Massive Volcanic Eruptions in Antarctica over the period of 192 years could have caused the accelerated climate change in the Southern Hemisphere. The findings were from the new study conducted by the Desert Research Institute (DRI) recently published in the journal Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences. The researchers believe that there's an undeniable link between the volcanic eruptions and the abrupt climate changes in the region.

Abrupt climate change in the Southern Hemisphere

Professor Joseph R. McConnell, Ph.D. led the study. According to McConnell, the measurements of massive halogen-rich eruptions in the Antarctic ice cores including West Antarctic's Mt.

Takahe volcano coincide with the abrupt climate change that started during the last ice age. The eruptions were also linked with the increased greenhouse gas concentrations.

Based on the study, climate change in the Southern hemisphere started in 17,700 years ago. Climate change was observed during the same time that the changes in the Antarctic surfaced including its ocean circulation, deep ocean ventilation and the apparent shift in westerly winds in the area. However, no one can tell for sure what really caused the sudden changes. The study delved deeper to discover what caused the abrupt climate change and if it is indeed linked with the volcanic eruptions.

So far, the theory is that the massive halogen-rich eruptions underneath the oceans led to the formation of a stratospheric ozone hole over the region.

The ozone hole ignited the abrupt climate changes in the Southern Hemisphere including a sudden shift in atmospheric circulation. The study argues that the changes in the Atlantic are linked to the sudden climate change shift and that the relations cannot be denied.

Massive eruptions

Based on the study, the eruptions resulted in the release of high levels of hydrofluoric acid and heavy metals that are considered as toxic materials.

These byproducts of Mt. Takahe eruptions reached about 2,800 kilometers including South America. The release of these materials could have affected the circulation and other natural activities in the Southern hemisphere that resulted in a massive shift in climate over time.

In order to produce a conclusive hypothesis, McConnell verified the massive volcanic eruptions in the Antarctic by measuring ice cores from target locations including Greenland ice sheets. Researchers drilled the cores to collect samples that were then analyzed using the DRI Ultra-Trace Laboratory.