are more or less the same. A warm, moist equatorial zone is surrounded by warm, dry zones. Closer to the poles is a temperate, wet zone. And over the polar regions the air is cold and dry. (The air over the Sahara Desert holds ten times as much moisture as the air over the Antarctic plateau.)28

In glacial times these belts were displaced toward the equator. In North Africa, for example, the boundary between the westerlies and the trade winds today is about 25 degrees north latitude. The orientation of ancient fossil sand dunes indicates that this boundary once lay about ten degrees further south.29 Vast regions of Europe and North America were once covered by ice sheets from one to three kilometers thick. The wet, temperate zone of the northern hemisphere was displaced southward not only by cold polar air masses, but by this physical obstacle. When glaciation was at its height, sea levels fell around 100 meters in most areas, exposing more land. A retreat of the sea means greater dryness in continental interiors.

The pluvial period of the western United States did indeed coincide with the ice age. Pluvial Lakes Bonneville and Lahontan reached their highest stands when the Laurentide ice sheet was at its greatest extent. But according to Sarnthein, "Well-dated cool pluvial lakes west of the Rocky Mountains contrast with synchronous sand deserts and Peoria loess deposition east of these mountains from Nebraska and Kansas to Illinois. A boreal forest separated these northern-midwest deserts from other dune fields in south-west Texas and from Florida to North Carolina."30 Frenzel's map of precipitation at the late glacial maximum, constructed mostly from lake= levels and pollen data, shows higher rainfall in the western U.S., but less rainfall everywhere east of the Mississippi.31

In Africa, everywhere except for the Mediterranean coast, the last ice age was a time of greatly intensified aridity. Street and Grove collected lake-level data from 58 basins in Africa. Their chronology is based on 250 carbon-14 dates (using uncorrected radiocarbon years). They find that "Every documented basin in Africa experienced minimum water levels in the fourteenth millennium b.p.," with one "doubtful exception."32 "Lake Victoria... ceased to overflow into the Nile"33 (in fact, it seems to have been completely desiccated)34, and the White Nile "dwindled into a mere seasonal trickle."35 Kalahari sands advanced "right up to and even across the [lower] Congo."36 Further north, Sahara dunes blocked the upper Niger and Senegal. In west Africa, once-active dunes extend right out to sea beyond the present shoreline, which shows that they were formed during glacial times of reduced sea level.37 According to Nicholson and Flohn, maximum aridity across the African continent "was probably achieved between 18,000 and 14,000 B.P.,"38 at or shortly after the glacial maximum.

Then in the early postglacial period, from 10,000 to 8,000 years ago, rainfall increased dramatically in Africa. Between 10,000 and 9,000 B.P., "18 out of 20 data points" in Street and Grove's sample "suddenly record maximum lake levels."39 "The Sahara... must at times have existed only as relict desert areas isolated by corridors of gallery forest and swamp along major wadis..... Traces of hippopotamus and crocodile are widespread even in the central Sahara."40 In the central Sahara today, "rainfall in most areas is less than 5 mm/yr," according to Spaulding.41 But at its height, precipitation is estimated to have reached 300 to 500 millimeters a year. In their view, the next 5,000 years "have seen a general reduction in surface water storage," marked by a number of short-lived fluctuations.42 Nicholson and Flohn distinguish an earlier African pluvial from 10,000 to 8,000 years ago, and a later one lasting from 6500 to 4500 years ago, separated by an arid interval around 7,000 years ago. Precipitation changes on the Mediterranean coast were generally in the opposite direction from those in the rest of the continent, but both less extreme and more complex.

In South America, too, limited areas received greater rainfall during the glacial period, while most of the continent was much drier. At Sabana de Bogotá in the northern Andes, glacial-age pluvial lake sediments alternate with interglacial peat formation, indicating relative desiccation.43 But large areas which are now rain forest or savannah were desert in glacial times. Clapperton notes: "Aeolian activity is not presently moving sand anywhere on the South American continent, other than in the dry coastal areas of Peru and the western Caribbean. Yet immense areas of the continent are covered with relict dunefields and deflation basins."44 He estimates that in late glacial times, "almost 25% of the continent became desert-like (compared to less than 10% now)."45

In Australia, active dunes today are restricted to a central desert core. To the north and east, it is surrounded by a broad expanse of formerly active dunes, now vegetated and stabilized. In northwestern Australia, these "Pleistocene dune ridges... can be seen to pass below sea level onto the continental shelf."46 Bowler has summarized the evidence for Australia: "Before 25 000 B.P. lake levels were generally high and desert dunes were relatively stable."47 At this time hundreds of shallow lakes across southern Australia began to dry out, "many never to refill again."48 Dunes formed on their leeward margins. "This trend towards aridity reached its peak intensity about 18 000 - 16 000 B.P."49 By 13,000 years ago, dunes in the marginal arid regions of Australia had stabilized.

In the Rub' al Khali (the "empty quarter"), today the most arid region of Arabia, there were two periods of pluvial lakes -- an early period from 36,000 to 17,000 years ago, and an early post-glacial "sub-pluvial" from 9,000 to 6,000 years ago, separated by a hiatus.50 The rainfall in these two wet periods may have come from different directions and in different seasons. McClure attributes the second wet phase to a northward displacement of the monsoon belt, which today only reaches the southern tip of the Arabian peninsula.51

In northwestern India, on the eastward fringes of the Thar Desert, formerly active sand dunes stabilized sometime before 10,000 years ago. A series of basins filled with pluvial lakes at this time. Three or four thousand years ago, they began to dry out. Today they survive as "intermittently dry and wet salt lakes depending upon seasonal changes."52

From the nearby Indus Valley to the west, oddly enough, Ginenthal himself gives us more evidence of a wet hypsithermal in his book, Carl Sagan and Immanuel Velikovsky. According to Reid Bryson,

"Between 10,000 and 3,600 years ago... rainfall was at least three times what it is now. Then, about 3,600 years ago, again judging by the pollen record, plants began changing from those characteristics of fresh water to those that grow around salt water. And then there's no lake at all -- the lake dried up and there's barren sand."53

In his book, Ginenthal claims that this supports Velikovsky, but in "Ice Core Evidence," he claims that the hypsithermal was a dry, "xerothermic" period, much dustier than the glacial period.54 Evidently the direct contradiction doesn't bother him.

Fang has compiled data on the fluctuations of 61 lakes in China, with a chronology based on over 500 radiocarbon dates. Many Chinese lakes reached high levels during an interstadial upwards of 25,000 radiocarbon years ago. The period from 20,000 to 16,000 years ago, centered on the last glacial maximum, was a time of general dessication. In central and northern China, where lake levels are directly controlled by rainfall, "nearly all lakes reformed in the Holocene and reached their highest levels between 9500 and 3500 yr B.P."55 Likewise, "Taking China as a whole, phase B [from 10,000 to 3,000 years ago] was a period when lakes developed in large numbers and reached their highest postglacial levels."56

At various locations in central China, a beautiful sequence of alternating layers of loess and humic soils 200 meters thick goes back about 2.4 million years. It is dated near the top by thermoluminescence, and at deeper levels, by reversals of the earth's magnetic field. The loess was deposited in cold, dry, windy periods; the soils in warm, wet ones. Loess is a fine-grained aeolian (wind-blown) material, covering about 10 percent of the earth's land surface.

Ginenthal disputes the aeolian origin of loess, however. In another great opus, "The Flood," also posted on the web, he objects, primarily because he cannot understand why the loess has not all been converted to humus-rich soil, unless it was deposited all at once. To anyone who has ever seen film footage of the Oklahoma dust bowl, there are two immediately obvious things that would prevent this from happening -- too much wind, and not enough water. Even where there is enough water for vegetation, its roots cannot anchor the surface if soil particles are being blown away by powerful winds.

The base of the latest layer of soil in central China is about 11,000 years old. Beneath it, the most recent layer of loess was laid down beginning about 80,000 years ago, during the last glaciation. The whole column is rich in magnetite and hematite. The soil layers have higher susceptibility to magnetization than the loess layers, but within each layer there is considerable variation in susceptibility. When the magnetic susceptibility of the sequence is plotted, it shows a breathtakingly close correlation to the oxygen-isotope profiles in deep-sea sediment cores, ice cores, and the Devil's Hole calcite deposits.57 Cold, dry periods have the lowest magnetic susceptibil-ity, and warm, wet periods, the highest. We have here yet another long-term record of global climatic change.

In a global summary, Sarnthein notes that "Today about 10% of the land area between 30° N and 30° S is covered by active sand deserts." But 18,000 years ago, "Sand dunes and associated deserts were much more widespread.... They characterized almost 50% of the land area between 30° N and 30° S."58 Six thousand years ago, on the other hand, dunes were generally dormant: "at some 100 key localities in former deserts all over the world..., 14C-dated outcrops establish humid environments such as that of soil formation, which exclude dune activity."59 Thus, as anyone who has followed this exposition so far will have noted for himself, while certain limited regions were in antiphase to the general trend, "the former textbook concept of an arid climatic optimum and a pluvially active glacial maximum is reversed."60 The geological evidence for this is overwhelming.

