Friday, June 15, 2012

How a Mega-Flood changed the Earth's Climate

Arctic Ocean

More then 13,000 years ago there was a mega-flood caused by the melting of the glaciers in North America.  This flood effectively changed the earth’s climate creating a period that has been called the Little Ice Age or the Younger Dryas that caused most of Europe to cool down for over 1400 years. It is thought by many geologists that this flood was caused by a sudden drainage of Lake Agassiz that occupied the area of Canada consisting of three different provinces Alberta, Saskatchewan and Manitoba. This was a lake larger than the Great Lakes combined that was dumped into the Arctic Ocean causing the Gulf Stream to cease flowing.
At the height of the flood it is been estimated that more than 9500 km³ of water came from Lake Agassiz effectively choking off the Gulf Stream preventing it from bringing warmth to Europe.
Where this great amount water came from was a puzzle to many geologists who originally thought this great flood exited from the interior of North America via the St. Lawrence River. It is only been in recent years that they discovered that this vast flood had exited into the Arctic Ocean via the McKenzie River causing it to be dumped into the Arctic Ocean all at once.

This discovery led to the Bateman report that indicates a large amount of freshwater flowing into the Arctic Ocean within a short time prevented the Gulf Stream from flowing northwards. As we all know the Gulf Stream acts like a huge conveyor belt bringing much-needed warm water from the topics to the western coast of Europe while at the same time the much colder and salty water of the Arctic Ocean sinks into the depths of the Atlantic by skirting the coast of Greenland. According to the scientists this causes an overturning of the Atlantic Ocean causing even more warm water to be drawn into the Gulf Stream from the tropics.

Some scientists believe that even today a period of rapid global warming is capable of causing a sharp increase in the amount of freshwater running off the ice cap of Greenland that would be capable of stopping the Gulf Stream causing a deep-freeze in Europe capable of lasting for hundreds of years.

There are even some recent satellite images as well as computer models that have been performed by scientists at that indicate that the Greenland Ice Sheet has undergone a period of rapid melting that is been dumping large amounts of freshwater into the North Atlantic Ocean. The question is can history repeat itself? 

Recent satellite observations as well as computer models performed by scientists have demonstrated that the Greenland ice sheet is melting rapidly and dumping large amounts of ice along with meltwater into the North Atlantic. Could history repeat itself?

Mega-flood Triggered Cooling 13,000 Years Ago, Reuters,

River reveals chilling tracks of ancient flood, Nature News,


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