The ice age is an interesting event that raises a lot of questions. Something that a lot of people wonder is whether or not the human race would survive another full-blown ice age. We are going to be looking at this subject in this article and telling you everything that you need to know about the ice age, why it happened, and whether or not it will happen again. One of the most important things to look at is when the next ice age will happen, and whether or not the human race would survive it, which we will also be looking at in this article.
What Was the Ice Age?
The ice age is a period of colder global temperatures that leads to glacial expansion and can last for hundreds of millions of years. Scientists have been able to determine that there have been at least five significant ice ages in the history of the Earth, and around 12 periods of time where glacial expansion has occurred in the last one million years alone.
During the most recent glaciation period, humans were able to develop significantly, and they even emerged as the dominant land animal after creatures like the woolly mammoth, unfortunately, went extinct.
The periods between the ice ages are broken up by regular warmer interglacial intervals, in which at least one major ice sheet is present. Something that you might not already know is that Earth is actually currently still in an ice age due to the fact that the Antarctic and Greenland ice sheets are still present and intact. So, even though the temperatures are warmer, we are still in an ice age until these ice sheets no longer remain.
These ice age periods will start to occur when there is a drop in temperature that will stop snow from being able to melt in certain areas. The bottom layer will go on to turn into ice, which will turn into a glacier as the weight of the snow causes it to slowly move forward. A pattern will begin to emerge where the snow and ice trap the Earth’s moisture, and this will fuel the growth of these ice sheets, and the sea levels will start to drop.
How Did Humans Survive the Ice Age?
Some scientists believe that the last of the humans on Earth survived the ice age by retreating to a small patch of land on Africa’s southern coast. This part of the land has adopted the nickname ‘The Garden of Eden’ and it is one of few, if not the only place that remained habitable during the event of the ice age.
The sudden change of temperature during the ice age wiped out lots of different species around 195,000 years ago, and researchers believe that this could be the reason why humans have less genetic diversity than other species. There are some scientists that believe that the population of the human race fell to around a few hundred people that were able to survive in one place.
Lots of human artefacts have been found in the isolated caves around Pinnacle Point in South Africa that would provide evidence to support this theory. Soon after the Home Sapiens first evolved, the harsh conditions of the climate almost led to the complete extinction of the species.
Humans in this area would have been able to survive due to the rich vegetation that was available in the area, and recent finds would suggest that this small population of people survived by exploiting a combination of resources along the coast where they resided. The sea would have made the perfect food source as it would have provided people with a plentiful supply of fish.
However, there are others that believe that there was no single population of people in one area that gave life to all humans today. Instead, they believe that there were small populated areas in different regions around the world and that these people were also able to survive. These populations would have also contributed to our ancestry.
There are many different theories about how the human race was able to survive the ice age, and lots of these are backed up by evidence. However, there is no way to say for sure exactly how they were able to do it.
Would the Human Race Survive Another Ice Age?
It is unlikely that the entire human race would survive another ice age as many regions across the world would become extremely cold and inhabitable. Places around the world where millions of people live would be covered in thick ice sheets and it would be too cold to try and live there. There would also be much less agricultural land available, which would make it much harder to support the entire human population.
Due to all of these factors, the human race would suffer a big loss in terms of its population, though it is likely that some of us would survive, as we have done before.
What Would Happen If There Was Another Ice Age?
An ice age would lead to major changes to the surface of the Earth, and glaciers would work to reshape the landscape by picking up things like rocks and soil and eroding hills. The weight of these glaciers would depress the Earth’s crust, and as the temperatures drop in areas that are adjacent to these cliffs, cold-weather plant life would be driven to southern latitudes.
In addition to all of this, the dramatic lowering of the sea levels would allow rivers to carve out deeper valleys, which would produce huge inland lakes. Land bridges between continents that had previously been submerged would appear again, and when warmer temperatures resurfaced again, the glaciers would leave behind ridges of sediment and the melted water would create new lakes.
How Long Will It Be Until the Next Ice Age?
It is thought that the Earth should currently be going through an ice age, based on the previous cycles that the Earth has gone through. Conditions for a new ice age started around 6000 years ago, but climate change makes it much more unlikely to happen.