Scientists have found out why Antarctica was covered with ice 34 million years ago

(ORDO NEWS) — Scientists have been able to explain why 34 million years ago Antarctica turned into a huge reservoir of ice. According to an international group of researchers from Tasmania, Great Britain and Norway, the reason was not only a decrease in the concentration of carbon dioxide in the Earth’s atmosphere, but also tectonic changes that affected the circulation of seawater in the Southern Ocean.

It is believed that 34 million years ago, a hot climate gave way to cold due to a critical decrease in the concentration of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere. Scientists call this the Eocene-Oligocene transition, which led to a decrease in the average surface temperature of the entire planet. In addition, during this period, the area covered by ice increased significantly, according to Nature Communications.

Scientists, however, are still debating what effect the sinking of the seabed had on subsequent events. As a result, the Drake Passage arose between Antarctica and South America, which subsequently led to the formation of the Antarctic Circumpolar Current, which isolated Antarctica from warm ocean masses of water.

Experts have developed a new model, which showed that it was the sinking of the seabed that led to the fact that Antarctica turned into an “ice bag”.

Nevertheless, the decisive factor in the growth of the Antarctic ice cover, apparently, was still the fall in the level of carbon dioxide. These two processes were layered one on top of the other, leading to the formation of a grand glacier in the south of the planet.

Earlier it was reported that the self-healing of the ice shelves of Antarctica is under the threat of global warming.

In 2017, an international team of scientific experts from NASA and the University of California addressed the growing cracks and splits in Antarctica’s ice shelves. Experts have found that ice shelves can self-repair if damaged. But at the moment this “function” is under the threat of global warming.

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