"We know that global warming affects ocean currents in a variety of ways, but
questions remain about exactly how this relationship works. A new study
attempts to answer some of those questions.
Scientists pored over data stretching back 66 million years over 293 sites,
looking at gaps in sedimentary layers, known as hiatuses, to figure out the
varying strength of ocean currents across the millennia and how this relates to
Doing so provided a wealth of extra data beyond the 30 years or so of satellite
imagery that researchers traditionally used to look at how ocean current
activity changes as the temperature of the globe keeps on rising.
"The satellite data typically used to inform ocean models only cover a few
decades, leading to a poor understanding of longer-term ocean variability,"
says sedimentologist Adriana Dutkiewicz from the University of Sydney in
"This prompted us to look at the deep-sea geological record to decipher these
The team found that over the last 13 million years, as the Earth has gradually
cooled down, the hiatuses in the sediment record became less frequent. That
suggests current speed in the deepest parts of the ocean has slowed down
Via Rixty Dixet.
*** Xanni ***
Chief Scientist, Xanadu
Partner, Glass Wings
Manager, Serious Cybernetics