Scientists and the media have been batting around all kinds of doomsday scenarios from global warming to asteroid strikes. Let me throw out another one that I haven’t heard people focus on. I first threw this idea out in my book “People of the Red Tide”, a middle-shool work of fiction about an environmentally concerned whale, but it seems to be an original theory.
Maybe it’s a little too complex to become popular, but you need to grasp a number of facts at the same time.
- Whales give birth in warm waters, but migrate north to cold water, which is paradoxically where the food is most abundant.
- Algae gives off the majority of the world’s oxygen, and serve as the bottom of the food chain for everything else.
- Algae grows very rapidly when fed critical nutrients, then falters when the minerals run out. It is then all eaten by a burst of predators.
- Glaciers marching toward the ocean pour a tremendous amount of pulverized stone, silt, and sediment into the ocean.
- This sediment may be why algae flourishes in the north, where the glaciers are, as do all the things that feed off of it.
- As animals (including humans) flourish, their activities give off more CO2 (and other industrial greenhouse gases).
- As greenhouse gases warm the planet, the icecaps and glaciers begin to melt, which means the glaciers stop marching seaward.
- Glacier Bay in Alaska, for instance, was filled with may square miles of ice just a hundred years ago, but is now nearly empty.
- Feedback loops like this, with built-in time delays, result in periodic oscillations.
- Earth’s recent geological history seems to have a 30,000 year periodic ice age recurrence.
- Hominid species changes (Homo Habilius to Homo Erectus to Neaderthal to Homo Sapiens), and mass extinctions, seem to occur around the time of these ice ages.
So here’s the take-home idea. When the lack of cold snow up north causes the glacial action to wind down, they will stop dumping nutrients into the ocean. Algae growth will plummet, the ocean food chains will collapse, and oxygen production will drop. We’d see mass extinctions of animal life, and hominids will be in for a very difficult time. Once we CO2 producers are back in balance, an ice age will come to reestablish the glaciers, and it will all start over again – with or without us.
Lot of speculation there, so I wouldn’t take me too seriously, but, umm, the glaciers ARE vanishing and our ocean food chains DO seem to be in collapse, and CO2 levels DO seem to be climbing exponentially. But heck, what do I know? Don’t worry, be happy.