Did Humans Stop an Ice Age?
Comments on "How did humans first alter global climate?"
William F. Ruddiman, Scientific American, March 2005
I was intrigued by the William Ruddiman article published in Climatic Change I referred to last year. He has continued to investigate the possible effects of early agriculture on climate. His recent article in the Scientific American is very readable and well illustrated. He suggests that atmospheric carbon dioxide and methane changes brought about by early agriculture have held off the onset of another ice age. His review of previous ice age cycles indicates North America and Europe would be cooler now by three or four degrees Celsius without those changes to atmospheric composition brought about by human activity several thousand years ago. That is a very good thing from my location and point of view here in Lethbridge, Alberta. Professor Ruddiman's conclusions suggest he is more concerned with the onset of an ice age than with the warming blip anticipated from fossil fuel consumption. It will be interesting to see if the prominence given his findings from Scientific American publication results in serious introspection with respect to our current state of hysteria over global warming. (DRP 05/03/28)