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Study finds new hypothesis behind ice age caused 2.6 mn years ago

Last Updated: Saturday, June 28, 2014 - 12:25

Washington: A new research has provided major latest theory that might explain the cause of ice age that covered large parts of the Northern Hemisphere 2.6 million years ago.

The study found that 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.
Dr. Thomas Stevens, from the Department of Geography at Royal Holloway said that the findings suggested a significant link between ice sheet growth, the monsoon and the closing of the Panama Seaway, as North and South America drifted closer together, which provided them with a major new theory on the origins of the ice age and ultimately our current climate system.

The researchers also found that there was a strengthening of the monsoon during global cooling, instead of the intense rainfall normally associated with warmer climates.
Dr. Stevens further explained that this led them to discover a previously unknown interaction between plate tectonic movements in America and dramatic changes in global temperature and 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.

The study is published in the journal Nature Scientific Reports.

First Published: Saturday, June 28, 2014 - 12:25
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