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The Transformation Of Antarctica

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posted on May, 3 2006 @ 03:50 AM
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About 41 million years ago Antarctica lost its landbridge to South America. The gateway was opened up. Suddenly an ocean current (which created a cooling effect) were swirling around Antarctica. Soon Antarctica lost its pine trees and alligators. Antartica was transformed some 30 million years ago and covered with ice.


BBC: Fossil gives clue to big chill (21 April 2006)


The gateway between the Atlantic and Pacific at the bottom of the globe opened up 41 million years ago, according to a study of old fish teeth. The research in Science pushes back the date of the forging of Drake Passage to twice as long ago as once thought. US geologists believe it kick-started the ocean current that swirls around Antarctica, helping to bring about a dramatic cooling effect. The continent was transformed from lush forest to the icy landscape of today.

The world was a very different place then. Levels of carbon dioxide were three to four times today's levels and it was so warm that alligators sunned themselves in the high Arctic. But some 30 million years ago, there was a dramatic shift in climate from "greenhouse" to "icehouse". The rapid cooling swept over the Antarctic and, over the course of several million years, its pine trees were replaced by glaciers.


South America and Antarctica were once joined by a land bridge. (Image: Science)

Scientists believe the formation of the ocean current that circulates around Antarctica played a key role in the cooling as it deflects warm streams of water coming from the equator.

This is interesting. Now, if we could block the ocean current and plug that hole again somehow. Then maybe we can melt the ice and make Antarctica inhabitable again
But the problem with melting ice is a massive sea level rise...




Oldest Known Painting of Antarctica

AP Photo/Yale Center for British Art




posted on May, 3 2006 @ 03:55 AM
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According to most doomsdayer's (if that is even a word) global warming will melt all of our ice caps by 2050.

So with a little patiance and more pollution you will get your wish.



posted on Sep, 11 2006 @ 07:24 PM
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If we were to melt the Icecaps completely so that the only glaciers left were in high altitudes of the mountains, would the land gained from Antarctica opening up and Greenland opening be more than that of the land that will be swallowed up by higher water levels? One thing to remember though is that right now we have nice flat and hospitable shores and land granted we can almost sort of say terraform Antarctica and Greenland but there land I cant imagine being as desirable as what we have now.



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