Distances in all graphs are measured in Astronomical Units, AU. (1
AU is the earth's separation from the sun.) The orbit graph
shown above should appear approximately circular, but the new orbit
is more elliptical than the current orbit. The lower
section of the new orbit graph shows that the earth will
go further from the sun (to 1.11AU at apogee). The upper section
shows that it will also approach the sun more closely than
it currently does. This closer approach occurs during summer of
the Southern Hemisphere. Consequently, summers there will be
hotter and the concurrent Northern winters will be milder. During
summer of the Northern Hemisphere, the earth will be further
from the sun and colder. It may seem strange, but these milder
winters and cooler summers in the US and Europe are
a terrible curse, as will now be explained.
Because the Southern Hemisphere is mainly
ocean, the main effect of the increased solar heating in their summers
will be to greatly increase evaporation from the southern oceans.
Thick clouds will cover most of the earth during this "closer
to the sun" part of the new orbit. The mild winters in the Northern
Hemisphere and these constantly cloudy skies will produce
frequent heavy snows, much like the great snowstorms that now occasionally
occur in the late winter or early spring under similar conditions.
The accumulated snow will not entirely melt in the cold summers that
follow. Each year, more snow will accumulate. As snow and
ice accumulate on land, the ocean levels will drop. In approximately
one decade, all of the world's ports will be useless - too far from
the sea as oceans begin to vacate the continental shelf. This
economic disaster is just the beginning of mankind's troubles.
As the snow accumulates, earth's albedo
increases and more sunlight is reflected back into space. Thus
less snow melts every summer and the region of permanent snow cover
moves further south each year. The lower layers of snow turn
into ice. These glaciers merge into a continental ice sheet,
first in the more northern regions, but by 2025, Washington
DC will be buried under approximately 100 feet of accumulated snow
and ice. In less than 100 years, Europe and all of the USA, with the
possible exception of the southern tip of Florida, will be in the
grip of a new ice age.