When it comes to the climate of the earth, it is very important to know that it has a history of being both hot and cold and sure will again in the future as climate repeats itself. So to start Chapter 4, we will start by talking about Ice Ages.
Let, me talk about a really dear and close place to where I grew up as a kid to start this portion, I grew up around the Northeast part of South Dakota, here in the Northeast part of the state we find Big Stone Lake, this lake is not manmade, nor was it created by the oceans, so how did it get there? Well to answer that we find that the last Ice age that took place covered this region with thick amounts of ice and as the cooling period ended and the ice retreated, in the process it left sediment and water behind, while also plowing hills on both sides of the lake, this caused the sediment and water to be trapped into what we now know as modern day Big Stone Lake. So yes the last ice age did leave behind some residue.
Now for this next part what I find very unique when we talk about ice ages, they just don’t develop overnight it takes time, so if it takes time for them to develop there must be some key factor that can be watched, so what I have done over the past few years is observed a simple thing called the Ice out date for Big Stone Lake, meaning that winter melt gives way to open waters on the lake. A few things that I would like to note about my findings is that it averages ice out between March and May/June, depending on the weather conditions, however these past few years the ice has been going out later and later, which means that the lake is seeing more time with Ice on it these past few years and less time with open waters, this can lead to cooler waters on the lakes, not allowing them to warm as high as they would if the ice was out for longer period of times, so something this simple as watching the Ice out days on Big Stone Lake make me wonder if we could possibly be heading into a cooling phase on planet earth.
So, let’s examine some things that may take place during this cooling stage, would it be possible that tornadoes are less common, due to the lack of warm air to mix with them, would it be possible that hurricanes are less strong, due to the lack of global heating to fuel them, would it be possible that snow storms could be more promising, could it be that winters would be longer and colder, could it be possible that summers become cooler and shorter, all of these are things that have proof behind them, here are just a few examples, let’s look at short term impacts, the last few years, tornadoes have been occurring later in the spring and almostmore in the summer now, hurricanes in the Atlantic have been at lower rates, winter weather has been staying around longer and dropping further south. There have been more reports of colder weather hitting in the middle of July these past few years, shouldn’t that be the warmest time of the year for the United States?
Now, that we examined the ice age period of our climate and how that can impact our climate, let’s take a look at how the opposite can take place and that is warming. Yes, it is true the earth has been warming both on the short scale and larger scale, what do I mean by that, well first we will look at the larger scale.
The larger scale this is over hundreds of years, since our last Ice Age, once the ice age gave way, we began to see the earth’s temperature begin to warm, this is normal, and the rate at which it has been rising is normal as well, not being impacted by human induced CO2. However, there is also a shorter scale warming that has been taking place as well, when the sun enters into what is known as a solar max, this allows the maximum amount of solar radiation also known as heat enter the earth, causing the earth to warm greatly. So now if we look at both together and also add a few of our variables to this we can see the reason behind the earth’s warming and at times faster than other times. First, we have left, the ice age, so we are now warming the earth, second the sun enters the solar max during this time as well, this allows for maximum heat to take place and allow temps to drastically rise.
So now, let’s examine some items that warming periods may do to us on earth, both in the short term and also the long term. First, during the shorter term, would it be possible to see more tornadoes, how about more hurricanes, how about more droughts, or even better how about less snowfall during the winters. Let’s take a look back in the early 2000’s, two things were happening, the earth was reaching the max of its warming cycle, meaning that the long term pattern was taking a small shift towards cooling down, as we have begun to see with reports that the earth has been cooling, secondly, in the early 2000’s we saw a solar max, known as the time of the power sun, also the Pacific Decadal Oscillation, was warm, and we through a serious El-Nino in the fire in 1998, all of these together warm the planet sorry, but they do.