As we all know, most of the continental land lies in the northern hemisphere of our planet.
Northern hemisphere of earth has been undergoing periodic glacial ice ages. In every 100,000 years 90,000 years have been a glacial ice age followed by a intermediate shorter 10,000 years of moderate temperature.
The reasons for these repeated ice ages are not known. One reason might be the wobbling of earth’s axis. Or may be that Sun passes through some galactic dust cloud periodically there by blocking sunlight to earth which triggers an ice age! Ice age can also occur if some comet/asteroid explodes near sun, where its debris blocks sunlight to earth! Super Volcano, Nuclear wars etc might also cause shorter ice ages.
We have been without an ice age for more than 13000 years!! So we are already overdue for a new ice age in this cycle!! It may have started any time. Or has it already?
Ice age starts when the average atmospheric temperature goes down. The greenhouse gases in the atmosphere of earth, like CO2 ensure that night side earth does not cool down suddenly to temperatures below zero! These gases maintain a minimum warmth on the earth there by making life possible.
Due to the man made pollution on earth the green house gases have been steadily increasing in this planet’s atmosphere. Environmentalists are absolutely right in saying that these green house gases have been causing an increase in earth’s temperature, which is definitely a cause of concern.
But then, is it possible that it is these very green house gases that have saved us from an ice age this time? The CO2 dumped into air by man made pollution has prevented the ice age this time? Is Global warming a boon which is preventing a global cooling?
Sometime back, I had read an interesting article somewhere on the internet related to this. CO2 in air is good to the growth of plant life. Ever since we have started polluting this planet by more and more CO2, algae growth has increased heavily in the oceans of the earth. As we all know, it is these algae which had once upon a time cleaned much of earth’s CO2 when life started evolving. Now that there is abundant CO2 in atmosphere, algae are thriving again to consume this CO2.
Imagine a scenario where in, in the next 50 years we come up with cleaner fuels, say from nuclear fuels or solar energy. Then we stop using petroleum related fuels in order to reduce pollution. Since we will be using environmental friendly cleaner fuels, the CO2 emission by industries and automobiles will go down to almost zero. Only CO2 emission in the atmosphere will be what life on earth breathes out.The existing chunk of CO2 by earlier man made pollution will be cleaned out over a period of time by the ocean’s algae.
But what after that? The excess algae created by pollution are still there in vast amounts in the oceans and now there is no CO2 by pollution for them to consume!!! They start consuming even the normal CO2 level in atmosphere which maintains a normal temperature on earth. In other words even the required green house gases will be gone!!! This would simply mean that we would have been accelerating towards a new ice age, just in a matter of one or two decades once we start using clean fuel!! In this case, even the ‘ice age’ would be man made!! Then this ice age would also be supported by the natural ice age which was suppressed by global warming earlier!! Will this new ice age ever end then???
So what am I trying to say here? Well, once we come up with cleaner fuels, we need to take global cleaning of man made pollution as a gigantic project and analyze all the angles and repercussions of global cooling. In this case, we need to ensure that the excess algae created in the oceans by global warming are wiped out first. We need to have a controlled reducing of CO2 level in atmosphere so that the natural CO2 level is always maintained, which would prevent a permanent ice age on earth.
Cleaning out pollution on earth would be a huge task indeed and I think those nations which contributed most to the earth’s pollution should share an equivalent cost in cleaning earth too. Obviously USA will have to share atleast 50% of this cost. But looking at the impending collapse of US dollar, given that every American citizen already has a debt of over 28000$ on his/her head, I dont think US can pay for that