People talk about the “coming ice age” but the scientific FACT is that we are already in an Ice Age and, in fact, that Ice Age has been happening for the past 2.5 million years! That’s when the Quaternary Period began and it continues into our present day. It is the current and most recent of 3 periods of the Cenozoic Era according to the geological time scale. The Quaternary Period consists of two Epochs. Those are the Pleistocene which began about 2.5 million years ago and lasted until around 11.7 thousand years ago. That epoch was followed by the Holocene Epoch which began about 11.7 thousand years ago and continues into today.
The Quaternary Period is typically defined by the cyclic growth and decay of CONTINENTAL ICE SHEETS which are driven by what is known as the “Milankovitch Cycles.” This is the collective effect of changes in the Earth’s movements and there effects on our planet’s climate. They bring about changes in our planet’s climate and environment.
This period is the period in which ancient human ancestors are first recognized and it is believed that during this period that the continents have changed little in their relative positions. It is also during this period that periodic glaciation has occurred on planet Earth! (read ICE AGE). Giant glaciers have advanced and retreated during this period. The Great Lakes also formed during this period and giant mammals thrived in parts of North America and Eurasia not covered by ice. When the glacial age ended they went extinct. The last glacial period in which the ice sheets advanced ended about 11.7 thousand years ago. That also marks the beginning of human history as opposed to anything before that being termed “pre-history.”
Glacial periods are periods when the ice sheets advance. Interglacial periods are when those ice sheets retreat. Our planet has been in a warming period since about 11.7 thousand years ago (history). But, some day the ice sheets are certain to advance again and we will enter into yet another Glacial Period! In short, the Ice WILL RETURN! It’s just a matter of time. Glaciation (growth of the ice sheets) has happened REPEATEDLY during our Quaternary Ice Age!
It appears that the Sun’s solar radiation is a fundamental factor in controlling our planet’s climate. Past temperatures of the earth have been very different than those of today. Sometimes they’ve been colder and other times they’ve been hotter than the temps we experience on our planet today.
We are in a WARMING period today and have been for the past 12,000 years. When the ice sheets retreated and the planet warmed humans had no written history BUT we did have ORAL HISTORY and there are man tribal oral stories that talk about when the planet was frozen.
We all like to think we live on a planet that is safe and predictable but the geological history of our planet says just the opposite. Our planet has often times changed dramatically and suddenly without warning! The last time the ice sheets began to advance we didn’t have cities or 7 billion people on this planet. Should that happen again in our modern times we’d see devastation and death like our wildest imaginations could not even conceive of.
We may see (are seeing) port cities and small islands beginning to be assaulted by rising sea levels but don’t be deceived! Likely this will be followed by growth in the ice sheets and that signals that the ice is about to return. Yes a quiet sun contributes to the cooling of our planet but it is not the only factor responsible. Volcanic eruptions thrusting millions of tons of ash into the upper atmosphere are likely another contributing factor so don’t be fooled. Should the ice return today it would devastate our economy and infrastructure. Thousands if not millions would die from starvation and exposure. It would be like nothing humans have seen before.
Climate change? YOU BET! Climate change IS a FACT! But it is not global warming that in the end is the major factor. It is global cooling! That’s NOT to say that we should not be doing things to stem our use of pollutants because we have a responsibility to take care of our home, this planet! We should all be doing our part to preserve our environment as much as we can. To not do so would be wreckless and grossly irresponsible at best! People need to educate themselves so they know what is REALLY happening and not be fooled by “experts” with ulterior motives and hidden agendas mostly motivated by MONEY and FUNDING!! People need to learn to think for themselves once again and follow the evidence WHEREVER it leads because THAT is REAL SCIENCE! Trying to force data to fit one’s pet theory is FAKE OR JUNK SCIENCE and is not reliable at all. So enjoy the warmth because the ice and cold WILL return at some point. It is simply a matter of WHEN!!!