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Weather Talk: Glaciation cycles likely related to ocean currents

It is known from Antarctic ice core samples that our current Ice Age cycle between glacial periods and warmer interglacial periods went through a phase change about 900,000 years ago. 

At that point, the glacial periods became much colder, and the length between ice advances increased from about every 41,000 years to about every 100,000 years. 

A recent study published in the journal Science shows evidence that the change is likely related to a slowing of ocean currents. As the currents slowed, the ocean’s ability to store carbon dioxide increased, allowing for longer and colder glacial periods. 

If the cycle is not changed by the anthropogenic increase in atmospheric carbon dioxide, it would be time for our next glaciation to begin sometime during the next few thousand years.  

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