Global warming vs. the real threat to humanity

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Seriously, I do not think global warming is going to be a serious issue. Sure, there will be issues with a serious climate change like this but it would open up many more opportunities. Imagine the Midwest able to farm all year round and even parts of Canada and Russia can farm all year? It would open up more shipping routes in the Arctic ocean allowing much faster shipping from Europe to the far-east (which would hurt Panama’s economy with fewer ships going though the Panama canal).

Sure, hurricanes would be more intense but due to increased wind shear, there would be fewer hurricanes. Arctic and Antarctic ice would melt and raise seal levels so we’d have to leave some coastal areas (most of the people who live on the coast can afford it anyway).

Our real threat, which I’ll admit may not be a threat for a few to several hundred years, is the end of our current warming cycle. No, I don’t mean our 150 year trend of warm weather (after the last “mini” (really a micro) ice age). We had a similar warming period about 2,000 years ago when the Roman Empire was in its height. There was a lot of good farming. Warmth allows us to grow more food, raise more cattle, and opens up trade routs that formerly would be inaccessible.

I mean the earth, over the past 10,000 years (the time we, humans, have thrived) has been though a very long warming period. We had a sample of the real threat about 150-400 years ago. We had a mini-ice age (the worst was around the 1850s). Most of Europe has to think of new agricultural processes etc.. Luckily, the “New World” was discovered and foods that were available in Central America (potatoes, yucca etc..) were able to thrive in the cooler environment but the cooler age was devastating to Europe, which thrived during the previous warming period.

Our real threat is the next ice age, even if it is as minor as the one that ended roughly 150 years ago. Imagine the polar ice caps reaching South Carolina, Texas, and central California. Imagine Europe much like Siberia.

And we need to keep an eye on this, no one knows when it would happen and back in the 1850s when the ice age ended things went pretty close to normal after the worst of it which means the Earth has the ability to switch the environment as needed.

One thing we need to look at is the “belt” in the Atlantic Ocean that brings warm waters to north-western Europe. People think of New England and New Brunswick, Canada as cold places but think of northern France and southern UK as warm, but in reality, the European counterparts are actually further north than the North American locations. Why? That conveyor belt.

It has been theorized that global warming can slow, even halt, this warm current which would create a much colder environment to north-western Europe. Big deal, right?

A colder environment will create more ice and the Arctic Ocean could start to freeze again. This will slow the motion of the water in the Arctic Ocean. Moving water doesn’t freeze. If you don’t believe me, try to freeze a pot of water while you stir it. It will not freeze. So, this ice will not only reflect more sunlight but it will also slow the movement of water in the Arctic Ocean, thus allowing more of the water to freeze. Once the Bering Straight is frozen over, then the movement / circulation will stop, creating a very large icebox. As the ocean freezes, the ice will creep down over northern Asia, Europe, and North America. All of a sudden, all of these great farmlands are now unfarmable. The US’s Midwest will become a permafrost (like modern day Siberia). With more ice in the Arctic (and Antarctic) there will be less rain so places that could become farmlands (the Middle East, northern Africa, and northern South America) may be deserts.

I’m not saying this will happen overnight but it is something we will have to face generations ahead of us. Global warming will be an inconvenience for us compared to what the next ice age may do.

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