About 150,000 years ago, an anomalous ice age was triggered by an increasingly salty Mediterranean Sea, a development thats occurring today and may start new ice sheet growth in the next few decades, according to a study at the University of Minnesota. Robert Johnson, an adjunct professor of geology and geophysics, will present his study of the glaciation 150,000 years ago and discuss its implications for todays climate on Tuesday, Oct. 29, at the annual meeting of the Geological Society of America in Denver.
Johnson is reluctant to predict exactly how global warming and other climate factors will play out, but he said the increasingly salty Mediterranean is a definite warning that Atlantic circulation patterns will change in ways that favor ice sheet growth.
"Global warming may actually assist new ice sheet growth because growth depends less on cold temperatures than on a strong supply of moisture and very heavy snowfall over northern land masses, said Johnson, who earlier this year published his arguments in a book, "Secrets of the Ice Ages."
Deane Morrison | EurekAlert!
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