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The coming ice age [full-blown glaciation in less than 20 years]
Backwoods Home ^ | 3-8-04 | John Silveira

Posted on 03/08/2004 4:57:00 PM PST by SJackson

As little as 30 years ago the talk wasn’t about global warming, it was about an imminent ice age. Is an ice age likely? Even possible? Consider this: There have been more than 20 glacial advances, or ice ages, in just the last two million years. And we know from geological evidence that each glaciation lasted anywhere from 20,000 to 100,000 years—no one knows why the disparity—separated by warm periods that last some 10,000 to 15,000 years. What we can be reasonably sure of is that we’re now in one of the warm periods, and this one is already 13,000 years old. Some scientists think it’s at an end and a new ice age is about to begin.

No one really knows what causes ice ages. Theories abound. They include perturbations in the earth’s orbit, changes in ocean currents, the earth periodically passing through galactic dust that obscures the sun, variations in the sun’s energy output, changes in continental positions, uplift of continental blocks, reduction of CO2 in the atmosphere, etc. Evidence or experiment may eventually resolve which of the theories wins out, or it may turn out that a combination of theories are true. It may even be that none of the current theories proves satisfactory and some entirely new theory ultimately explains their cause.

But what is pretty certain is how they take place. It was once common wisdom to believe that the advent of an ice age took place over centuries or even millennia, and that they ended the same way. It was thought that the changes were so slow that, if people were around to witness them, each generation would hardly notice any change. If the next glaciation were to come on slowly, and we recognized it as the beginning of an ice age, maybe there would be time for civilization to adjust: to begin food storage, to develop crop hybrids that will endure shorter growing seasons, to move populations, factories, and technology—the core of our civilization—into southern climates, etc.

But we now have evidence that ice ages come on with an abruptness that will catch us by total surprise. Physical evidence indicates that when the last ice age started, the British Isles went from a temperate climate to being completely covered with glaciers hundreds of feet thick in just 20 years.

Do scientists think it’ll happen that way again? Yes. And if the next ice age starts here’s how it may occur: At first we wouldn’t even realize it, so the first few years we’d feel we were just having one or two bad winters. But after a few years rivers will freeze all-year-round, snow from the previous years won’t completely melt, glaciers will begin to form, and some of what is currently now the world’s most fertile ground will become unfarmable.

Countries bordering on both sides of the Atlantic will change radically as a result of changes in the Gulf Stream, and Europe, which today is almost 20 degrees warmer than other parts of the world at the same latitude, will become as cold and dry as Siberia. The Sahara may again become forested while the Amazon basin becomes a desert. Florida may also become a desert, as it was in a previous ice age.

At the same time, if the climate changes enough to disturb the monsoon season that fuels agriculture from Africa to China, where over half the world’s six billion people now live, hundreds of millions will starve when the climate abruptly changes. There’s no way to prepare them for that.

Canadian and Russian wheat will fail completely. American agriculture, on which much of the world depends, will be scaled back by shorter growing seasons. Not only will we not have enough food for export, we won’t be able to grow enough to sustain even our own current population. And jobs? Factories will close, service businesses will disappear, stocked supermarkets will become a thing of the past. Get ready for your standard of living to drop like a rock while you and your kin go hungry.

How far will the ice fields extend? In North America they will most likely reach as far south as present day Chicago. But they may go further. And this isn’t going to be some picture postcard winter landscape. At the height of the last ice age, the ice fields covering much of North America were up to two miles thick. So, expect the great northern cities, such as New York, Boston, Detroit, Toronto, Montreal, etc., to be swept away before advancing glaciers. In the meantime, sea levels will drop and more of the continental shelves will be exposed. You’ll be able to walk from Siberia to Alaska, from California to the Channel Islands, from Britain to France, from Australia to New Guinea.

But when is this really all likely to happen? Because no one knows what causes ice ages, there’s no way to forecast when the next one will start, how bad it will be, or what effect the (allegedly man-made) global warming taking place today will have on it. We can’t tell whether it will be less severe than the last one, when the ice sheets only extended as far south as Wisconsin, or as bad as some of the glaciations of half a billion years ago when ice sheets formed all the way to the equator. Although this latter scenario is unlikely, no one can be sure. But if it does, kiss the human race good-bye.

