What is a glacial period and when it starts

Many are now talking about global warming at every opportunity. Some complain: “it is hot in June — it’s all global warming”. Others contradict them: “Well, frost in February, and even talking about global warming.” These phrases in one form or another, I remember many and very often. All this is due to the fact that it is a consequence of the scale of human impact on the atmosphere. Global warming is part of the constant changes in nature. It gives way to ice age and back. Man too, has an impact on these processes, but it is not as strong. In General, everything is much more complicated than many people think. Man can not in a hundred years of activity to “break” the planet. But what happens then?

What is ice age

First and foremost is to understand that the ice age is not a cartoon about a mammoth and his friends. It is a complete natural phenomenon which lasts for hundreds of thousands of years. Ice age is a recurrent and serious affects not only animals, but even into the landscape of our planet.

Ice age (scientific. glaciation) — recurrent stage of the geological history of the Earth (lasting a few million years), during which there is a General relative cold climate and have a significant growth of continental ice sheets.

The most famous victims of the ice age are considered dinosaurs, especially the smaller ones. Recently Ramis Ganiev wrote about them. You can not even imagine how small they were. At this size it’s no wonder they died out. Scientists are still arguing about what killed them, but this version is considered the most important.

Extinct animals was the least adapted to climate change.even smaller representatives of living organisms have survived and are living with us still. Among them is a true contemporary of ancient monsters.

Ice age and global warming

Ice ages periodicallywith phases of global warming. When these stages come, on Earth, almost no ice. Ice can be found only at the poles and on the tops of big mountains.

When ice ages were advancing, they seized the territory, which is now Canada, North of USA, Germany, UK, Poland, Belarus and most of Russia. Were closer to the equator areas covered with ice. For example, the rocky mountains in North America.

Once in these mountains was a real ice age.now there is snow almost all year round.

In the southern hemisphere so a lot of ice was not. This is due, primarily, to the fact that the area of the continents there is less. However, the Andes were covered with ice.

The oceans near the poles have not been fully covered with a thick layer of ice. It was more than now, but the difference was not as significant as many think. In addition, the amount of ice in the ocean was seasonal. In the summer months, as in our time, even in the Arctic ocean was a large space free of ice.

Glacial periods have had a major impact on our planet. Of course, they haven’t moved continents and did not change the coastline, but given their constant exposure, it had accumulated and was quite substantial. The landscape has changed not only after earthquakes, falling meteorites and tectonic plates shifting, but also from the millions of tons of ice that were pressing on him.

When scientists learned about the ice ages

First talk about what on Earth had glacial periods, appeared in the mid-nineteenth century. One of those, the cat discovered the phenomenon that was Louis Agassiz. He was a Swiss geologist and studied Alpine glaciers. In the course of his research he came to the conclusion that long ago the amount of ice in these mountains has been substantially more than in his time.

Thanks to this man we knew that was the glacial periods. Louis Agassiz. Years of life — 1807-1873.

Around the same time with him started thinking about this the other Swiss — Jean de Charpentier. The fact that they were from this country is not a mere coincidence. Through the territory of their country is this mountain range.

The first serious scientific work on this subject can be considered a book Agassis. It came out in 1840, and in it he elaborated on his theory of the glacial period. Four years later he published another book in which he shared his new developments and developed the original idea. Before these books, he published only articles. For example, in 1937 he published his first article, called “the Theory of glaciers”. In it, he first took up the issue of large glaciers. Many viewed his work skeptically, but eventually took them. Especially when they began to see new evidence of his conclusions.

Over time, this inevitably led to a conflict of scientific and religious community. Such conflicts often occurred after a major discovery. In the end, she tried to relate with the world with a flood, but it turned out bad. To name one proof of the other failed and the conflict continued.

Many have tried to link the flood and ice age, but it did not.

Despite the attractiveness of the study of glacial periods, they are not paid proper attention. Only in the early XX century, when their footprints were found around the world, studying has become really massive. Later, this study resulted in separate development in science. Since then, many researchers are dedicated to studying the ice age.

The study of the ice age

Many do not believe that it is possible to prove the presence of ice in some place if it is already melted. Especially if he has melted thousands of years ago. Those who do not believe are wrong. First and foremost, due to the fact that ice sheets leave behind distinct traces in the form of diamicton.

Diamicton - ordered layers of sediment that remains in the geological cut after the descent of the glaciers.

These and other sediments are deposited by glacial lakes and by the glaciers, which can both grow in different directions, and sliding into the sea. Sliding, glaciers carry with them a part of the rock. Ice is lighter than water and so can float. When he swims he gradually melts, and drops the collected species. According to this “dumping” can be understood, where was the ice and how he ended up in his new place.

Those rocks that do not fall into the ocean, but moved on land, can also help in the study of the ice age. Also, the research can help and sediments at the bottom of the mountain lakes, many of which formed during the ice age.

This beauty could be formed during the ice age.

How start ice ages

Theories of why ice ages begin, a lot, but one of them has more supporters than others. It connects global climate change with local changes in the landscape.

