Carbon Emissions, Global Warming Could Save Us From A Future Ice Age

November 9, 2012

April Flowers for redOrbit – Your Universe Online

We hear reports every day about the dangers and evils of carbon emissions, but could there be a good side? A research team at the University of Gothenburg thinks so. Their new study, published in Mires and Peat, suggests that mankind’s emissions of fossil carbon, and the temperature rise that accompanies it, could prove to be our salvation from the next ice age. The current increase in peatland extent could reverse this effect, however.

“We are probably entering a new ice age right now. However, we’re not noticing it due to the effects of carbon dioxide”, says researcher Professor Lars Franzén.

The earth has experienced at least 30 periods of ice age, known as ice age pulses, during the last three million years. The time between ice age pulses are known as interglacials. The team believes that human activity might have halted the Little Ice Age of the 16th and 18th centuries with increased felling of woodlands and growing areas of agricultural land. Combine these with the early stages of industrialization and the result is an increased emission of carbon dioxide, which probably slowed down the cooling trend.

Read more: Global Warming Could Prevent Next Ice Age – Science News – redOrbit.

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