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"What if? New Mini Ice-Age" Topic

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Dropzonetoe Fezian23 Oct 2011 1:45 p.m. PST

I was pondering the ramifications of a new mini-ice age. Say for example it starts with low sunspot activity starting in the year 2012 and will run for the next 150 years.

What would be the issues with this regarding food, economy and military?

What shifts in politics might happen and who would benefit from the change who would have problems?

captainquirk23 Oct 2011 1:50 p.m. PST

Whatever happens, I bet the corporations will come out on top!

Waco Joe23 Oct 2011 3:00 p.m. PST

It is probably going to suck to be Canadian, Scandanavian and and Baltic or northern Russian. On the other hand the Chinese will almost be able to walk to Australia.


The breadbasket of the US will move further south which is where a lot of it is now, although with massive irrigation. Dry land farming will probably return to Texas and some of Northern Mexico. The most stress will be in Europe and Asia. Europe due to immigration to an already crowded Med and Asia with a lot of new next door neighbors no longer separated by water.

If the desertification of North Africa is reversed you may see some real conflict over this area between Africa and Europe. Fourth Punic War anyone?

Sundance23 Oct 2011 4:47 p.m. PST

When I was in school in the 70s, I remember learning in science that we were going to be in a new ice age starting around 2025. Go figure.

Oddball23 Oct 2011 5:05 p.m. PST

Wait, I thought the Globe was warming up? or is it like that movie that the Earth is getting colder because it is getting hotter?

So confusing, what happens if the Earth is hit by a big rock from space during an ice age?

I know that IF there is a mini-ice age, I'm leaving where I live now. It is cold enough with global warming, never mind going in the other direction.

Cacique Caribe23 Oct 2011 5:49 p.m. PST

Like in the film "Day After Tomorrow", the US-Mexico border is going to be swamped. Except that the rush of ilegals will be Americans and Canadians heading south.

TMP link
TMP link

More land, yes. But more drought in more areas too:

TMP link


Bunkermeister Supporting Member of TMP23 Oct 2011 8:42 p.m. PST

Canadians and Americans will go to Australia to live in a warm mild climate and defend the continent from Chinese invasion.

Mike "Bunkermeister" Creek

skippy000123 Oct 2011 10:45 p.m. PST

Or stay where they are and make billions with winter resorts.
Why not adapt instead of emigrating, we have the tech?
BV-206's become the new SUV.

6sided24 Oct 2011 12:01 a.m. PST

People will just adapt, although the sudden drop in global crop yields and the drier climate will kill millions and may cause civil unrest. That's why I laugh when people say warming is the great evil, its not, cold is and if we are helping to offset a temp drop then that's a good, not a bad thing!


Lion in the Stars24 Oct 2011 3:26 a.m. PST

I've read in several respected scientific journals that the Industrial Revolution (and the widespread burning of coal in massive quantities) pretty much stopped the Little Ice Age.

I don't think it's likely to get cold again anytime soon.

Frankly, at the rate we're going, there will be a northwest passage open year-round about 2030!

Cattle Dog24 Oct 2011 3:55 a.m. PST

Climate / wargame modelling suggests increased rainfall, yet a decrease in frequency for Australia (more drought and flooding rains!). Anyway didn't Dennis Quaid, the actor, sort this all out that movie "The Next Day After The Day After Tomorrow".

flicking wargamer24 Oct 2011 5:51 a.m. PST

They have gone from global warming to "climate change", something that happens no matter what we do, but now it is our fault. In the 70's they were trying to figure out how to melt the polar ice caps to stave off the coming ice age and drop in sea levels, which would also evidently cause an increase in sea salt levels.

There are cycles. We are pretty arrogant to think that we have much effect on any of this. One or two big volcanic eruptions could put enough dust in the air to significantly drop the temperature globally.

kreoseus224 Oct 2011 10:20 a.m. PST

Just for a different slant, how much of a temperature rise ( and how much subsequent rise in sea level) would we need before antartica became inhabitable again ?


Cacique Caribe24 Oct 2011 11:24 a.m. PST


You ask and I obey:

TMP link


kreoseus224 Oct 2011 12:20 p.m. PST


that is excellent,



28mmMan24 Oct 2011 1:04 p.m. PST

I suspect we as a people would ease into the new ice age gradually as it would not be an overnight thing.

Food farming would adjust and change crops as needed.

Taking the situation through to the coldest point for a gaming situation might be fun.

Most reasonable reasons for ice ages, which we are still dealing with today, are results of continental plate shifting and resulting changes to sea/air currents.

But the shocking issues would of course be temperature…we would be looking at an average mean temp difference in North America of -40 to -50 degrees from today…year round.

So if you are in the Northern or Southern temperate belts, what is your temp looking like today…mine on the lower to mid range of temperate Northern American zone is

89* today
67* tonight

if at the height of an ice age

(roughly of course, using the -40 for being in the lower section)

49* today
27* tonight

Which all in all, mid October, doesn't sound all that bad.

