From Joe D'Aleo, Chief Meteorologist at Intellicast, comes POSSIBLE "ICE AGE" IN NEAR FUTURE?
Wood's Hole Oceanographic Institute scientists have theorized that global warming induced by natural and/or human factors could actually bring colder temperatures to some highly populated areas like Eastern North America and Western Europe.Following the Woods Hole link leads to a lot of interesting historical information:
In the North Atlantic, an increasing amount of fresh water, perhaps coming from melting ice in the Arctic, has been accumulating and lowering the salinity of the ocean for the past 30 years. Fresh water in the ocean can upset the ocean currents that are the key to our planet's climate control system.
In February, WHOI oceanographers presented new evidence that this northern freshwater buildup may be approaching the threshold where it could alter currents in a way that would cause an abrupt drop in average winter temperatures of about 5 degrees Fahrenheit over much of the United States and 10 degrees in the Northeast. This change could happen within a decade and persist for hundreds of years. The dramatic and abrupt cooling would be especially noticed throughout the North Atlantic region of the United States and Europe where some 60 percent of the world's economy is based. Read more below!
Wood's Hole Oceanographic story http://www.whoi.edu/home/about/whatsnew_abruptclimate.html
These shifts almost certainly involved changes in the ocean's circulation. There were shutdowns and restartings of the Ocean Conveyor. These warm-to-cold transitions happen in about 3 to 10 years. The cold periods lasted for 500 to 1,000 years. Such oscillations in temperature and ocean circulation have occurred on a regular basis.Uh Oh! Theory alert! Well actually they really don't have any theories, just the conjecture, based on some recent measurements, that this abrupt change may happen soon. The connection to "'global warming" as a result of human activities is barely given a passing mention, but I suppose one can't get published in climatology these days without some such.
About 1,000 years ago, during a period of unusually warm temperatures in the North Atlantic, the Norse established settlements and vineyards in Greenland that would not be possible today. Those settlements were abandoned about 500 years ago, when we believe the most recent shutdown of the North Atlantic Ocean circulation system occurred.
During that era, called the Little Ice Age, northern Europe was much colder than it is today. Glaciers spread outward and downward in the Alps. Winters, on average, were more severe. Farming was affected. Famine was frequent.
In the 1730s and 1740s, abrupt European cooling caused famine across western Europe, especially in Ireland and France, where farmers depended on wheat and potatoes. In Ireland, this is known as the "forgotten famine." As many people died during the forgotten famine as died during the famed potato famine of the 1840s.
The 16th-century Flemish artist Bruegel couldn't have painted his famous frozen landscapes today, because now canals in the Netherlands rarely freeze, as they regularly did back then. And likewise, the winter in Valley Forge might not have been so cold, and Washington's crossing of the ice-bound Delaware River wouldn't have been so dramatic, if he had done it a century later - because our climate conditions have shifted since then, and today, the Delaware River rarely freezes.
If you read David McCullough's biography of John Adams, you will remember that the British were about to set Boston on fire when George Washington was able to bring the cannons of Fort Ticonderoga down from upstate New York in record time. He was able to do it because the ground was frozen solid and they could slide the cannons to the Dorchester hills of Boston in time to persuade the British to retreat from Boston and to change the course of history.
So we have solid evidence that the Great Ocean Conveyor has slowed down or shut down in the past. And we have seen dire impacts on our climate. It begs the question: Could something throw a wrench into the Great Ocean Conveyor in the near future? And could that trigger abrupt, dramatic climate changes throughout our planet? The answers to those questions are, indisputably, "Yes and yes."
Obviously the ecoweenie position will be that any change in climate patterns has to be the fault of the selfish citizens of the USA, but if this cooling takes place, I wonder how they are going to explain to the populace that global warming turned chilly?