Scientists discover how the Antarctic ice sheets formed after 50 years of research

The results of the new work provide an answer to the question that has interested the scientific community for 50 years - how and why.

the Antarctic ice sheets were formed.

Dr.Katarina Hohmut, Research FellowThe International Ocean Science Program (IODP) at the University of Leicester and co-author of the study said that atmospheric CO2 conditions as well as correct geographic data are critical to successfully modeling climate change.

Last overland routes connectingAntarctica with Australia and South America ended about 34 million years ago. This tectonic event not only isolated the polar continent from other land masses, but also led to a serious reorganization of ocean currents in the Southern Ocean.

The circumpolar current began, it did notlet warm surface waters flow to the Antarctic coast. At the same time, ice sheets began to form in Antarctica, and Earth experienced one of the most fundamental climate changes.

Scientists have previously wondered how importantthere were tectonic events, compared to the decrease in the amount of greenhouse gases in the atmosphere. New work confirms that greenhouse gases and landform changes were much more closely related than previously thought.

Researchers have created an ultra-precise model of eventsthat time and found out that even a slight deepening of the sea routes of the Southern Ocean led to a sharp cooling of the Antarctic surface waters. Together with a decrease in the concentration of carbon dioxide (CO2) in the atmosphere, this tectonic event played a decisive role and triggered the glaciation process.

Based on the results of the work, the authors noted how important tectonic changes are for modeling past events.

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