(Taken from a blog post from three years ago.)
I finally have time to spout my opinions on this winter vortex, so please enjoy. Or move on. Especially if you still believe the earth galaxy and universe are all less than 100,000 years old. This won’t be for you unless you’d like to learn a little real science. 🙂
So, the earth has been through four or five ice ages, (depending on the scientific community to which one subscribes), and it was supposed to start its latest one about 10,000-25,000 years ago, (see first parenthetical). What’s causing the earth to delay the latest ice age? In my humble, unassailable, highly-informed opinion: two things could be causing it.
- After each peak of ice coverage in each ice age as the ice started to melt away, CO2 levels peaked [relatively] shortly thereafter, then receded. After the last ice age one major thing sticks out: Us. We started farming, cutting down trees, etc. which released all of the CO2, that plants normally hold inside, into the atmosphere. Core samples show that after the last ice age CO2 levels rose to the [relatively] same peak, but haven’t yet receded and have trended up and down over the past 40,000 years depending on population density and such. Could this be playing a factor in the delay of the tardy ice age? Possibly. Could the recent and sudden cold snaps be a precursor to its coming? Perhaps. But we don’t know, because we’ve never been able to study an ice age first hand and carbon dating has a wicked margin of error. So we shall have to wait and see if the Earth will compensate and follow its normal cycle, which leads me to option 2.
- Now then…the earth is a really big place and has maintained an equilibrium with its passengers for a reallllllly really long time. Up to 25 different species of animals die off every day due to environments constantly changing and adjusting to the constant changing and adjusting in every single facet of this planet. Things that determine just the temperatures on our home include the axis of the earth (intensity of direct sunlight), the earth’s orbit (which isn’t a perfect elliptic but more like a drunken sailor running around a race track) the cycle of the sun (about every 11 years it goes through varying degrees of hot and not-as-hot) and a few other things I cannot remember off the top of my shiny head. The “optimum” combination of these variables led to the previous ice ages, and the internal things like CO2 levels were a by-product.
So with all of these things that humans cannot affect, is it possible that when the next ice age comes it will be more of a body slam instead of a gradual process because of humans keeping CO2 levels from decreasing like they historically have done? Possibly.
Do any of us know for sure? Nope.
Should we make drastic decisions about trying to control nature and bend it to our will? Nope.
Should we squander resources and be wasteful all in the name of profit or trying to be the “best?” Nope.
Basically what I’m trying to say here, is that we really are super young as a species and really pretty much don’t know jack about jack in the big scheme of things. But we should still be mindful of how our actions affect our home, while understanding that our home doesn’t care about us and is going to do whatever it’s going to do regardless of our wishes/beliefs/tactics/etc.
So stop with the “global warming” crap because if we hadn’t created global warming there’d be no New York City or Green Bay Packers or or or because the ice would be covering the majority of the northern hemisphere and you wouldn’t be here to complain. So be grateful. 😉
And understand that whether or not we reduce CO2 levels in our lifetimes or the next, eventually this planet is going to do what it normally does: float around the sun and not care about anything. It’s our job to care for our home if we’d like it to not turn into a barren wasteland due to our poor housekeeping. Aside from that, you should all move south of the Nebraska-Kansas border’s parallel eventually. Like…within the next 1,000 years or so.