Home / English Column / Environment / Environment -- Ecological China Tools: Save | Print | E-mail | Most Read
Scientists Search for Clues to Climate Change
Adjust font size:

Scientists in Shanghai are working on an assumption that pockets of warm water in the western margins of the Pacific Ocean near the Straits of Malacca can significantly affect the earth's climate.

Led by Wang Pinxian, a professor from Tongji University, by drilling deep into the bed of the South China Sea the research team has obtained soft mud samples and carried out carbon isotope analysis of the fossils of foraminifers (a kind of marine micro-organism) within the mud. They found that variations in the carbon content of the fossils coincided almost exactly with the timing of ice ages. This is a new clue that may help explain climate change, the study of which normally takes the northern Atlantic Ocean at high latitudes as its barometer.

The earth's climate has evolved on a cycle of glacial periods (cold periods) and interglacial ones (warm periods). We are in an interglacial period now, and it is still unclear when the next glacial period will arrive. The last glacial period began about 20,000 years ago. At that time, about one-third of the land was covered by glaciers with thickness exceeding 1,000 meters, and global sea levels were 120 meters lower than those of today.

(Shanghai Daily February 8, 2006)

Tools: Save | Print | E-mail | Most Read

Related Stories
SiteMap | About Us | RSS | Newsletter | Feedback
Copyright © China.org.cn. All Rights Reserved     E-mail: webmaster@china.org.cn Tel: 86-10-88828000 京ICP证 040089号