As I have stated, I want my fantasies to have some basis in fact. Since they are fantasies, I guess those facts could be appropriately tagged: ALTERNATIVE. In any event I don’t go in for magic rings or stones or wands: PRESTO! ABRACADABRA!
‘Sun Valley Moon Mountains‘ (SVMM) created a fantastical world based on the ‘superposition’ of Quantum Theory onto Cartesian Rationalism. Certainly a stretch conceptually, but I thought it beat a magic sword. The premise for the global chill, an asteroid, that drives the story in ‘The Girl from Ipanema‘ (TGFI) has an historical basis in an event, called by geologists the Younger Dryas, which occurred about 12,000 years ago during an Interglacial Period, a warming phase of the ice age. A huge ice dam in western Canada gave way, as temperatures rose, and spilled the contents of a massive lake called Agassiz. Check the link and you will find that it may have drained into the ocean and cause a mini ice age, lasting between 100 and 1000 years. The mechanism was the relative densities of fresh and salt water. Salt water is ‘heavier’. So the fresh water that poured into the Atlantic would have diluted seawater and possibly caused the Gulf Stream to shut down, precipitating a deep freeze in the Northern Hemisphere.
How likely is this to have happened and might other events have dumped fresh water into the oceans? In TGFI, I postulate a meteor strike on Greenland that melted a part of the icecap and drained the resulting melt water into the Atlantic, disrupting the Gulf Stream current. Last summer a fireball was identified over a US military base in Greenland that was most probably a meteor. Check it.
But this was really a baby, much smaller than the meteor that exploded over the Russian town of Chelyabinsk in 2013. Certainly it was not large enough to have caused the climate catastrophe in TGFI. But recently a massive crater was identified by NASA’s Operation Icebridge, which measures changes in the Greenland ice sheet. A lot of analysis must still be done, but as the article explains, such an impact may have melted enough water to compromise the Atlantic ocean currents and precipitated a deep freeze.
As a fantasy writer, I find it great fun to base my stories on some sort of credible fact. Unfortunately credible facts are in short supply these days! It is also fun to speculate about scenarios that might upend current thinking. The planet appears to be warming up. Certainly recent data support this. But the Earth’s history is full of quirky surprises. Ask the Dinosaurs!