Sunday, July 5, 2020

The Antarctic’s deglacial evolution offers new climate change insights

Keele University and the University of Exeter researchers have published a new study that could lead to improved climate change projection models and an alternative means to control atmospheric carbon dioxide levels.

Carbon sink processes during the Last Ice Age

The international experts investigated the role of Southern Ocean sea ice around Antarctica in regulating carbon dioxide levels during times of past climate change. Using atmospheric CO2 levels data from the Last Ice Age, they were able to advance new carbon sink notions involving the Southern Ocean, which occupies 14% of the earth’s surface.

Antarctic iceberg | Image: Annie Spratt on Unsplash
Antarctic iceberg | Image: Annie Spratt on Unsplash

[The Southern Ocean] has captured around half of all human-related carbon that has entered the ocean to date, and is therefore crucial for regulating carbon dioxide levels resulting from human activity.

Professor Chris Fogwill, Keele University

Research findings

Notably, the interdisciplinary research team of scientists found:

Published in the Nature Geoscience journal, the outcomes of this investigation provide exciting opportunities for further research using organic analyses to understand nature’s role in regulating human-related carbon. It could also spur investments in alternative technologies meant to fend off potentially adverse climate change effects.

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