What seems fairly certain is that we will go from the world as it is today to full-blown glaciation in less than 20 years, maybe in as little as four or five. And there is no way the United States can adjust to and survive a climate change this abrupt.

Can we stop it? We can’t even stop a single snow storm. Imagine trying to stop an ice age that’s going to go on for tens of thousands of years.


TOPICS: Culture/Society; Editorial
KEYWORDS: amazon; climatechange; desertification; refoliation; sahara
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5 years. I'm applying for a wolly mammouth tag right away!
1 posted on 03/08/2004 4:57:00 PM PST by SJackson
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To: SJackson
The coming Ice Age. Sounds like that '70's show.
2 posted on 03/08/2004 4:58:37 PM PST by Semper Paratus
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To: SJackson
Probably won't affect much here in Fairbanks. This area wasn't glaciated last time, either.
3 posted on 03/08/2004 5:00:36 PM PST by RightWhale (Theorems link concepts; proofs establish links)
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To: SJackson
That's ok, Global Warming will solve this problem. Besides, after Al Gore kick's El Nino's ass, he will be available to go mano a mano with El Icicle.
4 posted on 03/08/2004 5:01:18 PM PST by TADSLOS (Right Wing Infidel since 1954)
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To: SJackson
Damn ... and I was counting on the global warming thing! Will this help or hurt the Liberals in the next election? You know they will blame the Conservatives!
5 posted on 03/08/2004 5:01:23 PM PST by AgThorn (Go go Bush!! But don't turn your back on America with "immigrant amnesty")
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To: SJackson

6 posted on 03/08/2004 5:01:53 PM PST by andy58-in-nh
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To: SJackson
uh, ... what happened to Global Warming?
7 posted on 03/08/2004 5:01:58 PM PST by SandRat (Duty, Honor, Country. What else needs to be said?)
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To: SJackson
Hmm.. Might be time for those bulk purchases of Spam™ and camouflage duct tape..
8 posted on 03/08/2004 5:02:10 PM PST by AntiGuv (When the countdown hits zero, something's gonna happen..)
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To: Semper Paratus
The coming Ice Age...

Seems like I read "The Coming Dark Age" by Roberto Vacca in the seventies.

9 posted on 03/08/2004 5:03:22 PM PST by backhoe (--30--)
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To: SJackson


Too Much!

10 posted on 03/08/2004 5:03:48 PM PST by Spruce (Does this train go too daloot? Nope. she goes Woop woop. (it's a MN joke))
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To: SJackson
The 4 BILLION DOLLAR a year global warming scam industry is going to be P*ssed!
11 posted on 03/08/2004 5:05:22 PM PST by listenhillary (terrorism n. systematic use of violence to intimidate or coerce societies or governments)
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To: RightWhale
I see where this is going.

Enviromental-wackos over the last 15 years have failed to alarm the public about global warming and its effect in the year 2100, so now they are stepping it up a notch saying unless we abnadon CO2 immediately, disaster is less than 20 years away.
12 posted on 03/08/2004 5:05:46 PM PST by raloxk
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To: SJackson
Howdy Mexicanos!! I'm Johnny Gringo, your new migrant friend!!

In case of ice age, we can make that immigration door swings both ways, ya know...fix me up some tacos and a fat government check, and a hospital bed, cause hell knows what I might come down with until we clean your, I mean, OUR new country up. Habla ingles??

13 posted on 03/08/2004 5:08:11 PM PST by Monti Cello
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To: SJackson
Sounds like the south can look forward to serious property value increases.

I'm buyin 100 acres this summer. Maybe I should buy more?
14 posted on 03/08/2004 5:08:22 PM PST by American_Centurion (Daisy-cutters trump a wiretap anytime - Nicole Gelinas)
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To: SJackson
The PR agency for the movie "The Day After Tomorrow" strikes again.
15 posted on 03/08/2004 5:08:57 PM PST by MediaMole
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To: SJackson
A little old man walks into a lumber company office, and applies for a job as a lumberjack. The foreman politely tries to talk him out of the idea. After all, he is old, small, and apparently much too weak to fell trees.

