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Author Topic: How much longer will the Holocene Interglacial last?  (Read 771 times)

trm1958

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How much longer will the Holocene Interglacial last?
« on: July 15, 2023, 02:45:53 PM »
I have seen everything from a one millennium AGW spike and then back to the ice caps, to lasting over a hundred millennia. Assuming we burn all the fossil fuel we can reach (which we seem intent to do) does anyone have an idea when the next glacial will start?

El Cid

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Re: How much longer will the Holocene Interglacial last?
« Reply #1 on: July 15, 2023, 02:47:24 PM »
never?

vox_mundi

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Re: How much longer will the Holocene Interglacial last?
« Reply #2 on: July 15, 2023, 04:21:59 PM »
The Holocene is over, fini!

The Anthropocene started in the 1950's

You don't get do-overs with epochs
“There are three classes of people: those who see. Those who see when they are shown. Those who do not see.” ― anonymous

Insensible before the wave so soon released by callous fate. Affected most, they understand the least, and understanding, when it comes, invariably arrives too late

John_the_Younger

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Re: How much longer will the Holocene Interglacial last?
« Reply #3 on: July 15, 2023, 06:26:03 PM »
Read all about the "Anthropocene" in wikipedia.  The Anthropocene Working Group (AWG) of the International Union of Geological Sciences (IUGS) has been working (since 2009) on whether or not the Anthropocene should be identified as an Epoch within the Geologic time scale (starting, per the AWG, about 1950).  The AWG has said "yes" but the IUGS hasn't adopted the idea.  (I have no idea when they will take up the question.)  I'll note that all existing epochs have been defined by geological deposits.

I see this thread's question as more about the current interglacial phase within the larger Quaternary Ice Age or Glaciation, regardless of whether the term Holocene covers geological deposits made in the future (to be determined by the IUGS).

Antarctica may melt out in as few as 500 years (per here), but it might not melt completely (if we get our act together).  Either way (total melt-out within 5,000 years or not), if we get our act together, thus having learned about controlling climate parameters that will maintain icy poles and a nice (for us) Holocene climate in the mid-latitudes/tropics, this interglacial phase could last a very long time - 10s of thousands of years. 

If we totally blow it and go for 10-15C of global warming, Antarctica will melt completely, but I do not have a sense if this will push the Earth into a new climate regime or if nature will take its course, lower atmospheric CO2 concentrations and get us back to Quaternary conditions dominated by Milankovitch cycles.


Sebastian Jones

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Re: How much longer will the Holocene Interglacial last?
« Reply #4 on: July 15, 2023, 07:09:55 PM »
......

I see this thread's question as more about the current interglacial phase within the larger Quaternary Ice Age or Glaciation, regardless of whether the term Holocene covers geological deposits made in the future (to be determined by the IUGS).
.......

Absolutely. There is plenty of  indications that the current interglacial will skip the  next glaciation.
And that conversation about the Anthropocene start date? I predict that this ultra low stakes argument will continue until glaciers cover Canada again.

El Cid

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Re: How much longer will the Holocene Interglacial last?
« Reply #5 on: July 15, 2023, 07:20:10 PM »
My original answer was "never?" It should have been "not for a very long time" (without a question mark. I believe that we have entered a new regime and Co2 forcing is much stronger than Milankovitch cycles so unless we reduce Co2 under 350 or 300 ppm we will not have a new ice age. If we keep it above 400 we will likely have a significantly warmer climate for hundreds of thousands of years

trm1958

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Re: How much longer will the Holocene Interglacial last?
« Reply #6 on: July 16, 2023, 02:40:10 PM »
Admittedly, the '1000 years more' was in a book from iirc the late Seventies by an author whose name I think began with L (anyone know who?) so may be out of date.

kassy

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Re: How much longer will the Holocene Interglacial last?
« Reply #7 on: July 16, 2023, 06:54:53 PM »
It is completely out of date.

Back in the day there was still discussion about possible new ice ages. Of course since then we solved those worries.

Looking at it from our perspective what would be a good cut off point?

A safe one but too late in time is 1986, last year under long term global average temperatures.
We could put it at the end of WW2.

And as Ruddiman claimed it actually started thousands of years ago with rice production and then deforestation being strong enough to counteract the cooling tendencies which gave us a remarkably stable climate at a really important time.

Part of me wants to use his date but i think somewhere post WW2 would be better. We were building a new world. Planes and cars would be normal, nuclear energy too. Lots of oil and gas etc.
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Renerpho

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Re: How much longer will the Holocene Interglacial last?
« Reply #8 on: July 16, 2023, 07:36:23 PM »
Read all about the "Anthropocene" in wikipedia.  The Anthropocene Working Group (AWG) of the International Union of Geological Sciences (IUGS) has been working (since 2009) on whether or not the Anthropocene should be identified as an Epoch within the Geologic time scale (starting, per the AWG, about 1950).  The AWG has said "yes" but the IUGS hasn't adopted the idea.  (I have no idea when they will take up the question.)  I'll note that all existing epochs have been defined by geological deposits.

I am not very hopeful that they'll come up with a formal answer soon. The arguments in the discussion about the Anthropocene may be very different, but it's worth looking back at the last time they ratified a major change to the geological time scale. The name Ediacaran was ratified in 1990, but not formally adopted as a new geological epoch until 2004. Concrete evidence for complex pre-Cambrian life had been known since the 1950s, but it was largely ignored for decades, for reasons that are not all scientifically justifiable.
Before I came here I was confused about this subject. Having listened to your lecture I am still confused. But on a higher level.