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Name: Donnie
Status: Student
Grade: 9-12
Location: WI
Country: United States
Date: March 2006


Question:
How is it predicted that another ice age may result?



Replies:
Donnie,

One of the theories that seems to explain rapid shifts in climate in Earth's past is that the Arctic ice cap melts in response to global warming, allowing fresh water to drain into the North Atlantic Ocean. That changes the circulation of the North Atlantic, which affects other ocean circulations and the atmospheric circulations. The most immediate affect is a lowering of temperature in northern North America and northern Europe, with the rest of the northern hemisphere cooling afterwards. Thus, another ice age.

The great concern right now is that man-made global warming could trigger this process. However, again, this would probably not happen during our lifetimes.

David R. Cook
Climate Research Section
Environmental Science Division
Argonne National Laboratory



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