Re: Wobble Wobble

From: Anders Sandberg (
Date: Tue Feb 01 2000 - 12:11:44 MST

I have actually read up a bit on ice ages (for my sf projects), and
while changes in axial tilt and precession do play an important role,
ice buildup doesn't seem to matter for them.

A quick calculation: assume two kilometers of ice covering the entire
continent of around 14 million square kilometers. That makes around
28*10^18 kg of water. The mass of the Earth is 6*10^24 kg, so this is
just 4*10^-7 of the entire mass. The oceans make up 0.0014 of the
earth, around a thousand times more. Since they move due to tidal
forces from the sun and moon, I think we can safely say that tidal
forces are more important than ice distribution.

However, ice and contient distribution does play an important role in
both albedo and how streams of water and air move, in turn strongly
affecting climate. Unfortunately the current continental distribution
favors ice buildup on the northern hemisphere; I think we need to fix
that... :-)

Anders Sandberg                                      Towards Ascension!                  
GCS/M/S/O d++ -p+ c++++ !l u+ e++ m++ s+/+ n--- h+/* f+ g+ w++ t+ r+ !y

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