Friday, January 11, 2008

Cretaceous Glaciation

New research challenges the generally accepted belief that substantial ice sheets could not have existed on Earth during past super-warm climate events. The study by researchers at Scripps Institution of Oceanography at UC San Diego provides strong evidence that a glacial ice cap, about half the size of the modern day glacial ice sheet, existed 91 million years ago during a period of intense global warming. This study offers valuable insight into current day climate conditions and the environmental mechanisms for global sea level rise.

The new study in the Jan. 11 issue of the journal Science titled, “Isotopic Evidence for Glaciation During the Cretaceous Supergreenhouse,” examines geochemical and sea level data retrieved from marine microfossils deposited on the ocean floor 91 million years ago during the Cretaceous Thermal Maximum. This extreme warming event in Earth’s history raised tropical ocean temperatures to 35-37°C (95-98.6°F), about 10°C (50°F) warmer than today, thus creating an intense greenhouse climate.

Also here.

Fascinating stuff here. A lot to think about wrt paleoclimate. I'm a little short on time right now, so no deep thoughts: Lyuda's in the Bahamas (my anniversary gift to her from last summer). I am acting as a single parent sans daycare juggling work, Avrora, and that side project that I keep taunting Julia about. I've been stuck doing CAD work in the evenings and after Avrora goes to sleep for days now since we got home from being snow bound in Tahoe.

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