How can Florida freeze over? Here's what science says about ice ages

Toni Koraza

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Colossal events rarely happen overnight.

The world could change in a moment, but mega-events like the Ice Age or Global Warming would take many iterations of smaller events to create something seismic.

However, these major events do happen. We know that from observing history through modern science.

Florida was frozen and underwater in recent history

Chunks of the Floridian peninsula were under water at least four times in measurable history. The movement followed the expanding glaciers of the North pole.

Florida was also much bigger during colder periods in Earth's history. The Sunshine State that we know today was more than twice the size during the last Ice Age, some 3 million years ago. We can assume that Florida's size followed the patterns during every glacial period of cooler temperatures and low sea levels.

How does the entire world freeze over, including Florida?

The entire world froze over at least five times in measurable history. But what needs to happen for the whole planet to change? And what is the force of nature that can cause such an unstoppable change?

Compounding.

Slowly but firmly, the entire world can change over a longer period of time. One extra inch of snow here, and one extra inch of snow there, year by year, can plunge the entire planet into an Ice Age. This same force of nature can also improve your financial life or ruin your health.

Minor changes amount to extraordinary results when left uninterrupted.

Compounding that can transform the planet

Scientists all agree that the ice ages happen due to an undeniable amount of evidence in existence.

Serbian scientist, Milutin Milankovitch, was the first one to understand how the Ice Ages form in the early 1900s. He discovered that tiny but compounded growth could lead to immense changes over time. This natural phenomenon is known simply as compounding in finance. And it's the reason why Warren Buffet is one of the wealthiest people alive. Or why Bill Gates is wealthier today than when he was the chairman of Microsoft.

Just like Warren Buffet compounded his wealth year-over-year for almost 70 years now, the ice can compound if the summers don't get hot enough.

So, an extra inch of ice stays and solidifies this year. Next year, a little more ice sticks around. And 500 years down the road, you have enough ice to reflect sun rays and keep the Earth cold for a faster accumulation of more ice. These events can slowly freeze the entire planet over, lifting Florida above the current sea level and freezing the plants and animals that live there now.

The same problem works in the opposite direction. If the ice never forms, we'll have another doomsday scenario on our hands caused by the rising sea level. As a matter of fact, Florida has been slowly sinking by 3.0 mm/yr since the 1990s. This change is only gaining momentum and could soon start wreaking havoc among Floridians living on the coast.

Are you worried about climate change in Florida?

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