The old man picks up a saw and walks over to a huge redwood. In record time, the old man is finished sawing down the tree.

"That's just astounding," the forman says, "wherever did you learn to saw trees like that?"

"Well now," the old man smiles, "have you ever heard of the Sahara Forest?"

"You mean the Sahara Desert."

"Sure, that's what it's called NOW..."


16 posted on 03/08/2004 5:10:12 PM PST by Paleo Conservative (Do not remove this tag under penalty of law.)
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To: SJackson
Welp, it's nice to know my 'Y2K' kit can be recycled into 'The Coming Ice Age' kit ;o)
17 posted on 03/08/2004 5:10:26 PM PST by BossLady
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To: raloxk
The thing is that everybody can look out their window or go outside and see for themselves. It's not easy to associate 2 feet of snow with global warming, and similarly a backyard barbeque this summer won't associate well with a new Ice Age. Of course there is always a weather record to break and the alarm can be sounded when it is the 'hottest June 14 in the last 20 years,' or 'the coldest Jan 14 since 1941 in Cleveland.'
18 posted on 03/08/2004 5:11:59 PM PST by RightWhale (Theorems link concepts; proofs establish links)
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To: BossLady
lol that is too funny!!!!
19 posted on 03/08/2004 5:12:34 PM PST by GottaLuvAkitas1
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To: SJackson
Physical evidence indicates that when the last ice age started, the British Isles went from a temperate climate to being completely covered with glaciers hundreds of feet thick in just 20 years.

Although I do agree that rapid climate change is possible, contemplate that claim for a moment. Let's make this minimalist and say that hundreds of feet = 200 feet. That means that 10 feet of ice needs to be created each year.

Snow is fluffy stuff. It takes about 10 inches of wet snow to make one inch of rain equivalent, and we'll be generous and say that five inches of snow would compact to an inch of glacial ice. So to accumulate twenty feet of ice per year, that means we would need 100 feet of snow. That's 1200 inches a year - or 240 inches of rain equivalent in the winter. And that doesn't even compensate for seasonal melting.

20 posted on 03/08/2004 5:12:43 PM PST by dirtboy (Howard, we hardly knew ye. Not that we're complaining, mind you...)
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To: Howlin; Ed_NYC; MonroeDNA; widgysoft; Springman; Timesink; dubyaismypresident; Grani; coug97; ...

Someone has seen one too many film trailers....

Just damn.

If you want on the list, FReepmail me. This IS a high-volume PING list...

21 posted on 03/08/2004 5:13:45 PM PST by mhking
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To: SandRat
Haven't you heard? The latest envirowacko junk science is saying that global warming will CAUSE an ice age!

The global warming will melt the polar ice cap which will flood the North Sea with frigid fresh water and block the Gulf Stream current which will cause an ice age in Europe.
22 posted on 03/08/2004 5:14:28 PM PST by Blood of Tyrants (Even if the government took all your earnings, you wouldn’t be, in its eyes, a slave.)
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To: SJackson
I'm calling my investor right now to get some energy stocks. If you're gonna keep warm, you've gotta to pay for fuel.
23 posted on 03/08/2004 5:15:25 PM PST by FreedomCalls (It's the "Statue of Liberty," not the "Statue of Security.")
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To: dirtboy
So to accumulate twenty feet of ice per year, that means we would need 100 feet of snow. That's 1200 inches a year - or 240 inches of rain equivalent in the winter. And that doesn't even compensate for seasonal melting.

Yes, I see.

But them damned glaciers sneak in from the north, sliding off the mountains. One day, open prairie. The next, Phloomf! 2 miles thick sheet of ice.

And mammoths crappin' all over the place.

24 posted on 03/08/2004 5:25:42 PM PST by woofer
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To: SJackson
if everyone in the path of an oncoming glacier uses their hairdryers, there will be no trouble at all.
25 posted on 03/08/2004 5:26:36 PM PST by isom35
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To: SJackson
In the long history of this planet there has never been such a radical shift in the earths climate in this short a time frame. To suggest that half of the northern hemisphere will again be covered by ice sheets 20 years from now is ridiculous. So unless the earth's orbit is changed by collision with a giant asteroid or the sun radically changes it's output in the next 2 decades, I'm not going to plan on year around skiing in the Dakotas nor stock up on suntan oil either. This 20 years to climatic doomsday is pure bunk and is not supported by anyone reputable.
26 posted on 03/08/2004 5:27:53 PM PST by The Great RJ
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To: mhking
Osam Bin Laden's not going to be a happy camper...

Bin Laden cast as family man who loves volleyball, hates ice

27 posted on 03/08/2004 5:33:34 PM PST by weegee ('...Kerry is like that or so a crack sausage.')
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To: The Great RJ
So unless the earth's orbit is changed by collision with a giant asteroid or the sun radically changes it's output in the next 2 decades, I'm not going to plan on year around skiing in the Dakotas...

Why that would be ridiculous.

Everybody knows that the leading edge of the glaciers will be in Nebraska. You'll only be able to cross-country ski in the Dakotas.

28 posted on 03/08/2004 5:39:21 PM PST by woofer
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To: The Great RJ; SJackson
I agree that all the doom and gloom talk needs taken with a grain of salt. I am old enough to remember the first Earth Day and about that time I also read Erlichs (sp?) "The Population Bomb". Tons of dire warnings of imminent disaster.

None of it came true, yet the warnings still get great media attention. I guess no one read about the boy who cried wolf.

If an Ice Age is coming, I think it is pretty arrogant of man to think he has the power to stop it.

29 posted on 03/08/2004 5:40:57 PM PST by Lawgvr1955 (I am not completely worthless; I can always serve as a "bad example".)
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To: SJackson
GET OUT OF HERE.. (pushing like Elaine on Seinfeld)
(laugh like Eddie Murphy)
30 posted on 03/08/2004 5:43:22 PM PST by hosepipe
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To: The Great RJ
Its the polar shift, stupid!!! Our very existence on this planet threatens to shift the rotational axis due to the increase of human body mass unequally distributed over the surface of the planet. Add to that the weight of all the structures and automobiles, couple this with the countless tons of CO2 and methane we emit each year and you can plainly see we must, as a species, annihilate ourselves before we destroy the earth!!!! NOW!!!!!!!!!!
Whew! I've been hanging around those 'green' sites way too much!
31 posted on 03/08/2004 5:43:57 PM PST by Pipeline (A common man)
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To: AgThorn
But what about the sheild volcano in Yellowstone, giant asteriods hurddling our way, the Gulf Stream disappearing, SARS, and global warming? I'm confused, just one apocalypse at a time is all I can handle!

It's the end of the world as we know it, and I feel fine.

32 posted on 03/08/2004 5:44:24 PM PST by flying Elvis
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To: SJackson
The Sahara may again become forested while the Amazon basin becomes a desert.

I have 1.5 million acres of Sahara desert that is going to be worth a forture in 20 years. Buy sand today, reap forest tomorrow. 5,000-acre lots going fast! Don't miss out!

33 posted on 03/08/2004 5:45:36 PM PST by Pete
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To: SJackson
This guy's not telling the whole story. Things will be much worse than he is portraying. We're going to have and ice age and global warming at the same time! Those that aren't killed by the ice will roast to death in minutes.
34 posted on 03/08/2004 5:45:39 PM PST by gitmo (Thanks, Mel. I needed that.)
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To: woofer
And mammoths crappin' all over the place.

That's too funny, man! LOL!

35 posted on 03/08/2004 5:47:32 PM PST by Tolerance Sucks Rocks (Hi, I'm Sydney Biddle-Barrows, and this is Whore Stories!)
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To: Blood of Tyrants
Well, ... that's one way to silence the French I guess.
36 posted on 03/08/2004 5:50:41 PM PST by SandRat (Duty, Honor, Country. What else needs to be said?)
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To: gitmo
We're going to have and ice age and global warming at the same time! Those that aren't killed by the ice will roast to death in minutes.

Baked Alaska...literally!

