Climate can grind mountains faster than imagined

New York, Dec 1 (IANS) Erosion caused by glaciation during ice ages can, in the right circumstances, wear down mountains faster than plate tectonics can build them, a new study measuring all the material leaving and entering a mountain range over a million years has found.

Researchers studied the St. Elias Mountains on the Alaskan coast and found that erosion accelerated sharply about one million years ago when global climate cooling triggered stronger and more persistent ice ages than times past.


“Humans often see mountain ranges as static, unyielding parts of the landscape,” said co-chief scientist John Jaeger from University of Florida.

“But our work has shown that they are actively evolving along with, and responding to, Earth’s climate, which just shows how truly dynamic and coupled this planet is,” Jaeger added.

The study, conducted by a team of scientists from 10 countries, culminated more than a decade of fieldwork.

Researchers first used seismic equipment to image and map a huge fan of sediment in the deep sea in the Gulf of Alaska caused by erosion of the nearby mountains and took short sediment cores to understand the modern system.

They then collected and dated almost 4 kilometers of sediment from the floor of the gulf and the Alaskan continental shelf, revealing millions of years of geologic history.

“It turned out most [sediments] were younger than we anticipated, and most rates (of sediment production and thus erosion) were higher than we anticipated,” said lead author and co-chief scientist Sean Gulick from University of Texas.

“Since the big climate change during the mid-Pleistocene transition when we switched from short (about 40,000-years) ice ages to super-long (about 100,000-years) ice ages, erosion became much greater… In fact, there was more erosion than tectonics has replaced,” Gulick added.

The study was published in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences.

1 Comment

  1. The amount of bullshit these environmentalists are dishing out is beyond pathetic. The whole point behind this sham is for the governments to impose more tax on the citizenry and to suppress global commerce. They created this global warming myth out of nothing but their story did not match the data on the table. When they were claiming the planet was warming, the satellite data consistently showed the earth was cooling down year after year. These …… deliberately ignored the data captured from the solar cycles which would have explained what was happening to the planet because that does not fit their agenda. They do not have data beyond 100 years to prove what they are claiming. They are creating a science based on 100 years evidence while they have nothing to show for the last 3.5 billion years. And a bunch of fake scientists are backing this whole sham because the governments must have promised them massive research grants. These haven’t worked one day in the field yet send pile of horse manure from their armchairs and expect the people to buy it and by the looks of it many are already fallen for it.

    When the global warming theory did not match the data, they changed their number plate and are now claiming it as “climate change”. Do these people have any more credibility left? And our government appears to be at the helm of this tomfoolery in Paris.The western governments, the mainstream media, and the fake academics all have their snouts deep in this trough together. They do not allow any impartial debates at the national level lest they are caught out. The ordinary people are busy with their soap operas, idols, dancing on ice, cricket, and pilgrimages. Everyone thinks people in power will do the right thing. Anyways you get what you deserve in the end.

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