Global Warming Could Cool N. America
Global warming could actually chill down North America within just a few decades, according to a new study that says a sudden cooling event gripped the region about 8,300 years ago.
Analysis of ancient moss from Newfoundland, Canada, links an injection of freshwater from a burst glacial lake to a rapid drop in air temperatures by a few degrees Celsius along North America's East Coast.
This event created a colder year-round climate with a much shorter growing season for about 150 years, from northern Canada to what is now Cape Hatteras, North Carolina.
The results suggest that North America's climate is highly sensitive to meltwater flowing into the ocean, said lead study author Tim Daley of Swansea University in the U.K.
The work also means that history could repeat itself: Currently Greenland's ice sheet is melting at a rapid clip, releasing freshwater into the North Atlantic.