Dust clouds rapidly affect climate

Dust blown off the Southern Ocean is directly related to past rapid climate change. Oceanographic processes are linked to airborne dust, resulting in changes to atmospheric carbon dioxide levels.

Scientists studied a marine sediment core from the Southern Ocean, also reconstructing chemical signatures at different water depths using stable isotope ratios in the shells of foraminifera, single–celled marine organisms. Changes in carbon dioxide levels and the input of windblown dust were related to chemical differences in intermediate and deep sea levels.

These findings show that rapid changes in the climate are a result of dust clouds. This means that present low fluxes of dust may have more of an effect on the cycle of nutrients and elements in the Southern Ocean than previously thought.

Read more at Cardiff University