The damage done to the atmosphere by greenhouse gases could be far worse than we think. The effects of current burning of fossil fuels could be felt for over 100,000 years according to scientists at the Potsdam Institute for Climate Research in Germany.

Whooly Mammoths during the last ice age

To make matters the same research indicates that even limited burning of fossil fuels and other materials by humans could have a massive impact on the world’s climate. Andrey Ganopolski the lead researcher on the Institute’s latest study told CNN that he thinks that the burning of fossil fuels for the last two centuries could have delayed the next ice age by 100,000 years.

The researchers even think that the next Ice Age might have been cancelled by global warming created by all the fossil fuels that we’ve burned for the last two centuries The Washington Post reported. Interestingly enough – the climate scientist whose work inspired the Potsdam study; William Ruddiman of the University of Virginia, thinks that humans have prevented another ice age before.

We won't have to worry about this thanks to global warming.

Ruddiman believes that preindustrial human societies might have created enough pollution to prevent an ice age in Medieval times. One way our ancestors might have done this was by setting forest fires, both Native Americans and pioneers often burned forests and brush to clear land for farming on the frontier for example.

Global warming 19th century style before chainsaws our great great grandparents cleared forests with fire.

Another was by simply burning wood. Some ancient civilizations such as the Romans and the Chinese also burned massive amounts of firewood. Both the Romans and Chinese had large scale industries 2,000 years and more recently most of the forests in Europe were cut down for charcoal during Renaissance. Charcoal was widely used for fuel in furnaces and the Chinese burned coal in Medieval times.

This means that developing new sources of energy that do not pollute such as Low Energy Nuclear Reaction or LENR could be more critical than we thought. It might be the only way to keep us from changing our planet beyond recognition. Creating better energy technology could be the key to our survival. Therefore greatly increasing the funds invested in cold fusion and other research is critical now.