This is a story idea from the Department of Energy's Oak Ridge National Laboratory. To arrange for an interview with a researcher, please contact the Communications and External Relations staff member identified at the end of the tip.
About 22,000 years ago the Earth's great ice sheets began to decline, bringing an end to the Last Glacial Maximum. Given the growing concerns about today's shrinking glaciers and polar ice caps, scientists are interested in knowing what happened the last time the Earth shed much of its ice. Now a group of researchers has run simulations on an Oak Ridge National Laboratory supercomputer over three years to create the first physics-based test of hemispheric deglaciation. Their culprit: a combination of increased insolation (solar radiation that reaches the earth's surface) caused by changes in the Earth's orbit, and ocean circulation. Their work was published in the Feb. 7 issue of Nature.
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