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The White Planet

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posted on May, 31 2004 @ 08:51 PM
Earth is often referred to as the "Blue Planet", but this is a grave misnomer since earth is only blue about 10% of its "glacial cycle". For 100,000 years of its 120,000 year periods earth is a ball of white as glaciers extend from the north pole to places such as Ohio and southern France, and glaciers extend from the south pole to places such as Zaire and the Hymalayas.

We have been in an abnormal time period never before seen on earth. All interglacial periods indeed all time periods are very widely fluctuating in temperatures. This interglacial period however, has been almost exactly a constant temperature, no one can really explain why nor does anyone really know what this means for the future cycles of our world.

We do know that the glaciation of our world began when carbon-dioxide levels dropped, or carbon-dioxide levels dropped when glaciation began, but the one truth we do know for certain is our world is no longer a wet blue world, but an ice ball that every once in a while thaws out.

This is rarely ever mentioned because after all, humans were born in and survived the last glacial period, but it is interesting to understand that the earth as we know it in as little as 2,000 years may be completely different, and yet that is how it is normally it is as our world is right now that is abnormal.

Most geologists seem to think that the next glaciation period is 3,000-15,000 years away.

But if we keep putting green-house gasses into the atmosphere it can be as far as 50,000 years away.

Regardless there is an interesting fact that arises from the abnormal lack of variations in this interglacial period which began 8,000 years ago.

Humans began to farm all over the world about 8,000 years ago, and our current civilizations even are dependent upon this steady regular temperature, had our interglacial period been like all others before it, with varrying temperatures, farming and civilization as we know it could not exist. We'd still be hunter-gatherers as crops would freeze one year and grow beautifully the next.

But one certainty is that some day, our world will change again and stay that way for the next 100,000 years. The oceans will drop 200 meters exposing hundreds of miles of new lands from the coasts. But older lands will be absorbed by continental glaciers which will rise 3,000 meters above the earth. The areas near the northern temperates will become as arid as deserts as the moisture is sucked from the atmosphere and locked in ice.

It's amazing how much we owe to timing and a fluke.

Anyways my source for this is "Earth's Dynamic Systems" I was just thumbing through that again and as usual my interest in Ice Ages and Anartica-like time periods was piqued when reading about the glaciation periods.

Figured it would be interesting to share how rare of a time we really live in, 100,000 years from now people will only know earth as the "Ice Planet" where it has relatively few regions that are not covered by snow at least seasonally.

Sometimes though, modern life is so boring it's a shame this next glaciation period won't start...the day after tomorrow eh?

posted on Jun, 1 2004 @ 07:33 AM
Yes, explain the 300 million year tropical age of the dinosaurs please?

posted on Jun, 1 2004 @ 01:47 PM
Freemason, contrary to popular belief, climate change has been recently found, and slowly accepted in the last decade, to have been very abrupt in the past. You also have to take into account that the oceans play a large role in climate change and "abrupt climate change."

All the studies actually tell us that changes may be in effect in a very short period of time, less than a decade, and we have recorded changes for over a decade already and things are now rapidly speeding up.

"Global warming is hitting the Arctic more than twice as fast as the rest of the planet in what may be a portent of wider, catastrophic changes, the chairman of an eight-nation study said Monday."

Excerpted from.

I reported this on the 25th. Here.

It is believed that by 2015 the artic will be almost completly free of ice, and a new navegable ocean. The US Navy is already trying to figure how to deal with this because it will be a new sea they have to protect.

The artic melting in turn will affect the North Atlantic current conveyor belt in many ways, which in turn will make the northern hemisphere a much colder place. This is no science fiction, this is a fact.

Let me just give you some of the links that prove the contrary to some of the things you said.

Scroll down to my post, you will find links that prove part of your statement wrong.

The below is from the National Academy Press.

"Recent scientific evidence shows that major and widespread climate changes have occurred with startling speed. For example, roughly half the north Atlantic warming since the last ice age was achieved in only a decade, and it was accompanied by significant climatic changes across most of the globe. Similar events, including local warmings as large as 16C, occurred repeatedly during the slide into and climb out of the last ice age. Human civilizations arose after those extreme, global ice-age climate jumps. Severe droughts and other regional climate events during the current warm period have shown similar tendencies of abrupt onset and great persistence, often with adverse effects on societies."