Theoretical studies, too, point in the same direction. Manabe and Hahn used an atmospheric general circulation model to simulate the hydrological cycle under ice-age conditions. They found that precipitation over land areas was 31 percent less than under present climatic conditions.61 Broecker et al. estimate that "At sea level in the tropics, ...the absolute water vapor content" of the air "may have been reduced to 70 +/- 5 percent of its present value and at 6 km elevation in the tropics to as low as 30 percent of its present value."62

This section was completed to this point quite a long time ago. I might almost as well have saved myself the trouble of writing it, had I read Extinction of the Mammoth earlier, for in this later work Ginenthal reverses his previous position, without anywhere acknowledging it, though he still seems confused. The point of claiming in the first place that the ice age was a pluvial period, and the hypsithermal a dry one, was to make the pattern of dust concentrations in the ice cores some sort of "anomaly," since rainfall washes dust out of the atmosphere (and keeps it from blowing away to begin with). The argument went like this: "...if the gradualistic claims about the slow buildup on [of] the icecaps are correct, Ice Age ice should contain very little dust at all as compared to the post-Ice Age layers. If Velikovsky is correct, just the opposite should be discovered.... Velikovsky's catastrophe, which he dated at about 3,500 years ago, must begin where the dust in the ice becomes inordinate in amount." (Dust which Ginenthal claims came, at least in large part, from Venus.) "If Ellenberger, Mewhinney and other ice core advocates [There are no other 'advocates.' Nobody else bothers correcting the hare-brained Velikovskian literature on the subject.] are correct, the Ice Age ice dust, which they date to 12,000 years ago, should be much less than that formed thereafter. This is the crucial difference..."63 The same argument was made four years earlier in Carl Sagan & Immanuel Velikovsky.

In Extinction of the Mammoth, he says just the opposite. He has a varied host of sources on the wetness of the hypsithermal, mostly popular science books. Some highlights: there were moist climates all across the desert belt latitudes; the Sahara was green, watered by a network of streams and rivers; Lake Chad must have had a water intake 16 times as great as today; the Negev was richly vegetated; the Thar desert of India had three times as much rainfall as today; forests grew in the Gobi and the Tarim basin. He is not above exaggerating the evidence from his sources: Macdougall says "there is no evidence for any large deserts at this time"; Ginenthal quotes him as saying "there is no evidence for any deserts at this time."64

Ginenthal's treatment of his sources is simplistic: to make them fit his pole-shift scheme, he needs to make these climatic changes simultaneous in all parts of the world, with sharp boundaries. To do this, he has fudged a few details. As we have seen, the Great Basin of the American southwest, unlike most other parts of the world, really did experience a pluvial period during the glacial, as Ginenthal himself claimed in "Ice Core Evidence." Now, backing away from his earlier claim, Ginenthal uses selective citation to make it appear that its time of greatest rainfall coincided with the hypsithermal. His main source for this is John Upton Terrell's American Indian Almanac.65 The Cochise culture of southern Arizona is divided into three phases: Sulphur Spring, from 13,000 to 8,000 BC, Chiricahua, from 8,000 to 3,000 BC, and San Pedro, from 3,000 BC to "within a few centuries of the... Christian era." The first period was cool and moist. Of the next, Ginenthal writes,

"The second stage of these people dates from after 8,000 years ago [sic] to a few centuries before Christ, encompassing the rest of the hipsithermal. [sic] Apparently rainfall during this period was plentiful because 'Grinding stones and stone tools [for grinding seeds] [Ginenthal's brackets here] predominated among the recovered artifacts..... Thereafter, he [Terrell] goes on to say, 'The dryness of the climate continued to increase in this [last] [Ginenthal's brackets] period. The desert of the present day was forming'."66

What does Ginenthal mean by "the rest of the hipsithermal"? The dating he has adopted for the hypsithermal is 8,000 to 3,500 years ago. But 8,000 BC is already 10,000 years ago, well before it began. On the same page from which he was quoting, Terrell, speaking of the second cultural phase, also wrote: "Geologists have determined that the region was considerably drier than it had been during the Sulphur Spring stage, so the beds in which Chiricahua artifacts were found have been placed in the post-Pluvial period."67 The pluvial of the American southwest, in fact, peaked around 18,000 radiocarbon years ago, before the Cochise people arrived on the scene. This is confirmed by the research at Devil's Hole, of which he speaks so highly elsewhere. The water table in Brown's Room, an underground chamber at Devil's Hole, was at its highest level about 20,000 years ago, 9 meters above the present level, after which it fell rapidly.68

Ginenthal does not seem to have grasped that his various, sometimes contradictory sources were written at different times, when the state of geological knowledge was different, both before, after, and in the midst of the radiocarbon revolution, let alone that fieldwork in some areas has lagged far behind that in North America and western Europe. He treats them as though they all had equal worth. This in spite of the informative historical discussions of this research in one of those sources, the Cambridge History of Africa.69 And so, in confusion, he muses: "When the Ice Age ended and the glaciers receded... Instead of drying up... the desert belts instead became cool, moist regions covered by grassland and trees. Silverberg and Lamb have expressed puzzlement regarding this basic contradiction..."70 And he goes on to quote this passage from Silverberg:

"This seems paradoxical. If, during the Pleistocene the Sahara had had pluvial... periods while Europe was having glacials, why should a warm epoch... in Europe coincide with a wet one in the Sahara? .... As the British climatologist, H. H. Lamb has observed, 'There seems to be something meteorologically curious about this conjunction of pluvial times and conditions for life in the Sahara with the warmest post-glacial epoch in the temperate zone. Explanation in terms of a poleward shift of all climatic zones would hardly be adequate...' "71

He goes on to imply that this paradox can only be explained by a change in the inclination of the poles. Like all Velikovskians, Ginenthal is constantly on the alert for passages in which "conventional" writers express signs of puzzlement, and attributes them to "basic contradictions" in any conceptual framework that does not include planets changing their orbits and global catastrophes. The "paradox" here is very simply explained by the fact that there was no pluvial in the Sahara during the ice age -- while there may have been significant fluctuations, the Saharan pluvial coincided broadly with the hypsithermal, as became clear when sufficient radiocarbon dates had accumulated.

There is also an irrelevant digression in Extinction on Egyptian chronology, which has nothing to do with the earlier conception of a wet glacial age:

"...based on the historical interpretation, a chronology for ancient Egypt was created which suggests Egypt and all these other ancient civilizations existed in times of little or very little precipitation. What has been disclosed above is that there was a period in early historical times which was pluvial and that it ended abruptly and catastrophically around 1,500 B.C., but was slightly ameliorated some 700 years later about 700 to 800 B.C. The last 150 years of historical research has [sic] been used by researchers to present just the opposite view..."72

These dates, of course, are significant ones in the scenario of Worlds in Collision. But things do not work out as neatly and tidily as Ginenthal would have it. Even the desiccation of the Thar desert, which Bryson dated to approximately 3,600 years ago, and which has been correlated with the collapse of the Indus civilization, seems to have taken place somewhat earlier than previously thought. Enzel et al. recently reexamined the chronology of desiccation in Lunkaransar dry lake in the Thar. Based on a series of 15 radiocarbon dates, they conclude that the final drying out of this lake was complete by 4,800 radiocarbon years ago (about 5,500 calendar years BP).73

Ginenthal has fewer sources on precipitation during the glacial period. There is David Raup, on the greatly reduced extent of tropical rain forests during glacial times, citing Simberloff, who puts the decline at as much as 84 percent in the Amazon basin.74 Many of Ginenthal's sources on the hypsithermal could have equally well been used as evidence of glacial-age aridity (such as The Coevolution of Climate and Life, for example, which discusses Sarnthein's work).75 Instead, he reproduces almost an entire chapter from creationist Michael Oard's book An Ice Age Caused by the Genesis Flood, emphasizing at considerable length the extreme dryness of the ice-age atmosphere.76

Oard intended to show that ice sheets could not have built up gradually in a cold climate, but only all at once, from an atmosphere saturated by boiling oceans. This seems to fit in with Ginenthal's catastrophist ideas, but he completely forgets that at the same time, acknowledging glacial-age aridity undercuts the whole basis of his argument that there is anything anomalous about greater dustiness in glacial times, as seen in the ice cores. In reading various of Ginenthal's writings, I have repeatedly been struck by the way he changes his assumptions and arguments to suit the needs of the moment, not only from one opus to another, but within the pages of the same work, ignoring the blatant contradictions. It's as though there are different parts of his mind that do not communicate with each other. When he accuses scientists of trapping themselves in contradictions, it's pure projection.

