About My Health Careers Internship MedBlogs Contact us

90,000 Yr Old Data Suggests Interlink Between Warming, CO2 and Ocean Currents

by VR Sreeraman on October 5, 2008 at 12:17 PM
Font : A-A+

 90,000 Yr Old Data Suggests Interlink Between Warming, CO2 and Ocean Currents

Scientists have presented new data from their analysis of ice core samples and ocean deposits dating as far back as 90,000 years ago and have suggested that warming, carbon dioxide levels and ocean currents are tightly inter-related.

These findings provide scientists with more data and insights into how these phenomena were connected in the past and may lead to a better understanding of future climate trends.


With support from the National Science Foundation, Jinho Ahn and Edward Brook, both geoscientists at Oregon State University, analyzed 390 ice core samples taken from Antarctic ice at Byrd Station.

The samples offered a snap shot of the Earth's atmosphere and climate dating back between 20,000 and 90,000 years. Sections of the samples were carefully crushed, releasing gases from bubbles that were frozen within the ice through the millennia.

These ancient gas samples were then analyzed to measure the levels of carbon dioxide contained in each one.

Ahn and Brook then compared the carbon dioxide levels from the ice samples with climate data from Greenland and Antarctica that reflected the approximate temperatures when the gases were trapped and with ocean sediments in Chile and the Iberian Peninsula.

Data from the sediments provided the scientists with an understanding of how fast or slow the ocean currents were in the North Atlantic and how well the Southern Ocean was stratified during these same time periods.

The researchers discovered that elevations in carbon dioxide levels were related to subsequent increases in the Earth's temperature as well as reduced circulation of ocean currents in the North Atlantic.

The data also suggests that carbon dioxide levels increased along with the weakening of mixing of waters in the Southern Ocean.

This, the researchers say, may point to potential future scenario where global warming causes changes in ocean currents which in turn causes more carbon dioxide to enter the atmosphere, adding more greenhouse gas to an already warming climate.

According to Ahn and Brook, a variety of factors may be at work in the future that alter the relationship between climate change and ocean currents.

One potential factor is that the levels of carbon dioxide in today's atmosphere are much higher than they were during the period Ahn and Brook studied.

The researchers hope that future studies of the ancient gas from a newly drilled ice core may allow a higher resolution analysis and yield more details about the timing between CO2 levels and the temperature at the earth's poles.

Source: ANI

News A-Z
News Category
What's New on Medindia
International Day of Persons with Disabilities 2021 - Fighting for Rights in the Post-COVID Era
Effect of Blood Group Type on COVID-19 Risk and Severity
Woman with Rare Spinal Cord Defect from Birth Sues Doctor
View all

Medindia Newsletters Subscribe to our Free Newsletters!
Terms & Conditions and Privacy Policy.

Recommended Reading
Speed of Increase in CO2 Emissions by Humans Four as Fast as in Last Decade
The latest figures on the global carbon budget have indicated that emissions of carbon dioxide ......
EU Panel Does Not Bow to Pressure to Water Down Car Emission Targets
An EU environment panel resisted pressure on Thursday from Europe's powerful car-making industry to ...
Scientists Say New Pea Varieties Would Be Able to Withstand Drought Stress and Climate Change
A new research, from the John Innes Centre and the Central Science Laboratory in the US, could help ...
Global Warming is the Greatest in Past Decade
A research has indicated that global warming has been the greatest in the past decade, with surface ...

Disclaimer - All information and content on this site are for information and educational purposes only. The information should not be used for either diagnosis or treatment or both for any health related problem or disease. Always seek the advice of a qualified physician for medical diagnosis and treatment. Full Disclaimer

© All Rights Reserved 1997 - 2021

This site uses cookies to deliver our services. By using our site, you acknowledge that you have read and understand our Cookie Policy, Privacy Policy, and our Terms of Use