Excerpted from.

" "Realization has been growing over the past decade that climate change is not always gradual," says Richard Alley of Pennsylvania State University in University Park, chair of the committee that produced the report.

For example, data increasingly suggest that about 11,500 years ago, during a period called the Younger Dryas, global temperatures fell by up to 16 degrees within a decade and rainfall halved. Things stayed that way for more that 1,000 years. "

Excerpted from.

You can also download the report issued by the U.S. Defense Department. "An Abrupt Climate Change Scenario and Its Implications for United States National Security"

[Edited on 1-6-2004 by Muaddib]

posted on Jun, 1 2004 @ 06:46 PM
Don't lecture me about global climate change, I know...

The problem is the empirical evidence doesn't support it, the theory is sound, it just doesn't show-up anywhere as having ever happend. Current evidence shows that while CO2 levels may not be the cause of climate changes it certainly is an indicator and thus we can predict when they'll happen based on those levels, and based on astronomy because a large amount of it is due to the wobble in our earth's rotation.

Right now the CO2 levels state the next ice age is in track for occuring about 15,000 years from now, if we boost those levels it'll happen 50,000 years from now.

Where the rapid change theory comes in is that any large change in CO2 levels could cause a different affect because the climate is not necessarily dependent upon CO2 levels. So any temporary heating above normal causes the ice to melt prematurely killing the gulf-stream and atlantic current and thus rapid cooling of the north causing all hell blah blah blah.

Like I said though, there is no evidence that that is how it actually will happen, but there is evidence it will happen more slowly. One thing though is certain, it will happen and when it does human civilzation can no longer exist on earth and it won't be able to for 120,000 years. Humans can survive, but our civilzations are dependent upon a stability that has never before been seen sence pre-glacial periods and back then was too hot for agriculture.

I don't even know why Vindien even bothers to post think you're smart or something Vindien? Your post comes off as being very "skeptical" ... it's one thing if you honestly want to know why the Dinosaurs had a much more warm climate, another thing if you think it completely washes away all that I've said.

I'll explain it simply and it goes back to CO2 levels.

100 Million years ago the CO2 levels were about 9*10^17 moles. Today it's about 1*10^17 moles of CO2.

So oviously you can see there has been a massive drop in CO2 levels over that period of time.

The decline of this gas in the last 100 million years has been relatively moderate, before that it was even greater.

This has allowed the global temperature to drop into glaciation levels, which allows the earth to not just periodically but most of the time be a relative ice ball.

It allows the earth to periodically be warm enough that most glaciers exist only in the high mountains or the far northern and southern reaches.

My point in this article was simply that that is extremely temporary and that the moderate temperatures allowing agriculture that we so favor now, is rare beyond belief.

Back to Muaddib, there is no empirical evidence that the Ocean currents will play a major role in how rapidly these climate changes will occur, it is just a theory that is a pretty sound one, it does make a lot of sense and so forth. But rarely are things dependent upon one factor alone.

posted on Jun, 2 2004 @ 07:33 AM
Actually, I was really interested in how the dinosaurs could have had such a massive amount of time to live in that was characterised by, at least generally, tropical climates.

Your answer to it isn't really the greatest - are you saying earth started with x CO2 and then just lost it as time drew on?

Anyrate, the title of the topic is 'The White Planet', well, you mean that has been white for approximately 100 million years, and blue for at least 300 million before that. Sorry, but I don't like generalisations. Good post though, its definitely something a lot of people never even think of.

posted on Jun, 2 2004 @ 07:42 AM
FreeMason out of pure intrest are you American if so i see the bush administration are doing well we the brain washing "burn more fuel protect the enviroment from an iceage"

Its proven by scientists and accepted by governaments around the world (except America) that the use of fossil fuels and increased melting of the north and south pole are increasing water levels and will effect the warming waters from the mexican golf stream that help prevent artic water around the northern hemosphere.

But hey we mess everything up before why not continue till we all passive smoking

Good point about the tropical erra he stumped on that one

posted on Jun, 2 2004 @ 07:41 PM

Originally posted by FreeMason
... as the "Blue Planet. ... is a ball ...

Blue balls

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