Ice Age every 100,000 years?

This mysterious phenomenon, dubbed the ‘100,000 year problem’, has been occurring for the past million years or so and leads to vast ice sheets covering North America, Europe and Asia. Up until now, scientists have been unable to explain why this happens.

Ice Age every 100000 yearsExperts from Cardiff University have offered up an explanation as to why our planet began to move in and out of ice age every 100,000 years.

Our planet’s ice ages used to occur at intervals of every 40,000 years, which made sense to scientists as the Earth’s seasons vary in a predictable way, with colder summers occurring at these intervals.

However there was a point, about a million years ago, called the ‘Mid-Pleistocene Transition’, in which the ice age intervals changed from every 40,000 years to every 100,000 years.

New research published today in the journal Geology has suggested the oceans may be responsible for this change, specifically in the way that they suck carbon dioxide (CO2) out of the atmosphere. By studying the chemical make-up of tiny fossils on the ocean floor, the team discovered that there was more CO2 stored in the deep ocean during the ice age periods at regular intervals every 100,000 years.

This suggests that extra carbon dioxide was being pulled from the atmosphere and into the oceans at this time, subsequently lowering the temperature on Earth and enabling vast ice sheets to engulf the Northern Hemisphere.

Lead author of the research Professor Carrie Lear, from the School of Earth and Ocean Sciences, said:

“We can think of the oceans as inhaling and exhaling carbon dioxide, so when the ice sheets are larger, the oceans have inhaled carbon dioxide from the atmosphere, making the planet colder. When the ice sheets are small, the oceans have exhaled carbon dioxide, so there is more in the atmosphere which makes the planet warmer.

“By looking at the fossils of tiny creatures on the ocean floor, we showed that when ice sheets were advancing and retreating every 100,000 years the oceans were inhaling more carbon dioxide in the cold periods, suggesting that there was less left in the atmosphere.”

Marine algae play a key role in removing CO2 from the atmosphere as it is an essential ingredient of photosynthesis.

CO2 is put back into the atmosphere when deep ocean water rises to the surface through a process called upwelling, but when a vast amount of sea ice is present this prevents the CO2 from being exhaled, which could make the ice sheets bigger and prolong the ice age.

“If we think of the oceans inhaling and exhaling carbon dioxide, the presence of vast amounts of ice is like a giant gobstopper. It’s like a lid on the surface of the ocean,” Prof Lear continued.

The Earth’s climate is currently in a warm spell between glacial periods. The last ice age ended about 11,000 years ago.

Since then, temperatures and sea levels have risen, and ice caps have retreated back to the poles. In addition to these natural cycles, manmade carbon emissions are also having an effect by warming the climate.

Sourcecardiff

Find us here

Get news from the CSGLOBE in your inbox each weekday morning

The views and opinions expressed in this article are those of the authors/source and do not necessarily reflect the position of CSGLOBE or its staff.

Paid content

History of life on Earth – Big Five mass extinction events

Although the Cretaceous-Tertiary (or K-T) extinction event is the most well-known because it wiped out the dinosaurs, a series of other mass extinction events...

IMAGES: Massive Calbuco volcano eruption turns sunset into surreal scene

Chile's Mt. Calbuco volcano erupts for first time in over 40yrs The record-breaking volcanic eruption in southern Chile is dramatically altering skies, as spectacular views...

What on Earth Is This Fiery Blob?

At first glance, it looks like a fiery monster out of "The Incredibles." Or maybe a glowing alien orb, or a giant, irritated zit...

What's New Today

Georgia House Votes To Allow Citizens To Abolish Police Departments In The State

The Georgia House backed an effort on Friday to dissolve the Glynn County Police Department and any...

Leaked CDC document contradicts Pence claim that U.S. coronavirus cases ‘have stabilized’

Even as Vice President Mike Pence wrote in a Wall Street Journal op-ed published Tuesday that coronavirus...

Five bombshells about Trump from Bolton ‘s book

Excerpts from former national security adviser John Bolton ’s book about his time in the Trump administration...

Don’t Listen to Fox. Here’s What’s Really Going On in Seattle’s Protest Zone.

It seems I live in a city undergoing a “totalitarian takeover” that will lead to “fascist outcomes”...

MOST READ

What Is Agenda 21? Depopulation of 95% of the World By 2030

Most people are unaware that one of the greatest threats to their freedom may be a United Nations program which plans to depopulate 95%...

Putin has Banned Rothschild and His New World Order Banking Cartel Family from Entering Russian Territory

As of recently, Russian president Vladimir Putin took yet another decision for his country. "Under any circumstances", the Rothschild family is banned from entering Russian territory. Along...

Russia Issues International ARREST WARRANT For ROTHSCHILD & SOROS!

Vladimir Putin, now in full control of Russia as Prime Minister (then) NOW President , wishes to build a strong Christian nation. In a...

History of life on Earth – Big Five mass extinction events

Although the Cretaceous-Tertiary (or K-T) extinction event is the most well-known because it wiped out the dinosaurs, a series of other mass extinction events...

The Rock We All Live on Called Earth is Cracking Up!

We are talking about the rock we all live on called Earth, and it seems to be well cracking up in more ways than...

What on Earth Is This Fiery Blob?

At first glance, it looks like a fiery monster out of "The Incredibles." Or maybe a glowing alien orb, or a giant, irritated zit...

We Just Used Up All The Resources Earth Generates In A Year & It’s Only August

Earth Overshoot Day isn’t another one of those fun holidays that make Mondays, or rainy days, feel a bit brighter. Unlike National Donut Day, National...

Bernie, No! Winston Churchill Was a War Criminal, Not a ‘Hero’

Professing one's love for Winston Churchill, the British prime minister during World War II, is shorthand in U.S. politics for: "I think killing Nazis was...

Bacteria Convert Solar Energy Into Liquid Fuel

Bionic leaf: Researchers use bacteria to convert solar energy into liquid fuel Harvesting sunlight is a trick plants mastered more than a billion years ago,...

Stranded Whale Found Dead With 30+ Plastic Bags in Its Stomach

Take a look around you: How much of what you see is made of plastic? There’s likely an alarming amount of this silent killer. As...

Facebook Employees Are Quitting Because of Users Being Censored

The war on “fake news” embarked upon by Facebook, Google, and Twitter may be earning the media goliaths brownie points with establishment politicos, but users...