The Oard chapter, entitled "Requirements for an Ice Age," consists of mostly correct information, and incorrect deductions. As Oard says, "The cooler the air, the less moisture it can hold," and the high latitudes are aptly described as "polar deserts." And he's quite right that summer temperatures are more crucial than winter temperatures for the survival of an ice cover, since summer is the season when snow melts. But it does not follow that snowfall is more important than temperature for the formation of an ice sheet, let alone that an ice age requires greater snowfall than today. A positive net mass balance of accumulation over ablation is all that is required for an ice sheet to form. It will continue to grow until it reaches equilibrium. It doesn't matter how large or small the terms are on each side of the ledger, as long as it balances. Glaciologists are quite well aware that a cooler climate means drier air and less snowfall. That's why the annual layers in ice cores thin abruptly just at the point where the oxygen isotopes indicate a shift to colder temperatures. It is estimated that annual accumulation in Greenland and Antarctica was only half or a third that of today in glacial times. And of course, the isotope record -- not only in ice cores, but in deep-sea cores, caverns, and fissures like Devil's Hole -- shows that the advance of the ice was gradual, over many thousands of years, interrupted by periods of partial recession.

Oard claims that polar aridity is "a serious problem for uniformitarian ice age theories that depend, more or less, on presently observed processes." Not at all. Antarctica is the driest spot on the earth, yet we presently observe that it maintains a massive ice sheet, because it's so cold that there's virtually no melting.

The idea that greater heat, not cold, is required to start an ice age goes back to the nineteenth century. In 1862, in the course of a lecture on the nature of heat, John Tyndall ventured to muse on the causes of the ice ages. "Cold will not produce glaciers," he remarked. If one were to suppose a cooling of the tropical oceans, he reasoned, "we should be cutting off the glaciers at their source." Rather, he thought, what is needed is greater heat in the tropics, and a more powerful condenser of water vapor on its route to the poles.77 Citing Tyndall in Earth in Upheaval, Velikovsky went him one better, and supposed that both processes -- evaporation from the oceans, and condensation in the higher latitudes -- must have been virtually instantaneous. To make a vivid illustration of the differing heat capacities of different substances, Tyndall calculated that "for every pound of vapour produced, a quantity of heat has been expended by the sun sufficient to raise 5 lbs. of cast-iron to its melting point." Captivated by this image, with no regard for the reasoning behind it, Velikovsky states, "the globe... must have been... so hot that the portion of the heat the oceans received would have sufficed to turn an immense mountain of iron, five times the mass of the continental ice cover, to a white glow and melt it."78 While Tyndall did not confound heat with temperature, as Leroy Ellenberger wrote in "Still Facing Many Problems,"79 his fallacy lay in assuming a change only in one side of the mass-balance equation, namely snowfall, and failing to consider the effect cooler temperatures would have on mass wastage of the snow cover. Ellenberger did quite aptly point out that "water's large, latent heat of evaporation can be extracted at room temperature as well as at the boiling point," since only an extremely thin layer at the surface evaporates at any given time.80 But this point was wasted on Ginenthal, who stubbornly insists in his reprise in Extinction of the Mammoth that great heat is required and "much of the entire body of water must be heated."81

"...(W)inters are already cold enough for glaciation over most areas that were covered by the ancient ice sheets," Oard writes. "Consider Siberia: "The temperatures there average far below zero Fahrenheit in winter, but no glaciers exist." Before we leave the subject, let's consider the case of Siberia. Once again, it's a question of balance. Siberia gets more snowfall than central Antarctica, but it's warm enough in the summer to melt it all off. During the ice age, there was no large, continuous ice sheet in Siberia -- only small, scattered glaciers on high elevations. This is what led Velikovsky, Hapgood, and others [before them?] to conclude that during the ice age, the poles were in a different geographic location, with the north pole at the center of a circle traced approximately through the southern margins of the northern hemisphere ice sheets. "If we look at the distribution of the ice sheet in the Northern Hemisphere," Velikovsky wrote, "we see that a circle, with its center somewhere near the east shore of Greenland or in the strait between Greenland and Baffin Land [sic] ...and a radius of about 3,600 kilometers, embraces the region of the ice sheet of the last glacial age. Northeastern Siberia is outside the circle..... Now we reflect: Was not the North Pole at some time in the past 20° or more distant from the point it now occupies...?"82 Likewise, Ginenthal asserts: "Based on the center of the ice cap location during the last Ice Age, the north pole was situated somewhere to the northeast of Hudson Bay..."83

The reasoning is false. The circulation of the atmosphere is predominantly west to east. As air from the oceans moves over the continents, more and more moisture rains out along the way, especially where it is forced to rise over topographic barriers, and it becomes progressively drier. By the time air from the Atlantic reaches Siberia, most of the moisture that was in it has rained out over Europe, and it is extremely dry. If we compare a map of the reconstruction of the northern hemisphere ice sheets at their maximum extent (Fig. 1.) with a map of present-day precipitation (Fig. 2.), we see a close resemblance between the two. The southern margins of the Eurasian ice sheet generally rise from west to east, except over high elevations, where precipitation is higher. So we see spurs over the Urals and the highlands south of the Taymir peninsula, and smaller ice sheets over the Tibetan plateau, the highlands east of the Lena River, and the Kamchatka Peninsula, all of which have high precipitation. It is not necessary to invoke a dynamically impossible pole shift to explain the distribution of glacial cover during the ice age, when the presently observed pattern of precipitation explains it very well. Such beliefs survive because of their entertainment value, not their plausibility.

But then, on a late page in Extinction of the Mammoth, after seeing Ginenthal reverse the original position he took in "Ice Core Evidence" and amass considerable documentation showing that the hypsithermal was a wet period and the ice age, a dry one, we come upon this survival from 1994, imbedded in the text like a foreign object:

"the uniformitarians have proved that the Ice Age was a pluvial period, a period of great rainfall. According to Robert Silverberg [quoting from his 1971 Clocks for the Ages],

'During the glacial epochs, such regions as Africa, South America, central Asia, and the southern United States experienced 'pluvial' periods of greatly increased rainfall. A series of pluvial and interpluvial periods, almost exactly corresponding to the glacials and interglacials of colder latitudes, has been determined. During these prolonged rainy spells lakes and rivers grew, basins now dry filled with water and deserts bloomed. Nevada contained more water than Minnesota does today; a vanished pluvial lake we call Lake Lahontan, covered the northwestern part of the state. California's Death Valley had a pluvial lake more than a hundred miles long. The biggest of the American pluvial lakes was Bonneville, of which only the shrunken remnant we call Great Salt Lake, remains. In the wettest periods, Lake Bonneville was nearly a thousand feet deep -- Great Salt Lake is 30 feet deep at most -- and reached into Nevada and Idaho. There were lakes in the Sahara; rainfall was heavy in Africa's Kalahari Desert and Asia's Gobi.'

"Rainfall is well-known to cleanse the atmosphere of dust and, therefore, based on this evidence, the snow that fell to form the Ice Age ice caps would have very little dust of any kind in it.

"Conversely, the period after the Ice Age was drier and much dustier. Charlesworth explained that the hipsithermal [sic] exhibits "much evidence not only of a warmer but of a drier 'xeric' or 'xerothermic period'."84

This whole long passage is taken almost verbatim from Part VIII of "Ice Core Evidence." Argument A is that the ice age was a wet period, so all the ice-age dust should have been washed out of the atmosphere and post-glacial ice should have more dust in it. The ice cores show the opposite, ergo they are wrongly dated. We are told that "The dust evidence fully supports Velikovsky's scenario and contradicts... Ellenberger and Mewhinney," who are "merely avoiding painful facts." And again, a few paragraphs later: "The dust fundamentally supports the catastrophic concept Velikovsky proposed. To ignore this contradiction is to be unwilling to deal with inconvenient evidence."85 Argument B is that the hypsithermal was a time of global wetness, a climatic "golden age" that could only have been caused by a pole shift, while the ice age was too dry to have been initiated gradually -- the exact opposite of argument A. To Ginenthal, they're both perfectly good arguments -- who cares if they directly contradict each other? So he decided to keep them both, side by side. And again we are told, "The explanation for all the phenomea outlined is in complete accord with the timing of the poleshifts described by Velikovsky" (as redated by Ginenthal, of course);86 the evidence "fully corroborates the concept Velikovsky proposed."87 And now that it's back to argument A again, "The evidence... is in complete rapport with Velikovsky's model."88 In fact, we are always being told that "The fundamental evidence negates Ellenberger's and Mewhinney's analysis definitively but supports Velikovsky's scenario completely."89 In fact, it "had nothing to do with any other theory proposed except that of Velikovsky."90

It is reassuring to know that the evidence is always fully in accord with Immanuel Velikovsky's theory and no other theory but his, regardless of whether the ice age was dry and the hypsithermal rainy, or the other way round -- the reasons keep changing, but the conclusions remain the same, though he may have to change Velikovsky's chronology by a mere matter of 5,000 years to help things along. It is a theory with great explanatory power indeed that is equally happy with one set of facts, and its opposite. It is this kind of flexibility that makes great ideas, great science, and greatness generally.

Dust in the Ice Cores

The ice deposited in the polar regions is the purest water on the planet. Very minute concentrations of dust and other impurities can be seen when it is held up to the light. The embarrassment for Velikovsky is that there is no trace of the meteoritic gravel, cinders, "hematoid pigment," volcanic ash, petroleum, or carbohydrates which he claims fell in tremendous quantities during his alleged planetary catastrophes of a few thousand years ago, anywhere in the ice.

