Scientists trace atmospheric rise in CO2 during deglaciation to deep Pacific Ocean

Date: August 13, 2018

Source: Phys Org 
Author: Oregon State University

Long before humans started injecting carbon dioxide into the atmosphere by burning fossil fuels like oil, gas, and coal, the level of atmospheric CO2 rose significantly as the Earth came out of its last ice age. Many scientists have long suspected that the source of that carbon was from the deep sea.

But researchers haven’t been able to document just how the carbon made it out of the  and into the atmosphere. It has remained one of the most important mysteries of science.

A new study, published today in the journal Nature Geoscience, provides some of the most compelling evidence for how it happened—a “flushing” of the deep Pacific Ocean caused by the acceleration of water circulation patterns that begin around Antarctica.

The concern, researchers say, is that it could happen again, potentially magnifying and accelerating human-caused climate change.

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