Climate Change Explained By Studying Ice Samples

Posted: Sep 28 2015, 9:07am CDT | by , Updated: Sep 28 2015, 9:12am CDT, in News | Latest Science News


Climate Change Explained by studying Ice Samples
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  • Frozen Water Samples from Greenland and Russian Territory throw Light on Global Warming

Some frozen water samples from Greenland and Russian territory throw light on the phenomenon of global warming in the past as well in the foreseeable future.

Researchers at Birmingham University have found proof of climate change via a study of carbon particles or organic dust from Asia and the Arctic region. These go as far as 450 years in the past.

Even more dust of a similar kind was deposited when the temperatures were hotter in these locales. This was especially so when the Arctic Oscillation was highest. This consisted of unpredictable winds in the Atlantic Ocean.

 The experts who looked into the matter observed two ice cores. These were found in ice caps that were a large distance from each other. The first one was from Greenland and the second one was from Kamchatka in East Russia. Traditionally, ice cores have helped scientists by lending valuable clues as to the climate in the past.

They have preserved within their centers, bubbles of methane and carbon dioxide. This is the first time that scientists have employed organic matter such as plants, soil and biomass to investigate the erstwhile climate change. Ice cores are a barometer of the level of global warming taking place at any one time. 

The study of the layers of the ice cores reveals important information about the weather. And this is similar in manner to a reading of the rings inside a chopped tree. After finding ice cores that were 450 years old, the group of scientists at Birmingham University deduced that climate change was at its peak during the Arctic Oscillation. This is a novel measurement method that has been applied to the ice cores. 

The rate of past climate transformations has been noted down with reference to organic biomarkers. These include plant materials and soil samples. The organic dust was carried by wind and sea several thousands of kilometers to their present sites.  

Dr James Bendle, lead investigator from the University of Birmingham's School of Geography, Earth and Environmental Sciences, said: "We are applying a new type of measurement to ice cores for the first time, and have successfully obtained information on past climate change from measurement of organic biomarkers in the cores - molecules from plants and soils - which have been transported thousands of miles by the wind to the Greenland and Kamchatka ice-caps where the cores are extracted from.

"The similarity of the ice core records is remarkable considering the geographical separation between the two sites. This gives us confidence that our records represent broad scale changes in the northern Hemisphere and not just local factors.

"Climate models predict that the Arctic Oscillation will increasingly move into its positive mode of wetter and windier weather in the North as a response to increases in greenhouse gases and global warming.

"If this is the case, our research suggests that there could be increased transport of dust and carbonaceous aerosols to the Arctic. As these organic-rich dusts are dark in colour, they could start to lower the reflectance of the snow and ice covered surfaces in the Arctic, leading to an even warmer regional climate."

Today the sites that have been studied are virtually poles apart. But despite the separation between the two, the similarity between them is remarkable to say the least. The conclusion reached upon is that the Northern Hemisphere had a similar set of climatic conditions during the past and that temperatures rose gradually but steadily over the past few centuries.

The Arctic Oscillation will cause more intolerable humidity and strong winds as a result of global warming. And greenhouse gases are the culprit thanks to man’s interventionist methodologies. 

This research published today (28th September) in the journal Nature Scientific Reports.

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The Author

<a href="/latest_stories/all/all/20" rel="author">Sumayah Aamir</a>
Sumayah Aamir (Google+) has deep experience in analyzing the latest trends.




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