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Next Ice Age on hold

A study recently published in Nature Geoscience has suggested that due to current atmospheric concentrations of CO2, the next ice age will fail to materialise on time. The authors used past interglacials as analogies to the present, and by assuming that ice growth mainly responds to insolation and CO2 forcing predicted our current warm period would end within 1500 years. Only, that is, if the atmospheric CO2 concentration does not exceed pre-industrial levels of 240 parts per million (ppm) – it currently stands at 390 ppm.

A sight we won't see in Britain for a while yet
A sight we won't see in Britain for a while yet

Determining the natural length of the current interglacial [Nature Geoscience]
Carbon emissions ‘will defer Ice Age’ [BBC News]

 

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