Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Antarctic Rocks Yield Clues About Global Change

Date:
March 12, 1998
Source:
University Of Maine
Summary:
Did it melt or not? Antarctic scientists, including a team in UMaine's Institute for Quaternary Studies and Dept. of Geological Sciences, have been debating that question for more than a decade when they look at the history of the south pole ice sheet as far back as three to four million years ago. The answer is important for predicting how Antarctica and the world's ocean levels might behave in a warmer global climate.

Did it melt or not? Antarctic scientists, including a team in UMaine's Institute for Quaternary Studies and Dept. of Geological Sciences, have been debating that question for more than a decade when they look at the history of the south pole ice sheet as far back as three to four million years ago. The answer is important for predicting how Antarctica and the world's ocean levels might behave in a warmer global climate.

In the Journal of Geology, (1997, vol. 105, p. 285-294), a UMaine team has published new evidence consistent with the view that the East Antarctic ice sheet remained stable during that period and did not melt as other researchers have suggested.

Co-authors Brenda Hall, George Denton and Daniel Lux are at UMaine and Christian Schluchter is with the University of Bern in Switzerland. Their work was funded by the National Science Foundation and the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration.

The team reached its conclusions by evaluating geologic evidence in an area known as the Dry Valleys. The area has been a Mecca for geologists because the valleys lack the ice and snow which cover most of the continent.

In Wright Valley, researchers surveyed rocks on the ground and excavated pits to determine the nature of underlying layers. Their results reflect past movement by glaciers which extend into the valley from surrounding mountains.

"Working conditions could be considered harsh," says Hall. "We live in tents in small camps of two to five people for 100 days each season. Temperatures range from -20 to +40 degrees F. Winds, which are sometimes very strong, blow almost constantly. However it is a very beautiful and unspoiled place to work."

Under Denton's leadership, the team continues to work in this area on a project to determine when a full-scale polar ice sheet first developed in Antarctica.


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by University Of Maine. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Cite This Page:

University Of Maine. "Antarctic Rocks Yield Clues About Global Change." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 12 March 1998. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/1998/03/980312075823.htm>.
University Of Maine. (1998, March 12). Antarctic Rocks Yield Clues About Global Change. ScienceDaily. Retrieved September 2, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/1998/03/980312075823.htm
University Of Maine. "Antarctic Rocks Yield Clues About Global Change." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/1998/03/980312075823.htm (accessed September 2, 2014).

Share This




More Earth & Climate News

Tuesday, September 2, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Raw: Thousands of Fish Dead in Mexico Lake

Raw: Thousands of Fish Dead in Mexico Lake

AP (Sep. 2, 2014) — Over 53 tons of rotting fish have been removed from Lake Cajititlan in western Jalisco state. Authorities say that the thousands of fish did not die of natural causes. (Sep. 2) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Raw: Iceland Volcano Spewing Smoke

Raw: Iceland Volcano Spewing Smoke

AP (Sep. 2, 2014) — The alert warning for the area surrounding Iceland's Bardarbunga volcano was kept at orange on Tuesday, indicating increased unrest with greater potential for an eruption. Smoke is spewing from the volcano, and lava is spouting nearby. (Sept. 2) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com
U.N. Says Ebola Travel Restrictions Will Cause Food Shortage

U.N. Says Ebola Travel Restrictions Will Cause Food Shortage

Newsy (Sep. 2, 2014) — The U.N. says the problem is two-fold — quarantine zones and travel restrictions are limiting the movement of both people and food. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Sharks Off the Menu and on the Tourist Trail in Palau

Sharks Off the Menu and on the Tourist Trail in Palau

AFP (Sep. 2, 2014) — Tourists in Palau clamour to dive with sharks thanks to a pioneering conservation initiative -- as the island nation plans to completely ban commercial fishing in its vast ocean territory. 01:15 Video provided by AFP
Powered by NewsLook.com

Search ScienceDaily

Number of stories in archives: 140,361

Find with keyword(s):
 
Enter a keyword or phrase to search ScienceDaily for related topics and research stories.

Save/Print:
Share:  

Breaking News:
from the past week

In Other News

... from NewsDaily.com

Science News

Health News

Environment News

Technology News



Save/Print:
Share:  

Free Subscriptions


Get the latest science news with ScienceDaily's free email newsletters, updated daily and weekly. Or view hourly updated newsfeeds in your RSS reader:

Get Social & Mobile


Keep up to date with the latest news from ScienceDaily via social networks and mobile apps:

Have Feedback?


Tell us what you think of ScienceDaily -- we welcome both positive and negative comments. Have any problems using the site? Questions?
Mobile iPhone Android Web
Follow Facebook Twitter Google+
Subscribe RSS Feeds Email Newsletters
Latest Headlines Health & Medicine Mind & Brain Space & Time Matter & Energy Computers & Math Plants & Animals Earth & Climate Fossils & Ruins