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Of course, a simpler explanation is that the radiometric dating is incorrect and that the speleothems grew only the ice had melted.
Well, I knew—and all karstologists know—that the surface of limestone terrains above caves changes dramatically in short periods of time.
On the use of climate variations, karstological wisdom maintains that during the Ice Age the water infiltrating into caves either stopped or significantly diminished.
At this time, ice covered much of the ground and even where it didn’t, beyond the ice sheets, permafrost was extensive.
The Vancouver Island speleothems have yielded radiometric ages of between 12 and 18 thousand years. According to various geological evidences, the island was covered by ice, so the speleothems should not have grown at this time.
But rather than question the radio-isotopic dates (and hence the methodology involved), some scientists have proposed that the 2-km—(6,500-ft—) thick ice cover melted and grew back in a few thousand years, even though there is no evidence for this melting and they cannot explain how it could have happened!