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Next ice age has been delayed by 50,000 years


Posted on Thursday, 14 January, 2016 | Comment icon 61 comments

The next ice age should have already started. Image Credit: CC 2.0 NASA Goddard
Man-made global warming is believed to have postponed the next ice age by several thousand years.
Our planet has endured multiple ice ages over the last few million years and the last one, which saw large areas of the northern hemisphere buried under glaciers, ended only around 12,000 years ago.

Ice ages tend to occur when the amount of solar radiation hitting our planet reaches a minimum threshold - something that happens every so often as the Earth's orbit around the sun changes.

The conditions would in fact be sufficient to initiate a new period of glaciation right now if it weren't for the fact that carbon emissions have been steadily increasing global temperatures.

"We are now in a period when our (northern) summer is furthest from the Sun," said Dr Andrey Ganopolski from the Potsdam Institute for Climate Impact Research.

"Under normal circumstances, the interglacial would be terminated, and a new ice age would start. So, in principle, we are in the perfect conditions from an astronomical point of view. "

Instead, the scientists argue, we are likely to remain in a warm period for thousands of years.

"In theory, the next ice age could be even further into the future, but there is no real practical importance in discussing whether it starts in 50,000 or 100,000 years from now," said Ganopolski.

"The important thing is that it is an illustration that we have a geological power now. We can change the natural sequence of events for tens of thousands of years."

Source: BBC News | Comments (61)

Tags: Ice Age, Global Warming

Recent comments on this story
Comment icon #52 Posted by Br Cornelius on 16 January, 2016, 14:47
Have now read the document. However not able to locate the 40% decline. Can you please tell me on which page i can find a reference to the 40% claim? Thank you for above. Now show me the evidence for a current mass extinction. P.s did you have a look at the chart i posted? The 2014 Living Planet Report gives an index that tracks the numbers of animals in selected populations of vertebrates—mammals, birds, reptiles, amphibians, and fish—across the globe. This "Living Planet Index" declined by 52 percent between 1970 and 2010, "a much bigger decrease than has been reported previously," according... [More]
Comment icon #53 Posted by BFB on 16 January, 2016, 15:41
http://news.nationalgeographic.com/news/2014/09/1409030-animals-wildlife-wwf-decline-science-world/ As i said previously 40% refers to figures for the EU, published by the comission, but studies from around the world show similar or larger declines. Biodiversity specifically refers to population decline as well as actual species loss, but the level of declines been recorded inevitably will lead many of these populations to an extinction. As for evidence for a mass extinction event: https://www.researchgate.net/profile/Jenny_Mcguire/publication/50267709_Has_the_Earth's_sixth_mass_extinction_alr... [More]
Comment icon #54 Posted by Br Cornelius on 16 January, 2016, 16:11
Thank you. How do they calculate their extinction rates? 1. Most papers suggest around 18-35% species loss by 2050. Most papers however don't include area loss. 2. Those who do, mostly base their rates on species area relationships. However by doing so their extinction rates are overestimated. As they would only be valid if all species are randomly distributed and the species area relationships are identical to the endemics area relationship. http://www.nature.co...ature09985.html You cannot make any useful assessment based upon the species that have already gone extinct. Just as with climate ... [More]
Comment icon #55 Posted by BFB on 16 January, 2016, 16:55
You cannot make any useful assessment based upon the species that have already gone extinct. Just as with climate change itself and global temperatures, it is the trend line that draws you to the conclusion that we are in the early stages of a mass extinction event. Br Cornelius Br I gave an example why the report on around 40% was overestimated. Now you switch to saying that the overall point is the trend. I do not dismiss that species are going extinct. If I remember correctly(correct me if I am wrong) around 500 species have gone extinct since 1500. However that's only around 0.8%. I do dis... [More]
Comment icon #56 Posted by Doug1o29 on 16 January, 2016, 19:58
....it is normal. There are at least hundreds, if not thousands of scientific papers detailing how the current climate system is not "normal." Here is just one: Burnette, D., D. Stahle and C. Mock. 2009. Daily mean temperature reconstructed for Kansas from early instrumental and modern observations. Journal of Climate 9 October 2009. http://journals.amet.../2009JCLI2445.1 Temperature change is, perhaps, the hardest metric to understand because it is the smallest and varies the least compared to daily means. Since 1828, temperatures in Kansas have increased only 1.6 degrees C. At my house, yest... [More]
Comment icon #57 Posted by crandles57 on 16 January, 2016, 22:13
"However until we stop emitting greenhouse gasses there will in theory never be a next ice age." We could reduce to emitting ghg at a very low rate which nature could cope with and then well after 100,000 years the spike in CO2 might be significantly reduced and then when Milankovitch cycles might reach near optimal conditions to start an ice age.... http://www.realclimate.org/index.php/archives/2005/03/how-long-will-global-warming-last/ The reality is that the CO2 from a gallon out of every tank of gas will continue to affect climate for tens and even hundreds of thousands of years into the f... [More]
Comment icon #58 Posted by Black Monk on 17 January, 2016, 16:48
There is no man-made global warming. The Earth is going through a period of natural COOLING right now. Also, a rise or fall in levels of CO2 (a natural gas which is beneficial to Earth as it is a plant food, has led to less topsoil erosion, has encouraged beneficial bacteria and improved aerial fertilisation) does not cause a corresponding rise or fall in temperature. The reverse is true. A rise or fall in temperature causes a corresponding rise or fall in CO2.
Comment icon #59 Posted by Br Cornelius on 17 January, 2016, 17:21
There is no man-made global warming. The Earth is going through a period of natural COOLING right now. Also, a rise or fall in levels of CO2 (a natural gas which is beneficial to Earth as it is a plant food, has led to less topsoil erosion, has encouraged beneficial bacteria and improved aerial fertilisation) does not cause a corresponding rise or fall in temperature. The reverse is true. A rise or fall in temperature causes a corresponding rise or fall in CO2. So you have nothing then to backup your hollow words. Not surprising. Br Cornelius
Comment icon #60 Posted by Doug1o29 on 17 January, 2016, 17:48
be There is no man-made global warming. The Earth is going through a period of natural COOLING right now. As I said above, would you care to cite some datasets to back up your claim? Without evidence, all you have is a screwy idea. Also, a rise or fall in levels of CO2 (a natural gas which is beneficial to Earth as it is a plant food, has led to less topsoil erosion, has encouraged beneficial bacteria and improved aerial fertilisation) does not cause a corresponding rise or fall in temperature. You and I didn't study physics in the same school. Carbon absorbs incoming light energy and re-emits... [More]
Comment icon #61 Posted by regeneratia on 17 January, 2016, 23:41
Yeah, this news item, I saw yesterday on another site, sure does give one some interesting thoughts. It is 8 degrees F here, and the wood-burning stove has been going non-stop for two days, a stove I only use if it gets below 20 degrees F. It is just easier to sit on the fence on this one. The entire solar system is heating up. Opps, they just found some other items on the edge and just outside our own solar system, while we know now that galxies pass thru one another from time to time. Makes ya go Hmmmmm!


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