Global Warming Is Not Only About The Heat: Are We Headed Towards Another Ice Age?

Posted on May 22, 2013 in Environment

By Swadha Bharpilania:

Freaky Mammal: Well, why don’t they call it The Big Chill? Or The Nippy Era? I’m just sayin’, how do we know it’s an Ice Age?

This was one of the first dialogues of one of our favourite animated movies ever. Who can ever forget Manny the no nonsense mammoth, Sid the clumsy yet adorable sloth, Diego the deliciously evil tiger and of course Scrat and his endless love for the acorn? Well, even though the movie may seem like an amazing figment of someone’s imagination, it might as well be projected as a prediction of the conditions that could possibly prevail in the near future as a result of our carelessness towards the earth. Yes, our bruised planet might be heading towards an Ice Age.

ice age

So what is an Ice Age? An ice age is a period of time during which the simultaneous heating and cooling cycles of earth are disturbed. Our planet is in a state of constant thermal equilibrium. During an ice age this equilibrium is disturbed. It involves an anomalous expansion of glaciers that usually exist at a higher altitude, and this causes an abrupt fall in temperatures over extensive areas.

Global Warming, as the name suggests, causes the nominal temperatures on earth to rise. So how can something that results in rise of thermal readings cause an ice age? Temperature on earth is mainly maintained by the various warm and cold ocean currents. For example, the warm ocean current over the Gulf of Mexico travels to the British Isles and moderates temperatures both in Britain as well as further north.

Now if the path to be traversed by these currents is altered or the degree of their warmth is changed, it may cause a rapid fall in temperatures of the areas that they flow by. Global warming causes arctic glaciers to melt and all the water is directly poured into the oceans surrounding the continents. This not only goes on to be an imminent cause for rapid flooding, but can also alter the thermal readings of these warm ocean currents. As the readings fluctuate, the areas affected by these currents experience adverse dips in mercury.

Here we can also look at the subtle hints given to us by the immensely popular film, The Day After Tomorrow, starring Jake Gyllenhall. It gives us a clear idea of how crucial the thermal equity of ocean currents is.

So, now the question arises, how can we prevent a scenario that existed almost 12,000 years ago and was deemed unrepeatable? Well, we can take the good old steps towards leading a green life. We could be responsible world citizens by contributing towards prevention of pollution. By taking the initiative bit by bit, we can indirectly commit to saving our planet.

So, if having a “White Christmas” in the middle of the summer is not your ultimate fantasy, you need to pull up your socks and work towards making your contribution to a healthier planet Earth.