New ice age “could be in our lifetime.” 22 Nov 1947. “The threat of a new ice age must now stand along side nuclear war as a likely source of wholesale death and misery for mankind”

SCIENCE DOCUMENTARY New ice age ‘could be in our lifetime’ (1974, November 22). The Canberra Times (ACT : 1926 – 1995), p. 4. Retrieved September 26, 2020, from

LONDON, Thursday
(AAP-Reuter). — A new ice age could grip the world within the lifetime of present generations, Britons were warned yesterday.
The warning came in a major television documentary showing that international scientists have changed their minds about the speed with which the world’s “weather machine” can change gear.
“The threat of a new ice age must now stand along side nuclear war as a likely source of wholesale death and misery for mankind”, said science writer Nigel Calder, who compiled the program for the British Broadcasting Corporation.
Latest studies show that ice ages are much more frequent than scientists once thought and the next one seems to be overdue. According to one theory, “Toronto, Leningrad and Glasgow ought by now to have disappeared under thick ice sheets”.
There is also evidence that its onset could be dramatically sudden, a “snow blitz” rather than the gradual spreading of glaciers, Mr Calder said.
The picture was complicated by a cycle of miniature ice ages.
Scientist Mr George Denton, of the University of Maine, had produced evidence indicating that the world was in fact already in the middle of such an age and that the warmer weather
this century was freakish.
“The cooling of the northern hemisphere since 1950, and the dreadful droughts in Africa and India in the 1970s, may well be signs that we are feeling the effects of the little ice age again”, Mr Calder said.
This heightened the risk of a big ice age.
“The next ice age is due soon and it can begin to bite” suddenly. The new knowledge is so recent and ill-digested that the precise meanings of ‘soon’ and ‘suddenly’ are still rather vague. But the sense of the discoveries is that there is no reason why the ice age should not start in earnest in our life times”.
Possible trigger factors for a new ice age could be a series of big volcanic eruptions flinging dust into the atmosphere, or an accumulation of man-made pollution blocking the sun’s heat.
Present international cooperation in meteorology was a hopeful sign that man might be able to alter the weather pattern in some way and meet the challenge of the ice.
WARSAW, Thursday,
(AAP-Reuter). — Wolves were leaving the exposed upper slopes of the Carpathian mountains, said forest rangers, who predict a warm winter for Poland.
European bison were gathering into herds and bears were late hibernating, they said.