Pub. date: 2008 | Online Pub. Date: April 25, 2008 | DOI: 10.4135/9781412963893 | Print ISBN: 9781412958783 | Online ISBN: 9781412963893| Publisher:SAGE Publications, Inc.About this encyclopedia
Climatic Data, Sea Floor Records
THE SEA FLOOR is blanketed with sediments composed primarily of the remains of plants and animals that live in the oceans which cover three-quarters of the Earths surface. Sea-floor sediments also include particles of soil, dust, volcanic ash, and fragments of vegetation that are washed off the land by rivers and floods, blown in by winds, or left by melting icebergs. In the deep oceans throughout the world, sea-floor sediments have piled up continuously over thousands to millions of year, silently recording the history of changes in climate and ocean conditions as far back as the time of the dinosaurs 60–80 million years ago. Over the past 50 years, modern engineering and scientific techniques in paleoceanography have accessed these deep-water sea-floor archives and have read their messages about natural climate changes that occurred before the recent global warming started about 150 years ago. The importance of the sea-floor archives is ...