Free Newsletters - Space News - Defense Alert - Environment Report - Energy Monitor
. Earth Science News .




ICE WORLD
Global cooling as significant as global warming
by Staff Writers
Newcastle, UK (SPX) Jun 21, 2013


This period of global cooling came to an end after about 2 million years following the onset of a period of intense local volcanic activity in the Indian Ocean. Producing huge volumes of volcanic gas, carbon that had been removed from the atmosphere when it was locked away in the shale was replaced with CO2 from the Earth's interior, re-instating a greenhouse effect which led to warmer climate and an end to the "cold snap".

A "cold snap" 116 million years ago triggered a similar marine ecosystem crisis to those witnessed in the past as a result of global warming, according to research published in Nature Geoscience.

The international study involving experts from the universities of Newcastle, UK, Cologne, Frankfurt and GEOMAR-Kiel, confirms the link between global cooling and a crash in the marine ecosystem during the mid-Cretaceous greenhouse period.

It also quantifies for the first time the amplitude and duration of the temperature change. Analysing the geochemistry and micropaleontology of a marine sediment core taken from the North Atlantic Ocean, the team show that a global temperature drop of up to 5oC resulted in a major shift in the global carbon cycle over a period of 2.5 million years.

Occurring during a time of high tectonic activity that drove the breaking up of the super-continent Pangaea, the research explains how the opening and widening of new ocean basins around Africa, South America and Europe created additional space where large amounts of atmospheric CO2 was fixed by photosynthetic organisms like marine algae. The dead organisms were then buried in the sediments on the sea bed, producing organic, carbon rich shale in these new basins, locking away the carbon that was previously in the atmosphere.

The result of this massive carbon fixing mechanism was a drop in the levels of atmospheric CO2, reducing the greenhouse effect and lowering global temperature.

This period of global cooling came to an end after about 2 million years following the onset of a period of intense local volcanic activity in the Indian Ocean. Producing huge volumes of volcanic gas, carbon that had been removed from the atmosphere when it was locked away in the shale was replaced with CO2 from the Earth's interior, re-instating a greenhouse effect which led to warmer climate and an end to the "cold snap".

The research team say this study highlights how global climate is intrinsically linked to processes taking place in the earth's interior at million year time scales and that these processes can modify ecospace for marine life, driving evolution.

Current research efforts tend to concentrate on global warming and the impact that a rise of a few degrees might have on past and present day ecosystems. This study shows that if global temperatures swing the other way by a similar amount, the result can be just as severe, at least for marine life.

However, the research team emphasise that the observed changes of the earth system in the Cretaceous happened over millions of years, rather than decades or centennial, which cannot easily be related to our rapidly changing modern climate conditions.

"As always it's a question of fine balance and scale," explains Thomas Wagner, Professor of Earth Systems Science at Newcastle University, and one of the leaders of this study.

"All earth system processes are operating all the time and at different temporal and spatial scales; but when something upsets the balance - be it a large scale but long term natural phenomenon or a short and massive change to global greenhouse gases due to anthropogenic activity - there are multiple, potential knock-on effects on the whole system.

"The trick is to identify and quantify the initial drivers and consequences, which remains an ongoing challenge in climate research."

.


Related Links
Newcastle University
Beyond the Ice Age






Comment on this article via your Facebook, Yahoo, AOL, Hotmail login.

Share this article via these popular social media networks
del.icio.usdel.icio.us DiggDigg RedditReddit GoogleGoogle




Memory Foam Mattress Review
Newsletters :: SpaceDaily :: SpaceWar :: TerraDaily :: Energy Daily
XML Feeds :: Space News :: Earth News :: War News :: Solar Energy News





ICE WORLD
Jet stream changes cause climatically exceptional Greenland Ice Sheet melt
Sheffield, UK (SPX) Jun 19, 2013
Research from the University of Sheffield has shown that unusual changes in atmospheric jet stream circulation caused the exceptional surface melt of the Greenland Ice Sheet (GrIS) in summer 2012. An international team led by Professor Edward Hanna from the University of Sheffield's Department of Geography used a computer model simulation (called SnowModel) and satellite data to confirm a ... read more


ICE WORLD
WIN-T Increment 1 Enables National Guard to Restore Vital Network Communications Following a Disaster

Australia costs from natural disasters to soar: study

Satellite data will be essential to future of groundwater, flood and drought management

China work safety probe finds 'many' problems: official

ICE WORLD
New method to distinguish between neighbouring quantum bits

Working backward: Computer-aided design of zeolite templates

Raytheon extends ballistic missile defense capability through radar modernization effort

An innovative material for the green Earth

ICE WORLD
Dam construction to reduce greenhouse gases causes ecosystem disruption

Ethiopia urges Nile nations to ratify deal opposed by Egypt

Submarine springs reveal how coral reefs respond to ocean acidification

NOAA, partners predict possible record-setting deadzone for Gulf of Mexico

ICE WORLD
Global cooling as significant as global warming

Warm ocean drives most Antarctic ice shelf loss

Jet stream changes cause climatically exceptional Greenland Ice Sheet melt

Study finds atmospheric conditions led to record Greenland ice melting

ICE WORLD
Chinese buy up Canada farms; is Beijing behind it?

Researchers Find Genetic Diversity Key to Survival of Honey Bee Colonies

'Sheep-eating' plant set to bloom in Britain in rare event

Wine producers go hi-tech to outsmart fraudsters

ICE WORLD
Devastated French villagers recount flood trauma

Rescuers race against time as India mo1nsoon toll nears 600

100,000 flee flooding in Canada

1,000 feared dead in Indian monsoon as army mobilizes

ICE WORLD
Africa juggles East and West, as Obama comes to visit

In Ghana's gold country, Chinese miners flee crackdown

DEA boosts fight against West African narco-terrorists

Botswana Bushmen call for recognition of their land

ICE WORLD
Stone Age technological and cultural innovation accelerated by climate

New language discovered in Australia gives development insights

Geographic context may have shaped sounds of different languages

Penn Research Indentifies Bone Tumor in 120,000-Year-Old Neandertal Rib




The content herein, unless otherwise known to be public domain, are Copyright 1995-2014 - Space Media Network. AFP, UPI and IANS news wire stories are copyright Agence France-Presse, United Press International and Indo-Asia News Service. ESA Portal Reports are copyright European Space Agency. All NASA sourced material is public domain. Additional copyrights may apply in whole or part to other bona fide parties. Advertising does not imply endorsement,agreement or approval of any opinions, statements or information provided by Space Media Network on any Web page published or hosted by Space Media Network. Privacy Statement