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Earth's polar regions communicate via oceanic 'postcards,' atmospheric 'text messages'

Scientists have documented a two-part climatic connection between the North Atlantic Ocean and Antarctica, a fast atmospheric channel and a much slower oceanic one, that caused rapid changes in climate during the last ice age - and may again. In a new study, an international team of scientists describe how extremely abrupt climate change events 60,000 to 12,000 years ago came from the repeated strengthening and weakening of an oceanic current that warms Greenland and Europe by bringing warm water from the tropics via the Gulf Stream into the North Atlantic Ocean. That current is known as the Atlantic Meridional Overturning Circulation.

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