Mini Ice Age Took Hold of Europe in
Could A Similar Event Be Taking Place?
Just months - that's how long it took for Europe to be engulfed
by an ice age. The scenario, which comes straight out of Hollywood
blockbuster The Day After Tomorrow, was revealed by the most precise
record of the climate from palaeohistory ever generated.
Around 12,800 years ago the northern hemisphere was hit by the
Younger Dryas mini ice age, or "Big Freeze". It was
triggered by the slowdown of the Gulf Stream, led to the decline
of the Clovis culture in North America, and lasted around 1300
Until now, it was thought that the mini ice age took a decade
or so to take hold, on the evidence provided by Greenland ice
cores. Not so, say William Patterson of the University of Saskatchewan
in Saskatoon, Canada, and his colleagues.
The group studied a mud core from an ancient lake, Lough Monreagh,
in western Ireland. Using a scalpel they sliced off layers 0.5
to 1 millimetre thick, each representing up to three months of
time. No other measurements from the period have approached this
level of detail.
Carbon isotopes in each slice revealed how productive the lake
was and oxygen isotopes gave a picture of temperature and rainfall.
They show that at the start of the Big Freeze, temperatures plummeted
and lake productivity stopped within months, or a year at most.
"It would be like taking Ireland today and moving it up to
Svalbard" in the Arctic, says Patterson, who presented the
findings at the BOREAS conference in Rovaniemi, Finland, on 31
"This is significantly shorter than what has been suggested
before, but it is plausible," says Derek Vance of the University
of Bristol, UK. Hans Renssen, a climate researcher at Vrije University
in Amsterdam, the Netherlands, says recent findings from Greenland
ice cores indicate the Younger Dryas event may have happened in
one to three years. Patterson's results confirm this was a very
sudden change, he says.
The mud slices from the end of the Big Freeze show that it took
around two centuries for the lake and climate to recover.
Climatologist, Henry Balaban says we're headed towards a similar
event. "Between a the huge reduction in the magnetosphere
that surrounds the earth and an 11-year low in sunspot activity,
we're looking at what could potentially be the next major cooling
period on this planet." Balaban says that global warming
alarmists are simply taking people in the wrong direction and
that preparations are being made for all the wrong reasons.
Reference Source 134
November 12, 2009