Our planet is heated by the Sun is very uneven due to the fact that is a sphere, not a disk, as many claim (Nikolai Khizhnyak cited evidence of this). This creates a temperature difference in different parts of the world. Because of this, air and water masses begin to move between the equator and the pros.

If the Earth was not the continents, as told by Daria Yeletsky in his article, it would have been very easy. With the emergence of the continents, circulation of air and water had been violated. For example, one of the reasons for the beginning of glacial periods is called the formation of the Himalayas, which slowed down the movement of air masses from the equator to the North pole.

Another ice age began after the “overgrowing” of the isthmus of Panama between North and South America. As a result, disrupted the movement of water between the Pacific and Atlantic oceans.

In the end, between the equator and the poles, especially the North builds up the temperature difference. Because of ice growth, the disparity is even greater. Ice prevents to warm up the poles. In the end, it starts the long process of climate change.

As the end of glacial periods

No matter how fierce was the ice age, sooner or later he will be replaced by warm time. It is called the interglacial period. The main reason for this shift is the change of the orbit and the trajectory of the Earth around the Sun. These changes do not seem significant, but enough to change the balance of heat on the planet.

Normally, glacial periods last up to one hundred thousand years, after which for several thousand years belong to the interglacial. Now we just live in such a period. Its features are relatively equal temperature in all the Land, a relatively small amount of snow and ice and high sea levels.

During the ice age living conditions on Earth become intolerable. For example, at the latitude of Moscow, Berlin, Tokyo and new York in the winter life is impossible due to the very harsh conditions. In summer the conditions are softer and even you can live, but they are still much worse than those to which we are accustomed.

The influence of the glacial period on flora and fauna

Glacial periods lead to a drop in global sea level. This happens due to the fact that all the water is collected on land in the form of ice, significantly changing the landscape of the planet. Sea levels can drop a hundred meters or more. Given that some Straits, for example, the Bering have a much shallower depth, this is enough in order to interconnect the entire continent.

For example, the unification of Eurasia and North America (via Bering Strait) could be the cause of the Maya civilization. According to one version of Maya are descendants of Asian tribes who gradually moved to another continent. By the way, I recently wrote an article that gave examples of what the Maya were less friendly than previously thought.

Can also move entire system of plants. They expand temporarily drained areas and move on to new Islands, peninsulas and continents to which they “rooted” seabed.

Later, this “gate” closes and the water level rises, but for tens of thousands of years, colonies of plants and animals are already in the new lands. So there is a global movement of living organisms on the planet.

Some types of the opposite die, like dinosaurs or plants that grew only in the Northern regions. In the end, the ice ages have a great impact not only on the landscape of the planet and its inhabitants.

The last glacial period called the Cenozoic. It is considered the time of origin of Homo sapiens. In the Cenozoic were extinct many species of animals and life on Earth has undergone some sort of reboot. As a result of this reboot organisms were able to tolerate difficult environmental conditions. In the process of evolution in the first place was the ability to adapt, which is important now.

The last ice age and a maximum of the last glaciation

The last age of glaciation began about 110 thousand years ago and ended about 12 thousand years ago. At this time the area of ice cover is constantly changing then more, then less, but flourished in the period 27-19 thousand years ago. In this period, the Earth was a very challenging environment. Especially in the area of present-day France and Germany.

During this period, the average temperature on the planet was 6 degrees Celsius lower than now. The global sea level was lower at 135-150 meters, and the thickness of the ice cover on land reached 3-4 kilometers. The humidity of the planet was also very low. This led to a decrease in the number of forests and even desertification of the southern part of Australia.such processes can be observed now.

More trouble for the survivors after the ice age animal was the fall of a meteorite in the Gulf of Mexico. In February 2012, the national Academy of Sciences USA, published the report, finally confirming this fact.

Is it possible to delay the ice age

Last ice age lasted about 100 thousand years. The interglacial before that lasted about 125 thousand years. These figures do not provide the ability to accurately predict the date of the next ice age. One thing is for sure — it will be! But most likely, it will be relatively soon and yet to be purchased buckwheat is not worth it.

With the development of modern society, we even slightly slowing down the onset of a new ice age that warmed up hard zones near the poles. Thus, we slightly offset the inhomogeneity of the temperature on Earth. And we’re building channels, whichthe balance of water exchange between the oceans. Of course, this is not enough to fully reverse the new cold snap, but a little leeway we give ourselves.

There is something that transcends our will. For example, the movement of tectonic plates. At any moment they can move and it will have on the climate further influence. On the other hand it will be a global catastrophe and climate change will worry us the least. Other disasters, for example, the fall of the meteorite, the eruption of a super volcano or nuclear war, too, can change the climate on our planet. In each of these cases, the atmosphere will be thrown a lot of dust and ash that will block access to sunlight. In a few years it will be able to dramatically change the distribution of heat on the planet.

In conclusion, we can say that despite all our technology and ability to build great homes, we will be very difficult to survive the ice age, if he suddenly comes. Due to the constant change of the thickness of the ice cover, we cannot build anything new. While existing cities will be destroyed kilometer-long mass of ice which moved and simply sweep away all that closer to the poles.