Tuesday, March 31, 2009

Glacier Dust and Climate Change

There's a lot of great, fascinating research being done in Antarctica, and a recent study on dust in Antarctic ice sheets is no exception. Apparently, Patagonian glaciers operate as on/off switches - when the temperature is at its coldest, the glaciers are largest and give off dust that makes its way to Antarctica. According to Professor David Sugden, "Ice cores from the Antarctic ice sheet act as a
record of global environment. However, the dust levels showed some sudden changes which had us puzzled - until we realised that the Patagonian glaciers were acting as an on/off switch for releasing dust into the atmosphere."

Scientists hope that these results will help us better understand past climate change and predict modern-day climate change. We still have a lot to learn, and Antarctica is an ideal place to study past climate events because the thick ice sheets provide such an excellent record.

1 comment:

Alex said...


I look forward to reading your posts!