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Global warming our fault or the end of the last ice age?

  • #1
    Registered Users Posts: 8,648 ✭✭✭ irishgeo

    Well the first serious topic i think.

    Having watched a few discovery documentaries i am of thinking that global warming would happen anyway regardless of the fact we are helping it.

    I think we are leaving a an ice age and that the polar caps were not always covered by ice.

    Ice ages last a very long time and i think the world is much colder now than it was.

    In a unique situation both poles are covered by ice and that will change as the world heats up. I am sure nature didnt intend for it to happen so fast but happen it will.

    Any thoughts?


  • I would agree with you for instance the earth has gotten very very cold since the time global warming is said to have started

    The big freeze of 1962-3 is an example

    But that doesn't give man carte blanche when it comes to deforestation and the use of polutants.

    Deforestation is believed to cause the horendous flooding in places like Bangladesh where the trees which used to obsorb the monsoon rains are not there anymore so the water just flows freely into bangladesh and because the trees are not there to hold the soil together it causes mud slides and the like.

  • the Burning of fossil fuels is contributing to climate change through the greenhouse effect and while temperature fluctuaions continue there is an obvious warming trend which can be plotted back over a century now. So yes its our fault at least in part but not completely - other elements can have an effect such as volcanic activity (which cools the planet) and the suns behaviour which could warm or cool (its complicated!)
    Changes in the sun’s magnetism and in the reconstructed northern hemisphere’s land temperature are highly correlated over the last 240 years. The sun’s magnetic changes are associated with changes in its total energy output, and may explain the close connection to terrestrial temperatures
    on time scales of decades to centuries. The changes in the sun’s magnetism are represented by changes in the length of the “Hale polarity” or 22-year cycle, which is closely linked to the 11-year
    sunspot cycle. (Source: Baliunas and Soon, 1995, p. 896.)

    How this will impact on the worlds weather systems (to get strickly on topic!) is something worth pondering.

    How many in Ireland are willing to accept violent stormy winters
    with flooding and higher insurance premiums in exchange for extended summer heatwaves (with all that implies about fresh water supplies/potential soil errosion etc).


  • There is a school of thought that reckons , global warming might cool Irelands climate rather than warm it.
    That depends on parts of the polar Ice cap breaking off and drifting south, cutting off our supply of Warm water via the North atlantic Drift.
    If that happened we would be getting winters as cold as Boston and probably drier summers.

    I get the feeling , by then Farmers here wouldn't be too concerned with Mr Fischler ( who would be long dead by then) , but rather what to do about the new wine lake.

  • As Man says global warming switching off the North Atlantic drift is a scary one.

    We have roughly the same latitude as Siberia, if the drift wasn't there it would feel like it. Not so funny at all at all.

  • Originally posted by DapperGent
    As Man says global warming switching off the North Atlantic drift is a scary one.

    We have roughly the same latitude as Siberia, if the drift wasn't there it would feel like it. Not so funny at all at all.

    Not quite remember we're small and surrounded by lovely water which takes the edge off the extremes hence this summer we did'nt cook unlike France. Our winters would be more like Newfoundland which is cold enough....


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  • Newfoudland or Siberia - I think we can both agree, it'd be ****ing cold. :)

  • I'd be thinking it would be generally drier as well, given that , the North Atlantic would be a lot colder as would the athmosphere above it, therefore having less energy to create the weather.

  • There are many theories about global warming and iceage cycles.

    The "normal" climate for us is a glacial climate. In fact we are right at the end of a so called "interglacial".

    In shorter timeframes there are sunspot cycles.

    What is interesting about the two is...if the sunspot cycles are corellated to weather here in Ireland than we are about to experience colder winters for the next few years.

    Global warming may the thing that precipitates an ice age. Some schools of thought believe that the melting of the glaciers will cut off the gulf stream..thus causing extensive cooling in our part of the world..leeding to an eventual feedback loop of glaciation.

    What is certain, our climate is changing, and the next 10-20 years will be very climatically interesting to say the least for people interested in meteorology.

  • I read somewhere a while back that some scientist believes that we are coming near the end of the last ice age, so technically we are still in one..

    He said something about as long as there are ice caps in the artic and antartic then it is still technically an ice age, but how many other scientists have said that if the polar ice caps melted then a large chunk of low land would be flooded..

    So the question is who to believe?

    I do personally believe that emissions from industry, cars and such have had some effect on global warming, but I also believe that there are changes going on naturally that is causing the climate to change..

    So who knows, maybe global warming was actually gonna happen naturally but because of human behaviour we have just accelerated it a bit..

    But thats just my 2 cents..