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Natural Environment How Human History has been impacted by the environment, science, nature, geography, weather, and natural phenomena


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Old December 29th, 2017, 08:53 AM   #1
Hellenist
 
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Ice Age


I am listening to the lectures of a geology professor and learned there is a possible explanation of the earth's cycle of ice ages.

Quote:
Ice age - Wikipedia
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ice_age
Jump to Variations in Earth's orbit (Milankovitch cycles) - There is strong evidence that the Milankovitch cycles affect the occurrence of glacial and interglacial periods within an ice age. The present ice age is the most studied and best understood, particularly the last 400,000 years, since this is the period covered ...
‎Ice ages · ‎Glacial period · ‎Quaternary glaciation · ‎Ice age (disambiguation)
I heard at one time the whole earth was a snowball. We know humans survived the last ice age or we wouldn't be here, but what if it had been worse? What if we are now in the ice age phase of the cycle but have global warming because of all the carbon dioxide in the air? The professor suggests when we run out of fossil fuels and our air is clean, the planet may experience the ice age that is overdue?

What can we do to increase the chances of life surviving an ice age? Might AI be developed to maintain something like a Noah's ark, preserving plant and animal DNA?

Quote:
https://www2.palomar.edu/anthro/homo/homo_3.htm

The evolutionary surge that led to Homo habilis began during the transition between the Pliocene and Pleistocene Epochs around 2.5 million years ago when climates were becoming cooler and drier. All later species of Homo evolved during the Pleistocene (2,600,000-11,700 years ago). This was generally a time of more extreme world cooling and recurrent glaciations (ice ages). During the coldest periods, global temperatures dropped by about 9º F. (5º C.) and long-lasting ice sheets spread out from the poles and high mountains. Between the four or more major glaciations of the Pleistocene, there were interglacial warming periods with temperatures similar to now. Both the glacials and the interglacials lasted tens of thousands of years. Very likely, we are now in an interglacial that began 10,000-12,000 years ago.
Surviving 10,000 years without fossil fuel may be a serious challenge?

This link gives us a possible explanation of how the past ice age got civilizations started.

Quote:
The Ice Age and its effect on Human Migration - MaritimeMysteries

The nomadic lifestyle of the hunters and gatherers requires a vast amount of land. As an example the entire Continent of Australia supported only three million Aborigines after 40,000 years of occupation. When the migrants from the north streamed onto the Sunda Shelf they had two choices, either fight each other for space or develop a new lifestyle. At first they would have fought each other but because of the relative lack of space there was little room to maneuver. They tended to bump into other hostile tribes. The only solution was to take up a position and defend it.
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Old December 29th, 2017, 09:12 AM   #2

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I think in a bad ice age, our numbers would decline, but humans are resilient. We would find ways of coping. We need to keep in mind that an ice age comes about gradually. Without fossil fuels, we would probably turn to solar or wind power, or we would burrow under the ground. Geothermal energy is becoming more commonly used, so it could help us survive. Somehow, we would manage.
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Old December 29th, 2017, 09:15 AM   #3

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I believe that life has a fantastic will to live and that living things will adapt to the environment, including the climate. Humans are probably the most adaptable, so I don't think any AI is needed--just ordinary human intelligence.

I believe the professor is begging the question about fossil fuels. Despite the popular press and the cheerleaders for more powerful and intrusive government to solve the posited problem, the mechanism for global warming is little understood and the subject is still debated in serious scientific circles. Take a look at the latest report of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change that does a good job discussing the current status of the science and what and what are not the possible consequences of climate change: IPCC - Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change
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Old December 29th, 2017, 10:45 PM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by athena View Post
I heard at one time the whole earth was a snowball.
Not quite. Snowball Earth occured about 750 million years ago and is thought to have covered nearly the entire world except for a band around the equator. The oceans were thought to have been covered by ice up to 1 kilometer thick elsewhere and even thicker over land. Increased volcanic activity is thought to have ended this ice age.

Click the image to open in full size.

