Researchers Say Global Warming Is Keeping Us Out Of An Ice Age
Fire up those SUV’s folks, and keep that coal plan running. We’re saving the world:
Researchers used data on the Earth’s orbit and other things to find the historical warm interglacial period that looks most like the current one.
In the journal Nature Geoscience, they write that the next Ice Age would begin within 1,500 years – but emissions have been so high that it will not.
“At current levels of CO2, even if emissions stopped now we’d probably have a long interglacial duration determined by whatever long-term processes could kick in and bring [atmospheric] CO2 down,” said Luke Skinner from Cambridge University.
Dr Skinner’s group – which also included scientists from University College London, the University of Florida and Norway’s Bergen University – calculates that the atmospheric concentration of CO2 would have to fall below about 240 parts per million (ppm) before the glaciation could begin.
The current level is around 390ppm.
Put simply, it may be (and I’m not saying that this is necessarily conclusive science) that the earth is cooling and the only thing keeping us out of a disastrous ice age (imagine the farm land an ice age would destroy) is our carbon emissions. Nature usually does a pretty good job of balancing itself off. Perhaps rising global carbon emissions (of which human activity is responsible for only a fraction) are nature’s way of moderating ice ages. Which would mean that cutting carbon emissions could actually be doing more harm than good.
Regardless, what’s clear is that there is a lot we just don’t understand yet about climate science, and that implementing policies based on assumptions and what we think is “settled science” may have disastrous consequences.Tags: environmentalism, global warming