Sunday, February 19, 2006

Why Is Central Illinois So Flat?

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Image: Global Warming Art - Illinois State House

Few people seem to understand that global warming will actually lead to an abreviation of the current interglacial period. It's never been a matter of debate whether or not the current interglacial period would end, for that is as sure a bet as the coming of the next ice age.

The vast majority of Earth's recent past (in geological terms) has been a period of very long ice ages, puntuated by very brief warm periods.

We are currently living within one of those brief warm spells. Statistically speaking we should be at the end of an average interglacial period - aproximately ten thousand years, and will soon be heading into another ice age lasting approximately one hundred thousand years. There are mini-ice ages, but let's not get complicated here, as I'm just speaking in general terms.

By releasing carbon dioxide into the atmosphere at the levels which we have over the last one hundred years, the immediate effect is an increase in global temperatures. As we have witnessed in just our lifetimes glaciers which are thousands of years old are melting at an incredible rate.

One might conclude that this global warming should result in a warmer future, but by melting glaciers we will change the ratio of salt water to freshwater layers within the North Atlantic. This change is cyclical in nature - we are only accelerating it.

As this change occurs warmer waters carried by the gulf stream will no longer travel as far north as we currently see, nor will colder waters be carried back south along the gulf stream.

The result will be a rapid plunge in ocean temperatures in the polar regions - a change which has always in the past ushered in yet another glacial age.

There really isn't anything humans can do on the scale we are talking about to prevent this massive climate shift into the next glacial period. However, it is noteworthy that the rise of human civilization, and all of recorded history has occurred in the brief interglacial period in which we now live.

North America, and Europe will once again become covered in ice hundreds of meters thick, and life will be forced to retreat into the southern hemisphere.

One would think that with our current understanding of the consequences of our actions that we would do something to curb the release of carbon dioxide into the atmosphere. Nations around the world have heeded their scientist warnings, but in the United States the government is corrupted by energy industry lobbyist, and corrupt politicians have chosen to lie to the public by denying global warming even exist.

If future generations could speak in this time, I'm sure they would decry the greed, corruption, and irresponsible behavior on the part of our political leadership in this important matter.

Hopefully, as the American people become educated to the truth of climate change they'll begin to recognize their responsibility to the future, and pressure politicians to shift this nation's economy away from its addiction to fossil fuels.

Photo: I've included a fantasy image of my own creation showing the Illinois State Capitol Building in Springfield, Illinois surrounded by a barren ice landscape. I doubt any of our historic buildings would still be around by then, unless someone in the future decided to move them farther south, but I thought this was a nice image.


Randy said...

I agree, very good picture.

BTW, some feel that it was actually the flood of Noah's day that caused huge changes in the earth's crust, making mountains where there was none and cause other places to be flat.

JeromeProphet said...

Some feel that the earth was formed from the shell of a giant turtle - creation myths abound!

I'm just sticking with what we have proof of - what I call reality based reality, instead of pretend based reality.

We've advanced our understanding of geological processes, no longer depending upon authority, or mindless adherence to children's stories.

LLCC offers some starter classes in geology, and geography - I highly recommend for anyone still puzzled about either subject to consider taking a class or two.


Randy said...

There is much proof that there was a global flood.

Many have found fossils of animals frozen with food still in there mouths. This would show that there was a huge climate change, which points to a global catastophe like a flood.

Interesting is the many different cultures that all have a story handed down that tells of a global flood.

I am suprised at your comment. I thought that the idea of a global flood hitting the earth was an accepted fact in the scientific community.

jeromeprophet said...

Mama Cass Eliot died with a sandwich in her mouth, and this proves that aliens brought humans to this once peaceful oasis filled with hippie children.

Something went terribly wrong, terribly wrong my friend.


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