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End of Ice Age – New Zealand

8 September 2010

At www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2010/09/100908132214.htm a new paper in Nature seems to indicate that New Zealand was not affected by the Younger Dryas cooling event. Antarctic ice cores are reputed not to record a cold phase of around 1000+ years that is extremely prominent in the northern hemisphere. Glaciers in New Zealand receded dramatically at the end of the Ice Age – or the dates provided in the press release as recorded by Science Daily, at and during the YD event rather than at the end of the Ice Age, several thousand years earlier. The numbers/ dates appear to be odd and without the article itself it is difficult to know for sure what it implies. However, the idea of the research is based on conventional thinking, that ocean currents and the atmosphere played a role in the warming (including C02). The research was very clever and there is no reason to doubt its veracity. It involved the study of one glacier in the South Island. When glaciers advance they drag mounds of rock and dirt with them. When they retreat cosmic rays bombard the newly exposed ridges of rock and dirt known as moraines. By crushing this material and measuring the build-up of the cosmogenic isoptope beryllium 10, scientists can pinpoint when the glacier receded. They were then able to track the retreat of the glacier up slope through time and calculate how much the climate warmed.

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