Research has shown us that the planet Earth is a part of a very dependable and predictable cycle. This cycle is following a 11.500 year cycle. We know that the last ice age ended about ago giving us a wake-up call for a new ice age. Global warming is not that powerful to out power the large changes of the solar activity and the Earths orbit, or is it?
About 300 years ago we experienced a Maunder minimum here on earth. That is a drop in solar activity, an increased volcanic activity and a change in the ocean circulation, something that resulted in a reduction in the temperature for us. We like to call this as the little ice age.
Today we again find the solar activity to become reduced. Something that might indicate another Maunder Minimum is on the way. For example this June 2015 was the coldest in 193 years in Norway. At the same time we have to understand that it is difficult to predict solar activity. We had a Grand maxima around year 2000 with high temperatures, and the change to a Grand minima in 2015 might be wrong, but most likely not! Our climate changes all the time. Every 100.000 years we have had proper ice ages, and after that 11.500 years with warmer climate – interglacial.
An ice age starts with a change in the orbit of the planet that causes less sunlight on the north-pole during summer. As a result we find the ice sheet melt less and less. Slowly we find a cooling occur and an expansion of the ice sheet. It has been calculated the amount of CO2 needed to prevent a new ice age. The researchers concluded that it is needed with 1000 gigatonnes of carbon to prevent an ice age for 130.000 years, and 5000 gigatonnes of carbon to prevent for 500.000 years. As we see the human created global warming today we find the present interglacial to be the longest in 2.600.000 years!
If we get a Maunder Minimum again we will observe that like a reduction in temperature, but not comparable to the global warming changes in temperature. We are speaking about an estimated 0.3 degree reduction in temperature due to a Maunder Mimimum and a 4.5 degree increase due to global warming. It is time for an ice age, and the condition for an ice age is present, but the human created aspects might delay its manifestation. It is easy to predict that it is NOT coming an ice age the next months. On the other side, the ice we have today is melting.