WI a major glaciation began in 19th century?

Discussion in 'Alternate History Discussion: Before 1900' started by raharris1973, Mar 3, 2004.

  1. raharris1973 Well-Known Member

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    IIRC glacial periods during the Ice Age could come pretty fast.

    WI the glaciers came down to northern Europe and the northeastern US (have yall seen the maps?) and caused sea levels to drop.

    What happens if this glaciation is completed over a seventy year period from 1865 to 1935?

    Japan, Britain, Taiwan, Indonesia and the Philippines are connected to Eurasia. North America and Eurasia are all connected by land bridges by 1935. Most of the UK is under ice.

    One question is how soon can the "reclaimed" land be put to any productive use? Is the soil too salty from being undersea to be much more than a desert?
     
  2. Straha Banned

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    America would have lots of states with names like Guatamala,cuba,Balsas,hildago,panama,puerto rico,bahamas. Britain is toast
     
  3. wkwillis Member

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    Glaciation

    Crop failures happen quickly, but sea level changes happen slowly. Mostly the Europeans move to the Arab lands and Australia. Lots of immigrants to the Americas too.
     
  4. Tetsu says he wants a revolution.

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    This would make the the events of the 20th century - if they aren`t butterflied away- very interesting. Japan, now connected to Asia, would have been an easier target to invade in World War II, so perhaps the nuclear bomb wouldn`t have been developed so soon. (Or at least gone into use.) The Cold War would have been interesting as well - with Beringia now above the sea again, the Soviet Union and the United States would have a land border, albeit a very cold one.

    But in reality, these events probably would not have occured. Crops would die off, and people would begin to starve very quickly. As it has been presented, heavy migration would occur; mostly to the Middle East, Southwest Asia, and North America. Europe would be mostly depopulated. (Meaning no Great War, World War II, or pretty much any European conflict) Most of the northern USA would be depopulated as well; the majority of people would move to the southern regions of the country. Most of the world`s population would be firmly situated near the equator.

    All in all, this would not spell good luck for humanity. A higher concentration of people in land with less resources naturally means conflict. A worse case scenario would be massive wars for food and agriculture-suitable land. When people get desperate, they either band together to overcome or destroy each other; it`s rarely a grey area.
     
  5. wkwillis Member

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    Disease

    Europeans are not going to settle in large numbers in the equatorial regions before the development of the quinine plantations of Java around the late 1880's. Not to mention Yellow Fever.
     
  6. Tetsu says he wants a revolution.

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    Perhaps I mistyped myself; I didn`t mean all of humanity positioned on the Equator, just a slow movement to the south. Since we would have more than a hundred years before the glaciation would finalize, that gives humanity ample time to move. But most of Northern Europe and North America would be under thick ice, so it would pretty much unpopulatable. People would have to move south of the ice. And, actually, north of the ice, considering the lowest regions of South America and Africa would be covered. Speaking of the southern hemisphere, Australia would be in pretty bad too, come to think of it.
     
  7. wkwillis Member

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    Australia and glaciers

    As Flannery pointed out, the fertility of the soil is sort of dependent on volcanos and glaciers. Australia has neither. Last glaciation Australia had a total icecap of maybe 100 Km square on the mainland, at a time when Canada was essentially completely covered.
    Australia is a very pleasant place in an ice age. One of the reasons I'm going to move there.
     
  8. tom Member

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    Actually, this might have almost happened. There was a period called the Little Ice Age that ended about the time of the "Great Clearing" and the Industrial Revolution, when carbon dioxide in the atmospher began rising.
     
  9. raharris1973 Well-Known Member

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    Butterflies are going to prevent WWI and WWII precisely as we know it

    Regarding the extent of the ice sheets, only about a third of Europe will be directly covered, France, the Austrian empires not at all, and a surprising amount of Russia and half of Germany will be ice free. They all could be as cold as Alaska however.

    It's obviously going to mess things up and force migrations, but lots of European land will be at least somewhat usable by those who can adapt to the cold. While Canada is pretty much covered, only about 10 percent of the USA's land surface is covered, in the Great Lakes and northeast areas, but not the Pacific Northwest.

    Various mountain areas further south,, like sections of the Rockies, Switzerland and the Alps will be glacier covered.

    I would think that both Mediterranean and southern Africa would be popular destinations for European settlers. Patagonia will be cold but glaciers won't go very far into the lowland areas of Argentina. Not much glaciation in Australia. What the temperature bands are aroujnd the world, I'm not sure.
     
  10. NapoleonXIV Banned

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    Now waitaminit

    If you want a kilometer thick glacier to build up over 100 years then at least 10000 metres of snow must fall. That's 100 metres(over 300 feet) of snow every season. And that's just what doesn't melt. :eek: :eek:

    Forget anything else, we're all buried in the first winter
     
  11. Admiral Matt Member

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    Yeah, these things happen in hundreds of thousands of years, not hundreds of years.
     
  12. tom Member

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    Some current theories make it hundreds of thousands of hours...at least to put large areas of the world under several meters of ice (which would work just as well as several kilometers, at least for making them uninhabitable).
     
  13. Anthony Appleyard Member

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    In the Ica Age the tropics and subtropics were much drier: e.g. sand deserts in northern Nigeria, and in the Amazon basin, and likely in Congo. In the Amazon bason much of the jungle around the Rio Negro stands on old sand dunes.
     
  14. DuQuense Commisioned Officer CSN

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    In the Book {The Sixth Winter} [Seven winters in a row start the new Ice age] The Jet Stream starts flucuating Vertically. Where ever it hits the earth , it leaves a miles long ribbon of Ice, one hits a northern city emtombing it in seconds.
    evidently it is one explanation for some geographic ice thingy. also for the Mammoths being entombed with unchewed grass still in their mouths
     
  15. NapoleonXIV Banned

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    http://www.aip.org/history/climate/rapid.htm

    However, you will note that the changes are fluctuations in temperature, not ice cover.

    My understanding is that continent sized glaciers grow from scattered patches of ice in sheltered areas which must become very, very thick before they start flowing out under their own enormous weight to cover the areas between each other. This is particularly true if they are moving on a continental scale and must override local topography. If you have no summer and no snow melting this might happen very rapidly on a geological scale but a hundred years still seems a little quick. In any case, the severity of the winters necessary for this to happen would still be a much, much worse problem than the buildup of ice, at least for the first 25-30 years.

    I will try to read the book you speak of, it sounds interesting.