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> My thoughts on the Arctic ice cap melting
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post Jan 6 2010, 11:55 AM
Post #1

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From: Millcrick Montana
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My thought about the ice cap melting are interesting to me and I'm not sure there has been much thought about this idea just throwing it out there for every one.

to start things off one of the last ice age was caused by a number of events. one of those events was the closing of the panama strait that existed. during the time of this strait an oceanic current ran through it helping warm the northern regions.

So if the ice cap melts, currents would then be able to move farther north than Greenland because thers is now no cold engine up there to cool the water rapidly allowing it to sink and go south. if they don't shut down due to desalinization so if these currents could now go from say Caribbean to Russia what would be the outcome? even warmer temps. or an ice age. maybe just slightly warmer than todays temps but weather that was random and not predictable. storms come from any cardinal direction of any strength.
hurricanes in Alaska. ice storms in panama. i dont know just a thought.

Count down to winter

10. Days start getting shorter
9. Average temps start getting colder
8. First sub-60 high
7. Bull Elk Bugle
6. Leaves change
5. First frost
4. First snow
3. Lakes freeze over
2. First significant snow
1. First sub 0 temperature

2010/2011 winter numbers.
Consecutive days/snow on ground :
Coldest 2011/2012 Temp: -2* 11-7-11
Coldest windchill temp 2011/2012:
Total seasonal snow this year: 21
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post Jan 8 2010, 11:40 PM
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Before the Panama Strait closed off, it was the opposite of what you just said. The northern latitudes were a very cold, dry place compared to today. Polar desert dominated in the high latitudes.

This is because the ocean currents tended to flow east/west rather than south/north... this meant that tropical moisture was kept int he tropics with the tropical heat.. the planet was much more evenly stratified, climatologically speaking.

When the strait closed, it disrupted the currents.. all that warm, tropical ocean water began to flow northward towards Greenland and Europe. This greatly raised temperatures and humidities in the regions that allowed precipitation to increase dramatically. Much of this precipitation fell as snow and began to form the Greenland ice sheet.

During the Younger Dryas event... an event sort of like that depicted in "The Day After Tomorrow", occurred soon after the planet was emerging from the last ice age. It is thought that a massive sea of meltwater formed over the Canadian ice sheet that was held back from the ocean by an ice dam.

When that dam broke, massive amounts of cold, fresh water dumped out into the Atlantic ocean.

The sudden release of such massive amounts of fresh, cold water sat on the surface of the ocean because it was less dense (because it was fresh water), and thus didn't sink to the bottom. This kept the warm water from the ocean current from transferring its heat into the atmosphere and stopped the entire process.

The result was that the climate of eastern North America, Greenland, and Europe were plunged back into ice age conditions with a major drop in temperatures and likely a major decline in precipitation as well.

Only after 1500 years did the ocean currents pick back up again and the climate quickly warmed back up.

The likelihood of such an event happening today is almost nil... though there was one point in late 2005 I believe where the North Atlantic current slowed to a worrying crawl... but it has since restarted.
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post Jan 17 2010, 02:20 AM
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As long as the ocean currents keep re-distributing the heating and cooling inputs that are applied to the Earth by the Sun, the Earth will remain habitable, for the most part. If the ocean currents, for what ever reason would stop moving the heat around....the Earth would become a very different place than the one we have known for recorded history.

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