Ginenthal agrees that "Dust evidence is fundamental. According to Ellenberger and Mewhinney," he says, "the dust in the Greenland icecap shows no definite spike where they require it to be."91 But he aggressively turns this around, and in his ignorance, tries to make it into some sort of embarrassment for science. In 1988, Ginenthal was claiming that meteoritic dust sieved out of melting 2,000-year-old ice in Greenland was deposited in one of Velikovsky's catastrophes92 (a claim I refuted in "Ice Cores and Common Sense").93 Now, ironically, he claims that "Nothing in the top layers of the icecaps has anything to do with Velikovsky's hypothesis."94 Instead, Velikovsky's dust is there, in the deeper layers, but it's cleverly disguised -- diluted by a thousand meters of ice that fell in the space of 3 or 4 weeks, not the tens of thousands of years claimed by the poor benighted glaciologists: "...the immense load of dust in the atmosphere would have descended with enormous falls of snow. This would have produced enormous amounts of dust in the icecap, not as one unique layer but as an unusual amount of dust throughout the ice."95 That's Ginenthal's explanation for the fact that dust concentrations are higher in glacial-age ice. He claims that science has none: "The uniformitarian ice core advocates have only their imaginations by which to account for so much dust."96

Not having bothered to read the glaciological literature, Ginenthal could not know whether science has any trouble explaining this or not. He has no trouble imagining pole shifts, flotillas of pocket-sized "comets" boiling the seas, or the atmosphere dumping a thousand meters of snow on Greenland and Antarctica in a couple of weeks. But when he is asked to believe that the air could have been dustier during the ice age, his imagination fails him, and he makes one dogmatic assertion after another:

"There are no unique dust sources on Earth to account for 100 times more dust during the ice age, particularly when more rain then, than at present, was cleansing the atmosphere." Of course, the reality is exactly the opposite: there was much less rain than now. And actually, there were dust sources unique to the Ice Age. At its peak, sand deserts were five times as extensive as today, and sea levels in most of the world fell 100 meters, exposing large areas of the continental shelf. But then he asserts, "Even if we were to reverse the cycle and claim that the Ice Age was a dusty period, we cannot reasonably expect to find 100 times more dust in the Ice Age than presently."97 So where does he get this figure of 100 times as much dust, which he keeps repeating?

According to Ginenthal, "Hammer et al. state that the dust particles in the ice of the Greenland glacier were 'up to 100 times as great in the last Ice Age as at present,' and, with respect to Antarctica, that compared to Greenland was 'an order of magnitude higher'."98 The words in quotation marks attributed to Hammer do not appear in the paper Ginenthal cites. What Hammer actually says is, "Ice from the Wisconsin glaciation has 3 to 70 times higher dust concentrations than does Holocene ice in both Greenland deep cores."99 The two cores he meant are Dye 3 and Camp Century. He makes only a very oblique reference to dust concentrations in Antarctica, in the next to last paragraph. The second clause in Ginenthal's sentence is incoherent. But a parallel passage in his book, Carl Sagan & Immanuel Velikovsky, makes it clear that Ginenthal believes ice-age dust concentrations in Antarctica were "1000 times as great as at present."100 This is absolute nonsense. It is not worthwhile speculating which statement in which source may have formed the basis for this hallucination, but it seems to be an inversion of the observation that absolute dust concentrations, both today and in the past, are roughly an order of magnitude lower, not greater, in Antarctica than in Greenland.

The statement that ice-age dust concentrations were 100 times as high as in post-glacial times was first made by Lonnie Thompson, in 1977, when the Camp Century core was the only Greenland core that dated back that far.101 Ginenthal takes this to mean that the atmosphere over Greenland was 100 times as dusty as now, continuously over a period of 100,000 years: "The data uniformitarian advocates want accepted is that, for more than 100,000 years, during a highly pluvial period, the atmosphere was 100 times dustier than at present..."102 That makes two more misconceptions on his part -- first, that dust levels remained uniformly high over the whole course of the last glaciation, and secondly, that dust concentrations in the atmosphere over a site are directly proportional to the dust concentration in the ice. But we'll cover these points in due course.

Thompson was just using a rough order-of-magnitude figure. He was measuring the number of particles greater than 0.63 micrometers radius in each 500-milliliter sample at 30 different depths in the core. If you look at the published figures in his table, you find that the sample with the highest concentration has 83 times as many particles as the sample with the lowest concentration, or 21 times as many as the average of the 11 Holocene-age samples. If the average for the whole Wisconsin period is compared with the Holocene average, it's only 12 times as high.103

The ice age was not only much dustier than today, it was much more variable as well, both from year to year and over longer periods. Just how much dustier was it? Well, that depends on what you measure, how you measure it, where you look, just what time slice you are looking at, and how your samples are selected. Some studies give the number of particles in a given size range; some give the mass concentration. Some use a Coulter counter, which counts individual particles in different size ranges; some use laser light scattering, calibrated to yield the mass concentration of dust. Some cores cover a longer time span than others; some have been sampled with much finer time resolution.

Various figures have been given in the literature, comparing dust concentrations during the ice age with those of the present day at different sites. These figures cover a considerable range, but they cannot be directly compared with each other, because dust levels vary greatly during the course of a glacial cycle, and each study is comparing a different glacial-age time slice with the Holocene. To be sure what a summary statement in a publication means, one must have recourse to the data -- when they are available. Some data are presented graphically; others in tables. Some large datasets not available in print are archived electronically on the web.

The longest dust record we presently have comes from from Vostok, Antarctica. It has now been extended to 420,000 years. (See Fig. 3.) In parallel with the isotope record, which reflects gradually deepening cold as the ice sheets built up, the mass concentration of dust shows a familiar sawtooth pattern of gradual increase, followed by a steep drop to low postglacial levels. But there is one important difference from the isotope curve: If we look at the the last glacial cycle, it appears that there is a base rate which slowly ramps up until it reaches a level about seven times as high as Holocene dust levels by about 30,000 years ago. Superimposed on this trend line rise two sharp peaks like spearpoints, each lasting for a few thousand years, centered roughly around 20,000 and 60,000 years ago, during the coldest stages of the last glaciation, with several peaks of similar amplitude during the three previous cycles. The first peak reached levels about 30 times as high as today's. The second peak, at the height of the last glaciation, reached as much as 40 times those of today. Up to a certain threshold, the dust level rises slowly as the isotope 'thermometer' falls. Beyond the threshold, dust levels really take off.

The stratigraphy of the lowest tenth of the GISP2 core is disturbed, and its dating uncertain. But over the common time period in both cores, the last two dust peaks register in each. There is a strong general resemblance between the two records,104 though absolute dust concentrations are much higher in Greenland than Antarctica. Both sites are more than three kilometers high, and remote from exposed land, so only fine-grained, high-altitude dust reaches them. Although their dust is derived from sources in different hemispheres, they obviously reflect global trends. Shallower ice cores cannot clearly resolve anything earlier than the last glacial maximum, so they can show only the last of these three dust peaks.

So if we want to measure past changes in dustiness at different places, it makes sense to compare dust at the late glacial maximum with the Holocene average. One might think from the word "maximum" that this would mean the peak value, with short-term fluctuations smoothed over. But different people mean different things by this expression. Edouard Bard says the "6000-year interval, centered on 21,000 calendar years ago, can be viewed as a working definition of the LGM."105 Using Bard's definition, one gets an enhancement factor of only about half as much as at the central peak, which makes comparison between cores tricky, if one is depending on statements made by others.

With this in mind, we can read the following in various places in the literature: At Dome C, Antarctica, "the LGM [mass] concentration [of dust] is roughly 20 times higher than the Holocene concentration."106 At Law Dome, near the Antarctic coast, "For ice originating during the LGM, the concentration of particles is an order of magnitude greater than the mean Holocene concentration."107 At Devon Island in the Arctic, the number of dust particles between about 12,000 and 25,000 years ago was "20 to 30 times the Holocene values."108 Much closer to the sources of dust, high mountain glaciers in the lower latitudes show a more varied response to climate change. At Huascarán, in the tropical Andes, the mass concentration of dust in the late glacial stage is 200 times as great as the Holocene average.109 But at Sajama, 9 degrees further south, "the insoluble dust concentration in the Holocene is eight times that in the LGM," a reversal of the usual relationship.110 Sajama is located in the southern Altiplano of Bolivia, and draws most of its moisture from the east. The response of the Altiplano to the El Nino-Southern Oscillation is out of phase with much of the South American coast, and it was much wetter during glacial times than it is today.

