Global Warming Might Hold Off Ice Age 100,000 YearsChris Middlebrooks (Author) Published Date : Jan 15, 2016 23:27 IST
Global warming likely will disrupt the natural cycle of ice ages as well as contribute to delaying the onset of the next huge freeze for about 100,000 years, said scientists this week.
Over the last million years, there have been approximately 10 ice ages prior to swinging back to conditions of warmer weather like present day. In the most recent ice age that ended more than 12,000 years ago, the areas of what are now Northern Europe, Siberia and Canada were blanketed in ice sheets.
In a new updated explanation for the plunge for long period in global temperatures that cause the ice ages, researchers point to a combination of shifts over the long term in the orbit of the Earth around the sun along with carbon dioxide levels found in the atmosphere.
They say the earth seemed to be on track to naturally escape another ice age for 50,000 more years, which is an unusually long time of warmth, said researchers.
However, rising greenhouse emissions that are mad-made since the beginning of the Industrial Revolution during the 18th century could mean the warmth will remain for another 100,000 years, the scientists wrote.
These findings, wrote the scientists, suggest that the human influences will make the next ice age initiation impossible over a period of time comparable to the length of the glacial periods.
Another group of researchers last week said that humanity became the force that shaped the geology of the planet and suggested than an Anthropocene epoch had started in the middle of the 20th century that included factors such as industrialization and nuclear tests.
Some prior studies suggested that global warming cold delay the ice ages, but the study on Thursday laid clear rules down on why and now that could happen.
It stated that the beginning of prior ice ages had coincided with solar energy in low levels reaching Earth s northern hemisphere summers like in the current times, but an ice age has not started due to high, an apparently natural, carbon dioxide levels across the atmosphere since prior to the Industrial Revolution.
Global Warming Might Hold Off Ice Age 100,000 Years