Saturday, March 20, 2010

Welcome To The End Of The Holocene

The recent, or Holocene, epoch started at the end of the last ice age. It will end with the start of the next glacial period. The most recent interglacial, or warm, periods have lasted 10,000 years. Our little warm period is celebrating roughly 10,000 years...nowish.

Unfortuneately, there won't be any ice hurricanes like from the day after tomorrow to let us know the epoch (gig) is up. Hurry Jake, CLOSE THE DOOR!!!!!

This information has been known for a long while. In fact it was the basis for the snowball earth projections in the 1970's.

What is new are some studies showing the climate during the last interglacial, or warm, epoch called the Eemian. Russian and German scientists studying lake bed sediments from the Eemian discovered that the end of that epoch was characterized by wildly fluctuating warm/cold cycles. See the paper here.

Quoting from the study,
The current interglacial epoch – the Holocene – has already lasted more than 10,000 years and reached its highest point so far around 6000 years ago.

Don't forget, water levels rose about 100 feet or so at the start of the holocene and those levels are going to be reversed at nearly the same rate we will pay off the national debt.

Now for the good news.

...we are currently at the end of the Holocene and could therefore expect to see a cooling-down in a few thousand years if there had been no human influence on the atmosphere and the resulting global warming.

Global warming may save our rear ends. Like some diabolical plot device from a Bond movie, we are screwing our planet up in the nick of time. Phew!

Since I love a heavy dose of irony, I propose we call the next glacial period, The Gorian.

Now hear this Goldfinger, your luck has just changed.


Anonymous said...

The Gorian is perfect for the first interval of the "Anthropocene"

Mojo Jojo said...

Perfect. Only problem is that the next epoch will probably have a corporate sponsor. "This ice age is brought to you by GM and the GM family of cars...."

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