But what we really want to know is how much more dust there was in the atmosphere. Dust can reach the surface of the ice in two ways: It is scavenged quite efficiently by snow, but it can also fall out of a clear sky, at a rate which is not affected by the amount of snowfall. The less snowfall there is, the more important dry deposition becomes. And there was a lot less precipitation in glacial times. At Renland, in eastern Greenland, accumulation was reduced by as much as a factor of five; at GISP2, by a factor of 4; at Vostok, it was halved. If scavenging were the only way for dust to reach the ice surface, then the atmospheric dust burden over the site would be directly proportional to the dust concentration in the ice. As this is not the case, the dust loading of dry glacial skies was lower than it would appear from dust concentrations in the ice. This can make a considerable difference. At Renland, the mass concentration of dust in the late glacial stage is nearly an order of magnitude higher than in the Holocene, yet the calculated annual dust flux is only about twice as high.111

So we see that for most of the glacial period, dust levels were only a few times higher than at present. This is in line with averages estimated from the study of marine sediment cores, with their coarser temporal resolution. Rea estimates that "The amount of dust transported in the northern hemisphere during glacial times may have increased by a factor of 3-5 over the present transport conditions."112

Since arid, dust-producing regions were as much as five times as great as now, and washout by precipitation was less efficient, this is not surprising. Yung et al. used a general circulation model to simulate the transport of dust from South America to Antarctica. Because the mean atmospheric residence time of a dust particle is much shorter than the transport time to Antarctica, they find that a doubling of residence time leads to a fivefold increase in dust reaching Antarctica.113

The sharply elevated but short-lived peak dust levels are largely explained by stronger winds. According to Gillette, dust production at the source varies approximately as the fourth power of wind speed, above a certain threshold. (This relationship is not a theoretical construct. It was determined in wind tunnels and literally in the field, on a variety of different soil surfaces.) So as little as a "10% increase in wind speed may lead to a 46% increase in dust" in arid source regions.114 A 20-percent increase in wind speed would double the dust load. What could cause wind speeds to increase this much?

The oceans and atmosphere transfer approximately equal amounts of heat from the tropics to the poles. If the thermohaline circulation of the ocean stalled or shut down, the circulation of the air would speed up in compensation. And as we have seen, the vertical circulation of the oceans in high latitudes is vulnerable to disruption.

There is other evidence that wind speeds were higher in glacial times. In the Dome C core, as nearly everywhere else, the overwhelming majority of particles are clay and quartz. But the percentage of quartz particles fell from about 15% in late glacial times to 5% in the present.115 Clay and quartz particles have different characteristic sizes, shapes, and aerodynamic properties. Clay particles consist of flat flakes. Quartz grains are bigger and rounder, and they settle out faster. The higher percentage of quartz grains in glacial times is another indication of stronger winds.

Dust is not the only impurity found to be more concentrated in glacial-age ice. Sea-ice cover around both Greenland and Antarctica was greatly expanded during the ice age. Yet, more sea salt was reaching the ice sheets, despite the fact that it had to travel much greater distances from open water. The sodium data in Figure 3 illustrate this nicely for the Vostok ice core.

Changes in the grain size of dust hold valuable clues to atmospheric circulation in the past. The larger the dust grain, the stronger the winds needed to lift it into the air and keep it aloft. Fine-grained dust reaches higher altitudes and travels greater distances than the larger sizes. During cold glacial stages, the average grain size of dust reaching high-altitude sites in the interior of Greenland and Antarctica was greater. At Vostok, Antarctica, "during the glacial maximum... the mean size of the insoluble particle was 50% larger."116 This was largely due to the appearance of "a second mode of particles larger than ca. 10 micrometers in diameter and representing sometimes more than 50% of the mass."117 The same shift has been noted in the Dome C118 and GRIP ice cores.119 Only a more vigorous atmospheric circulation can explain such changes. At lower altitudes and closer to the edge of the ice, where local dust sources are more important, the opposite trend is observed. In his limited sampling, Thompson noted the greater "coarseness" of dust in Holocene ice at Camp Century, northwestern Greenland -- defined as the percentage of particles with a diameter of 1.65 micrometers or more.120 At Devon Island, 350 miles to the west, the greater "dirtiness" of glacial-age ice "is attributable to a dramatic increase in the small size range of < 1.5 micrometers; there is no similar increase in the number of particles over 2 or 3 micrometers diameter."121 Since the large dust particles at these sites come from local sources, the increased percentage of smaller particles indicates more efficient long-range transport of dust from remote sources.

In the past, grain-size variations have been a relatively neglected area of study. A particle counter automatically sorts particles into 15 or more different size ranges, but much labor is needed to analyze the data, and little use has been made of it. The many microparticle studies of Thompson, for example, use just two broad size ranges. But significant patterns are lurking in the data -- patterns that emerge when the large year-to-year variations are smoothed out. Zielinski and Mershon's work on the GISP2 core shows the potential of their multi-parameter approach.122 They plot four separate variables -- 1) the number and 2) mass concentration of particles, 3) mean grain size based on the number of particles, which is influenced more by the smaller particles, and 4) mean grain size based on mass, which is influenced more by the larger particles. (See Fig. 4.) In the period studied (from 10,500 to 14,000 years ago), the number and mass concentration of particles look quite similar, with some differences, but the records of mean diameter based on number and mass are distinctly different from each other and from the first two records, in their trends and in the number and timing of peaks. Obviously, there can be no simple one-to-one correspondence between these four parameters and environmental conditions, but Zielinski and Mershon interpret them as each primarily reflecting the influence of different agents: the 1) number and 2) mass concentration, as indicators of aridity in the source areas and the expansion of the polar vortex; 3) mean diameter based on number, as an indicator of the strength of the westerly winds, and 4) mean diameter based on mass, as an indicator of storminess and the strength of meridional circulation.

The polar front is a sinuous, undulating boundary between the high-pressure polar vortex and the belt of the westerlies. It is a stormy area where air masses meet and form eddies that detach themselves and spin northward or southward across the barrier. It's also where the principal jet stream is located. Expansion of the polar vortex, increased storminess, and strengthened westerlies would all favor the transport of dust from the middle latitudes to the polar regions.

In light of what we know from the land and the oceans, dust in the ice cores is quite well accounted for. Indeed, it would really be quite amazing if dust levels were not dramatically higher in glacial-age ice. Furthermore, there is nothing exotic about its origins.

Let us take a look at the distribution of wind-blown dust in the world today. According to Rea,

"There are only three regions on the continents that supply more than 1000 mg (cm2 kyr)-1 to the adjacent seafloor. In order of importance they are the deserts of central and western China and Mongolia, the Sahara and Sahel, and Arabia and the horn of Africa."123

Dust from the Sahara and Arabia does not reach the poles.

The deserts of China and Mongolia lie in the belt of the westerlies. The jet stream swings back and forth between 30 degrees north in the winter and 50 or 60 degrees north in the summer. In the springtime, as the polar front contracts, the jet stream passes over the deserts of China. In late spring, after the ground has thawed, but while it is still cold and dry, high winds will raise great clouds of dust.124 The frequency of dust storms in China peaks in late April and early May.125

The Dunde ice cap, at an altitude of 5325 meters, lies between the Gobi and the arid Qaidam basin to the south. The ice is frozen to the bedrock at its base, and dates back to the last glaciation, where there is roughly an order-of-magnitude increase in dust concentration.126 Based on examination by scanning electron microscope, Thompson et al. conclude that "The size distributions and morphologies" of the dust particles in the Dunde ice core "are identical to those of loess particles collected from the Pleistocene loess sequence near Xining... 800 km SE of the ice cap."127

In the desert, a dust storm can reduce visibility almost to zero. But most of this dust never rises more than 1500 meters above the ground. Most of the dust raised in the deserts of China falls to earth again a few hundred kilometers downwind to the south and east in the loess belt. It has been observed that "The mean grain size of loess on the Loess Plateau shows a systematic decrease in the downwind direction away from the Ordos and Tengger Deserts."128

Particles in the size range from a tenth of a micrometer to a few micrometers -- the so-called "accumulation mode" -- are most resistant to removal from the atmosphere, and if they are raised to more than 3 kilometers altitude, above most precipitation, have atmospheric residence times measured in weeks. They form the "background aerosol". Larger particles are removed by settling out, and smaller ones by coagulation.

High-altitude dust from China sweeps right across the Pacific. It takes about a week to reach Midway.129 The path traced by maximum flux to the ocean floor in the north-west Pacific has remained between 35 and 42 degrees north for at least the last 30,000 years.130 The dust flux falls off downwind over more than two orders of magnitude. Along a 4,000-kilometer transect, the average dust grain size in sediment cores falls off smoothly from 2.8 to 2.4 micrometers. The larger-grained quartz component falls off more steeply.131 Some of this dust finds its way to the arctic:

"the first airborne observations of Arctic haze in April and May 1976 in Alaska... showed layers of crustal aerosols originating from Asian deserts between 40°N and 50°N imbedded in a background of elevated anthropogenic aerosols. A clearly visible "brown snow event" covering a 100 (km)2 area in the central Canadian Arctic 63.5°N was observed in late April 1988 and traced to Asian sources by air mass trajectories, clay mineral composition, soot particles and visible organic remains..."132

By now many thousands of individual microparticles from ice cores have been examined either by scanning or transmission electron microscope, often with energy-dispersive x-ray spectrometry to determine the relative elemental composition, and electron diffraction analysis to determine the crystal structure. They are found to consist mostly of various clay minerals, quartz, and feldspars -- typical terrestrial dust. Biscaye et al. studied the mineralogy and the isotopic ratios of strontium, neodymium, and lead of dust from the late glacial maximum in the GISP2 ice core from central Greenland. They conclude that the dust was

"derived from... the Chinese loess plateau and Gobi desert, and carried to Greenland via a branch of the jetstream that flowed north of the Laurentide ice sheet; that, except for a period of low dust transport when the dust was derived from a more southerly Chinese source, the source area did not change substantially over almost three thousand years despite large, abrupt variations in atmospheric dust content and grain size..."133

There is much less land in the southern hemisphere than the northern. Antarctica reaches higher latitudes than Greenland, and is more remote from exposed land, so it receives less dust. The main high-latitude sources of dust in the southern hemisphere today are Australia, the Kalahari, and the Atacama desert. But during the last glaciation, Patagonia was also an important source, and much of the area is covered by loess. As the ice sheets built up, falling sea level progressively exposed the shallow continental shelf east of South America, until the southern tip of the continent was twice as broad as today. This dessicated shelf contributed salt and calcium carbonate to the aerosol load.

