An international team of scientists has found a dramatic ice sheet collapse at the end of the ice age before last caused widespread climate changes and led to a peak in the sea level well above its present height
An international team of scientists has found a dramatic ice sheet collapse at the end of the ice age before last caused widespread climate changes and led to a peak in the sea level well above its present height.
The team found the events 135,000 years ago caused the planet to warm in a different way to the end of the most recent ice age about 20,000 to 10,000 years ago.
The findings will help scientists understand the processes that control Earth's dramatic climate changes, said the leader of the study, Dr Gianluca Marino of The Australian National University (ANU).
"We knew the sea level had overshot its present levels during the last interglacial period, but did not know why. Now we for the first time can explain the processes that caused the sea levels to exceed the present levels," said Dr Marino, from the ANU Research School of Earth Sciences.
"Ice-age cycles may superficially look similar to one another, but there are important differences in the relationships between melting of continental ice sheets and global climate changes."
The team, which includes researchers from ANU as well as the Universities of Southampton and Swansea in the UK, has published their findings in Nature.
At the end of an ice age the continental ice sheets, ocean, and atmosphere change rapidly. Scientists have previously only been able to reconstruct in detail the changes at the end of the last ice age.
"We have compared the fluctuations at the end of an earlier ice age, and we found that the patterns were different," said co-author Professor Eelco Rohling, from both ANU and the University of Southampton.
"At the end of the older ice age, 135,000 years ago, we found that a dramatic collapse of the Northern Hemisphere ice sheets into the North Atlantic Ocean suppressed the ocean circulation and caused cooling in the North Atlantic."
"North Atlantic cooling was counterbalanced by Southern Ocean warming that then destabilised Antarctic land ice, causing a continuation of melting that eventually drove sea level rise to several meters above the present," he said.
This is very different from the end of the last ice age, said Dr Marino.
"The northern hemisphere ice-sheet collapse and climate change did not occur at the same time, and that caused much less warming in Antarctica," he said.
The team used precisely-dated cave records and marine sediments from the Mediterranean region to reconstruct the sequence of changes in all critical climate parameters.
Dr. Gianluca Marino | EurekAlert!
Wintertime Arctic sea ice growth slows long-term decline: NASA
07.12.2018 | NASA/Goddard Space Flight Center
Why Tehran Is Sinking Dangerously
06.12.2018 | Helmholtz-Zentrum Potsdam - Deutsches GeoForschungsZentrum GFZ
A widely used diabetes medication combined with an antihypertensive drug specifically inhibits tumor growth – this was discovered by researchers from the University of Basel’s Biozentrum two years ago. In a follow-up study, recently published in “Cell Reports”, the scientists report that this drug cocktail induces cancer cell death by switching off their energy supply.
The widely used anti-diabetes drug metformin not only reduces blood sugar but also has an anti-cancer effect. However, the metformin dose commonly used in the...
A research team from the University of Zurich has developed a new drone that can retract its propeller arms in flight and make itself small to fit through narrow gaps and holes. This is particularly useful when searching for victims of natural disasters.
Inspecting a damaged building after an earthquake or during a fire is exactly the kind of job that human rescuers would like drones to do for them. A flying...
Over the last decade, there has been much excitement about the discovery, recognised by the Nobel Prize in Physics only two years ago, that there are two types...
What if a sensor sensing a thing could be part of the thing itself? Rice University engineers believe they have a two-dimensional solution to do just that.
Rice engineers led by materials scientists Pulickel Ajayan and Jun Lou have developed a method to make atom-flat sensors that seamlessly integrate with devices...
Scientists at the University of Stuttgart and the Karlsruhe Institute of Technology (KIT) succeed in important further development on the way to quantum Computers.
Quantum computers one day should be able to solve certain computing problems much faster than a classical computer. One of the most promising approaches is...
12.12.2018 | Event News
10.12.2018 | Event News
06.12.2018 | Event News
12.12.2018 | Health and Medicine
12.12.2018 | Physics and Astronomy
12.12.2018 | Health and Medicine