Skip to comments.Research provides new theory on cause of ice age 2.6 million years ago
Posted on 06/29/2014 6:24:28 PM PDT by Ernest_at_the_Beach
From Royal Holloway, University of London
New research published today (Friday 27th June 2014) in the journal Nature Scientific Reports has provided a major new theory on the cause of the ice age that covered large parts of the Northern Hemisphere 2.6 million years ago.
The study, co-authored by Dr Thomas Stevens, from the Department of Geography at Royal Holloway, University of London, found a previously unknown mechanism by which the joining of North and South America changed the salinity of the Pacific Ocean and caused major ice sheet growth across the Northern Hemisphere.
The change in salinity encouraged sea ice to form which in turn created a change in wind patterns, leading to intensified monsoons. These provided moisture that caused an increase in snowfall and the growth of major ice sheets, some of which reached 3km thick.
The team of researchers analysed deposits of wind-blown dust called red clay that accumulated between six million and two and a half million years ago in north central China, adjacent to the Tibetan plateau, and used them to reconstruct changing monsoon precipitation and temperature.
Until now, the cause of the Quaternary ice age had been a hotly debated topic, said Dr Stevens. Our findings suggest a significant link between ice sheet growth, the monsoon and the closing of the Panama Seaway, as North and South America drifted closer together. This provides us with a major new theory on the origins of the ice age, and ultimately our current climate system.
Surprisingly, the researchers found there was a strengthening of the monsoon during global cooling, instead of the intense rainfall normally associated with warmer climates.
Dr Stevens added: This led us to discover a previously unknown interaction between plate tectonic movements in the Americas and dramatic changes in global temperature. The intensified monsoons created a positive feedback cycle, promoting more global cooling, more sea ice and even stronger precipitation, culminating in the spread of huge glaciers across the Northern Hemisphere.
All those Neanderthals quit building fires, the earth cooled and frosted over. Then the Neanderthals decided that “Hey, this ain’t cool, or it is” and they started building fires again thereby warming the earth again. Mystery solved.
But did they find any of Algore’s ancestors in the ice?
But how does all this involve the Koch brothers?
I remain skeptical.
I would think the joining of north and south America would be so slow that it wouldn’t cause a major disruption.
Seems like the study is trying to link major climate change to relatively small environmental changes; you know, like humans can cause global warming, er, *climate disruption*.
Global warming cause the ice age.
The key word is THEORY. Anything to deny the Scriptures and confuse the skulls full of mush sitting in their classes.....Oh yes, and don’t forget tbe grant $$$$ they hope to garner with this racy, agnostic pipedream.
It reminds me of a wry saying I used to hear in the business world when someone was attempting to sell a bill of goods: “If you can’t dazzle them with brilliance, baffle them with bull $h!t.”
Since this new theory comes from a Brit university like unto the one that originated the fraudulent ‘Hockey Stick” weather graph, I think I must file it in the BS folder.
I thought that this was covered in that film documentary that came out a couple of years ago.
The day after Tuesday or something like that...
Does that explain Bill Nye’s saying that there were other ice ages, too? What caused them? Used to watch him with my kid, with discussion.
This is not an entirely new idea. The rise of the Himalayas combined with the monsoon dropping acid rain on the mountains has been seen as a cause of the extremely low CO2 levels and further combined with the change in currents brought about by central America’s change in current patterns has been thought responsible for the recent ice ages.
I agree. I think that the only effect that the joining had was that WHEN the salinity in the oceans changed, it tended to stay that way because they could no longer mix.
Something else caused the changed in salinity, imho.
That's nothing. The entire face of the Earth has been burnt free of all ice and life at least six times.
The impact itself wasn’t the issue.
Before it happened, North and South America were two isolated islands, so there was marine current flow between them.
Once they joined, that current was cut off - and that’s what these scientists say started the Ice Ages.
I understand that but they didn’t join instantaneously. It took a long time for them to join meaning the flow between the oceans would have been slowly choked off.
This is not how I remember it, but I was young then, so I may be mistaken.. :)
My theory is it got cold.
Geography makes a lot more sense than cow farts.
Salt is an antifreeze. More salt leads to more ice. Who would have ever thunk it.