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Thu Aug 15, 2013, 02:12 AM

Earth orbit changes were key to Antarctic warming that ended last ice age

For more than a century scientists have known that Earth’s ice ages are caused by the wobbling of the planet’s orbit, which changes its orientation to the sun and affects the amount of sunlight reaching higher latitudes, particularly the polar regions.

The Northern Hemisphere’s last ice age ended about 20,000 years ago, and most evidence has indicated that the ice age in the Southern Hemisphere ended about 2,000 years later, suggesting that the south was responding to warming in the north.

But new research published online Aug. 14 in Nature shows that Antarctic warming began at least two, and perhaps four, millennia earlier than previously thought.

Most previous evidence for Antarctic climate change has come from ice cores drilled in East Antarctica, the highest and coldest part of the continent. However, a U.S.-led research team studying a new ice core from West Antarctica found that warming there was well under way 20,000 years ago.

http://www.washington.edu/news/2013/08/14/earth-orbit-changes-were-key-to-antarctic-warming-that-ended-last-ice-age/



A West Antarctica Ice Sheet Divide project researcher stands in a snow pit next to an ice core with data from 68,000 years ago. The prominent line across the middle of the ice separates one year’s ice and snow accumulation from the next year’s.

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Reply Earth orbit changes were key to Antarctic warming that ended last ice age (Original post)
Rhiannon12866 Aug 2013 OP
Cooley Hurd Aug 2013 #1
Rhiannon12866 Aug 2013 #2

Response to Rhiannon12866 (Original post)

Thu Aug 15, 2013, 06:34 AM

1. Rec'd!

 

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Response to Cooley Hurd (Reply #1)

Thu Aug 15, 2013, 06:49 AM

2. Thanks!

I thought this was fascinating, especially with the photo!

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