37 posted on 03/08/2004 5:52:33 PM PST by Tolerance Sucks Rocks (Hi, I'm Sydney Biddle-Barrows, and this is Whore Stories!)
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To: MediaMole
D**n, you anticipated my remark! I saw the previews for TDAT before seeing "Hildago" yesterday.
38 posted on 03/08/2004 5:55:39 PM PST by kaylar
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To: farmfriend
ping
39 posted on 03/08/2004 5:56:32 PM PST by Libertarianize the GOP (Ideas have consequences)
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To: Lawgvr1955
I am old enough to remember the first Earth Day

Me too. Return of the Ice Age was the rage back then too.

40 posted on 03/08/2004 5:59:28 PM PST by lizma
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To: SJackson
kiss the human race good-bye

Yeah right! Can any journalist resist the temptation to take every idea to the extreme?

My theory on all of this is that the Earth's magnetic field will continue to weaken. The weakening shield (the magnetic field creates a shield against most of the sun's deadly radiation) causes the ozone to fluctuate year after year: global warming theory cites this as evidence. However, the poles will eventually flip, and during that time the heat generated will cause gases to rise up into the atmosphere, and into space. This will cause the surface to cool, just like an evaporative cooler. When the poles stablize, the Earth will go into a rapid cool-down mode causing another ice-age. Life will change on the planet, and humankind will continue to endure. The good Earth, being God's creation, will continue working perfectly like it always has.

Copyrighted here on FR.

41 posted on 03/08/2004 6:00:30 PM PST by InShanghai (I was born on the crest of a wave, and rocked in the cradle of the deep.)
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To: SJackson
Can we stop it? We can’t even stop a single snow storm. Imagine trying to stop an ice age that’s going to go on for tens of thousands of years.

Give us 50 years to develop nanotechnology and the inevitable cheap space travel that follows it, and we will stop a new ice age or ignore it and colonize the rest of the solar system as we please.

42 posted on 03/08/2004 6:02:31 PM PST by marktwain
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To: lizma
Return of the Ice Age was the rage back then too.

Right. And if I recall correctly, food and water would be more valuable than oil, with American and a few other contries having an OPEC like food cartel. And all of that was to happen before the 70's was out. Heck at the time I figured I'd be lucky to be alive in 1980.

Made it!!

43 posted on 03/08/2004 6:07:36 PM PST by Lawgvr1955 (I am not completely worthless; I can always serve as a "bad example".)
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To: Lawgvr1955
Well, actually, food and water are more valuable than oil now. At least they cost more.
44 posted on 03/08/2004 6:09:53 PM PST by Double Tap
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To: SJackson
Well, there goes the neighborhood.

Clark Fork ice dam / Lake Missoula bump.
45 posted on 03/08/2004 6:10:37 PM PST by Noumenon (This tagline has been outsourced to Bangalore)
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To: Double Tap
Water costs more than wine when you buy it by the Evian bottle. But overall food and water are still pretty good bargains.

I'm so wealthy I use water to bathe in.

46 posted on 03/08/2004 6:13:36 PM PST by Lawgvr1955 (I am not completely worthless; I can always serve as a "bad example".)
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To: SJackson
How far will the ice fields extend? In North America they will most likely reach as far south as present day Chicago. But they may go further. And this isn’t going to be some picture postcard winter landscape. At the height of the last ice age, the ice fields covering much of North America were up to two miles thick. So, expect the great northern cities, such as New York, Boston, Detroit, Toronto, Montreal, etc.

Aren't these places covered with ice most of the time anyway?

47 posted on 03/08/2004 6:14:37 PM PST by Joe Hadenuf ( failed anger management class, they decided to give me a passing grade anyway)
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To: SJackson
You cannot go into an ice age when you are still coming out of one. Those are the rules.
48 posted on 03/08/2004 6:16:03 PM PST by microgood
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To: Lawgvr1955
So is oil. A bargain that is.
49 posted on 03/08/2004 6:16:22 PM PST by Double Tap
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To: Lawgvr1955
So is oil. A bargain that is.
50 posted on 03/08/2004 6:16:29 PM PST by Double Tap
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