Twenty thousand years ago, the Earth was a place known for its extremely cold climate with many large ice sheets thousands of meters thick covering most of North America, Europe, Asia, … and ruled by species. Mammoth mammoth. This period is often known as the ice age.
About a million years ago, there have been 10 ice ages. Earth's climate is always fluctuating, there are times when hundreds of millions of years exist, this planet has no ice at the two poles. Since there was no ice, at that time the sea level had sometimes increased by 70m. But about 700 million years ago, the Earth was almost submerged in ice and likened to the "giant snow globe". So what makes the Earth's climate so powerful?
One of the factors is mainly due to CO2 in the atmosphere – a gas that holds heat. Natural processes such as volcanism, rock weathering and the accumulation of organic substances that take place over millions of years have significantly changed the concentration of CO2 in the atmosphere.
In a million years ago, CO2 concentrations were only relatively low and such ice ages took place in a recirculating cycle of the Earth around the Sun. When the Earth turns, because it is on the tilt axis, the amount of light falling on the surface of different places also changes. Besides the Earth's elliptical orbit, the temperature changes depending on when the Earth is near or far from the Sun.
About every 100,000 years, these elements change to create an extremely cold climate that lasts for centuries. Cool temperatures in the summer are not enough to melt the winter ice, causing the ice to pile up over the years. Solar reflective panels of the universe make the temperature drop. At the same time, cold air pushes CO2 from the air into the ocean, making it colder and more ice.
About 20,000 years ago, this trend was overturned when the Earth changed its trajectory once again, making the summer sun more so that large pieces of ice melted. Sea level rises 130m and CO2 expels steam from the sea back to the air. By studying marine animal fossils, geologists say the temperature had peaked about 6,000 years ago and once again, the Earth transformed itself, the orbit began to change towards a New ice age. So what will happen to humanity in the future?
Based on the natural cyclical nature of climate records, scientists can easily guess that the Earth is gradually cooling off in a few thousand years. But this phenomenon suddenly turned upside down about 150 years ago. Why? The increasing density of CO2 in the atmosphere since the 19th century is directly proportional to the amount of fuel used. We know that when studying the amount of air trapped in Antarctic ice. The surge of CO2 causes the Earth temperature to increase by nearly 1 degree centigrade.
Ice cores and atmospheric research stations tell us that CO2 is growing faster and stronger than any other time in the last 800,000 years. The computer forecasts that in 2100, the Earth will heat from 1 to 4 degrees Celsius in the future, depending on the amount of gas we will use.
How does that affect the ice in Greenland and Antarctica? The past climate change indicates that just a little hotter, melting ice will begin to happen and last for thousands of years. By the end of this century, the amount of melting ice could cause the sea level to rise by 30 to 100 cm, enough to affect coastal and island countries. If it is increased by 4 degrees Celsius enough to prolong the warming phenomenon for millennia, sea level can rise to 10m.
By learning about past climate patterns, scientists can understand more about the cause of ice formation on our planet for millions of years. And if we work together to reduce CO2 now, we still have a chance to reduce ice melt and protect coastal areas.