Israeli scientists link dinosaur-era ocean swirls, modern climate change

Published date17 September 2023
The study, published this month in Nature Communications, investigates the role of "gyral circulation" (large ocean swirls) in transporting warm water from the tropics to the poles during the Cretaceous period around 145 to 66 million years ago when dinosaurs roamed the Earth. Climate scientists are often interested in this period because of the high levels of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere and the many different kinds of plants and animals that lived during that time

Carbon dioxide, or CO2, is the gas most often associated with climate change.

Specifically, the Israeli researchers applied an analytic model they developed to evaluate wind-driven circulation at the ocean's surface during the period.

How did the researchers conduct their analysis?

The researchers "conducted a thorough analysis using computer models that simulate ancient climates," the university explained. "Their findings revealed that the movement of Earth's continents during the Cretaceous period caused a slowdown in the large swirling ocean currents responsible for carrying warm water from the equator to the poles."...

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