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 Have humans killed off ice ages? Experts warn our effect on the planet could mean the natural cycle doesn't happen for ages

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PostSubject: Have humans killed off ice ages? Experts warn our effect on the planet could mean the natural cycle doesn't happen for ages   Mon Dec 12, 2016 10:25 pm

Over the last two and a half million years the Earth has undergone more than 50 major ice ages, each having a profound effect on our planet's climate.



But what causes them and how do we predict when the next big ice age will hit?

About 40 years ago, scientists realised that ice ages were driven by changes in the Earth's orbit.

But, as I recently argued in Nature, it's not that simple.

Scientists are still trying to understand how such wobbles interact with the climate system, particularly greenhouse gases, to push the planet in to or out of an ice age.

During the last ice age, only 21,000 years ago, there was nearly continuous ice across North America from the Pacific to the Atlantic Ocean.

At its deepest over the Hudson Bay, it was over two miles thick and reached as far south as what would now be New York and Cincinnati.

In Europe, there were two major ice sheets: the British ice sheet which reached as far south as what would now be Norfolk, and the Scandinavian ice sheet that extended all the way from Norway to the Ural mountains in Russia.

In the Southern Hemisphere there were significant ice sheets on Patagonia, South Africa, southern Australia and New Zealand.

So much water was locked up in these ice sheets that the global sea level dropped by over 125 metres around ten metres lower than the height of the London Eye.

In comparison if all the ice on Antarctica and Greenland melted today it would only raise sea level by 70 metres.

http://www.dailymail.co.uk/sciencetech/article-4025742/Have-humans-killed-ice-ages-Experts-warn-effect-planet-mean-natural-cycle-doesn-t-happen-long-time.html
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Have humans killed off ice ages? Experts warn our effect on the planet could mean the natural cycle doesn't happen for ages

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