They contributed to ice-age deep freeze
Labrador Sea ocean tides dislodged huge Arctic icebergs thousands of years ago, carrying gigantic ice-rafted debris across the ocean and contributing to the ice ages deep freeze, say an international team of university researchers.
The study, published in the November issue of Nature, is the first to suggest that ocean tides contributed to enigmatic Heinrich events, a phenomenon where colossal discharges of icebergs periodically flowed into the North Atlantic from about 60,000 to 10,000 years ago. The events occurred during the deep throes of the ice age and the new study shows that tides added to the chill by breaking gigantic icebergs from the ice sheet covering northern Canada. "These findings provide a link between ocean tides, ice sheets and ocean circulation and a measure of the sensitivity of climate during the last ice age," says University of Toronto physics professor Jerry Mitrovica, a co-author of the study. "This sensitivity is important to understand, because the connection between changes in ocean circulation and future climate remains a matter of great interest."
Jerry Mitrovica | EurekAlert!
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