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Snow Globe Gone Heat Globe


These last few years, we have been experiencing a Grand Solar Minimum in our Sun. A Grand Solar Minimum (fancy term) is a term used by NASA to describe when the sun gives off less energy due to having fewer sunspots occurring. The interactions between the Earth and the Sun are fewer while the Sun becomes a little cooler. Grand Solar Minimums can be responsible for many ice ages, especially miniature ones. What occurs is the Sun gives off less heat towards the Earth, which receives less energy. This impacts the climate creating a cooler hydrosphere, and since Earth is mostly water, cools down the planet. We are amid a Grand Solar Minimum right now, yet the temperature on Earth has increased by a little over one degree Celsius. This might not seem like much, but remember, a drop of 5 degrees Celsius plummeted the world into the largest ice age.


Why aren't we feeling the effects of this possible ice age? Well, we are in a heat globe. The Earth, a snow globe has turned into a heat globe due to the number of greenhouse gasses emitted into the atmosphere. According to the report from AGGI in 2019, the average amount of greenhouse gasses produced per square meter of Earth is 3.14 watts. This is not including the different cars, planes, unplanned transportations, fires, and other carbon-emitting sources. So even if we do have this Grand Solar Minimum, our Earth would still be too warm. It would not head into an ice age like it usually would since the factors we have today that play into climate change is more powerful than the Sun's effect on the Earth.


Grand Solar Minimums are not the only effect at play. Orbital shifts, another reason for ice ages, is when the Earth experiences a tilt in the Earth's axis. These happen pretty rarely. When the rotational axis tilt changes, the elliptical orbit of Earth changes, creating some places where the temperature would cool down rapidly due to no sun exposure. Though these are unexpected yet powerful, they would not be enough to stop the effects of climate change. The Earth is in so deep that the only way to combat climate change is to stop putting greenhouse gasses in the atmosphere. A possible ice age could deter some effects, however, it would not last very long as the Earth would still keep warming at a rapid pace.

Our biosphere is coming into a challenge, and it is necessary to fight for the organisms who need the cool temperatures to survive. All organisms depend on each other since the biosphere relates to thousands of different ecosystems. Though even an ice age would not deter climate change, it is important to turn the heat globe back into a snow globe for any future habitability. Solutions include using fewer fossil fuels, throwing out waste properly, and using greener energy sources. Solar Panels, Wind Turbines and Water Currents prove to be an effective and cheap strategy to harness large amounts of energy. Before heading to another planet, we need to take the time to address our own vulnerable snow globe.

 

 

REFERENCES

 

 

"1 Million Species Of Plants And Animals At Risk Of Extinction, U.N. Report Warns". CBS News, 2019, https://www.cbsnews.com/news/report-1-million-animals-plant-species-face-extinction-due-climate-change-human-activity-population/. Accessed 13 Apr 2021.

 

"Are We On The Brink Of A ‘New Little Ice Age?’ - Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution". Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution, 2021, https://www.whoi.edu/know-your-ocean/ocean-topics/climate-ocean/abrupt-climate-change/are-we-on-the-brink-of-a-new-little-ice-age/. Accessed 13 Apr 2021.

 

Bailey, Daniel. "There Is No Impending 'Mini Ice Age' – Climate Change: Vital Signs Of The Planet". NASA, Climate Change: Vital Signs Of The Planet, 2021, https://climate.nasa.gov/blog/2953/there-is-no-impending-mini-ice-age/. Accessed 13 Apr 2021.

 

 

Dahlman, LuAnn. "Climate Change: Annual Greenhouse Gas Index | NOAA Climate.Gov". Climate.gov, 2021, https://www.climate.gov/news-features/understanding-climate/climate-change-annual-greenhouse-gas-index. Accessed 13 Apr 2021.

 

Maasch, Kirk. "What Triggers Ice Ages?". PBS, 1997, https://www.pbs.org/wgbh/nova/article/cause-ice-age/. Accessed 13 Apr 2021.

 

"Media Release: Nature’s Dangerous Decline ‘Unprecedented’; Species Extinction Rates ‘Accelerating’". IPBES, 2019, https://www.ipbes.net/news/Media-Release-Global-Assessment. Accessed 13 Apr 2021.

 

National Geographic. "Biosphere". National Geographic Society, 2011, https://www.nationalgeographic.org/encyclopedia/biosphere/. Accessed 13 Apr 2021.

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Rumor has it that the Earth would be heading into a miniature ice age. That it should freeze over and animals like wooly mammoths and saber-toothed tigers will return. The temperature would decline gradually, freezing over land even in coconutty California. Theoretically, this could be true, however, the damages of climate change have been so extreme to the point that no matter how cold the ice age was, we would not see any visible cooling.

 

Though the exact cause for ice ages has not been determined, there are a few possible ways one could occur. Usually, they are caused by various, complex different factors that play into each other. For example, solar activity, the Earth's position, and the circulation of air and ocean currents throughout our planet. Nobody knows which of these caused the last few large ice ages in history or how they truly affect the Earth's climate. The scariest thing, however, is that if these conditions are forcing us into an ice age, the climate's warming due to the burning of fossil fuels and emissions of methane are six times stronger than a theoretically long, gradual cooling time forced by an ice age.