Study suggests a sea level climate feedback loop in the mid-ocean ridge system regulates ice ages

Watts Up With That?

Icy ebb and flow influenced by hydrothermal activity
Release of magma from beneath earth’s crust plays significant role in earth’s climate

From the UNIVERSITY OF CONNECTICUT

The last million years of Earth’s history was dominated by the cyclic advance and retreat of ice sheets over large swaths of North America. During cold glacial intervals, ice sheets reached as far south as Long Island and Indiana, while during warm interglacial periods the ice rapidly retreated to Greenland. It has long been known that ice ages occur every 40,000 years or so, but the cause of rapid transition between glacial and interglacial periods has remained a mystery.

While conventional wisdom says that this icy ebb and flow is an interaction between the world’s oceans, the ice itself, and the earth’s atmosphere, an article appearing in the Jan. 28, 2016 issue of the journal Science sheds new light on the role that the…

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