Scientists studying the rising levels of sea ice in Antarctica say the rapid accumulation in recent years could spark a potential “ice age” for the first time in more than two million years.
“Using computer simulations, the research suggests that an increase in sea ice could significantly alter the circulation of the ocean, ultimately leading to a reverse greenhouse effect as carbon dioxide levels in the ocean increase and levels in the air decrease,” reports Fox News.
“One key question in the field is still what caused the Earth to periodically cycle in and out of ice ages,” University of Chicago professor and the study’s co-author, Malte Jansen, said in a statement. “We are pretty confident that the carbon balance between the atmosphere and ocean must have changed, but we don’t quite know how or why.”
“What this suggests is that it’s a feedback loop,” said the study’s lead author, Alice Marzocchi. “As the temperature drops, less carbon is released into the atmosphere, which triggers more cooling.”
“What surprised me is how much of this increased storage can be attributed to physical changes alone, with Antarctic sea-ice cover being the key player,” Marzocchi added
Read the full report at Fox News.