Tue, 19 Aug 2008 14:38 CDT
An expert from the National Autonomous University of Mexico predicted that in about ten years the Earth will enter a "little ice age" which will last from 60 to 80 years and may be caused by the decrease in solar activity.
Victor Manuel Velasco Herrera, a researcher at the Institute of Geophysics of the UNAM, presented his argument during a conference that teaches at the Centre for Applied Sciences and Technological Development.
In the event, the specialist in remote sensing systems said that the recent rupture of the Argentine Perito Moreno glacier, unusual for having produced a full austral winter, was not due to global warming.
The event was due, he said, a natural process caused by temperature and precipitation of the river.
Velasco Herrera described as erroneous predictions of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), pursuant to which the planet is experiencing a gradual increase in temperature, the so-called global warming.
The models and forecasts of the IPCC "is incorrect because only are based on mathematical models and presented results at scenarios that do not include, for example, solar activity," said the specialist also in image processing and signs and prevention of natural disasters.
The phenomenon of climate change, he added, should include other kinds of factors, both internal, such as volcanoes and the very human activity, and external, such as solar activity.
"Curiously, the star never has been seen as a cooling agent, but warming, but has two roles", he said.
At present, assured the world is going through a transition phase where solar activity diminishes considerably, "so that in two years or so, there will be a small ice age that lasts from 60 to 80 years," and the immediate consequence of this, he added, will be drought.
The researcher who used the term has already been used previously to indicate periods of cooling. In particular there is the so-called "Little Ice Age", which refers to a cold period that lasted since the beginning of the fourteenth century until the mid-nineteenth century.
Analyses of the IPCC concluded that it was regional phenomena or local accentuation. "Current evidence does not support globally synchronous periods of abnormal heat or cold in this timeframe," said his 2001 report.
Velasco Herrera said in his report that landslides on glaciers are recurring events that occur even in winter, as was the case of the Perito Moreno.
"The process begins when the formation of ice, located in one arm of Lago Argentino, moves up to the tip of the peninsula of Magellan, covering the drainage channels," he said.
When cut exits, the water level rises of 20 meters and, therefore, exerts more pressure on the ice, "which culminates with the release of huge ice blocks, as occurred last July 9," explained .
The Perito Moreno, approximately 200 square kilometres, is in the Andes, between Argentina and Chile, and is one of the few stable glaciers in the world.
The front of the glacier is about 2.8 kilometers long and has a height of about 70 meters above the water level of the lake, although the wall of ice reaches his bed.
In the area are signs that the glacier, whose previous rupture occurred in March 2006, was much more extensive centuries ago.
"In this century glaciers are growing", as seen in the Andes, Perito Moreno, Logan, the highest mountain in Canada, and with Franz-Josef Glacier, New Zealand, said Velasco Herrera.
The prognosis on the emergence of a new Ice Age has little uncertainty as to their dates. The latest, according to Victor Manuel Velasco, could arrive in approximately two years.
In another lecture he gave at the beginning of last December, the same expert had said that the cooling would arrive within 30 or 40 years.
And in early July, Velasco Herrera said that satellite data indicate that this period of global cooling could even have already begun, since 2005.