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From greenhouse to icehouse -- reconstructing the environment of the Voring Plateau
Date:12/16/2009

rts of the plateau as well as the crest of the Vring Escarpment were still above water.

In the late Eocene sediments (around 44 million years old) only marine plankton species were found, indicating that the entire Vring Plateau had by then subsided and become submerged. This demonstrates that marine connections were established between the various Nordic sea basins much earlier than had previously been thought. These surface water connections may have promoted the increased surface water productivity evidenced by the abundance of planktonic fossils preserved in the sediment cores of this age.

"Increased productivity would have drawn carbon dioxide down from the atmosphere," said Dr Harding: "Because carbon dioxide is a greenhouse gas, this may have contributed to declining global temperatures and led to the early development of continental ice on Greenland in the latest Eocene."


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Contact: Dr Rory Howlett
r.howlett@noc.soton.ac.uk
44-023-805-98490
National Oceanography Centre, Southampton (UK)
Source:Eurekalert  

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