Future Ice Ages
Country: United States
Date: March 2006
How is it predicted that another ice age may result?
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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Update: June 2012