Last edited by stevev; December 29th, 2017 at 10:57 PM.
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Old December 30th, 2017, 02:51 AM   #5
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Only under circumstances so extreme they are hard to imagine will life completely disappear from this planet. There has been lots of iceages, warm epochs, supervolcanism, asteroid and comet impacts, nearby supernovae scorching its surface, and we may guess, abnormal solar activity. But life is still here, though in different forms from those of the past. I suspect some of it may have survived deep underground in caves and dungeons, or in other special environments.
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Old December 30th, 2017, 03:14 AM   #6

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I thought the sequel was better.
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Old December 30th, 2017, 04:41 AM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Jake10 View Post
I think in a bad ice age, our numbers would decline, but humans are resilient. We would find ways of coping. We need to keep in mind that an ice age comes about gradually. Without fossil fuels, we would probably turn to solar or wind power, or we would burrow under the ground. Geothermal energy is becoming more commonly used, so it could help us survive. Somehow, we would manage.
I’m not qualified to judge the accuracy of the sites but you might want to Google “sudden ice age”.
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Old December 30th, 2017, 05:04 AM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Jake10 View Post
I think in a bad ice age, our numbers would decline, but humans are resilient. We would find ways of coping. We need to keep in mind that an ice age comes about gradually. Without fossil fuels, we would probably turn to solar or wind power, or we would burrow under the ground. Geothermal energy is becoming more commonly used, so it could help us survive. Somehow, we would manage.

I love your idea of borrowing underground and using thermal energy. I don't think such a survive system could be large enough to have a viable reproductive population unless we intentionally met up with tribes from other cave systems as all tribal people seemed to do. My imagination is going wild with possibilities.

Now, what is the food source?
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Old December 30th, 2017, 05:20 AM   #9
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Originally Posted by Fantasus View Post
Only under circumstances so extreme they are hard to imagine will life completely disappear from this planet. There has been lots of iceages, warm epochs, supervolcanism, asteroid and comet impacts, nearby supernovae scorching its surface, and we may guess, abnormal solar activity. But life is still here, though in different forms from those of the past. I suspect some of it may have survived deep underground in caves and dungeons, or in other special environments.
I need to find the lecture that explained the first ice age that did almost destroy all life on earth. However, that was before the continents and the mountains and the oxygen, we have had ever since plant life got a firm hold. Remember before plant life evolved there was no oxygen.

Come to think of it. A super freeze would reduce plant life, and could freeze the oceans, greatly reducing the production of oxygen. What could do about that?

Holy ****, you made me question if lack of oxygen could be part of the problem involved in global warming and I googled that. Not good folks...

Quote:
O2 Dropping Faster than CO2 Rising - Institute of Science in Society
O2 Dropping Faster than CO2 Rising
Aug 19, 2009 - Some think burning Coal reduces O2 because it is 95% Carbon. ... Clearly, there is not enough carbon dioxide in the atmosphere to produce a major effect. Plant life would starve of CO2 before the oxygen concentration of the atmosphere declined by even 0.5%.
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Old December 30th, 2017, 05:37 AM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by stevev View Post
Not quite. Snowball Earth occured about 750 million years ago and is thought to have covered nearly the entire world except for a band around the equator. The oceans were thought to have been covered by ice up to 1 kilometer thick elsewhere and even thicker over land. Increased volcanic activity is thought to have ended this ice age.

Click the image to open in full size.
Oh, wonderful! My memory of that explanation was not strong enough. However, with the new explanation of the changes in the earth's orbit being related to the ice ages, I doubt that the old explanation of volcanic action ending the ice age would hold today. The cycle of ice ages seems associated with other planets and if the gravity pull of these planets makes our orbit more circular or more elliptical. When our orbit is more elliptical it gets less sunlight and we go into an ice age.

For me, these forums are like being in college. I love listening to college lectures I borrow from our local library, but the information doesn't stick so well unless I use it in discussion. I want to thank everyone for being other half of the learning process. Correcting me when I am wrong and adding to my understanding of things.

Besides the snowball earth almost killing all life forms on earth the dawn of oxygen also caused a mass extinction.

Quote:
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Great_Oxygenation_Event
The increased production of oxygen set Earth's original atmosphere off balance.[9] Free oxygen is toxic to obligate anaerobic organisms, and the rising concentrations may have destroyed most such organisms at the time. Cyanobacteria were therefore responsible for one of the most significant mass extinctions in Earth's history. Besides marine cyanobacteria, there is also evidence of cyanobacteria on land.[citation needed]

Last edited by athena; December 30th, 2017 at 05:46 AM.
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