Navigation Links
Has the mystery of the Antarctic ice sheet been solved?

A team of scientists from Cardiff Universitys School of Earth and Ocean Sciences and Amgueddfa Cymru - National Museum Wales travelled to Africa to find new evidence of climate change which helps explain some of the mystery surrounding the appearance of the Antarctic ice sheet.

Ice sheet formation in the Antarctic is one of the most important climatic shifts in Earths history. However, previous temperature records show no evidence of the oceans cooling at this time, but instead suggest they actually warmed, presenting a confusing picture of the climate system which has long been a mystery in palaeoclimatology.

Now Dr Carrie Lear, Lecturer in Palaeoceanography, and her team at Cardiff have presented new temperature records using ancient sea floor mud recovered from Tanzania, East Africa. The shell chemistry of pin-head sized animals called foraminifera (forams) reveal that ocean temperatures did in fact cool by about 2.50C.

Dr Lear said: Forams are great tools for studying climates of the past, which helps us learn about the uncertainties of our future greenhouse climate. These new records help resolve a long-standing puzzle regarding the extent of ice-sheet growth versus global cooling, and bring climate proxy records into line with climate model simulations.

We have been able to use the chemistry of the Tanzanian microfossils to construct records of temperature and ice volume over the interval of the big climate switch. These new records show that the worlds oceans did cool during the growth of an ice sheet, and that the volume of ice would have fitted onto Antarctica; so now the computer models of climate and the past climate data match up.

The team at Cardiff Universitys School of Earth, Ocean and Planetary Sciences will now look for evidence of the ultimate cause of the global cooling using the forams. They believe the prime suspect is a gradual reduction of CO2 in the atmosphere, combined with a trigger time when Earths orbit around the sun made Antarctic summers cold enough for ice to remain frozen all year round.


Contact: Dr. Carrie Lear
Cardiff University

Related biology news :

1. UCLA researchers solve decade-old mystery
2. Ancient mystery solved
3. ASU professor helps solve mystery of glassy water
4. 480-million-year-old fossil sheds light on 150-year-old paleontological mystery
5. Time-sharing tropical birds key to evolutionary mystery
6. Cassini on the trail of a runaway mystery
7. Magnetic snakes control fluids, gravity-defying droplets, and solving a dragonfly mystery
8. Men shed light on the mystery of human longevity, study finds
9. Folate mystery finally solved
10. Scientists tackle mystery mountain illness
11. Krill discovered living in the Antarctic abyss
Post Your Comments:
(Date:11/12/2015)... Nov. 11, 2015   Growing need for ... tools has been paving the way for use ... of discrete analytes in clinical, agricultural, environmental, food ... predominantly used in medical applications, however, their adoption ... due to continuous emphasis on improving product quality ...
(Date:11/9/2015)... , Nov. 9, 2015  Synaptics Inc. (NASDAQ: ... today announced broader entry into the automotive market with ... match the pace of consumer electronics human interface innovation. ... are ideal for the automotive industry and will be ... Europe , Japan ...
(Date:10/29/2015)... , Oct. 29, 2015 Daon, a global ... it has released a new version of its ... North America have already installed ... also includes a FIDO UAF certified server component ... preparing to activate FIDO features. These customers include some ...
Breaking Biology News(10 mins):
(Date:11/24/2015)... 24, 2015 SHPG ) announced today that ... Piper Jaffray 27 th Annual Healthcare Conference in ... at 8:30 a.m. EST (1:30 p.m. GMT). --> SHPG ... will participate in the Piper Jaffray 27 th Annual Healthcare ... Tuesday, December 1, 2015, at 8:30 a.m. EST (1:30 p.m. GMT). ...
(Date:11/24/2015)... 24, 2015  Tikcro Technologies Ltd. (OTCQB: TIKRF) today announced that its ... at 11:00 a.m. Israel time, at the law ... Allon Street, 36 th Floor, Tel Aviv, Israel ... and Izhak Tamir to the Board of Directors; ... directors; , approval of an amendment to certain terms of options ...
(Date:11/24/2015)... Nov. 24, 2015  Twist Bioscience, a company ... Leproust, Ph.D., Twist Bioscience chief executive officer, will ... on December 1, 2015 at 3:10 p.m. Eastern ... City. --> --> ... Twist Bioscience is on Twitter. Sign up to ...
(Date:11/24/2015)... ... ... InSphero AG, the leading supplier of easy-to-use solutions for production, culture, and assessment ... Chief Operating Officer. , Having joined InSphero in November 2013 as Business ... to Head of InSphero Diagnostics in 2014. There she has built up the ...
Breaking Biology Technology: