Washington, March 3 (ANI): In a new study, German and Russian climate researchers have found that there were at least two short warming periods in the transition between the last interglacial and glacial epochs
, around 115,000 years ago.
6oC, while older samples, from the glacial epoch
, averaged 24.
Like counting tree rings, scientists can look back through the annual ice layers to trace how temperature, gas concentrations, and other factors varied during the last glacial epoch
, which persisted from 115,000 until 10,000 years ago.
Called the Climate Long-Range Investigation and Mapping Program (CLIMAP), this effort found that the mix of plankton species currently living in the tropics closely resembles the community during the last ice age, signaling that minimal temperature change occurred there during the glacial epoch
For nearly 2 million years, Earth has been moving to the rhythm of the ice ages, bopping back and forth between long glacial epochs
and short, balmy spans known as interglacials.
During glacial epochs
, iron-rich dust blowing off the arid continents could have caused a continual fertilization, thus cooling the world, he explains.
The findings raise concern because scientists had long thought that interglacial spans -- such as the current one -- were immune from the unstable climate swings that characterize glacial epochs
The notion that glacial epochs
could be due to changes inCO.