(…but then…oops…hell did just that)

The latest polar vortex event, which put most of the country into a very deep freeze, under tons of snow and ice, may be a harbinger of a new – Ice Age – heading our way, and much sooner perhaps than previously expected.

Such a thought might seem like rank heresy to those global warming evangelicals adamantly convinced we humans are the sole cause of global warming and climate change, since they said global warming would last till hell freezes over because of that…but then…oops…hell did just that, leaving us to wonder what to think about it now. So we can’t help but speculate here, contrary to conventional wisdom about it… that global warming is, indeed, speeding us forward into another…Ice Age.

Thus, the question that needs to be asked about that is this: How rapidly will this warming, instead of turning our world into some kind of hot-house where we’ll just be clad in year round thong bikinis and loin cloths, propel us into a world where only mukluks, parkas, and mittens are de rigeur?

It’s a valid question that needs to be asked because the climatic record of the past one million years suggests that possibility. Our planet has had three glacial periods in that time, each one lasting less than 100,000 thousand years, whereas the warm inter-glacial periods between them lasted up to several hundred thousand years. The fourth inter-glacial period (the one we are in right now) began some forty thousand years ago but only started accelerating some ten thousand years ago when the growth in our human numbers and their related activities began contributing to the process. Given where our numbers are today, and all of the emissions we’re producing by that, is it not possible that the global warming process will speed up even more, cutting down the time it will take before the next cooling cycle kicks in?

Granted it’s pure speculation, but we might consider the following impacts from that warming can support it:

  1. As things get warmer, polar and other ice features melt more rapidly and ocean volumes expand from that.
  2. With greater water surfaces and higher temperatures, evaporation rates increase.
  3. With increased evaporation more precipitation occurs…and more snows accumulate.
  4. As more snows accumulate, they last longer, slowly turning into ice.
  5. Cooling from that accumulating ice begins causing more intense and more frequent polar vortex events, eventually leading into another glacial cycle all over again.

One of the curious things noticed about these recent polar vortex events here in North America is that their extent, and the fringes of their southernmost limits, coincide almost exactly with that of the former continental ice sheet that was over it. Is that just a coincidence, or, is it the outline for what is yet to come?

As usual, however, our national leaders seem to be grabbing the wrong end of the stick, crowing about how they’ll reduce emissions, fight global warming, and otherwise stop…climate change. Does anyone seriously believe that if we stopped all emissions, tomorrow, global warming and climate change would come to a halt? Perhaps we could take such grand pronouncements of theirs more seriously, if they were focusing on ways and means to help us better adapt to the impacts of climatic changes from global warming instead.

Well, if anyone is thinking about buying some acreage near Joplin, Missouri, in anticipation that it might soon offer prime shoreline property overlooking a broad midcontinent expansion of the Gulf of Mexico, you might reconsider that idea. Geologic time frames being what they are…it ain’t about to happen any time soon…while any of us are still around that is.