Icebergs Did Not Trigger North Atlantic Climate Change

Icebergs Did Not Trigger North Atlantic Climate Change
Fecha de publicación: 
17 April 2015
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Other researchers have suggested that the cooling events in the North Atlantic region might be the consequence of fresh water derived from melting icebergs.

Some theories posit that the addition of fresh water to salt water on the ocean’s surface may have caused changes in the circulation of oceanic currents, leading to changes in temperatures.

A new study by researchers at Cardiff University in Wales gathered data showing that icebergs, in general, arrived in these cooling events too late to have caused a drop in water temperatures.

Abrupt climate change, defined by experts as the transition between warm and cool temperatures in relatively short periods, is one of the repeated features during the Late Pleistocene, the most recent epoch of continued glaciation.

Like previous researchers, the Cardiff University team started their analysis with the assumption that the cooling episodes appeared to be linked with the calving of icebergs from ice sheets around the North Atlantic Ocean.

There has never, however, been a consensus among scientists as to whether the calving and dispersion of icebergs has been a cause or a consequence of climate change.

Among the evidence presented by researchers in this study are the results of analyses of ice cores from the four latest glacial cycles.

Tests indicate there was a delay between the start of a cooling of surface waters and icebergs’ arrival.

The team concluded that the calving of icebergs was not the trigger of cooling episodes, although “the fresh water derived from melting icebergs may have provided a positive feedback for enhancing and or prolonging” the cooling conditions.

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