Several studies of dust in the ice cores from Vostok and Dome C, Antarctica, show that most of it must have come from Patagonia.134 The predominance of illite in clay particles from both cores points to Patagonia, and the strontium and neodymium isotope ratios of Dome C dust are neatly bracketed by those of samples from Argentina.135

(To be continued ...)


1. Sean Mewhinney, "Ice Cores and Common Sense (Part One), "Catastrophism and Ancient History Vol.XII, Part I (January, 1990), p. 25.

2. Ginenthal, "Cosmic Dust and Greenland Ice," Kronos Vol. XII, no. 3 (Spring, 1988), pp. 78-79, quoted in "Ice Core Evidence," Part VIII.

3. Ginenthal, "I.C.E.," Part VIII.

4. Ginenthal, "Cosmic Dust and Greenland Ice," Kronos Vol. XII, no. 3 (Spring, 1988), pp. 78-79.

5. O.B. Toon, J.B. Pollack, T.P. Ackerman, R.P. Turco, C.P. McKay, & M.S. Liu, "Evolution of an Impact-Generated Dust Cloud and its Effects on the Atmosphere," in Leon T. Silver et al., eds., Geological Implications of Impacts of Large Asteroids and Comets on the Earth (Geological Society of America Special Paper 190) (1982), pp. 187-200.

6. As stated in the source I initially cited in "Ice Cores and Common Sense": H. H. Lamb, "Volcanic Dust in the Atmosphere; With a Chronology and Assessment of its Meteorological Significance," Philosophical Transactions of the Royal Society of London Ser. A Vol 266 (1970), p. 441, and confirmed by Owen B. Toon and Neil H. Farlow, "Particles Above the Tropopause: Measurements and Models of Stratospheric Aerosols, Meteoric Debris, Nacreous Clouds, and Noctilucent Clouds," Annual Review of Earth and Planetary Sciences Vol. 9 (1981), Table 2, p. 40. No new laws of atmospheric physics here -- just the well-known relationship between volume and surface area. The same Owen B. Toon is the principal author of the previously cited paper stating that residence times of such particles are reduced by coagulation in a massive dust injection.

7. Ginenthal, Carl Sagan & Immanuel Velikovsky (Tempe, Ariz., New Falcon, 1995), p. 239.

8. Carl Sagan & Immanuel Velikovsky, pp. 36-37.

9. Extinction of the Mammoth, pp. 268-272.

10. Wong Kee Kuong, "The Synthesis of Manna," Pensee Vol. 3, no. 1 (Winter, 1973), pp. 45-46; see also Michael G. Reade, "Manna as a Confection," S.I.S. Review Vol. I, no. 2 (Spring, 1976), pp. 9-13, 25.

11. "I.C.E.," Part VIII.

12. CS&IV, pp. 394-395.

13. CS&IV, pp. 20, 21, 142, 147, 200, 243, 253, and 302.

14. J. Lamar Worzel, "Extensive Deep Sea Sub-Bottom Reflections Identified as White Ash," Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences Vol. 45 (1959), pp. 349-355.

15. Immanuel Velikovsky, "Author's Note," Earth in Upheaval (N.Y., Pocket Books, 1977) p. xx.

16. Velikovsky, Stargazers and Gravediggers: Memoirs to Worlds in Collision (N.Y., Wm. Morrow & Co., 1983), p. 194, note.

17. C. Leroy Ellenberger, "Still Facing Many Problems (Part I)," Kronos Vol. X, no. 1 (Fall, 1984), pp. 87-102. (The section on "Worzel Ash" is on pp. 92-94.)

18. Ellenberger, op. cit., p. 94.

19. Ginenthal, letter in "Comments on 'Still Facing Many Problems'," Kronos Vol. X, no. 3 (Summer, 1985), p. 103.

20. Ellenberger, " 'Still Facing...': A Reply to Comments and an Update," Kronos Vol. XI, no. 1 (Fall, 1985), p. 105.

21. Ginenthal, "The Settling of Sea-Floor Sediments," Kronos Vol. XI, no. 2 (Winter, 1986), p. 94.

22. Dragoslav Ninkovich and N. J. Shackleton, "Distribution, Stratigraphic Position and Age of Ash Layer 'L' in the Panama Basin Region," Earth and Planetary Science Letters Vol. 27 (1975), pp. 20-34.

23. Frederick A. Bowles, Robert N. Jack, and I.S.E. Carmichael, "Investigation of Deep-Sea Volcanic Ash Layers from Equatorial Pacific Cores," Geological Society of America Bulletin Vol. 84 (1973), pp. 2371-2388.

24. Ninkovich and Shackleton, op. cit., Fig. 2, p. 23; John W. Drexler, W.I. Rose, Jr., R.S.J. Sparks, and M.T. Ledbetter, "The Los Chocoyos Ash, Guatemala: A Major Stratigraphic Marker in Middle America and in Three Ocean Basins," Quaternary Research Vol. 13 (1980), Fig. 6, p. 340; Thomas Tung-Hung Lin and Michael T. Ledbetter, "Distribution of Volcanic Ash Reflectors in the Eastern Equatorial Pacific Ocean," Marine Geology Vol. 59 (1984), the figures on pp. 259-262.

25. Bowles et al., op. cit., p.2385.

26. Drexler et al., p. 335.

27. Ginenthal, "I.C.E.," Part VIII.

28. Glenn E. Shaw, "Considerations on the Origin and Properties of the Antarctic Aerosol," Reviews of Geophysics and Space Physics Vol. 17, no. 8 (Nov., 1979), p. 1984.

29. Rhodes W. Fairbridge, "African Ice-Age Aridity," p. 356, in A. E. M. Nairn, ed., Problems in Palaeoclimatology: Proceedings of the NATO Palaeoclimates Conference (Interscience, 1964), p. 356.

30. Michael Sarnthein, "Sand Deserts During Glacial Maximum and Climatic Optimum," Nature Vol. 272 (March 2, 1978), p. 45.

31. B. Frenzel, M. Pecsi, and A. A. Velichko, Atlas of Paleoclimates and Paleoenvironments of the Northern Hemisphere, Late Pleistocene-Holocene (Hungarian Academy of Sciences, 1992), Fig. 45.

32. F. Alayne Street and A. T. Grove, "Environmental and Climatic Implications of Late Quaternary Lake-Level Fluctuations in Africa," Nature Vol. 261 (June 3, 1976), p. 386.

33. Ibid., loc. cit.

34. Kristina R. M. Beuning, Kerry Kelts, Emi Ito, and Thomas C. Johnson, "Paleohydrology of Lake Victoria, East Africa, Inferred from 18O/16O Ratios in Sediment Cellulose," Geology Vol. 25, no. 12 (December, 1997), p. 1084.

35. Street and Grove, op. cit., loc. cit.

36. Fairbridge, op. cit., loc. cit.

37. John E. Damuth and Rhodes W. Fairbridge, "Equatorial Atlantic Deep-Sea Arkosic Sands and Ice-Age aridity in Tropical South America," Geological Society of America Bulletin Vol. 81(Jan., 1970), p. 189.

38. Sharon E. Nicholson and Hermann Flohn, "African Environmental and Climatic Changes and the General Atmospheric Circulation in Late Pleistocene and Holocene," Climatic Change Vol. 2 (1980), p. 316.

39. Street and Grove, op. cit., loc. cit.

40. Ibid., p. 388.

41. W. Geoffrey Spaulding, "Pluvial Climatic Episodes in North America and North Africa: Types and Correlation with Global Climate," Palaeogeography, Palaeoclimatology, Palaeoecology Vol. 84 (1991), p. 223.

42. Street and Grove, op. cit., p. 387.

43. T. Van der Hammen and E. Gonzalez, "A Pollen Diagram from the Quaternary of the Sabana de Bogotá (Colombia) and Its Significance for the Geology of the Northern Andes," Geologie en Mijnbouw Vol. 43 (March, 1964), pp. 113-117.

44. Chalmers M. Clapperton, "Nature of Environmental Changes in South America at the Last Glacial Maximum," Palaeogeography, Palaeoclimatology, Palaeoecology Vol. 101 (1993), p. 197.

45. Ibid., op. cit., p. 204.

46. Damuth and Fairbridge, op. cit., loc. cit.

47. J. M. Bowler, "Aridity in Australia: Age, Origins and Expression in Aeolian Landforms and Sediments," Earth-Science Reviews Vol. 12 (1976), p. 279.

