An increase in carbon dioxide in Earth's atmosphere has been linked to changes in the circulation and biological activity of the oceanic waters surrounding Antarctica.
French scientist Jerome Chappellaz has studied the interconnecting air spaces of old snow-or firn air inside the polar ice caps of Greenland and Antarctica.
When living organisms in the sea die and decay, they release carbon isotopes 13C. This then, remains stored in the cold, deep waters for centuries.
Chappellaz presented his findings today in Knoxville, Tenn, during the Goldschmidt Conference.