But the crops that would normally be grow would never start in the cold ground…I am picturing everyone having a Victory Greenhouse Garden…huge greenhouses are so difficult to regulate…we would all need to become gardeners…time to put the kids to work again.

Mid December?

Based upon last year

67* 15 Dec day
39* 15 Dec night

With the same -40 ice age condition

27* 15 Dec day
-1* 15 Dec night

In the upper states this sounds like dream winter weather…while I was above the arctic circle in Alaska mid Dec it was gruesome…average temp of 0* mid Dec day/night it all blends together…wind chill with our average 15-20m winds made it feel like -18-20* on a day.

So a quick look at North America would mean the upper range of Canada would shift down to the US/Canada border, the lower Canada/upper US range would shift down to the Southern range…Southern TX would be the new South Dakota.

We would loose the whole of the farm belt…again small greenhouses would be paramount…looks like the market to get into is easy build home greenhouses.

Use grey water (filtered of course) to water the garden, solar power to generate radiation warmth, wind turbine to drive the ventilation fans (required).

Grizzlymc24 Oct 2011 2:41 p.m. PST

No 28mm – burn coal, lotrs of it, warms up the atmosphere again!

Lion in the Stars24 Oct 2011 7:38 p.m. PST

With the same -40 ice age condition

27* 15 Dec day
-1* 15 Dec night

Those are normal temperatures for Boise, ID. You'd be looking at highs of -15 and lows of -40 or so during December. Which still isn't *that* bad. Besides, Idaho has lots of hot springs to borrow for heating greenhouses!

28mmMan24 Oct 2011 7:58 p.m. PST

Oh the 27*/-1* was a temperate day.

I was 100mi North of Nome and -15*high and -40*low were common, before wind chill, we were on the water and on a fairly flat zone…hard fast winds off the mountains.

Without proper outerwear we were trained to expect loss of fingers, toes, ears, nose, etc. within a couple minutes at the most…I got a chilled eyeball in literally 1sec when I looked out of a snow cave without my goggles, saw a haze for most of a week..eye patch was my friend :(

I got a frost burn on my knee where a small hole from a nail had pierced it.

If there is a colder or more harsh place whee people choose to live than that is just insane to me…I don't want to bake everyday but I don't want to ever be where I sneeze and bloody icicles are poking out of my nose ever again.

No spank you…

Space Aardvark25 Oct 2011 3:29 a.m. PST

Yeah, I remember that in the 70's the Big Freeze was all the rage, then suddenly it switched to global warming.

Bangorstu25 Oct 2011 4:20 a.m. PST

global Warming (to use a phrase I hate – much better is Anthropomorphic Global Climate Change, but it's harder to say) does have the advantage of being backed up by hard scientific data.

Reports releaed this week show the globe has got warmer by 1C since the 1950s.

That said, if you want things to get colder in Europe, simply get the climate shift to move the Gulf Stream. I live further north than most Canadians and rarely see snow for more than a week here on the west coast…

Bangorstu25 Oct 2011 4:32 a.m. PST

It's been a long while since I studied earth sciences, but IIRC it would take only about a 2C drop in temperatures to get glaciers reforming in Snowdonia and the Highlands.

Cacique Caribe30 Oct 2011 10:40 p.m. PST

This looks cooool:



Grand Duke Natokina31 Oct 2011 12:28 p.m. PST

A lot depends on how much water is tied up in the ice. At the end of the last Ice Age, the world's oceans rose 400 feet. A 150 year Ice Age is not very long. Changes might not be as dramatic as we would like to think for gaming purposes.

Mobius31 Oct 2011 12:50 p.m. PST

They did a study of press headlines and stories for the last century and a half and found predictions of ice ages or droughts/warming alternating every 20-30 years. It seems to be something to sell papers and scare the public with little chance of them remembering the last cycle.

Alex Reed31 Oct 2011 3:21 p.m. PST

I saw the tile of this thread and thought:

"How do you make a miniature of the Ice-Age?"

"Would it be in 6mm, 15mm, or 28mm?"

Mobius31 Oct 2011 4:27 p.m. PST

Professor Richard Muller, of Berkeley University in California, and his colleagues from the Berkeley Earth Surface Temperatures project team (BEST) claimed to have shown that the planet has warmed by almost a degree centigrade since 1950 and is warming continually.

But today The Mail on Sunday can reveal that a leading member of Prof Muller's team has accused him of trying to mislead the public by hiding the fact that BEST's research shows global warming has stopped.
Prof Judith Curry, who chairs the Department of Earth and Atmospheric Sciences at America's prestigious Georgia Institute of Technology, said that Prof Muller's claim that he has proven global warming sceptics wrong was also a ‘huge mistake', with no scientific basis.


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