48. Ibid., op. cit., p. 303.

49. Ibid., op. cit., p. 306.

50. H. A. McClure, "Ar Rub' Al Khali," in Saad S. Al-Sayari and Josef G. Zötl, eds., Quaternary period in Saudi Arabia (Springer, 1978), pp. 252 ff.

51. Ibid., op. cit., p. 262.

52. Gurdip Singh, R. D. Joshi, and A. B. Singh, "Stratigraphic and Radiocarbon Evidence for the Age and Development of Three Salt Lake Deposits in Rajasthan, India," Quaternary Research Vol. 2 (1972), p. 496.

53. Ginenthal, Carl Sagan and Immanuel Velikovsky (New Falcon, 1995), p. 156, citing Jonathan Weiner, Planet Earth (Bantam, 1986), p. 99. Weiner was quoting (or apparently interviewing) Reid Bryson.

54. Ginenthal, "I.C.E.," Part VIII.

55. Jin-Qi Fang, "Lake Evolution during the Past 30,000 Years in China, and Its Implications for Environmental Change," Quaternary Research Vol. 36 (1991), p. 47.

56. Ibid., op. cit., p. 44.

57. George Kukla, Friedrich Heller, Liu Xiu Ming, Xu Tong Chun, Liu Tung Sheng, and An Zhi Sheng, "Pleistocene Climates in China Dated by Magnetic Susceptibility," Geology Vol. 16 (Sept., 1988), Figs. 5, 6, & 7, on pp. 813 & 814.

58. Sarnthein, op. cit., p. 43.

59. Ibid., op. cit., p. 45.

60. Ibid., op. cit., p. 43.

61. Syukuro Manabe and Douglas G. Hahn, "Simulation of the Tropical Climate of an Ice Age," Journal of Geophysical Research Vol. 82, no. 27 (Sept. 20, 1977), p. 3910.

62. Wallace S. Broecker, Arthur Greene, Lonnie Thompson, and Keith Henderson, "Mountain Glaciers: Recorders of Atmospheric Water Vapor Content?," Global Biogeochemical Cycles Vol. 11, no. 4 (December, 1997), pp. 589-597. See also Robert Kunzig, "In Deep Water," in the December, 1996 issue of Discover, and "Lamont Scientist Cites Water Vapor in Climate Shift," in the Columbia University Record Vol. 21, no. 28 (May 24, 1996), on the web at: http://www.columbia.edu/cu/record21/record2128.14.html .

63. Ginenthal, "I.C.E.," toward the end of Part VIII.

64. Ginenthal, EotM, p. 226, misquoting J. D. Macdougall, A Short History of Planet Earth: Mountains, Mammals, Fire, and Ice (Wiley, 1996), p. 229.

65. John Upton Terrell, American Indian Almanac, (N.Y., Crowell, 1971).

66. Ginenthal, Extinction of the Mammoth, p. 224, quoting page 6 of Terrell.

67. Terrell, op. cit., loc. cit.

68. Barney J. Szabo, Peter T. Kolesar, Alan C. Riggs, Isaac J. Winograd, & Kenneth R. Ludwig, "Paleoclimatic Inferences from a 120,000-Yr Calcite Record of Water-Table Fluctuation in Browns Room of Devils Hole, Nevada," Quaternary Research Vol 41 (1994), pp. 59-69.

69. J. Desmond Clark, ed., The Cambridge History of Africa: Vol. I: From the Earliest Times to c. 500 BC (Cambr. Univ. Pr., 1982). See particularly pp. 40-41 and 360-361, not cited by Ginenthal.

70. Ginenthal, Extinction of the Mammoth, p. 227.

71. Ginenthal, EotM, pp. 227-228, quoting Robert Silverberg's The Challenge of Climate: Man and his Environment (N.Y., Meredith Pr., 1969), p. 156.

72. Ginenthal, EotM, p. 232.

73. Y. Enzel, L.L. Ely, S. Mishra, R. Ramesh, R. Amit, B. Lazar, S.N. Rajaguru, V.R. Baker, & A. Sandler, "High-Resolution Holocene Environmental Changes in the Thar Desert, Northwestern India," Science Vol. 284 (April 2, 1999), pp. 125-128.

74. David M. Raup, Extinction: Bad Genes or Bad Luck? (W.W. Norton, 1991), pp. 135-137, citing Daniel Simberloff, "Are We on the Verge of a Mass Extinction in Tropical Rain Forests?", in D.K. Elliott, ed., Dynamics of Extinction (N.Y., Wiley, 1986), pp. 165-180.

75. Stephen H. Schneider and Randi Londer, The Coevolution of Climate & Life (San Francisco, Sierra Club, 1984).

76. Michael J. Oard, An Ice Age Caused by the Genesis Flood (Institute for Creation Research, 1990). The Oard excerpt occupies pp. 252-263 of Extinction of the Mammoth.

77. John Tyndall, Heat Considered as a Mode of Motion: Being a Course of Lectures Delivered at the Royal Institution of Great Britain in the Season of 1862 (London, Longman, Green, 1863), pp. 191-193.

78. Velikovsky, EiU, p. 132.

79. C. Leroy Ellenberger, "Still Facing Many Problems (Part II)" Kronos X:3 (Summer, 1985), p. 3.

80. Ellenberger op. cit., p. 4.

81. Ginenthal, Extinction of the Mammoth, p. 282.

82. Velikovsky, WiC, pp. 325-326.

83. Ginenthal, EotM, p. 265.

84. EotM, p. 277.

85. "Ice Core Evidence," near the end of Part VIII.

86. EotM, p. 230.

87. EotM, p. 242.

88. EotM, p. 281.

89. "I.C.E.," Part II.

90. "I.C.E.," near the end of Part IX.

91. "I.C.E.," Part VIII.

92. Ginenthal, "Cosmic Dust and Greenland Ice," Kronos Vol. XII, no. 3 (Spring, 1988), pp. 78-79.

93. Addendum II: "It Came from Outer Space," "Ice Cores and Common Sense," (Part Two), Catastrophism and Ancient History Vol. XII, Part 2 (July, 1990), pp. 137 & 141.

94. Ginenthal, "I.C.E.," Part VIII.

95. Ibid., Part VIII.

96. Ibid., Part VIII.

97. Ibid., Part VIII.

98. Ibid., Part VIII.

99. C. U. Hammer, H. B. Clausen, W. Dansgaard, A. Neftel, P. Kristinsdottir, & E. Johnson, "Continuous Impurity Analysis along the Dye 3 Deep Core," in C. C. Langway, Jr. H. Oeschger, & W. Dansgaard, eds., Greenland Ice Core: Geophysics, Geochemistry, and the Environment (Wash., D.C., Amer. Geophysical Union, 1985), (abstract) p. 90.

100. Ginenthal, CS&IV, p. 155.

101. L. G. Thompson, "Variations in Microparticle Concentration, Size Distribution and Elemental Composition Found in Camp Century, Greenland and Byrd Station, Antarctica Deep Ice Cores," Isotopes and Impurities in Snow and Ice: Proceedings of the Grenoble Symposium (IAHS, 1977), p. 361.

102. Ginenthal, "I.C.E.," Part VIII.

103. Thompson, op. cit., Table 2, p. 355 (bottom line omitted in error); Lonnie G. Thompson, "Microparticles, Ice Sheets and Climate," Ohio State University Institute of Polar Studies Report no. 64 (1977), Table 3, p. 41. See also L. G. Thompson and E. Mosley-Thompson, "Temporal Variability of Microparticle Properties in Polar Ice Sheets," Journal of Volcanology and Geothermal Research, Vol. 11 (1981), table, p. 20; L. G. Thompson and E. Mosley-Thompson, "Microparticle Concentration Variations Linked with Climatic Change: Evidence from Polar Ice Cores," Science Vol. 212 (May 15, 1981), p. 814.

104. From analysis of data either available on the web at


or supplied by Greg Zielinski. See also Fig. 6 in M. De Angelis, J. P. Steffensen, M. Legrand, H. Clausen, & C. Hammer, "Primary Aerosol (Sea Salt and Soil Dust) Deposited in Greenland During the Last Climatic Cycle: Comparison with East Antarctic Records," Journal of Geophysical research Vol. 102 (Nov. 30, 1997), p. 26,691, which plots calcium as a proxy for dust.

105. Edouard Bard, "Ice Age Temperatures and Geochemistry," Science Vol. 284 (May 14, 1999), p. 1133.

106. A. Royer, M. De Angelis, and J. R. Petit, "A 30 000 Year Record of Physical and Optical Properties of Microparticles from an East Antarctic Ice Core and Implications for Paleoclimate Reconstruction Models," Climatic Change Vol. 5 (1983), p. 384.

107. Li Jun, T. H. Jacka, and Vin Morgan, "Crystal-Size and Microparticle Record in the Ice Core from Dome Summit South, Law Dome, East Antarctica," Annals of Glaciology Vol. 27 (1998), p. 343.

