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Humanity is on the verge of a new ice age

January 23 2006
15:49

Unusual cold, faced by the inhabitants of Russia, generate a lot of questions and concerns. Awaits us if global climate change, and when it will happen?

According to academician of RAS, Director of the Institute of Atmospheric Physics, George Golitsyn, in all the anomalies of the Earth's climate to blame for the "greenhouse effect". "The current Russian cold weather phenomenon, rather than climate. During the XX century the average temperature on earth increased by 0.6 degrees, and it is an indisputable fact. Warming winter because of the world's" greenhouse "is greater than in summer. Special Climate Research in Moscow, conducted by our institute, showed that the average January temperature is increased by 5 degrees, while the temperature in July is still on the same mark, "- said the scientist.

According to Golitsyn, the "greenhouse effect" is more affected in the polar than in middle latitudes. The greatest changes in climate occur in Alaska, Central and Eastern Siberia and the Antarctic Peninsula, said Golitsyn.

Already seen a significant reduction in ice cover in the Arctic Ocean. 2005 was a record in this regard. The most dramatic "greenhouse effect" is manifested in increased surface temperature of waters of the oceans. Over the past 30 years, the destructive power of hurricanes increased by 2-3 times, said the scientist.

As for the weather in Russia, her character is more determined cyclones and anticyclones. The weather is determined by pressure, which makes wind power. The smaller the temperature difference between the tropics, subtropics and polar regions, the lower the force of the wind. In this case, the possible penetration of air from the Arctic latitudes to middle latitudes. What we are witnessing today in Russia, said Golitsyn.

The scientist believes that as soon as the ice age on the planet will not occur. "Glaciation occurs once in 100,000 years. Over the last million years, there were 8 such glaciations. The last glaciation of Europe was in the area of Scandinavia and the affected territory of today's Moscow Region. It ended up on the Klin-Dmitrov ridge 100 thousand years ago, today, here lie popular ski slopes . penultimate icing, which occurred 200,000 years ago, came to the modern Kiev. Today we live in an interglacial period. traces of glaciation can be expected only after 100 thousand years, because the glaciers are growing very slowly. "

But in Europe, scientists are not so optimistic. According to our earlier group of scientists and oceanographers from Southampton Oceanography Centre Research UK Gulfstream became weaker by 30% compared to 1957.

As possible causes of the phenomenon called global warming experts, because of which the Arctic ice cap is melting, and the Siberian rivers bring in more fresh water ocean. As a result, the density of water in the north is changed, the warm current from the tropics is weakening and, consequently, violated the circulation of warm water and air masses in northern Europe.

Dr. Harry Bryden and his colleagues from the Southampton Oceanography Centre, conduct research, can not say with certainty whether these changes are short-term or permanent. "We do not claim that the flow will disappear, - says Dr. Bryden. - But the findings surprised and alarmed us. "

Weakening of Gulf Stream occurred between 1992 and 1998."The changes are too noticeable, so they can be regarded as accidental," - says Dr. Stuart Cunningham, who conducted surveillance in the Canary Islands. Interestingly, the branch of the warm currents carrying heat to Canada and Greenland, and continues to operate normally - changes affected only the flow, a warming Europe.

Last weakening of the warm currents that caused the drop in temperature to 10 degrees Celsius in Western Europe, occurred 12 thousand years ago at the end of the last glacial period. Probably some weakening of the warm Atlantic flow took place and during the Little Ice Age, which lasted from 1300 to 1850 and maintained a fairly low winter temperature at which frozen water in the Thames.

According to existing theories of climatic warming and the weakening of the Gulf Stream will lead to a lowering of the temperature in Western Europe by 4-6 degrees Celsius for 20 years, and by the end of this century, the Gulf Stream will disappear altogether, which could be the beginning of the next mini-ice age.

Another more radical approach to the problem expressed a leading British expert on climate processes, Professor James Lovelock. He said that climate processes on the planet were "point of no return" after which return to the previous climate, more equilibrium state is impossible. According to him, humanity has probably unlikely to survive the era of global change.

Professor Lovelock is the author of the biosphere "theory of Gaia" (Gaia, and Gaia - the ancient Greek goddess of Earth) - monitoring systems of planetary scale, supportive environment in a state of homeostasis in the range of parameters that make possible the existence of life on the planet. The theory - a hypothesis about the interaction of living matter with its environment. The scientist believes that human impacts on the environment has reached a point where continued operation of Gaia becomes impossible, and life on Earth if not stopped altogether, then once again radically changed its appearance.

"Billions will die before the end of the century, only a small fraction of people may be, will survive in the Arctic, where, again, the climate will be more about tolerance," - says James Lovelock.

In his view, the inability of mankind to focus on the threat will lead to the fact that global warming will be the main cause of death.

Materials: newspaper Novaya Gazeta and Cnews.ru

See also:

Mankind threatens global methane emissions?

Face of the Earth is changing ... Will her man's place?

"Before the Flood": the Earth is not more than 8000 years?

Antarctica drastically reduced

Global warming and the battle for the Arctic depths

And other materials heading "Be in the know".

Константин Дятлов

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