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Earth orbit changes were key to Antarctic warming that ended last ice age

For more than a century scientists have known that Earths ice ages are caused by the wobbling of the planets orbit, which changes its orientation to the sun and affects the amount of sunlight reaching higher latitudes, particularly the polar regions.



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Irish Continental Shelf Could Unravel Climatic History of NE Atlantic

The Irish continental shelf is a perfectly preserved ice age landscape which could unravel the climatic history of the north east Atlantic and predict how polar icesheets might respond to future global warming, according to University of Ulster scientist Dr Paul Dunlop.
Dr Dunlop, who is a member of the Quaternary Environmental Change Research Group at the Environmental Sciences Research Institute at Ulsters Coleraine Campus, addressed a workshop during the Euroscience Open Forum (ESOF) 2012 conference in Dublin (Sunday 15th July).

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The last Ice Age
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Ancient story of Dartmoor tors has an ice-cold twist

Ice extended further across the UK than previously thought and played a part in sculpting the rocky landscape of Dartmoor in South West England during the last Ice Age, according to new research which challenges previously held theories.
A study of the National Park area of Dartmoor, UK, shows for the first time that an ice cap and valley glaciers were present in its centre and that the naturally castellated stone outcrops, known as tors, were survivors.

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RE: Iceage melt
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CO2 'drove end to last ice age'

A new, detailed record of past climate change provides compelling evidence that the last ice age was ended by a rise in temperature driven by an increase in atmospheric carbon dioxide.
The finding is based on a very broad range of data, including even the shells of ancient tiny ocean animals.

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Nat Geo Wild - Earth Investigated - Ice Age Meltdown



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Ice Age fossils
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Academic unearths mystery behind Ice Age fossils in 'once in a life-time discovery'

Professor Scott Elias, from the Department of Geography at Royal Holloway, University of London, will join a team of international scientists to analyse insect fossils from a recently discovered site in Colorado that has produced hundreds of animal bones of mammoths, mastodons and other Ice Age creatures.
The remains of six different species, including five American mastodons, three Ice Age bison, a mule deer, two Columbian mammoths, a tiger salamander and a Jefferson's ground sloth, were stumbled upon by contractors who were digging the area as part of a reservoir expansion project in the Village of Snowmass, in Western Colorado.
This site is among the few places in America and the only one in Colorado where the fossils of mammoths and mastodons have been found in one location. Mammoths and mastodons are both elephant-like creatures with long tusks. Both species faded into extinction in North America more than 12,800 years ago.

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Answer to What Ended the Last Ice Age May Be Blowing in the Winds

Scientists still puzzle over how Earth emerged from its last ice age, an event that ushered in a warmer climate and the birth of human civilization. In the geological blink of an eye, ice sheets in the northern hemisphere began to collapse and warming spread quickly to the south. Most scientists say that the trigger, at least initially, was an orbital shift that caused more sunlight to fall across Earth's northern half. But how did the south catch up so fast?
In a review paper published this week in the journal Science, a team of researchers look to a global shift in winds for the answer. They propose a chain of events that began with the melting of the large northern hemisphere ice sheets about 20,000 years ago. The melting ice sheets reconfigured the planet's wind belts, pushing warm air and seawater south, and pulling carbon dioxide from the deep ocean into the atmosphere, allowing the planet to heat even further. Their hypothesis makes use of climate data preserved in cave formations, polar ice cores and deep-sea sediments to describe how Earth finally thawed out.

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Ocean's carbon 'burp' helped end last ice age

A giant "burp" of carbon dioxide stored under the ocean between South Africa and Antarctica may have helped end the last ice age more than 18,000 years ago, according to a new study.
The team made its discovery by doing radiocarbon dating on shells under the Southern Ocean from tiny foraminifera creatures, says the study, which will be published in Friday's Science magazine.
Dr Luke Skinner's team measured carbon-14 levels in the shells and compared this with carbon levels in the atmosphere at the time to work out how long the CO2 had been locked in the ocean.

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Oxford University is involved in a research project to unearth 30,000 year old climate records, before they are lost forever. The rings of preserved kauri trees, hidden in New Zealand's peat bogs, hold the secret to climate fluctuations spanning back to the end of the last Ice Age.
The team, led by Exeter University, has been awarded a grant from the Natural Environment Research Council to carry out carbon dating and other analyses of the kauri tree rings. The trees store an immense amount of information about rapid and extreme climate change in the past. For instance, wide ring widths are associated with cool dry summer conditions. The scientists believe their findings will help us understand what future climate change may bring.

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Every day thousands of tourists flock to north Queensland to witness the Great Barrier Reef in all its glory.
But soon a different group of travellers will visit the reef in order to dig up samples of ancient coral buried deep in the ocean floor.
A group of international scientists say this sediment holds clues to how the Earth adapted since the last ice age.

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