108. David A. Fisher, "Comparison of 10^5 Years of Oxygen Isotope and Insoluble Impurity Profiles from the Devon Island and Camp Century Ice Cores," Quaternary Research Vol. 11 (1979), p. 300.

109. L. G. Thompson, E. Mosley-Thompson, M. E. Davis, P.-N. Lin, K. A. Henderson, J. Cole-Dai, J. F. Bolzan, & K.-B. Liu, "Late Glacial Stage and Holocene Tropical Ice Core Records from Huascarán, Peru," Science Vol. 269 (July 7, 1995), pp. 46-50. It should be noted that the late glacial stage is compressed into the bottom 3 meters of a 166-meter-long core.

110. L. G. Thompson, M. E. Davis, E. Mosley-Thompson, T. A. Sowers, K. A. Henderson, V. S. Zagorodnov, P.-N. Lin, V. N. Mikhalenko, R. K. Campen, J. F. Bolzan, J. Cole-Dai, & B.Francou, "A 25,000-Year Tropical Climate History from Bolivian Ice Cores," Science Vol. 282 (Dec. 4, 1998), pp. 1858-1864.

111. Margareta E. Hansson, "The Renland Ice Core: A Northern Hemisphere Record of Aerosol Composition over 120,000 Years," Tellus Series B, Vol. 46 (1994), pp. 390-418.

112. David K. Rea, "The Paleoclimatic Record Provided by Eolian Deposition in the Deep Sea: The Geologic History of Wind," Reviews of Geophysics Vol. 32 (1994), p. 187.

113. Yuk L. Yung, Typhoon Lee, Chung-Ho Wang, and Ying-Tzung Shieh, "Dust: A Diagnostic of the Hydrologic Cycle During the Last Glacial Maximum," Science Vol. 271 (Feb. 16, 1996), pp. 962-963. In the sentence on page 962, "...a model in which the washout lifetime of the dust is reduced by half... shows that rates of dust deposition are enhanced by more than a factor of 5," the word "reduced" should read "increased," as confirmed by Yung in his e-mail message of April 9, 1997.

114. Dale A. Gillette, "Are Changes in Dust Sedimentation to Polar Regions a Sign of Dust Production Due to a Climatic Sensitive Variable or More Efficient Atmospheric Transport? And Where Does the Dust Come From?," in S. E. Schwartz and W. G. N. Slinn, eds., Precipitation Scavenging and Atmosphere-Surface Exchange, Vol. 3 (Hemisphere, 1992), pp. 1719-1732.

115. M. Briat, A. Royer, J. R. Petit, & C. Lorius, "Late Glacial Input of Eolian Continental Dust in the Dome C Ice Core: Additional Evidence from Individual Microparticle Analysis," Annals of Glaciology Vol. 3 (1982), pp. 27-31; A. Gaudichet, J. R. Petit, R. Lefevre, & C. Lorius, "An Investigation by Analytical Transmission Electron Microscopy of Individual Insoluble Microparticles from Anyarctic (Dome C) Ice Core Samples," Tellus series B, Vol. 38 (1986), pp. 250-261.

116. M. De Angelis, M. Legrand, J. R. Petit, N. I. Barkov, Ye. S. Korotkevitch, & V. M. Kotlyakov, "Soluble and Insoluble Impurities Along the 950 m Deep Vostok Ice Core (Antarctica) -- Climatic Implications," Journal of Atmospheric Chemistry Vol. 1 (1984), p. 237.

117. M. De Angelis, N. I. Barkov, and V. N. Petrov, "Sources of Continental Dust over Antarctica During the Last Glacial Cycle," Journal of Atmospheric Chemistry Vol. 14 (1992), p. 239.

118. Jean-Robert Petit, Martine Briat, and Alain Royer, "Ice Age Aerosol Content from East Antarctic Ice Core Samples and Past Wind Strength," Nature Vol 293 (Oct. 1, 1981), p. 393.

119. Jorgen Peder Steffensen, "The Size Distribution of Microparticles from Selected Segments of the Greenland Ice Core Project Ice Core Representing Different Climatic Periods," Journal of Geophysical Research Vol. 102 (Nov. 30, 1997), pp. 26,755-26,763.

120. L. G. Thompson, "Variations in Microparticle Concentration, Size Distribution and Elemental Composition Found in Camp Century, Greenland, and Byrd Station, Antarctica Deep Ice Cores," in Isotopes and Impurities in Snow and Ice: Proceedings of the Grenoble Symposium (Intl. Assoc. of the Hydrological Sciences, 1977), pp. 351-363. The significance of a similar relation found in the Byrd Station core (elevation 1530 m) is unclear, since most of the particles are from a nearby volcano.

121. R. M. Koerner, "Distribution of Microparticles in a 299-m Core through the Devon Island Ice Cap, Northwest Territories, Canada," in Isotopes and Impurities in Snow and Ice...,p. 372.

122. Gregory A. Zielinski and Grant R. Mershon, "Paleoenvironmental Implications of the Insoluble Microparticle Record in the GISP2 (Greenland) Ice Core During the Rapidly Changing Climate of the Pleistocene-Holocene Transition," Geological Society of America Bulletin Vol. 109, no. 5 (May, 1997), pp. 547-559.

123. Rea, op. cit., p. 167.

124. Liu Tungsheng, Loess in China (Springer, 1985), pp. 135, 138.

125. John T. Merrill, Mitsuo Uematsu, and Rainer Bleck, "Meteorological Analysis of Long-Range Transport of Mineral Aerosols Over the North Pacific," Journal of Geophysical Research Vol. 94 (1989), Fig. 4, p. 8587.

126. L. G. Thompson, E. Mosley-Thompson, X. Wu, and Z. Xie, "Wisconsin/Würm Glacial Stage Ice in the Subtropical Dunde Ice Cap, China," Geojournal Vol. 17 (1988), p. 519.

127. Ibid., op. cit., p. 520.

128. K. Pye and Li-ping Zhou, "Late Pleistocene and Holocene Aeolian Dust Deposition in North China and the Northwest Pacific Ocean," Palaeogeography, Palaeoclimatology, Palaeoecology Vol. 73 (1989), pp. 11-23.

129. Merrill et al., op. cit., p. 8597.

130. Rea, op. cit., p. 172.

131. David K. Rea, Margaret Leinen, and Thomas R. Janacek, "Geologic Approach to the Long-Term History of Atmospheric Circulation," Science Vol. 227 (Feb. 15, 1985), p. 722.

132. L. A. Barrie, "Arctic Aerosols: Composition, Sources and Transport," in R. J. Delmas, ed., Ice Core Studies of Global Biogeochemical Cycles (Springer, 1995), pp. 7-8.

133. P. E. Biscaye, F. E. Grousset, M. Revel, S. Van der Gaast, A. Vaars, & G. Zielinski, "Asian Source of Dust to Summit, Greenland During the Last Glacial Maximum," Journal of Geophysical Research Vol. 102 (Nov. 30, 1997) pp. 26,765-26,782, abstract in EOS Vol. 77 (1996), p. S157.

134. A. Gaudichet, M. De Angelis, R. Lefevre, J. R. Petit, Y. S. Korotkevitch, & V. N. Petrov, "Mineralogy of Insoluble Particles in the Vostok Antarctic Ice Core over the Last Climatic Cycle (150 kyr)," Geophysical Research Letters Vol. 15, no. 13 (Dec., 1988), pp. 1471-1474; A. Gaudichet, M. De Angelis, S. Joussaume, J. R. Petit, Y. S. Korotkevitch, & V. N. Petrov, "Comments on the Origin of Dust in East Antarctica for Present and Ice Age Conditions," Journal of Atmospheric Chemistry Vol. 14 (1992), pp. 129-142; M. De Angelis, N. I. Barkov, and V. N. Petrov, "Sources of Continental Dust over Antarctica During the Last Glacial Cycle," Journal of Atmospheric Chemistry Vol. 14 (1992), pp. 233-244; A. Gaudichet, J. R. Petit, R. Lefevre, & C. Lorius, "An Investigation by Analytical Transmission Electron Microscopy of Individual Insoluble Microparticles from Antarctic (Dome C) Ice Core Samples," Tellus Series B, Vol. 38 (1986), pp. 250-261; Francis E. Grousset, Pierre E. Biscaye, Marie Revel, Jean-Robert Petit, Kenneth Pye, Sylvie Joussaume, & Jean Jouzel, "Antarctic (Dome C) Ice-Core Dust at 18 k.y. B.P.: Isotopic Constraints on Origins," Earth and Planetary Science Letters Vol. 111 (1992), pp. 175-182; R. J. Delmas and J. R. Petit, "Present Antarctic Aerosol Composition: A Memory of Ice Age Atmospheric Dust?," Geophysical Research Letters Vol. 21, no. 10 (May 15, 1994), pp. 879-882.

135. Isabelle Basile, Francis E. Grousset, Marie Revel, Jean Robert Petit, Pierre E. Biscaye, & Nartssis I. Barkov, "Patagonian Origin of Glacial Dust Deposited in East Antarctica (Vostok and Dome C) During Glacial Stages 2, 4 and 6," Earth and Planetary Science Letters Vol. 146 (1997), pp. 573-589.

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