How Do Scientists Use Ice Core Data?
What we can expect in the future could be more than double the significance of the data gathered from the Eemian ice core samples. Our human activities have contributed more Co2 and greenhouse gases than the Earth naturally produces. Hence, what ice cores tell us about the future is the process by which the Earth will enter the full global warming state.
Daily temperatures for the past 150 years have been taken into account and it has been established that the Earth’s temperature increased by.5 degrees Celsius or by half a degree. Climatologists, who are more concerned about future climates, have come up with climate models that will show the possible effects of the temperature’s increase. Instead of using the .5 degrees Celsius, a full one degree increase was used for the models. Climatologists were initially concerned that the accuracy of increasing the temperature by twice the value of their data may cause some alarm.
What Climate Models Tell About the Future?
As paleoclimatologists continue to observe what is currently transpiring in the environment, they are seeing all the suggested consequences produced by their climate models happening to a certain degree. Ice glaciers have been receding at a fast pace with corresponding rises in sea levels. Dying coral reefs, plant and animal extinction are due to what they call, “extreme precipitation events". In layman’s terms, this refers to extreme rains, typhoons or storms leading to extraordinary levels of flooding. These have all occurred in every part of the globe.
Climate models and actual events are compared and have strengthened the evidence that the Earth is indeed experiencing global warming. The question is, "How soon do we expect to leave the phase of stable climate condition in this Interglacial Cycle that we are now in? Or have we already seen the end of the stable climate condition and in fact have already entered the erratic phases of global warming and global cooling?"
Actually, it is not so much as the rate by which we are exiting the stage of stable climate condition that should make us concerned. The effects of rapid ice meltdowns and rising sea levels have presented several scenarios that scientists have seen in their studies of the ice cores. A total meltdown will uncover what was trapped beneath the ice layers and it includes the fungus and microbes that could date back to ancient times. These microorganisms will re-emerge and will thrive in the Earth’s new temperature and are likely to bring about airborne diseases.
The rise in sea levels which ice core samples show to have reached 15,000 feet higher than what it is today will likely reach or surpass the same levels. Coastal towns, low lying islands and communities near river deltas are likely to submerge in water. If global warming heat will bring about extreme precipitations, then rainfall, typhoons, or storms will bring down large amounts of water on land that will flood the mainland because the rain water run-offs have nowhere to go. Coastlines and river deltas are already high with sea water. Actually, these occurrences have not escaped the observations of scientists as already happening.
Perhaps, somehow paleoclimatologists would prefer that the accuracy of their studies about ice cores and past climate changes will be proven wrong rather than be validated by what is actually happening.
- All images are courtesy of Wikimedia commons.