The Earth has undergone a number of ice ages. Scientists are finding out that the Earth has a cycle of ice ages. Scientists are wondering why this cycle has changed from 40,000 years per ice age to now 100,000 years. An Earth Ice Age 2030 may be a reality, as a new theory supports the speculation.
Scientists have been saying that the Earth is due for another ice age. For about a million years now the ice age intervals have been every 100,000 years. Earlier than that though the intervals have been far shorter, occurring every 40,000 years. Researchers from Cardiff University are trying to find out how that happened.
This change in the ice age interval pattern happened during the Mid-Pleistocene Transition, according to Science Daily. It has been theorized that this has been caused by the oceans then having much carbon dioxide. As carbon dioxide is being pulled out of the atmosphere, it began to lower the Earth's temperature.
Professor Carrie Lear is from the School of Earth and Ocean Sciences at Cardiff University and the lead author of the study. He explained that the oceans are getting or inhaling carbon dioxide when the ice sheets are larger. When the ice sheets become smaller it is because the oceans are exhaling the carbon dioxide, releasing them back to the atmosphere.
Professor Lear made the study by looking at the fossils of marine life, particularly that of algae. Algae has been instrumental in removing carbon dioxide from the atmosphere, as Phys Org notes. Carbon dioxide is important in the process of photosynthesis for plants, including algae.
The last ice age has been 11,000 years ago. Some scientists, though, say that the Earth is long due for another ice age. It is contended that an ice age might be coming soon. According to a study by Professor V. Zharkova of the Northumbria University, a new ice age might come due to diminished solar activity.
According to the study, the decrease in solar activity would lead to an increase in the Earth cooling. This would mean more severe winters and cold summers, as Astronomy Now says in its report. The study shows that this reduction in solar activity in the past has coincided with some of the coldest winters in North America and Europe.
This reduction of solar activity is called the Maunder minimum. It is said that the next Maunder minimum could happen within the next five to fifteen years. It is not certain though if the same effects would take place on the next cycle.
Only time will tell if there will be an Earth Ice Age 2030. Though another new theory supports the speculation, given that there is rising global temperatures the best that can be gathered is that it remains to be seen. What is clear is that the Earth does have a 100,000 year ice age cycle, and that one might come quite soon. A report earlier also states that the oceans have a vast carbon residue, similar to how it was when the ice age occurred.