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The global changes: learning from the Antarctic

Date of holding: 31/05/2012

Video language: English
Viewed: 3163 times

The exponential increase of the global population is influencing significant changes in the Earth’s system including, as the most apparent ones, the global mean temperatures and variations in the eco-systems. Since the initial stages in its evolution, the Earth shows significant modifications of the environmental parameters, some of which resulted in drastic and catastrophic changes such as the extinction of the dinosaurs at the end of the Mesozoic. Another very important and significant change of the Earth system occurred during the Eocene/Oligocene/Oligocene boundary (33.5 My), when ice sheets became extensive in the Antarctic and the climate changed from a green-world to the present ice-world. In this respect, the study of the break-up of South America and the Antarctic Peninsula is crucial because of its impact on oceanic circulation and global climate. The Eocene/Oligocene boundary is characterized by a global lowering of the sea level and the increase of the O18, which recorded the transfer of sea water to the Antarctic ice sheets. From this time onwards, the dynamic system of the polar caps becomes a driver rather than a consequence of the global climate and the oceanic circulation.

Mr. Andrés Maldonado
Research Professor, CSIC. University of Granada.
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