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Thread: Why do ice ages end?

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Dec 2006

    Why do ice ages end?

    At the glacial maximum, albedo is also at maximum.

    Why does the cooling feedback from albedo not lead to further cooling, eventually to a snowball?

    How could the tiny effects of orbital change overwhelm the momentum of increasing albedo toward further cooling?,000-year_problem gives some context for this question, including the mystery of why the 100KY cycle was so regular.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Apr 2011
    Norfolk UK and some of me is in Northern France
    Well the albedo would suggest long ice ages so, for me, the question is why do they end. I find the other conundrum is when warming, there should also be a runaway warming feedback as the atmosphere gathers more water. Water of course is a powerful greenhouse vapour. I am interested in the mounting evidence for the last big impact which seemed to plunge the recovering ice age back in the Younger Dryas. Impacts would normally be cooling and for hundreds or thousands of years. So is it tipping points (orbital) or impacts, or do we need both to get the cycle we have had for a few million years?
    sicut vis videre esto
    When we realize that patterns don't exist in the universe, they are a template that we hold to the universe to make sense of it, it all makes a lot more sense.
    Originally Posted by Ken G

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