Science Behind a Completely FRESH Arctic Ocean Under a Kilometer Thick Ice Shelf Cap

Science Behind a Completely FRESH Arctic Ocean Under a Kilometer Thick Ice Shelf Cap: Part 1 of 2 // Mar 5, 2021

I delve into the details of the science behind the remarkable new finding that the entire Arctic Ocean was essentially fresh water trapped beneath kilometer thick ice shelves that extended from Arctic coastlines to essentially create a thick ice cap over the entire Arctic Ocean, extending from the landlocked Bering Strait region all the way across the Arctic region to the Greenland-Scotland Ridge.

The scientific evidence behind this incredible finding is very strong. Within salty sea water, there is naturally occurring dissolved uranium, with concentrations proportional to the dissolved salt content. This uranium decays to Thorium-230 which then goes into the seafloor sediments close to the site of production. There is also Calcium, and Manganese, and Sulphur in the salts. During the time periods when the Arctic Ocean was fresh water, with no salt content, these components drop to near zero levels.

How could this happen?

  • With global sea levels 130 meters lower, and a sea ice shelf cap over the Arctic nearly 1 km thick, connections to the other oceans were basically closed off.
  • Over thousands of years, the freshwater discharge into the Arctic Ocean, estimated at 1,200 cubic kilometers per year (20% of Amazon River discharge) filled the Arctic volume under the ice shelf cap, forcing out all the salt water.
  • Amazing stuff. Not only that, but as the glacial periods ended and the ice shelves receded, the 9 million cubic kilometers of fresh water under the Arctic cap was rapidly released to the Atlantic Ocean and then later the Pacific Ocean, causing abrupt global climate system lurches.

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Science of a Completely FRESH Arctic Ocean — Thorium-230, Calcium, Beryllium-10: Part 2 of 2 // Mar 5, 2021

Second of two videos, here.
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About paulbeckwith

Well known climate science educator; Part-time Geography professor (climatology, oceanography, environmental issues), University of Ottawa. Physicist. Engineer. Master's Degree in Science in Laser Optics, Bachelors of Engineering, in Engineering Physics. Won Association of Professional Engineers of Ontario gold medal. Also interested in investment and start-ups in climate solutions, renewable energy and energy efficiency. Avid chess player, and likes restoring old homes. Married with children.
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