Ancient undersea volcanoes off Antarctica hold climate secret.
- Ancient undersea volcanoes off Antarctica hold climate secret.
Ancient volcanoes discovered deep in the ocean off Antarctica may
explain a climate mystery critical to predicting Earth's fate as humans
pump more carbon dioxide into the atmosphere.
University of Texas geologists dredging thousands of feet below the
surface of the central Scotia Sea off the southeastern tip of South
America hauled up volcanic rock after their sonar mapping showed
formations that looked uncannily like a sunken island chain.
"It just didn't look like real ocean floor," said geologist Ian W.
Dalziel, of the University of Texas, Austin, lead author of the paper
published Thursday in the journal Geology. "We were seeing features that
looked like they were sunken volcanoes, sitting on top of the old ocean
Their analysis of the rock and sonar data suggests that volcanoes
erupting from the ancient sea floor formed an island arc that blocked
the formation of the Antarctic circumpolar current, a critical mixer of
ocean waters that created a thermal barrier locking Antarctica, and a
good deal of Earth's water, in its current deep freeze....
Los Angeles Times. 14 July 2013. [Registration Required]
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