Forum for Science, Industry and Business

Sponsored by:     3M 
Search our Site:

 

Ocean-drilling scientists cite history of Arctic climate change

01.06.2006


Key findings published in Nature


Swedish drilling vessel, Vidar Viking, led the Arctic Coring Expedition, when scientists set out to retrieve subseafloor sediment records to support their investigations into climate change. Credit: IODP/ECORD Science Operator



A group of ocean-drilling research scientists that explored the Arctic Ocean subseafloor in Fall 2004 have released new findings in a report to be published in Nature on June 1. The report, supported by Integrated Ocean Drilling Program (IODP) research operations, contains analyses of subseafloor sediment samples gathered from 430 meters beneath the Arctic Ocean, near the North Pole. To recover the sediments that yielded the prehistoric climate records, the research team needed to manage three ice-breakers, one of which was equipped with a drill rig. The sediment records were recovered from the Lomonsov Ridge, in water about 1000 meters deep.

The IODP Arctic Coring Expedition (ACEX) scientists report their key findings in Nature:

  • Evidence of ice in the Arctic Ocean was found much earlier than formerly believed, about 45 million years ago;
  • At one time about 55 million years ago, Arctic temperatures rose to subtropical levels (about 23 degrees Centigrade);
  • At one time about 49 million years ago, the Arctic was green, with fresh surface water and large amounts of fern covering the water, at least in summer months.

Expedition co-chief scientist Kathryn Moran, University of Rhode Island, notes that the overall age span of the sediments recovered was a few million years longer than was expected to retrieve. Such successful recovery was possible, in large part, due to strategic planning in anticipation of strenuous ice management. Planners had predicted that the three-vessel fleet could maintain the drilling vessel’s station for up to two full days, yet the station-keeping achievements went far beyond this expectation. The Vidar Viking was kept on location in multi-year ice for nine days--a landmark feat that empowered ACEX scientists to sustain their ocean-drilling explorations for a significant period. "The scientific community benefited from our extraordinary ice management efforts--we are the first to study full geologic records from the Arctic Ocean," said Moran.


Moran’s colleague, co-chief scientist Jan Backman, a professor at Stockholm University, Sweden, also recalls the challenging research conditions. "At times, the drill site was covered with ice two- to three-meters thick. We encountered an ice flow of multi-year ice, harder and denser than ice from just one Arctic winter; it was like driving into a brick wall." The upper sections (160 meters) of retrieved sediments indicate prevailing ice conditions during the last 14-16 million years.

Nancy Light | EurekAlert!
Further information:
http://www.iodp.org

More articles from Earth Sciences:

nachricht Large-Mouthed Fish Was Top Predator After Mass Extinction
26.07.2017 | Universität Zürich

nachricht Strength of tectonic plates may explain shape of the Tibetan Plateau, study finds
25.07.2017 | University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign

All articles from Earth Sciences >>>

The most recent press releases about innovation >>>

Die letzten 5 Focus-News des innovations-reports im Überblick:

Im Focus: Physicists Design Ultrafocused Pulses

Physicists working with researcher Oriol Romero-Isart devised a new simple scheme to theoretically generate arbitrarily short and focused electromagnetic fields. This new tool could be used for precise sensing and in microscopy.

Microwaves, heat radiation, light and X-radiation are examples for electromagnetic waves. Many applications require to focus the electromagnetic fields to...

Im Focus: Carbon Nanotubes Turn Electrical Current into Light-emitting Quasi-particles

Strong light-matter coupling in these semiconducting tubes may hold the key to electrically pumped lasers

Light-matter quasi-particles can be generated electrically in semiconducting carbon nanotubes. Material scientists and physicists from Heidelberg University...

Im Focus: Flexible proximity sensor creates smart surfaces

Fraunhofer IPA has developed a proximity sensor made from silicone and carbon nanotubes (CNT) which detects objects and determines their position. The materials and printing process used mean that the sensor is extremely flexible, economical and can be used for large surfaces. Industry and research partners can use and further develop this innovation straight away.

At first glance, the proximity sensor appears to be nothing special: a thin, elastic layer of silicone onto which black square surfaces are printed, but these...

Im Focus: 3-D scanning with water

3-D shape acquisition using water displacement as the shape sensor for the reconstruction of complex objects

A global team of computer scientists and engineers have developed an innovative technique that more completely reconstructs challenging 3D objects. An ancient...

Im Focus: Manipulating Electron Spins Without Loss of Information

Physicists have developed a new technique that uses electrical voltages to control the electron spin on a chip. The newly-developed method provides protection from spin decay, meaning that the contained information can be maintained and transmitted over comparatively large distances, as has been demonstrated by a team from the University of Basel’s Department of Physics and the Swiss Nanoscience Institute. The results have been published in Physical Review X.

For several years, researchers have been trying to use the spin of an electron to store and transmit information. The spin of each electron is always coupled...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

Event News

Clash of Realities 2017: Registration now open. International Conference at TH Köln

26.07.2017 | Event News

Closing the Sustainability Circle: Protection of Food with Biobased Materials

21.07.2017 | Event News

»We are bringing Additive Manufacturing to SMEs«

19.07.2017 | Event News

 
Latest News

Physicists gain new insights into nanosystems with spherical confinement

27.07.2017 | Materials Sciences

Seeing more with PET scans: New chemistry for medical imaging

27.07.2017 | Life Sciences

Did you know that infrared heat and UV light contribute to the success of your barbecue?

27.07.2017 | Power and Electrical Engineering

VideoLinks
B2B-VideoLinks
More VideoLinks >>>