CO2 Emissions 'Will Defer Ice Age'

Carbon dioxide levels creating long 'interglacial' period
By Neal Colgrass,  Newser Staff
Posted Jan 9, 2012 6:34 PM CST
CO2 Emissions 'Will Defer Ice Age'
Ice Ages come around every 100,000 years or so.   (Shutterstock)

On the glass-half-full side, our carbon dioxide emissions may fend off the next Ice Age, the BBC reports. Researchers say the Ice Age due in about 1,500 years won't happen because CO2 levels will be too high: "At current levels of CO2, even if emissions stopped now we'd probably have a long interglacial" period, says Luke Skinner of Cambridge University. The Earth's CO2 level must drop by about 150 parts per million to allow for another Ice Age, in case you're counting.

Groups that oppose the curbing of greenhouse gas emissions are already embracing the discovery. Global Warming Policy Foundation, a UK lobby group, has dug up a 1999 essay that describes how an Ice Age would "render a large fraction of the world's major food-growing areas inoperable." But Skinner says that argument is "missing the point," because we're "not maintaining our currently warm climate but heating it much further. ... And there are huge consequences if we can't cope with that." (More CO2 stories.)

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